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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

Monday, March 23, 2015

Old, Sickly, and on the Street, George Accidentally Wanders into a Pet Store and That, in All Likelihood, Saved His Life

Long-Suffering George

"It was quite a shock to see how skinny George was when he first arrived here. His teeth were also in a terrible state which would have meant eating was difficult and very painful for him."
-- Deana Perrin of Margaret Green Animal Rescue

There arguably is not anything sadder in this world than the deplorable plight of elderly cats. Often sickly and with their physical and mental powers on the decline, they routinely are abandoned by owners who most assuredly realize that they are ill-equipped at their advanced years to secure sustenance, shelter, and veterinary care for themselves.

In addition to those deprivations, the psychological loneliness and fears that accompany such a rude uprooting so late in life are surely even more difficult for them to manage. Likewise, their odds of receiving anything other than either abject neglect or jabs of sodium pentobarbital from a callous and uncaring public are almost nil.

That pretty much sums up the dire straits that an estimated eleven and one-half year old handsome orange-colored tom named George found himself in last September. His already desperate situation was further complicated by the fact that his teeth had all but rotted out of his mouth.

The unbearable pain occasioned by his dental woes had made eating such an ordeal that he had withered away to being little more than a bag of bones. In all probability he would not have lasted much longer on his own if he had not had the good fortune to unwittingly stumble into one of Pets at Home's retail outlets in Liskeard, Cornwall.

After offering him some food, employees of England's largest pet store chain contacted Margaret Green's Wingletang Rescue and Rehoming Centre for Dogs and Cats in Tavistock, Devon, which promptly came and collected him. "It was quite a shock to see how skinny George was when he first arrived here," the charity's Deana Perrin told The Plymouth Herald on September 30th. (See "Abandoned Cat Heads to Pets at Home to Find Help.") "His teeth were also in a terrible state which would have meant eating was difficult and very painful for him."

Almost nothing is known about either George's past or how long that he had been sleeping rough. Based upon his friendly demeanor and enjoyment in cuddling, he obviously at one time had had a loving home.

That observation also is buttressed by the telltale imprints left on his fur. "It was obvious that George had been in a home at some point as he had a mark around his neck where a collar had been," Perrin added to The Plymouth Herald. "At some point his collar must have been excruciatingly tight as the skin around his neck is completely bald."

In that regard George is extremely fortunate that he was able to have gotten free of it before it choked the life out of him. (See Cat Defender posts of May 28, 2008 and June 22, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Collars Turn into Death Traps for Trooper and Que but Both Are Rescued at the Eleventh Hour" and "Hobson Is Forced to Wander Around Yorkshire for Months Trapped in an Elastic Collar That Steadily Was Eating Away at His Shoulder and Leg.")

At Margaret Green's, George's teeth were extracted and he was placed on a diet of soft food. That expedient worked miracles in that he immediately began to put on weight and for the first time in a long while he found himself free of pain.

Anyone who ever has suffered from prolonged dental pain, especially that associated with either a wisdom tooth or an aggravated nerve, can readily identify with what life must have been like for him without having access to analgesics. Unfortunately, the fur on his neck has yet to grow back and it is unclear if that is going to create problems, such as infections and sun damage, for him.

Although photographs of him have appeared in the local press, his previous owner has not come forward to reclaim him. That in turn can only mean that the individual either is dead, living elsewhere, or does not want him back.

Although Margaret Green initially had high hopes of promptly placing him in a new home, those plans have yet to come to fruition. Since he is an elderly cat with special needs, the charity is looking to place him in a rural setting.

Since his arrival at the shelter he has become a big favorite of both staffers and volunteers alike and they accordingly are not in any hurry to push him out the door. Best of all, they insist that he is welcome to stay with them for how ever long it takes in order to find him a new home.

Anyone interested in adopting this wonderful and long-suffering cat can contact the charity by e-mail at wt@margaretgreenanimalrescue.org.uk. It also can be reached by telephone at 44-01822 810215.

Margaret Green most likely would prefer to place him with a family somewhere in either Devon or Dorset because doing so would spare him the ordeal of having to undergo a long and grueling trip by either plane or car. If a nearby home does not eventually become available, however, the charity could be forced into looking farther afield.

Regardless of where he finally ends up, George is destined to make a fabulous addition to someone's home. Old cats not only have value, they simply are the best and every moment spent in their company is to treasured!

George Is a Big Favorite of Staffers

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened," Anatole France once observed and there is not any better way of beginning that process than by opening up one's heart and home to an elderly cat. Whether he lives eleven more days or another eleven years, whoever gets custody of George will soon realize that they are truly the lucky ones for being able to share his life.

Whereas being abandoned during the twilight of life is bad enough in its own right, many cats that wind up in that terrible predicament are ill-suited to make it on their own because of, ironically, the naked abuse and mutilations that they have suffered as the result of their domestication.

For example, those that have been cruelly declawed are no longer able to procure food, defend themselves, and even to climb. (See Cat Defender post of November 29, 2010 entitled "Harrison's Turbulent Years Spent on the Street Are Yet Another Reason Why Declawing Is Not Only Cruel and Inhumane but Dangerous as Well.")

Others have grown obese as the result of having been sterilized and subjected to a sedentary, indoor lifestyle. Others suffer from diabetes and urinary tract problems as the result of having been fed a steady diet of cheap kibble and other unhealthy foods.

Still others are afflicted with thyroid problems and cancer as the result of their constant exposure to PBDEs, secondhand cigarette smoke, and other toxins. (See Cat Defender posts of August 22, 2007 and October 19, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Indoor Cats Are Dying from Diabetes, Hyperthyroidism, and Various Toxins in the Home" and "Smokers Are Killing Their Cats, Dogs, Birds, and Infants by Continuing to Light Up in Their Presence.")

Even more lethal than conventional collars, implanted microchips are another cause for concern in that they have been known to cause cancer. (See Cat Defender posts of September 21, 2007 and November 6, 2010 entitled, respectively, "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs" and "Bulkin Contracts Cancer from an Implanted Microchip and Now It Is Time for Digital Angel and Merck to Answer for Their Crimes in a Court of Law.")

Perhaps worst of all, some of these elderly cats who abruptly wake up one day and find themselves homeless have absolutely no knowledge of the outside world in order to fall back upon because they have been cruelly confined indoors for all of their lives. (See Cat Defender post of February 2, 2015 entitled "Cruelly Denatured and Locked Up Indoors for All of His Life, Nicky Is Suddenly Trust into the Bitter Cold and Snow for Twenty-One Consecutive Days with Predictably Tragic Results.")

In spite of the myriad of difficulties that they face, they are the lucky ones in that they at least have a chance, no matter how slim, of staying alive. The same most definitely cannot be said for those that are deliberately killed off by the collusion of their owners and unscrupulous veterinarians.

Perhaps cruelest of all, these cats never even know what it was that hit them and as the result go to their early graves ignorant to their last breaths of the perfidy that lurked in the owners' malignant hearts. Used, abused, liquidated, and then casually tossed into the trash like yesterday's newspapers is their lot in life.

Of all the animals only man is capable of such deceit, treachery and, above all, ingratitude. He likewise is so craven and dishonest that he concocts outrageous lies, such as either not wanting to see a cat suffer or the old familiar better off dead argument, in order to excuse his heinous crimes.

The disturbing truth of the matter is that the lives of just about all elderly and sick cats could be indefinitely prolonged if only their owners were willing to pony up for their veterinary care and to attend to their health and age-related needs. (See Cat Defender post of October 18, 2014 entitled "Hamish McHamish's Derelict Owner Reenters His Life after Fourteen Years of Abject Neglect only to Have Him Killed Off after He Contracts a Preeminently Treatable Common Cold.")

The mere fact that so many veterinarians are willing to instantaneously transform their houses of healing into slaughterhouses for the sake of a few pieces of silver is a staggering indictment of both them and their profession. (See Cat Defender post of December 22, 2011 entitled "Rogue TNR Practitioner and Three Unscrupulous Veterinarians Kill at Least Sixty-Two Cats with the Complicity of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals.")

Since practitioners, unlike some shelters, are not compelled by law to disclose their kill rates, it is anybody's guess as to just how many cats meet their Waterloos in this fashion each year. It does not take much intuition to realize however that the death toll surely must be exorbitantly high.

Regardless of whether owners simply abandon their elderly cats to fend for themselves or pay to have them whacked, their treatment of them can only be described as unjust, cruel, and heartless. The proper care of a cat begins with respecting its inalienable right to live out its brief existence to the very last second and then and only then to die a natural death. Included in that is the right to be free from all abuse and exploitation as well as to be provided with shelter, food, and properly understood veterinary care.

Whereas the machinations of the species' sworn enemies, such as ornithologists and wildlife biologists, are legendary, duplicitous owners, moneygrubbing veterinarians, bloodthirsty shelters, and phony-baloney rescue groups actually inflict far greater suffering and carnage on cats. "I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies in a fight," former president Warren G. Harding once proclaimed. "But my damn friends, my goddamned friends, they're the ones who keep me walking the floor at night."

In a way it is just too bad that cats lack the prerequisite guile in order to anticipate the evil deeds that their owners and others have in store for them. Since that obviously is not the case, it is precisely their innocence that makes it all the more compelling that their rights be respected and protected.

Photos: The Plymouth Herald.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ace Is Found Frozen to a Porch with His Eyes Gouged Out but the Authorities Are Too Lazy, Cheap, and Ailurophobic to Go After His Assailant

Ace Following Surgery to Remove His Eyes

"I will never know the color of his irises, yet I will never forget the horror I felt looking at his ruptured globes. Not a day goes by without leaving me emotionally exhausted but still totally amazed by the beauty of his soul. He is a survivor and an inspiration and every day I fall in love with him a little more."
-- veterinarian Tina Roggenbeck

Wealthy young man about town Lamont Cranston, old-time radio's The Shadow, claimed to possess the power to fathom the "evil that lurks in the hearts of men" but most mere mortals, no matter how old, jaded, and cynical they may be, are almost helpless when it comes to anticipating the simply outrageous and diabolical abuse that some cat haters are capable of inflicting upon the species. That disturbing reality was driven home in shocking fashion once again back on January 9th when an eighteen-month-old homeless black cat was found frozen to the steps of a porch on Hidden Road in Bangor, Michigan.

Considering that the overnight temperature at the nearest reporting station in Bloomingdale, twenty-two kilometers to the north, was a bone-chilling -5.1° Fahrenheit, it was a miracle that he was still alive when his plight was discovered by Amanda Breasbois-Schulz and her husband. When she bent down in order to examine him, she instantly recognized him as being a neutered tom named Ace from a TNR colony that she had been caring for the past eight months.

She also discovered to her horror that he was suffering from something far more serious than a bad case of hypothermia and frostbite. "When we picked him up...we noticed his eye was completely blown out," she told The Bay City Times on January 16th. (See "Cat Found Blinded and Frozen to Porch in Bay County Has Eyes Removed, Vet Says It's a Case of Abuse.")

Actually, she had significantly understated the case in that both of Ace's eyes had been deliberately gouged out with a foreign object by some unknown cat-hating monster. After several unsuccessful attempts to procure emergency veterinary treatment for him, Breasbois-Schulz finally was able to prevail upon Angels Among Us to treat him for gratis at its Veterinary Health Center (VHC) in Saginaw, thirty-two kilometers to the south.

Ace arrived at VHC at 2 p.m. and veterinarian Katherine "Tina" Roggenbeck wasted no time in surgically removing what was left of both of his eyes during a forty-five minute operation. Neither she nor anyone else has been willing to publicly speculate if that expedient was really necessary.

For instance, it might have been possible to have cleansed and medicated both eyes as a prelude to later surgically repairing them. At least that way it might have been feasible to have restored at least some of his vision.

Based upon the massive damage done to his eyes, however, there can be no doubt that Ace's assailant fully intended to blind him permanently. "Bilateral ruptured globes, ocular and nasal hemorrhage, right cornea perforated, left cornea lacerated medial to lateral, swelling and bruising to the entire periocular-ocular and nasal area, one three to four millimeter laceration over the left maxilla, left nictitans (third eyelid) torn," is how Roggenbeck summed up the catalog of injuries that she found after examining him in e-mail letters sent on January 12th to Bay County Animal Control (BCAC), the Humane Society of Bay County (HSBC), and the Bay County Board of Commissioners.

After conferring with both an ophthalmologist and a radiographer, she concluded that the horrific damage done to Ace's eyes could not have been inflicted by a motorist. "In my professional opinion, this cat's injuries were deliberate, brutal and an act of heinous cruelty," she continued.

She went on to explain that "being hit by a car will not rupture both eyes simultaneously since eye position in the orbit of cats do not face forward (they are both lateralized) and the nose acts as a protective barrier. (Being) hit by a car trauma would have to be so fulminant to rupture both eyes that fracture of the nasal bones, maxillary contribution to the orbital rim, and zygomatic arch (cheek bone) would have to occur."

The Horrific Damage Done to Ace's Eyes

In arriving at that conclusion she erred only when she postulated that cars maim and kill cats. Actually, it is motorists, not their high-powered jalopies, that are responsible for such despicable crimes which invariably are committed for pleasure and with impunity.

She furthermore categorically ruled out the possibility of Ace having been attacked by either a dog, raccoon, or some other animal. "...the skin laceration over the left maxilla is lower than the orbital rim," she continued in her epistle to the high-muck-a-mucks. "In animal on animal attacks, visible signs would include opposing canine punctures, bite wounds, hemorrhage, bruising, et cetera."

As far as it has been revealed, the only damage inflicted on Ace was to his eyes. In particular, no puncture wounds, teeth marks, scrapes, or excoriations of any kind were found on his body. Plus, all of his teeth and claws were intact.

"In my entire career, I have never witnessed a more vicious attack on an animal," Roggenbeck declared. "...this cat's injuries were the result of the unthinkable...the deliberate act of a human."

Overshadowed by all the attention that has been focused on what was done to Ace's eyes has been the issue of his exposure to the elements and on that vitally important matter Roggenbeck has been inexplicably silent. Specifically, no mention has been made of him sustaining frostbite to his paws as was the case with another black cat named Flick who was found a few days later on January 14th with his front paws frozen to a porch in Redford, one-hundred-eighty-seven kilometers to the west of Bangor. (See Cat Defender post of February 23, 2015 entitled "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.")

Hopefully, Roggenbeck's reticence to discuss that issue is meant to be taken as an indication that Ace did not sustain any permanent injuries as the result of his exposure to the cold. Although it is by no means clear, the assumption is that he was mutilated sometime on January 8th and then dumped on Breasbois-Schulz's porch either later that night or early the following morning. In hindsight, it seems beyond dispute that his assailant was relying upon the Arctic cold in order to exacerbate, if not indeed finish, the job that began with Ace's intentional blinding.

Ace remained in Roggenbeck's care at VHC until February 3rd when fluid unexpectedly began to seep from his now vacant right eye socket. That in turn necessitated in him having to be rushed to the Animal Ophthalmology Center (AOC) in Williamston, one-hundred-five kilometers south of Saginaw, where specialist David T. Ramsey found and removed two cysts. An unspecified amount of abnormal pigmented tissue also was found but it is not known if it too was excised.

In spite of that scary setback, Roggenbeck insisted at the time that Ace was doing fine. "We got back here Tuesday night (February 3rd) and he is doing absolutely fabulous," she told The Bay City Times on February 6th. (See "Ace the Blinded Bay County Cat Has Home Lined Up as Investigation Continues.") "He is absolutely the most incredible, fantastic cat I have ever met in my life."

Without eyes, returning him to the TNR colony managed by Breasbois-Schulz was now totally out of the question. Although Roggenbeck temporarily entertained the notion of adding him to the twenty-three felines, four Alsatians, and pair of horses that reside with her and her husband in Bridgeport, eleven kilometers to the south of Saginaw, she ultimately decided to put him up for adoption.


David T. Ramsey Removes Cysts from Ace's Right Eye Socket

On February 13th, he finally left her surgery in order to go and live with a woman identified only as Tina. He did not go alone, however, in that Tina graciously agreed to also adopt a brown, gray, and white cat named Jack from Breasbois-Schulz's colony. The pair of newcomers have now joined Little Bear, Pumpkin, and Bailey at her residence somewhere in either Saginaw or the surrounding community.

"I have never heard a cat purr as loudly as this guy. He loves meeting people. He's a wonderful little guy," Roggenbeck exclaimed to The Bay City Times in the February 6th article cited supra. "Wherever he goes, he's going to flourish. To see that he has been able to forgive, it's amazing to me."

According to periodical updates posted on his Facebook page, Ace's Odyssey, he initially appeared to be doing exactly that. His weight increased considerably from the 7.8 pounds that he weighed at the time of his rescue and he seemed to be getting on famously not only with Tina but his four playmates as well.

Sadly, it was reported March 11th on Ace's Odyssey that cysts had been found in his left eye socket so it looks like he will be making a return trip to AOC in order to have them removed. Without being a feline ophthalmologist it is impossible to speculate as to either what has caused the cysts to develop or if they are destined to be a recurring problem for him. The good news is that apparently no new ones have formed in his right eye socket.

Other than that his prognosis, while still guarded, appears to be encouraging. After a protective Elizabethan collar was removed, his nails were trimmed on February 5th in order to deter him from unintentionally damaging his surgically repaired eye sockets.

That preventative measure did absolutely nothing, however, in order to protect him from the potential damage that his playmates might inadvertently inflict upon him. Since he is unable to anticipate and thus dodge their blows, it perhaps would have been better if he had been adopted into a home where he was the only cat.

Roggenbeck sans doute considered that option but ultimately rejected it. Aside from his need for companionship, his fellow felines hopefully will assist him in learning his way around Tina's house. Sadly, that is destined to constitute the extent of his entire world in that it would be foolish to allow him outdoors unless he is either on a leash or kept inside an enclosed area.

His other senses also should become more acute over time and that will help him to compensate somewhat for the loss of his eyesight. Once his whiskers, which were inexplicably removed by either his assailant, Roggenbeck, or Ramsey, grow back he accordingly will be able to significantly better gauge the distance between objects and passageways.

According to Alana Miller who for the past decade has cared for around ninety cats at the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary in St. Pauls, North Carolina, a sightless cat can do almost anything that a sighted one can and that includes climbing trees and cabinets. The one accommodation that she does recommend making, however, is that rooms within a house be outfitted with different types of flooring (carpeting, tile, et cetera) so as to assist a cat in orienting itself should it be either bandied about or temporarily lose its bearings.

Ace Is Comforted by Maddie and Lynn

Up until she came along the care of blind cats was pretty much limited to isolated acts of compassion on the part of veterinarians, rescue groups, and private individuals. (See Cat Defender posts of September 27, 2007, February 23, 2007, and August 25, 2005 entitled, respectively, "Abandoned to Die in a World of Darkness and Without Even Teeth, Maxwell Is Saved by the Compassion of a Rescue Group and a Veterinarian," "Born Without Eyes and Later Abandoned, Humble Kitten Appropriately Named Angel Has Hope for a Brighter Tomorrow," and "Winky Sam, a Cat with Only One Eye and Steadily Going Blind, Finally Finds a Home in Port St. Lucie.")

Although late is certainly better than never, it is still a shame that it took so terribly long for someone to  finally realize that blind cats are worth saving and that their lives have value. "Back when we started our shelter, there was just no place for them. If you were unadoptable, you were just dead," Miller  told Care2.com on November 30, 2012. (See "Blind Cat Sanctuary Offers Cage-Free Oasis.") "Somebody has to say 'enough.' Once a cat arrives here, they're done. No more being bounced around."

Fortunately for Ace, he now has a home but his assailant is still at large and thus free to prey upon other cats. Although cats, unlike humans, do not carry grudges, he most definitely never will forget the face of the devil who blinded him.

"It's amazing to us that he has any trust left at all," Roggenbeck marveled to The Bay City Times in the January 16th article cited supra. "His last vision would have been (of) whoever did this to him."

Although she has offered at $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of his assailant, she surely must have known well beforehand that such an act of beau geste was destined to be a total waste of time in that cat abusers and killers are almost never even investigated, let alone arrested, prosecuted, and punished. Ill-equipped to conduct such an investigation herself, she in all likelihood fell back upon that expedient in utter desperation.

A far better option would have been to put that money to work by retaining the services of a private dick to look into the matter. Pet detectives who locate lost animals already exist and there is not any obvious reason why a new breed of Philip Marlowes and Sam Spades could not be employed to apprehend cat abusers.

Her decision to call upon the assistance of BCAC also demonstrated extremely poor judgment in that the agency devoted, at the most, only a few hours of its time investigating the matter. "We sent two Animal Control officers to canvass the neighborhood in hopes someone witnessed or knew by word of mouth who the perpetrator might be. However, that was unsuccessful," its director Mike Halstead told The Bay City Times in the second of two articles dated January 16th. (See "Investigators Hopeful Reward Money May Generate Leads in Bay County Cat-Blinding Case.") "(January 15th), I contacted Jill Fritz and we're going to be forwarding everything we have to her at this point, in the hopes that the Humane Society (of the United States) will see fit to offer a reward for the perpetrator of this action. We're hoping if a person's moral turpitude doesn't dictate that they tell us what they know in our canvass, perhaps the financial incentive will."

Even after so quickly washing his hands of the entire matter, Halstead had the unmitigated gall to declare his steadfastness. "We're staying on top of it and hopefully we'll turn something up," he gassed to The Bay City Times, presumably with a straight face.

As Roggenbeck should have had the bon sens to realize, the number one rule when it comes to protecting and defending cats is to always steer clear of known cat killers and abusers and that admonition applies in spades to a rotten bum like Halstead. For example on May 26, 2010, he ordered the murder of a six-week-old kitten that not only had a home waiting for it in Washington State but individuals from such far-flung climes as California, Iowa, and Sweden also had expressed an interest in adopting it.

At that time he attempted to chalk up the confusion surrounding the kitten's status to the general hustle and bustle that accompanies operating a shelter. The employee "probably just did it (announce that the kitten was up for adoption) because we're always busy," he declared. "It was the wrong thing to do. We operate an aboveboard operation here."

Ace Is Visited by a Couple at Roggenbeck's Surgery

By that he meant that under Michigan law BCAC is allowed to kill after five days all animals that arrive at its shelter without collars. He also relied upon the fact that the kitten was suffering from a preeminently treatable common cold as another reason for snuffing out its life. More than likely it was healthy when it arrived and only became sick as the result of being exposed to the unsanitary conditions, overcrowding, and stress that are endemic to such hellhole institutions.

He also dishonestly attempted to excuse his own heinous crime by fobbing off blame on both the fecundity of cats as well as the failure of their owners to pay the sky-high sterilization fees that veterinarians demand. "If you start with a pair of cats, by the time they're done they will have accounted for thousands because of their litter and their litter's litter and so on," he pontificated. "It's a travesty that people let that happen, and we just can't warehouse them. It's unfortunate but that's what happens when people behave irresponsibly and therein lies the problem."

Au contraire, the problem lies with mass murderers like Halstead and BCAC who are permitted year after year to line their pockets by slaughtering en masse cats and dogs. First of all, cats, dogs, and other animals do not belong in jail under any circumstances. They have not committed any crimes, unless breathing is now considered to be a capital offense, and none of them ever receive anything even remotely resembling a due process hearing.

Secondly, although Americans themselves are notoriously stingy, the country itself is not poor and there certainly is more than enough money available to not only sterilize all homeless cats but to place them in either loving homes, managed TNR colonies, or sanctuaries. What needs to be done is to get the money out of the pockets of the exterminators and into the hands of those individuals and groups who have an abiding respect for the sanctity of feline life.

The only operation that Halstead and BCAC are interested in running, however, is a death house. For instance, during the first quarter of 2010 the agency killed all but eleven of the three-hundred-sixty-four cats that it impounded and that equates to a kill rate of ninety-seven per cent. The only known shelter with a higher kill rate is the one in Norfolk, Virginia, that is run by PETA.

BCAC also is guilty of discriminating against cats in that during the same period it secured homes for one-hundred-sixty-five of the three-hundred-twenty-one dogs that it took in and that works out to a kill rate of 48.6 per cent. (See Cat Defender post of June 15, 2010 entitled "Bay City Shelter Murders a Six-Week-Old Kitten with a Common Cold Despite Several Individuals Having Offered to Give It a Permanent Home.")

Halstead's appalling lack of respect for the sanctity of feline life coupled with his total unwillingness to secure homes for impounded cats and to investigate cases of animal cruelty is not all that surprising in that he is a retired Bay City fireman without any prior experience in operating a shelter. It therefore is pretty much a sure bet that he is a multiple dipper at the public trough who only secured his current sinecure through his links to the political establishment in Bay City.

Although there are a few professional and dedicated Animal Control officers, bums like Halstead constitute the norm. For example, when Barry Accorti retired from the North Ridgeville Police Department in 2012 after thirty-one years on the public's dime he was given the job of being the Ohio town's Animal Control officer so that he, like Halstead, could pocket another handout from the taxpayers in addition to his lavish pension.

Totally unqualified to even clean toilets, let alone to be entrusted with the care and welfare of animals, it did not take him long before he shot to death a quintuplet of eight- to ten-week-old kittens on June 10, 2013. (See The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, June 11, 2013, "North Ridgeville Clears Humane Officer of Wrongdoing for Killing Feral Kittens, but Animal Groups Want Action.")

Ace and Jack with Their New Mom, Tina

He then followed up that dastardly deed by shooting to death a baby raccoon on June 9, 2014. (See The Chronicle-Telegram of Elyria, June 10, 2014, "Parent Alleges Officer Killed Raccoon in Front of Kids.")

As utterly revolting as conditions are in both Bay City and North Ridgeville, they cannot hold a candle to what occurred in August of 2006 at the Old Webster Road shelter in Oxford, Massachusetts. That was when forty-one-year-old Animal Control officer Michelle A. Mulverhill deserted her post and went on a bender.

Even more astounding, oversight was so lax that her dereliction of duty was not even noticed until sixteen days later! (See Cat Defender post of August 31, 2006 entitled “Animal Control Officer Goes on a Drunken Binge and Leaves Four Cats and a Dog to Die of Thirst, Hunger, and Heat at a Massachusetts Shelter.”)

Although Roggenbeck did receive a prompt e-mail response from Halstead’s boss, Bay County Executive Thomas L. Hickner, that was all that she was able to get out of him, that is unless crocodile tears and outlandish lies count for anything. “Please be assured we share your outrage at the violence which resulted in the cruelty toward this animal,” he stated according to the second of two Bay City Times’ articles dated January 16th. “Since learning yesterday of the incident, staff of Bay County Animal Control have been conducting a thorough investigation into the matter to attempt to obtain the identity of the perpetrator and circumstances surrounding the act so we may refer the matter to the Bay County prosecutor."

C’est-à-dire, he has Halstead’s back and Halstead has his. Their intransigence on this and other animal welfare issues also means that no cat is safe anywhere in Bay County.

Even though back in 2010 it was precisely Jeannie Wolicki-Nichols of the BCHS who had lined up the home in Washington State for the kitten that Halstead subsequently killed, this time around she lavished all of her concern, not on Ace, but rather his attacker. “Animal abuse is a dress rehearsal for the future and we need to take this very seriously,” she cautioned in the second Bay City Times’ article dated January 16th. “I certainly hope whoever knows about this situation comes forward so the person who could do such a horrendous act can get the help he needs.”

Evidently the moral decay and general all-around rot that so characterizes the thinking and behavior of Halstead and Hickner now has spread to Wolicki-Nichols as well because help is the absolute last thing that Ace’s attacker needs; on the contrary, what he needs and deserves is to be apprehended, prosecuted and convicted, and then placed behind bars for the remainder of his miserable existence. Even more fittingly, his eyes should be gouged out and all of society should shun him so as to leave him with no alternative other than to aimlessly wander the earth much like Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex.

As utterly inexcusable as were the responses from BCAC, BCHS, and Hickner, it took the entry of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) into the fray in order to reveal the true burlesque nature of the proceedings. “If there is an arrest and conviction, we would pay out the reward to the people who sent in the tips,” the organization’s top dog in the Wolverine State, Jill Fritz, told The Bay City Times in the first article dated January 16th.

Even that offer of $5,000 came with enough caveats so as to make it all but meaningless. Specifically, Fritz added that even before the moola would be put up an investigating agency would need to determine that Ace’s wounds were indeed the result of cruelty and to request the assistance of the HSUS. “It’s up to law enforcement to determine it was allegedly done deliberately and we’re glad to help if they need help in apprehending a suspect,” she made clear.

  Forever Six Weeks Old, the Bay City Kitten

As far as it is known, the Bangor Police Department (BPD) is not involved in the investigation in any shape, form, or fashion and considering the intransigence of the BCAC, BCHS, and Hickner, the HSUS has little or no need to fear that it ever will be forced to part with so much as a lousy penny from its bulging hoard of greenbacks. After all, it has been widely reported on the web that the organization spends less than one per cent of its annual operating budget of $125 million on the care of animals in need; the remainder either goes into the pockets of its employees or is used in order to raise additional funds.

Beyond its utterly revolting niggardliness, the HSUS is about as far removed from a legitimate animal protection agency as one can get without first doing a half gainer into the sack with those miserable, rotten cat stealers and killers at PETA. First of all, it certainly is not a fan of cats and that was vividly demonstrated by its simply disgraceful sellout of those living on San Nicolas to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. (See Cat Defender posts of June 27, 2008, July 10, 2008, April 28, 2009, November 20, 2009, and February 24, 2012 entitled, respectively, “United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas Island,” “The Ventura Star Races to the Defense of the Cat Killers on San Nicolas Island,” “Quislings at the Humane Society Sell Out San Nicolas’s Cats to the Assassins at the Diabolical United States Fish and Wildlife Society,” “Memo to the Humane Society: Tell the World Exactly How many Cats You and Your Honeys at the USFWS Have Murdered on San Nicolas Island,” and “United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Humane Society Hoist a Glass in Celebration of Their Extermination of the Cats on San Nicolas Island.”)

Secondly, it has joined forces with such sworn enemies of the species as the American Bird Conservancy and The New York Times. (See Cat Defender post of June 15, 2009 entitled “American Bird Conservancy, The New York Times, and the Humane Society Unite to Form an Achse des Bösen Against Cats.”)

Thirdly, in an article penned for the Huffington Post on February 15, 2013, no-kill advocate Nathan J. Winograd disclosed that the HSUS gave its highest award to a shelter in Davidson County, North Carolina, that has a long and checkered history of illegally gassing cats and dogs. (See “Who Is Really Standing for Animals?”) Even more outrageously, the organization labeled that mass extermination camp as “a shelter we love.”

Likewise in Texas, Winograd reported that the HSUS helped to defeat a bill that would have put an end to the gassing of shelter animals. Clearly, the HSUS has absolutely no business pretending to speak up for cats and other animals.

With BCAC, BCHS, Hickner, the HSUS, and the BPD sitting on their fat cracks and exercising only their forked tongues, it is anything but surprising that Ace’s assailant remains at large more than two months after the attack. Absolutely nothing meaningful appears to have been done in order to bring him to justice and by now the crime has been all but forgotten by those charged with enforcing the minimalist standards of the anti-cruelty statutes in Michigan.

At the very minimum, either Roggenbeck or someone from the BPD should have collected scrapings from underneath his claws and combed his fur, particularly the area around his eyes, for forensic evidence. Secondly, Breasbois-Schulz’s porch, yard, and driveway should have been examined for foot and tire prints and molds made of any that were found.

Thirdly, either the BPD or BCAC should have made, not one, but a long series of persistent, intermittent door-to-door canvasses of the neighborhood. That in itself might have rattled enough heads in order to have forced someone into coming forward.

The only way that cases of animal cruelty ever will be solved is when law enforcement personnel apply the same tactics, procedures, and amounts of resources to them that they now devote exclusively to acts of violence that are committed against persons and property. Outbursts of self-righteous moral indignation, a false reliance upon hope, insincere offers of reward money, and appeals to the public are not only disingenuous but largely a complete waste of time as well. (See Cat Defender post of January 6, 2010 entitled “Large Reward Fails to Lead to the Capture of the Archer Who Shot an Arrow Through Brownie’s Head.”)

Big Bob Lost a Leg to an Attacker but Survived

Surprisingly, there has been absolutely zero speculation in either the press or on Ace’s Odyssey as to who committed this heinous act. The general tenor of the public debate, however, tends to suggest that the authorities have chalked up the attack to just another randomized act of violence perpetrated upon a defenseless cat by, most likely, either a juvenile delinquent or an adult sociopath.

The circumstances surrounding Ace’s blinding, however, tend to point to the exact opposite conclusion. In that regard the most compelling motive is that he was savaged as a way of getting back at Breasbois-Schulz for her championing of the cause of homeless cats.

Although it has not been publicly disclosed how close her house is located to the TNR colony that she manages, it nonetheless would appear that Ace was intentionally blinded and then either carried or driven to her residence and dumped. That reasoning is based upon the twin facts that presumably he did not know where she lived and, even if he did, he would not have been able to have found his way there after he had been robbed of his vision.

It also would be illuminating to know if other members of her colony either have been attacked or mysteriously disappeared without so much as a trace. Damage done to the cats' shelters, overturned food and water dishes, and verbal abuse and threats directed at Breasbois-Schulz are clues that should not be ignored.

One of the major Achilles' heels of TNR colonies is the total lack of security that they afford their members and that in turn leaves them vulnerable to all sorts of attacks from cat haters. For example in early December of 2010, a four-year-old Russian Blue named Big Bob who belonged to a colony located on the northside of Indianapolis that was managed by IndyFeral not only was shot in the thigh by an assailant armed with a gun but he also was run down by a hit-and-run motorist and left for dead.

Although he ended up losing one of his rear legs, he did manage to survive thanks to the prompt veterinary care that he received from the Humane Society of Indianapolis. (See Cat Defender post of January 5, 2011 entitled "Gunned Down by an Assassin and Then Mowed Down by a Hit-and-Run Driver, Big Bob Loses a Leg but Survives and Now Is Looking for a Home.")

It is not merely the cats themselves but often their caretakers as well that sometimes come under violent attacks. That is the cruel and utterly lawless fate that has befallen kindhearted Irene Borecky who cares for a colony of fourteen cats at a co-op on Garnet Janes Road in the Etobicoke section of western Toronto.

In particular, cat-hating fiends at the complex routinely curse her, train their garden hoses on her, and come after her with baseball bats. "These people are hostile towards the cats and anyone who helps them," she disclosed to the Toronto Star on October 20th of last year. (See "Helping Feral Cats Shouldn't Be a Risky Business.")

The hooligans even went so far as to curse and threaten to steal the camera of Jack Lakey of the Toronto Star when he accompanied her on one of her trips to the housing complex in order to feed the cats. As a working member of the capitalist media who consistently has defended homeless cats, especially the Bluffers Park TNR colony in Toronto's Scarborough District, Lakey is the rarest of journalists and his willingness to put his life on the line for those in Etobicoke is another shining example of his steadfastness of their behalf. (See Cat Defender post of September 15, 2011 entitled "Ravenous Coyotes, Cat-Haters, and Old Man Winter All Want Her Dead, Buried, and Gone but Brave Little Half Mask Is Defying All the Odds.")

A Trio of the Homeless Cats That Are Under Siege in Etobicoke

The cats themselves have been treated even worse in that the residents not only train their garden hoses but their dogs on them as well. At last report, Borecky was racing against the clock in order to trap and relocate them before the residents make good on their threat to trap and deliver them over to the knackers at Animal Services to exterminate.

One-hundred-sixty-two kilometers to the west of Toronto on a quiet cul-de-sac in London, Greg and Barb Horne have drawn the ire of their neighbors not only due to their feeding of homeless cats but also because doing so is allegedly attracting coyotes to the neighborhood. (See the Toronto Sun, January 20, 2015, "Neighbors Concerned after Coyote Shows Up to Couple's Regular Feral Cat Feeding.")

Wildlife biologists, especially those affiliated with the United States government, also are vehemently opposed to the existence of TNR colonies but they usually do not engage in mutilations; rather, they content themselves with either expelling or simply killing the cats. (See Cat Defender posts of August 7, 2014 and April 17, 2010 entitled, respectively, "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" and "Lake Lanier's Cats Face an Uncertain Future Following Their Ouster by the Liars and Defamers at the United States Army Corps of Engineers.")

Gardeners are another devious pack of criminals who will stop at almost nothing in order to get rid of cats and one of the worst offenders in that regard, Mark Oberschmidt, resides in Saginaw. (See Cat Defender post of August 19, 2010 entitled "Music Lessons and Buggsey Are Murdered by a Cat-Hating Gardener and an Extermination Factory Posing as an Animal Shelter in Saginaw.")

By leaps and bounds, however, it is ornithologists who hate cats with the greatest passion. For example, the Smithsonian Institution's Nicole Dauphiné was caught red-handed back in 2011 attempting to poison a TNR colony in Washington. (See Cat Defender posts of July 12, 2011, November 18, 2011, and January 6, 2012 entitled, respectively, "The Arrest of Nico Dauphiné for Attempting to Poison a Colony of Homeless Cats Unmasks the National Zoo as a Hideout for Ailurophobes and Criminals," "Nico Dauphiné, Ph.D., Is Convicted of Attempting to Poison a Colony of Homeless Cats but Questions Remain Concerning the Smithsonian's Role," and "Nico Dauphiné Is Let Off with an Insultingly Lenient $100 Fine in a Show Trial That Was Fixed from the Very Beginning.")

There was absolutely nothing sneaky about the modus operandi employed by amateur ornithologist James Munn Stevenson of Galveston back in 2006 in that instead of using poison he merely trained his rifle on cats. (See Cat Defender posts of November 22, 2006, May 1, 2007, November 20, 2007, December 8, 2007, and August 7, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Evil Galveston Bird Lover Is Finally Arrested After Having Gunned Down Hundreds of Cats," "Houston Chronicle Launches a Propaganda Offensive on Behalf of Serial Cat Killer Jim Stevenson," "Bird Lovers All Over the World Rejoice as Serial Killer James M. Stevenson Is Rewarded by a Galveston Court for Gunning Down Hundreds of Cats," "All the Lies that Fit: Scheming New York Times Hires a Bird Lover to Render His 'Unbiased' Support of James M. Stevenson," and "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.")

More recently in 2013, Ted Williams of the National Audubon Society even became so emboldened with his own self-importance, invincibility, runaway egotism, and patented criminality that he issued a clarion call for cats to be poisoned with Tylenol® and, even more outrageously, the Orlando Sentinel seconded that proposal by publishing it. (See Cat Defender post of May 11, 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.")

The point of this extremely long digression is to demonstrate that what was done to Ace does not appear to have been a routine case of animal cruelty. His assailant wanted to not only injure him to to make him suffer for as long as he lives and that type of malice is most commonly exhibited by ornithologists.

For instance in December of 2010, seventy-four-year-old amateur ornithologist Ernst Bernhard K. from the Moosach section of München illegally trapped his neighbor's cat, Rocco. Instead of either killing him on the spot or fobbing him off on a shelter to do his dirty work for him, he instead subjected the caged tom to eleven consecutive days of bombardment with water and pepper spray before finally killing him. (See Cat Defender posts of January 19, 2011, August 8, 2011, and August 17, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Bird Lover in München Illegally Traps Rocco and Then Methodically Tortures Him 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.")

Marmalade

There is one vitally important difference however between what was done to Rocco and the heinous crime that was committed against Ace and that revolves around the methodology employed. "I can't imagine, and I don't want to know, how that (the blinding) was done," Roggenbeck declared to The Bay City Times in the first of two articles dated January 16th. "It's absolutely the most heinous thing I have seen in my career."

Unpleasant though it may be, that very well could be the key to solving this case. With Rocco, although he was caged he was still able to put up quite a spirited fight and that later was attested to by his worn-down claws.

In Ace's case, it appears that he was trapped and then placed in some type of restraining device that not only kept his head stationary but would not permit him to use either his front or rear claws. The only known such device that readily comes to mind is a stereotactic one that scum-of-the-earth vivisectors use in order to, inter alia, blind cats, sever their spinal cords, and to drill electrodes into their brains.

The localized damage done to his eyes coupled with the absence of a projectile would tend to rule out the possibility that his attacker used some type of a firearm. It also appears that merely trapping him would not in itself have facilitated the gouging out of his eyes because he still would have been able to twist and turn his body as well as to move his head.

Of course, it is always conceivable that the cretin who did this to him sedated him after he got his hands on him. Toxicology tests, had they been performed, would have detected the presence of barbiturates in his system.

His assailant therefore could have been an ornithologist, either an amateur or a professional, with access to the types of restraining devices that are used in animal research laboratories. Whether or not there is any validity to that theory, all known ornithologists and vivisectors with even so much as a remote connection to the area surrounding the TNR colony should be regarded as prime suspects. The same scrutiny also should be given to all TNR opponents, gardeners, and known cat haters.

All of them accordingly should be interviewed by the BPD and placed under surveillance. Should circumstances so merit, search warrants for their residences and offices should be procured and promptly executed.

If forensic evidence had been taken from Ace at Roggenbeck's surgery it then could have been matched up against any found at their homes and businesses and the police then would have been able to have made an arrest. Perhaps then there would be fewer cases of this kind. At the very least, it is high time that some of these monsters were exposed, caught, and severely punished.

Although it would not appear to be applicable in this case, another common methodology employed in order to facilitate the blinding of cats is to imprison them in cages as a prelude to systematically starving them to the point where they are too weak in order to offer any resistance. That appears to have been the means that a still at large assailant from Lytham St. Annes in Lancashire used back in 2012 in order to blind five cats.

Pickle

Two of them were found in a cardboard box on a road leading to the Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary (EAS) on August 24th by a member of the charity who was out walking a dog. Another pair was found later in the day wandering in nearby fields while the fifth cat was discovered the following day.

All of them had one eye that had been gouged out as well as numerous cuts in and around their eye sockets but that was far from being all that ailed them. Specifically, they were covered in fleas and emaciated to the point of being anemic.

Under those circumstances it is even doubtful that they would have been able to eat even if they had somehow been able to secure food because their teeth had rotted. If all of that were not bad enough, they were soaked to the bone from the rain.

They were taken to a local Vets4Pets surgery where Andrew Harrison confirmed the their rescuers' worst fears. "My gut feeling would be that torture had probably taken place," he told the Daily Mail on August 30, 2012. (See "'I've Seen Some Bad Things, but this Is One of the Worst': Hunt for Sick Sadist Who Gouged Out This Cat's Eye in Horrific Attack.") "Some had older damage while the damage to others was quite recent."

Inexcusably, he elected to immediately whack three of them. "We thought it fairer on them to put the others to sleep," he told the Daily Mail.

Mandy Leigh of EAS wholeheartedly concurred in that morally repugnant decision. "I'll give any animal a chance but the others were past anybody's help," she bellowed in apparent ignorance of the glaring contradictions in both logic and language contained in such a declaration. "One of the surviving cats will be blind and it is difficult to know if they will survive."

Harrison likewise did not hold out much hope for the survivors, Marmalade and Pickle. "All we can do now is feed them gradually, bathe them and give them as much treatment as we can and hope the remaining two survive," is how he summed up the glum prognosis for them.

Like the authorities in Bay County, the RSPCA failed to demonstrate any real interest in apprehending the cats' torturer. "Anyone who dumps a animal is breaking the law (but) to abandon them when they are in such terrible health makes this case even more callous," the organization's Alison Wilford snorted to the Daily Mail. "We are looking into this matter and want to hear from anyone who saw someone acting suspiciously in the area at the time when these cats were dumped or who recognizes Pickle and Marmalade and knows where they have come from."

Regrettably, it has not proven possible to determine whatever became of Marmalade and Pickle. Apparently, remaining at EAS was out of the question in that the charity quickly announced that they were going to be put up for adoption.

Ace and Tina Are Soldiering On Despite All the Setbacks

For her part, Leigh believes that the cats were dumped at the sanctuary, not by their attacker, but rather by someone who had rescued them and that same chain of events conceivably could have played out in Bangor. Since it usually is somewhat easier to solve crimes where there are more than one individual involved, that is an additional reason why the authorities in Bay County should have vigorously looked into the attack on Ace.

This case also refocuses attention on the pressing need for heightened security at all TNR colonies, but especially the one managed by Breasbois-Schulz. Such an undertaking must by necessity begin and end with the volunteers themselves because it is a foregone conclusion that neither the police nor humane groups can be counted upon to lift so much as a finger in order to safeguard the lives of homeless cats.

The volunteers need first of all to spend significantly more time with the cats that are under their protection. Secondly, the installation of surveillance cameras is an idea worth considering.

If at all feasible, it would be preferable if these colonies were relocated on private property that is under the control of the cats' caretakers. That way any trespassers, whether they be individuals intent upon doing the cats harm or simply nosey governmental officials, would be taxed with the onus of legally justifying their presence within the colonies.

Colonies located in cold climates also need to be furnished with heated shelters. If that is not feasible, an effort needs to be made to at least round up the cats and confine them inside some type of enclosure whenever the thermometer drops below 0° Fahrenheit.

All of that is unquestionably asking a lot of the volunteers but helping cats to persevere in an extremely hostile world never has been easy. Besides, the homeless cat protection movement has come too far to turn back now. The road ahead is going to be both difficult and terribly expensive but the volunteers need to remain steadfast and committed.

Roggenbeck certainly has done a herculean job of not only treating Ace but in standing by him throughout his several setbacks and for all of that she is richly deserving of all the credit in the world. Through her work at Angels Among Us and at the VHC, Saginaw now has something that it truly can be proud of aside from Lefty Frizzell's 1964 country chart-topper, "Saginaw, Michigan." (See The Bay City Times, August 11, 2014, "Saginaw Township's Dr. Tina Roggenbeck Among Twenty Finalists Vying for the Title of 'America's Favorite Veterinarian'.")

"Pictures can't begin to tell you what it (the blinding) did to our hearts and soul," she told The Bay City Times in the first article dated January 16th. While that sans doute is true, it is Ace who has suffered an even more egregious and lasting loss.

In the unlikely event that an eye transplant is in his future, he never will see another sunset, cat, or friendly human face and there simply is not any way of sugarcoating that terrible reality. He at least from all accounts seems to have been placed in a good home and that should make his life, while it never will be quite the same again, at least bearable. That in no way should be mistaken as just compensation for having been robbed of his eyesight but it is all that he has left and that certainly is far better than having been left with nothing at all.

In the final analysis, there simply is not any way of getting around either the sadness or the anger that this attack has unleashed. To her credit, however, Roggenbeck is making an impressive effort to do both.

"I will never know the color of his irises, yet I will never forget the horror I felt looking at his ruptured globes," she opined January 27th on Ace's Odyssey in a short article that succinctly encapsulated the melancholy, revulsion, exasperation, and thankfulness that she felt at that time. "Not a day goes by without leaving me emotionally exhausted but still totally amazed by the beauty of his soul. He is a survivor and an inspiration and every day I fall in love with him a little more."

There is far too much evil in this world for love to ever prevail a majority of the time but in Ace's case it may just have a fighting chance of at least holding its own.

Photos: Facebook (Ace), John Elke of The Bay City Times (kitten), Reed Parker of WIBC Radio of Indianapolis (Big Bob), Jack Lakey of the Toronto Star (Etobicoke cats) and the Manchester Evening News (Marmalade and Pickle).

Monday, February 23, 2015

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

Flick

"This cat has been outside with a collar for quite a while. Maybe the family packed up and moved."
-- Redford Animal Control Officer Dan Brown

As the bitterly cold winter of 2014-2015 rages on across the northern half of the United States and throughout most of Canada, the number of kittens and cats victimized by its ruthlessness continues to mount with each passing day. On January 14th, for example, a less than one-year-old black kitten subsequently dubbed Flick was found with his front paws frozen to a porch in Redford, Michigan, twenty-six kilometers west of Detroit.

"There was a pool of blood right next to his front paws," Animal Control Officer Dan Brown, who was contacted by an unidentified homeowner who resides at the intersection of Curtis Street and Five Points, related to WDIV-TV of Detroit on January 15th. (See "Cat Frozen to Porch of Redford Home Rescued.")  "It looked like it was coagulated, so he's been there for a while."

Given that an unidentified neighbor had overheard a cat meowing throughout the long, frigid night when the thermometer plummeted to -3° Fahrenheit at the nearest reporting station in Farmington, the homeowner surely also must have heard Flick's plaintive cries as well but for some unexplained reason elected to wait until the following morning before summoning help. That totally inexcusable delay, if indeed the owner was at home, not only ended up exacting an horrific toll on Flick but it nearly cost him his life as well.

Fortunately for him, lady luck was on his side in that Brown knew exactly what to do and he wasted no time in hustling on over to the neighbor's house where he borrowed a pail of room temperature water in order to free Flick's front paws. "Hot water would have only made it worse," he later pointed out to WTSP-TV of Tampa on January 15th. (See "Cat Rescued after Found Frozen to Home's Porch.")

Oddly enough, Flick's rear legs were not frozen to the porch and for that Brown believes that he has a weak bladder to thank. While that certainly is conceivable, it is not the only possible explanation.

For instance, whereas WDIV-TV insists that Flick ripped out his front claws while attempting to extricate himself from his would-be tomb, WTSP-TV claims on the other hand that they had been previously removed. That very well could be the case in that it seems only logical that it would be considerably easier for declawed paws to become frozen to an extremely cold surface than those that had been left intact.

The type and condition of the porch has not been disclosed but based upon the horrific injuries inflicted upon Flick, it not only was frigid but likely covered in ice and possibly snow as well. Regardless of its condition, the injuries sustained by Flick are yet still another cogent argument against the thoroughly barbaric practice of declawing cats.

After delicately extricating him, Brown took Flick to Tail Wagger's 1990 in Livonia, seven kilometers to the west of Redford, where the full extent of his massive injuries first became known. Specifically, his claws were not only missing but he additionally had ripped out the pads on his front paws.

Flick Is on the Mend but He May Be Crippled

Although press reports have not specified the type of treatment that he received at Tail Wagger's, his paws most assuredly were cleaned, medicated, and bandaged. He also likely was given painkillers, heat therapy, and possibly intravenous fluids.

Almost as bad, it initially was reported that he had broken every single digit in both of his front feet during his desperate struggle to extricate himself from the frozen death trap. All of that in turn had left him in simply horrific pain and with swollen paws.

Tail Wagger's did not, however, plan on treating the broken bones in his feet. "There probably will not be a lot of treatment for the break (sic), much like a human, you'd have to let it heal on its own," the charity's Laura Zain told WDIV-TV.

In an untitled article posted January 20th on its Facebook page, Tail Wagger's reversed itself and declared that Flick had not sustained any broken bones and that he was able to support himself on both paws. Later on February 10th the charity disclosed that a portion of one of his paws had been surgically removed but that it would not be known for another week or so if he will be able to walk.

Described by the staff at Tail Wagger's as a "sweet boy with spirit," Flick is scheduled to be put up for adoption as soon as his paws heal. Hopefully, he will not end up as a cripple but even if he is forced to walk with a limp there cannot be any denying that he is truly fortunate to still be alive.

"If it wasn't for the phone call from the homeowner and the assistance from the neighbor, he would've surely froze (sic) to death," Brown told WTSP-TV.

Although this world favors those cats and humans with unfettered access to money, family, and friends, Old Man Winter does not play favorites. He is in that sense the great leveler in that he will unconscionably freeze the life out of any creature that, either unwittingly or through misfortune, tumbles into his merciless grasp.

That, by the way, is the reason why some individuals occasionally are able to screw up smidgens of compassion for homeless men during the wintertime while turning deaf ears to their desperate plight during the remainder of the year. In that regard it is just too bad that there are not other mechanisms in addition to the elements that would allow them to experience firsthand the deprivations that cats and the poor face every day.

Frozen Kitten

Flick's misfortune is all the more deplorable in that it seems highly probable that he was intentionally abandoned by his previous owner. For instance although he had not been neutered, he was wearing both identification and flea collars.

"This cat has been outside with a collar for quite a while," Brown affirmed to WDIV-TV in the article cited supra. "Maybe the family packed up and moved."

Compounding an already desperate state of affairs, Flick's collar was wound so tightly around his neck that it was nearly strangling the life out of him. Although his previous guardian apparently had taken great care to remove his name tag so that he could not be traced back to either him or her, that person irresponsibly left his collar in place so that it could eventually either throttle him or snag on a foreign object.

Even though the dangers associated with both conventional and elastic collars are well-documented, it is almost superfluous to point out that any cretin who would condemn a cat to tough it out in the unforgiving cold and snow is not likely to be overly concerned about him being strangled to death. (See Cat Defender posts of May 28, 2008 and June 22, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Collars Turn into Death Traps for Trooper and Que but both Are Rescued at the Eleventh Hour" and "Hobson Is forced to Wander Around Yorkshire for Months Trapped in an Elastic Collar That Steadily Was Eating Away at His Shoulder and Leg.")

According to google's Street View, the Curtis Street and Five Points section of Redford appears to be the very epitome of a middle-class residential neighborhood with its white wood frame houses, tree-lined streets, and neatly-trimmed green lawns in the summertime. While it always is conceivable that Flick was driven into the area and dumped, the preponderance of the available evidence tends to suggest that his guardian resided not too far away from where he was found.

Redford also has the dubious distinction of being the birthplace of disgraced rocker Theodore Anthony Nugent who not only hates cats with a passion but admittedly shoots every one of them that he sees on sight. Even more outrageously, he is allowed to commit his dastardly deeds with impunity at the canned hunting ranch that he operates in Jackson, one-hundred-one kilometers to the west of Redford, because no animal rights group in Michigan is willing to so much as even investigate him let alone put him in jail. (See The Washington Times, December 3, 2010, "Nugent: The Time for Kitty Killing Has Come.")

Since the overwhelming majority of all cases of animal cruelty go unreported by the press, that in turn makes passing judgment on a particular geographical area a rather dicey proposition. For example, some areas actually could be far more antagonistic toward cats than Michigan but their crimes are kept hidden from the outside world by an obliging media.

Nonetheless, there is not any getting around the inescapable conclusion that the catalog of crimes committed against the species by residents of the Wolverine State is indeed long and varied. Heading that list is, as one would expect, the failed city of Detroit where designer cats are shot down and killed in the street while others are poisoned. (See Cat Defender posts of April 19, 2014 and May 2, 2013 entitled, respectively, "Doomed from Conception to a Lifetime of Naked Exploitation and Destined to Never Fit in Anywhere, Chum Is Gunned Down in Cold Blood on the Violent Streets of Lawless and Uncaring Detroit" and "Poisoned Within an Inch of His Life While Living on the Mean Streets of Detroit, Chairman Waffles Survives Three Surgeries in Order to Live Again.")

Rosalie

Not only is the city itself bankrupt, but hundreds of homeowners are so cheap that they prefer to live in unsanitary conditions rather than to pay their monthly water bills. In such a depraved milieu, it is not any surprise that cats are abused with impunity.

Even in parts of the state that are still functioning more or less as normal neither education nor the lack thereof serves as any deterrent to Michiganders' lust for feline blood. (See Cat Defender posts of September 11, 2006, August 20, 2009, and November 24, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Selfish and Brutal Eggheads at Central Michigan University Target a Colony of Feral Cats for Defamation and Eradication," "Combine Operator Severs Howard's Front Paws and Leaves Him in a Ditch to Die but He Is Saved at the Last Minute by a Pair of Compassionate Lads," and "Howard the Combine Kitty Is Adopted by the Lads Who Saved Him from a Sure and Certain Death in a Ditch Alongside a Michigan Wheat Field.")

Shelters throughout the state not only liquidate cats and kittens that have homes waiting for them but they additionally do the dirty work of ailurophobic gardeners. (See Cat Defender posts of June 15, 2010 and August 19, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Bay City Shelter Murders a Six-Week-Old Kitten with a Common Cold Despite Several Individuals Having Offered to Give It a Permanent Home" and "Music Lessons and Buggsey Are Murdered by a Cat-Hating Gardener and an Extermination Factory Posing as an Animal Shelter in Saginaw.")

Like everywhere else in this world, individuals and businesses in Michigan exploit cats to the hilt and then whack them once they have outlived their usefulness to them. (See Cat Defender post of January 15, 2015 entitled "Lewis, Ann Arbor's Much Celebrated Garden Shop Cat, Departs This World Under Highly Suspicious Circumstances.")

That certainly is not the entire story in that Michigan also is home to a handful of individuals who not only care dearly about cats but are willing to go out of their way in order to rescue those in distress. (See Cat Defender post of October 16, 2007 entitled "Tourists from Michigan Save the Life of a Critically Ill Oregon Cat Named Marmalade.")

Redford, and presumably the remainder of Michigan as well, also is guilty of discriminating against cats in that although it is illegal in the city to leave a dog outside in the cold without the benefit of shelter, cats do not enjoy any comparable legal protections against the elements. "It is not illegal for a cat to be outside," Brown told WTSP-TV. "It's frowned upon."

Standing idly by and frowning while untold numbers of cats are suffering and dying in the cold is, quite obviously, not nearly good enough. Au contraire, Redford instead should follow the example set last year by the Philadelphia City Council when it entertained the notion of making it illegal to leave both cats and dogs outside when the thermometer either plummets below freezing or soars above 85° Fahrenheit. (See the Philadelphia Daily News' print edition, April 9, 2014, "Leaving Kitty Out Back All Year Could Cost You.")

While it is readily acknowledged that since neither humane groups nor the police do very much in order to enforce the existing animal cruelty statutes, they certainly are not about to break so much as a sweat safeguarding cats from the cold. Nevertheless, just having such a statute on the books coupled with an occasional arrest and prosecution might serve as a mild deterrent in some instances. Affording cats the same legal protections that dogs now enjoy also would go a long way toward eliminating the widely held view that their lives are somehow less worthy of protection.

Blizzard

While it is difficult offhand to think of either a season of the year or a particular set of circumstances that would justify the heartless abandonment of a cat, doing so during cold and snowy weather is an especially egregious offense. That is doubly so because if they are not done in by the elements they are likely to starve to death in that there is precious little outside for them to eat at such times.

That is especially the case with both exclusively indoor cats and kittens who do not have any firsthand experience at either surviving on their own or in the elements. (See Cat Defender post of February 2, 2015 entitled "Cruelly Denatured and Locked Up Indoors for All of His Adult Life, Nicky Is Suddenly Thrust into the Bitter Cold and Snow for Twenty-One Consecutive Days with Predictably Tragic Results.")

Perennially homeless cats, on the other hand, are experienced enough to at least seek shelter underneath buildings, in recesses in the ground and, sometimes imprudently, underneath the hoods of automobiles. Even then their wiles often are not nearly sufficient in order to save them from sub-zero readings.

Even those fortunate few that somehow manage to survive end up, like Flick, scarred and maimed for the remainder of their lives by the cold. Regardless of how close to death they may be when first rescued, that is not a valid excuse under any circumstances for rescuers and veterinarians not doing all within their power in order to save their lives.

For example, an elderly cat named Annie from Norfolk, Massachusetts, was brought back from death's doorstep in January of 2010 after she came within a hairbreadth of freezing to death in a snowstorm. (See Cat Defender post of January 21, 2010 entitled "Trapped Outdoors in a Snowstorm, Annie Is Brought Back from the Dead by the Compassion of a Good Samaritan and an Animal Control Officer.")

Later on January 26, 2014, a near death brown male kitten subsequently dubbed Frozen Kitten was dropped off at the Animal Care and Control Team in Philadelphia. Although utterly reprehensible and totally unforgivable, the first thought that percolated through the minds of the organization's top honchos was to finish him off on the spot.

Mercifully, volunteers Marta Skuza and Lori DiFiglia intervened with syringes filled with warm fluids, water bottles and heating pads in order to elevate his body temperature, and chest rubs in order to stimulate his circulation. Skuza even took Frozen Kitten home with her to her abode near King of Prussia.

Seven hours later, Frozen Kitten's body temperature had climbed to 97.2° Fahrenheit but he was far from being out of the woods. "We were very nervous and sad," Skuza related to the Burlington County Times of Willingboro, New Jersey, on January 28, 2014. (See "Volunteers Rescue a Cold Kitty.") "Frozen Kitten was getting better almost immediately but the progress was very slow and we were not sure if he is better or if he is going into shock, so we really didn't know that he will be just fine till about midnight when he reached his normal temperature and ate."

Frosty and His Frostbitten Ears and Nose

A few hours after that he was almost back to his old self. "Then I woke up at 3 a.m. to check on him and he moved off the heating pad, was stretched out and comfortably sleeping," she added "When he saw me he hissed and moved away from me. Obviously he got his personality of a scared kitten back and at that point it was definite that he was all better."

Frozen Kitten later was moved to the Pet Adoption and Lifecare Society in Broomall, Delaware County. "He is apparently very chatty now, eats like there is no tomorrow and doing great," Skuza confided to the Burlington County Times. "No more hissing. He is quite content now with the good life off the streets."

Whereas it was not disclosed if Frozen Kitten had suffered either frostbite or internal injuries, an eighteen-month-old gray, brown, and yellow female with beautiful green eyes named Rosalie was not nearly so lucky. Found frozen to the ground sometime during the second week of January in 2014 on Merritt Island in Welland, Ontario, she ended up losing her right ear, part of her left ear, and the tip of her tail to frostbite.

Thanks to the prompt and competent care that she received from the Welland and District Humane Society and the Grand River Veterinary Hospital in Caledonia, she survived in order to live another day. As an added bonus, she later was adopted by her rescuer, Jamie Kmety. (See the St. Catherines Standard, January 17, 2014, "Frostbitten Cat Undergoes Surgery.")

On February 1, 2011, Natasha Schroeder was driving down Pawnee Street in Cleveland, Oklahoma, when she just happened to spy a two-month-old white kitten with black spots named Blizzard meowing piteously in eight inches of snow. His paws were cracked and bleeding, one of his rear legs was injured, and he was suffering from both hypothermia and starvation.

"It was shaking uncontrollably," she later told KJRH-TV of Tulsa on February 2, 20ll. (See "Woman Finds Kitten Freezing in the Snow after Being Dumped in Cleveland, Oklahoma.") "He could barely hold his head up."

Without so much as a moment to spare, Schroeder wrapped Blizzard in a blanket and rushed him to Pound Pals for emergency treatment. He recovered and subsequently was adopted by an unidentified member of the United States Marine Corps from San Angelo, Texas. (See KJRH-TV, February 28, 2011, "Kitten Found During Blizzard in Cleveland, Oklahoma, Has a New Home.")

As terrible as wintertime abandonments in the snowbelt are in themselves, they often are worsened by intentional acts of outrageous animal cruelty. For example, in late December of 2005, most likely on Boxing Day, a calico cat named Lucky was locked up inside a cage that was weighted down with a sixteen-pound stone and tossed into the Clark Ford River in Missoula, Montana.

Roo and Melissa Smith of the York SPCA

Thankfully, The Fates were looking after her on that dreadful occasion in that not only did her cage land on the ice but it was spotted by a passerby who notified the Missoula Fire Department which in turn mounted a rescue just in the nick of time. Later, she was adopted by one of her saviors, firefighter Josh Macrow. (See Cat Defender post of January 13, 2006 entitled "Montana Firefighters Rescue 'Lucky' Calico Cat Who Was Caged and Purposefully Thrown into an Icy River.")

History repeated itself during the yuletide season of 2010 when a black and white kitten named Chabot-Matrix was dumped in the Pennesseewassee Stream in Norway, Maine. Like Lucky before her, Chabot-Matrix landed on an ice floe and subsequently was rescued unharmed on December 30th by members of the Chabot Construction Company from Greene.

She later was adopted by local beautician Chris Ryan. (See Cat Defender post of March 25, 2011 entitled "Compassionate Construction Workers Interrupt Their Busy Day in Order to Rescue Chabot-Matrix from a Stream in Maine.")

Slightly before the attempt was made upon Chabot-Matrix's life, a handsome gray cat named Jack-in-the-Box was sealed up in a cardboard box on December 23, 2010 and left at the curb in frigid Troy, New York. The game plan called for him to either freeze to death during the overnight period or to be collected by the garbageman the next morning. Fortunately for him, he was found by Melissa Lombardo who promptly notified the Troy Police.

Although he was treated for exposure, Jack recovered and was scheduled to have gone to a new home in January of 2011. The man who had abandoned him, forty-eight-year-old Michael T. Walsh, was arrested on December 30th and charged with three counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. (See WXAA-TV of Albany, December 23, 2010, "Abandoned Cat Found 'Miracle on One-Hundred-Tenth Street'" and Cat Defender post of October 14, 2011 entitled "Chucked Out in the Trash, Tabitha Winds Up in a Oxygen Chamber with Four Broken Ribs, an Injured Lung, and Pneumonia.")

The frigid temperatures unleashed by Mother Nature are not the only source of cold that cats have to fear in that the artificial, man-made variety can be every bit as deadly. For example, in one of the most outrageous cases of animal neglect and cruelty on record, the management and staff at an unidentified frozen food warehouse located somewhere in either Northamptonshire or the East Midlands knowingly allowed a one-year-old tuxedo named Frosty to spend five weeks in their -28° Fahrenheit facility during January and February of 2010.

It is theorized that Frosty was able to persevere in such an extremely cold environment because the doors to the warehouse were open on certain days in order to facilitate the receipt and dispatching of deliveries and that in turn allowed in a degree of warmth. He also likely was able to have secured sanctuary in either a corner or inside some object where it was not quite as cold. As far as sustenance is concerned, he is believed to have avoided starvation and dehydration by eating frozen peas and licking the condensation off the outsides of packages.

Even so, frostbite cost him both of his ears as well as his tail. Although it is not known with any certainty, it nevertheless is believed that he became trapped inside the frozen death chamber after having arrived as an unwitting stowaway on one of the delivery trucks.

Jean

He also could have been intentionally dumped there by one of the drivers but no matter how that he arrived the neglect shown him by the callous capitalists can only be labeled as criminal. (See Cat Defender post of April 8, 2010 entitled "Frozen Food Purveyor Knowingly Condemns Frosty to Spend Five Weeks in Its -28° Fahrenheit Warehouse Without Either Food or Water.")

In November of 2008, an unknown and still at large monster in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, even went so far as to divest a twelve-week-old orange kitten named Chopper of his fur and then to abandon him, still bleeding from multiple cuts that resulted from a mean job of shaving, to the elements. Fortunately, his plight was discovered by a Good Samaritan who brought him to the attention of the Ontario SPCA (OSPCA).

In addition to the cuts, he had contracted a common cold, fleas, worms, and ear mites. He also was so emaciated that his bones were visible through his skin.

"He was in rough shape...we didn't know if he'd make it," Dave Wilson of the OSPCA later said. "He was probably just trying to survive on the street and someone did this to him."

That may not have been necessarily the case in that it could have been his guardian who shaved him and then abandoned him to the street; his health thereafter could have taken a downward spiral. The important thing, however, is that he was rescued in time, received treatment, and later was adopted. (See Cat Defender post of December 9, 2008 entitled "Shaved from Head to Tail and Left to Freeze to Death in the Ontario Cold, Chopper Is Saved at the Last Minute.")

The repercussions that result from the horrific toll that motorists take on cats even during clement weather is magnified a hundredfold whenever they commit their atrocities during the wintertime. For instance, back on February 16, 2007 a two-year-old brownish-gray cat named Roo was mowed down and left for dead by a hit-and-run motorist on Manor Road in Lower Windsor Township, Pennsylvania.

He thus found himself in a totally hopeless predicament that bears a strikingly resemblance to the one that befell Flick in that the blood from his injuries had frozen his front paws to the road. He was rescued by a compassionate woman who took him to the York SPCA but even then his right paw had to be amputated and his left one was placed in jeopardy due to a fracture. (See Cat Defender post of March 5, 2007 entitled "Run Down by a Motorist and Frozen to the Ice by His Own Blood, Cat Named Roo Is Saved by a Caring Woman.")


 Domino. Whatever Became of Her?

A pretty white female kitten with patches of black and brown to go along with captivating green eyes also was run down and left for dead around the middle of January of 2014 in Youngstown, Ohio. She somehow managed to survive that attack but was forced to hobble around town for another fortnight as she in the meantime nearly succumbed to both hunger and the elements.

On January 28th she was rescued by an elderly woman in her eighties named Jean who attempted to procure veterinary assistance for her but every shelter that she contacted wanted to kill the kitten. Eventually she found her way to West Side Cats which not only took in the kitten but named her in her honor. (See January 28, 2014 untitled article on West Side Cats' Facebook page.)

On January 29th, Jean finally received the veterinary treatment that she so desperately needed and richly deserved. Specifically, she was diagnosed to be suffering from a luxating patella (trick knee) and a broken pelvis.

Frostbite also claimed the tops of both of her ears but, mercifully, her hearing was unimpaired. She additionally came through her long and trying ordeal in the cold without any apparent internal organ damage. (See January 29, 2014 untitled article on West Side Cats' Facebook page.)

"Jean is an absolute lover and whoever gets her is in for a real treat," the charity exclaimed March 2, 2014 in an untitled article posted on Facebook. Inexplicably, Jean is not listed on the organization's web site as having been one of its successful adoptions of 2014 and that glaring omission could mean almost anything from either her foster mother having elected to keep her or something tragic.

As revolting as it may be, rescue groups as well as individuals abandon cats to the cold and snow. Back in March of 2008, for instance, when Ann and Mike Hirz of Poynette, Wisconsin, decided to relocate to Green Valley, Arizona, they attempted to leave behind their five-year-old cat, Domino, to tough it out in the cold and snow.

Domino, however, became unwittingly trapped in a shipping crate and thus made the trip with the Hirzes to Green Valley. Instead of rectifying their original mistake and holding on to Domino this time around, they instead took the advice of Paws Patrol and transported her back to Poynette where they abandoned her for a second time.

Ninja and Kristina Clark

"It knows its safety areas. It knows its sources of food and shelter," Patti Hogan of the rescue group argued at that time. "This is Domino's best chance of survival."

For anyone looking for a totally bogus rationale for shirking their moral responsibilities, Hogan's baloney certainly fits the bill. First of all, with the Hirzes long gone Domino no longer had any food, shelter, or safety zones to return to in Poynette.

Much more importantly, her welfare and care was their solemn moral responsibility regardless of whether they continued to reside in either Poynette or Green Valley. It is not known what ultimately became of Domino but her bleak prospects are not pleasant to contemplate. (See Cat Defender post of May 8, 2009 entitled "Domino, Feral and All Alone, Faces an Uncertain Future in Wisconsin Following an Unplanned Trip to Arizona.")

Thankfully, not all cat owners are cold-hearted, low-life exploitative scumbags. For example, on January 25th of last year twenty-two-year-old Kristina Clark of Copper Center refused to allow a total lack of money, the biting cold, avalanches, and even being jailed by the Alaska State Police to dissuade her from procuring life-saving veterinary intervention for her ailing five-year-old gray and white tom, Ninja. As long as there is life on this planet, the heroism and dedication that she showed Ninja will remain the gold standard as to how all cat lovers are judged. (See Cat Defender post of February 15, 2014 entitled "Indefatigable Young Alaskan Woman Overcomes a Lack of Money, Jailing by the Police, and a Series of Avalanches in Order to Save Ninja's Life.")

Looking ahead, there is not a good deal of room for optimism. Not only did Punxsutawney Phil predict six more weeks of winter on Groundhog Day but some meteorologists are expecting the cold and snow to linger on across North America until at least the middle of April. The area accordingly may not see any warm weather until July.

Also, considering the enormous amount of ice covering both the Arctic Circle and Greenland that has yet to melt it certainly looks as if winters in the northern hemisphere are destined to become progressively longer, colder, and wetter in the foreseeable future. Once all the ice has melted, conditions will rapidly deteriorate in the opposite direction.

That can only be interpreted to mean that in addition to Flick countless other cats are destined to suffer and die simply hideous deaths as the result of prolonged exposure to the unforgiving cold. Only caring individuals, the managers of TNR colonies, and the guardians of domestic cats have it in their power to significantly alter that distressing scenario.

Photos: Tail Wagger's 1990 (Flick), Burlington County Times (Frozen Kitten), Maryanne Firth of the St. Catherines Standard (Rosalie), Natasha Schroeder (Blizzard), Daily Mail and SWNS (Frosty), Bill Bowden of the York Daily Record (Roo), West Side Cats (Jean), Green Valley News (Domino), and Kristina Clark (Ninja).