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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Is Chatting Up Cats in the Neighborhood a Productive Means of Locating One That Has Gone AWOL? Some Individuals in Japan Swear That It Is.

"My cat escaped two days ago and didn't return, but somebody on Twitter said, 'Talking to cats in the neighborhood and saying to them if you see my cat please tell it to come home is an effective technique'."
-- Twitter user Charlie0816

For true lovers of the species, there is not anything more distressing than to have a cat disappear. That already terrifying situation is compounded by the glaring lack of any foolproof method of finding it.

Now comes word from the Land of the Rising Sun that a possible solution to that vexing dilemma could be as close at hand as soliciting the help of cats that reside in the neighborhood. At least that is what one Japanese man reportedly found out earlier this year when he turned to Twitter for help in locating his missing moggy.

"My cat escaped two days ago and didn't return, but somebody on Twitter said, 'Talking to cats in the neighborhood and saying to them if you see my cat please tell it to come home is an effective technique'," the owner, identified only by his Twitter handle as Charlie0816, related to Sora News 24 of Tokyo on May 11th. (See "How to Find a Lost Cat: Unique Method from Japan Proves to Be Surprisingly Effective.")

Whereas most individuals would have scoffed at such an outlandish suggestion, the man instead took it to heart. "So last night, I went to the local convenience store and gave it a try by speaking to the stray cats there, and then this morning our cat returned to the front of our house."

Of course, the world only has his word that he is being truthful and did not in fact concoct the entire story out of thin air. Once he had gone on Twitter in order to share his good fortune with the public he was even more amazed to discover that his newfound insight into locating lost cats was not nearly quite as novel as he had first imagined.

"My mother did the same thing for a child who lost their (sic) cat after just two days of having it," one respondent chimed in to Sora News 24. "She told the stray the story and the cat returned the next day!"

Not about to rely solely upon the beneficence of cats in the neighborhood, another worried owner added a bit of baksheesh to the mix and in return received an even speedier response. "I went looking for my cat with a tin of cat food and when a stray crossed my path, I fed and spoke to it and my cat returned within the hour," that unidentified individual testified to Sora News 24.

At least one cat was so forthcoming that it was willing to lead a distraught owner to that person's missing moggy. "When I lost my cat, one of the strays passed our house so I asked it if it knew where my cat was," another convert related to Sora News 24. "It meowed and then walked slowly toward the storehouse and meowed in front of it. Then I heard my cat meowing back from inside!"

Yet still another hero cat not only located one that was lost but also took it home to boot. "Our cat disappeared on the day we moved into our new place and was missing for a week," another owner divulged. "I asked a stray for its help and the next day the stray came back with my cat. I was dumbfounded!"

Perhaps most amazing of all, enlisting the assistance of cats also reportedly has led to the return of lost dogs. "Our dog disappeared so I asked a pet cat to help find it, and then a few minutes later it came back with our dog," another believer swore to Sora News 24. "I was freaked out and impressed at the same time!"

The most likely explanation for all of these fantastic stories is that they are mere fabrications. A second possibility could be that the events depicted were all coincidence.

For its part, Sora News 24 has floated the idea that the cats were motivated by the green eye of jealousy. That is to say, they returned home out of a fear that they were about to forfeit their meal tickets to other cats in the neighborhood.

Besides failing to explain why that an errant cat would be worried about losing what it had freely chosen to leave behind, such a theory does not even begin to unravel the altruism of the hero cats. Moreover, with the notable exception of intact toms vying for the services of ovulating females, cats are not generally known to be either possessive or envious.

Perhaps most importantly of all, for the testimonials catalogued by Sora News 24 to have any validity at all they presuppose the existence of a special type of neighborhood. Specifically, it would need to be a small and compact one where cats are allowed to roam and thus to get to know each other.

Secondly, the writer of the article uses the labels "stray" and "pet cat" interchangeably and that is problematic. Most notably, stray or homeless cats generally speaking tend not to be around quite as long as those that have owners and they are considerably more standoffish than domesticated ones and that would tend to lessen their willingness to engage with perfect strangers.

Thirdly, there is the seemingly insuperable problem of how that the hero cats ascertained the fate of those that had gone missing. In that light, it is interesting to note that none of the respondents to Sora News 24 were the owners of cats that had been either killed or spirited out of their neighborhoods.

The sad and troubling fact of the matter is that most cats that go missing have met with some sort of foul play. For instance, motorists are their biggest nemeses. Depending upon where they live, they also are subject to predation by dogs, coyotes, foxes, skunks, raccoons, fishers, birds of prey, and a host of other animals.

Humans, most prominently Animal Control officers, shelters, cops, vivisectors, ornithologists, and wildlife biologists, kill them with impunity. Cats additionally succumb to poisons, such an antifreeze and rodent pesticides, die unexpectedly from seizures, are catnapped, and become trapped inside motor vehicles, shipping containers, and even the mail and thus sometimes end up on the other side of the world.

In many of those cases neighborhood cats would not possess any firsthand knowledge of their fates. Whereas it is entirely possible that cats gossip, the only plausible explanation for the amazing success stories catalogued by Sora News 24 is that they are psychic.

Even so, the methodology outlined by Sora News 24 would be of limited utility to owners desperately seeking to learn the whereabouts of their missing cats. For instance, even if a neighborhood cat knew that a certain member of its species had become trapped inside a motor vehicle it would not have any obvious means of communicating that knowledge to its distraught owner if the conveyance had left the neighborhood. Even if that hurdle could somehow be surmounted the knowledge obtained still would be of limited utility to an owner unless that individual could somehow track down the driver of the vehicle.

Although every bit as far-fetched as talking to strange cats, retaining the services of an animal communicator might possibly be another tool in the toolboxes of owners searching for lost cats. "Wenn man von einem Weltbild ausgeht, in dem neben dem Materiellen auch Feinstoffliches existiert, so bezeichnet die Tierkommunikation die Wahrehmung des tierischen Energiefeldes mit den verschiedenen Hellsinnen wie hellsehen, hellfühlen und hellreichen," professional animal communicator Tanja Bärtschiger explained to the Aargauer Zeitung on April 6th. (See "Sie Kommuniziert mit vermissten Katzen: 'Ich bekomme oft verblüffende Rückmeldungen von Kunden'.")

According to her, aborigines and farmers have been communicating with nature and the animals for a very long time. "Sie (the former) spüren zum Beispiel, wo under der Erde Wasser fliesst," she pointed out to the Aargauer Zeitung. "Auch Landwirte haben oft ein intuitives Verständnis däfur, was ihren Tieren fehlt."

She also lumps the American espionage community's research into Fernwahrnehmung (remote viewing) into the same category. "Für mich ist auch das ein Argument," she vouched to the Aargauer Zeitung. "Denn wenn die Amerikaner nicht überzeugt von dieser Art Fähigkeit gewesen wären, dann hätten sie das Geld bestimmt nicht däfur verwendet."

Tanja Bärtschiger Talks Long Distance to Cats and Other Animals

That, quite obviously, is the weakest link in her chain of arguments and as such demonstrates conclusively that she little understands how that the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington think and operate. Why, those no-good, rotten assholes piss away trillions of dollars each year on practically every harebrained, moronic, and immoral scheme imaginable while cats and American citizens are cruelly left to sleep in the street and to go without food and veterinary-medical assistance. (See Die Presse of Wien, September 14, 2019, "CIA bildete Katzen, Delfine und Raben zu Spionen aus.")

All of that is in addition to their lavish salaries, million-dollar health care, and what that they blow daily on booze, drugs, whores, and high living. Furthermore, if they ever were able to get their sticky fingers on the keys to Fort Knox they would make short shrift of the country's gold reserves in a fortnight and not even think twice about doing so.

As founder of the Bundesverband Tierkommunikation Schweiz in Zeihen, twenty-five kilometers northwest of Aargau, Bärtschiger relies upon a combination of photographs and mental telepathy in order to communicate with cats, dogs, and horses. Although critics have dismissed her efforts as amounting to little more than a combination of empathy and imagination, she is unperturbed by such criticism.

"Ich erlebe täglich die positiven Auswirkungen eines Tiergesprächs und bekomme oft verblüffende Rückmeldungen von Kunden -- wäre das bloss Einbildung, würde es ja keine Veränderungen herbeiführen," she argued to the Aargauer Zeitung.

As proof of her abilities, she claims to have located a cat named Bella from Luzern, eighty-five kilometers south of Zeihen, who had been missing for a week. "Ich trat mit Bella in Kontakt und fragte sie, wo sie denn jetzt ist und wo sie durchgelaufen ist," she disclosed to the Aargauer Zeitung. "Sie vermittelte mir anhand von Bildern und Gefühlen, dass sie in einer Garage eingesperrt ist und beschrieb mir die Umgebung."

Using Google maps, Bärtschiger then was able to pinpoint the exact neighborhood wherein Bella was being held and she then immediately relayed that information to her distraught owner. "Die Besitzerin teilte mir keine halbe Stunde später ganz aus dem Häuschen mit, dass sie Bella genau dort, etwa zwanzig Meter vom beschriebenen Haus, in einer Garagebox gefunden habe," she added to the Aargauer Zeitung.

It should be pointed out, however, that neither she nor the Aargauer Zeitung have offered up any proof as to the veracity of her claims regarding Bella. Moreover, no mention of either that or any other miraculous rescues are to be found on Bärtschiger's web site.

Rather, it would appear that she is more involved in the business of offering classes on communicating with animals as opposed to locating lost cats. Even so, her business makes at least one pretense to operating on the level. "Wer diese Tätigkeit seriös ausübt, bietet zum Beispiel eine Geld-züruck-Garantie an, falls er das Tier komplett falsch wahrgenommen hat," she averred to the Aargauer Zeitung.

In spite of her stunning success with Bella she has, like homeowners all over the United States and parts of Europe, had considerably less luck in communicating her wishes to a somewhat pesky animal who has taken up residence at her house. "Wir haben einen Marder in unserem Dach," she disclosed to the Aargauer Zeitung. "Er findet es das so toll, das ich ihn mit keinem Argument der Welt dazu bewegen kann, sein Zuhause verlassen."j

That glaring failure should not perhaps be used against her in that members of the Mustelidae family always have been a hard sell. The years may come and go but once Waschbären and their cousins have found either a snug place to live or a regular supply of food they are harder to get rid of than the seven-year itch.

On second thought, perhaps it is better that they remained where they are, especially considering how horribly that they are being abused by vivisectors at the United States Department of Agriculture. (See The Washington Post, August 22, 2019, "Caged Raccoons Drooled in One-Hundred-Degree Heat. But Federal Enforcement Has Faded.")

In the final analysis, however, employing an animal communicator in order to locate a lost cat remains pretty much a last-ditch effort. First of all, there simply are not all that many of them available and, secondly, their methodologies are too speculative in order to inspire much confidence.

Enlisting the assistance of neighborhood cats in order to locate one that has gone missing also appears to be a real long shot. Such an undertaking does however afford owners with an opportunity to get to know some new cats and it additionally temporarily takes their minds off of their own worries.

Also, those that are homeless will sans doute much appreciate the food and milk. Who knows but such an exercise just might prove to be successful once in a blue moon. After all, some individuals who were on the brink of death claim to have warded off the arrival of the Grim Reaper by resorting to such outlandish expedients as eating dirt and drinking piss.

In spite of the severe limitations of both methodologies, it is undeniable that something exists beyond the mere physical and that cats always have been associated with it. What exactly it is no one seems to be able to say with any degree of authority.

Such thinking even has its adherents within the scientific community. "Everything science has taught me -- and continues to teach me -- strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death," Wernher von Braun once said. "Nothing disappears without a trace."

Although he may have known a great deal about rockets and jet propulsion, he never quite obviously searched for a lost cat.

Be that as it may, for the time being aggrieved owners are going to be dependent upon all the usual, albeit not very effective, methods of yesterday when it comes to tracking down cats that have gone AWOL. Chiefly among them are, inter alia, scouring their neighborhoods from top to bottom, printing and erecting a gazillion Lost Cat posters, and contacting shelters and veterinarians. More recently, social media and the hiring of private dicks have become popular alternatives.

Even so, the chances of success are anything but encouraging. "It's wonderful when you read about these reunions, but unfortunately for ninety per cent of lost cats, there is no returning home," is how that Lorie Chortyk of the British Columbia SPCA summed up the grim reality to The Province of Vancouver on January 2, 2011. (See "Cats Rarely Come Back.") "When you hear in the media about cats returning home after several months or years, it's usually because a Good Samaritan or an animal shelter traced a tattoo or a microchip back to the original guardians." (See Cat Defender post of March 31, 2010 entitled "A Winnipeg Family Is Astounded by Tiger Lily's Miraculous Return after Having Been Believed Dead for Fourteen Years.")

In even saying that much she has drastically underestimated the odds against cats in that tattoos and microchips, like the more conventional collars and tags and the experimental methodologies advanced by Sora News 24 and Bärtschiger, afford cats absolutely no protection whatsoever against those individuals and animals intent upon doing them harm. (See Cat Defender post of May 25, 2006 entitled "Plato's Misadventures Expose the Pitfalls of RFID Technology as Applied to Cats.")

Although confining cats either indoors or to fenced-in gardens has its merits, doing so also has its share of drawbacks. First of all, doing so cruelly deprives them of access to the great outdoors as well as their freedom and the society of other cats.

Secondly, exclusively indoor environments can be detrimental to their health. (See Cat Defender posts of August 22, 2007 and October 19, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Indoor Cats Are Dying from Diabetes, Hyperthyroidism, and Various Toxins in the Home" and "Smokers Are Killing Their Cats, Dogs, Birds, and Infants by Continuing to Light Up in Their Presence.")

Thirdly, such cats also are at the mercy of, inter alia, fires, gas leaks, attacks by dogs, and the unexpected deaths of their guardians. (See Cat Defender posts of July 13, 2019 and September 22, 2019 entitled, respectively, "Susi Is Knowingly Left All Alone in an Empty Apartment to Slowly Die of Starvation and Untreated Hyperthyroidism after Her Owner Is Confined to an Old Folks' Home" and "Sparkle Is Killed on the Front Stoop of Her House by an Unleashed Dog in the Latest of Centuries-Old Attacks That Bear the Unmistakable Imprimatur of the House of Commons.")

In so far as any answer to this age-old conundrum exists, it surely lies in never letting a beloved cat out of one's sight but, realistically speaking, very few individuals are willing to make a sacrifice of that magnitude.

Photo: Karin Pfister of the Aargauer Zeitung.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sparkle Is Killed on the Front Stoop of Her House by an Unleashed Dog in the Latest of Centuries-Old Deadly Attacks That Bear the Unmistakable Imprimatur of the House of Commons

The Dog's Owner Dumped Sparkle's Body in a Trash Can

"Sparkle must have been so scared in her final moments."
-- Jacob Hazley

Sparkle was a beautiful eleven-year-old gray, brown, and white female who enjoyed spending lazy summer afternoons grabbing a few winks on the stoop outside her home on Brimrod Lane in the Sudden section of Rochdale in Greater Manchester. In any remotely halfway civilized society where the lives of cats and the rights of property owners are held to be sacrosanct that would have been a safe and salubrious activity for her to have engaged in but since such idyllic conditions hardly exist in either Rochdale in particular or the United Kingdom in general it ended up costing Sparkle her life.

At sometime between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 22nd while she was napping a large dog, possibly a Lurcher, scented her presence from the sidewalk and raced onto private property in order to catnap and kill her. Blindsided by the ferocious attack, it is highly unlikely that she ever knew what had hit her until it was way too late.

"The dog just grabbed her and ran to the green opposite," Sparkle's distraught owner, fifteen-year-old Jacob Hazley, later told Rochdale Online on August 29th. (See "Owner of Beloved Family Cat Killed Outside Her Home by a Dog Begins Petition to Change Law.") "The neighbors described it as 'being ragged around like she was a teddy'."

Two factors contributed immensely to Sparkle's death. First of all, there apparently is not any fence around the Hazleys' property or at least if one does exist it does not encircle the driveway. Secondly, Hazley and his mother were away from home when the unprovoked attack occurred.

Neither of those factors can in any way detract from the salient fact that under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 it is illegal for any owner to allow a dog to be "out of control" and that usually implies that it must be either on a leash or locked away behind some sort of restraining barrier, such as a door. Inexplicably, even on those truly rare occasions when the police bother to enforce the strictures of the act, legal redress is pretty much limited to attacks upon individuals. C'est-à-dire, marauding dogs are free to attack and kill cats with impunity throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Since the parliamentarians in Westminster have so generously granted dogs a carte blanche right to kill cats it is not surprising that their owners are taking full advantage of that inhumane edict in order to fully indulge in their ailurophobic tendencies. "He had no control over the dog," Hazley told Rochdale Online. "It ran off from the owner and up our drive, where it noticed Sparkle sleeping on the mat outside the front door."

As far as it has been reported in the media, the man did absolutely nothing in order to stop the attack. On the contrary, he only stirred his evil bones after his dog had veered down an alley on Holborn Street.

Confronted by one of Hazley's neighbors, he claimed that Sparkle had escaped with her life. In reality, however, by that time she already was either seriously injured or dead but instead of doing the right thing by procuring emergency veterinary care for her and afterwards contacting Hazley, he did the exact opposite by dumping her body in a trash can.

He did so for two reasons. The first of which was to dispose of the evidence of his and his dog's heinous crime as quickly as possible. Furthermore, if the garbagemen had arrived in a timely fashion he and his dog would have successfully pulled off the perfect crime.

Unfortunately for him, the killing had been witnessed by one or more of Hazley's neighbors. "We had found out by witnesses who (had) seen the incident take place and described it as 'upsetting'," Hazley disclosed in an undated article that appears on change.org. (See "Change the Law and Get Justice for Cats Attacked by Dogs.") "The owner of the dog did not even tell us."

Besides being indebted to his neighbors for informing him about what had happened to Sparkle, he had another reason to thank them. "All that would go through our heads (if they had not done so) is that she is lost and we would be unable to give her the burial she deserved," he added.

Quite obviously, the dog's morally depraved owner feels differently. As far as he is concerned cats are nothing more than garbage and therefore unworthy of proper burials and that constitutes the second reason that he so nonchalantly got rid of Sparkle's corpse by tossing it into a trash can.

Almost as revoltingly, Rochdale Online surely must share those sentiments in that it has steadfastly refused to publicly identify either him or his dog. That is in spite of the fact that the dog is known to chase and attack cats in the neighborhood and will likely kill more of them in the future. By contrast, any halfway responsible media outlet would want to get the man and his dog off the street and behind bars as quickly as possible.

Although thanks to his neighbors Hazley and his family were able to at least find out what had become of Sparkle, that in no way made the retrieval of her remains any easier for them. "My whole family is distraught as we had to get her out of the bin that the dog's owner had put her in," he admitted to Rochdale Online.

He now can identify with the terrible thoughts that coursed through Dori Stone's tortured soul in August of 2011 when she had to collect the remains of her beloved Haze after he had been executed by, not surprisingly, an unidentified police officer in Lebanon, Ohio. "We love our cats. Do you know what it was like to pull your pet out of the garbage can and then pull him out of the garbage bag and his head is bloody with a bullet hole in it?" she afterwards rhetorically asked the public to ponder. "It's so violent that they did this to our animal and made no effort to call the humane society to find his owners."

The inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the killings of Sparkle and Haze is that there is not altogether that much difference in the modi operandi of criminals who use dogs in order to kill cats and cops who turn their revolvers on them. Both groups do so for the sheer pleasure of killing cats. (See Cat Defender post of September 22, 2011 entitled "The Neanderthaloid Politicians in Lebanon, Ohio, Wholeheartedly Sanction the Illegal and Coldblooded Murder of Haze by a Trigger-Happy Cop.")

The response from the authorities to the killing of Sparkle has been disgustingly predictable. Contacted by Rochdale Online, the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) blew long and hard about how the courts have jurisdiction to decide if a dog is "dangerously out of control" when it attacks someone's animal. The force additionally warned that the owners of such dogs are subject to unlimited fines and up to six months in jail.

In addition to being a rather dubious interpretation of the strictures of the Dangerous Dogs Act, the GMP would first have to conduct an investigation and to make an arrest before the man and his dog could be brought to court and the chances of that happening are slim and none. "This incident was reported to the Greater Manchester Police and we may as well have been told that they're not going to do anything," Hazley wrote resignedly on change.org.

Although there is little on this earth that could ever detract from the enormity of the loss suffered by Hazley and his family, the RSPCA nevertheless attempted to inject a bit of levity into the situation when it put in its two cents' worth. "This is a shocking and upsetting incident," is how that an unidentified spokesperson for the charity pointed out the obvious to Rochdale Online. "Dog owners have a legal responsibility under the Dangerous Dogs Act (of) 1991 to keep their dog (sic) under control in a public place."

As if that were not enough meaningless palaver and senseless lecturing to suffice for a lifetime, the organization did not even have the bon sens to have stopped there but rather it plowed right ahead and in doing so exposed its true colors. "This legislation is enforced by the police," it concluded by way of washing its hands of Sparkle's killing.

There are, quite obviously, several glaring problems with the charity's rather hasty abdication of its obligations. First of all, given that the police throughout the United Kingdom have absolutely no interest whatsoever in investigating cruelty to cats, it would be nothing short of eye-popping if any of them were to stand in the way of the RSPCA taking action in their stead.

Far from being an isolated case, the same disingenuous back-and-forth finger-pointing occurs all the time in the United States where humane groups argue that it is the job of the police to investigate cases of animal cruelty while the latter stubbornly maintain that the onus lies with the former. Not surprisingly, arrests for abusing and killing cats are about as rare as hens' teeth.

A Group of Teens Stole Bailey from Her Garden and Fed Her to a Lurcher

Secondly, the RSPCA not only has the resources but a team of seasoned investigators who most assuredly could have looked into this matter. Thirdly, it possesses the statutory authority to hire solicitors to both lay charges as well as to actively prosecute cases of animal cruelty.

The real reason that the RSPCA so steadfastly refuses to take cruelty to cats seriously is that it is too busy killing them itself. C'est-à-dire, like PETA, it is a complete fraud! (See Cat Defender posts of June 5, 2007, October 23, 2010, and August 31, 2015 entitled, respectively, "The RSPCA's Unlawful Seizure and Senseless Killing of Mork Leaves His Sister, Mindy, Brokenhearted and His Caretakers Devastated," "The RSPCA Steals and Executes Nightshift Who Was His Elderly Caretaker's Last Surviving Link to Her Dead Husband," and "Beaten and Entombed Above Ground for Several Weeks, a Forever Nameless Cat from Colchester Is Finished Off by the RSPCA which Refuses to Even Investigate Her Death," Daily Mail articles dated December 30, 2012 and November 6, 2014 and entitled, respectively, "Revealed: RSPCA Destroys Half of the Animals That It Rescues -- Yet Thousands Are Completely Healthy" and "RSPCA Forced to Apologize for Wrongly Putting Down Cat Belonging to Family It Accused of Cruelty in Bungled Prosecution," Kent Online, August 13, 2016, "Heartbreak for Larkfield Family after Cat Is Put to Sleep Without Their (sic) Knowledge," and The Chronicle of Chester, August 11, 2016, "Distraught Saltney Family Blast (sic) RSPCA after Their Cat Was Put Down.")

"The RSPCA have told us they will be conducting a home visit," Hazley informed Rochdale Online. If against all odds that ultimately should prove to indeed be the case, it will be coming in order to wag its forked tongue and to scarf down all the free crumpets and tea that the Hazleys are sure to be serving up and most assuredly not to put the owner of the dog that killed Sparkle in handcuffs and leg irons.

The next blighter to sashay up to the podium and strut her stuff was Jacqui Cuff of Cats Protection in Haywards Heath, West Sussex. "We are very sorry to hear about the death of Sparkle the cat," she intoned perfunctorily to Rochdale Online. "As the United Kingdom's leading feline welfare charity, Cats Protection is completely dedicated to cats and their welfare so to hear about incidents like this is absolutely heartbreaking and we would like to express our sympathies to Sparkle's owner."

Following in the wake of that big buildup what came next was underwhelming to say the least. "Cats Protection is calling for a specific offense within legislation relating to dangerous dogs to allow the prosecution of dog owners whose dogs attack, injure, or kill cats," she added. "Though the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and keep their dogs under control, it's vital we strengthen the law to deter dog attacks on cats."

Her highfalutin rhetoric is, however, radically at odds with both English history and her own organization's past. First of all, owners have been subjected to fines whenever their dogs have bitten individuals ever since the ninth century but yet no such protections exist for cats that are attacked by dogs.

Secondly, Cats Protection has been in existence since 1927 and yet it has done absolutely nothing in order to protect the very animals that it claims to champion from these types of attacks. Thirdly, Cats Protection has the same problem as does the RSPCA in that it, too, is overly fond of killing cats. (See Cat Defender posts of August 26, 2015 and February 17, 2016 entitled, respectively, "A Myriad of Cruel and Unforgivable Abandonments, a Chinese Puzzle, and Finally the Handing Down and Carrying Out of a Death Sentence Spell the End for Long-Suffering and Peripatetic Tigger" and "Cats Protection Races to Alfie's Side after His Owner Dies and He Winds Up on the Street, Swears It Is Going to Help Him, and Then Turns Around and Has Him Whacked.")

Over the course of the past few decades the single most beneficial development in the advancement of feline welfare has been, without question, the implementation and spread of TNR. Not surprisingly, it owes it phenomenal success, not to well-heeled rescue groups, but rather to scores of dedicated and unpaid volunteers.

To put the matter succinctly, the problem with all rescue groups and shelters is that they spend just about all of their money on salaries and fundraising. Being essentially little more than shekel-chasing mercenaries, their glaring lack of success is attributable to the petit fait that the vast majority of them do not give so much as a rat's ass about cats.

Moreover, that assessment is verified by their utterly deplorable record on feline welfare.  First of all, they are unwilling to stop either the institutionalized killings that occur at their shelters or the heinous crimes committed against cats in the field by Animal Control officers, policemen, and the general public.

Secondly, all of them stubbornly refuse to investigate cases of cruelty to cats, to make arrests, and to prosecute perpetrators. All that they are good for in that regard are periodic fits of self-righteous moral indignation, crocodile tears, and phony-baloney offers of reward money that they bloody well know they never will be obliged to pay out.

Thirdly, although they like to lecture members of the public on the consequences of failing to spay and neuter their cats, to this very day they still refuse to make sterilization services available upon demand. Fourthly, for many of them adoption is the furthest thing from their warped gourds; au contraire, roundups, incarcerations, and systematic exterminations are their forté.

Fifthly, it is nothing short of criminal that none of them are willing to provide veterinary care free of charge to all sick and injured cats and that most definitely should include those that are homeless. Instead, they simply kill them and then lie to the public by falsely claiming that they were beyond all mortal assistance.

In their defense, it must be acknowledged that most rescue group do not currently possess the statutory authority, expertise, manpower, and funds to go after feline abusers. Plus, their shelters are almost always full of cats that must be fed and watered.

Even so, since the police are never going to take cruelty to cats seriously rescue groups must not only change their attitudes but the ways in which that they conduct business. First of all, they need to stop sucking up to the police, politicians, vivisectors (Alley Cat Rescue of Mount Rainier, Maryland, and the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland in Maine and their dirty dealings with IDEXX Laboratories, for example), and donors and instead put the welfare of cats first.

A second essential step in that process would be the prompt dismissal of all cops from shelters and Animal Control. It additionally is paramount that political flunkies and moneygrubbing city officials in search of second paychecks for doing little or nothing be replaced by individuals who actually possess some knowledge of cats and genuinely care about their welfare.

Above all, the veil of secrecy that long has not only allowed every imaginable offense under the sun to be committed against cats but also shielded from prosecution those who have neglected, abused, and killed them must be lifted. In furtherance of that worthy objective, nothing short of total transparency, unfettered public access to all areas of such facilities, and some means of verifying the accuracy of all intake and outcome data will ever suffice.

For its part, Rochdale Online is recommending that Community Protection Notices (CPN) of the sort that Kathryn and Brad Doulton of Sea Road in Westgate-on-Sea in Kent used against their neighbor, Shirley Key, in order to stop her from allowing their cat, Marley, to sleep over at her house be used against owners who do not control their dogs. (See Cat Defender post of September 1, 2018 entitled "Having Fallen Under the Spell of the Charismatic Marley's Irresistible Charms, an Old Age Pensioner Subsequently Lands in Dutch with Both His Lawful Owners and the Peelers.")

Specifically, such notices can be employed to require individuals to, inter alia, microchip, sterilize, muzzle, and leash their dogs, attend canine training classes, repair holes in the fencing around their houses so as to prevent their companions from escaping, and to put up signage, such as "Beware of Dog" warnings. The first problem with CPNs, however, is in convincing the police, the auxiliary police, local authority officers, and housing associations to issue them.

Not only does Rochdale Online fail to disclose what kind of evidence the authorities require before issuing such orders but how stringently they enforce compliance. Supposedly dog owners who violate such notices can be prosecuted but once again Rochdale Online fails to mention who lays the charges and prosecutes.

In addition to the bureaucratic hurdles and delays that would need to be surmounted before a CPN could be effectively lodged against a recalcitrant dog owner, it is extremely doubtful that such legal shilly-shallying could ever be a prudent means of protecting cats from vicious dogs. As the killing of Sparkle has more than amply demonstrated, these types of attacks come from out of the blue and are over and done with in almost the twinkling of an eye.

It accordingly is questionable if Hazley and his mother would have been able to have saved her life even if they had been at home at the time of the attack. At the very least, they likely would have needed to have been outside and with some type of weapon, perhaps either a baseball bat or a golf club, close at hand that they could have used on the dog in order to have forced it to let go of Sparkle. Even if that tactic had ultimately proven successful, the dog still might had been left with sufficient time in order to have ripped out her throat.

Regi Was Torn to Bits by Stephanie Curwen's Dog as She Laughed

For example, on March 5, 2010 an unleashed Lurcher strayed into a private garden on Guardhouse Road in Keighley, North Yorkshire, and killed a twenty-year-old female cat named Gismo. Her owner, fifty-two-year-old Mick Clarke, tried valiantly to save her but the Lurcher refused to let go of her.

"I'm absolutely disgusted," he later complained to the Keighley News on March 11, 2010. (See "Warning after Cat Is Killed by Lurcher.") "What if my granddaughter had been out there at the time with the cat in her arms? This just isn't right."

Although Hazley has stated on change.org that Sparkle's killer is known to chase and attack cats in the neighborhood, he neglects to mention if he was aware of its behavior before it attacked and killed Sparkle. If so, he perhaps was remiss both for not having previously asked the GMP to issue a CPN and for having left her outdoors and unprotected while he was away from home. On the other hand, if he was unaware that there was a cat-killing dog running loose in the neighborhood it never would have crossed his mind to have slapped its owner with a CPN.

Rochdale Online concludes by gratuitously advising cat owners to report vicious dogs to the police, RSPCA, and the local authorities. Whereas it conceivably might be possible to convince the latter to take proactive measures, owners can forget about ever receiving any constructive support from the other pair of derelicts.

Frustrated at having been left hung out to dry by the GMP, the RSPCA, and Cat Protection, Hazley has taken matters into his own hands by starting a petition at change.org. "I am calling for a change to the law to allow cat owners to take further action against dog owners whose dogs brutally attack cats," he told Rochdale Online.

At last check his petition had collected more than forty-four-hundred signatures which is not a bad start but he nonetheless still has an almost impossible task ahead of him. In particular, Parliament will not respond until he has collected ten-thousand signatures and he has only six months in order to reach that plateau.

Should he be able to garner one-hundred-thousand signatures, his request then will be considered by the Petitions Committee, established in 2015 and comprised of five Tories, an equal number of Laborites, and one member of the Scottish National Party, for debate in Parliament. Even then his chances of prevailing are anything but promising.

For example, on May 31st of last year Parliament rejected an identical petition filed by owners in Kent who had lost a number of cats to dogs. "It is not clear what the petition is asking the United Kingdom government or Parliament to do," was the nonsensical rejoinder that they received from the no-account, high-muck-a-mucks. (See "Allow Prosecution Against Owners of Dogs Attacking Cats" at http://petition.parliament.uk)

If he could identify the owner of the dog, Hazley might be able to bring a civil suit for damages against him, possibly under the Criminal Damage Act of 1971. Even if he then were able to come out on top in that verbal jousting match he is unlikely to be monetarily compensated to any degree that would be even remotely commensurate with the enormity of the terrible loss that he has suffered.

In the meantime the killings, both the high-profile ones as well as those that go unreported, continue unabated and, contrary to Cuff's sottise, a significant portion of them are intentional. For example, on February 22, 2010 a group of teens stole a seven-month-old kitten named Bailey from her garden on Carlton Drive in Strabane, County Tyrone, in Northern Ireland and fed her to a Lurcher.

Left with several broken bones and multiple lacerations, she died on the way to the vet. Her senseless killing left her unidentified owner distraught as well as incensed.

"This happened last Monday but I've been too upset to speak about it until now," she later said. "I just don't know how these young people can sleep at night after doing something like this. They are nothing but scum!" (See Cat Defender post of March 24, 2010 entitled "Seven-Month-Old Bailey Is Fed to a Lurcher by a Group of Sadistic Teens in Search of Cheap Thrills in Northern Ireland.")

In another high-profile attack that occurred in July of 2014, twenty-four-year-old Stephanie Curwen of St. Annes in Lancashire unleashed her Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Duke, on a six-month-old black kitten named Regi while he was sitting on top of the fence that surrounded his home in the South Shore section of Blackpool. She then sat back and laughed as Duke tore Regi to shreds.

When she finally was forced to face the music in Blackpool Magistrates' Court on April 30, 2015, she was let off with £200 in court costs and an £80 victim's surcharge fee. "It's not about us, it's about our cat," Regi's owner, Lesley-Anne Brocklehurst, said afterwards.  "I just want justice for him and sadly I don't feel we've got that." (See Cat Defender post of July 18, 2015 entitled "A Blackpudlian Thrill Seeker Who Sicced Her Pit Bull on Regi and Then Laughed Off Her Fat Ass as He Tore Him Apart Receives a Customary Clean Bill of Health from the Courts.")

More recently Craig Paul Precious of Ellerby Grove in Kingston-upon-Hull, East Yorkshire, was allowed by the courts to get away with a crime identical to the ones that were perpetrated against Gismo, Bailey, Regi, and Sparkle. Specifically, he purposefully allowed his gray Lurcher to stray into a private garden in a residential area and kill an unidentified black and white cat.

"Two cats can be seen in the CCTV footage sitting in a garden. A gray Lurcher runs into view from the street and into the garden and attacks one of the cats," RSPCA Inspector Laura Barber explained to the Hull Daily Mail on September 24, 2018. (See "Hull Man Banned from Keeping Dogs after Letting His Lurcher Kill Cat.") "Fortunately the other one gets (sic) away."

Pleased as punch with his dog's dirty deed, Precious afterwards continued on his merry way just as if nothing untoward had occurred. "Precious comes into view with another Lurcher on a lead and he goes into the garden to take a look at what's happened. After a few moments he leaves the garden and walks away," Barber continues. "Even after the incident the gray Lurcher isn't put on a leash and continues to run in and out of people's gardens."

When his case finally came to trial on September 14, 2018 he was let off by Hull Magistrates' Court with the almost identical light tap on the wrists that Curwen had received earlier. Namely, he was ordered to perform one-hundred hours of community service and to pay £300 in court costs plus an £85 victim's surcharge fee. He additionally was given three weeks to surrender his dogs.

According to court testimony, Precious' dogs had previously attacked cats but even that was insufficient in order to convince the judges to throw the book at him. As both his case as well as Curwen's have demonstrated, English jurists are not about to take cruelty to cats seriously in a million years.

The facts in this case, Curwen's, and Sparkle's are pretty much identical and yet the RSPCA chose to prosecute the first two while stiffing Hazley. The only overt difference between the three of them is that in Curwen's and Precious' cases the RSPCA had surveillance footage at its disposal whereas in Sparkle's case apparently none is available.

It thus would appear that the RSPCA will only prosecute cases involving cruelty to cats that it is sure to win. It thus does not seem unfair to label it as being bone-lazy as well as having a marked disdain for the sanctity of feline life.

There are exceptions to that, however, in that sometimes even the availability of surveillance footage is not enough in order to get the RSPCA to stir its lazy bones. For instance, in early 2015 a thirteen-year-old black cat named Freeman with only three leg was dragged from his garden in Tarring, West Sussex, and killed by a pair of Dobermans.

  Craig Paul Precious Shrugged Off His Dog's Killing of This Unidentified Cat 

The dog's owner then nonchalantly collected them and drove off without even checking on Freeman's condition. Plus, the entire episode had been captured on a nearby surveillance camera but yet the RSPCA refused nonetheless to intervene.

"To find out he had been savaged by the dogs and the owners (sic) had not done anything is just completely callous," Freeman's owner, Tracy Lynch, later complained to the Daily Mail on April 3, 2015. (See "Shocking Moment Three-Legged Cat Was Mauled to Death by Two Passing Dogs as It Lay in Its Front Garden.") "That's what most distressing for us that they (sic) didn't do anything to check on the cat."

The RSPCA is such a derelict operation that even a solitary construction worker with a kind heart is worth considerably more than all of its bureaucrats and field officers put together. For example, if a two-year-old brown cat named Fred from Frome in Somerset had been dependent upon the RSPCA for his deliverance he surely would have wound up like Sparkle, Regi, Freeman, and so many other cats and kittens.

As was the case with Chabot-Matrix some years earlier, a group of construction workers were on hand when he was attacked by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier on July 8, 2014 and they were able to pry open the dog's mouth and thus to save his life. Even then staples were required in order to close several large puncture wounds in his dented skull. (See Cat Defender post of March 25, 2011 entitled "Compassionate Construction Workers Interrupt Their Busy Day in Order to Rescue Chabot-Matrix from a Stream in Maine.")

Predictably, the dog's owner was allowed to get away scot-free; no one even bothered to ask her for identification. (See the Frome Standard, July 12, 2014, "Cat's Lucky Escape from Dog's Savage Jaws of Death.")

The ownership of large vicious dogs that have not been socialized is a problem everywhere. In the United States, for example, they often go hand-in-hand with guns and the large motor vehicle that their owners drive in order to intimidate other motorists and pedestrians.

If the ownership of such dangerous dogs were not bad enough to begin with, the failure of their owners to leash them while out in public is a prescription not only for trouble but death as well. Worst of all, their killing sprees are wholeheartedly sanctioned by the House of Commons, the police, and the RSPCA.

On those truly rare occasions when arrests actually are made, prosecutors go after the guilty with wet noodles. Even when convictions are obtained, jurists adamantly refuse to punish the guilty.

Clearly, just as the Brexit debacle has exposed the English to be anything but the practical, realistic people that they long have claimed to be, so too has their centuries-old willingness to allow dogs to kill cats with impunity exploded the myth that they are either a nation of animal lovers or, for that matter, even remotely civilized. Why, they even thumb their crooked schnozes at the rights of property owners!

In addition to Greater Manchester, the bulk of these attacks appear to be concentrated in the northern counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire as well as Northern Ireland. That possibly could be misleading, however, due to the willingness of the local media and rescue groups in those counties to publicize them.

For instance, in America incidences of cruelty to cats that occur in the northeast and midwest are quite often reported by the media while even far worse abuses that go on all the time down south, in the mountain states, and on the West Coast, including so-called liberal California, are conveniently swept underneath the rug and therefore remain hidden from public view.

Even so, none of that alters the prevailing consensus that Rochdale is one of the worst places to live in all of England.  "Welcome to the cesspit of the universe, where evolution took a break and spat out this breed of useless slack-jawed yocals (sic) with less IQ than a glass of water, and told them to breed with their sisters over and over and over," one critic of the city recently wrote in an undated article on www.ilivehere.co.uk. (See "Top Ten Worst Places to Live in England 2019.")

The city also made that same list in 2018. (See The Mirror of London, December 6, 2018, "Top Ten 'Worst' Places to Live in the United Kingdom Revealed -- Is Your City on the List?")

Thanks to information supplied by his neighbors, Hazley was able to bury Sparkle in his garden. That, however, constitutes the sum total of the satisfaction that he has received so far.

In particular, the injustice of her killing lingers on and continues to gnaw at his soul. "My cat was within the boundaries of her home, where she should have felt safe to sleep and wait our arrival home as she always did," he argued in vain to Rochdale Online just as Clarke had done likewise in 2010 when a Lurcher invaded his garden and killed his beloved Gismo.

Since that quite obviously is not the case with so many dangerous dogs having been given free rein of the country, it accordingly is extremely unwise for any owner to allow a cat to so much as nap in the garden during daylight hours unless the property is entirely surrounded by an impenetrable fence. In the United States where coyotes, raccoons, fishers, skunks, and birds of prey are allowed to kill cats not only with impunity but also to the accompaniment of a chorus of raucous cheers from ornithologists and wildlife biologists it is sometimes necessary to add an electrified wire to the outside of such enclosures.

"Do you think it is fair that a dog can savagely attack another dog and action be taken but cats who are loved equally to dogs cannot have anything done about it?" Hazley asked plaintively on change.org.

Of course it is not fair; it is outrageous but with the laws being so biased in favor of dogs he is going to have an uphill struggle to even get so much as a scintilla of justice for Sparkle. For example, it was not until earlier this year that the House of Commons finally got around to passing a law requiring motorists to report to veterinarians whenever they run down cats.

By contrast, they have been legally obliged for as long as anyone can remember to report the dogs that they injure and kill. (See Yahoo News, May 16, 2019, "New Laws Could Mean Drivers Face Massive Fine (sic) for Running over Cats.")

Perhaps with the passage of sufficient time the sting of the injustice that has been inflicted upon Sparkle and himself will begin to abate somewhat for Hazley. It is still unquestionably an awfully bitter pill for a fifteen-year-old lad to have to swallow.

The one thing that is unlikely to ever change is his memory of the truly monstrous way in which Sparkle's life ended. "Sparkle must have been so scared in her final moments," he empathized to Rochdale Online.

Even more depressing, there is not any possible way that the story of her all-too-brief life can be rewritten in order to change its ending. What is done is done and she is gone forever and will not be coming back.

Photos: Jacob Hazley (Sparkle), Strabane Chronicle (Bailey), The Blackpool Gazette (Regi), and the Hull Daily Mail (the unidentified cat killed by Precious' dog).

Saturday, August 31, 2019

A Devoted Röbelerin Adamantly Refuses to Enter an Altersheim Until She Has Successfully Secured a New Guardian for Her Beloved Felix

Although Old and Sickly, Karin Tietz Would Not Abandon Felix

"Ich gehe erst ins Heim, wenn ich weiß, dass Felix gut untergebracht ist."
-- Karin Tietz

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all," celebrated American author and inspirational speaker Dale Carnegie once observed. Indeed, success does not always smile on the strongest and swiftest but rather on those who are the most determined.

For instance, Karin Tietz of tiny Röbel on the west bank of the Müritzsee in Mecklenburg- Vorpommern, one-hundred-forty-six kilometers north of Berlin, recently woke up to find herself in the crosshairs of a dilemma. At seventy-seven, time was fast running out on her and, adding insult to injury, arthritis was making it increasingly painful for her to even get around her apartment, let alone to venture out into the world.

Compounding an already difficult situation, her husband was long dead and she was all alone in the world with the notable exception of her beloved ten-year-old brown, gray, and black resident feline, Felix. It might not be an exaggeration to state that he had become her shining light and raison d'être.

"Das sind schöne Momente," is how that she described their time together to the Nordkurier of Neubrandenburg, sixty-seven kilometers northeast of Röbel, jon May 3rd. (See "Ohne Heim für Kater kein Heim für Seniorin.")

By that time, however, the "schöne Momente" had become numbered. Not only was she experiencing difficulties in caring for herself but her debilitating arthritis was making it extremely painful for her to even bend down and feed Felix as well as to empty his litter box.

All was not lost, however, in that she had the resources in order to retain the services of an unidentified nursing service which was dispatching caregivers to look in on her three to four times a day and thus to assist her with the minutiae of everyday living. One of those outpatient nurses, Katrin Jacobs, was affiliated with Müritzer für Tiere of Waren, twenty-three kilometers north of Röbel, and she therefore also gladly fed and otherwise looked after Felix.

A place had been readied for Tietz at an unidentified Altersheim but, like all such warehouses for the aged and infirm, cats were strictly verboten. That in turn left the fast-fading Tietz in a totally untenable position.

"Ich gehe erst ins Heim, wenn ich weiß, dass Felix gut untergebracht ist," the gutherzig Röbelerin defiantly vowed to the Nordkurier.

Sometimes good intentions and a desire to do the right thing end up floundering on the rocky shores of hard reality. In her case, for example, she was attempting to pull off a near-impossible task with the clock fast running out on her.

Given that the vast majority of would-be adopters want kittens, the demand for elderly cats is almost nil. Furthermore, Müritzer für Tiere has experienced difficulties in rehoming even cats as young as one year of age.

It therefore was not surprising that the mere fact that Felix is in excellent health and has a life expectancy of eight to ten years counted for almost nothing with all the loudmouthed phonies who like to shout their abiding love for the species from the rooftops but whenever they happen to stumble across a real-life cat in extremis their hearts turn to stone faster than a snowball melts in July. (See Cat Defender post of May 27, 2016 entitled "Snubbed by an Ignorant, Tasteless, and Uncaring Public for the Past Twenty-One Years, Tilly Has Forged an Alternative Existence of Relative Contentment at a Sanctuary in the Black Country.")

True aficionados of the species, however, march to the beat of an entirely different drummer. For them, a cat's appearance, age, breed, health, and temperament are every bit as irrelevant as are all other accidents of nature and history. Unfortunately, given the ingrained prejudices and selfishness of mankind, the prospects for elderly cats such as Felix are unlikely to improve.

Tietz briefly considered surrendering him to Tierschutzverein Waren in Malchow, twenty kilometers northwest of Röbel, but its shelter was full and it therefore could not accept him even if she had been willing to have gone through with that expedient. As things turned out, that was a bit of Glück im Unglück for Felix in that he likely never would have made it out of there alive.

Even those elderly cats that end up in those truly rare shelters that respect their right to live have a difficult time of adjusting to a regimen of life behind bars, an almost endless parade of foster mothers, and multiple failed adoptions. (See Cat Defender posts of August 31, 2017, March 12, 2018, and July 29, 2019 entitled, respectively, "With His Previous Owner Long Dead and Nobody Seemingly Willing to Give Him a Second Chance at Life, Old and Ailing Harvey Has Been Sentenced to Rot at a Shelter in Yorkshire," "Much Like a Nightmare That Stubbornly Refuses to End, Harvey Continues to be Shuttled from One Home to Another at the Expense of His Health and Well-Being," and "Repeatedly Shunned, Maligned, and Bandied About from One Place to Another, Harvey Is Now Engaged in the Most Important Battle of His Life.")

The obvious solution would have been for one of Tietz's relatives to have taken in Felix but that apparently was not an option. Either she does not have any close living relations or they were unwilling to assume the care of Felix. It is, after all, pretty much a foregone conclusion that individuals who are so uncaring as to dump their parents and siblings in Altersheims could care less about what becomes of their cats.

May quickly gave way to June without any solution to Felix's desperate plight on the horizon. Jacobs and Müritzer für Tiere stubbornly refused, however, to let go of Tietz's dream that Felix be placed in a private residence that was sans any young children.

Like Melanie Gottschalk of the Kilianstädten section of Schöneck in Hesse, Jacobs belatedly came to the realization that about the only individuals who care about old cats are the elderly themselves and she accordingly was able through due diligence to identify five individuals who had expressed an interest in adopting Felix. (See Cat Defender post of March 26, 2018 entitled "A Dedicated and Compassionate Kilianstädterin Has Found at Least a Partial Solution to the Tragic Plight of alte und obdachlos Katzen.")

The particulars have not been spelled out in print but sometime in late June Tietz's love and devotion for Felix coupled with Jacobs' hard work paid a huge dividend when Felix was adopted by an elderly woman in Malchin, fifty-two kilometers north of Röbel. That happy dénouement could not possibly have come at a more propitious time in that Tietz's already precarious health soon thereafter gave out altogether on her.

She accordingly had to be hospitalized and never again was able to make it back to the apartment that she and Felix had shared for so many happy years. (See the Nordkurier, July 2, 2019, "Happy End für Kater Felix aus Röbel.")

Felix Gets a Hug from Katrin Jacobs as Karin Tietz Looks on from the Rear

So in the end everything turned out about as well as could have been expected under the circumstances. Even so it is nonetheless heartbreakingly sad that Tietz had to part with her beloved cat and that is especially the case given that she has so little left. It likewise is equally tearful that Felix has been deprived of an owner who unquestionably loved him very dearly.

On the other hand, it is downright scary to even so much as contemplate what might have happened to him if it had not been for the unstinting efforts waged on his behalf by Jacobs and Müritizer für Tiere. With all due respect to Carnegie, determination alone is not always sufficient; rather, to succeed one often requires the invaluable assistance rendered so freely by kindhearted strangers.

An analogous drama was played out earlier this year in Basel when Lucy F. became ill and was forced to enter a hospital. Although she was supposed to have been away from home for only a few days, her condition worsened and she instead was transferred directly to an old folks' home.

As a result, she never again so much as laid eyes on her beloved eleven-year-old black beauty Susi that she had left behind. Unlike with Felix, there was not any Katrin Jacobs to look after her and as a consequence what happened to her was tragic if not indeed criminal.

Specifically, every individual and organization that had been entrusted with caring for her failed to lift so much as a lousy finger in order to save her. First of all, Lucy F.'s unidentified guardian apparently did absolutely nothing for her.

The public welfare office, Amt für Beistandschaften und Erwachsenenschutz (ABES), at first wanted to kill her but in the end settled for outsourcing her care to a private nursing service, Betreuungs und Pflegeservice (BPS Basel). That agency apparently did feed Susi once a day for several months but how much and what quality of food that its representatives supplied her with has not been disclosed.

As was the case with Tierschutzverein Waren, the local shelter, Tierschutz bieder Basel, likewise wanted no part of her. Even the owner of the building, its superintendent, doormen, maintenance personnel, deliverymen, and residents refused to intervene on her behalf.

Susi therefore was cruelly condemned to tough it out all by her lonesome in Lucy F.'s apartment from either late January or early February until June 4th when BPS Basel finally got around to delivering her to Tierhilfe Regio Basel (TRB) in Allschill, 4.3 kilometers south of Basel. Rushed to Daniel Stauffer of Kleintierpraxis in Reihen, 7.5 kilometers northeast of Basel, she was diagnosed to be so severely emaciated and dehydrated that she did not even have the strength to stand on her four legs.

If that had been all that ailed her, Stauffer and his staff might have been able to have pulled her through but, unfortunately, she was suffering from even worse maladies. For example, she was running a high temperature, plagued by an undisclosed infection, and her white blood cells were dramatically elevated. Worst of all, she was suffering from an untreated case of Feline Hyperthyroidism.

TRB and Stauffer did what they could for her but she succumbed to the ravages of unspeakable neglect on June 7th. "Das ganze stellt meines Erachtens einen schweren Verstoß gegen das Tierschutzgesetz dar," Stuaffer swore in the wake of her demise.

Nicole Rudin of TRB, who has asked the authorities to investigate Susi's death, succinctly summed up the profound neglect that Susi had been forced to endure. "Seit Februar war die Katze allein in der Wohnung an der Bärenfelserstraße," she explained. "Niemand wolle die Verantwortung übernehmen."

Loneliness and isolation sans doute also contributed to the deterioration of Susi's health. "Sicher hat Susi die alte Dame vermisst," Rudin observed. "Vermutlich war sie nie viel allein vorher, und plötzlich wurde ihr nur einmal pro Tag Futter hingestellt."

Although it should not have been necessary, Rudin felt compelled under the circumstances to point out the obvious. "Tiere haben wie wir Gefühle," she declared for all those who still have ears to hear, eyes to see, and minds to think. "Eine solche Einsamkeit ist schrecklich." (See Cat Defender post of July 13, 2019 entitled "Susi Is Knowingly Left All Alone in an Empty Apartment to Slowly Die of Starvation and Untreated Hyperthyroidism after Her Owner Is Confined to an Old Folks' Home.")

Regrettably, cats such as Felix who are able to survive the loss of their owners are an exception to the rule in that the vast majority of those that end up in that predicament either die of abject neglect, like Susi, or are systematically slaughtered by those individuals and institutions that are supposed to be looking after their welfare. Above all, elderly owners cannot depend upon strangers to take care of their beloved cats once they are gone; on the contrary, it is imperative that they make provisions for their continued care while they are still above ground themselves and in that regard the assistance of an able-bodied attorney is paramount.

Nothing further has appeared online regard Tietz. Suffice it to say that losing both Felix and her home have not been easy on her. She also has been forced to adjust to life at the Altersheim as well as her deteriorating health.

Although she has described Felix as a timid cat, Tietz is nonetheless confident that he will be able to adjust to a new guardian and surroundings. Nevertheless, doing so will not be all that easy for a cat his age.

Perhaps an even bigger concern is the long shadow cast over his future by a glaring paradox inherent in his adoption process. Namely, given that only the elderly are willing to adopt old cats like him there is not any guarantee that the Malchinerin will outlive him.

If her health should suddenly deteriorate, Felix very well could find himself back in the same boat. The only palliative for such an eventuality would be an existing agreement, hopefully one that is legally binding, that would mandate that Müritizer für Tiere retake possession of him and judiciously respect his right to live as it endeavors to place him in yet still another home.

The odds do not look particularly promising at the moment but there nevertheless is at least a slim chance that there is yet still another chapter to be written in this great love story. "...ich dem ich Felix vielleicht auch mal besuchen kann," Tietz speculated to the Nordkurier on May 3rd.

If The Fates should be in an obliging mood, her arthritis might just abate long enough for her to summon the strength in order to journey Malchin for such a joyful, no matter how brief, reunion. If nothing else, it is a thought for her to hang on to as her days dwindle down to a precious few and the elderly, both humans and cats, need some Vernunft in order to continue their decidedly uphill struggles.

Photos: Susann Salzmann of the Nordkurier.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

No Respect for Life: Early Graves and Crippling Injuries Are All That Cats Who Dare to Set Foot in the Street Can Expect from the Bloodthirsty Motoring Public

 PCAT Was Killed by a Motorist in October of  2012

"When I see a cat in the street, I accelerate. Stray cats have no business in the street. So bang! I accelerate!"
-- Stéphane Gendron 

The recent crippling of a handsome and vivacious tuxedo named Eli by a hit-and-run motorist in Connecticut is yet still another rather poignant reminder of just how lethal the roads have become for cats. (See Cat Defender post of August 8, 2019 entitled "Hounded Down and Nearly Killed by a Hit-and-Run Motorist, Eli Desperately Needs Additional Surgeries in Order to Fully Restore His Previous Level of Mobility.")

Although it is truly wonderful that he survived and, hopefully, will soon be receiving the treatment that he requires in order to once again be able to move around without pain, that positive outcome is tempered by the sobering realization that he is nonetheless an extremely rare exception to the rule. Au contraire, the vast majority of kittens and cats that motorists draw a bead on, stomp down hard on the accelerator, and turn the wheel over in order to mow down do not survive and even the handful of them that do seldom, if ever, receive the topnotch emergency veterinary treatment that they so desperately need and richly deserve.     

Although a cat's socio-economic status should not make any difference, it is not merely those that are homeless that these licensed to kill mass murderers of the motorways go after but also those that have doting owners at home. Even those that have achieved international acclaim are not safe from their evil designs.

For example in October of 2012, Plymouth College of Art in Devonshire unforgivably allowed its beautiful PCAT to be run down and killed by a hit-and-run driver. (See Cat Defender post of November 21, 2012 entitled "Officials at Plymouth College of Art Should Be Charged with Gross Negligence and Animal Cruelty in the Tragic Death of the School's Longtime Resident Feline, PCAT.")

Later on September 8, 2014, Peat of the Glenturret Distillery near Crieff in Perth and Kinress was killed by another hit-and-run assassin. His premature death was made all the sadder given that he was only six months old and had been on the job as the booze merchant's mascot since only July. (See Cat Defender post of April 17, 2017 entitled "As Peat Tragically Found Out, Alcohol and Cats Are Such a Bad Mix That Even Working at a Distillery Can Be Deadly.")

Mr. Cheeky Was Catnapped, Dumped, Then Killed by a Motorist in 2017 

Neither cruelly cooping up cats indoors all the time nor providing them with enclosed gardens are foolproof alternatives in that, no matter how conscientious their owners may be, they still find ways of escaping. They also are sometimes catnapped and later dumped in the street with disastrous repercussions.

For example, both Fletcher of Bramley Crescent in Southampton, Hampshire, and Mr. Cheeky of Hove in East Sussex were killed by hit-and-run motorists after their abductors dumped them in the street. (See Cat Defender posts of November 16, 2007 and February 8, 2017 entitled, respectively, "Fletcher, One of the Cats Abducted from Bramley Crescent, Is Killed by a Motorist in Corhampton" and "The Long and Hopelessly Frustrating Search for the Kidnapped Mr. Cheeky Ends Tragically Underneath the Wheels of a Hit-and-Run Motorist.")

Even those that are fortunate enough to come away from such unprovoked attacks with their lives often wind up losing legs and, like Eli, suffering broken pelvises and dislocated hips. (See Cat Defender posts of October 16, 2007, April 29, 2010, October 30, 2010, November 13, 2010, November 17, 2010, January 5, 2011, May 2, 2012, November 10, 2014, and October 13, 2016 entitled, respectively, "Tourists from Michigan Save the Life of a Critically Ill Oregon Cat Named Marmalade," "Long Suffering River Finally Finds a Home after Having Been Run Over by a Motorist and Nearly Drowned," "A Drunken Bum Is Foiled in a Macabre Plot to Make a Meal Out of Kittens, Nirvana and Karma, That He Allegedly Ran Down Earlier with His Truck," "Gunned Down by an Assassin and Then Mowed Down by a Hit-and-Run Driver, Big Bob Loses a Leg but Survives and Now Is Looking for a Home," "Pregnant, Abandoned, and Deliberately Almost Killed by a Hit-and-Run Driver, Sugar Crawls Back to Her Subterranean Abode In Order to Feed Her Kittens," "Freya, the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Resident Feline, Cheats Death Once Again When She Survives Being Run Down and Injured by a Motorist but Her Good Luck Cannot Last for Much Longer," and "Bart Has Courageously Overcome Being Run Down by a Hit-and-Run Motorist and Subsequently Buried Alive by His Owner but Another Dark Cloud Is Looming over His Future.")

In a particularly gruesome attack, a two-year-old brownish-gray tom named Roo from Lower Windsor Township in the Keystone State was mowed down by a hit-and-run motorist on February 16, 2007. He also most likely had been knocked unconscious because the profuse loss of blood that he had suffered had combined with the frigid temperatures outside in order to bind his injured front legs to the ice.

Discovered by a kindhearted woman who promptly notified the York SPCA, warm water was used in order to extricate his legs but even then his right front paw had to be amputated and it was feared at the time that he also might lose his broken left leg as well. (See Cat Defender post of March 5, 2007 entitled "Run Down by a Motorist and Frozen to the Ice by His Own Blood, Roo Is Saved by a Caring Woman.")

Whenever they are not actually running down cats themselves, many motorists content themselves with tossing them out the windows of their speeding chariots and in doing so they are anything but particular as to where their victims land. For instance, they unload them inside tunnels, on busy freeways, country roads, overpasses, city streets, and bridges.

Such barbaric behavior thus affords their fellow lords of the public thoroughfares an opportunity to share in their merrymaking by doing their killing for them. (See Cat Defender posts of August 14, 2006, January 14, 2008, August 28, 2008, February 21, 2009, July 2, 2009, September 12, 2009, May 30, 2013, and January 10, 2014 entitled, respectively, "Austrian Officials Close a Busy Alpine Tunnel in Order to Rescue a Kitten That Was Cruelly Abandoned by a Motorist," "Freeway Miraculously Survives Being Tossed Out the Window of a Truck on Busy I-95 in South Florida," "In Memoriam: Trooper Survives Being Thrown from a Speeding Automobile Only to Later Die on the Operating Table," "A Daring Rescue in the Sky Spares the Life of a Cat That Was Dumped on an Overpass in Houston," "Three-Week-Old Lucky Is Rescued by a Staten Island Judge after She Was Tossed Out the Window of a Pickup Truck on Hylan Boulevard," "Luzie Sustains a Broken Hip and a Bloody Mouth Before She Is Successfully Rescued from the Busy Elbtunnel," "Stone-Broke, Homeless, and All Alone at the Crossroads of the World, Disaster Is Snatched from Harm's Way by a Representative of the Walking Dead," and "A Texas Judge Idiotically Allows Pastor Rick Bartlett to Get Away with Stealing and Killing Moody but a Civil Court May Yet Hold Him Accountable.")

Roo with Melissa Smith of the York SPCA

Such reprehensible conduct not only kills and cripples countless cats each year but it occasionally also jeopardizes the lives of the Good Samaritans who attempt to rescue them. For instance in late June of 2009, twenty-eight-year-old Rachel Honeycutt nearly lost her life when she stopped in order to rescue a pair of kittens in Cobb County, Georgia.

"I got out to save the kittens," she later affirmed. "Somebody was putting them in the middle of the East-West Connector."

If she had so much as thought that motorists would slow down and go around her, she was badly mistaken in that it did not take long for one of them to blindside her and to keep on going. As a result, she was knocked seventy-five in the air and when she landed she was on the other side of the roadway and unconscious.

Taken to a nearby hospital, she was diagnosed to have sustained a shattered pelvis as well as brain and organ damage. She was in a coma and on life-support for weeks but, incredibly, she not only lived but she did so without so much as a twinge of either regret or malice in her beautiful and noble soul.

"I can't believe I'm okay," she said as soon as she had regained the faculty of speech. "Everybody I've helped has helped me so much in a situation that brings it all around. Everything you give you get back."

Notwithstanding all of that, her long and tortuous road back to the land of the living was not an easy one to trod. In addition to her severe injuries, she also was saddled with sky-high medical bills, a citation from the gendarmes for leaving her car, and she also came perilously close to losing her house. (See Cat Defender post of August 10, 2009 entitled "A Georgia Woman Is Struck and Nearly Killed by a Motorist while Attempting to Rescue a Pair of Kittens That Had Been Dumped in the Middle of a Busy Highway.")

Rachel Honeycutt Was Nearly Killed by a Motorist while Rescuing Kittens

Then there are other motorists who hate cats so much that they endeavor to make doubly certain that they meet their Waterloos. They do so by dumping them on bridges whereby if they are not immediately run down and killed on the spot they are either knocked or frightened into the drink below where they drown. (See Cat Defender posts of July 6, 2009 and August 12, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Miracle Survives a Drowning Attempt on the McClugage Bridge and Later Hitchhikes a Ride to Safety Underneath the Car of a Compassionate Motorist" and "Gia and Mr. T. Survive Attempts Made on Their Lives after They Are Abandoned on Busy Bridges During Inclement Weather.")

Still other motorists dispense with abandoning them on bridges and instead imprison them in cages that they weigh down with large rocks before tossing them into the water. (See Cat Defender posts of January 13, 2006 and May 20, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Montana Firefighters Rescue a 'Lucky' Calico Cat Who Was Caged and Purposefully Thrown into an Icy River" and "Malice Aforethought: an Upstate New York Cat Is Saved from a Watery Grave by a Dead Tree and a Passerby; a New Hampshire Cat Is Not Nearly So Fortunate.")

In an especially graphic example of just how emboldened these monsters have become of late, a female kitten named Splatt was thrown off of a bridge in Charleston, South Carolina, on July 18, 2010. Luckily for her, she landed in Clouter Creek just as boaters Dennis and Karen Allen were sailing past and they were able to pluck her from the water. (See Cat Defender post of August 9, 2010 entitled "Sunday Afternoon Boaters Pluck Splatt Out of Clouter Creek after She Is Thrown Off of the Mark Clark Expressway Bridge in Charleston.")

The principal reason that the wholesale maiming and killing of cats as well as the dumping of them in traffic continues unabated is traceable to the law enforcement community's ingrained hatred of the species. For instance, some cops not only intentionally run them down with their cruisers but seemingly jump at every available opportunity to finish off those that already have been injured by hit-and-run motorists.

The very thought of ever doing the right thing, such as transporting an injured cat to a veterinarian for emergency treatment, never seems to so much as cross their warped gourds. Rather, the only thing that an injured cat signifies to them is another golden opportunity to either discharge their service revolvers or to get out their night sticks. (See Cat Defender post of June 18, 2015 and March 22, 2012 entitled, respectively, "Harry Is Run Down and Killed by a Pair of Derbyshire Police Officers Who Then Steal and Dispose of His Body in an Amateurish Attempt to Cover up Their Heinous Crime" and "In Another Outrageous Miscarriage of Justice, Rogue Cop Jonathan N. Snoddy Is Let Off with a $50 Fine for Savagely Bludgeoning to Death an Injured Cat.")

In spite of their antipathy for cats, cops are not above nakedly exploiting them as station house mascots. Even under those seemingly benign circumstances they are such derelict guardians that they allow them to be killed by motorists as well as stolen. (See Cat Defender posts of March 18, 2009 and May 29, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Eco, Who for Years Was a Mainstay at a Small Massachusetts Police Department, Is Run Down and Killed by a Motorist" and "Corporal Cuffs, a Beloved Station House Mascot, Is Abducted Right Under Cops' Noses.")

Splat Was Saved from a Watery Grave by Dennis and Karen Allen

Some district attorneys likewise use cats like they use the toilet. For example, in early 2006 a previously homeless kitten named Fred was recruited by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes to go undercover.

He was so successful at acting out the part that he had been assigned that Hynes was able to nab twenty-eight-year-old Steven Vassall of Kingsborough Community College for practicing veterinary medicine without a license. Afterwards he was adopted by Assistant Brooklyn Attorney Carol Moran who callously allowed a hit-and-run motorist to kill him outside her Howard Beach residence on August 10, 2006.

Little Fred will accordingly forever be fifteen months old. (See Cat Defender posts of February 14, 2006 and August 17, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Special Agent Fred the Cat Goes Undercover in Order to Help Nab a Quack Vet in a Brooklyn Sting Operation" and "Brave Little Fred the Undercover Cat Has His Short, Tragic Life Snuffed Out by a Hit-and-Run Driver in Queens.")

When it comes to protecting feline lives, the political classes are another complete washout. Since cats neither vote nor make campaign contributions, they long age dismissed them as nonentities.

Closely related to the crimes that motorists perpetuate against cats are those that are committed against the species by the operators of farm machinery. Combine operators in particular exact a heavy toll from them each harvest season.

For example, in late July of 2009 a combine operator in Alaidon Township, Michigan, ran down a black male kitten with a white underbelly named Howard and in the process cut off his front paws. Like just about all motorists he, too, left him in a ditch to die. (See Cat Defender posts of August 20, 2009 and November 24, 2009 entitled, respectively, "A Combine Operator Severs Howard's Front Paws and Leaves Him in a Ditch to Die but He Is Saved at the Last Minute by a Pair of Compassionate Lads" and "Howard the Combine Kitty Is Adopted by the Lads Who Saved Him from a Sure and Certain Death in a Ditch Alongside a Michigan Wheat Field.")

 Fred Was Killed by a Motorist on August 10, 2006

Along about that same time but half a world away a black cat named Oscar lost both of his rear paws to a hit-and-run combine operator in the parish of Grouville in the Bailiwick of Jersey. (See Cat Defender post of November 20, 2010 entitled "Celebrated as the World's First Bionic Cat, Oscar Now Has Been Turned into a Guinea Pig with a Very Uncertain Future.")

Motorists additionally inflict considerable grief upon cats simply through callousness and indifference. For instance, very few of them even so much as bother to check their engines and undercarriages for their presence before starting out on cold mornings.

Their thoughtlessness is all the more unpardonable given that it is well understood that warm motors attract hypothermic cats like a magnet. (See Cat Defender posts of January 5, 2006 and March 16, 2013 entitled, respectively, "A 'Miracle' Cat Survives a Seventy-Mile Trip Down the New Jersey Turnpike by Clinging to the Drive Shaft of an SUV" and "Mausi Is Saved from a Potentially Violent Death on the Fast and Furious Autobahn Thanks to the Dramatic Intervention of a Münchner Couple.")

The operators of not only passenger cars but especially delivery trucks and vans inadvertently cause innumerable cats all sorts of distress through their unwillingness to check their vehicles for stowaways. These unfortunate cats thus become involuntarily and, usually permanently, separated from their families and at the mercy of their unwitting transporters and shelters. (See Cat Defender posts of November 6, 2006, December 12, 2007,  April 18, 2010, June 25, 2014, and April 26, 2018 entitled, respectively, "Trapped in a Van for Five Days, a Texas Cat Named Neo Is Finally Freed in Colorado," "Bored with Conditions at Home, Carlsberg Stows Away on a Beer Lorry for the Adventure of a Lifetime," "Ally's Last Ride Lands Her in a Death Trap Set by an Uncaring and Irresponsible Supermarket Chain and a Bargain Basement Shelter," "Poussey Overcomes a Surprise Boat Ride to Dover, a Stint on Death Row, and Being Bandied About Like the Flying Dutchman in Order to Finally Make It Home to La Havre," and "Schneewittchen Gets Accidentally Trapped in a Lorry and Winds Up in Wien but in Doing So She Brought Along with Her Considerably More Than Just Her Pretty Face.")

The motoring public additionally poisons to death countless cats each year through its abject failure to properly handle antifreeze and its indiscriminate spreading of deadly chemicals on both roadways and pedestrian walkways in order to melt ice and snow.  (See Cat Defender posts of July 2, 2007 and March 25, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Cats Are Being Poisoned with Antifreeze in San Francisco but Animal Control Refuses to Take the Killings Seriously" and "Compassionate Construction Workers Interrupt Their Busy Day in Order to Rescue Chabot-Matrix from a Stream in Maine.")

A Combine Operator Cut Off Howard's Front Paws and Left Him to Die

Far from being completely guileless in some of these types of totally preventable deaths, some owners actually help to facilitate them through their failure to take responsibility for their cats' safety. For instance, some of them allow their beloved companions to cross dangerous intersections in order to reach bus stops. (See Cat Defender posts of April 19, 2007 and January 25, 2012 entitled, respectively, "Bus-Hopping Mccavity Earns High Praise from His Fellow Commuters for Being the 'Perfect Passenger' " and "The Innocence of the Lambs: Unaware of the Dangers That Threaten His Very Existence, Dodger Charms Commuters on the Bridport to Charmouth Line.")

In one particularly tragic incident, a beautiful twelve-year-old longhaired tuxedo named Casper from Plymouth in Devonshire was killed by a hit-and-run taxi driver on January 14, 2010 while crossing the street in order to get to the bus stop. His premature death was made all the more inexcusable in that his elderly owner, health care worker Susan Finden, knew the grave dangers that she was exposing him to by turning him loose to ride the buses by his lonesome.

"...he has no road sense whatsoever," she candidly acknowledged several months prior to his death. "He just runs across the road to the bus stop."

Not surprisingly, she was singing an entirely different tune in the wake of his demise. "I never dreamt I'd miss an animal so much as I miss him," she admitted. "He was lovely and loved people so much. He was such a different character."

He is now just a memory although it is conceivable that his image may still adorn some of First Bus's chariots.  (See Cat Defender posts of August 27, 2009 and January 30, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Casper Treats Himself to an Unescorted Tour Around Plymouth Each Morning Courtesy of the Number Three Bus" and "Casper Is Run Down and Killed by a Hit-and-Run Taxi Driver While Crossing the Street in Order to Get to the Bus Stop.")

Since getting to and from train depots can be every bit as dangerous as walking to bus stations, those owners who allow their companions to ride the rails unaccompanied are likewise exposing them to the machinations of motorists.  (See Cat Defender posts of June 7, 2007 and January 31, 2014 entitled, respectively, "Rascal Hops on a Freight Train in South Bend and Unwittingly Winds Up in Chattanooga" and "A Northumbrian Shrink Lays Claim to the Title of Being the World's Most Irresponsible Cat Owner by Turning Loose Jasper to Roam the Perilous Tyne and Wear Metro for Weeks on End.")

Casper Was Run Down and Killed by a Taxi Driver on January 14, 2010

The worst rotters in the woodpile, however, are those owners who, although well aware that their cats like to play in the busy streets, yet stubbornly refuse to take any remedial measures to dissuade them otherwise.  (See Cat Defender posts of December 5, 2006, September 17, 2012, October 7, 2016, March 29, 2017, and September 20, 2018 entitled, respectively, "Milo, Who Visits the Vet by Her Lonesome,  Is Named Old Blighty's 'Most Adventurous Cat,'" "Contrary to the Neighborhood Scuttlebutt, Krümel Is Alive and Well, at Least for the Time Being, at the Hotel Garni Herold," "Declared Dead and Prematurely Interred, Gus Gets the Last Laugh for Now but the Next Time Around He May Not Be Quite So Lucky, Especially if His Inattentive Owner Does Not Start Taking Better Care of Him," "Archie Is Knowingly Allowed to Sleep Smack-Dab in the Middle of a Busy Thoroughfare by His Derelict Owners Who Are Content with Merely Tracking His Movements by Satellite" and "Pirate Pleasantly Surprises the Thespians at the Bush Theatre by Turning Up after a Six-Month Absence but He Is Far from Being Out of the Woods Just Yet.")

As dreadful, distressing, and seemingly hopeless as the situation appears to be, a few tentative baby steps have been taken in recent years in order to rectify matters. For example in Norwalk, Bobette Moore and Gary Caufield successfully lobbied local politicians back in 2007 to follow the example set by the Japanese on remote Iriomote and thus to erect a cat crossing sign at Erna Avenue. (See Cat Defender post of November 27, 2006 entitled "After Surviving on Its Own for at Least Two Million Years, a Rare Japanese Wildcat Faces Its Toughest Battle Yet.")

"It appears to have made a big difference," Bruce Kolwicz of the city's Department of Public Works said at that time. "It's not really enforceable, but it's working and that's what really matters."

Even though he is to be commended for constructing and erecting the sign, he is dead wrong to argue that the city is powerless to protect the lives of cats. For instance, since all municipalities employ school crossing guards they do not have a valid excuse for not hiring others to work at cat crossings.

In fact, the only reason that Kolwicz and Norwalk are unwilling to do so is that they do not believe that feline lives are worth protecting. (See Cat Defender post of January 26, 2007 entitled "Cat Activists Succeed in Getting a Connecticut Town to Erect a Cat Crossing Sign.")

Bobette Moore and Gary Caufield in Front of Their Cat Crossing Sign

Certain residential communities in both England and Deutschland have successfully agitated for reduced speed limits as a way of cutting down on the number of cats being killed on their streets. (See the Sheffield Telegraph, April 17, 2012, "'Speeding Motorist Killed Our Pet Cat' Says Sheffield Man.")

As far as it is known, however, their American counterparts have declined to follow suit. On the contrary, just about all denizens of the land of the dollar bill and assault rifles fervently believe that they not only have a god-given right to run down cats but pedestrians as well.

For as long as it can be remembered, motorists in England have been required under penalty of law to report every dog that they kill but not cats. Earlier this year that gaping and outrageously discriminatory loophole in the law was closed and now motorists who fail to inform veterinarians of the cats that they run down could face a fine of up to £20,000.

Given that Scotland Yard has recently refused to go after the Croydon Cat Killer as well as the attackers of Mr. Solly, it would be nothing short of shocking if it and its fellow police forces across the country could be prevailed upon to stir so much as a muscle in order to enforce this new edict.  (See Yahoo News, May 16, 2019, "New Laws Could Mean Drivers Face Massive Fine (sic) for Running over Cats," The Guardian, September 20, 2018, "'Croydon Cat Killer' Hunt Ends after Three-Year Investigation," and The Evening Standard, September 21, 2018, "Croydon Cat Killer: Outraged Pet Owners and Animal Charities Insist Killer Is 'Still Out There' Despite Police Saying No Evidence of Any Human Involvement," and Cat Defender post of December 18, 2018 entitled "The Brutal Attackers of Mr. Solly Walk in a Lark All Because the Rotters at Scotland Yard Were Too Bone-Lazy, Derelict, and Ailurophobic to Even Examine the Evidence Supplied Them by His Distraught Owner.")

Cats Matter of London has had considerably more success in convincing several local councils to scan the corpses of cats killed by motorists for microchips so that their owners can be notified of their deaths and their remains returned to them. That is far from being an insignificant development in that the charity estimates that motorists across England run down a cat every two and one-half minutes. (See the BBC, February 3, 2018, "'Hope' for Rule Change to Check Found Pets for Microchips.")

As things now stand, street sweepers and private citizens remove their bodies and casually toss them into the trash and even those that are left unattended can decompose beyond recognition in a day or two if exposed to the torrid summer sun. Under either scenario, the victims' owners are deprived of not only being able to reclaim them for burial but of even ever knowing what had happened to them. Any measure of closure that might be hoped for under such trying circumstances is therefore reduced to an utter impossibility.

Stéphane Gendron Loves Nothing Better Than to Run Down and Kill Cats

Since societies all around the world are so dead set against criminalizing the running down of cats, it is therefore incumbent upon their owners to keep them out of traffic. They can still be allowed outdoors in enclosed gardens and sometimes in quiet residential and rural areas that are far removed from major thoroughfares and speeding motorists.

Regrettably that is about the extent of the liberty that they can safely be allowed to enjoy. None of that, however, is of any benefit whatsoever to homeless cats such as Eli and those that belong to managed colonies since they do not have anyone to look out for their safety.

It additionally is important to bear in mind that owners who turn their cats loose in traffic are playing directly into the hands of cat-killing monsters such as Stéphane Gendron who formerly served not only as mayor of Huntingdon, Quebec, but also worked as a talking head on the radio. "When I see a cat in the street, I accelerate. Stray cats have no business in the street," he once told his radio audience according to the July 13, 2013 edition of The Globe and Mail of Toronto. (See "Quebec Mayor in Cat Scandal Under Investigation by Animal Rights Activists.") "So bang! I accelerate!"

Not only is he a serial cat killer, but he also derives immense joy from the commission of his dastardly deeds. "The other day, I backed up on one; it was a newborn. I'm sure he didn't feel a thing," The Huffington Post reported him as informing his listeners on July 13, 2013. (See Stéphane Gendron Killed Kittens with Truck, He Admits on Radio Show.") "The pickup truck ran on it like nothing. I was so happy, yes! One less."

Even those owners who do not have all that much regard for the safety of their cats, perhaps ought to think twice about making it possible for planetary filth like Gendron to continue to carry out their despicable crimes. An even scarier thought is that this world is chock-full of individuals who think and behave just like him and wherever there is either a street, farm, or motorway they are sure to be on the prowl for new victims.

Photos: Facebook (PCAT and Mr. Cheeky), Bill Bowden of the York Daily Record (Roo with Smith), WXIA-TV of Atlanta (Honeycutt), The Sun News of Myrtle Beach (Splat with the Allens), Joel Cairo of Newsday (Fred), Ingram County Animal Control and Shelter (Howard), The Sun of London (Casper), the Connecticut Post (cat crossing sign), and the Globe and Mail (Gendron).