Police on Saturday released to house arrest a 20-year-old resident of Ashdod pending charges after a photo that he uploaded Friday to Facebook, showing him holding a cat by its tail, sparked rage.

The image shows Amin Aslanov, an IDF soldier, grinning as he holds the animal aloft. The photo was shared thousands of times, becoming an internet meme. Some users of the social networking site linked it to the official Facebook page of the Ashdod police department.

Hours before his arrest Aslanov updated his Facebook status apologizing for uploading the image and claiming that hurting the animal was not his intention. “It is a neighborhood cat, it is not hurt and goes on with its life as usual,” said Aslanov. “Sorry if I offended anyone, I did not mean to.”

“I just wanted to play with the cat,” Aslanov later told Maariv.

Following an investigation, the suspect was placed under house arrest for a a three-day period. The police is set to press charges against him for animal abuse.

The story has been called the Israeli equivalent of the UK trash bin lady video, a viral video showing a woman dumping a cat into a garbage can which provoked worldwide outrage in 2010.