Lawrence police and animal control officer Ellen Bistany are investigating the recent mysterious deaths of several cats near Lowell and Greenwood streets. Some of the cats seemed to have been poisoned and others had skull fractures inconsistent with being hit by a car. Eight dead cats were discovered within the first two weeks of November. Investigators have checked for hazardous materials in the area but have found none. Their focus now is on the possibility that an individual is targeting the cats out of cruelty. Police Chief John Romero is taking the case seriously, pointing out that animal cruelty is a felony and that offenders sometimes have aggression issues that can escalate to humans.