While normally focusing its efforts on finding homes for abandoned animals, the Ahava organization has taken on another challenge of late: finding out just who is abusing cats in the Kfar Shmaryahu neighborhood. This week the group found a cat with her neck mangled by barbed wire. "Someone tried to strangle her, but the cat managed to free herself," said Ahava spokeswoman Shulamit Levi. The animal suffered cuts around the neck and the back of the head, she said. The group found the cat after it began stakeouts to find out what was going on. Ahava also authorized an autopsy a month ago for cats that had disappeared from their care. The tests revealed that one cat had been beaten to death and another died under mysterious circumstances. Ahava believes that cat may have been poisoned. Levi said the group noticed 20-30 cats had disappeared from its center in the neighborhood a few months ago. It believes someone is abusing the cats for sadistic reasons, and notes that people have often graduated from abusing animals to attacking and even murdering humans. Ahava cares for abandoned cats and dogs all over Israel, feeding, cleaning, spaying and neutering them. During last summer's war, the group took in some 6,000 animals from the North.