Months after cat gets kicked like a football, KC man charged with animal abuse

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Snapchat video of a cat getting violently kicked and sent flying through the air has led to a misdemeanor animal abuse charge against a 19-year-old from Kansas City.

Johnathan M. Taylor faces the charge for the alleged abuse that happened on May 22.

Authorities alerted the public weeks later after this happened on the field at Center High School. John Baccala, a spokesperson for KCMO Animal Control, said the time stamp on the Snapchat video says May 22, and the Center High School principal alerted animal control on May 24.

The video shows a man who starts talking about kicking a field goal on the field and then proceeds to kick a small black cat. The cat goes flying, and then the video stops right after it lands.

City animal health experts estimate the cat was kicked about 20 or 25 yards. Court documents say a cat that closely resembled the one seen on the video was found dead on Center High School's football field on June 21. 

Despite Taylor denying involvement to investigators multiple times, multiple witnesses came forward saying it was him, including the person who took the video on Snapchat.

The witness who took the video said he was with Taylor and others at the field playing 7 on 7 football. During their game, the cat walked onto the field and Taylor said, "man get that cat outta here, I'll kick that cat." He said he wasn't really thinking when he pulled out his phone to take the Snapchat video.

The witness added that the cat didn't move after it was kicked, and they continued playing football. He said they didn't pay much attention to the cat afterwards, but he admitted the cat was probably in pain and said that, "cats have nine lives."

Jail records don't currently show Taylor in custody, court records show that a summons has been mailed to him for a court appearance on October 4.

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