2:20 PM on 25th August 2010
The woman who received death threats for throwing a cat in a wheelie bin today made a ‘profuse’ public apology for the upset she caused.
Mary Bale, 45, said she could not explain her actions, which had involved a ‘split second of misjudgment’ and were ‘completely out of character’.
The unmarried bank worker was caught on video picking up four-year-old tabby cat Lola before throwing her into the bin and closing the lid.
Miss Bale said today: ‘I want to take this opportunity to apologise profusely for the upset and distress that my actions have caused. I cannot explain why I did this, it is completely out of character and I certainly did not intend to cause any distress to Lola or her owners.
‘It was a split second of misjudgment that has got completely out of control. I am due to meet with the RSPCA and police to discuss this matter and will cooperate fully with their investigations.’
But she claimed the outcry had been blown out of all proportion: ‘I don’t know what the fuss is about. It’s just a cat.’
Miss Bale said she was just walking home on Saturday when she saw the cat and decided to play with it. But she told the Sun that she ‘suddenly thought it would be funny’ to put it in the bin.
‘I did it as a joke because I thought it would be funny. I never thought it would be trapped, I expected it to wriggle out,’ she said.
Referring to the CCTV footage, she told how she could not believe it was being seen around the world and was afraid it would upset her family.
She said: ‘I don’t know what my relatives will think but to be honest I think everyone is overreacting a bit.’
While Miss Bale admitted she should not have done it, she said she did not deserve to be ‘hated’ by everyone and assumed the cat would find its own way out the bin.
Her mother also insisted the unmarried bank clerk ‘loved cats’ – and had even kept them as pets as a child.
Celia Bale, 78, said: ‘She’s my daughter and as far as I’m concerned she is the most caring person you could ever wish to meet.
‘She had cats when she was a little girl and has never shown any cruelty to animals before in her life – she loves animals.
‘I talked to her on the phone today and she can’t explain why she did it or what got into her head, only that she really regrets it.’
The mother-of-three added that her husband Maurice, Miss Bale’s father, was in a critical condition after falling down the stairs last week, damaging his pelvis and vertebrae.
She said of her daughter: ‘She’s been under a great deal of strain these past two weeks.
‘Her father had a nasty fall and has been in a critical condition in hospital ever since.
‘She’s very close to her father and I think it’s had a real impact on her.
Reunited: Lola back with owner Darryl Mann yesterday. He posted footage of the incident on YouTube in a bid to catch the culprit, now identified as Miss Bale (pictured above at her church choir’s annual dinner)
‘She’s been soldiering on but I think it has got to her more than I realised.
‘I’m awfully worried about her because people have been saying some dreadful things about her and making threats.’
She added that she believed her daughter might keep animals if she didn’t work.
‘I know that sounds ironic considering what has happened, but she does love cats,’ she said.
It was also revealed last night that Miss Bale, who lives in Coventry and works as a cashier at RBS in nearby Rugby, was once a member of the Birmingham Bach Choir.
Miss Bale was caught on camera in Coventry as she threw the cat into the wheelie bin this weekend.
Lola was found 15 hours later when owner Darryl Mann, 26, heard her mewing from inside the bin.
Members of a Facebook group set up by Lola’s owners to identify the woman in the CCTV footage have posted death threats against Miss Bale. Some have been posted from as far away as Australia.
Hundreds of thousands around the globe have seen the YouTube video they also posted, 100,000 in the UK alone.
One wrote ‘throw her in the bin and see how she likes it’, while others called for her to be killed. Last night, owner Stephanie Andrews-Mann, 24, said she was glad the culprit had been found and hoped she’d be brought to justice.
She said: ‘All I wanted was a name so I could pass it on to the police.
‘It’s terrible that her dad’s in hospital, but to be totally honest, it’s not my cat’s problem.
‘Though what she did was totally wrong, I don’t want her to be too petrified to go out.’
West Midlands Police were keeping watch outside Miss Bale’s terraced home yesterday and a spokesman said she had been offered advice on how to stay safe.
Neighbours described her as a reclusive woman who rarely had visitors. One, who asked not to be named, said: ‘She is a very nice lady, though very quiet.
The police and RSPCA investigation is continuing.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
how she obtains/loses her heart’s desire = ME = 45 = Self-help. Self-improvement. Self-mastery. Do-it-yourselfer. Common sense. Motive. Probe. Investigate. Apologies. I’m sorry. Hurt. Pain. Issues. Problems. Mistakes. Blunder. Gaffe. Regret. Permanent. Harm. Damage. Broken. Disappointment. Brooding. Seething. Resentment. Blame. Fault. Stare. Omen. Cringe. Wince. Heavy. Hardened. Hard knocks. Self-destructive. Scary. Workaholic. Controlling. Vindictive. Grudge. Revenge. Vendetta. Violence. Danger.