BERLIN, Germany — The discovery of a neo-Nazi terror cell, suspected of committing racist murders over a span of 10 years, shocked and outraged Germany.
It also left behind two very hungry cats.
The pets belong to Beate Zschäpe, allegedly a founding member of the so-called National Socialist Underground, who has been in police custody since early November.
Shortly before she blew up the apartment in which she and two of her alleged accomplices had their headquarters, the cats were entrusted to a neighbor – but were later turned over to a nearby animal shelter.
Now, after looking after the animals for three months, the shelter is demanding money from German authorities to help keep the kitties in kibbles, reported the Spiegel Online.
The cats have cost the Zwickau animal shelter more than €1,000 ($1,300) so far, its indignant treasurer told the news site. According to Michael Sperlich, local police covered the cost of their upkeep for the first three days of their stay, but then said it was up to the federal criminal agency, BKA, to foot the bill.
Sperlich says the shelter may sue the BKA if the press attention isn't enough to make them cough up.
In the meantime, the shelter cannot rehome the cats – two females named Heidi and Lily, according to the Berliner Morgenpost – since they technically still belong to Zschäpe.
The shelter is treating them as befits two parties of interest in a criminal investigation. After their owner's arrest, police took photographs and even saliva samples from the cats for their records, the Morgenpost reported, and the felines are now identified only by number for fear that they could attract the attention of Zschäpe's far-right admirers.