Man Who Skinned Cat, Wore Tail Gets 2 Years in Jail

By Andrew Lu on September 04, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A homeless drifter in Arizona was sentenced to two years in jail for skinning a cat and wearing the cat's innards around his neck.

Twenty-five-year-old Russell Christopher Hofstad said he had nowhere to go and had nothing to eat following his release from jail. So the homeless man broke into a warehouse and stabbed a poor cat with a stick.

Hofstad skinned and gutted the cat and wore the cat's tail and intestines around his neck on a rope, reports Reuters. Not one to waste cat parts, Hofstad kept the remainder of the cat remains inside a cooler and said that he planned to stuff the animal and save the skeleton "for a decoration for a party."

For the skinned cat, Hofstad was charged with the crime of felony animal cruelty and he pleaded no contest, reports Reuters. Following his two-year prison stay, Hofstad will have to serve four years probation.

It isn't entirely clear why Hofstad pleaded no contest to the crime, but it's interesting that he did not try to use the insanity defense. After all, isn't stabbing a cat with a stick and then wearing its insides around your neck the definition of insanity?

One theory may be that because Hofstad actually made good use of the cat -- meal, party decoration, and clothing -- he would not have an insanity defense as he was perfectly aware of what he was doing.

Another more plausible theory as to why the insanity defense was not used may be that Hofstad realized that prison life isn't so bad after all. You get a place to live, a warm meal, and there's a regimented structure to plan your day. In fact prison may sound like a pretty decent alternative for a man who just committed the crime of skinning a cat because he had nothing to eat.

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