More than 60,000 people have signed a petition asking Hong Kong authorities not to “arrest” a shop cat that allegedly scratched a young boy in Kowloon’s Kwun Tong area.

On Friday, a woman from mainland China was shopping at Wiseman Medicine Co in On Tat Estate in Kwun Tong with her five-year-old son at 10am, Apple Daily reported. The woman returned to the pharmacy two hours later and alleged that the four-year-old cat that lived in the pharmacy, named Marble, had attacked her son, leaving a 5-millimeter scratch on the back of his ear.

The mother was worried that the boy would be infected with rabies.

The pharmacy owner immediately offered the woman an antiseptic to treat the scratch and suggested that she get the boy checked out at a  clinic, for which he was willing to cover the cost, but the mother rejected this proposal.

Instead, she insisted that she would called the police, Headline Daily reported. Paramedics were called to the scene and took the boy to a hospital.

On Saturday, the woman returned to the store with officers from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to apprehend the cat. But Marble was ill and being cared for at a veterinary clinic.

On Monday, officers sent the pharmacy owner a letter requesting that the cat be sent to an animal center for a seven-day examination. Lawmaker Roy Kwong characterized this as “arrest by appointment”, and launched the petition.

Marble is still resting at the veterinary clinic.

It was understood that security-camera footage at the pharmacy showed that the cat did not scratch the boy, HK01.com reported.

As of 2pm on Tuesday, more than 60,000 people had signed Kwong’s online petition against Marble’s “arrest”.