SINGAPORE - He was on his way home when a woman approached him for help to find a stray cat that she fed regularly.
To his shock, he discovered later that the cat had been swallowed by a snake in the bushes.
Mr Ceasar Ho, 28, told citizen journalism site Stomp that the incident occurred near Blocks 330 and 331, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, on Tuesday (Jan 23).
Mr Ho, who works in sales, told The Straits Times on Thursday that he had been on his way home when a woman approached him at around 8pm asking if he had seen her cat.
"She said it's a grey cat that she feeds every day but she didn't see the cat that day," he said. "So I told her, just look around, maybe it will appear."
He said the woman told him that she noticed another cat, which was the companion of the grey cat, looking at a bush.
She took a peek and saw a snake in the bushes.
"She said the snake ate her cat," Mr Ho said, adding that he also saw the snake coiled around the cat, with the cat's head in the snake's mouth.
The woman was distraught and asked him if he could help pull the cat out of the snake.
"But the cat was already dead," he said. "After that she went away and burst into tears. The saddest thing is - the cat had a best friend, the other cat. They were always together, sleeping together. That cat looks really sad now."
The woman then sought the help of another woman to call the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres).
A video that Mr Ho took shows the snake coiling around the cat. Acres was already at the scene when he was filming the video.
Acres' deputy chief executive, Mr Kalai Vanan, told ST that the animal welfare group received a call about a python in Ang Mo Kio.
"Upon arrival, our rescue staff spotted a cat being consumed by the python," he said. "Pythons would usually start swallowing only once the prey is dead. However, the python did regurgitate the cat and went away into a hole nearby."
Mr Kalai said the cat did not survive.
"If we went down and we saw the python in the process of attacking a cat, we would probably intervene. However in this case, the cat was dead," he said.
He said such cases can be avoided if pet owners leash their pets whenever possible and avoid taking them for walks near or at nature areas.
"However, this won't be feasible for people who take care of community cats," he conceded. "In a way, its one of the challenges community cats will have to deal with in our urban jungle. We have come across cases where pet animals kill wild animals like birds, lizards and snakes too."