Stephen Stacey of Portsmouth, England, is a strong contender for the Nasty Drunk of the Year award.

He’s in line for this dubious (but unfortunately fictitious) distinction because earlier this year, he decided to cook his cat in a microwave oven. The cat’s crime? Scratching Stacey on the hand.

Stacey, who, according to police reports, had been drinking all day, had an argument with his girlfriend. After the fight was over, the cat, Come On Then, scratched him — probably because Stacey was doing some kind of stupid-drunk-trick thing — and Stacey decided he’d had enough. He tossed the cat in the microwave and turned it on.

The couple’s neighbor, Simon Allen, was pulled into the drama when Stacey’s girlfriend knocked on his door at 2:30 a.m. In tears, she told Allen what was going on.

Allen ran next door and demanded to know where the cat was. Stacey opened the microwave and the poor cat staggered out with her tongue hanging out.

Stacey told Allen that he was going to kill the cat by throwing it out the window or putting it in the microwave, and then said the feline had been cooking for about five seconds.

Allen grabbed the cat and took her back to his apartment, then called the RSPCA. An investigator rushed to the scene and poured three jugs of cold water on the cat, who was still hot to the touch. The next morning, Come On Then was in a cage at a vet clinic, surrounded by ice packs to cool her still-cooking body.

Stacey went to trial in early August on a charge of animal cruelty. And of course, like every other criminal who was caught doing a heinous act, he begged for leniency. He claimed to have turned his life around and told the court that his girlfriend is pregnant (oh, great!) and he wants to keep her company “through the early months of pregnancy and … until when the child arrives in the world.”

So what’s he going to do after that? Ditch her and go off on a drinking binge? Maybe cook a few more cats?

His attorney said Stacey has stopped drinking and is moving away from the “bad influences” in his life.

The court didn’t buy it. Stacey was convicted of the cruelty charge and given a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and was banned from keeping pets for the rest of his life. He’ll also be subject to an 18-month supervision requirement (the British equivalent of probation) and forced to observe a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew for six weeks.

Really? Just four months in jail for such an awful act? And I’m totally sure he’s going to abide by the ban from keeping pets.

What’s he going to do when his new baby cries? Nuke the kid, too? Oh, wait — he’ll be in jail. At least the baby will be safe for the first four months.

And what about the cat? Despite the damage she suffered to her eyes, brain tissue, internal organs, and tongue, she’s made a full recovery. Her name is now Nancy, and she is looking forward to a good life in a safe, new home.

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