A kitten was found dead and crucified upside down in Mosta yesterday in the third such macabre act after two puppies were found nailed in similar circumstances last year.

The light brown cat, described as “a few weeks old”, was nailed to a wooden cross that was then hung to the gate of a chapel in Triq San Anton Abbati in Mosta.

Police on patrol made the gruesome discovery yesterday at about 3.45 a.m.

The kitten was nailed to a crucifix, which was then hung onto the chapel’s gate upside down, the police said.

This makes it the third animal crucifixion to take place within a few months, all a short distance from each other in Mosta.

On October 16 a priest walking along Main Street was confronted by the macabre sight of a dead dog nailed to an upside down wooden cross. On November 16, a Chihuahua cross-breed was found crucified in the same manner on the gates of the oratory of the Sacred Heart.

In both cases there was a note in which the perpetrator said the suffering he or she had gone through was worse than that of the dog. The crucified kitten did not have a note.

Investigators initially followed a potential link between the first case and a 1999 murder since the house where that puppy was found was where Franġisku Buhagiar, now aged 81, shot dead his sister following a bizarre argument over burnt toast.

Mr Buhagiar, who served a 10-year jail term, has lived elsewhere since but was interrogated last month and denied any connection to the incident.Police are investigating the case which is the first of animal cruelty reported so far this year. There were several horrifying cases of animal cruelty last year, with dogs being buried alive, crucified and even bound and thrown out at sea. Such events led to the largest protest against animal cruelty Malta has ever seen and the government pledged it would bring in harsher punishments for such crimes this year.

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