It was initially perceived as a sick prank. British animal welfare investigators were trying to track down the person responsible for dyeing a cat pink and dumping the animal in a garden in southern England.
After a nationwide appeal, a 22-year-old mother of two has stepped forward to claim responsibility.
Natasha Gregory of Swindon, Wiltshire, says she’s the owner of the pet and admits to using food coloring to dye the animal. “It’s my favorite color,” she told the Daily Mail, “I just love it.”
Gregory says her pet — named Oi! Kitty — had been missing for days before she saw the widespread media coverage.
Gregory told the Daily Mail that she followed the directions on a bottle of food coloring to change the color of her pet, noting that “we eat the food the dye is used on, so I know it wasn’t toxic.”
The self-described “animal lover” said that the animal’s previous owner, her sister Lisa, had also dyed the cat on a separate occasion.
Despite the public outcry and accusations of pet cruelty from veterinary officials, Gregory has no regrets. “Yeah, I love pink,” she says, “I’d love a cat that’s always pink.” Gregory hopes to pick up Oi! Kitty from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Monday.
The case follows an incident last month when another British woman was video taped dumping a cat into a garbage bin. Thousands of people watched the footage on YouTube, some vowing retribution.