A Canadian gamer has apologized on Twitter after a video of her and her cat went viral and she was widely accused of animal abuse. The original video, which appears to show the gamer throwing her cat over her shoulders, has been viewed more than 6.57 million times and drew a serious amount of criticism from those who saw it.
Natalia Mogollon is a Saskatchewan-based gamer who streams on Twitch, a live-streaming video platform where gamers play online and are watched live by other gamers. Using the Twitch handle ‘Alinity’, Mogollon was live-streaming when her cat appeared to get in her way, she then seems to throw the cat over her shoulders. The video quickly spread across the internet and garnered hundreds of thousands of views in just a few hours.
After the original video went viral, it didn’t take long for other videos to start propping up online, showing Mogollon interacting with her pets. In one video, she appears to kick her dog, and in another, she takes a swig of vodka then ‘kisses’ it into her cat’s mouth.
The videos were widely condemned online, with thousands of people writing to Mogollon to tell her she was abusing her pets. One user wrote, “You have to question. Alinity has kicked her dog, thrown her cat, and spit vodka in her cat's mouth in front of thousands of people. What does she do to her animals when no one is watching?”
Animal-rights group PETA also responded to the videos, asking their followers to “take a stand for cats & please remove Alinity from Twitch immediately.”
In response to the footage, a number of people called the police, animal authorities and made formal complaints. Saskatoon SPCA also commented on the videos, saying a “formal cruelty complaint” had been filed with their animal protection department and the incidents were “currently under investigation.”
In response to the severe criticism, the Canadian gamer took to Twitter to address the animal-welfare concerns raised and to explain her actions. In one tweet, Mogollon wrote, “Hey everyone, I understand the concern and I am sorry for my lapses in judgement.” She added, “[I] Shouldn't have gotten frustrated with Milo, but I dropped him on the floor behind my chair. I'm not that strong.”
Mogollon also wrote a tweet in reference to the other videos that have circulated online, noting that it was “well over a year ago” but acknowledged that “it was a stupid thing to do.”
The gamer, who has over 890,000 followers, also said she recognized why people have reported her to animal services. She added that people should always report any suspicions of animal cruelty to authorities. “My animals are well loved, and live in a warm and caring home, and I will comply with any authority that seeks to validate this,” she wrote.