The Canadian Press

Date: Thu. Oct. 28 2010 6:48 AM ET

CALGARY — The discovery of a severed cat head on the doorstep of witness in an arson case has Calgary police worried they are dealing with a sociopath.

"I actually found it myself," said Det. Scott Sampson of the Calgary Police Service arson unit.

"Monday morning, I was going up to get a witness statement and we find this cat head. I have cats.

"Something like this is just tragic and I can't believe that anyone could do this to an animal."

The three-year-old female cat, named Bell, was identified by a tattoo in its ear. Its body has not been found.

"I've never experienced anything like this. It's like something out of the movies," said Sampson, making reference to a scene from "The Godfather" where a horse's head was found in a man's bed as a warning.

Sampson said this appears to be deliberate. There was a fire believed to have been set by an arsonist back in August a few blocks away from the witness's home. Sampson is still investigating that case.

"It is an outrageous act and I can't believe that someone could actually do this just to send a message or to try and intimidate people," he said.

"Our witnesses do have animals themselves and they are concerned about their animals and, yeah, it is a great concern for them."

Police said they have persons of interest in that case.

"We believe there is numerous people that know about the initial fire and what happened to the cat and so we would like to talk to those people because obviously they would be a great help with the investigation," Sampson said.

Bell's owners had nothing to do with the arson case and are distraught after "losing a member of the family," he said.

There is also a concern that the incidents of violence and attempts to intimidate could get worse, Sampson said.

"A person that actually sets fires -- intentionally tries to trap people in a house and cause death and then to do that to an animal -- either they maim, disfigure it and then actually cut a head off -- that is the trait of a sociopath."