Henrico man accused of dousing kitten in oil

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A tiny kitten is covered in globs of oil, and now a neighbor is facing charges.

James W. Porch, 56, was arrested Monday. Not only is he charged with animal cruelty, but police are accusing him of indecent exposure as well.

Little eight-week-old kitten "Midnight", roams the backyard of his Highland Springs home as if nothing happened. But his owner, Betty Alvis remembers every last detail.

"He got the cat, and then poured all the oil. [Almost] Drowned it. Couldn't see his eyes. Eyes were solid shut. I had to wash him about 5 times," Alvis said.

Clearly, a whole lot of dish detergent can't get Midnight clean, and Betty is angry.

"I thought the cat was going to die the other day because he didn't open his eyes up at all," Alvis said.

So Betty called police, who arrested her neighbor, James Porch.

"We take crimes against persons very seriously and we also take crimes against animals very seriously," said Lt. Hank Smith of Henrico Police.

But Porch, apparently, wouldn't go quietly. While under arrest, police say he exposed himself to the officers, and made a crude remark in reference to his genitals.

"He became somewhat uncooperative, to say the least," Smith said.

Back at the house, Betty wants answers. She tried to get them by questioning the accused.

"I said, 'Why [did] you put motor oil on my cat?' He said, 'I did it for the fleas, I didn't want it up in my building'".

She'll keep trying to clean her tiny kitten, thankful that Midnight survived and appears to be in good spirits.

"He looks better than he did that day. I thought he was going to die," Alvis said.

Midnight hasn't seen a vet, but his owner expects him to be okay. James Porch is due in court on animal cruelty and indecent exposure charges in October.

According to court records, Porch has been in trouble with the law before. He has multiple convictions that include drunk driving, vandalism, and trespassing dating back to 2004.

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