In Little Havana, a machete-wielding homeless dude is terrorizing the feline community. Or so says Eric Onassis, a former salsa dancer extraordinaire and keeper of pet squirrels in the same neighborhood. In 2009, Onassis was at the dominoes-slamming intersection of SW Eighth Street and 16th Avenue when a cat peed on a local coconut-water vendor's cart. The vendor's bearded, apparently homeless buddy grabbed his coconut-splitting machete and whacked the cat's tail almost completely off.
Then the anti-Garfield jihadist scurried away. Onassis called the police, but he says officers refused to write up a report. "They said they'd have to see the man cut the tail off to do anything about it," he scoffs. "The police don't do anything when it comes to animals in Miami. They couldn't give a hoot, because most of them don't like animals."
Onassis spent two weeks stalking the injured kitty until he finally caught it. He took the cat to a veterinarian, who amputated the infected tail.
In August 2011, the hirsute psycho struck again. A friend of Onassis's says he witnessed the homeless man again taking a machete to a feline's tail while ranting, "I hate cats. I'm going to chop the tails off all the cats."
After spending a couple of months searching for the wounded cat and gaining its trust, Onassis adopted the "beautiful calico" and paid for its tail -- which had become infested with maggots -- to also be amputated.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
This December, our mysterious villain made it a cat-tail hat trick. Onassis has been trying to trap the third tabby to have its appendage chopped. "I have put the best food -- even caviar -- in a cage," he says. "But this cat is smart."
The machete man seems to have gone underground since the last attack. Onassis doesn't know his name but describes him thusly: "He's Cuban, he has a fat belly, he smells like a skunk, he curses like a sailor, he brags about the people he's killed in Cuba, and he sleeps on cardboard."
But at least there's a happy ending for the two cats Onassis has taken in, and renamed Mimono and Love. Of the former feline -- the machete-swinger's first victim -- the animal rescuer says, "I tell him: 'Mushy, mushy, give me some love,' and he mushes his face against mine."