There was once a woman who had a cat. She was a cruel woman and treated her cat badly.
One day the Prophet (SalAllahu alayhi wasalam) told his friends a story about this bad woman.
"She did not look after the cat properly" he said. "She did not give it anything to eat or drink."
Because of this, the cat became very thin, and its fur began to fall out. The woman had a very bad temper. When she was angry, she used to kick her cat or throw it out of the door and make it stay in the street all night.
Before long, the cat became very frightened of the woman. Every time the woman came near him, the cat cried and hid underneath a table or chair.
The women's neighbours were very angry with her. One day, a neighbour came to see her.
"You are very cruel to your cat!" the neighbour said. "A cat is one of Allah's creatures, just as we arre! You are doing a great wrong!".
The woman was very angry when she heard this.
"Go away!" she shouted at her neighbour. "The cat belongs to me. I will treat it badly if I want to! Go away and leave me alone!".
The neighbour was very unhappy to hear this. Then, he thought of a plan to save the cat. He went back to his house and waited until night fell. Next door, he heard the cruel woman shouting at her cat.
"Get out of here, you dirty animal!" she shouted. "I will not have you n my house tonight"
The neighbour heard the cruel woman open her front door. Then, he heard the cat crying and howling as the woman threw it out into the street. Then, the cruel woman slammed her door shut.
The neighbour waited for a few minutes to make sure the woman would not come out of her house again. Then, he went out into the street. There was the cat, sitting pitifully by the woman's front door, hoping the woman would open it and let him in. The neighbour's heart was filled with pity for the cat.
"You poor creature", he said. "Look how thin you are!". He bent down and picked the cat up. He stroked the cat's heat and the cat stopped crying.
"I will take you to my house" the neighbour said, "and give you food"
Next morning, the cruel woman could not find her cat. She looked everywhere. She searched in the street. She searched in the market. But the cat was nowhere to be found. The woman was very angry.
"Someone has stolen my cat" she said to herself. Then, she remembered what her neighbour had said the day before. He had tried to stop her treating her cat cruelly.
"That neighbour of mine has the cat!" she said. "He must be the one who has stolen it!".
So the woman went to her neighbour's house. She banged on the door and shouted angily. The neighbour opened the door.
"I know you have stolen my cat!" the woman shouted at him. "You are a thief! Give it back to me at once!"
"No," said the neighbour. "You are a cruel woman and you do not deserve to have a cat!".
"I want that cat! Give it back" the woman shouted again. She was getting more and more angry.
"I will not give you your cat until you promise that you will treat it kindly" the neighbour replied.
When the woman heard that, she laughed to herself.
"Silly man!", she thought. "All I have to do is promise to treat my cat well, and he will give it to me!"
So, the woman pretended not to be angry any more. She smiled at her neighbour.
"Of course I will treat the cat well if you give it back to me!", she said in a friendly voice.
"You promise?" the neighbour demanded.
"Yes, yes, I promise," the woman replied.
"You will give the cat enough to eat and will not throw it out of the house at night?", the neighbour wanted to know.
"Of course not," the woman said sweetly. "I will feed the cat and look after it properly from now on. I will not be cruel to my cat ever again!".
Did the woman keep her promise? No, she did not. Unfortunately, though, the neighbour believed her, and did not think that she was telling lies. He gave the cat back to her.
The cruel woman took the cat back to her house and treated it more cruelly than ever before. She tied a rope round the cat's neck and then tied the rope to a chair.
Once again, she gave the poor cat nothing to eat or drink. The poor animal became thinner and thinner and weaker and weaker. After a short while, it died.
"WHat a terrible thing to do!" cried one of the friends of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). "What a very cruel and wicked woman!".
The prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) agreed. "This made Allah very angry with the cruel woman" he told his friends.
Of course the woman was not only cruel. She told lies as well. She had committed a great sin because she had ill-treated one of Allah's living creatures.
The woman who treated her cat cruelly was not forgiven for her sins, and so Allah sent her to Hell.