A SWISS man has sent a bizarre online threat to John Cleese, threatening to shoot his cat if the actor doesn’t respond to his message in support of the hurricane-hit British Virgin Islands.
The video was posted on Twitter by 50-year-old Leo Ferraro, a self-claimed journalist and animal lover from Aargau.
It shows a man grabbing the animal by the scruff of the neck and pointing a gun at its head.
He then addressed several celebrities saying that he would shoot his cat if they did not share his message.
One of those messaged was Monty Python star John Cleese.
Ferraro wrote: “If I don’t get RT [a retweet] for my friends in #bvistrong [the British Virgin Islands] by today noon – this creature will be a dead cat.”
Bizarrely, in the background the song Alles aus Liebe, which translates to “everything out of love” from the German band Die Toten Hosen is playing.
Ferraro also threatened the band with the same message.
Ferraro, who works as an online producer for Swiss daily Tages-Anzeiger and is a cat breeder in his spare time, said he threatened his own cat “to try to help people”.
Ferraro said: “With the help of the prominent rockers I want to increase the reach of my social media.
“On my channels I report extensively on the devastating destruction caused by hurricane Irma on the British Virgin Islands, and try to help the people.”
Ferraro said that for the last 20 years he spends about three months each year in the Caribbean.
He said he is aware that the video is causing widespread outrage in Switzerland, but called it “a cry for attention”.
According to Ferraro, it was the German rock band who gave him the idea to threaten his cat.
Ferraro said: “Singer Campino [the stage name of Andreas Frege, lead vocalist of Die Toten Hosen] himself inspired me to take this action.”
In 1993 the band went looking for someone at whose house they could give a concert. Campino chose a man who threatened to kill his dog if the band did not choose him.
According to Ferraro, the gun used was an alarm pistol from his nephew.
Ferraro said: “I explained him my idea. He was there. He held the cat, I was filming.”
It is unclear if police are investigating, and what the man’s legal status is at present.