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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

Friday, February 15, 2019

A Wabash College Student Risks His Life in Order to Save a Cat That Had Fallen Through the Ice on a Frozen Lake but That Was Far from Being the Last of Its Miseries

Darden Schurg Carries the Cold and Soaking-Wet Cat Ashore

"I was really concerned because of the thin ice, and then after the cat fell through I knew it was go time. I knew there was short time so I had to act fast."
-- Darden Schurg

Christmas Eve was a sunny but rather cold day in tiny Hobart, fifty kilometers southeast of Chicago in northern Indiana. It was so cold in fact that an overnight low of 26° Fahrenheit had left a patina of shallow ice on Lake George, a five-kilometer-long mill pond in Deep River.

Darden Schurg, a twenty-one-year-old senior and top ranked wrestler at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, one-hundred-eighty-eight kilometers south of Hobart, just happened to be at home with his family for the holidays when disaster struck for a forever nameless orange cat. He and his brothers had just finished eating breakfast and were sitting around the table playing cards when their father looked out the window just in time to see the unfortunate cat fall through the ice.

Owing to the brittle nature of it, the cat was unable to gain sufficient purchase in order to extricate itself from the water and therefore was in imminent danger of either drowning or succumbing to hypothermia. The family briefly toyed with the idea of cobbling together an impromptu rescue plan but there simply was not the time for even that.

Schurg's unidentified elder brother was the first one to venture into the lake but he quickly abandoned that effort owing to the bitter cold and frigid water. That in turn left the cat's fate solely in Darden's hands.

"I was really concerned because of the thin ice, and then after the cat fell through I knew it was go time," he later told the Indianapolis Star on December 28th. (See "Wabash Wrestler Saves Drowning Cat from Frozen Lake.") "I knew there was short time so I had to act fast."

Despite a daytime temperature that peaked at only 34° Fahrenheit, he stripped down to a pair of black drawers and then dived headfirst into the frozen lake. Using only his powerful arms and legs in order to break apart the "sharp as glass" ice, he quickly traversed the thirty to forty yards that separated him from the object of his compassion.

"Once I started kicking, I was able to get through that ice," Schurg told the New York Daily News on December 29th. (See "College Wrestler Risks His Life Diving into Icy Lake to Save Feral Cat.")

As for the traumatized cat, it so far had been holding its own. "He was fighting pretty good, and when he could see that I had jumped into the water I think he kind of knew I was coming to help him, so he just kind of stopped struggling," he theorized to CBS-TV of Chicago on December 28th. (See "College Student Rescues Cat That Fell in Frozen Lake.")

He accordingly was able to swim right up to it, gather it in his arms, and safely carry it ashore. "I could tell he was an outside feral cat 'cause he was kind of growling and hissing at me, but he was too cold to be able to do anything," he related to the Inquisitr of Brooklyn on December 29th. (See "Wabash College Wrestler Darden Schurg Nicknamed 'Aquaman' after Saving Drowning Cat in Viral Video.") "So, I kind of took the hisses and the growling as a thank you."

From all appearances, Schurg's heroics came in just the nick of time because it is highly doubtful that the cat could have persevered for much longer. "He was pretty bad. I think he was kind of a little bit frozen. He kind of came out of it (in) a little bit of a shock," he told CBS-TV of Chicago. "He went under the dock and hid for a little bit. He came out and kind of shook off and sat in the sun. The temperature was starting to come back up."

The entire rescue was filmed by Schurg's sister-in-law, Hilda, who later posted it on Facebook and by December 28th it already had been viewed more than twenty-five-thousand times and shared an additional four-hundred-fifty times. That in turn not only transformed him into a hometown hero but also an international star.

He later was dubbed "Aquaman" in reference to the 2018 science fiction flick of the same name about the mythical ancient Greek island of Atlantis. It was, however, the high praise that he received from his father that pleased him the most. "He was super proud of me," he confided to the New York Daily News.

In spite of all the hoopla, he has remained modest and perhaps even a bit humbled by the unexpected turn of events. "I love all the outpouring (of) support, and I'm just so thankful that I was given this opportunity because it's that quick moment in time and you have such a short time to respond," he told CBS-TV of Chicago. "I was just happy that I was in the right place at the right time and able to do the right thing."

None of those considerations in any way altered his belated realization that his derring-do had come at a steep price. "My adrenaline did most of the work, but the toughest challenge was the fifteen minutes after I got back inside," he told the Indianapolis Star. "I was light-headed and cold."

That is putting the case rather mildly in that his fingers and toes remained numb for hours. Knifing through the ice also had left him with superficial cuts to his face, forehead, hands, chest, and legs.

"I didn't realize how sharp the ice was until I had gotten out," he admitted to CBS-TV of Chicago. "I was a little taken aback myself. I looked down, and I was completely covered head to toe in blood."

Despite all the pain and punishment that the cold and ice had inflicted upon him, he was far from having any regrets. "I feel like it was just something I had to do," he told the New York Daily News. "I kind of have a small place (in my heart) for animals, and I love wildlife, so seeing the cat kind of bothered me. I just couldn't stand by."

Through his compassion and heroism he thus has joined the ranks of a select few remarkable and totally unforgettable individuals who have rendered extraordinary service on behalf of the species. Most prominently, there is twenty-two-year-old Kristina Clark of Copper Center who was willing to be jailed by the fascist police so long as at the end of the day she was able to secure emergency veterinary care for her ailing cat. (See Cat Defender post of February 15, 2014 entitled "An Indefatigable Young Alaskan Woman Overcomes a Lack of Money, a Jailing by the Police, and a Series of Avalanches in Order to Save Ninja's Life.")

Chris Muth of Brooklyn was confined to a nuthouse for so much as daring to attempt to rescue a lost cat. (See Cat Defender post of August 4, 2008 entitled "A Brooklyn Man Gets Locked Up in a Nuthouse and Then Loses Digs, Job, and Honey All for Attempting to Save His Friend's Cat, Rumi.")

Fifty-five-year-old Hannelore Schmedes from the Mahlum section of Bockenem in Niedersachsen was forced to spend thirty-five days in the slammer for stealing food in order to feed her starving cats. (See Cat Defender post of February 12, 2011 entitled "A Disabled Former Casino Worker Is Sent to Jail for Shoplifting Food in Order to Feed Her Twelve Cats.")

John Beck was fired by Cornell University in Ithaca for showing compassion for hungry cats. (See Cat Defender post of June 14, 2006 entitled "A Kindhearted Dairyman, Sacked for Feeding Feral Cats, Files a $20 Million Lawsuit Against Cornell University.")

Jennifer Foster risked being attacked and injured herself by intervening in order to save a neighbor's cat from a coyote. (See Cat Defender post of December 4, 2007 entitled "A Grieving Widow Risks Her Own Life in Order to Save Cosmo from the Jaws of a Hungry Coyote in Thousand Oaks.")

"I'm sure anyone in my situation would feel the same way," is nonetheless how that Schurg shrugged off his herculean rescue to the Indianapolis Star.

On that point he is dead wrong, however, in that there are not too many owners who would have done what he did in order to have saved their own cats, let alone either a homeless one or one that was owned by someone else. In fact, only two other individuals in recent memory come to mind as having sustained serious bodily injuries while rescuing cats.

The first of which was fifty-eight-year-old Ruth Butterworth of Brisbane who went toe-to-toe with a python in order to save the life of her cat. (See Cat Defender post of March 14, 2008 entitled "A Brisbane Woman Is Bitten Twice by a Voracious Python but Still Somehow Manages to Save the Life of Her Cat Tuffy.")

Darden Schurg and Some of the Superficial Injuries That He Sustained

The other one was twenty-eight-year-old Rachel Honeycutt who wound up in a coma in a hospital after she was mowed down by a hit-and-run driver while attempting to save a pair of kittens that had been dumped on the East-West Connector in Cobb County. (See Cat Defender post of August 10, 2009 entitled "A Georgia Woman Is Struck and Nearly Killed by a Motorist while Attempting to Rescue a Pair of Kittens That Had Been Dumped in the Middle of a Busy Highway.")

After all, man's expertise always has been in demonizing and exterminating cats en masse rather than valuing and saving their precious lives. Even Schurg has been called upon the carpet by certain unidentified public officials and forced into justifying his actions.

"I took the risk after considering all of my options and ensuring my safety above all else," he told the Huffington Post on December 29th. (See "College Wrestler Leaps into Icy Lake to Rescue Cat.") "I would not recommend trying this unless you are sure of your capabilities. The body only takes minutes to shutdown when introduced to freezing waters."

The backlash that he has received is typical of the malarkey that the public has come to expect from America's privileged class of policemen and firemen who categorically refuse to come to the aid of cats in extremis. Even worse, the former shoot them on sight while the overwhelming majority of the latter not only leave them stranded in trees and on electrical wires to plunge to their deaths but delight in making asinine jokes about their plight. (See Cat Defender posts of September 27, 2014 and November 9, 2017 entitled, respectively, "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" and "Forest Is Rescued from High Atop a Dead Cherry Tree in an Exceedingly Rare Display of Ailurophilia on the Part of an American Firefighter.")

Such thinking and behavior demonstrates conclusively that neither group nor the politicians who so handsomely reward and so strenuously defend them against their detractors believe that the life of any cat is worth saving. Even more telling, they do not even care about the welfare of noble souls, such as Schurg, who attempt valiant rescues of cats and other animals that are in distress.

Au contraire, they only care about themselves and their beloved shekels. Being essentially little more than bone-lazy parasites who devote their worthless lives to lounging around on the public's dime, they discourage individuals, such as Schurg, from intervening in such matters out of an absurd fear that they might get into distress. That in turn would necessitate that they might actually have to temporarily forsake their cozy offices, brave the bitter cold, and even get their feet wet while attempting to save the lives of these kindhearted individuals.

Despite his simply spectacular rescue of the cat, it did not take Schurg long to undo the tremendous good that he had done. Most outrageous of all, after placing the cat down on the dock in order to dry off he callously allowed it to run off without even taking it to a veterinarian. At the very least, he should have taken it home in order to have given it a chance to thoroughly dry out and for its body temperature to have returned to normal.

Hilda later told the Huffington Post that the reason that they did not take either of those measures was that the cat was feral. For whatever it is worth, she additionally claims that the cat seemed to be okay.

First of all, absolutely no one can tell on sight with any degree of certainty whether or not a cat is feral. For example, many fully domesticated ones have, for good reason, an ingrained fear of all strangers.

Shelters, Animal Control officers, and other rescue personnel knowingly exploit this fear as a convenient excuse for exterminating millions of them each year. The reality of the situation is just the opposite in that even those of them that have lived on their own for years can be domesticated to varying degrees. (See Cat Defender post of July 24, 2017 entitled "A Rescue Group in British Columbia Compassionately Elects to Spare Grandpa Mason's Life and in Return for Doing So It Receives an Unexpected Reward Worth More Than Gold Itself.")

Instead of cruelly abandoning the cat that he had risked his life in saving, Schurg should have seized the moment by taking it home and, if needed, socializing it. Speaking more broadly, it is long past overdue that all individuals, professionals and amateurs alike, stopped spreading the malicious lie that there is any such thing as a feral cat.

"A cat is a cat and that is that," an early American proverb maintains but instead of progressing the public's intellect on this subject has regressed. Moreover, for shelters to kill homeless cats is no less morally abhorrent than it is for cops and juvenile thugs to beat to death homeless men.

Soon after his heroics Schurg returned to school in Crawfordsville and the only public concession that he and his family have made concerning the welfare of the cat has been a weak promise on the part of the patriarch to keep an eye out for it. Such a declaration can only be described as an utterly laughable example of beau geste.

Most disturbing of all, it now appears in hindsight that Schurg's rescue served only to prolong the inevitable. Both the capitalist as well as social media have, typically, forgotten all about the cat but it truly would be a miracle if it survived the wave of unstinting extremely cold weather that has swept across Hobart and the remainder of the eastern half of the United States since Christmas.

According to data supplied by AccuWeather, the thermometer plunged to 9° Fahrenheit in Hobart on January 21st. The reading on January 24th was 6° F and that was followed by overnight lows of 0° F, -3° F, and 0° F on, respectively, January 25th, January 26th, and January 27th.

The reading on January 28th was 11° F but that was followed by -5° F, -20° F, -17° F, and 3° F on, respectively, January 29th, January 30th, January 31st, and February 1st. Unless the cat was able to somehow have gotten inside where it was reasonably warm, it likely froze to death on one of those hellishly cold nights.

Even if it had been lucky enough to earlier have secured shelter underneath a building of some sort it is doubtful that it survived the polar vortex that arrived during the last week of January. That in turn means that the Schurgs ultimately are responsible for its death because they alone had it well within their capacity to have alleviated its plight and yet they knowingly and willingly turned it loose to brave the cruel, hard, and unforgiving cold that lay ahead.

At the end of the day, half-hearted efforts and acts of beau geste do not count for very much when it comes to saving cats. Likewise, protecting them is not a parlor game in the same fashion that Dame Agatha treated murder.

It therefore is imperative they be kept either indoors or provided with heated shelters during the wintertime. They also require a steady supply of good quality meat, water that is not frozen, and access to, if any can be found, top-notch veterinary care.

The dangers that Old Man Winter presents for cats are almost too numerous to even catalog. First and foremost there are, as the orange cat found out, the perils posed by ice and frozen bodies of water. (See Cat Defender posts of January 13, 2006, March 5, 2007, March 25, 2011, and February 23, 2015 entitled, respectively, "Montana Firefighters Rescue a 'Lucky' Cat Who Was Caged and Purposefully Thrown into an Icy River," "Run Down by a Motorist and Frozen to the Ice by His Own Blood, Roo Is Saved by a Caring Woman," "Compassionate Construction Workers Interrupt Their Busy Day in Order to Rescue Chabot-Matrix from a Stream in Maine," and "Abandoned to Tough It Out by His Lonesome in the Deadly Michigan Cold and Snow, Flick Sustains Horrific Injuries to His Front Paws When They Become Frozen to a Porch.")

The bitter cold and deep snowfalls are two additional obstacles that are nearly impossible for cats to overcome. (See Cat Defender posts of May 8, 2009, January 21, 2010, February 2, 2015, and May 13, 2015 entitled, respectively, "Domino, Feral and All Alone, Faces an Uncertain Future in Wisconsin Following an Unplanned Trip to Arizona," "Trapped Outdoors in a Snowstorm, Annie Is Brought Back from the Dead by the Compassion of a Good Samaritan and an Animal Control Officer," "Cruelly Denatured and Locked Up Indoors for All of His Life, Nicky Is Suddenly Thrust into the Bitter Cold and Snow for Twenty-One Consecutive Days with Predictably Tragic Results," and "Bubba Is Condemned to Spend Forty Days Trapped Underneath a Snow-Covered Porch after Her Uncaring Owners Prematurely Wrote Her Off as Being Dead.")

Like humans, cats also come down with the flu and common colds but those that live outdoors seldom, if ever, receive the treatment that they richly deserve and require. (See Cat Defender posts of March 8, 2006, March 17, 2006, and June 26, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Vogelgrippe Claims the Life of a Kater on Deutschland's Rügen Islet. Could Humans Be Next?" "Two More Cats and a Steinmarder Die of Vogelgrippe on Insel Rügen Prompting Panicky Owners to Abandon Their Felines at Shelters," and "Emaciated and Suffering from the Flu, Katzen-Mama Fights Off a Vicious Fox in Order to Save Her Four Kittens.")

The widespread and indiscriminate use of antifreeze, the poisonous chemicals that are spread on streets and sidewalks in order to melt snow and ice, and the siren call of warm engines are three additional, but not often mentioned, hazards that bedevil the lives of cats. (See Cat Defender posts of July 2, 2007 and January 5, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Cats Are Being Poisoned with Antifreeze in San Francisco but Animal Control Refuses to Take the Killings Seriously" and "A 'Miracle' Cat Survives a Seventy-Mile Trip Down the New Jersey Turnpike by Clinging to the Drive Shaft of an SUV.")

When it rains it pours and in that respect it is quite often the dead of winter that despisers of the species select as the time in order to commit some of their most dastardly acts of cruelty. (See Cat Defender posts of December 9, 2008 and March 14, 2015 entitled, respectively, "Shaven from Head to Tail and Left to Freeze to Death in the Ontario Cold, Chopper Is Saved at the Last Minute" and "Ace Is Found Frozen to a Porch with His Eyes Goughed Out but the Authorities Are Too Lazy, Cheap, and Ailurophobic to Go After His Assailant.")

Climate change also is dramatically endangering the lives of cats, especially those that are forced to live outdoors. It therefore is mandatory that practitioners of TNR above the Mason-Dixon line install heaters inside the shelters of the cats that live under their care and control.

On the West Coast, wildfires and mudslides are the principal concerns while along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states hurricanes are becoming not only more powerful but frequent as well. It therefore should be axiomatic that weather that is unfit for humans to be out in is likewise unhealthy for cats but that self-evident reality continues to escape the grasp of most individuals, just as it did the Schurg family in Hobart.

Photos: Facebook.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The American Bird Conservancy, a Stench of the Federal Bench, and New York State Parks Pool Their Resources in Order to Put the Screws to the Jones Beach Cats

 Spatt the Scat Cares Nothing for Either Evidence or the Law

"This lawsuit appears to be part of a larger pattern by the American Bird Conservancy to advocate for its vision of an American landscape in which all cats have been eradicated, and it is inappropriately trying to use the Endangered Species Act as a tool to further this dark agenda."
-- Becky Robinson of Alley Cat Allies

Homeless cats and their supporters were dealt a crushing defeat on August 4th when a federal judge ordered all current and future members of the species to be evicted from Jones Beach State Park in the hamlet of Wantagh in Hempstead, fifty-eight kilometers west of Manhattan on Long Island. That high-handed and simply outrageous miscarriage of justice was handed down by ninety-three-year-old Brooklynite Arthur D. Spatt of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in nearby Central Islip, forty-two kilometers northeast of Jones Beach, and in doing so he bestowed upon inveterate cat-haters and defamers David A. Krauss and Susan Scioli of the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) in The Plains, Virginia, one of their sweetest victories to date.

At issue in this case was, supposedly, the safety and well-being of piping plovers (Charadrius melodus), small, sand-colored shorebirds, that arrive at Jones Beach in mid-April in order to breed before returning in late August and early September to their winter homes in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and elsewhere along the southern Atlantic coast. From start to finish, no one involved in this cause célèbre, least of all Spatt the Scat and the defendant, Rose Harvey, commissioner of New York State's Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation ((NYS Parks), which administers Jones Beach, had so much as a kind word to say for either the cats or their dedicated caretakers.

It is not known with any exactitude just how long the cats had been residing at the beach, but most likely they had been there ever since the area was settled and both year-round and as well as seasonal residents cruelly began using it as a convenient dumping ground in order to get rid of those that they no longer wanted. "We get one or two a month," Marion McKenna, one of their longtime caretakers, told The New York Times on April 17, 2015. (See "At a Long Island Beach, Human Tempers Flare over Claws and Feathers.")

What is known is that her colleague, nearby resident Stephanie Capuano, had been caring for them for at least eighteen years and that they had been permanent, year-round residents as opposed to the seasonal plovers. She and her colleagues sheltered, fed, watered, vaccinated, and medicated the cats out of their own funds and were not paid so much as a red cent for their labors. The town of Hempstead, however, did help them to sterilize an indeterminate number of them.

Until the ABC went on the offensive, the arrangement had worked out quite well for all concerned and the number of homeless cats had dwindled significantly over the years. "We understand that there were over one-hundred cats at Jones Beach ten years ago," Peter Osborne of Alley Cat Allies (ACA) of Bethesda, Maryland, told the Examiner of Washington on June 8, 2016. (See "New York Aims to Toss Lawsuit Targeting Jones Beach Feral Cats.") "Today, we understand the number generally used is about thirty cats."

In court filings, the feline population was pegged at twenty-three but regardless of the actual number all of them are now gone and any future arrivals also will be given the boot. "It's disgraceful the bird people have sued the parks," Capuano lamented to the Daily Mail on April 4, 2016. (See "Cats Versus Birds: Natural Enemies the Focus of New York Legal Battle.")

McKenna echoed those sentiments. "Nobody has bothered us. The park's staff all know who we are," she added to The New York Times. "We've never had any trouble. It's just the bird people."

Although NYS Parks reportedly had been attempting to get rid of the cats and their caretakers for as far back as 2006, the beginning of the end of their tenure began in March of 2016 when the ABC filed a lawsuit demanding that they be permanently removed from the park. In doing so, it once again trotted out all of its well-rehearsed libels and slanders against the species.

"People think that a well-fed cat isn't going to bother chasing down these birds," the organization's Glenn Phillips told The New York Times. "But it doesn't work that way. They are driven by instinct."

That is hardly earth-shattering news in that of course cats chase birds just as they do mice, strings, and about anything else that moves, but what he fails to mention is that it actually is quite difficult for them to catch and kill birds. He also jumps to the erroneous conclusion that all cats are alike in both personality and disposition and that is patently untrue in that many cats do not hunt at all.

"In fact, a well-fed cat is a better predator," Phillips continued to The New York Times. "A healthier cat is better able to run and pounce."

That is utter nonsense in that cats do not kill birds by running and pouncing because their intended victims would see and hear them coming for afar and immediately take to the air. That is even more so the case on beaches.

On the contrary, the relatively few skillful avian killers that actually exist hide in tall grass and use their exceptional hearing and lightning fast reflexes in order to take down birds by surprise with their claws. Even under that scenario many birds are still able to get to their feet and fly off owing to their attackers' rather poor eyesight.

It possibly could be an entirely different story if they were able to get at newly-born birds while they were still in their nests and unable to fly but, according to some press reports, the nests of the plovers at Jones Beach are protected by circular cages and other devices. The failure of the ABC to acknowledge these realities is just one more example among many of its total unwillingness to ever tell the truth about a solitary thing.

Besides, so what if cats do occasionally kill birds? Not only do they reciprocate in kind by killing cats and kittens but ornithologists, both amateurs and professionals, often take the law into their own hands and do likewise.

If it were possible to conduct an accurate accounting, it surely would show that birds and their advocates kill far more cats than vice-versa. (See Cat Defender posts of July 31, 2006, August 14, 2008, August 1, 2011, and February 16, 2012 entitled, respectively, "A Fifteen-Year-Old Cat Named Bamboo Miraculously Survives Being Abducted and Mauled by a Hoot Owl in British Columbia," "Birds Killing Cats: Blackie Is Abducted by a Sea Gull and Then Dropped but Her Fall Is Broken by a Barbed-Wire Fence," "Eddie Is Saved by an Outdoor Umbrella after He Is Abducted and Then Dropped by a Redtailed Hawk," and "Hawk Suffers Puncture Wounds to His Stomach and One Paw When He Is Abducted by a Raptor Hired to Patrol a City Dump on Vancouver Island," plus The Mirror of London, June 4, 2009, "Crows Attack Cat Stuck Seventy Feet Up Tree.")

It also is important to bear in mind that plovers, like all birds, are not the innocent little angels that the ABC claims. For instance, they eat worms, beetles, insect larvae, crustaceans, and mollusks as well as other small marine animals and their eggs. (See Cat Defender post of May 6, 2008 entitled "The National Audubon Society Wins the Right for an Invasive Species of Shorebirds to Prey Upon Unborn Horseshoe Crabs.")

Based solely upon the ABC's rhetoric, entomologists would be entirely justified in calling for the removal of birds from the environment in order to protect declining insect populations. (See Common Dreams, October 16, 2018, " 'One of the Most Disturbing Articles I Have Ever Read' Scientist Says of Study Detailing Climate-Driven 'Bugpocalypse'.")

Furthermore, Phillips' assertion that well-fed cats do more hunting than those that are on the verge of starvation is simply asinine. For example, those cats that clearly can be seen waiting patiently each morning and evening at their feeding stations for their TNR caretakers to arrive and feed them are, quite obviously, not stalking birds or any other animals at those times of the day.

A Survivor with No Place to Go

In 2013, Michael Cove of North Carolina State University in Raleigh conducted a study of the diets of free-roaming cats in Key Largo's Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge and in Big Pine Key's National Key Deer Refuge and from that exercise he concluded that more than eighty per cent of their diets were derived from anthropogenic sources. (See the Florida Keys Free Press of Tavernier, September 6, 2017, "Study: Refuge Cats Fed Mostly by Humans.")

In addition to the ABC's sottise about the hunting prowess and dietary preferences of cats, it also claims that they are a threat to humans because they allegedly spread hookworm, rabies, and toxoplasmosis. First of all, such an argument was not germane because what was at stake in this instance was the well-being of plovers, not humans.

Secondly, the ABC's claims are ludicrous in that if they contained so much as a scintilla of validity those diseases would be at epidemic proportions and local, state, and federal health officials would have intervened long ago. On the contrary, it is precisely the ABC's beloved birds that pose a threat to human health.

For instance, they not only spread deadly strains of influenza but they also destroy crops as well. It is axiomatic but nonetheless worthwhile to point out that scarecrows are not erected in gardens and on farms in order to scare away cats.

Plus, bird flu not only kills humans but cats as well. (See Cat Defender posts of March 8, 2006 and March 17, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Vogelgrippe Claims the Life of a Kater on Deutschland's Rügen Islet. Could Humans Be Next?" and "Two More Cats and a Steinmarder Die of Vogelgrippe on Insel Rügen Prompting Panicky Owners to Abandon Their Felines at Shelters.")

It is a little known fact but birds also start wildfires. (See Cosmos Magazine of Adelaide, January 12, 2018, "Australian Raptors Start Fires to Flush Out Prey.")

Phillips' comrade-in-arms at the ABC, Grant "Seismic" Sizemore, even has had the temerity to accuse cats, who are world renowned for their cleanliness and toilet habits, of being just the opposite. "The continued presence of this large number of cats has the effect of turning the beachfront into a giant litter box," he bellowed to his buddies at The New York Times.

Conspicuously absent from Seismic Sizemore's mindless rant is any mention whatsoever of where his beloved plovers and the other avian species that frequent Jones Beach go to the toilet. It is a good bet, however, that they do their dirty business in the sand, ocean, and on the tops of visitors' noggins. Once again, no one has ever accused a cat urinating and defecating on a promenader's head.

Furthermore, it most assuredly is not cats that foul grain silos, waterways, and city streets with their excrement but rather birds. For instance, it was not cats but rather pigeons that "Red" Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, ordered to be cruelly eradicated from Trafalgar Square. So, to sum up, the ABC's case against cats boils down to nothing more than a hate-filled tirade of lies and hypocrisy.

On June 2, 2016, NYS Parks  responded by filing a motion to have the ABC's lawsuit dismissed. Most importantly of all, it correctly argued that the organization had not demonstrated any causal connection whatsoever between the presence of the cats at Jones Beach and any detrimental impact on the piping plovers. In fact, it even went so far as to label the ABC's allegations as "highly suspect and unreliable."

Although the birds are listed by New York State as endangered and by the feds as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, they have made an amazing recovery over the course of the past twenty years or so. For instance, Anne Hecht of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) told the Daily Mail in the article cited supra that the number of mating pairs along the Atlantic Coast had more than doubled from seven-hundred-ninety in 1989 to one-thousand-eight-hundred-fifty in 2015. Furthermore, the Long Island Colonial Waterbird and Piping Plover Survey counted a total of thirty-three nesting pairs and forty-five fledglings at Jones Beach alone during 2015.

It also must never be forgotten that it was not cats that were responsible for the plovers' initial decline. Rather, that blame can be laid at the feet of hunters who during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries slaughtered them in droves so that they could be fashioned into women's hats.

Later on unchecked development and beach replenishment efforts led to a second decline in the birds' prospects. Storytellers, such as those in residence at the ABC, never have been known to allow the truth to spoil their narratives and, in this instance, cats have been made the scapegoats for a litany of crimes that were committed in the past as well as imaginary present-day offenses.

NYS Parks additionally argued that "no potential interest of (the ABC) is being harmed" by the presence of the cats and that it was "pure speculation" that evicting them would address the alleged harm that was being done to the plovers. Those arguments delighted ACA.

"In pushing back against (the) baseless assertions ABC made about New York State Parks and its management of Jones Beach State Park, New York State is sending a strong message to ABC, to park officials, to city governments, and to cat advocates across the country," Becky Robinson intoned in a July 3, 2016 press release. (See "New York Moves to Dismiss Speculative Allegations Made Against Cats at Jones Beach.") "We hope that the court will follow New York's request and dismiss this lawsuit."

As things eventually turned out, she later would have more than ample reason not only to rue those statements but, more importantly, for ever aligning her advocacy group with the duplicitous and totally untrustworthy NYS Parks. For the time being, however, it was full speed ahead for the unsuspecting Robinson and ACA.

In early July, it requested permission from Spatt the Scat to file an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the cats. "We've asked to be heard on this case because -- if it goes forward -- it will be important for the court to have accurate information on cat behavior so it can assess the claims made in the lawsuit," Robinson stated July 5th in a press release. (See "Jones Beach Cats Update: Alley Cat Allies Files Proposed 'Friend of the Court' Brief.") "We also want the court to understand the significant level of public opposition to this lawsuit and to the position advanced by the American Bird Conservancy in it, and to have the information needed to assess the many negative ramifications of taking the action the American Bird Conservancy has requested."

Ultimately that request was granted and the amicus was prepared by Michael D. Goodstein and Anne E. Lynch of the Washington law firm of Hunsucker Goodstein. Once Spatt the Scat finally got around to ruling on Harvey's request for a dismissal on February 6, 2017, the first thing that he did was to reverse course and to refuse to even consider ACA's brief.

His ruling was based upon his interpretation of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12 (b) (1) and 12 (b) (6) which relate to the question of standing. Given that Goodstein is a seasoned trial attorney who spent a dozen years with the Justice Department in Washington during which time he, inter alia, won a US$30 million judgment against the notorious Koch Brothers for spilling oil and a US$12 million verdict against the en masse pig killers at Smithfield Farms for violating the Clean Water Act he, better than anyone else, should be intimately familiar with the rules for pleading in a federal courtroom.

If, on the other hand, Spatt the Scat did not manhandle that important issue, then Goodstein and Lynch sold Robinson and ACA a bill of goods and took the charity's money under false pretenses. Regardless of where the truth may lie, it is seldom a good idea to bring in counsel from outside an area in order to try a case on their own.

Another Cat That Has Lost Its Home and Freedom

Just about all judges are tyrannical autocrats who run their courtrooms like feudal fiefdoms; like cops, they are the law and woe be it to anyone who so much as either questions their authority or looks cross-eyed at their insane opinions and prejudices. For that reason alone, it is usually far preferable to hire a local attorney who is intimately acquainted with the judicial temperament and jurisprudence of the judge trying the case. C'est-à- dire, venue and judge shopping, as opposed to what is right and wrong, more often than not determine how a particular case is going to be decided.

After he had done that, it was a foregone conclusion that Spatt the Scat was going to deny Harvey's request that the case be dismissed but little did ACA anticipate that in doing so he was going to voice his full support for all of the ABC's ridiculous allegations. Most of his twenty-eight-page opinion is devoted to the question of standing and in regard to that matter he ruled that the ABC had more than satisfied the trio of elements required for it to seek relief from the federal courts.

He did so by first of all ruling that the lead plaintiffs in this case, Krauss and Scioli, were being harmed by the presence of the cats at Jones Beach. "Members of the American Bird Conservancy regularly visit Jones Beach State Park for the purpose of observing piping plovers," he wrote. "In this regard, they derive academic, recreational, aesthetic, spiritual, and other benefits from watching the courting, feeding, nesting and chick-rearing habits of the birds," he declared. (A link to his opinion can be found at Courthouse News Service of Pasadena, February 8, 2017, "Piping Plover Defenders Gear Up for Trial.")

First of all, that hardly seems to be sufficient evidence in order to support an "injury in fact" given that neither of them either own the plovers or the beach. Secondly, Krauss's claim that he regularly journeys to the beach fifteen to twenty times a year in order to visit the birds is, to say the least, dubious.

Since they are in residence for such a very brief period of time each year, his declaration implies that he is at the beach at least once a week, every week, between April and September and that would involve considerable time and expense. For instance, since he resides on the Upper East Side of Manhattan it is doubtful that he could make it to Jones Beach in less than an hour even by motor car.

If, on the other hand, he utilizes public transportation, he most likely would need to take the IRT to Grand Central Terminal where he then would need to change to the number seven train. At Hunterspoint in Long Island City he would need to transfer again to the Long Island Rail Road in order to just get to Freeport.

From there he would need to take Nassau Inter-County Express bus number eighty-eight to the beach. It accordingly is doubtful that such an arduous expedition could be completed in much less than two hours.

Secondly, visiting the plovers is an expensive proposition. If he is traveling by automobile, he would be responsible for the petrol, tolls, and the $US10 parking fee that the beach charges. Likewise, if he is using public transportation, train and bus fares in both the city and on Long Island are not exactly on the cheap side.

The beach additionally charges state residents an entrance fee of US$12; non-residents pay US$15. Of course, it is entirely possible that since he is such a big shot with the ABC that park officials fall all over themselves in his presence and not only grant him free entrée but also allow him to park his old jalopy gratis.

That likely is the only way that he could be making so many trips to the beach given that he works as a science professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), which is located in the shadows of where the World Trade Center used to stand. That is because college professors are not only bone-lazy but notoriously cheap to boot.

Their specialty, on the other hand, is fleecing students, their parents, and the feds out of tons of money, not spending it. For instance, BMCC sticks it to in-state students to the tune of US$5,170 in tuition and fees each year while out-of-state students are required to pony up a whopping US$8,050. Even at those exorbitant rates only a paltry 24.6 per cent of the school's students ever graduate.

Aside from serving on the ABC's Advisory Council, Scioli is the former proprietor of the Community Bookstore in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn where she still resides above the shop. No mention has been made in court documents of how much time, if any, that she spends with the plovers. (See the Brooklyn Daily, September 21, 2011, "Community Bookstore Celebrates Forty Years at the Heart of the Slope.")

Press reports have inexcusably neglected to disclose if the grief-stricken duo turned up in court dressed in black and toting bath towels and steel buckets in order to catch their teardrops. Or perhaps they merely showed Spatt the Scat a pair of empty wallets and that was sufficient in itself in order to prompt him to get out his silk handkerchief and to join them in a long and raucous bawl.

As far as the second component of standing, causation, is concerned, Spatt the Scat ruled that Harvey and NYS Parks were clearly culpable. "Initially, drawing all inferences in the plaintiff's (sic) favor, the court assumes that the act (ESA) imposes on governmental agencies, including the commissioner (Harvey), a broad affirmative duty to take such measures as are reasonably necessary to protect threatened species within their jurisdictions," he decreed.

Even in grudgingly granting the old geezer that much, he surely went off the deep end when he came to the third element of standing, redressability. "...in this case, it is plausible to believe that the commissioner's broad duty to conserve piping plovers at Jones Beach may include actions to lessen the risk of predation by removing non-native feral cats and preventing members of the public from re-establishing feral cat colonies in the future," he ruled. "As discussed above, in the court's view, it is also plausible that such measures would likely redress the plaintiffs' aesthetic and recreational interest in the birds."

In arriving at that conclusion, Spatt the Scat turned Harvey's own scribblings against her. "Feral cats, whether in colonies or solitary, represent a significant concern when in proximity to the threatened and endangered species such as nesting areas of species at risk," a NYS Parks' publication entitled "Guidelines for Feral Cat Control in State Parks" proclaims.

That publication, however,  fails to define "proximity." For example, there were colonies at both West Bathhouse and Field Number 10 which were, it is believed, anywhere between one-quarter and two-thirds of a mile removed from the plovers' well-protected nests.

Spatt the Scat also pounced like a hawk on a cat by citing a March 17, 2015 letter that Harvey sent to the ABC. "...its (NYS Parks) goal should be the removal of feral cats within New York State Parks," she wrote. "...there is 'a possibility of (feral cats) harming endangered and threatened wildlife, particularly piping plover'..."

Not only that but Old Harvey Bird is both a graduate of Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as a member of the cat-hating Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey. So, that segues into the thought-provoking question of why did she even bother to buck the ABC in the first place?

An Orange Cat Enjoying a Last Meal at Home

Well, as it turns out she had at least fifty million reasons for doing so. At least that is the dollar amount that Jones Beach pours into the Long Island economy each year according to Michael Hollander of the Long Island Conventions and Visitors Bureau. (See The New York Times, June 27, 1999, "Keeping Up with Jones Beach; a City on the Sand for Eight Million, Silicone Singles to Kite Flyers.")

For the uninitiated, Jones Beach is a lot more than just cats and birds. In fact, it is the busiest beach on the East Coast with more than six million visitors per annum.

The beach is so heavily developed that it features, inter alia, the Jones Beach Theatre, the Boardwalk Bandshell, a 3.2 kilometer boardwalk, a water tower, a shopping mall, restaurants, concessions stands, a boat basin, a Coast Guard station, several parking lots, and the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center. It even sports its very own police station!

It additionally allows fishing and has a bait and tackle shop. It has golf, basketball, tennis, shuffleboard, softball, and volleyball facilities as well as swimming pools, bicycle trails, picnicking areas, sailing, kayaking, and two bathhouses.

It is better known, however, for its rock concerts, Fourth of July fireworks, and the Bethpage Air Show. The latter of which is held each Memorial Day and attracts more than four-hundred-thousand spectators in order to view flyovers by the United States Navy's Blue Angels and the United States Air Force's Thunderbirds.

All of those extremely noisy, polluting, and disruptive activities are more than welcome at Jones Beach as far as Spatt the Scat, NYS Parks, and the ABC are concerned. It was only the twenty-three resident felines that had to go.

In addition to Jones Beach, NYS Parks operates an additional two-hundred-fourteen parks across New York State plus twenty-eight golf courses, thirty-five swimming holes, sixty-seven beaches, and eighteen museums and nature centers. At least fifty-one of its parks even allow recreational hunting.

Presumably, Harvey and her cronies have outlawed the recreational killing of protected avian species at all parks under their jurisdiction but it is highly unlikely that they are able to enforce that edict. In that same light, Bird Life International of Cambridge has reported that an astounding twenty-five million migratory birds are shot, trapped, and glued each year while crossing the Mediterranean region. (See Deutsche Welle of Köln, October 24, 2017, "Europe Remains a Major Bird Killer.")

Therefore, it is safe to assume that Old Harvey Bird and New York State were not about to allow the ABC to impinge upon any of their shekel accumulation activities and instead they chose to sell the cats and their dedicated caretakers down the river. Although since the ABC's partner in crime, the National Audubon Society (NAS), allows oil to be drilled at the Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, the Bernard W. Baker Sanctuary in Bellevue, Michigan, the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Bonita Springs, Florida and, presumably, elsewhere at all of its bird sanctuaries, it would have been quite a hoot to have seen it accuse NYS Parks of chasing shekels at the expense of its precious plovers.

Much more importantly, Spatt the Scat's cockeyed dicta that the ESA bestows a right of exclusivity upon plovers and their champions is an opinion that is not shared by all jurists. For example, when the Goldenrod Foundation attempted to have motorists banned from Plymouth Long Beach, four-hundred-seven kilometers north of Jones Beach in the state of Massachusetts, on the grounds that they were a threat to piping plovers and terns the courts turned deaf ears.

In the first of two decisions on the subject, Administrative Judge David Hoover ruled that allowing off-road vehicles (ORV) on the beach did not constitute a "take" within the meaning of the ESA. In doing so, he also questioned the motives of Goldenrod's founder, Catherine S. Muther.

"Portions of Ms. Muther's testimony may be motivated more by her longstanding opposition to any ORV access to the beachfront, due perhaps to her family summering experience at her beachfront cottage," he wrote according to the December 26, 2010 edition of the Wicked Local of Plymouth. (See "Judge Upholds Plymouth Beach Management Plan.")

Although the town of Plymouth owns ninety per cent of the beach, Muther owns a summer home there and has complained in the past not only about the noise churned up by motorists but dogs as well. Golodenrod's appeal of that decision was denied in March of 2015 by Suffolk Superior Court judge Jeffrey A. Locke. (See the Wicked Local, March 21, 2015, "Court Says Cars and Birds Can Coexist on Plymouth Long Beach.")

By contrast, Spatt the Scat's understanding of the "taking" provision of the ESA is rather different. "...the act prohibits any person from 'taking' such species within the United States or its territorial seas," he wrote. "To 'take' a species means to 'harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect it, or to attempt to engage in such conduct."

If he had had the bon sens to have stopped there that would have been bad enough but he instead went on to incorporate psychological stress into his interpretation of "taking." "In this regard, aside from actually hunting the birds, the mere presence of feral cats can cause substantial behavioral changes in nearby bird populations, such as a reduction in the feeding of nesting chicks and an increased likelihood of nest failure," he opined in a ruling that reads as if it were crafted by none other than the ABC itself.

There is an almost endless array of problems associated with Spatt the Scat's lunatic interpretation of the ESA. First of all, cats and TNR are not mentioned in the law.

Secondly, it never was intended by its draftsmen as a primer for ornithologists and wildlife biologists to engage in speciesism. Thirdly, the "taking" clause refers explicitly to "persons" not cats and other animals.

What has happened in recent decades is that the USFWS, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Commerce Department, which are entrusted with administering the law, have transformed it at the urging of birders and wildlife biologists into a bludgeon in order to go after cats. Even worse, other federal services, such as the USDA's Wildlife Services, the National Park Service, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, just to name a few, have followed suit.

None of that changes the salient fact that the ESA on its face does not sanction either speciesism or any of the abominable crimes that follow from such an interpretation. Rather, it is federal and state bureaucrats and robed cat-haters such as Spatt the Scat who have unconstitutionally corrupted its original intention.

If Spatt the Scat, the ABC, NAS, and USFWS are so hellbent on getting rid of cats they should inveigle one of the many politicians that they have in their hip pockets into putting the matter on the ballot. It is almost superfluous to point out that there are an awful lot of people across this nation who are fed up with nameless and unelected bureaucrats and judges making the laws.

New York State Parks Stole the Cats' Shelters and Feeding Stations

The remainder of Spatt the Scat's spiel is just pure drivel. "Feral cats are an invasive or non-native species to Jones Beach and one which naturally preys on birds," he bellowed.

It is always amusing to hear pale-faced, honky-donkeys like Spatt the Scat, the ABC, ornithologists, and wildlife biologists open up their traps and trot out their hypocritical nonsense about invasive species. If they truly believed what they profess, they would simply shut up and go back to Europe!

Most of their palaver is nothing but outright lies anyway. For example, cat-hating fiend Michael Hutchins of The Wildlife Society went before a congressional committee in 2011 in order to brand the wild horses who live in the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge on North Carolina's Outer Banks as an invasive species.

"It's all about values," the big phony lectured the legislators according to his group's April 7, 2011 press release. (See "The Wildlife Society Testifies Before Congress on Feral Horse Management. Recommends Keeping Numbers Low to Minimize Impacts on Native Wildlife.") "Do we want to protect our native wildlife, or turn our national wildlife refuges into theme parks for exotic animals?"

Actually, horses are native to North America. For some unknown reason, they disappeared around ten-thousand years ago before being reintroduced by the Spanish conquistadors. (See Living on Earth, October 20, 2017, "Rough Riding in Wild Horse Country.")

Determining what men, animals, and plants are native to a particular land mass therefore depends upon how far back in the archaeological record one is willing to go and the honesty of the researcher. Also, taxonomical classifications change all the time. (See Cat Defender post of April 17, 2007 entitled "Clouded Leopards of Sumatra and Borneo Are Discovered to Be a Distinct Species from Their Cousins in Mainland Southeast Asia.")

Most importantly of all, speciesism is not only unjust but morally indefensible as well. Being au fond nothing more than the taking of the odious principles of bigotry, exploitation, and genocide and applying them to the animal kingdom, it has been used to sanction the diabolical eradication of untold species around the world and its exponents and practitioners are far worse monsters than the Adolf Hitlers and Pol Pots of this world. (See Cat Defender post of November 18, 2016 entitled "A Clever Devil at the University of Adelaide Boasts That He Has Discovered the Achilles' Heel of Cats with His Invention of Robotic Grooming Traps as the Thoroughly Evil Australians' All-Out War Against the Species Enters Its Final Stages.")

Just as Spatt the Scat was not the least bit interested in hearing anything out of ACA, he likewise turned a deaf ear to NYS Parks' assertion that skunks, foxes, opossums, raccoons, and gulls could be preying upon the plovers. "...there is no evidence in the record relating to the alleged threat posed by these or any other non-feral cat species, and the assertions contained in the commissioner's legal memorandum are insufficient to refute the plaintiff's (sic) allegations at this juncture," he decreed.

In the end, Spatt the Scat refused NYS Parks' dismissal petition and thus paved the way for the lawsuit to go forward. "In this case, taken together, the court finds that the allegations in the complaint support a plausible inference of harm to the survival of the Jones Beach piping plovers, and, by extension, the plaintiff's (sic) protected interest in them," he concluded. "For example, the feral cat colonies are located well within the roaming radius of the cats, and predatory feral cats have consistently been documented near the birds' nesting areas."

In making such an asinine determination Spatt the Scat was guilty of accepting the ABC's propaganda without so much as an iota of evidence that the cats had preyed upon the plovers. If she had been allowed the common courtesy of testifying, McKenna would have presented an entirely different picture of the situation.

"Every day the cats get fresh water and fresh food," she told The New York Times on April 17, 2015. "They are not hungry. They stay where they are."

Spatt the Scat gave NYS Parks twenty days in which to respond to his ruling and although he did not specifically rule on the actual substance of the case, his dicta left little doubt that he fully concurred with the ABC's charges. That rather obvious conclusion, however, somehow eluded Robinson and ACA.

"We are confident that New York State will prevail, and look forward to the issue having its day in court," she declared in a February 6, 2017 press release. (See "Alley Cat Allies' Reaction: Cats Get Their Day in Court in Endangered Species Act Case in New York.")

Actually, the cats never had anything even remotely resembling a fair hearing. Although they were relentlessly derided throughout the years of legal wrangling by the ABC and later by Spatt the Scat, no one was allowed to speak up for them.

So, it was not surprising that in the end they lost their home, freedom, caretakers and, worst of all, some of them may even have lost their lives. On the other hand, the piping plovers were represented by Jeffrey A. Simes, Glenn S. Kerner, Jordan D. Weiss, and Shaun P. deLacy of the Manhattan law firm of Goodwin Proctor as well as William F. Sheehan of the ABC's Washington office.

On August 4th of last year, the ABC, NYS Parks, and Spatt the Scat hashed out and initialed what is known as a Stipulation of Settlement and Order of Dismissal. In layman's terms, it stipulated that the cats had to be imprisoned in a so-called "Field 10 Contained Area" by December 31st and removed from the park entirely by March 31, 2019.

Once it had lost its dismissal motion on February 6, 2017 it was a foregone conclusion that NYS Parks was going to capitulate to the ABC's demands. It is only conjecture but it seems likely that the eighteen-month delay in reaching a final settlement was necessitated by NYS Parks' burning desire to save its own hide which, in the end, it succeeded in doing by selling the cats down the river.

It accomplished that Machiavellian objective by first of all persuading the ABC to agree that there would not be any "payments, attorneys' fees, costs, disbursements, (or) expenses." Secondly, the stipulation states that it "explicitly denies any wrongful conduct or liability, or violation of the ESA or any other law, in connection with the events alleged in the action." Thirdly, the stipulation denies that NYS Parks is acknowledging any liability whatsoever in regard to the plovers.

To make a long story short, the ABC got rid of the cats while NYS Parks saved its precious shekels and is going to be allowed to continue to operate its profitable park without any further interference. As for the cats, they got screwed.

Overlooked in all the hoopla is the petit fait that there is absolutely nothing in the ESA that prohibits cats from living at Jones Beach or, for that matter, any other beach. Their ouster therefore was just another classic example of a judge abusing his powers by codifying his own prejudices.

Motorists and Plovers Coexist on Plymouth Long Beach

The only reasonable solution would have been for Spatt the Scat to have ruled that protecting the plovers was the ABC's responsibility and that it had to do so in a manner that did not harm cats, other animals, and the interests of the park. In other words, it could not take the law into its own hands as fanatical cat-haters James Munn Stevenson of Galveston and Nico Dauphiné of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, and Richard DeSantis of West Islip have previously done and, unbelievably, gotten away with to boot. (See Cat Defender posts of August 7, 2008, January 6, 2012, and March 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Crime Pays! Having Made Fools Out of Galveston Prosecutors, Serial Cat Killer James Munn Stevenson Is Now a Hero and Laughing All the Way to the Bank," "Nico Dauphiné Is Let Off with an Insultingly Lenient $100 Fine in a Show Trail That Was Fixed from the Very Beginning," and "A Long Island Serial Cat Killer Is Guilty of Only Disorderly Conduct, a Corrupt Court Rules.")

That, for example, is universally the reaction from wildlife biologists whenever coyotes, fishers, raccoons, and other wild animals that they have deliberately driven out of their rural homes invade urban settings and commence slaughtering cats. (See Cat Defender posts of October 2, 2006, July 19, 2007, August 28, 2007, and August 28, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Coyotes, Cheered On by Wildlife Officials, Join Raccoons in Killing Cats and Dogs in Washington State," "Up to Their Old Tricks, Wildlife Officials Reintroduce Fishers to the Northeast to Prey Upon Cats and to Provide Income for Fur Traffickers," "TNR Programs, Domestic Cats, Dogs, and Humans Are Imperiled by Wildlife Proponents' Use and Abuse of Coyotes and Fishers," and "A Marauding Pack of Vicious Raccoons Rips Ten Cats to Shreds and Terrorizes Residents in Olympia but Wildlife Officials Refuse to Intervene.")

Any halfway decent and honest jurist accordingly attempts to follow the law and to balance the interests of the contending parties. Spatt the Scat, on the other hand, takes sides and issues rulings that do not have any basis whatsoever in law. As a result, he is renowned far and wide for being the stench of the bench.

"My experience with Judge Spatt is that he makes 'gut' rulings, i.e., decides early on what/who he thinks is 'right' and then makes the factual and legal findings to support that conclusion," one former litigant wrote December 2, 2009 on the web site, The Robing Room. "Of course, good judges do it the other way around."

Even some of his self-professed admirers share the same opinion of him. "I will add, however, that sometimes Judge Spatt does what he thinks is right rather than what the law requires in cases," a former litigant wrote June 28, 2008 on The Robing Room.

He also is well-known for being biased and dishonest. "Spatt is a close friend of one of my legal enemies. But Spatt never disclosed this fact," another litigant wrote September 10, 2018 on The Robing Room. "Instead, Spatt would continue to preside over my case and proceeded to make outrageous rulings against me."

"One of the worst judges to hear federal civil rights cases, where the defendants are law enforcement officers," another litigant wrote May 17, 2015 on The Robing Room. "...(he is) an insult to the furtherance of civil rights."

Other litigants who have had the misfortune to come before him have questioned his judicial temperament. "He was the rudest, most arrogant man I've ever met. He stated on the record that all Muslims were terrorists...," another litigant wrote February 10, 2010 on The Robing Room. "He would doze off during my trial. He was eighty-three then."

Other litigants feel that it is way past time that he turned in his gavel. "He slept through several hearings and ruled as if he (had) followed it all," a disgruntled litigant complained February 2, 2007 on The Robing Room.

It was yet still another of his critics who said it best when he reared back on February 2, 2007 and gave Spatt the Scat the dressing down that he has long and eminently deserved. "Judge Spatt is hard of hearing, he is extremely biased and unfair, changes his mind very often and suffers from amnesia...," that litigant wrote on The Robing Room. "Spatt should be forced to retire. He is an evil old man."

Old Spatt the Scat certainly has been busy over the course of the several decades that he has spent on the federal bench and he, unquestionably, has compiled an impressive curriculum vitae. Why, just his conflicts of interest, bigotry, disregard for the rule of law, intellectual dishonesty, and total lack of any sense of justice whatsoever ought to be sufficient in themselves in order to entitle him to a seat on the United States Supreme Court! He most assuredly would fit in well with the rotters already ruling the roost in Washington.

Once his slumlord personality, total lack of manners, arrogance, and the work ethic of a latter-day Rip Van Winkle are added to the equation, the prestigious title of Lord of All Creation might not be totally beyond his grasp. In the meantime, it is curious as to why he even bothers to go through the pretense of being an honest and impartial trier of facts.

For all the good that he does he might just as well turn up every day in court toting a blanket, pillow, a glass of warm milk, and some cookies. He then could remove his brogans and put his feet up.

One of his devoted law clerks could tuck him in and he therefore could have a good, long snore on the public's dime. He could even go so far as to occasionally rip off a loud, raunchy fart or two if he so desired. Since absolutely nobody in this country cares just how vile and unjust federal judges are, he would still be able to collect his annual US$186,000 salary without any difficulties.

Given all of that, it could not have been anything other than a case of  love at first sight when he finally met up with Krauss the Louse. As was the case with those who are most familiar with the judge, only a trio of the latter's students at BMCC had anything positive to say about him as either a teacher or as a person.

"Professor Krauss is a genuinely jaded professor. He doesn't teach, he reads and his style of teaching is do disconnected," one former student wrote August 11, 2018 on the web site, Rate My Professors. "He's wildly uninspired and doesn't provide the proper framework to help you comprehend the course material, classes ended early and sure enough (he) was very hellbent on making exams the main means of judgment. Avoid at all costs."

"He's absolutely terrible. I have taken Anatomy and Physiology (Biology 425) before and I can tell you that this man does not know how to teach," another student wrote May 29, 2018 on Rate My Professors. "He expects you to memorize everything. Worst professor ever."

"Choosing this class was the worst thing I have ever done. His teaching style is just scary. He is not helpful," another student wrote May 25, 2018 on Rate My Professors. "He gives a (test) on every lecture class which means he expects you to learn everything on your own in a week. He doesn't give extras, guys. He doesn't care if you pass or fail. I recommend to not (take) this class. Just don't."

"He was the worst teacher I ever had," another respondent wrote May 23, 2018 on Rate My Professors.

Justice Is Blind, Deaf, and Fast Asleep in Spatt the Scat's Court

"He is the absolute worst professor I've ever had," a March 29, 2018 respondent agreed.

"This is one of the worst professors I ever had the displeasure of knowing. He has a terrible attitude...," a student wrote March 20, 2018 on Rate My Professors. "About a month into the course there was about five people left in the class after it was packed with twenty-five students in the beginning."

"Do yourself a favor and not take him. Throughout my whole life I've never gotten a professor-teacher like this," a student wrote May 24, 2017 on Rate My Professors. "He's the worst, he doesn't care about you, he doesn't support you nor motivate you. He just does it for the money plus his tests are hard for no reason. Half of the class drop (dropped out during) the third week of class. He grades unfairly."

It therefore is difficult to imagine how that anyone who is so contemptuous of his students could possibly care very much about any living creature, especially plovers. Moreover, based upon the testimonials of those who know him and his buddy Spatt the Scat most intimately, the portrait of them that emerges is one of two turds floating in a commode.

Unfortunately, the halls of academia always have been chock-full of rotten and egomaniacal professors such as Krauss the Louse. The only thing that they are good at besides abusing their students is either teaching them nothing at all or indoctrinating them with their own ingrained prejudices, such as an inveterate hatred of cats. (See Cat Defender post of July 18, 2011 entitled "Evil Professors Have Transformed College Campuses into Hotbeds of Hatred Where Cats Routinely Are Vilified, Horribly Abused, and Systematically Killed.")

Moreover, they fervently believe that verbally abusing and lording it over the young, naïve, and impressionable enhances their stature but they are badly mistaken; doing so only exposes them as bad teachers and even worse individuals. Quite obviously, only a severely warped individual would take pride in churning out class after class of failing students.

Even worse, to mistreat those who are footing the bill for his comfortable lifestyle is simply outrageous. With such a rotter as Krauss the Louse on its faculty it is small wonder that BMCC has such a miserable graduation rate.

The ABC was, quite naturally, ecstatic with Spatt the Scat's August 4th ruling. "We are delighted with this agreement," the organization's Mike Paar said in an August 8th press release. (See "Jones Beach Legal Settlement Provides Safety for Endangered Birds.") "By removing the cat colonies, New York State Parks has ensured a much safer environment for the plovers to help them nest successfully in the future."

He also announced on that occasion that NYS Parks had agreed to fence off the plovers' nesting area and to install enclosures around their nests. It also consented to erect signs stating that cats are now personae non gratae and to promptly get rid of any new arrivals. Harvey's crew also agreed to put in place new, unspecified restrictions on motorists using the park and to initiate a campaign of public outreach and education.

Leaving absolutely no doubt that she was now a chastened woman, Old Harvey Bird practically got down on both knees and licked the ABC's boots. "Jones Beach State Park is simply not an appropriate place for stray or abandoned cats," she declared with all the fervor of a newly converted acolyte in the ABC's press release. "We are pleased this agreement with the American Bird Conservancy strikes a sensible balance between protecting the piping plover and relocating the feral cats that have been dropped off in the park in as humane a manner as possible."

Harvey's double-cross and sellout may have gotten the ABC off of her back but, as it was soon to be demonstrated, there was absolutely nothing humane about what she did to the cats. Of course, the public hardly could expect someone like her to ever level with it.

Lamentably, the same accusation applies in spades to Robinson of ACA whose response to Spatt the Scat's final ruling makes it appear that she had gotten an early start on last autumn's hard cider. "This settlement brings to an end this frivolous lawsuit in which the ABC ultimately failed to achieve its goal," she proclaimed in the face of all facts in an August 9th press release. (See "Alley Cat Allies Applauds Dismissal of Endangered Species Act Complaint by American Bird Conservancy.") "From the start of litigation and at every step of the way since, New York has asserted that the ESA was not violated by sterilized cats living in Jones Beach State Park. It reiterates this in the settlement agreement."

By that time the cats' fate had already been sealed and in that regard the ABC had most definitely prevailed. While it is true that the ABC allowed NYS Parks off the hook without admitting any wrongdoing, there cannot be any denying that it had knuckled under to the organization's demands and that is an even stronger admission of guilt than a verbal confession.

Practically speaking, Spatt the Scat's ruling means that cats soon will be removed from all state-operated parks in the Empire State regardless of whether the ABC instigates any additional legal action. Local authorities may also take preemptive measures in order to get rid of any cats now residing in their parks and on other public lands under their control.

Even before the ABC's lawsuit, TNR colonies that had been established on private properties were under attack. For example in April of 2016, a TNR colony that had resided at the Shores Restaurant and Marina on Tonowanda Island, located in the middle of the Niagara River, for twenty years was victimized by a surprise attack led by the property's owner, Michael Charnock.

In particular, he ordered the cats' winterized shelters and feeding stations to be destroyed and dumped. Not only did that act of violence cost the one-hundred resident felines their homes but replacing the shelters and feeding station cost Danielle Coogan and Operation Island Cat more than US$1,700. (See the Buffalo News, April 20, 2016, "Feral Cats Program on Tonowanda Island Suffers a Setback" and the Niagara Gazette, April 24, 2016, "Cat Shelters Being Replaced on Tonowanda Island.")

None of that seems to have fazed Robinson the least little bit. "We are keeping in communication with New York and will be happy to work with the state to put in place an effective cat population management program," she declared once again in the face of both past and present-day history.

Not only are Harvey and her cronies outrageous liars an double-crossers but New York, both the state and the city, is one of the most virulently anti-cat locales in the country and Robinson most assuredly was aware of that from the outset. For example on October 26, 2015, governor Andrew Cuomo voiced his wholehearted support for the ABC's agenda when he vetoed a legislative initiative that would have provided some public funding for TNR. (See the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 14, 2015, "Pet Tales: Birders, Cat Lovers Split by New York Veto" and the Audubon Magazine, October 29, 2015, "Audubon New York Rallies Support Against TNR Legislation.")

Back in 2006, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, an arm of New York State, trapped, removed, and slaughtered an undisclosed number of cats from JFK International Airport in Queens. (See Cat Defender post of November 5, 2007 entitled "The Port Authority Gives JFK's Long-Term Resident Felines the Boot and Rescue Groups Are Too Impotent to Save Them.")

The Surviving Jones Beach Cats' New Purgatory

In 2014, the National Park Service evicted a TNR colony from Plum Beach in Brooklyn. (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.")

In spite of its tremendous wealth, New York City arguably exterminates more cats each year than any other city in the country but soon after he assumed office in January of 2002 former mayor Mike "Dirty Bloomers" Bloomberg pledged to transform it into a no-kill operation. Instead, he and his minions were caught rolling in the hay with a notorious cat killer and attacking the Algonquin Hotel's beloved resident feline, Matilda III. (See Cat Defender posts of December 22, 2011 and December 5, 2011 entitled, respectively, "A Rogue TNR Practitioner and Three Unscrupulous Veterinarians Kill at Least Sixty-Two Cats with the Complicity of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals" and "The Algonquin Cruelly Responds to Threats Made by New York City by Trussing Up Matilda III and Bombarding Her with Shock Therapy.")

As far as Dirty Bloomers' successor, Bill de Blasio, is concerned, he does not even know that cats exist.

As if all of that were not bad enough, the area serves as the home base for the unprincipled The New York Times which rarely passes up an opportunity to poison the debate with its one-sided, dishonest diatribes against the species. (See Cat Defender posts of December 8, 2007, June 15, 2009, and July 9, 2018 entitled, respectively, "All the Lies That Fit: The Scheming New York Times Hires a Bird Lover to Render His 'Unbiased' Support for James M. Stevenson," "The American Bird Conservancy, The New York Times, and the Humane Society Unite to Form an Achse des Bösen Against Cats," and "The Slimy, Underhanded, and Utterly Despicable New York Times Fabricates Another One-Sided, Scurrilous Screed Against Cats and This Time Around the Target of Its Libels Is a TNR Colony at the Googleplex in Mountain View.")

Although it would appear in hindsight that Robinson was bamboozled by Harvey and her cronies, she could not possibly have been more correct in her understanding of the ABC's agenda. "This lawsuit appears to be part of a larger pattern by the American Bird Conservancy to advocate for its vision of an American landscape in which all cats have been eradicated, and it is inappropriately trying to use the Endangered Species Act as a tool to further this dark agenda," she wrote in the organization's February 7, 2017 press release cited supra.

That is a point that the ABC never has denied. In fact, its all-out assault on cats began long ago with its ludicrous "cats indoors" campaign.

Now, it has progressed to advocating for an even more sinister agenda. "The key point is that they (cats) must be separated from the environment," Seismic Sizemore told his longtime ally Karen Brulliard of The Washington Post in the April 9, 2016 article cited supra. (See also Cat Defender post of September 30, 2005 entitled "The Morally Bankrupt Washington Post Pens a Love Letter to Shelter Workers Who Extermination Cats and Dogs.")

He recently made that point even more emphatically. "What is overwhelmingly evident based on the science is that maintaining cats on the landscape is harmful for cats, wildlife, and people," he bellowed December 20, 2018 to another of his allies within the capitalist media, John Hayes, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (See "Feral and Pet Cats Killing Billions of Birds Each Year, Study Says.") "It's time to treat cats like dogs and to safely remove stray and feral animals from our parks and neighborhoods."

With a big push from various federal agencies, the ABC's "dark agenda" has already moved into high gear. For example, agents of the USFWS regularly venture into residential neighborhoods in Key Largo and, presumably, elsewhere in the Florida Keys where they trap and steal domestic cats from private residences.

In 2016, however, they went too far when they stole, bloodied, and falsely imprisoned a cat named Rocky that belonged to world famous scuba diver Spencer Slate of Key Largo. Rocky was eventually returned to him and he also was able to beat in a federal court the fine imposed upon him by the USFWS. (See the Foundation for Economic Education of Atlanta, December 1, 2016, "Now They've Gone Too Far: Greens and Feds Declare War on Cats," and the Miami Herald, December 30, 2014, "In the Florida Keys, Cat Lovers Smell a Rat.")

Even worse, at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, agents of the USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service now dictate the minute details of the resident polydactyls' daily lives. (See Cat Defender post of January 24, 2013 entitled "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.")

Whenever they are unable to prevail in the press and in the courts birders, such as Stevenson, Dauphiné, and their accomplices, are not the least bit hesitant to take the law into their own hands. Back in 2013, Ted Williams of the NAS and the Orlando Sentinel even went so far as to call for cats to be poisoned out of existence. (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.")

Once NYS Parks' sellout of the Jones Beach cats had been initialed by Spatt the Scat on August 4th, their caretakers turned their attention to the herculean task of finding them new homes. "The shelters are full. They don't have spots for a lot of adults. People only want kittens," is how that McKenna summed up their dire plight to The New York Times on April 17, 2015. "But these cats didn't ask to become feral. The state will trap them and put them down, and then more cats will be dumped."

"Relocating outdoor cats is not the easy fix some may expect," Robinson forewarned in ACA's press release of August 9, 2018. "These cats are bonded to their outdoor home and moving them will be highly traumatic for them."

It was Capuano, however, who summed up the situation most succinctly. "We just can't bring these cats somewhere else," she pleaded to the Daily Mail in the article cited supra.

Only within the past few days has a trickle of information regarding the cats' horrible fate began to leak out through the capitalist media. As far as it has been revealed, the trapping and removal of them began shortly after Spatt the Scat's ruling in early August. They first were taken to an unidentified veterinarian and next to the Hempstead Animal Shelter but who paid for their removal and examinations has not been disclosed.

According to the January 8th edition of Newsday of Garden City, four of them that were deemed to be adoptable are now "with a caretaker." What "with a caretaker" means has not been defined. (See "Feral Cats Relocated to Keep Piping Plovers Safe.")

The remaining ones were relocated to a dog pound known as Northwind Kennels in the northern Westchester County town of Bedford, sixty-nine kilometers north of Manhattan and one-hundred-eleven kilometers northwest of Jones Beach. There they are confined to steel cages although they may be allowed some time outdoors in an enclosed area.

A rather old video posted on the kennel's web site states that it is home to two-hundred dogs and thirty cats. Its specialty, however, is boarding and grooming dogs.

The Totally Innocent Cats' New Jail Cells at Northwind Kennels

Other than those disturbing bits of information, all that is known about Northwind is that it, like the Jones Beach cats, has had its share of legal woes in the past. For instance, it was sued in 2013 after a ten-year-old Akita named Patton died while in its care.

In 2011, it was sued again by an owner who claimed that it did not properly treat his dog's skin disease. That case was later dropped.

Before that, it was sued by Zions Bank of Salt Lake City for being delinquent with its mortgage payments. Given its rather precarious financial situation, it would be interesting know who paid the kennel to accept the cats because it is a good bet that it is not sheltering and feeding them out of the goodness of its heart. (See the Patch of Bedford and Katonah, August 2, 2013, "Lawsuit Accuses Kennel of Negligence in Dog's Death.")

Although none of that is reassuring, it does not necessarily imply that anything is egregiously amiss at Northwind. Any kennel that cares for that many dogs is bound to incur both financial and veterinary difficulties occasionally.

Still, that does not in any way alter the heartbreaking conclusion that a dog kennel is hardly a suitable home for the Jones Beach cats. Uprooted from home, robbed of all their independence and freedom, imprisoned in cages by strangers, poked and probed by veterinarians and shelter officials, and then dumped at a dog pound in the middle of nowhere and left to rot could not possibly have left them anything other than despondent and fearing for their lives.

Cats do not belong in exclusively indoor environments and they most certainly do not belong in cages. (See The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 11, 2011, "Shelter Shock: Cats Can Get Sick from Stress. One Proposed Remedy? Keep Them Out.")

Most importantly of all, it is totally inexcusable that this has been allowed to happen in the first place. Quite obviously NYS Parks just wanted rid of them as quickly as possible and did not care in the least bit what became of them, but for their caretakers and ACA to have deserted them is nothing short of monstrous.

Given that the both of them had known for years that there was a very good chance that they would be forced into removing the cats from Jones Beach, they should have made contingency plans for them long ago. It simply staggers the mind that a dog pound was the very best that they could do for them.

"In choosing to settle this lawsuit instead of a trial where it would have won, New York has set itself up for failure," was all that Robinson had to say to Newsday.

Even on that point she is dead wrong because there was not any way that NYS Parks could have prevailed in a court presided over by someone as anti-cat as Spatt the Scat. An appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan would have been a possibility but if the cats had lost there then Spatt the Scat's jaundiced opinion would have been the law throughout not only New York State but also Connecticut and Vermont as well which comprise that judicial fiefdom.

Following that, the cats' only option would have been an appeal to the United States Supreme Court in Washington where a loss would have made Spatt the Scat's sottise the law of the land. Besides, this matter from start to finish was totally out of ACA's hands in that Spatt the Scat would not allow the organization to intervene on the cats' behalves.

Most reprehensible of all, it is nothing short of infuriating to listen to Robinson take on about TNR while the Jones Beach cats are languishing in a bloody dog pound! "The organization will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the humane treatment of the cats," ACA pledged in its August 9, 2018 press release and it is high time that it made good on that promise.

First of all, it must immediately get the cats out of Northwind Kennels. With all of its money, resources, and contacts, that is surely a manageable task.

Secondly, it must make a full public accounting regarding the health, location, and disposition of all twenty-three cats that were removed from Jones Beach. That is absolutely necessary in order to allay fears that some of them may already have been liquidated. Even at this late date in the game, press reports cannot even agree on the exact number of cats involved.

If the organization is unwilling to do at least that much for them, it should take down its shingle and go out of business. Either the Jones Beach cats count or no cat counts with ACA.

Every bit as predictable as clockwork, Seismic Sizemore was as full of himself as ever and still spouting his outrageous lies like a runaway volcano. "This is a very positive outcome that safeguards piping plovers and ensures a comfortable life for the cats," he pontificated in a January 8th press release. (See "Feral Cats Relocated from Jones Beach State Park.") "The protected plovers that nest at Jones Beach State Park -- and many other species -- will have one less threat to contend with, and the cats have a safer place to live out their lives."

Even while draped in his victory laurels he could not quite conceal his thirst for yet still more feline blood. "If you observe someone releasing a cat or other domestic animal in the park, contact the New York State Park Police," he urged. "Anyone spotting a cat within the park should notify the Jones Beach Operations Office."

Additional cats will sans doute be dumped at the beach and without anyone to look out for them they will, sooner or later, wind up at the Hempstead Animal Shelter where they surely will be slaughtered in droves. Furthermore, Seismic Sizemore's oblique reference to "other domestic animal" would tend to imply that dogs very well could be the next victims to feel the vengeance of the ABC.

After all, the Connecticut chapter of the NAS already has set out a rather ambitious agenda for itself and its avian allies. (See Cat Defender post of March 15, 2007 entitled "The Connecticut Audubon Society Shows Its True Colors by Calling for the Slaughter of Feral Cats, Mute Swans, Mallards, Canada Geese, and Deer.")

Already having been abandoned at least once during their brief lives, the Jones Beach cats now have been deserted once again by those that they had come to trust. The only real difference is that this time around their fate appears to have been sealed once and for all time and, barring a miracle, they will not be receiving any eleventh-hour reprieves.

Photos: United States Government (Spatt the Scat), the Daily Mail (the Jones Beach cats), the New York Post (the cats' shelters), Wicked Local (Plymouth Long Beach), CHvhLR10 of Wikipedia (Lady Justice Statue in Hong Kong), and Northwind Kennels (entrance and cages).

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Brutal Attackers of Mr. Solly Walk in a Lark All Because the Rotters at Scotland Yard Were Too Bone-Lazy, Derelict, and Aulirophobic to Even Examine the Evidence Supplied Them by His Distraught Owner

Noble and Long-Suffering Mr. Solly

"I believe this is all because they (Scotland Yard) view him as just a cat."
-- Amy Jo Bland

"There is no such thing as justice -- in or out of court," famed American attorney Clarence Darrow once sagely and honestly pointed out and if that is true for the better part of mankind it is a universal constant for all cats and their aggrieved owners. For confirmation of that doubters need not look any further than to the litany of egregious wrongs that recently have befallen a sixteen-year-old, snow-white tom named Mr. Solly and his thirty-one-year-old guardian, Amy Jo Bland.

Not a good deal is known about Mr. Solly's earlier days other than that he had led a quiet life with Bland and her young son, Rhyley, on Gainsborough Road in the West Ham section of East London, ten kilometers east of Charing Cross and in close proximity to where the 2012 summer Olympics were staged. Since she volunteers at a local shelter and has been rescuing cats and other animals for a dozen or so years, it is conceivable that he very well could be one of her rousing success stories.

"Solly is a harmless cat. He keeps himself to himself and mainly lives upstairs," she disclosed to the London Metro on August 25, 2017. (See "Teens Took Running Kick to Cat's Head Knocking Him Unconscious.") "He doesn't even go out beyond the front garden and he'll stop within the gates."

All of that changed forever at 1:18 a.m. on Sunday, August 20, 2017 when the accounts manager was rudely awakened from her slumber by Mr. Solly's anguished screams. "I ran downstairs and he was dragging himself toward me," she related to the Metro. "It was terrifying."

After dropping off Rhyley with an uncle who lives nearby, she rushed Mr. Solly to a veterinarian who did not have any trouble in diagnosing him to have sustained head trauma, a swollen eye, and unspecified injuries to his legs. He additionally was in shock.

Initially, Mr. Solly's prospects did not look particularly promising. "He's dying, he's not going to make it," Bland recalled to the Metro as thinking to herself at that terrible time. "I couldn't believe it."

Mercifully, her worst trepidations ultimately proved to have been unfounded but even that godsend did not contribute a solitary thing toward explaining what had happened to him. For instance, all that the attending veterinarian had to say on that important subject was that his injuries were "really peculiar."

Once she had returned home and reviewed the footage from surveillance cameras mounted outside her house she no longer was in any doubt as to what had happened to him but any consolation that the truth brought with it was cancelled out by the anger and outrage that quickly supplanted it. Specifically, the tape showed a yob trespass into her garden and deliver a running kick to Mr. Solly's head.

The force of the blow sent him flying several feet in the air. He then hit the ground and fell momentarily unconscious. While that was occurring, a second juvenile delinquent was busily filming the attack on his mobile telephone so that his fellow low-lifes could join him in his merriment.

"It's really hard to get your head around why anyone would do that to a defenseless animal. He hadn't gone anywhere near them," Bland reasoned to the Metro. "The boy just kicked him and then got his phone out to film him. On the CCTV footage, he gets his phone out to video him as he lies there unconscious."

With Mr. Solly now at their mercy, it must have been awfully temping for the yobs not to have finished him off right there on the spot with a couple more swift kicks to his head. He therefore could very well owe his life to the fact that their perverse love of technology and social media, at least on this occasion, took precedence over their lust for feline blood. So, in a roundabout way, it could be argued that mobile telephones do have some minuscule social value aside from being crass, modern-day annoyances and electricity hogs.

Mr. Solly and Amy Jo Bland

"There is some evil in this world," Bland continued to the Metro. "When I saw that camera, I could feel myself shaking."

Surviving such a vicious dry-gulching would not have been easy for any cat but considering Mr. Solly's advanced years doing so has been especially difficult. "He had head trauma and the vets said he must be in shock. Yesterday (August 24th) he was just shaking and leaning close against the wall. He's very traumatized," Bland related to the Metro. "The shock can kill him because he's that old. Due his age, the next few weeks are crucial. I have been sitting with him again this morning but he's terrified."

After Mr. Solly's condition had stabilized, Bland telephoned Scotland Yard and when its officers arrived at 3:30 a.m. they dutifully took down whatever information she had to offer and then departed. They later issued a statement announcing only that no arrests had been made and that unspecified inquiries were being conducted.

"The CCTV footage is shocking and shows two people deliberately targeting a family pet who is lucky not to have suffered more serious injuries or even been killed," a spokesperson for the RSPCA told The Sun on August 25th. (See "Moggy Muggers: Cops Hunt Two Thugs Caught on CCTV Kicking a Sixteen-Year-Old Cat in the Head, Leaving Him for Dead.") "Unsurprisingly we want to trace these people and are appealing to anyone who might recognize either of the individuals or have any information which can help to identify them to contact us."

As per usual in cases involving cruelty to a cat, all that Bland received from both Scotland Yard and the RSPCA was lip service. Unwilling to allow the teenage thugs to get away with their heinous crime and with absolutely no assistance whatsoever forthcoming from the authorities, she was left with no alternative other than to take matters into her own hands.

Despite being four months pregnant with her second son, Frankie-Blu, and traumatized to the point that she could barely either eat or sleep, she commenced spending her evenings knocking on doors in her neighborhood. "When the attack happened I was heavily pregnant, walking the streets asking people if they'd seen the incident or had any CCTV (footage)," she explained to the Daily Mail on May 11th of this year. (See "Mother-of-Two Whose Cat Was Viciously Attacked by Yobs Hits Out at Police after They Fail to Look at Phone Evidence in Time and Drop Case.") "They must have thought I was mad."

Regardless of whatever her neighbors may have thought, Bland's hard work and dedication succeeded. "I have been searching again and now have the same name over and over again," she disclosed to the Metro. "I've knocked locally and people confirm this is him."

Once upon a time, some parents were willing to discipline their misbehaving sons but those days are long gone and for that reason Bland's appeal to the parents of Mr. Solly's attackers fell upon deaf ears. "These boys have got to be out there somewhere. If that was my son, I would know. I might not be able to see his face but I would be able to tell by what he was wearing, how he was running," she theorized to the Metro. "They both looked (to be) between fifteen and sixteen years old. If the parents of those boys have seen my post or the video, please take them straight to the police station."

She also appealed to friends and acquaintances of the attackers to do the right thing but that effort also failed to produce any positive results. "If somebody has been shown this video by those boys and finds this cruelty entertaining, it's wrong, diabolical," she told the Metro. "How can anyone look at that video and laugh I will never understand."

Predictably, no one at Scotland Yard was the least bit interested in what Bland's inquiries had uncovered. "I have (gone down) the right channel. I have contacted the police and they are supposed to call me back!" she explained to the Metro in exasperation. "Do they? Course they don't."

Under just about all circumstances that would have been the end of this matter and Mr. Solly thus would have joined the ranks of the legions of cats that are hideously abused and killed every day by individuals who seldom are even publicly identified let alone arrested and prosecuted. Bland, however, still had one last arrow left in her quiver and she put it to good use.

The Yobs Zero In on Mr. Molly

"Solly's being let down left, right and center," she told the Metro. "Within the next twenty-four-hours the name along with the pictures and all I have will be posted!"

True to her word, she did just that and the video quickly elicited more than five-hundred messages of shock and condolences. Since then it has been viewed more than thirty-thousand times and it still can be found to this very day accompanying the Daily Mail article cited supra.

It is difficult to discern from press reports whether it was Bland's footage, the video posted online by Mr. Solly's attackers, or some combination of the two that ultimately did the trick but in either case an unidentified member of the public did come forward and identify the individual who filmed the attack on his telephone. That in turn led the laggards at Scotland Yard to belatedly arrest a sixteen-year-old teen on September 18th of last year and to seize his telephone.

As things eventually turned out, that marked the high water point in this investigation because after that it was all down hill for Mr. Solly, Bland, and the friends of justice. For starters, the suspect not only denied that he had been the blighter behind the camera but additionally claimed that he had an alibi. What type and how good of an alibi is a subject that the London press has been conspicuously silent about so it is not possible to know what to think about that matter other than to say that alibis often are concocted and therefore can be easily broken.

Secondly, the informant who put the finger on him refused to testify against him in court. Thirdly, the quality of the images captured by Bland's surveillance system was deemed by Scotland Yard to be too poor for it to make positive identifications of the suspects.

Consequently, the police released the suspect but he was not completely off the hook just yet, however, in that they still had in their possession his seized telephone and the evidence that it contained. "For charges to be brought, officers needed to establish that the footage (posted on social media by Mr. Solly's attackers) had been captured on a phone belonging to the suspect," Scotland Yard explained to the Daily Mail in a statement.

In a thoroughly inexcusable act of gross dereliction of duty, the police did not do anything with it for two months. Finally, sometime in November they allegedly got around to making arrangements to have specially trained officers download the material that it contained.

Not only did they neglect to carry out that rather simple and mundane task, but it was not until March of this year that they were able to muster the moxie in order to admit to Bland just how badly and irreparably that they had botched the investigation. "On occasions, the police need to prioritize the most serious crimes as well as working to safeguard the most vulnerable people in the community," the force blowed to the Daily Mail.

Even in admitting that much, the police neglected to inform Bland what "other pressing issues" that they had had on their plate for seven months that had precluded them from sparing even a few minutes in order to download a mobile telephone. On the other hand, it could hardly be expected that they would admit that they had squandered that precious time by, inter alia, having their locks styled at the barber shop, doing their laundry, drinking coffee, and simply goldbricking most of the time.

Nevertheless, it would have been fun to have seen either Bland or someone else put the heat on them just to have seen what lies and nonsense they would have concocted. That would have provided a few chuckles if nothing else.

Likewise, although the police quite obviously do not consider cats to be "vulnerable" members of society, it would be interesting to know just which "vulnerable people" in West Ham consume just about all of their time. Hopefully, they were just blowing it out both ends in order to hear themselves roar because if they were being truthful it is hard to see how that they would be able to tear themselves away from their "vulnerable people" in order to respond to a real emergency.

Mr. Solly Is Left Unconscious as His Attacker Flees

As ridiculous and dishonest as all of that was, it paled in comparison to what Scotland Yard came up with next. "In this investigation officers were unable to examine all the evidence in the six-month statutory time limit and unfortunately a prosecution was not possible," the agency concluded.

C'est-à-dire, after Bland had done the hardest part of their job for them by tracking down and identifying a suspect, they were too lazy and derelict in their duties to even so much as examine the evidence that she had presented to them scot-free and on a silver platter. Furthermore, the police's explanation for acting as they did is every bit as full of holes as a slice of Swiss cheese.

First of all, whereas it is remotely possible that there could be such an insane law on the books in London, if so it surely must be the first of its kind in existence. That is because there normally is not any expiration date on lawfully seized physical evidence so long as a proper chain of possession can be established and it has not been tampered with or otherwise corrupted.

Secondly, the cops could have downloaded the telephone at almost anytime and later claimed that they had done so within the statutory limit, that is, if one even exists. After all, they routinely harass law-abiding citizens in the street, make false arrests, perjure themselves in court, and conduct illegal searches all the time. The strictures of the law mean absolutely nothing to a cop.

The most plausible explanation if that they either lost or damaged the telephone. A second possibility is that they not only hate cats but Bland as well for pestering them about this case. Thirdly, they could have been paid off by the parents of the youths who attacked Mr. Solly.

Not surprisingly, Bland's reaction to their malfeasance was apoplectic. "I'm so frustrated, it's disgusting. I'm baffled that this can be allowed to happen when they terrorized and left my cat for dead," she told the Daily Mail. "The police had their phones and they left it too late."

Not only that but they cruelly strung her along for seven months by allowing her to falsely believe that they were working this case when instead they were sitting on their fat, lazy asses snickering up their dirty sleeves at her gullibility. Even the RSPCA has admitted that she "chased and chased" the police.

The only positive thing that can be said about Scotland Yard's behavior is that it is consistent with its ingrained hatred for the species. For example, in September of this year it concluded that the Croydon Cat Killer does not in fact exist and that the more than five-hundred moggies killed and mutilated in and around Croydon, twenty-six kilometers southwest of West Ham, were instead done in by motorists and foxes. (See the Guardian, September 20, 2019, " 'Croydon Cat Killer' Hunt Ends after Three-Year Investigation.")

Needless to say, aggrieved cat owners are not buying into Scotland Yard's conclusion. (See The Evening Standard of London, September 21, 2018, "Croydon Cat Killer: Outraged Pet Owners and Animal Charities Insist Killer Is 'Still Out There' Despite Police Saying No Evidence of Human Involvement.")

More recently fourteen cats have been attacked in Brighton, East Sussex, seventy kilometers west of Croydon. (See The Argus of Brighton , December 6, 2018, "Brighton Cat Killer Still at Large -- Fourteen Cats Knifed.")

One of the major impediments when it comes to trying to convince cops to investigate cases of feline abuse is the little publicized fact that they themselves run down cats with their cruisers, allow their dogs to maul them, and carry out street corner assassinations of them. (See Cat Defender posts of July 18, 2015, July 2, 2015, and September 1, 2016 entitled, respectively, "Harry Is Run Down and Killed by a Pair of Derbyshire Police Officers Who Then Steal and Dispose of His Body in an Amateurish Attempt to Cover Up Their Heinous Crime," "After Having Allowing One of Their Dogs to Maul McGuire to Within an Inch of His Life, the Toronto Police Do Not Have Even the Common Decency to Summon Veterinary Help for Him," and "The Legal and Political Establishment in a Small Pennsylvania Backwater Closes Ranks and Pulls Out All the Stops in Order to Save the Job and Liberty of the Bloodthirsty Cop Who Murdered Sugar.")

Mr. Solly's Attackers with Their Ugly Mugs Blacked Out

More broadly, individuals become cops, not to uphold the law, but rather to feather their own nests. They therefore make their own hay by singling out individuals and groups that they can arrest and convict with the least amount of trouble and effort.

Arrests in turn lead to promotions and salary hikes. The name of the game therefore is to make as much money as possible and to retire at an early age with a large pension and fully-funded health care. After that, they take jobs as security guards and between them and their take from the public till they make out like John Dillinger.

Besides serving themselves, they also do the bidding of the politicians and the money men and between those two career objectives little, if any, time and interest are left for investigating cases of animal cruelty. In other words, being a cop is not only a prime example of public service for private gain but a huge racket to boot.

The failure of the authorities to uphold the strictures of the anti-cruelty statutes is far from being the only blind spot in the law. For example, whenever the police in the United States stumble upon a homeless man who has been beaten to death, usually by yobs like the ones who attacked Mr. Solly, they go out to a bar in order to celebrate, tell jokes, and to exclaim good riddance. The situation is somewhat different in Deutschland where such killings are front page news in Aachen, Berlin, and elsewhere and the Polizei actually investigate and, sometimes, make arrests.

The deliberate running down of small animals, such as cats, pedestrians, and bikers by motorists is likewise winked at by the police. Mob hits and the murders of whores are equally ignored.

As far as political corruption and white-collar crime are concerned, only the Justice Department in Washington takes either of them even halfway seriously. By contrast, it is almost unheard of for either a local district attorney or a state attorney general to even undertake so much as a superficial inquiry into such endemic corruption.

Once their high-faluting rhetoric has been stripped away animal protection groups are every bit as derelict as the police when it comes to investigating cruelty to cats. For example, the RSPCA has its own legal department and from time to time it hires outside solicitors in order to bring legal action against animal abusers but it has not been explained why that it did not do so in this case.

More than likely the organization was too busy stealing and killing cats in order to be bothered. (See Cat Defender posts of June 5, 2007, October 23, 2010, and August 31, 2015 entitled, respectively, "The RSPCA's Unlawful Seizure and Senseless Killing of Mork Leaves His Sister, Mindy, Brokenhearted and His Caretakers Devastated," "The RSPCA Steals and Executes Nightshift Who Was His Elderly Caretaker's Last Surviving Link to Her Dead Husband," and "Beaten and Entombed Above Ground for Several Weeks, a Forever Nameless Cat from Colchester Is Finished Off by the RSPCA Which Refuses to Even Investigate Her Death," Daily Mail articles dated December 30, 2012, November 6, 2014, and August 14, 2016 and entitled, respectively, "Revealed: RSPCA Destroys Half of the Animals That It Rescues -- Yet Thousands Are Completely Healthy," "RSPCA Forced to Apologize for Wrongly Putting Down Cat Belonging to Family It Accused of Cruelty in Bungled Prosecution," and "RSPCA Is At It Again! Cat Saved Then Put to Sleep," plus The Chronicle of Saltney, August 11, 2016, "Distraught Saltney Family Blast (sic) RSPCA after Their Cat Was Put Down.")

The total lack of respect that cats receive from society and the marked disdain with which they are regarded by both the law enforcement community and the courts has not been lost on Bland. "I believe this is all because they (Scotland Yard) view him as just a cat," she opined to the Daily Mail.

Far from being a maverick opinion, Scotland Yard's ingrained ailurophobia would appear to be the prevailing sentiment that percolates throughout all humanity. For example on August 21, 2010, forty-five-year-old spinster Mary Bale from Coventry in Warwickshire picked up off the sidewalk a four-year-old cat named Lola and then nonchalantly stuffed her into a wheelie bin.

She surely would have been crushed to death in either the back of a garbage truck or at the city dump if her owners, Stephanie and Darryl Andrews-Mann, had not belatedly tumbled to her desperate plight after having reviewed footage from a surveillance camera outside their home. Even so, Lola was still forced to endure fifteen hours in a smelly garbage can.

Handsome Little Rhyley with His Mom

"I don't know what the fuss is all about," Bale later told the Daily Mail on August 26, 2010. (See "Greyhaired Bank Worker Who Dumped Cat in Wheelie Bin Could Face Court as RSPCA Prosecutors Review Case.") "It's just a cat."

Like Bland, the significance of so many individuals thinking like that was not lost on Michele Hanson. "Nothing will happen, while too many people feel like Mary Bale. 'It's only a cat,' said she," she wrote August 28, 2010 in the Guardian. (See "Cat Litter Episode Shows How Our Pets Are Both Protected and Persecuted.") "It's the 'only' that's the problem: they're only animals, and we're the only species that matters. But we're not."

The law enforcement community and rescue groups are by no means the only members of the establishment who give cats short shrift. For instance, firefighters in the United States, but not in England, categorically refuse to rescue those that get trapped on roofs, in trees, on electrical lines, and at other heights. (See Cat Defender posts of February 20, 2007 and March 20, 2008 entitled, respectively, "A Stray Cat Ignominiously Named Stinky Is Rescued from a Rooftop by Good Samaritans After the Fire Department Refuses to Help" and "Bone-Lazy, Mendacious Firefighters Are Costing the Lives of Both Cats and Humans by Refusing to Do Their Duty," and the Telegram and Gazette of Worcester, February 24, 2018, "Massachusetts Firefighter Reprimanded over Handling of Cat Call.")

Even on those rare occasions when they can be prevailed upon to do their jobs they do so only grudgingly. Even more insultingly, they find it virtually impossible on those occasions to refrain from making such crass and asinine remarks as "I've never seen a cat skeleton in a tree." (See Cat Defender post of November 9, 2017 entitled "Forest Is Rescued from High Atop a Dead Cherry Tree in an Exceedingly Rare Display of Ailurophilia on the Part of an American Firefighter" and the Meinerhagener Zeitung, December 9, 2018, "Drama hat eine Ende: Kater Pedro ist wieder auf dem Boden.")

Plus, back in 2013 Los Angeles firefighter Ian Justin Eulian even went so far as to beat up a woman for feeding homeless cats. (See the Los Angeles Times, May 21, 2015, "Firefighter Is 'Crushed' after Being Convicted of Assault, Attorney Says.")

As far as Bland's noble quest to secure a measure of justice for Mr. Solly is concerned, her remaining options would appear to be few. One possibility would be for her to retain the services of a private dick.

Even if she were willing to go that route, she would still need to surmount two daunting obstacles. The first of which would be to gain access to the seized mobile telephone and, more than likely, Scotland Yard has either lost it, returned it to the suspect, or would be unwilling to surrender it to her.

Secondly, even if the shamus were able to gather additional incriminating evidence against the suspects Bland likely would still need to convince either Scotland Yard or the RSPCA to reopen the case and that, given both agencies' entrenched disdain for cats and justice, would be a real long shot as Neil Tregarthen of Truro in Cornwall found out in 2015. His travails began on September 24, 2014 when an assailant shot and killed his daughter's fourteen-month-old black cat, Farah, with an airgun in Exeter, Devon, where the former was attending college.

He paid Focus Investigations of Exeter £10,000 in order to look into the matter and although the peepers were able to identify the likely triggerman, neither the RSPCA nor the Devon and Cornwall Police would even make an arrest. (See Cat Defender post of April 2, 2015 entitled "A Cornishman Shells Out £10,000 on Private Peepers in Order to Track Down Farah's Killer but Once Again Gets Stiffed by Both the Police and the RSPCA.")

Even if Bland were to get the same result from Scotland Yard and the RSPCA such an undertaking would not necessarily have been a complete waste of time in that she does not need their approval in order to bring a civil lawsuit against Mr. Solly's attackers. That is precisely what Janien Bubien of Vista, California, did after her next-door neighbor, Robert Eugene Brunner, shot and killed her three-year-old, orange-colored cat, Bill, with a bow and arrow on April 11, 2006.

Fortunately for her, when her case against Brunner came to trial in the Superior Court of San Diego County it was heard by Judge K. Michael Kirkman who, owing to his highly developed sense of justice, is the rarest of all robed magistrates. He demonstrated that by fining Brunner US$2,500 and ordering him also to pay Bubien US$5,000 so as to enable her to relocate elsewhere.

Mr. Solly and Frankie-Blu

Later on September 17, 2007, he additionally was sentenced to three years in jail but it is not known how much of that debt to society that he actually repaid. (See Cat Defender posts of August 14, 2007 and September 24, 2007 entitled, respectively, "A Grieving Owner Seeks Justice for an Orange Tabby Named Bill That Was Hunted Down and Savagely Killed with a Bow and Arrow" and "A California Man Who Slew His Neighbor's Cat, Bill, with a Bow and Arrow Is Sentenced to Three Years in Jail.")

Sometimes just the mere threat of a civil suit is sufficient in itself in order to prompt a cat killer to ante up. For example on November 8, 2009, Jeffrey Lee Eiras of Winnacunnet Road in Hampton, New Hampshire, shotgunned to death a gray cat with black stripes named Molly that belonged to his next-door neighbor, Susan McGee.

When an utterly disgraceful local court let him off the hook with an insignificant US$200 fine, McGee threatened to sue him and he quickly agreed to pay her US$3,000 in damages as well as to donate an additional US$1,000 to the local SPCA. (See Cat Defender post of June 30, 2011 entitled "No Cat Is Safe Any Longer in a New Hampshire Resort Town after a Local Court Sets Free Molly's Shotgun Murderer with a Trivial $200 Fine.")

Although Mr. Solly's attackers richly deserve to be locked up behind bars for a very long time, aggrieved cat owners have little alternative but to accept whatever minuscule measure of justice that they can get from judicial systems that are so unwilling to punish criminals, especially those that are underage. It is always remotely possible, but not likely, that cleaning out their worthless parents' pockets just might have some salutary effect on their future behavior.

In the meantime Bland needs to keep the gates to her house closed and locked, not just as night, but all the time. It is impossible to tell from the surveillance photographs, but if she has not done so already she might want to consider fencing in her garden. Above all, she should never allow Mr. Solly to remain outside after dark.

She also might want to seriously ponder hiring a new security firm. Surveillance cameras that do not take pictures that are of a quality sufficient enough in order to identify lawbreakers are not of much value.

What is needed are multiple cameras that capture images from different angles. Most importantly of all, they must work exceptionally well at night because that is when the majority of crimes that are committed against cats, individuals, and property take place.

In addition to leading to the identification of Bale, surveillance cameras also have facilitated the arrest of the woman responsible for Regi's death and sent serial cat killer Larry Negard of Bossier City, Louisiana, to jail, even if only very briefly. (See Cat Defender post of July 18, 2015 entitled "A Blackpudlian Thrill Seeker Who Sicced Her Pit Bull on Regi and Then Laughed Off Her Fat Ass as He Tore Him Apart Receives a Customary Clean Bill of Health from the Courts" and the Bossier Press-Tribune, March 4, 2016, "Bossier Man Jailed for Killing Neighbor's Cat.")

All of those crimes were committed during daylight hours, however, and images captured in the dark are, normally, of a markedly inferior quality. For example in addition to the problems with Bland's surveillance footage, it was not possible to identify the nighttime kidnappers of Mr. Cheeky in Hove, East Sussex, back in 2017 even though his abduction was captured on film. (See Cat Defender post of February 8, 2017 entitled "The Long and Hopelessly Frustrating Search for the Kidnapped Mr. Cheeky Ends Tragically Underneath the Wheels of a Hit-and-Run Motorist.")

At this stage of the game most of those considerations would appear to be moot in that Bland from all indications has had enough and is ready to throw in the towel. "They (Scotland Yard) make me so angry, more should have been done," she told the Daily Mail in no uncertain terms. "It's time to sell our house and get my children and animals to a safer place."

She certainly has more than enough reason for feeling that way and not the least of which is her own health and well-being. "Frankie-Blu was born prematurely and I'm sure it was because of the distress this caused me," she confided to the Daily Mail.

Mr. Solly Survived the Attack but His Health Is Still Not Good

Secondly, she now fears for the safety of Rhyley and Frankie-Blu. "My little ones play at the park but I'd never let them go alone, not with them (Mr. Solly's attackers) walking the street," she added to the Daily Mail. "If they treat an animal like that, (imagine) how (that) they would treat my children."

Thirdly, seeing them strutting down the street as free as birds on a regular basis galls her no end. "Every time I see them it makes me sick to my stomach knowing I can't do anything," the admitted to the Daily Mail. "How could they kick him in the head like that? What can make you that angry that you would do that?"

It is a difficult matter for some individuals to comprehend but this world is chock-full with garbage like the yobs who assaulted Mr. Solly. Moreover, they do not necessarily attack cats because they are angry, but rather they do so in order to get their perverted kicks.

Most importantly of all, they know that twenty-four karat impostors such as Scotland Yard and the RSPCA can be counted on to turn blind eyes to attacks on cats. They therefore abuse them with impunity.

Should she follow through with her plans to relocate elsewhere, Bland needs to realize that cruelty to cats is a ubiquitous problem and that there is not any guarantee that Mr. Solly is going to be any safer at a new address. Two-faced, seemingly respectable neighbors that abuse and kill cats when their owners are not around are to be found everywhere.

For instance on April 24, 2006, George A. Seymour Jr. of the Bentivar subdivision outside of Charlottesville shot and killed a three-year-old black cat named Carmen that belonged to his neighbors, Klaus and Vanessa Wintersteiger and their two young children. For the commission of that dastardly deed, Judge Steven H. Helvin gave him only ten days in jail although Carmen's murder had left the entire Wintersteiger family devastated. (See Cat Defender post of June 22, 2006 entitled "A Used Car Dealer in Virginia Murders Sweet Three-Year-Old Carmen with a Rifle Shot to the Neck.")

In October of 2009, North Carolina State Trooper Shawn C. Houston of 2851 Icard Ridge Road in Granite Falls, two-hundred-fifty-two kilometers west of Raleigh, trapped and shot a five-month-old, orange and white kitten named Rowdy that belonged to his next-door neighbor, Andrea Evans. Like Seymour, he too got away with his diabolical crime and thus was allowed to go on living alongside Evans and her distraught family. (See Cat Defender post of July 8, 2010 entitled "A North Carolina State Trooper Who Illegally Trapped and Shot His Next-Door Neighbor's Cat, Rowdy, Is Now Crying for His Job Back.")

In December of 2010, cat-hating fiend Ernst Bernhard K. from the Moosach section of München stole and tortured to death a black cat named Rocco that belonged to his neighbor, Andreas O. Predictably, the courts let him off scot-free and he continued to reside alongside Andreas O. and his family. (See Cat Defender posts of January 19, 2011, August 8, 2011, and August 17, 2011 entitled, respectively, "A Bird Lover in München Illegally Traps Rocco and Then Methodically Tortures Him to Death with Water and Pepper Spray over an Eleven-Day Period," "Ernst K.'s Trial for Kidnapping, Torturing, and Murdering Rocco Nears Its Climax in a München Courtroom," and "Ernst K. Walks Away Smelling Like a Rose as Both the Prosecutor and Judge Turn His Trial for Killing Rocco into a Lovefest for a Sadistic Cat Killer.")

Even so, it is impossible to find fault with Bland's decision to vacate West Ham. Nothing chaffs quite like being the victim of gross injustice and that is something that more jurists need to take into consideration as Kirkman did after Bill was killed.

At last report Mr. Solly, now seventeen years old, was still persevering even though he has not been able to make a full recovery as of yet. "It has taken Mr. Solly such a long time to recover and he's very weak," Bland told the Daily Mail. "He struggles to climb the stairs because his legs are weak from the shock of the kicks and suffering head trauma."

He also is confined indoors these days but the important thing is that he is still alive. Life can exist without justice but the latter cannot exist without the former.

Photos: The Sun (Mr. Solly by himself and resting), the London Metro (Mr. Solly and Bland), Amy Jo Bland (surveillance footage), and the Daily Mail (Rhyley and Bland and Mr. Solly with Frankie-Blu).