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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

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gutless Georgie "Porgie" Osborne Gets Rid of Freya but in Doing So Lies About the True Reason Behind His Second Cruel Abandonment of Her

Freya Relaxing

"Freya had to go, it just wasn't working out. She was a handful. Poor Lola was scared of her."
-- an unidentified Downing Street source

Freya's short-lived reign as the first cat of the Exchequer has come to an abrupt end. Fortunately, she has not been either run down and killed by a hit-and-run motorist or gotten lost again as it often was feared would be her undoing.

Rather, she is still alive and, as far as it is known, in good health. She is no longer living at 10 Downing Street, however, because her guardian, Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer Georgie "Porgie" Osborne, has sent her packing.

The end it is believed came sometime last week when Osborne fobbed off  the care of the dashing five-year-old brown female onto the hands of an unidentified member of his staff. All that has been revealed about that arrangement is that she is now residing at an undisclosed location somewhere in Kent.

The official word from Osborne and his flunkies is that Freya was gotten rid of for her own good. "The car accident could have been fatal, and as a result the family took the view that she was at too much risk living in Downing Street," an unidentified aide to the chancellor confided to the Daily Mail on November 8th. (See "Chancellor's Pooch, a Moody Mouser -- and an Uneasy Coalition That Was Doomed from the Start: George Osborne Evicts Freya the Cat for 'Bullying' His Bichon Frisé Dog.")

By that the official was referring to Freya's having been run down by a motorist on Whitehall Road back on August 7th. (See Cat Defender post of November 10, 2014 entitled "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.")

Quite obviously, Osborne and his subalterns are lying through their rotten teeth about why Freya was given the bum's rush. First of all, the accident occurred more than three months ago and if Osborne and his irresponsible family had cared so much as one whit about her safety and well-being they would have taken action back then.

Secondly, Osborne's contorted logic and warped morality is nothing short of stupefying in that no caring individual ever would abandon a cat under the pretext that by doing so he was saving her life. For example, millions of cat owners all over the world are forced to deal with the perils that threaten the lives of cats that roam but very few of them either choose Osborne's expedient or indulge in his outrageous, self-serving lies.

With all of his millions, Osborne easily could have assured Freya's safety simply by either confining her indoors or extending the height of the walls and fences that surround Downing Street and installing netting on top of them. He additionally could have either trained her to walk on a leash or assigned one of his numerous underlings to have accompanied her on her rambles. Any genuine lover of the species would have been more than willing to have spent the extra money and to have gone to the additional trouble that would have entailed in order to have kept her both safe and happy.

The Other Female in Osborne's Life, Lola

That is perfectly obvious to any thinking individual but it is the Daily Mail that the world has to thank for exposing Osborne as a bare-faced liar. "Freya had to go, it just wasn't working out," an unidentified Downing Street source confided to the newspaper in the article cited supra. "She was a handful. Poor Lola was scared of her."

Lola is a white Bichon Frisé that Osborne acquired less than a year ago and, admittedly, loves madly. "Some early toilet training issues (which are common with this particular breed )... but we don't care," he tweeted recently according to the November 9th edition of The Independent. (See "George Osborne's Family Cat Freya Sent from Downing Street to Kent.") "We love her."

That indeed surely must be the case because Osborne claims that he gets out of bed in order to walk her at both midnight and 6 a.m. He even earlier this year arranged for her to tie the knot in a mock wedding ceremony with another Bichon Frisé named Snowy that is owned by the Conservative Party's chief whip, Michael Gove.

Osborne supposedly decided to get rid of Freya because she had been bullying his beloved Lola but that allegation is difficult to believe. First of all, Freya was seldom home in order to bully anyone even if she had been so inclined. Secondly, the two pets were kept segregated on separate floors.

While it is conceivable that they may have had a few run-ins while passing on the stairs, they likely did not amount to anything serious. The Osborne camp's version of events also strains credulity in that it is always dogs that harass, and often kill, cats and not vice-versa. Most telling of all, it is simply beyond belief that Freya ever would want anything to do with Lola in the first place.

For whatever it is worth, another unidentified aide to the chancellor has shied away from the bullying story while simultaneously going to great lengths in order not to deviate from number 10's original pack of lies. "The issue was her tendency to roam, not her relations with Lola," he told the Daily Mail in the article cited supra. "She has ended up all over the place: Trafalgar Square, the Red Lion pub and miles south of the river. It was getting too much and it was only a matter of time before she was seriously hurt."

It is unclear at this juncture what affect, if any, Freya's ouster will have on the fate of Prime Minister David Cameron's much maligned resident feline, Larry. (See Cat Defender posts of July 21, 2011 and November 28, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Larry Faces Many Challenges and Dangers in His New Rôle as 10 Downing Street's Resident Feline" and "Larry Is Persevering as Best He Can Despite Being Constantly Maligned by Both Fleet Street and the Prime Minister's Duplicitous Staff.")

Nevertheless, her departure is anything but a good omen as far as he is concerned. With politicians being the opportunistic old slugs that they are, Cameron no doubt is closely monitoring the public's reaction to Osborne's shabby mistreatment of Freya before plotting against Larry.

In Freya's case, it is not known either if Osborne paid the staffer to take her off of his hands or who is footing the bill for her food and veterinary care. "A kind member of staff agreed to look after her and the family will get regular updates and photos," is all that a Downing Street source was willing to reveal to The Independent in the article cited supra. "The family are (sic) very grateful."

Freya Where She Felt Most at Home, on the Street


Truer words never have been spoken in that the Osbornes surely must be still popping the champagne corks in celebration of finally getting shed of the cat that they never really wanted in the first place. Even their token commitment to receive photographs and periodic updates on Freya's progress has been passed off as a concession to Osborne's children, thirteen-year-old Luke and eleven-year-old Liberty.

Osborne, quite obviously, could care less about what becomes of her. Even his children's supposed interest in her well-being sounds disingenuous in that it is highly unlikely that he would have been able to have so easily abandoned Freya again if they had, in reality, cared anything about her.

Osborne's troubles are now over but it is an entirely different story as far as Freya is concerned in that the changes she is undergoing in both scenery and ownership in no way address the underlying issues that have plagued her troubled life. First of all, it is not known who will be looking after her in that it certainly will not be the staffer who will be busy most of the time in London doing Osborne's bidding.

Secondly, it has not been disclosed if she will be confined at her new address or allowed to roam at will. Although it may sound counterintuitive, suburban thoroughfares and country roads often are far more dangerous for cats than congested inner city streets, such as those in Westminster. That is because the former attract considerably more speeders as well as those who run down and kill cats for the sheer pleasure of doing so. There also are fewer peelers patrolling the streets outside of the big cities.

Shortly after her birth in April of 2009, Osborne purchased Freya from an undisclosed source as a present for his children. A few months later, he not only carelessly allowed her to disappear but, worst still, made only a half-hearted effort in order to locate her. Consequently, it was not until June of 2012 that she finally was relocated and returned to him and his family.

So, in effect, this is the second time in less than five years that he has inexcusably abandoned her. Even when she was living underneath his roof he did little or nothing in order to protect and safeguard her life.

It thus could be argued on the one hand that she is far better off to be finally rid of both him and his god-rotten family. Hopefully, that will in deed turn out to be the case but even that happy prospect appears to be a long shot.

Specifically, entrusting her care to anyone who would work for such an irresponsible, cold-hearted, and filthy rotter as Osborne is anything but reassuring. Be that as it may, Freya's fate is now sealed for either better or worse in that there is not a solitary animal protection group in all of England that cares enough about her well-being in order to intercede on her behalf.

Freya as She Was and Will Be Remembered

If a private individual ever were to so neglect a cat as Osborne has done with Freya that person likely would have been arrested long ago and the animal confiscated. It is just too bad that has not happened to him because a little time spent standing in the dock at Old Bailey Bird has been known to sober up even those individuals terminally besotted with power and self-importance. In this case, however, Osborne not only has been allowed to get away scot-free with his hideous crimes but to fob off Freya's care on an unknown individual of his own choosing.

By his simply abhorrent mistreatment of her, Osborne has demonstrated writ large that he looks down upon cats as soulless automatons that big shot like him can neglect and abuse to their hearts' content. On that point his thinking is every bit as wrongheaded as his economics. Freya and all other cats have more soul, class, and dignity than a no-account bum like him ever will acquire even if he should live to be as old as Methuselah.

Even though not a great deal is known about what goes on inside a cat's head, it is nevertheless strongly suspected that their minds works pretty much the same way as those of their human counterparts. In particular, home is everything to them and that is verified by the old Sprichwort which maintains that "dogs belong to people but cats belong to places."

In Freya's case, she has been bandied about so much that by now she hardly knows where she belongs. First of all, she was uprooted from her place of birth by Osborne and shanghaied to live at his house in Notting Hill.

She soon thereafter either escaped or got lost and as a consequence was forced to spend the next three years eking out a living as a homeless vagabond. After that it was on to 10 Downing Street for a little more than two years and now she finds herself in Kent surrounded by strangers.

Being shoved around in such a cavalier fashion surely has exacted a high emotional toll from her and may, just perhaps, explain her Wanderlust. She could be in fact still searching for her original home.

It also is perfectly clear that the Osbornes did everything in their power to make her feel as unwelcome as possible in both Notting Hill as well as in London. Cats that are loved, appreciated, and esteemed do not often leave home of their own freewill.

Although there is not any known connection, Freya is not the only four-legged member of the Osborne household to have done a runner in recent months. For example, back in July the family's hamster broke out of its cage and went on the lam for two weeks before it was found and rescued by Freya.

Freya Was Always on the Outside Looking In

So, it is perhaps not just cats that cannot abide living under the same roof with the Osbornes. (See The Independent, August 8, 2014, "George Osborne's Cat Freya Recovering at the Vets After Being Struck by Car.")

In addition to getting used to a new environment and different people in her life, Freya undoubtedly will miss, at least for a while, visiting her old haunts in Westminster, especially the Red Lion, as well as all the attention has been ladled on her in the past. In time, however, she will forget about them just as Fleet Street and the world are destined to forget about her.

Sooner or later, however, a brief notice will appear out of the blue in the London dailies recording her demise. Most likely, she either will be prematurely killed off by her new caretaker or run down and obliterated by a motorist.

That is precisely how it ended for both Humphrey and Sybil after the elites on Downing Street had exploited them to the hilt and then sent them packing. (See Cat Defender posts of April 6, 2006 and August 13, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Humphrey, the Cat from 10 Downing Street Who Once 'Read' His Own Obituary, Passes Away at 18" and "Sybil, 10 Downing Street's Former First Feline, Dies Unexpectedly from an Undisclosed Illness.")

She will not be quite so easily forgotten, however, by her legions of admirers around the world who are going to dearly miss seeing her and reading about her exploits. It truly has been a rare and distinct pleasure to have been able to have shared her life, even if it has been only from afar.

She therefore truly belongs to, not Osborne and his cronies, but rather to the world. If there was so much as an ounce of justice in life, her fate would have been decided by those who love and admire her instead of a second-rate old political hack who merely exploited her for his own benefit.

It has been said before but it nonetheless bears repeating: real men do not hide behind cats and small children. They do not shirk their moral responsibilities and they do not tell outrageous lies.

The only thing positive that can be said about old Georgie "Porgie" is that it is somewhat poetic that a blighter who has spent his entire life down on his knees sucking the pennies out of the cracks of the rich now has been relegated to scooping up dog shit. While he is at it he might as well go whole hog and thus join Lola in a little copraphagia.

Photos: the Evening Standard (Freya relaxing) and The Independent (Lola, Freya in the street, up close, and outside number 11).

Monday, November 10, 2014

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

Freya


"...she also likes to spend time in the bar. On many an evening she can be found in Westminster's favored political watering hole, the Red Lion, despite having to cross four lanes of traffic to get there. Apparently at the end of the evening the barmaids regularly have to carry her back home."
-- Oliver Wright of The Independent

Freya, the resident feline of Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne had an especially close call on the evening of August 7th when she was struck by a motorist outside of her residence at the world famous 10 Downing Street. The details are pretty sketchy but she apparently was attempting to cross perilous Whitehall Road when she was mowed down.

According to the August 8th edition of the Daily Mail, she was left "battered and bruised." (See "George Osborne's Cat Freya Being Treated by Vets after Being Run Over Outside Downing Street.")

The August 8th report in The Independent was even bleaker. "Not very well at all," is how it summed up her condition. (See "George Osborne's Cat Freya Recovering at the Vets after Being Hit by Car.")

Fortunately, kindhearted pedestrians came to her rescue and saw to it that she was rushed to a veterinarian. As best it could be determined, the nature and extent of her injuries never have been made public.

Consequently, it is not known either how much trauma she was put through or how long it took her to recuperate. All that can be said is that she certainly looks well enough in a photograph of her that was posted September 16th on the Facebook page of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. That of course could be an old snap.

The Chancellor afterwards expressed his gratitude to those who came to Freya's assistance but insisted that he would pay for her treatment out of his own pocket. No information has been released as to the identity of her assailant but it would seem likely that she was the victim of a hit-and-run motorist in that it was passersby that came to her aid.

The good news is that Freya somehow survived and is still gracing the face of the earth. The bad news is that Osborne, his authoress wife, Frances, and their two children, Luke and Liberty, have not publicly announced any preventative measures designed to better protect her fragile life.

Relying upon the general public in order to look after a cat is an extremely dicey proposition as both a nameless two-year-old tuxedo and twenty-seven-year-old dog lover Dylan Cottriall of St. Helens in Merseyside found out firsthand back in July. Emaciated, dehydrated, and near death as the result of an infestation of fleas that were sucking the very life out of her, the cat had keeled over in the gutter alongside a busy highway.

Freya in a September 16th Photo Released by the Foreign Office

Unlike the Londoners who came to Freya's rescue, none of the passing motorists could be bothered with stopping to check on her condition. Even Cottriall at first thought that she likely had been run down and killed by a hit-and-run motorist but, thankfully, he had enough compassion and concern for her in order to pull over and make certain one way or the other.

"I stopped and went over to her to see if she had a collar and it was then I could see she was moving," he related to The Reporter of St. Helens on July 11th. (See "Outrage as Drivers Ignore a Dying Cat.") "She was just a bag of bones and had simply given up. Although she was at death's door she didn't stop purring even though she was too weak to do anything to help herself."

Cottriall then rushed the cat to Paws n Claws where she was provided with the emergency veterinary care that she so desperately needed in order to recuperate and thus to go on living. At last report she was in foster care with Gill Farrar of St. Helens.

Although little or nothing is known about the events that led to her abandonment alongside that busy thoroughfare, it is an entirely different story as far as Freya is concerned. Born in April of 2009, Osborne reportedly purchased her as a present for his children while he and his family were residing in Notting Hill, a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in central London.

She did not stick around for long, however, and instead mysteriously disappeared a few months later. The Osbornes reportedly blanked the tony neighborhood with "Lost Cat" posters but Freya never was located.

They eventually wrote her off as being dead and forgot all about her. The Conservatives later prevailed in the 2010 election and a year later the Osbornes moved into 10 Downing Street when George became chancellor of the Exchequer.

As was the case not only with Mark Twain but Prime Minister John Major's cat, Humphrey as well, the news of Freya's death turned out to be premature. In June of 2012, Frances received the shock of her life when she got a telephone call informing her that Freya not only had been found but, best of all, was alive and well.

The identification was made thanks to implanted microchip after Freya had been brought to a veterinarian for unspecified reasons by an unidentified neighbor of the Osbornes in Notting Hill. As best the story can be pieced together, the neighbor had not seen the posters and, believing her to be a stray, had been feeding her in a garden.

St. Helens' Cat, Cottriall, Gill Farrar, and a Woman Identified Only as Lizzie

Since the neighbor resides only a few streets removed from the Osbornes' dwelling, the only logical conclusion to be drawn from events is that they neither searched very hard nor very long for her. In particular, it is totally inexcusable that they did not personally knock on every door in the neighborhood.

That criticism in no way obviates the myriad of difficulties associated with locating an errant cat. Motorists, dogs and other animals, as well as ailurophobes kill them with impunity and afterwards their corpses are quickly disposed of by either garbagemen or the summertime heat.

Animal Control officers, the RSPCA, and other so-called humane groups steal and exterminate them all the time. Plus, they often become accidentally trapped inside automobiles, boxes, discarded furniture, and other movable objects and as a result wind up hundreds, even thousands, of miles from home.

Many private individuals also rescue homeless cats and then lock them up permanently inside, thus foreclosing any opportunity for them to ever return home. In spite of all those impediments, if a lost cat is still living outdoors on its home turf someone likely has seen it and probably is feeding it.

Although the neighbor in question is to be commended for feeding and providing Freya with veterinary assistance, it is shameful that the individual did not provide her with shelter. Not only are London winters far from being pleasant affairs, but she would have been much safer spending at least part of her time indoors.

After having been successfully reunited with the Osbornes, Freya took up residence with them at 10 Downing Street which, contrary to popular belief, serves as the official residence of the chancellor of the Exchequer. The prime minister and his family reside at the more commodious number 11.

It did not take the intrepid moggy long, however, to put her own indelible paw prints on her job as the number two mouser in Her Majesty's government. That began when the Osbornes, not wanting to lose track of her again, outfitted her with a £50 diamante collar with a tag.

Even that act of bon sens was not without controversy coinciding as it did with the austerity budget that Osborne had foisted upon his fellow citizens. (See the Daily Mail, July 20, 2012, "Feline Flush: Chancellor's Cat Shows Off Her Diamante Collar as She Prowls Downing Street.")

Freya and Her Pricey Collar

Later in October of that year, she became involved in a well-publicized scrap with Prime Minister David Cameron's cat, Larry, on the steps of number 10. One observer even later claimed that she had gotten the better of him. (See The Telegraph, October 16, 2012, "Police Called to Break Up Violent Cat Fight in Downing Street.")

It even has been alleged that she is a far more proficient mouser than Larry. That in turn spawned an erroneous rumor that she even had taken his job. (See the Daily Mail, September 16, 2012, "A Paw Performance! Larry the Downing Street Cat Is Sacked as Number 10's Chief Mouser after Chillaxing (sic) Too Much on the Job.")

One of the numerous limitations associated with implanted microchips is that they neither can be seen nor deciphered with the naked eye; for that, scanners owned almost exclusively by veterinarians and shelters are required. It therefore was fortunate that the Osbornes had equipped Freya with a collar and a tag because in May of this year she did yet still another runner.

On that occasion, she wound up in Vauxhall, more than two kilometers removed from home, and in the borough of Lambeth. Fortunately, she was found by Kate Jones of Thames Reach's London Street Rescue who allowed her to spend the night on her pillow.

Thanks to the information contained in Freya's tag, Jones was able to contact the Osbornes who immediately dispatched a chauffeur-driven limousine in order to collect her. It is unclear from press reports but apparently Freya was AWOL for only one night.

Her deliverance did not come without a political price tag, however, in that Jones took full advantage of the golden opportunity presented to her in order to post not only a photograph of Freya online but to accompany it with a blast at Osborne for his disgraceful neglect of the homeless. Regrettably, there is not any evidence to suggest that the dressing down that he received from her has had any impact upon his policies.

Much more importantly, it is doubtful that he even realizes just how rare it is to locate a lost cat once, let alone twice. "It's wonderful when you read about these reunions, but unfortunately for ninety per cent of lost cats, there is no returning home," Lorie Chortyk of the BCSPCA somberly pointed out to The Province of Vancouver on January 2, 2011. (See "Cats Rarely Come Back.")

The dangers associated with Freya's occasionally getting lost pale in comparison to the menace posed by London motorists. In particular, she is known to be a regular at the Red Lion located at 48 Parliament Street (a  continuation of Whitehall under a different name) and a little less than half a kilometer  removed from home. "...she also likes to spend time in the bar. On many an evening she can be found in Westminster's favored political watering hole, the Red Lion, despite having to cross four lanes of traffic to get there," is how Oliver Wright of The Independent described her perilous trek on June 7, 2013. (See "Lost Pet or Double Agent? Meet Freya, the Roving Tabby of the Treasury.") "Apparently at the end of the evening the barmaids regularly have to carry her back home."

Freya and Larry

Even more astonishing, Osborne is acutely aware of just how much danger he is placing her in through his abject neglect of her. For instance, back in February he publicly acknowledged that she was a regular at the bar. (See YouTube video of February 28, 2014 entitled "Fuller's Red Lion, Westminster, Is Reopened by George Osborne.")

She also has been sighted backstage at the Trafalgar Studio Theatre at 14 Whitehall, also half a kilometer from home but in the opposite direction from the Red Lion. Her roaming around the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Cabinet Office at number 10, and Exchequer do not pose much of a threat to her safety in that they are closely situated together and on the same side of Whitehall.

That is not meant to imply that even Downing Street itself is completely free of dangers as the aforementioned Humphrey discovered back in the 1990's when he came within an eyelash of being run down and killed by a limousine lugging around the ultimate political whore, Bill Clinton. (See Cat Defender post of April 6, 2006 entitled "Humphrey, the Cat from 10 Downing Street Who Once 'Read' His Own Obituary, Passes Away at 18.")

The failure of Old Blighty's political elites to better protect their resident felines is made all the more inexcusable by the petit fait that it would be rather easy and inexpensive for them to create a safe haven around numbers ten and eleven for Freya, Larry, and all future cats to roam. The area already provides enough gardens and public buildings in order to furnish them with plenty of fresh air, sunlight, exercise, and mental stimulation all within a safe and secure environment.

All that is needed would be to extend the height of the fences and walls which surround the compound and to install netting on the top. Aesthetics are not an issue given that Downing Street has been closed to the public since 1989.

An even better solution would be for the authorities to go whole hog and close Whitehall and the City of Westminster to all vehicular traffic. The time has come to remove both murderous motorists and their greenhouse gas emitting noisy machines from the inner cities and to transform those areas into pedestrian malls.

Neither proposal would be too much to ask especially considering how all recent occupants of Downing Street have so nakedly exploited their cats as valuable political props while simultaneously demonstrating little or no regard for their personal safety and well-being. Almost as shameful, no animal protection group in England is willing to so much as even contemplate holding them accountable under the anti-cruelty statutes.

The cold shoulder that Cameron and his minions have shown Larry over the years is a good case in point. Back in 2009 when he was still in the opposition and only daydreaming of political power and glory, Cameron put the kibosh on any notion of there being a resident feline in any new government that was led by him.

Freya at Home

By the time that February of 2011 had rolled around he had changed his tune and had consented to adopt Larry from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in south London. (See Cat Defender post of July 21, 2011 entitled "Larry Faces Many Challenges and Dangers in His New Rôle as 10 Downing Street's Resident Feline.")

It did not take long, however, for Larry to wear out his welcome and for Cameron and his cronies to start belittling and sniping at him at every opportunity behind his back. (See Cat Defender post of November 28, 2011 entitled "Larry Is Persevering as Best He Can Despite Being Constantly Maligned by Both Fleet Street and the Prime Minister's Duplicitous Staff.")

A fork in the road of sorts was reached last year with the publication of Matthew d'Ancona's tome, In It Together. In the tell-all exposé, d'Ancona claims that Cameron does not care for Larry because he has failed to solve the rodent problem plaguing his residence and leaves cat hairs on his expensive suits. The prime minister also apparently does not even like the smell of cat food.

Once news of Cameron's reported antipathy toward Larry became public fodder a "Save Larry" campaign was launched on Twitter and that, at least for the time being, has saved both his job and home. "I can set everyone's mind at rest in the #Save Larry campaign," Cameron tweeted. "He and I get on purr-fectly well. The kids love him too."

Should the Tories fail to prevail in next year's upcoming election, Cameron will no longer need Larry and that very well could end up costing him his home. In that case, he most likely would be either sent back to Battersea or fobbed off on to an obliging staffer.

That is precisely the cruel fate that befell Humphrey. Although both the Iron Lady and Major welcomed him with open-arms, Tony Blair's resident witch, Cherie, could not bear the sight of him.

The miserable old hag, whom the Countess of Wessex once referred to as "horrid, horrid, horrid," first attempted to have him done in and when that ploy was foiled by Fleet Street she had him exiled to the residence of an unidentified staffer. "Humphrey is voting with his paws," a Tory spokesman chimed in on that unhappy occasion. "After eight happy years under a Conservative government he could take only six months of Labor."

He died in obscurity in March of 2006, but never has been forgotten. "He has caught numerous mice and the odd rat," a Cabinet dossier compiled on him and released in 2005 stated. "By a perhaps unfair comparison, Rentokill have been operating for years and have never caught a thing."

Freya Is Given the Bum's Rush by a Foreign Office Flathead

The document went on to famously describe that wonderful feline gentleman as "a workaholic who spends nearly all his time at the office, has no criminal record, does not socialize a great deal or go to many parties and has not been involved in any sex or drug scandals that we know of." (See The Times of London, March 20, 2006, "Political World Mourns a Killer Named Humphrey" and former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe's loving remembrance of him in The Telegraph, January 26, 2011, "A New Cat for Westminster.")

A simply adorable black and white female named Sybil who was owned by Osborne's predecessor, Alistair Darling and his wife, Maggie, was treated even shabbier than Humphrey. Brought down from Edinburgh by the Darlings on September 10, 2007, she initially was given free rein of the grounds and even had her own basket at the Exchequer.

"Sybil has been brought down because there are mice here," Darling declared upon her arrival. "She's a really good mouser." (See Cat Defender post of September 19, 2007 entitled "After a Dreary Ten-Year Absence, Number 10 Downing Street Has a New Resident Feline and Her Name Is Sybil.")

Alas, even that valuable and much sought after talent was not nearly enough in order to save either her job or home because Darling's boss, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, turned out to be a closet cat-hater. Sybil accordingly lasted only six months on the job before she was unceremoniously sacked and cruelly fobbed off on an old acquaintance of the unconscionable Darlings.

Like Humphrey before her, she either died or was deliberately killed off by her new owner on July 27, 2009 while living in obscurity. (See Cat Defender post of August 13, 2009 entitled "Sybil, 10 Downing Street's Former First Feline, Dies Unexpectedly from an Undisclosed Illness.")

"As numerous thinkers have noted, cats often have a soothing quality on their owners," is how The Independent began its July 29th eulogy of her. (See "Feline Friends.") "Granted, the economy is looking as shaky as a newborn kitten at the moment, but imagine what condition it might be in
without Sybil."

The one thing that both Freya and Larry have going for themselves is that they are owned by Tories who are occasionally more favorably disposed toward the species than their counterparts in the Labor Party. Additionally, Osborne appears to genuinely like animals in that in addition to Freya his family has a budgerigar named Gibson, a Bichon Frise named Lola, a hamster, and a pair of goldfish.

The odds therefore are at least even that he will choose to hang on to Freya regardless of what happens next year at the polls. Unless he dramatically mends his irresponsible ways and takes considerably better care of her, however, that is going to be a moot point.

Freya Makes Yet Another Daring Escape

In spite of their myriad of shortcomings and failings as guardians, English prime ministers and chancellors of the Exchequer treat cats slightly more humane than their utterly nauseating American counterparts who care little or nothing about the species, animals in general, and Mother Earth; au contraire, the only things that they care about are sucking up to the rich, lining their pockets, killing people, and telling lies.

For example, George H. Bush's cat, India, was either killed off or died from natural causes shortly before he and his family vacated the White House. (See Cat Defender post of January 24, 2009 entitled "India Dies at Age Eighteen Leaving the White House Without a Resident Feline for
the First Time in Sixteen Years.")

Callous and uncaring Clinton fobbed off Socks on his secretary, Betty Currie, as soon as he no longer had any further need of him. (See Cat Defender posts of December 24, 2008 and March 12, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Former First Cat Socks Is Gravely Ill with Cancer and Other Assorted Maladies" and "Too Cheap and Lazy to Care for Him During His Final Days, Betty Currie Has Socks Killed Off and His Corpse Burned.")

The utterly worthless stooge currently ensconced in the White House not only does not want anything to do with cats but has sat idly by while the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has launched en masse extermination campaigns against them on San Nicolas, the Florida Keys, and elsewhere. He also has sanctioned the USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service's unwarranted intrusion into the private lives of Ernest Hemingway's world famous polydactyls in Key West. (See Cat Defender posts of February 24, 2012, June 23, 2011, and January 24, 2013 entitled, respectively, "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Humane Society Hoist a Glass in Celebration of Their Extermination of the Cats on San Nicolas Island," "Wallowing in Welfare Dollars, Lies, and Prejudice, the Bloodthirsty United States Fish and Wildlife Service Is Again Killing Cats in the Florida Keys," and "The Feds Now Have Cats and Their Owners Exactly Where They Want Them Thanks to an Outrageous Court Ruling Targeting the Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West.")

All of those atrocities are in addition to the tens of thousands of bobcats, cougars, jaguars, lynxes, ocelots, and other large cats that are being systematically liquidated each year by the USDA's Wildlife Services and other federal agencies. Even more alarming, the fate of both small and big cats alike is not even part of the political discussion; the president and the feds merely assume that they have a divine mandate to do with them as they see fit.

Although politicians are entitled to own cats just like everyone else, they should be required by law to not only take proper care of them but to respect their inalienable right to live. Furthermore, in failing to fulfill their moral and custodial responsibilities to them, they are setting a simply horrible example for their constituents.

An individual can, either wittingly or unwittingly, fail a cat in countless ways but to knowingly allow one to regularly venture out into traffic on a busy, four-lane road constitutes the very epitome of animal cruelty and Osborne accordingly should be held accountable for  his shameful negligence. Unlike with Larry, however, there does not appear to be a "Save Freya" campaign on the horizon and that makes her situation all the more desperate because her precious life is rapidly slipping away like sand through an hourglass.

Photos: The Independent (Freye up close, at home, in the street, and scaling a wall), Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Facebook (Freya beside a statue), The Reporter (St. Helens' cat with her rescuers), Political Pictures (Freya's diamante collar), and The Telegraph (Freya and Larry).

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hamish McHamish's Derelict Owner Reenters His Life after Fourteen Years of Abject Neglect Only to Have Him Killed Off after He Contracts a Preeminently Treatable Common Cold

Hamish McHamish

"I picked him out of the litter because he was the boldest. Arguably that was a mistake."
-- Marianne Baird

The only thing worse than reporting upon the death of a cat is being forced to bury one. It nevertheless is a sorrowful task that must be performed.

It therefore was with profound sadness coupled with a burning outrage that it recently was learned that former BBC producer Marianne Baird had enlisted the services of an unidentified veterinarian in St. Andrews in order to kill off the world famous Hamish McHamish. (See Cat Defender post of June 20, 2014 entitled "St. Andrews Honors Hamish McHamish with a Bronze Statue but Does Not Have the Decency, Love, and Compassion in Order to Provide Him with a Warm, Secure, and Permanent Home.")

That dirty and patently immoral deed was carried out early on September 11th allegedly because the handsome longhaired orange and white tom with watery green eyes had contracted a common cold. "In the end, the chest infection that he had been battling proved too much for him and the kindest thing to do was to let him go," either Baird or one of her flunkies announced on that date in an untitled article that appeared on Hamish's popular Facebook page.

As best it could be determined, he had been ill for only a few days in that an August 25th note on his Facebook page failed to make any mention of him being sick. In fact, the first inkling that there was anything amiss with him at all surfaced on September 9th in another untitled article on his Facebook page. Even that posting is remarkable only for what it failed to disclose. For example:
"Most of you will have noticed that I've been a little quieter lately. That's because I have been rather poorly. At fifteen years young, things that were once easy to overcome are now more difficult. My mum and the vet are keeping a close eye on me and I am being very well looked after. For now though, I'm taking some time to try to get better."
As it always is the case in matters such as this, no specifics as to Hamish's health have been revealed. All that the public has to go on is Baird's assertion that he was better off dead.

Without knowing all the specifics it is difficult to speak with any degree of authority but it nonetheless is strongly suspected that Hamish was killed off simply because Baird was too cheap and lazy in order to care for him during his time of greatest need. As far as her accomplice is concerned, it is well established that murdering cats, dogs, and other animals constitutes a substantial portion of all veterinarians' income.

For instance, it is common practice for these charlatans to charge distraught owners an arm and a leg in order to treat ailing cats. When they demur, the bloodsuckers counter by offering to whack their companions at a far more reasonable fee. If truth in advertising any longer counted for much of anything, the members of this disgraceful profession would be compelled by law to promote themselves as butchers as opposed to animal doctors.

The premature, cold-blooded killing off of Hamish involves considerably more than moral and ethical objections however in that it is beyond debate that common colds in cats, as in humans, are preeminently treatable maladies. While it is true that a cat's immune system is pretty much on its own when it comes to fighting off the primary viral infection, the amino acid Lysine has been shown to be helpful in that regard. Antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, can be prescribed in order to treat secondary bacterial infections.

In addition to all of that, cats need to be kept hydrated and well nourished. In the event that for whatever reason they fail to eat and drink, they must be forcibly fed and given subcutaneous fluids.

"The prognosis for recovery from viral upper respiratory infections is excellent, with the majority of adult cats making a full recovery," Manhattan veterinarian Arnold Plotnick wrote August 17, 2006 in an article entitled "Viral Upper Respiratory Infections in Cats" that can be found online at www.manhattancats.com.

Furthermore, it is not merely unconscionable owners like Baird and moneygrubbing veterinarians that are in the habit of killing off cats with common colds but Animal Control officers and shelters as well. For example, on September 1st of last year Burlington Animal Control stole and subsequently murdered Anna Latimer's six-year-old gray and deaf cat, Snuffy, all because she, like Hamish, had come down with a common cold.

Like Plotnick, Scott Mathison of Queen West Animal Hospital in Toronto is of the opinion that cats suffering from common colds and the herpes virus should not be killed. "Definitely not," he told Metro Canada on September 6, 2013. (See "Runaway Cat Euthanized Without Owner's Consent over Cold-Like Symptoms.")

Although it is utterly reprehensible, the sad truth of the matter is that there are not many owners and even fewer shelters that are willing to devote the time and money required in order to nurse cats stricken with common colds back to health. Rather, they look upon them in much the same fashion as they do pairs of worn-out shoes.

The common thread that unites both individuals and shelters alike is the pressing desire to get rid of aged, sickly, and injured cats as quickly and as cheaply as possible. The mere existence of such a perverted sense of values speaks volumes for the human race but it is anything but a flattering story.

Hamish on the Go, July 18th

Hamish's immune system ultimately may not have been resilient enough in order to have successfully warded off the infection, especially considering his advanced years, but he unreservedly deserved to have been given every opportunity, no matter how marginal, to have gone on living. By depriving him of that opportunity both Baird and the attending practitioner are guilty of cold-blooded, premeditated murder.

Baird's behavior is especially appalling in that she cruelly abandoned Hamish to wander the forbidding streets of St. Andrews like a threadbare vagabond as soon as he had celebrated his first birthday. Then, lo and behold, she reentered his life fourteen years later only to have him killed off.

Even if worse had come to worst, Hamish was quite capable of dying on his own and at his own sweet time and he certainly neither needed nor wanted any input from his derelict owner. The dying part of existence is every bit as easy as falling off of a log backwards; it is the living part that rips out the guts of both cats and men.

Baird's simply abhorrent mistreatment of Hamish bears a striking resemblance to that meted out to another fifteen-year-old cat named Dodger from West Street in Bridport, Dorset, by his derelict owner, Fee Jeanes. Too busy pursuing a career as a hoofer in order to properly care for him, she likewise turned loose the ginger-colored tom to ride the buses in Dorset and Devonshire by his lonesome and only reentered his life at the last minute in February of 2012 after he had been diagnosed with a stomach tumor.

Like Baird, she quickly dispensed with her custodial and moral obligations to Dodger by having him whacked by the practitioners at Bredy Veterinary Centre. Quite obviously, both mesdames consider abject neglect and jabs of sodium pentobarbital to constitute the alpha and the omega of proper cat care. (See Cat Defender post of August 27, 2014 entitled "After Traveling for So Many Miles on the Bridport to Charmouth Bus, Dodger's Last Ride Is, Ironically, to the Vet Who Unconscionably Snuffs Out His Precious Life at the Urging of His Derelict Owner.")

In London, the Fleet Street crowd is often disparagingly referred to as reptiles and that comparison is grossly unfair, not to the former, but rather to the latter. By virtue of the privileged perches that they occupy as members of the Fourth Estate, Baird and her colleagues go through life believing that they are entitled to only the very best that this world has to offer.

Such an attitude is accompanied by the equally strong conviction that they owe absolutely nothing to anyone in return. Not surprisingly, journalists have a long and checkered history of abusing and killing cats. (See Cat Defender posts of July 17, 2013, September 28, 2011, and February 9, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Not Satisfied with Merely Whacking Meiko, Garrison Keillor Struts on Stage in Order to Shed a Bucketful of Crocodile Tears and to Denigrate the Entire Species," "Marvin Is Betrayed, Abducted, and Murdered by a Journalist and a Shelter Who Preposterously Maintain That They Were Doing Him a Favor," and "Newspaper Cat Named Tripod Is Killed Off by Journalists He Befriended in Vermont.")

All of those heinous crimes are in addition to the simply outrageous libels and slanders that the capitalist media are constantly directing at the species at the urging of ornithologists, wildlife biologists, and the United States government. (See Cat Defender posts of March 23, 2007, December 8, 2007, July 10, 2008, and June 15, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Bird Lovers in South Africa Break Out the Champagne to Celebrate the Merciless Gunning Down of the Last of Robben Island's Cats," "All the Lies That Fit: Scheming New York Times Hires a Bird Lover to Render His 'Unbiased' Support for James M. Stevenson," "The Ventura County Star Races to the Defense of the Cat-Killers on San Nicolas Island," "and "American Bird Conservancy, The New York Times, and the Humane Society Unite to Form an Achse des Bösen Against Cats.")

Every cat-hating rant ever issued by PETA has been duly reported as the gospel truth by seemingly every newspaper in America and last year the Orlando Sentinel stooped so low as to publish the National Audubon Society's diabolical proposal to poison all cats. (See Cat Defender post of May 18, 2013 entitled "Ted Williams and the National Audubon Society Issue a Call for Cats to Be Poisoned with Tylenol® and Then Try to Lie Out of It.")

In spite of that it nevertheless would be incorrect to single out journalists as being the only professionals who harbor in their malignant bosoms an abiding contempt for the sanctity of feline life. Au contraire, librarians, politicians, phony-baloney no-kill operations, and even cat advocacy groups feel the same way. (See Cat Defender posts of December 7, 2006, March 12, 2009, October 23, 2012, and January 2, 2013 entitled, respectively, "After Nineteen Years of Service and Companionship, Ingrates at Iowa Library Murder Dewey Readmore Books," "Too Lazy and Cheap to Care for Him During His Final Days, Bettie Currie Has Socks Killed Off and His Corpse Burned," "A Supposedly No-Kill Operation in Marblehead Betrays Sally and Snuffs Out Her Life Instead of Providing Her with a Home and Veterinary Care," and "Alley Cat Allies Demonstrates Its Utter Contempt for the Sanctity of Life by Unconscionably Killing Off Its Office Cat, Jared.")

When push finally came to shove, not even being a heroine with international stature was sufficient in order to have saved the beloved Scarlett from the hangman. (See Cat Defender post of October 27, 2008 entitled "Loved and Admired All Over the World, Feline Heroine Scarlett Is Killed Off by Her Owners after She Becomes Ill.")

No details have been disclosed as to what was done with Hamish's remains. Likewise, it is not even known if Baird had the decency to provide him with a proper funeral.

His Facebook page, which at last glance had attracted eight-thousand, nine-hundred-sixty-six followers, has not been updated since the tragic announcement of September 11th. All that is known for certain is that shortly after his death bouquets of flowers and lighted candles were dropped off at the bronze statue of him that was unveiled in Church Square on April 5th.

Hopefully it is not the case, but more than likely he was either cremated or simply chucked out in the trash in that it is hard to imagine someone like Baird doing right by him in death since she had so miserably failed him in life. Even more telling, she does not appear to have been all that broken up about putting an end to his all-too-brief sojourn upon this earth.

"I think the whole story's absurd," she cackled to the University of St. Andrews' student newspaper, The Saint, on September 18th. (See "Hamish McHamish: "He Started Out...") "He started out as just this little cat and became a positive legend. He was just a cat who would walk by himself."

Bronze Is a Poor Substitute for the Real Thing

Her last sentence is, rather obviously, a reference to Rudyard Kipling's scurrilous short-story, "The Cat Who Walked by Himself," which appeared in his 1902 book entitled Just So Stories. In it Kipling feebly attempts to justify the naked abuse of cats by what he estimates to be sixty per cent of men and one-hundred per cent of dogs on the grounds that cats are too independent and therefore totally unwilling to become slaves.

Kipling's forever nameless cat successfully ingratiates himself to a cavewoman by catching mice and looking after her newborn. In return, she allows him to enter her cave, to warm by the fire, and to drink milk three times a day.

Even in agreeing to become domesticated, the cat still insisted upon maintaining his independence and although that was agreeable with her it was a totally different matter as far as her husband was concerned. "I will catch mice when I am in the cave for always and always and always; but I am still the cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me," he pledged to the caveman.

"Not when I am near," the brute shot back. "If you had not said that last I would have put all these things (two leather boots, a stone ax, a piece of wood, and a hatchet) away for always and always and always; but I am now going to throw my two boots and my little stone ax (that makes three) at you whenever I meet you. And so shall all proper men do after me."

The cat likewise attempted in vain to maintain his independence from the caveman's dog. "I will be kind to the baby while I am in the cave, as long as he does not pull my tail too hard, for always and always and always," he agreed to the canine's demand. "But still I am the cat that walks by himself, and all places are alike to me!"

"Not when I am near," the dog barked back. "If you had not said that last word I would have shut my mouth for always and always and always; but now I am going to hunt you up a tree whenever I meet you. And so shall all proper dogs do after me."

Philadelphia scribe Agnes Repplier summed up the dilemma considerably less allegorical in her essay entitled "Agrippina" which appeared in the June 1892 edition of The Atlantic Monthly. "Rude and masterful souls resent this fine self-sufficiency in a domestic animal, and require that it shall have no will but theirs, no pleasure that does not emanate from them," she astutely observed. "Yet there are people, less magisterial, perhaps or less exacting, who believe that true friendship, even with an animal, may be built upon mutual esteem and independence; that to demand gratitude is to be unworthy of it; and that obedience is not essential to agreeable and healthy intercourse."

Both Kipling's and Repplier's insights into how both men and dogs feel about cats have stunning philosophical and political ramifications. Specifically, it thus would appear that what most men truly abhor above all else is independence and freedom and it does not necessarily matter whether such behavior is exhibited by either a cat or one of their fellows.

Kiplings's portrayal of both men and dogs also exposes them to be totalitarians who are not only prone to violence but unwilling to honor their agreements. Women, on the other hand, come across as being considerably more open-minded, reasonable, just and, above all, less belligerent.

According to Hamish's obituary in London's Independent on September 11th, Baird acquired "replacement pets" soon after she irresponsibly had abandoned Hamish to the streets. (See "Hamish McHamish Dead: St. Andrew's (sic) Town Cat Passes Away after Battling Chest Infection.")

Although it is not known either what those pets were or how she has treated them, it is strongly suspected that some of them were dogs and that certainly would be in keeping with both her personality as well as her apparent fondness for Kipling's overt denigration of cats. His summation is quite illuminating. For example:
"Pussy can sit by the fire and sing, pussy can climb a tree, or play with a silly old cork and string to 'muse herself, not me. But I like Binkie my dog, because he knows how to behave; so Binkie's the same as the first friend was, and I am the man in the cave. Pussy will play man-Friday till it's time to wet her paw and make her walk on the windowsill (for the footprint Crusoe saw); then she fluffs her tail and meows, and scratches and won't attend. But Binkie will play whatever I choose and he is my true first friend. Pussy will rub my knees with her head pretending she loves me hard; but the minute I go to my bed pussy runs out in the yard, and there she stays till the morning light; so I know it is only pretend; but Binkie, he snores at my feet all night, and he is my firstest friend!"

In rattling off such age-old prejudices as those, Kipling inadvertently revealed himself to be a complete imbecile when it comes to cats. Actually, they can be every bit as devoted and loving as dogs.

Secondly, they were domesticated by farmers in Cyprus, the Near East, and China and certainly not by cavemen. (See Washington University of St. Louis press release of December 16, 2013, "Cat Domestication Traced to Chinese Farmers Five-Thousand-Three-Hundred Years Ago.")

Thirdly, few cats, if any, are truly able to walk by themselves, especially in a world that is so chock-full of despisers of the species. The only thing that Old Kippie got right was when he correctly identified himself as a caveman and for Baird to rely upon his sottise in order to excuse her neglect of Hamish is both shameful and disgraceful.

Cats consequently require the assistance of sympathetic individuals if they are going to survive and flourish in this hostile world. With that being the case, the key issue then boils down to the specifics of the Faustian bargains that are foisted upon them and in Hamish's case he clearly received the shaft whereas Baird and St. Andrews got the gold mine.

Hamish Is Chased Up a Tree by a Pair of Dogs 

Flora Selwyn, editor of St. Andrews in Focus and who also spearheaded the drive to raise the £5,000 needed for the statue, recalls how his presence lifted the spirits of the bedraggled construction crew at the St. Andrews Brewing Company. "The workmen weren't sure they would get everything done on time. They looked down, saw his tail waving and everyone knew everything would be fine," is how she chose to remember him to The Saint. "That's the reputation he acquired. He was rather magical in that sense."

Although there is not any obvious reason to doubt her sincerity, it nevertheless is strange that the September-October edition of her magazine neglects to make any mention whatsoever of Hamish's demise. The rag's web site likewise is pretending that he is still alive by continuing to showcase a video about the unveiling of his statue.

"It has to do with fantasy," is how she went onto explain his popularity to The Saint. "It's just a lovely fairy tale."

Whereas that may have been true as far as Selwyn and her fellow denizens of St. Andrews were concerned, it was an entirely different matter for Hamish who had a hard life and an even crueler, premature death. Astrid Lindgren may have romanticized life on the road in her 1956 thoroughly enchanting little volume, Rasmus and the Vagabond, but there cannot be any denying that being homeless is one of the most disastrous fates that ever could befall a cat.

That makes it especially difficult to comprehend how Baird could have so cruelly condemned him to a lifetime on the street. "Sometimes he'd come home for dinner," she disclosed to The Saint. "But it wasn't long before he'd be back in Queens Gardens or further afield. The garden just wasn't big enough for him."

Declaration such as that do not stand the test of reason in that although cats like to roam, most of them also enjoy the availability of free food and shelter, especially during inclement weather. One possible conclusion to be drawn from Hamish's atypical behavior is that he was made to feel, for whatever reason, unwelcome at home.

Even more alarming, Baird apparently did not make all that much of an effort to keep him at home. "When he started to wander around, he used to go to Greyfriars Garden at night because it was a good hunting ground. I would call him and carry him home," she told The Courier of Dundee on April 7th. (See "St. Andrews Pays Tribute to Famous Feline Hamish McHamish.") "If he didn't want to come home, he would jump over the wall. But more and more, he would just jump over the wall."

In all fairness to her, keeping a cat at home is a far more difficult task than most people realize. That is especially the case after one has gotten a taste of freedom.

In the final analysis, there is neither a right nor a wrong answer to this dilemma. Cats deserve their freedom but it is extremely dangerous for them to be outside without a chaperon. One possible compromise would be to provide them with large fenced-in yards that are covered on the top with nets.

Although doing so is feasible for only a handful of owners, that is exactly what veterinarian Hugh Chisholm did for his cat, Tuxedo Stan. In the end, however, he negated that good deed by killing him off after he became ill. (See Cat Defender post of September 26, 2013 entitled "Former Halifax Mayoral Hopeful Tuxedo Stan Is Killed Off by His Owner after Chemotherapy Fails to Halt the Onslaught of Renal Lymphoma.")

Furthermore, keeping cats cooped up inside polluted houses and apartments all the time is not only cruel and harmful to their health but it is the first step on the long road to denaturing them. In addition to robbing them of their freedom, the majority of them nowadays are sterilized, fitted with cancer-causing microchips, and fed diets of cheap kibble instead of the meat that they crave.

Some owners even cruelly declaw them while others, ably assisted by unscrupulous veterinarians, dope them up in order to keep them from going stir crazy as the result of their boredom, isolation, and confinement. Even during their twilight years their owners cruelly deprive them of even dying natural deaths.

Just when it would appear that modern man had all but exhausted his bag of dirty tricks when it comes to denaturing cats, Sarah Ellis of Lincoln University in Lincolnshire recently proposed that their ownership should be strictly curtailed. "I think what would be helpful for people would be to restrict the number of cats that they own," she declared to The Independent on September 29th. (See "Expert Urges Cat Lovers to Own Just One Animal Each.")

Ellis' assertion that multiple cat households lead to territorial disputes and cause psychological harm brought a swift rebuke from Celia Hammond whose charity, the Celia Hammond Animal Trust (CHAT), did such a herculean job in saving approximately two-hundred cats from the wrecking ball when large swaths of East London where demolished in order to make way for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. "The majority of cats are very gregarious. They love each other so much, they enjoy living together and grooming each other," she retorted to The Independent. "If someone was out all day, we wouldn't give them just one cat because they would be lonely; we would give them two cats. Multiple cat households are a good thing."

Hammond summed up by putting the boneheaded Ellis in her place. "This is an academic view," she told The Independent. "Those involved in rehoming cats on a daily basis know this is ridiculous." (Also see CHAT's October 2nd rebuttal to Ellis on its Facebook page.)

Hamish Lies in Bed on August 25th

In spite of the myriad of difficulties confronting a homeless cat, there is absolutely nothing in press reports that would tend to indicate that Baird even so much as endeavored to get Hamish off the street during either the wintertime or whenever St. Andrews was buffeted by violent storms. All that has been disclosed is that she did have enough concern for his well-being so as to provide him with an annual veterinary checkup.

That may be too harsh of an assessment of her guardianship but at the same time it is difficult to get around the inescapable conclusion that she could have done considerably more in order to have made his life easier. Either way, it is she who is going to have to live with her callousness and that potentially could create a dilemma if she, against all odds, should turn out to have a conscience.

"I picked him out of the litter because he was the boldest," she admitted to The Saint. "Arguably that was a mistake."

Truer words never have been spoken in that Hamish certainly deserved a far more attentive guardian than she ever was to him. Her glaring shortcomings did not deter her, however, from basking in the limelight once he had became an international star.

"I can't really get over it," she gushed to The Courier in the article cited supra. "All I did was get a kitten."

Apparently Hamish was able to spend some nights in the flats of compassionate students from the university. The remainder of the time he apparently was on his own.

"It became an unwritten rule," Selwyn swore to The Saint. "If Hamish turned up at your door, you let him in."

That statement is misleading in that most of the shops and businesses in St. Andrews close their doors in the late afternoon and are shuttered completely on weekends and holidays. Some watering holes and restaurants keep later hours but it is doubtful that many of them are open all night. Consequently, Hamish's options for locating a warm and secure place to sleep were extremely limited.

As a perennially homeless feline, Hamish was forced to deal with the bone-chilling cold, snow, rain, and ice during St. Andrews' seemingly interminable winters where for long periods there are fewer than six hours of daylight. This is how Richard Adams summed up the plight of the dispossessed in his 1972 novel about rabbits entitled Watership Down:

"Many human beings say they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it. For them there is no winter food problem. They have fires and warm clothes. The winter cannot hurt them and therefore increases their sense of cleverness and security. For birds and animals, as for poor men, winter is another matter."

In that respect, it simply boggles the mind that all throughout the fourteen years that he spent on the street absolutely none of St. Andrews' more than seventeen-thousand residents was willing to provide him with a permanent home. The same criticism can be leveled against the tens of thousands of students and hundreds of teachers and administrators at the University of St. Andrews.

As Ellis and her fellow eggheads have more than amply demonstrated time and time again, such crass, selfish, and uncaring behavior is exactly what this world has come to expect from the intelligentsia. (See Cat Defender posts of November 21, 2012 and June 9, 2008 entitled, respectively, "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" and "Pennsylvania College Greedily Snatches Up Alumnus' Multimillion-Dollar Bequest but Turns Away His Cat, Princess.")

As best it could be deciphered from press reports, even obtaining a sufficient amount of sustenance was a hardscrabble affair for Hamish. All that is known with any degree of certainty is that he sometimes was served Frühstück by the law firm of Pagan Osborne at 106 South Street. Students from the university also occasionally fed him and that is vouched for by the disturbing fact that his body weight was known to drop precipitately during the summertime when they were away on vacation.

It also is believed that the staff of Dynamic Hair at 98-100 South Street sometimes cared for his fur but it is not known if they bothered with either removing parasites from it, cleaning away the bothersome discharges that congeal around a cat's eyes, and attending to minor injuries. He additionally received some unspecified favors from the staff at Sue Ryder's Charity Shop at 109-A South Street.

Although the care provided to Hamish by the citizens of St. Andrews was woefully inadequate, they did have enough compassion so as to refrain from having him rounded up and killed and for that they are to be commended. Also, he surely would not have survived for as long as he did if they, at the very least, had not treated him with benign neglect.


All Alone and on the Street as Usual on June 20th

Besides all the deprivations associated with roughing it, Hamish had to be constantly on the lookout for predators, such as motorists, ailurophobes, and others. Just this past January, for instance, he had an especially close call when he was, just as Kipling presaged, chased up a tree on South Street by a pair of dogs.

Luckily, he was unharmed on that terrifying occasion even though it took the able-bodied assistance of the staff at Dynamic Hair and students from the university in order to bring him down to safety. The unprovoked attack did, however, prompt the provost of Fife and Dunfermline, Jim Leishman, to issue a public appeal on his behalf.

"We've got to protect the old boy. He's getting on. I would ask dog owners to please keep their animals under control and on a leash when around Hamish McHamish," he told the Daily Record of Glasgow on January 30th. (See "Provost of Fife and Dunfermline Legend Jim Leishman Wants to Protect Scotland's Most Famous Cat Hamish McHamish.") "We've got to make sure he's not upset. He's Scotland's most iconic cat, after all."

Despite uttering those lofty sentiments, there is absolutely nothing in the public record to suggest that he ever undertook any concrete measures in order to ensure Hamish's safety. Even more alarming, it does not appear that he attempted in any way to dissuade Baird from having him killed.

A good case could be made that since Baird had abdicated her guardianship of him that Hamish by default belonged to the town and that it was precisely Leishman's moral and legal responsibility to not only safeguard his life but to ensure that he received the competent veterinary care that he needed and so richly deserved. Regrettably, it is doubtful that even he would have acted much differently than Baird if Hamish had been his responsibility. As far as it is known, he has not even publicly commented one way or the other on Hamish's killing.

It is much too late to do anything for Hamish now; Baird has seen to that for once and all time. Moreover, it is doubtful that many residents of St. Andrews are boohooing in their tumblers of Johnny Walker as the result of his death. Like Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis, they likely believe that Hamish is going to be worth considerably more to them dead than alive.

For example, his statue is still standing and old Selwyn is already salivating all over herself as visions of wheelbarrows full of shekels dance in her old gray mop just as visions of sugar plums are said to do in the heads of small children at Christmastime. "I hope it will be a big attraction. It'll be a nice change from golf and universities," she declared in an undated video posted on her magazine's web site. (See "Hamish McHamish Unveiling. The Cool Cat Around Town.") "It'll be an added bit to the town."

First of all, inanimate bronze is a poor substitute for the genuine, real-life article. Secondly, the statue is not only hideously ugly but it bears only a faint resemblance to Hamish.

At the very least, any public depiction of him should have been life-sized and fashioned out of porcelain, ceramics, or some other material that would have been capable of accurately capturing the beautiful colors of his fur and eyes. The likeness also should have been accompanied by color photographs, videos, and other memorabilia and housed in either a museum or some other public facility.

Susan McMullan's 2012 biography of him, Hamish McHamish of St. Andrews. Cool Cat About Town, continues to sell well and Waterstones is unlikely to scrap its "Hamish Recommends" section. Most important of all, he will continue to live on in the memories of those who were fortunate enough to have known him.

Since the Scots freely chose fat slavery at the expense of lean liberty on September 18th, the British Open will be returning to the Old Course next July and it is conceivable that some of the tourists who will be in the auld grey toon for the event belatedly will realize that its most beautiful face and noblest soul is conspicuously missing from the all-too-familiar landscape. Sadly, their recollections and understanding of him are destined to be every bit as selective as those of the town's regulars. After all, mankind in general is infamous for confounding a clear conscience with a faulty memory.

Those who know and truly love cats, however, will not be quite so easily bamboozled. Rather, they will remember all the long, cold, and dark nights that he was forced to spend wet and shivering on the street with hunger pains gnawing at his stomach as he patiently waited for a new day to dawn that, just perhaps, would bring with it a few precious moments of shelter, some food, and a loving pat on the head from a sympathetic stranger.

They also will not forget all the times that he, lonely and frightened, was forced to cower in deserted alleyways and underneath buildings in order to elude predators, both animal and human, that were intent upon doing him harm. Most of all, their souls with burn with rage every time that they think of how his precious life was so cruelly and unjustly extinguished when all he wanted to do was to go on living.

"Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be," Miguel de Cervantes cautioned several centuries ago. That is, quite obviously, an insight that none of the thousands of individuals who either walked in or out of Hamish's brief life over the years ever bothered to take to heart.

Photos: Facebook.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Falsely Branded as Being Rabid by a Cat-Hater, an Animal Control Officer, and the Gorham Police Department, Clark Is Hounded Down and Blasted with a Shotgun


The Magnificent Clark

"I had a hard time wrapping my brain around why this happened and how it happened. I just feel really sad that this innocent, sweet animal was hunted down and shot in a yard where he felt safe."
-- Deb Webb

No one seems to either know or, for that matter, care very much about Clark's past. Based upon his friendly demeanor and total lack of fear of humans, however, it is rather safe to conclude that he at one time enjoyed the comforts and security of a permanent home.

That was a long time ago in that it is known that the five-to-eight-year-old black and white tom with long, elegant white whiskers and pale-green eyes had been forced for much of his adult life to eke out an existence on the violent and forbidding streets of the small Maine town of Gorham, eighteen kilometers west of Portland. As far as it has been revealed, the only material assistance that he received during that time came from Deb Webb of Maple Ridge Road who had fed him for the past three years.

Even that act of kindness still forced him to rely upon his own resources when it came to weathering Gorham's long, cold, and snowy winters, eluding both human and animal predators, and persevering through injuries and sicknesses without the benefit of competent veterinary care. Plus, he had to cope on a daily basis with the psychological loneliness and social isolation that accompanies being homeless and penniless and that is an especially difficult row to hoe for any cat that lives in such a cold-hearted and violent capitalist dystopia as the United States.

Despite having all the stars aligned against him, Clark nevertheless somehow persevered and even to a certain extent thrived on adversity. Malheureusement, neither courage, nobility of soul, nor the ability to withstand profound suffering are any match for either the malicious lies of an inveterate cat-hater or the murderous desires of a bloodthirsty cop.

That terrifying fact of life in present-day, police state America was brought home to Clark with a vengeance on the evening of August 20th after he allegedly became involved in some sort of a physical altercation with an unidentified seven-year-old girl. The girl's father, whose identity likewise has been shielded from public scrutiny by the obliging capitalist media, in turn telephoned the Gorham Police Department (GPD) complaining that Clark either had scratched or bitten his daughter.

That in itself was a highly dubious charge to levy against Clark in the first place in that scratch and bite wounds usually are readily distinguishable. Secondly, a far more likely scenario is that it was precisely the child who either had attacked or molested Clark in some fashion because homeless cats are not in the habit of approaching strangers, let alone assaulting them.

Thirdly, the man should have been doing a far better job of minding his young daughter. If he had been willing from the outset to have devoted so much as a fraction of the time that he since has invested in falsely maligning Clark to fulfilling that solemn responsibility this tragic episode never would have transpired in the first place.

As malicious and patently unfair as his initial accusation was, the man did not stop there but instead outdid himself by telling the police that Clark not only was limping but rabid as well. The first allegation is easily disposed of in that Clark most likely was victimized sometime in the past by a hit-and-run motorist and that accounts for his limp.

It is not, after all, anything out of the ordinary for outdoor cats to have some sort of mobility impairment. Moreover, there is not any correlation whatsoever between a limp and rabies and absolutely no one except either an inveterate cat-hater or a bloody fool ever would make such an asinine connection.

Much more to the point, neither civilians, cops, nor even veterinarians are capable of making an on-the-spot, in-the-field diagnosis of rabies. That can only be accomplished through either trapping and quarantining an animal so that it can be observed over an extended period of time for any outward symptoms of the malady or by killing it and analyzing tissues cut out of its brain.

An x-ray Details the Damage Done to Clark's Front Legs

Regrettably, Clark could not speak up for himself and as a consequence the Animal Control officer who arrived on the scene at 7 p.m. took the blatant lies of Clark's accusers to be the gospel truth. Although the thoroughly dishonest capitalist media have refused to publicly divulge his name, he is identified on the GPD's web site as its very own Paul Dubay who also doubles as a traffic cop.

With it rapidly growing dark outside, Dubay quickly abandoned his half-hearted effort to trap Clark and instead radioed Lieutenant Christopher Sanborn, who serves as second in command to outgoing Chief of Police Ronald Shepard, in order to request that a death squad be dispatched to hunt down and execute on the spot the totally innocent cat. In support of his case, Dubay not only alleged that Clark also had attempted to bite him but he even topped the father and daughter team when it comes to telling whoppers by furthermore claiming that he also was staggering, weeping, and vomiting.

Two unidentified police officers promptly arrived at the killing field and one of them wasted no time by assaulting Clark with one or more blasts from a sixteen-gauge shotgun that was loaded with pellets. Assuming that the triggerman was not either any of the GPD's four sergeants, three detectives, or pair of school crossing guards, he surely was one of the following nine officers: Robert Henckel, Brent Frank, Todd Gagnon, David Bruni, Dean Hannon, Ted Hatch, Michael Brown, Stephen Hinkley, and Steven Rappold. It seems highly unlikely that the department's tenth uniformed officer, Chelsea Emmons, did the shooting.

"After some discussion, they (Dubay and his unidentified supervisor) had some concern there was a rabid cat in the neighborhood that they were unable to capture," Sanborn told the Portland Press Herald on September 4th. (See "Stray Cat Recovering from Shooting by Officer Who Suspected Rabies.") "They decided the best way to deal with it so no one else was harmed was to shoot the cat."

Although the blast had broken bones in both of Clark's front legs, he nonetheless was able to somehow make it to the safety of a nearby wooded area and that doubtlessly saved his life because his attackers were hellbent upon eradicating him from the face of the earth. Toward that end, they pursued him for "an extended period of time" that night and the following day according to Sanborn.

"It leaped up in the air and took off," Sanborn later told the American Journal of Westbrook on September 11th. (See "'Super-Cat' Saga Touching Hearts.")

The not only unjust and barbaric but asininely stupid behavior exhibited by both Dubay and the GPD in this utterly outrageous example of animal cruelty raises a myriad of vitally important questions that need to be addressed. First of all, although police officers are allowed under Maine law to execute animals that they suspect of having rabies that is far from being a desirable policy.

Rather, such animals should be humanely trapped and taken to a veterinarian for examination. That is the only way that such a determination can be made without unjustly killing totally innocent animals.

Secondly, an Animal Control officer should not be a police officer as well. Simply put, most policemen have neither the prerequisite intelligence, training, temperament, patience, nor compassion required in order to properly attend to cats and other animals in a humane and just fashion.

In this particular case, Dubay's gross incompetence is nothing short of criminal. "This may be the first time I've ever heard of a police officer responding to help an Animal Control officer with a cat," Eric Sakach of the Humane Society of the United States told the Portland Press Herald. "Animal Control officers should be trained and have the equipment to properly trap a cat."

Clark and Jeana Roth

Apparently, Dubay was not only bone-lazy but so mindlessly stupid that he attempted to grab Clark with his bare hands as opposed to using a trap. Otherwise, he is simply lying about Clark attacking him.

As any fool knows, a humane trap, the proper bait, and unlimited amounts of both patience and time are required in order to successfully apprehend a cat. Animal Control personnel and police officers are, on the other hand, by training and personality quick workers in that it only takes them a second or two in order to reduce and eliminate complex, vexing, and time-consuming problems to their lowest common denominator by emptying their revolvers in the direction of cats, dogs, and individuals.

Such a mindset additionally spares them the onerous tasks of either doing any thinking or breaking so much as a sweat. Many of them in fact talk and behave as if they have the intelligence quotient of a fifteen-year-old juvenile delinquent.

By contrast, earlier in August it took Toni Gramiak and the volunteers from Brandon Area Lost Animals (BALA) in Manitoba eighteen days in order to successfully corral a cat named Butterscotch who had gotten his head trapped in a bug trap. (See Cat Defender post of September 6, 2014 entitled "Butterscotch Is Finally Freed from a Bug Trap but His Deliverance Has Come at an Awfully High Price That He Will Be Repaying for the Remainder of His Days.")

On that occasion, she and her colleagues used various baits, electronic and human monitors of the traps, and tons of patience. Above all, neither she nor the volunteers were foolish enough to attempt to grab Butterscotch with their hands.

"To the people who thought they could catch him by hand, be thankful you didn't get the chance," BALA wrote August 25th in an untitled article posted on its Facebook page. "For the first week in foster care, this traumatized kitty was frozen in fear. He would lash out at anything that startled him, had an intense fear of hands and growled if any human got dangerously close to him."

The avowed willingness of both the girl and Dubay to get so close to Clark also calls into question the veracity of their assertions that he not only was feral but, more importantly, that he had rabies. First of all, the vast majority of homeless cats are unapproachable. Secondly, no one ever would go near a cat that they honestly suspected of having rabies.

Also, by electing to gun down Clark in Webb's yard, the GPD placed in jeopardy the lives of other cats and residents living in the area as well. "I mean, you (sic) could've done a little bit better, extensive job of searching for it, or put a trap out to search for it the next day, or something," Stephanie Roberts, who lives near where Clark was shot, astutely pointed out to WMTV of Portland on September 5th. (See "Cat Thought to Be Rabid Shot by Police, Survives.")

As for Clark's accuser, she never was treated for exposure to the rabies virus and that further undermines both her and her father's stories because normally in cases of this sort post-exposure prophylaxis is immediately commenced and continues over an extended fourteen-day period. The cops and Dubay likewise never believed so much as an iota of their own propaganda and lies because less than twenty-four hours later they gave up attempting to both trap and kill Clark.

As for Clark, he somehow managed to survive the cop's shotgun blast and subsequently was successfully trapped by Webb four days later on August 24th. He then was bandied about first to the Animal Refuge League for Greater Portland (ARLGP) in Westbrook, seven kilometers removed from Gorham, and then to an unidentified veterinarian fifty-six kilometers away in Lewiston before finally being returned to the former where he remains to this day.

Clark Rests in His Cage at ARLGP

It never has been explained where Clark spent the intervening days but more than likely he was with Webb. That assumption is based upon her own admission that she feared he would be killed if she immediately turned him over to ARLGP. Presumably, his deteriorating state of health prompted her to have a change of heart and to take a chance upon the shelter.

It additionally is unclear if she was at home at the time of the shooting. If not, she surely learned of it shortly thereafter and likely was on the lookout for Clark, even if she initially might have feared that he had been killed.

There can be little doubt, however, that the evil machinations of all those involved in this sordid affair have left her badly shaken. "I had a really hard time wrapping my brain around why this happened and how it happened," she explained to the Portland Press Herald in the article cited supra. "I just feel really sad that this innocent, sweet animal was hunted down and shot in a yard where he felt safe."

The first order of business at ARLGP was to quarantine Clark in a cage for ten days so that he could be observed for any symptoms of rabies. To the surprise of absolutely no one with so much as a scintilla of intelligence, that proved not to be the case otherwise he would have been liquidated on the spot.

Au contraire, rabies is extremely rare in cats and, according to statistics compiled by the Portland Press Herald, only eight such cases have been confirmed in Maine since January of 2010. Moreover, the last person in Maine to have been infected with rabies transmitted by any animal occurred way back in 1937.

That has not deterred the sworn enemies of the species, such as ornithologists, wildlife biologists, and the federal government, from falsely branding cats as the number one public menace when it comes to spreading rabies. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta published a scurrilous report in the July 17, 2013 online edition of Zoonoses and Public Health (volume sixty-one, issue four, pages 290-296) entitled "Rabies Prevention and Management of Cats in the Context of Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release Programmes" (sic) wherein the authors called for not only the outlawing of TNR but the roundup and en masse extermination of all homeless cats.

"We didn't think it was okay to have (homeless) dogs, but we think it's okay to create artificial cat colonies where they're exposed to wildlife that can transmit rabies," Charles E. Rupprecht of the CDC groused indignantly to USA Today on August 18, 2013. (See "Feral Cat Colonies Could Pose Rabies Risk, CDC Says.")

Rupprecht's colleague at the CDC, Jesse D. Blanton, furthermore claimed that three-hundred cats are reported to be rabid each year in the United States and that they accordingly are to blame for sixteen per cent of all individuals that require treatment after being suspected of having been exposed to the virus.

First of all and as the simply horrific abuse meted out to Clark has amply demonstrated, there is a huge difference between being suspected of having rabies and actually being infected with the virus. Secondly, individuals who come into contact with cats are inadvertently scratched and bitten all the time. As a result, they may sometimes even undergo rabies treatment as a precautionary measure but that certainly does not mean that the cats were in fact rabid.

On the contrary, there has not been a confirmed cat-to-human transmission of rabies in nearly forty years. In fact, if there were so much as an iota of truth to the CDC's outrageous claims the country would be overrun with a rabies epidemic.

Cindy

The veracity of the study is further called into question by not only the overt biases of the authors themselves but also by the CDC's lies about who actually conducted the research and authored the report. For instance, in addition to Rupprecht and Blanton, the consortium of authors allegedly also included M. Levin, Allison D. Roebling, and D. Johnson of the CDC. Besides them, D. Slate, who works for both the USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) as well as its designated death squad, Wildlife Services, and none other than George Fenwick of the ultra cat-hating American Bird Conservancy (ABC) also put in their two cents' worth.

It afterwards was revealed, however, that the study actually was prepared and written by Roebling and Johnson, a pair of unpaid college students and not CDC staffers. In addition to being biased and dishonest, that shows up the CDC to be both cheap as well as a naked exploiter of students. (See District of Columbia Health Examiner, November 5, 2013, "'CDC Study' on Cats Actually Done by Students.")

Even more important than that it reveals that the CDC now has joined the ranks of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Wildlife Services, APHIS, the National Park Service, the United States Forest Service, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Pentagon, and other agencies in the feds' all-out war on cats. (See Cat Defender post of August 7, 2014 entitled "The National Park Service Racks Up a Major Victory by Expelling the Plum Beach Cats but It Is Thwarted in Its Burning Desire to Dance a Merry Little Jig on Their Graves.")

"This is fearmongering, and it can have disastrous consequences for cats," Becky Robinson of Alley Cat Allies pointed out in an August 15, 2013 press release. (See "Alley Cat Allies Denounces Biased Rabies Review that Calls for Eradicating Cats.") "Frankly, I am flummoxed that the American Bird Conservancy is included on a rabies prevention study. It also makes no sense that the review includes a totally unrelated section on feral cats and wildlife."

Whereas it is difficult to establish a direct causal connection between the CDC's and the ABC's blatant lies on the one hand and the GPD's gunning down of Clark on the other hand, there can be do disputing that the mere mentioning of rabies frightens some otherwise rational individuals out of their skulls. "It was alarming to think we had a rabid animal in the neighborhood," uninformed and clueless Gail Platts of Maple Ridge Road told the American Journal in the article cited supra.

ARLGP eventually got around to looking after Clark's gunshot wounds and that could not have come a minute too soon. "He was in rough shape, could barely walk," the charity's Patsy Murphy informed WGME-TV of Portland on September 4th. (See "Stray Cat Suffers in Woods after Being Shot by Police.")

"He was outside for four days after he was shot before he was brought to us," Murphy's colleague, Jeana Roth, added to the Portland Press Herald. "Who knows what kind of pain he was in?"

At last report, ARLGP was closely monitoring his condition in the hope that the shattered bones in his legs will heal on their own. If not, he will require surgery.

Surgery might also be called for in order to not only repair his limp but also to remove the lead pellets. If not removed in a timely fashion they ultimately could prove to be not only toxic but possibly even fatal.

For example, on August 29th an unknown and still at large assailant shot Constance Große's nine-year-old white cat, Cindy, in the stomach with an air rifle as she lay stretched out on the terrace of her mother-in-law's house in the Dütekamp development in the Himbergen section of Uelzen in Niedersachsen, ninety-two kilometers south of Hamburg. In yet still another utterly revolting example of veterinary malpractice, the unidentified practitioner incorrectly diagnosed Cindy to be suffering from a bite wound.

Peggy

When her condition did not improve, she was forced to undergo emergency surgery on September 2nd and on that occasion the projectile finally was found and removed. Tragically, by that time it already was too late and she did not survive.

Although the surgery and the anesthesia doubtlessly contributed to her death, it also is believed that the lead pellet poisoned her system. If she had been properly diagnosed and the projectile removed in a timely manner she in all likelihood still would be alive today.

The senseless murder of her beloved cat has not only deeply disturbed Große and her children but prompted her to demand that the police apprehend the assailant. "Wer tut so etwas und schießt in unserem Siedlungsgebiet mit einem Luftgewehr auf Katzen?" she asked readers of the Allgemeine Zeitung Uelzen on September 6th. (See "Tödlicher Schuss auf Cindy.") "Damit möchte ich erreichen, dass derjenige, der geschossen und damit gegen das Tierschutzgesetz verstoßen hat, ermittelt wird."

For the time being, however, Clark is persevering as well as could be expected under the circumstances. "Clark's doing well. He's receiving vet care and treatment. He's resting comfortably and certainly recuperating," Roth related to the Bangor Daily News on September 4th. (See "Stray Cat Survives Shotgun Blast from Gorham Officer Who Thought Feline Was Rabid.") "Animals are certainly resilient, and Clark certainly is a strong boy."

Although it is not known what Webb calls him, ARLGP has temporarily named him in honor of Superman's alter ego, Clark Kent. It also is rather revealing that the charity's description of his personality is on all fours with that of Webb and therefore totally at odds with the outrageous lies spread about him by the father and daughter team, Dubay, and the GPD.

"He's a lovebug. Everyone here has definitely rallied around him," Murphy declared to WMTV in the article cited supra. "We love his name, Clark, it really speaks to his Superman capabilities. And as you can see, he's a dream boy."

Depending upon how his health progresses, Clark is scheduled to be put up for adoption almost any day now and Webb has announced her intention to be first in line for that honor. The competition is expected to be steep, however, in that at least a dozen or so other individuals have expressed a similar interest in adding him to their homes. The petit fait that she demurred from doing so for so very long also could adversely affect her suit.

Regardless of where he ultimately winds up, Clark's rapid transformation from a rough sleeper and an outlaw into a domiciled and beloved cat has been nothing short of breathtaking. It nevertheless is appalling that it nearly cost him his life before both friends and foes alike belatedly realized not only that he was innocent of the accusations levied against him but, much more importantly, that he was entitled to be allowed to go on living.

That is about the only positive development to have come out of all of the naked abuse and profound suffering heaped upon Clark's tiny head in that none of those involved have seemingly learned a blessed thing from their colossal mistakes. First of all, there is the GPD which claims to have opened an internal investigation into the conduct of both Dubay and the triggerman. "We want to leave no stone unturned," Sanborn swore with, presumably, a straight face to the American Journal.

By that he undoubtedly means that his department is going to pull out all the stops in order to whitewash the conduct of all those involved. Quite obviously, since the GPD has categorically refused to even publicly identify either Dubay or those officers involved in this lawless and unprovoked assassination attempt upon Clark's life, there is absolutely no chance that any of them ever will be disciplined.

Barry Accorti

Besides, the shooting took place more than a month ago and it certainly does not take that length of time in order to conduct an internal investigation. A cover-up and a whitewash, on the other hand, require a good deal more time and effort.

If truth, justice, and public accountability mattered in Gorham, Dubay, the two uniformed officers, their supervisor, and Sanborn as well would be not only immediately fired but prosecuted under the anti-cruelty statutes as well.  Neither of those recourses are about to be followed, however, in that the cover-up is so extensive that it extends to the seven officials who make up the Town Council as well as to city manager David Cole, none of whom have had the decency and compassion to utter so much as a peep in protest.

Sanborn, who is being groomed to assume Shepard's duties in November, has behaved throughout this affair much like a piece of dingy laundry flapping in the breeze. "We're currently looking into the situation and obviously want to ensure the proper procedures were followed," he vacuously gassed to WGME-TV in the article cited supra.

On that same date he is quoted in the Portland Press Herald as candidly acknowledging his abysmal ignorance as to the protocol to be followed in dealing with animals suspected of being rabid but who cannot be immediately apprehended. Consequently, there is not any conceivable way that either he or his officers could possibly follow the dictates of the law if they do not even know what they are in the first place.

As moronic as that may sound to the uninitiated, it is simply the way that all cops operate. Absolutely none of them give so much as a rat's ass about the law, issues of right and wrong, and saving lives. Acting in their self-anointed roles as arresting officers, judges, jurymen, and street corner executioners, they recognize no higher authority and will not under any circumstances accept any constraints placed upon their exercise of power and that applies to how they deal with individuals as well as cats and other animals.

To make matters worse, the GPD's anti-feline agenda enjoys widespread support outside of Gorham. For example, Sheila Pinette of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Augusta has endorsed Sanborn's clarion call for all Maine residents to not only rat out all homeless cats to the police but to refrain from both feeding and handling them.

That draconian policy also has been wholeheartedly endorsed by none other than the ARLGP. "We hope that the message here is that if you have a stray animal in your neighborhood, use your shelter as a resource," Roth pontificated to the Bangor Daily News in the article cited supra.

Her supervisor, Murphy, is even more of a brownnoser and a suck-up to authority. "We're happy to work with the Animal Control officer and community to get strays into shelters," she pledged to WGME-TV. "We can get them spayed and neutered, and we can get them current on vaccinations."

Her bonhomie also extends to the GPD. "We had a meeting with the Gorham Police Department and we talked about communications and working together," she disclosed to WGME-TV.

Most outrageous of all, to withhold food, water, shelter, veterinary care, and simple acts of compassion and kindness from homeless cats is nothing short of barbaric and anyone who advocates for such a perverse agenda should be stripped naked and publicly horsewhipped. Secondly, Dubay has so amply demonstrated his complete incompetence as an Animal Control officer that anyone who cares so much as one whit about cats would have to be a complete idiot to rat out any of them to him.

Thirdly, as far as Sanborn and his highly-paid and trigger-happy goons are concerned, dealing with cats even remotely suspected of being homeless begins and ends with blasts from a shotgun. Accordingly, just as it would be utterly foolish to subject a blind man to a test of colors, it is ridiculous to allow the GPD within a mile of a cat.

Fourthly, the inveterate liars, fraudsters, and buttlickers at ARLPG know as well as everyone else that just about all cats that enter the front doors of shelters leave by the back doors in black plastic trash bags. That is not only true of all those that are suspected of being homeless, but the vast majority of domesticated and preeminently adoptable cats as well.

Pumpkin

"This is not a typical way for a cat to be brought to us," Roth told the Portland Press Herald in regard to Clark's gunshot wounds. "We never want to see a situation like this again."

Unless she is joshing, that can only be interpreted as meaning that she prefers to have cats delivered to her upon silver platters. That way she and her colleagues can whack them with jabs of sodium pentobarbital all the while maintaining that they are doing both them and the community a valuable public service.

"The mission of the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland is to provide temporary care and shelter for stray, abandoned, and relinquished animals, and to place as many as possible into responsible and caring homes," the organization declares on its web site. "Each animal is given the time it needs to find a home regardless of its age, color or medical condition until the time it is reunited with its family or adopted into a loving and responsible family."

Specifically, the organization claims that it takes in more than four-thousand animals each year and that more than half of them are homeless. Conspicuously omitted from its highfalutin rhetoric is any mention of its kill-rate and without that vitally important piece of information intake data are not only meaningless but patently dishonest.

It additionally is not anywhere sufficient for ARLGP to merely declare that it provides its inmates with veterinary care. It must go further and reveal exactly how many animals that it successfully treats as well as the number that it either intentionally kills or allows to die through malpractice and niggardliness. In that respect, Webb's fear that the shelter would kill off Clark is perhaps the most damning piece of evidence against it.

It also is more  than a bit troubling that the shelter, located at 449 Stroudwater Street, is only eight-tenths of a mile removed from Westbrook High School (WHS) at 125 Stroudwater Street which serves as the home away from home for its elderly ginger-colored mascot, Simba. In particular, the shelter's close proximity to it makes it all too convenient should either WHS or Simba's owner, Eileen Shutts, decide to employ it in order to prematurely snuff out his life.

Even as things now stand, he never has been fully appreciated. (See Cat Defender post of May 19, 2014 entitled "Even after Fourteen Years of Faithful Companionship and Exemplary Service, Teachers, Students, and Administrators at Westbrook High School Remain Clueless as to Simba's Intrinsic Value.")

On its web site the organization also fails to make any mention of either TNR or sanctuaries. It apparently does place some barn cats with farmers through its Country Kitties Program but the exact number is not specified. It therefore is difficult to see how that it possibly could be operating anything other than a mass extermination factory without making use of these other alternatives. It is, after all, a foregone conclusion that it is not about to invest the time and resources required in order to socialize for adoption every homeless cat that passes through its portals.

Fifthly, all of Gorham's simply outrageous polices for dealing with cats are not only inhumane but at odds with TNR. There are sans doute drawbacks to such an approach but until something better and more humane comes along it is an acceptable compromise.

Trumping all of those concerns is the simply grotesque lie spread by ARLGP, the GPD, and others that there is a discernible difference between homeless and domesticated cats. "Many people draw a distinction between their pet cats and cats that live outside, but they are really the same," Elizabeth Putsche, who along with her husband, Jason, has spent five years photographing homeless cats, told This Dish Is Vegan on September 11th. (See "Husband and Wife Team Document Feral Cat Colonies Across the Country.") "The care and compassion we give our animals at home should be extended to these cats, even if we can't pet them. Each has a personality and individuality and each has a story to tell."

Snuffy with Her Roommate Pebbles

Applied to the human race, the draconian policies advocated by ARLGP, the GPD, Dubay, and Pinette would sanction the gunning down in the street of not only the impecunious but orphans as well. As is the case with all forms of abuse, the starting point always is the lies spread by the elites who either control or have access to the communications channels.

"There are a lot of misconceptions about community cats," Putsche goes on to say. "We want people to see them as they truly are: independent, healthy, loved, and thriving outdoors."

That is the absolute last thing that their publicly declared enemies in Gorham and Westbrook ever want the hoi polloi to see. As far as they are concerned, the only good cat is either a dead one or one that has been denatured and brought to heel like a dog. C'est-à-dire, the entire so-called animal protection establishment is, for the most part, a huge racket that is run by and for the benefit of its members and the political elites that they serve. Consequently, it is only by either accident or as a fundraising ploy that the pressing needs of the animals ever are served.

Animal Control officers are by far the worst of a bad lot in that the manner in which Dubay treated Clark was merely par for the course when it comes to how they deal with cats. Whether their modus operandi is to either kill them in the field with lethal injections and bullets to the head or to deliver them to shelters and veterinarians to liquidate, Animal Control officers operate in a shadowy world where both their hideous crimes as well as the bodies of their victims remain hidden from public view.

There is a discernible pattern to their crimes, however, in that most of them originate with private citizens who lodge complaints with them against cats. All of these individuals are inveterate cat-haters and a good percentage of them are either ornithologists, wildlife biologists, the brainwashed dupes of PETA, or members of the federal bureaucracy. Moreover, they are seldom, if ever, publicly identified and held liable in any way for their actions. Worst still, Animal Control officers take their malicious and totally unfounded lies at face value.

For example, on July 6th of last year, Debbie Patsos's ten-year-old black cat Peggy escaped from her residence in the Tampa suburb of Land O'Lakes and took up refuge in Casey McCarthy's garage, four doors down the street. When he discovered Peggy's presence he promptly ratted her out to Pasco County Animal Services which dispatched an unidentified Animal Control officer with eight years of experience on the job who in turn killed her on the spot with, presumably, a jab of sodium pentobarbital.

When asked by the dispatcher if the cat was in imminent danger of dying, McCarthy replied, "Yeah...it probably won't make it until tomorrow as far as I'm concerned," according to a July 12th broadcast on WTSP-TV of Tampa. (See "Pasco Investigates Lethal Injection of Family Cat.") "It's probably going to go into shock and die."

Actually, Peggy was in perfect health save for the fact that she had been born with only three paws. "She was our family member. She had a handicap which gave her character to us," Patsos told WTSP-TV earlier on July 10th. (See "Pasco County Kills Family Cat Before It Arrives at Shelter.") "It did not mean she was unadoptable or unlovable. It made her more lovable to us."

In a feeble ploy designed to excuse his own culpability, McCarthy later pleaded ignorance as to how both Animal Control officers and shelters operate. "I'm beyond mad," he told WTSP-TV in the July 10th article. "First off, if anyone said, 'If the shelter takes it, they're going to euthanize it,' I would have said, 'Never mind'."

Even more telling the Animal Control officer informed McCarthy that Peggy might be killed; he simply did not mention that he was planning on doing the dirty deed that very moment and inside his garage. Moreover, McCarthy's story has been further undermined by the fact that he has been identified elsewhere on the web as an animal lover who in the past has rescued cats. He therefore does not have a valid excuse for ratting out Peggy to the knackers.

Elmo

"I'm angry now, and I want justice for her," Patsos stormed to WTSP-TV in the July 12th article cited supra. "I don't want this to happen to someone else's cat."

She is justifiably furious at Animal Control but McCarthy is even more at fault. "I'm blown away. I made the call, I tracked them down in an effort to get an injured cat help," he admitted to WTSP-TV on July 12th. "I didn't get help. I sent it to its death."

On June 10th of last year an unidentified woman residing on Vista Lake Way in North Ridgeville, Ohio, telephoned Animal Control in order to grouse about a family of homeless cats that had taken up residence in a woodpile on her property. In support of her complaint, she argued that the cats had fleas, were creating a stink, and killing wildlife.

Animal Control officer Barry Accorti arrived on the scene twenty minutes later and after informing the complainant that the shelters were full and that the cats would be going to "kitty heaven," he promptly pumped bullets into the tiny heads of a quintuplet of eight to ten-week-old kittens. All of that was just peachy keen to the homeowner until her children, who had witnessed the massacre, started screaming their heads off in horror. Like McCarthy, she had assumed that the killings would have been done out of sight and out of mind.

"It's heartbreaking," Teresa Landon of the Ohio SPCA later told The Plain Dealer of Cleveland on June 11, 2013. (See "North Ridgeville Clears Humane Officer of Wrongdoing for Killing Feral Kittens, but Animal Groups Want Action.") "There is no excuse for it. It's absolutely shameful that someone with the title of humane officer would do this."

Almost in the same breath the hypocritical Landon turned right around and defended the killing of vicious dogs and animals that are in great pain. Not surprisingly, her campaign to get the former thirty-one-year veteran of the North Ridgeville Police Department (NRPD) and a SWAT team commander as well fired for his actions fell upon the deaf ears of Chief of Police Mike Freeman.

"After visiting the scene, talking with the responding officer and re-interviewing the complainant, I have decided his actions were appropriate and have decided not to impose any disciplinary measures for the incident," Freeman pontificated to The Plain Dealer. "The North Ridgeville Police Department recognizes the concern of those who believe feral cats should not be killed for simply trying to survive but also acknowledges other research that recognizes the risks associated with these animals and the need to manage feral cats. Research and other organizations accept shooting as an acceptable means of euthanasia."

By other organizations he undoubtedly has the ABC, the National Audubon Society, and the feds, particularly the USFWS, in mind. His thinking in that regard coincides with Accorti's who, as a bird lover, had gone to great lengths two months earlier in order to save the life of a baby great horned owl that had fallen out of its nest.

To hear Freeman tell it, the eradication of innocent cats is nothing more than a matter of public service and the patented immorality of such aberrant behavior is, consequently, of no concern. "To walk away and leave a safety issue unresolved is irresponsible," he gassed to The Plain Dealer. "At no time does this agency condone or allow the indiscriminate killing of animals, but we will continue to assist residents when there is a safety or nuisance condition."

Since he and Accorti are so obliging, denizens of North Ridgeville have little or nothing to worry about on that score; it is an altogether different matter for cats and other animals residing in the city. Nevertheless, just because Accorti and Freeman have appropriated for themselves an exclusive right to kill animals with impunity that does not in any way legitimize either their thinking or behavior.

So, in the end, Accorti was able to not only get away unscathed with his crimes but to hold onto his job as well. The world, however, had not by a long shot heard the last of either him or his savagery.

On June 9th of this year he was at it again and this time around it was a baby raccoon that he shot dead in front of three children on Root Road. Just as was the case with the unidentified woman who had orchestrated the rubout of "The Woodpile Five," neighbor Tim Sherill did not have the least little problem with Accorti's killing of the raccoon; he simply wished that the execution had been carried out elsewhere.
Tobey

"I own a gun myself," he proudly declared to The Chronicle-Telegram of Elyria on June 10th. (See "Parent Alleges Humane Officer Killed Raccoon in Front of Kids.") "I can understand this up to a point...that they have to put animals down, but you don't do it in front of kids. I'm an adult, and I don't want to see it."

Just as before, old reliable Freeman was johnny-on-the-spot in order to defend North Ridgeville's number one animal killer. "This is a highly-trained individual who can make deductions as to whether this can be done safely or not," he declared to The Chronicle-Telegram. "He is a certified officer. Not somebody we just hire off the street, give them (sic) a gun, and tell them (sic) to go do it."

It is precisely that type of moronic thinking and naked disregard for the rights of animals that has earned Ohio the prestigious title of being the most backward and inhumane state in the union. (See Cat Defender posts of October 20, 2005, February 26, 2007, August 2, 2007, and April 8, 2008 entitled, respectively, "After Ridding the Ohio Statehouse of Rats, Cats Now Find Themselves Facing Eviction," "Charged with Feeding a Feral Cat Named Fluffy, Retired Ohio English Teacher Beats the Rap," "Ohio Cat Shot in the Leg with an Arrow Is Forced to Endure a Long-Drawn-Out and Excruciating Death," and "Ohio Politician Proposes Adding Cats to the Growing List of Pigs, Other Animals, and Humans Killed by Tasers.")

Sometimes the deliberate lies of private citizens are superfluous when it comes to dooming cats in that Animal Control officers and shelters are quite capable of doing the foul deeds from start to finish all by themselves. For instance, in late February of 2012, an unidentified Animal Control officer in Port St. Lucie trapped Shannon Johnson's elderly orange and white cat Pumpkin during a massive one-day roundup and subsequent extermination of more than fifty cats suspected of being homeless. Pumpkin, too, was taken to the St. Lucie County Humane Society and soon thereafter liquidated.

"He was senselessly killed. He shouldn't have been treated this way. He really shouldn't have," his heartbroken owner sobbed to WPEC-TV of West Palm Beach on March 6, 2012. (See "Port St. Lucie Family Pet Caught in Feral Cat Roundup, Euthanized.") "He was a special little guy."

The shelter's David Robertson defended his agency's cold-blooded murder of Pumpkin on the grounds that he was neither licensed, tagged, nor microchipped. He also claims that he failed a temperament test. "This cat unfortunately was very aggressive," he swore to WPEC-TV.

Although a cat's socio-economic status should not have any bearing whatsoever on whether it is allowed to live, absolutely no one can differentiate with any measurable degree of expertise between homeless and domiciled cats. Secondly, so-called temperament tests are a hoax in that almost any cat that is kidnapped by strangers and taken to a shelter where it is confined to a cage is apt to exhibit signs of aggression. The same would hold true for most individuals subjected to the same set of circumstances.

Robertson is furthermore exposed as a barefaced liar by the Animal Control officer who noted on the impound report that Pumpkin was wearing a flea collar and appeared to have an owner. Under those circumstances, it is nothing short of criminal that the officer did not immediately release Pumpkin in the neighborhood where he was trapped instead of initialing his death warrant by stubbornly proceeding on with him to the shelter.

Suspected of being homeless is, however, only one of the many justifications that Animal Control officers and shelters make use of in order to steal and kill cats. Why, even suffering from so much as a minor, preeminently treatable, condition is quite often sufficient in order to get an otherwise healthy cat killed.

For instance, at 9 a.m. on September 1st of last year six-year-old gray-colored and deaf Snuffy ran out the back door of Anna Latimer's house on Ellengale Road in Burlington, Ontario. An hour and forty-seven minutes later she was picked up by an unidentified Animal Control officer and immediately killed because she had a common cold.

"It appeared very sick to us," David Lake of Burlington Animal Control (BAC) told Metro Canada of Toronto on September 6, 2013. (See "Runaway Cat Euthanized Without Owner's Consent over Cold-Like Symptoms.") "Bringing it into our shelter would basically infect our cats."

It did not take long, however, for veterinarian Scott Mathison of Queen West Animal Hospital in Toronto to expose Lake as a liar by pointing out that neither the herpes virus nor an upper respiratory infection were valid reasons for killing a cat. "Definitely not," he told Metro Canada.

In addition to BAC's lies about Snuffy's health, it even refused to acknowledge that it knew anything about the cat when Latimer contacted it on September 3rd. It was not until the following day that it finally came clean and admitted to having stolen and killed her.

Haze

"I never even got the opportunity to try and go there and claim her or do anything to get her back," Latiner told Metro Canada. "She survived lots of things and some hardships. I just feel it was a really bad way to go."

Police officers operate pretty much along the same lines as Animal Control officers when it comes to cats with the notable exception that they dispense with all the procedural niceties and instead settle matters with their guns. For example, on March 22, 2008 an unidentified individual in Cecil, Pennsylvania, telephoned the police in order to complain about a group of cats loitering on either his or her property. The complainant also alleged that one of them was rabid.

An unidentified twenty-five-year veteran of the force was dispatched to the scene where he trapped and shot Roger Oldaker's ten-year-old Persian, Elmo. Not only was Elmo falsely accused of having rabies, but his murder was a crime of opportunity made possible by his friendliness and lack of fear of humans.

"He was not injured. He just didn't know where to run," Oldaker later revealed. "Another cat ran away, and the policeman said if my cat would have run, he would have let him go."  Sadly, he was destined to prematurely join Elmo in the great void on May 11, 2013 at the age of forty-nine. (See Cat Defender post of March 31, 2008 entitled "Cecil, Pennsylvania, Police Officer Summarily Executes Family's Beloved Ten-Year-Old Persian, Elmo.")

In another simply outrageous case that is eerily similar to what happened to Clark, on Labor Day of 2009 Kelly Wesner's nineteen-year-old cat Tobey went out for a stroll in Raymore, Missouri, and somehow wound up either near or inside an unidentified neighbor's garage. The cat-hater first turned a garden hose on him before telephoning the police in order to report that a "large, vicious feral cat with rabies" had scratched a girl.

Accepting the cat-hater's accusations without reservation, the police snared Tobey with a catch pole and then pumped two shotgun blasts into his head. They then nonchalantly deposited his ensanguinated corpse in a Dumpster.

In the wake of the public outrage that followed, the cops enlarged considerably upon the original lies spread by the cat-hater. Specifically, they maintained that Tobey had his claws extended and that he was so vicious that it took a trio of them in order to get him, scratching and clawing, into the killing box.

As it later came to light, Tobey not only was deaf but declawed as well. Furthermore, he not only was not rabid but since he suffered from Feline Hyperthyroidism his weight had plummeted to only six pounds.

"He was our family member," a badly shaken Wesner later said. "He was the sweetest animal (and he) was always there to be your friend. He didn't know a stranger." (See Cat Defender post of September 16, 2009 entitled "Acting Solely Upon the Lies of a Cat-Hater, Raymore Police Pump Two Shotgun Blasts into the Head of Nineteen-Year-Old Declawed and Deaf Tobey.")

Larry

History repeated itself again on August 20, 2011 when an unidentified officer with the Lebanon Police Department shot Dori Stone's obese cat, Haze, in the head and then deposited his corpse in a trash can. Just as was the case with Clark, Elmo, and Tobey, the killer accepted at face value the unsubstantiated allegations of an unidentified neighbor that Haze was rabid.

"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 later related. "It's so violent that they did this to our animal and made no effort to call the humane society to find his owners."

Furthermore, it is impossible to even begin to calculate the emotional toll that Haze's cold-blooded murder has taken on Stone and her husband, Randall. "My husband and I have not eaten since Sunday morning (August 21st). We are just sick," she said afterwards. "We close our eyes at night and see his little face and to think as good of care we took of him for almost seven years, those were his last moments and that was the way he had to die; it's unbearable." (See Cat Defender post of September 22, 2011 entitled "Neanderthaloid Politicians in Lebanon, Ohio, Wholeheartedly Sanction the Illegal and Cold-Blooded Murder of Haze by a Trigger-Happy Cop.")

On January 13th of this year, a two-year-old male named Larry that was owned by John and Teresa Kauth was trapped and shot to death by Wally Holz, a fifteen-year veteran of the Bloomfield Police Department in Nebraska. He then dumped Larry's body behind a maintenance shed downtown.

In a storyline that has become nauseatingly familiar, Holz was acting at the behest of residents who hate homeless cats. One of them even complained that they were getting into his garbage.

On February 3rd, the Bloomfield City Council voted to give Holz a written reprimand but that is all. Quite understandably, that did not sit well with the Kauths' veterinarian daughter, Lisa Kilgore.

"Larry is finally at peace and I will do everything in my power to make sure this never happens to another animal again," she vowed to the Norfolk Daily News on February 8th. (See "Bloomfield Officer Disciplined for Killing Cat.")

Even requesting police assistance for an injured cat can be a fatal mistake as Wayne Meadows of Settlers Lane in Harrisonburg, Virginia, found out firsthand on November 11, 2011. On that tragic occasion he telephoned the Harrisonburg Police Department (HPD) for help with a forever nameless cat that had been run down and injured by a hit-and-run motorist.

What he and the cat received in return was something altogether different. Specifically, although veterinary assistance was only thirty minutes away, officer Jonathan N. Snoddy elected to finish off the cat right then and now with his night stick which he promptly did with up to as many as twenty savage blows to the head. Although he eventually was forced to face the music in court, in the end he was acquitted of animal cruelty charges and allowed to keep his job. (See Cat Defender posts of March 22, 2012, April 26, 2012, and August 23, 2012 entitled, respectively, "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," "Virginia's Disreputable Legal and Political Establishment Is All Set to Acquit Jonathan N. Snoddy at His Retrial for Brutally Beating to Death an Injured Cat," and "Cat-Killing Cop Jonathan N. Snoddy Struts Out of Court as Free as a Bird Thanks to a Carefully Choreographed Charade Concocted by Virginia's Despicable and Dishonest Legal System.")

Bobby and His Injuries

As bad as small cats are treated by the police, the situation is even more deplorable for large ones who enjoy absolutely no protections against the evil designs of officers who slaughter them in droves and with impunity on a regular basis. (See Cat Defender posts of November 3, 2011, May 5, 2008, and January 28, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Sheriff Matt Lutz Settles an Old Score by Staging a Great Safari Hunt That Claims the Lives of Eighteen Tigers and Seventeen Lions in Zanesville," "Chicago's Rambo-Style Cops Corner and Execute a Cougar to the Delight of the Hoi Polloi and Capitalist Media," and "Hopped Up on Vodka and Pot, Trio Taunted Tatiana Prior to Attacks That Led to Her Being Killed by the Police.")

As far as it is known, the only times that cops have even so much as lost their jobs for killing and injuring cats has been for crimes that they have committed while off-duty. For example, North Carolina State Trooper Shawn C. Houston of Granite Falls was fired on January 22, 2010 after he was convicted of trapping and shooting to death a five-month-old orange and white kitten named Rowdy that belonged to his next-door neighbor, Andrea Evans. It allegedly was Rowdy's pussyfooting on his vehicles that precipitated Houston's murderous behavior.

At trial, he escaped punishment by paying only $125 in court costs and at last word he was still trying to get back his old job. (See Cat Defender post of July 8, 2010 entitled "North Carolina State Trooper Who Illegally Trapped and Shot His Next-Door Neighbor's Cat, Rowdy, Is Now Crying for His Job Back.")

On May 21, 2013, Lance DeLeon of the Boerne Police Department shot Natalie Brunner's two-year-old brown cat Bobby with a crossbow and an arrow after he strayed into his garden. The projectile punctured a lung and broke Bobby's right leg but he, mercifully, survived.

The attack underscores the propensity of cops to ignore procedures, both legal and otherwise, and to take the law into their own hands in that DeLeon's assault on Bobby came out of the blue and without any prior warning whatsoever having been voiced to Brunner. "He could have come and easily said, 'Do you own a little brown cat? He comes into my yard and I don't like it'," she related to the Daily Mail on May 24, 2013. (See "Off-Duty Texas Police Officer Arrested after Shooting Neighbor's Cat with Arrow.") "Turn a water hose on him, call Animal Control. Being a policeman, he had every resource at his fingertips."

DeLeon was arrested and charged with animal cruelty but a Kendall County Grand Jury refused to indict him on June 3, 2013 thanks in no small part to the shameful, lackluster prosecution of Kendall County District Attorney Bruce Curry who went after him with all the ferocity of a doting parent. Chief of Police Jim Kohler belatedly did the right thing, however, when he gave DeLeon his walking papers a day later. (See the Houston Press, June 6, 2013, "Lance DeLeon: Cop Fired after Shooting Neighbor's Cat with Arrow" and KSAT-TV of San Antonio, June 5, 2013, "Boerne Police Officer Terminated after Allegedly Shooting Cat with Arrow.")

Cops additionally gun down dogs with impunity as Snoddy's colleague with the HPD, Sergeant Russell Metcalf, did to an eight-month-old collie-mix named Sadie owned by Bryan Ware on April 3, 2012. On that occasion, the only offense that Sadie committed in order to warrant her on-the-spot execution was to approach Metcalf as he rode his bicycle through her neighborhood.

He subsequently was indicted and stood trial twice but in the end his buddies within the judicial branch let him off with a measly $800 fine. (See Cat Defender posts of July 18, 2012 and September 7, 2012 entitled, respectively, "The Bloodthirsty and Lawless Harrisonburg Police Follow Up Their Bludgeoning to Death of an Injured Cat by Gunning Down a Collie named Sadie" and "Peripatetic Helvin Rides to the Rescue of Harrisonburg Police Sergeant Russell Metcalf and in Doing So Puts the Judicial Stamp of Approval on His Gunning Down of Sadie.")

During the interim between his two court appearances, Metcalf gave up the struggle to hold onto his job and resigned on October 1, 2012. (See the Daily News Record of Harrisonburg, January 10, 2013, "Ex-City Officer Fined.")

Metcalf's behavior was not as isolated incident in that it is common practice for cop all across the country to gun down dogs that so much as bark at them. Such conduct is not only lawless and morally abhorrent, but it stands in stark juxtaposition to that demonstrated by letter carriers, traveling salesmen, deliverymen, bicyclists, pedestrians, and others who must deal with aggressive dogs all the time and yet none of them pull out guns and shoot them.

Lance DeLeon
Policemen also deliberately kill service dogs by knowingly sending them out to confront armed gunmen that they are too cowardly to arrest themselves. The same is true of their unconscionable use and abuse of them as cadaver dogs at toxic sites, such as Ground Zero in Manhattan.

Numerous police dogs additionally have died from cancerous growths that most likely were caused by secondhand smoke that they were subjected to while being cooped up inside patrol cars all day with officers who smoke like chimneys. Yet, despite the litany of unspeakable abuse that they are subjected to, no animal rights group is willing to either speak up for these dogs or to demand that mankind address the evils that it has created instead of fobbing off that hazardous job on unsuspecting canines.

Given that it is so rare for any of the myriad of despicable crimes perpetrated against defenseless cats, dogs, and other animals by Animal Control officers and policemen to even so much as see the light of day, the full scope of not only their atrocities but the lies and ruses that they employ in carrying them out remains unknown. Nevertheless, it is safe to assume that the former, aided and abetted by shelters and veterinarians, liquidate millions of them each year in the United States. As for cops, the annual tally of just their feline victims alone is surely in the hundreds if not indeed thousands.

As go the animals, so goes man. Consequently, it is not surprising that a New York City police officer recently choked to death Eric Garner of Staten Island for, of all things, selling "loosies." Countless unarmed individuals, such as Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, likewise have been gunned down by the police.

It is not merely those suspected of doing something illegal but innocent bystanders as well, such as twenty-one-year-old Hofstra University student Andrea Rebello and eighty-nine-year-old Marie Zienkewicz of the Philadelphia suburb of Warminster, that trigger-happy cops armed with dangerous automatic weapons are killing with impunity. (See the Huffington Post, May 19, 2013, "Andrea Rebello Killed: Hofstra Student Shot by Police During 'Crime of Opportunity' " and the Courier Times of Levittown, March 8, 2013, "DA: Warminster Officer Accidentally Shot Eighty-Nine-Year-Old During Standoff.")

No surprisingly homeless men, already half-dead, vulnerable, and shamelessly forgotten by society, continue to be favorite targets of the police. For instance, in July of 2011 Fullerton police officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli beat to death thirty-seven-year-old Kelly Thomas at a bus station.

Even though a word-by-word and blow-by-blow account of the attack was captured on a thirty-three-minute surveillance camera as well as audio recorders worn by the officers themselves, a jury comprised of suck-ups to authority in Santa Ana deliberated for less than eight hours on January 13th of this year before acquitting both officers. The Justice Department in Washington is supposedly looking into the matter but no one should expect anything positive to come of that crass public relations ploy in that it is designed only to quiet protesters and to pull the wool over the eyes of a gullible public.

"All of us need to be very afraid now, Thomas' father Ron, a former deputy sheriff himself no less, told The Guardian on January 14th. (See "Verdict Clearing Ex-California Cops of Killing Homeless Man Sparks Protests.") "Police officers everywhere can beat us, kill us, whatever they want, but it has been proven right here today they'll get away with it."

That always has been the case as far as cats are concerned and in that regard it is a foregone conclusion that the officer who shot and nearly killed Clark never will be held accountable under the law. Clark survived by the skin of his teeth but that does not in any material way alter the terrifying reality that in doing so he became only one cat in a million to have been so fortunate.

What most individuals fail to realize is that there is an indelible link between a disregard for the sanctity of animal life on the one hand and a disrespect for human rights on the other hand. That line of reasoning can even be extended to include the environment.

Broadly speaking, respect for the sanctity of life is indivisible; either every cat, human, and tree counts or, sooner or later, nothing and no one is going to count.

Photos: Amelia Kunhardt of the Portland Press Herald (Clark, x-ray, and Clark with Roth), Seth Koenig of the Bangor Daily News (Clark in his cage), Constance Große (Cindy), WTSP-TV (Peggy), Daily Mail and WKYC-TV of Cleveland (Accorti), WPEC-TV of West Palm Beach (Pumpkin), Shannon Johnson (Snuffy and Pebbles), Roger Oldaker (Elmo), Kelly Wesner (Tobey), Dori Stone (Haze), Life with Cats (Larry), South Texas Veterinary Specialists of San Antonio (Bobby), and WOAI-TV of San Antonio and the Daily Mail (DeLeon).