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A story is doing the rounds of Thai media that encapsulates many issues of the day.
It includes an alleged cruel monk. A battered cat with two names. An angry teacher. An even angrier internet population. A mediating abbot. A vet. Investigating police.
The story began at Wat Takuan Khonkharam in Rayong when a primary school teacher at the temple school secretly took pictures of a monk allegedly using a shoe to whack a cat.
The pictures caused a storm online after they were posted by Nathaphon Jongkonklang, a P5 teacher.
Thai Rath reporters who went to the temple yesterday were taken to the “scene of the crime” near the monk’s quarters by Phra Phaiboon Aspho who is at the center of the row.
He said he has 20 cats and four dogs. One of the cats climbed up on a table and urinated on his power bank that made the monk mad.
So he chased the errant moggie. He caught up with Booby – not Leo as was reported on the internet – and gave it a lesson with a stick. He was further enraged after Booby scratched him.
He didn’t know he was being filmed by the teacher.
The abbot called in the teacher and director of the school to calm the escalating situation after the world of social media was getting out of hand.
But an amicable solution could not be found and the police called in the monk to give an explanation.
Monk Phaiboon told Map Ta Phut cops that he was just toying with Booby and never used his shoe.
A vet confirmed just a slight mouth wound for Booby after the teacher took the cat in for treatment.
But the cops are still investigating.
If they find a case for animal abuse the monk could be defrocked and face two years inside or a 40,000 baht fine – or both!