The headless remains of a mutilated cat have been discovered near a war memorial in Essex.
The tortoiseshell cat was found by the vicar at St Catherine's Church in Southend Road on Saturday and the body was reported to the RSPCA.
It is not yet known how the cat died, however its owner Sandra Pillar said the five year-old cat, named Missy, had gone out on Friday as usual but not returned.
Pillar said: "They said her tail had been hacked off and they couldn't find her head. It's just awful, I can't believe it. It's so scary.
"She was such a lovely little cat. She would go off into other gardens so everybody knew her, she was popular and she was so sweet."
The RSPCA are still investigating the animal's death and are appealing for people to come forward with informatinon.
Inspector Marie Hammerton also added: "It's just heartbreaking. Not only does this awful incident involve the sad death and shocking mutilation of a beloved pet cat, but also the desecration of a war memorial."