Was Italian influencer's cat sacrificed by satanic sect? Celebrity photographer hires pet detective and offers €5,000 reward to track down missing Persian named Bartolo – as animal rights group suggests sinister reason behind disappearance

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  • Reading time:5 min(s) read

  • Nima Benati’s fluffy white cat Bartolo went missing in Bologna on August 9 

An Italian photographer has hired a pet detective and offered a €5,000 reward to trace her missing Persian cat – but an animal rights group has suggested the kitty may have been victim to a sinister satanic sacrifice.

Celebrity fashion snapper Nima Benati, now-turned model and influencer herself, has shot Vogue and Vanity Fair front covers and was even featured in Forbes 30 under 30 Italia 2019.

And often glued to Nima’s side is her most prized picture accessory, her white fluffy Persian cat called Bartolo – who has made an appearance in many of her campaigns.

But Nima’s beloved pet, said to be ‘like a son’ to her, has tragically become one of 30 cats reported missing in Italy’s Apennine Mountains in the last month.

Pet detective Said Beid, who has been hired to track Bartolo down, said there are many reasons for the cat disappearances – such as getting lost trying to find family, being eaten by wild animals or stolen by thieves looking to breed them for profit.

However, an animal rights group instead believes the missing cats are may have been abducted and sacrificed by a satanic sect. 

An Italian photographer has hired a pet detective and offered a ¿5,000 reward to trace her missing Persian cat (pictured together)

An Italian photographer has hired a pet detective and offered a €5,000 reward to trace her missing Persian cat (pictured together)

Celebrity fashion snapper Nima Benati (pictured with cat Bartolo) has shot Vogue and Vanity Fair front covers, and was even featured in Forbes 30 under 30 Italia 2019

Celebrity fashion snapper Nima Benati (pictured with cat Bartolo) has shot Vogue and Vanity Fair front covers, and was even featured in Forbes 30 under 30 Italia 2019

Often glued to Nima's side is her most prized picture accessory, her white fluffy Persian cat called Bartolo - who has made an appearance in many of her campaigns

Often glued to Nima’s side is her most prized picture accessory, her white fluffy Persian cat called Bartolo – who has made an appearance in many of her campaigns

Five-year-old Bartolo went missing on August 9 – after being left with Nima’s family in Monghidoro, a town near Bologna, while the influencer went on holiday to Costa Rica.

Nima’s sister Shasa told The Times that Bartolo has always been fine when left with the family in Bologna and had ‘free reign in the mountains’e when left at that house.

She said he would often disappear for two days and come back ‘drenched after a storm with a mouse in his mouth’.

But this time Bartolo did not return, and is still yet to be found – despite hundreds of reported sightings. 

Nima got Bartolo from a breeder in Naples. She never had him micro-chipped. 

Mr Beid said cats often go missing in the summer when their families leave them to go on holiday or leave them with family or friends in a new environment.

Nima's beloved pet, said to be 'like a son' to her, tragically became one of 30 cats reported missing in the Apennine Mountains in the last month

Nima’s beloved pet, said to be ‘like a son’ to her, tragically became one of 30 cats reported missing in the Apennine Mountains in the last month

Five-year-old Bartolo went missing on August 9 - after being left with Nima's family in Monghidoro, a town near Bologna, while the influencer went on holiday to Costa Rica

Five-year-old Bartolo went missing on August 9 – after being left with Nima’s family in Monghidoro, a town near Bologna, while the influencer went on holiday to Costa Rica

Nima's sister Shasa told The Times that Bartolo has always been fine when left with the family in Bologna (pictured is a previous time Bartolo went to stay) and had 'free reign in the mountains'e when left at that house

Nima’s sister Shasa told The Times that Bartolo has always been fine when left with the family in Bologna (pictured is a previous time Bartolo went to stay) and had ‘free reign in the mountains’e when left at that house

‘Some are stolen by cat thieves who breed them for profit; others are eaten by wild animals after they venture outdoors as they search for their owners and get lost,’ he said.

He went on to say that owners of missing cats will be hoping they have just gotten lost, as ‘domestic cats can be found weeks after living in the wild’.

The Italian Association for the Protection of Animals and the Environment, which has reported on satanic sects sacrificing black cats to mark Halloween, says no cat carcasses have been found in the area.

The association claims this could suggest the missing cats in Bologna are instead being sacrificed by a satanic sect. 

Nima's sister said Bartolo (pictured with Nima) would often disappear for two days and come back 'drenched after a storm with a mouse in his mouth'

Nima’s sister said Bartolo (pictured with Nima) would often disappear for two days and come back ‘drenched after a storm with a mouse in his mouth’

Nima got Bartolo from a breeder in Naples. She never had him microchipped

Nima got Bartolo from a breeder in Naples. She never had him microchipped

‘The issue is urgent and alarming, and cat owners are beginning to be afraid,’ it says. 

Shasa described Bartolo as being like a son to her sister. ‘She sleeps with her on her pillow and on the sofa,’ she said. ‘She’s her shadow.’

She is staying hopeful that her sister Nima’s beloved Bartolo is still alive, adding that the thought of someone harming him ‘makes me want to cry’. 

Other owners of missing cats in the area have reported discovering their pets’ unbuckled collars.  Local police are said to be investigating.




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