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Cat Defender

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

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Cat Hoarder Masquerading as Cat Savior Kills More Than Two-Hundred Cats

The rotting, vermin-infested corpses of more than two-hundred cats were found on May 20th stuffed into trash bags in the backyard of the East Orange, New Jersey residence of the founder of KittyKind, a well-known Manhattan cat rescue organization. The carnage was so massive and foul-smelling that a bulldozer had to be employed to scoop up and cart away the bodies to an incinerator.

An additional forty-eight cats, including thirty-eight crammed into one room, were found alive in the large woodframe house. Stories appearing in both the New York Post and The Press of Atlantic City were conspicuously silent as to both the causes of the cats' deaths and the health -- and fate -- of the rescued cats.

Marlene Kess, 56, who operates KittyKind in conjunction with Petco at Broadway and Seventeenth Street in Manhattan's Union Square, was given dozens of health code and animal welfare citations but is likely to get off with a fine.

The slipshod media did not hazard a guess as to how long this feline Auschwitz had been in operation but based upon the number of victims it appears to have been in business for quite a while. For her part, Kess's mea culpa was pretty much limited to admitting that she had taken in too many sick cats who had subsequently died at a rate faster than she was able to dispose of their remains. To believe that this many cats died from sickness as opposed to human neglect or, worst still, malice aforethought stretches credulity and officials plan to reexamine her backyard for more corpses.

Cat hoarding is not unusual. Veterinarian Gary J. Patronek, who has conducted research on this subject, estimates that there are between seven hundred and two-thousand cases of animal collecting annually in the United States and, tant pis, that in eighty per cent of these cases the animals are either found dead or in dire straits. Starvation, unsanitary living conditions, overcrowding, disease, inbreeding, and severe psychological stress are the norm. For example, in its November 6, 2004 edition, the Pioneer Press reported that four-hundred-fifty cats were discovered in a home in St. Croix, Wisconsin belonging to an eighty-six year old retired nurse, her forty-seven year old daughter, and fifty-two year old son-in-law. Most of the cats were already dead and the barbaric, ailurophobic fire department finished what the hoarders had started by pumping carbon monoxide into the building in order to asphyxiate the feral cats that they were too lazy to trap and to administer lethal injections to the tame ones. One should not perhaps be too surprised by this unconscionable behavior in that it is after all the residents of the Badger State who want to make a sport out of hunting down and shooting cats. Nonetheless, these firemen should be jailed and fired.

What makes the East Orange case so extraordinary is the petit fait that the culprit just happens to be the founder and operator of a no-kill rescue shelter which has been lauded by both the New York Daily News and the Village Voice . KittyKind is even a member of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals. On the home page of its web site, www.KittyKind.org, the organization states:
"KittyKind is a not-for-profit, no-kill, all-volunteer cat rescue and adoption group. All of us at KittyKind have opened our hearts and homes --and emptied our pockets -- to save thousands of cats from neglect or abuse. Every cat we rescue is given food, shelter, medical care, a safe place to lay his or her head and most importantly of all, a reason to purr."

A little further along the web site proclaims: "We get calls every day from desperate people not knowing what to do or where to turn. KittyKind has rescued thousands of cats and kittens in the New York area who were once unwanted or homeless but are now cared for and happy in their new homes.

"... We do not believe in rescuing a cat or a kitten only to euthanize it if it has a broken leg or needs extended nursing care. We never give up if there is a chance of saving them. We take responsibility for each and every life we save and if a cat or kitten is unadoptable, they have a home with us for life." Although that last statement may be technically true, life for the felines under Kess's care was, as Thomas Hobbes said about the state of nature, nasty, brutish, and short.

In its Mission Statement, KittyKind goes on to declare: "We believe that animals are not property to be discarded, disposed of, or killed just for the crime of being homeless or unwanted. We believe that people should be friends, caretakers and protectors of animals. We believe that we must take responsibility for the life of every animal we rescue who through no fault of their own, is abandoned, sick, disabled, old or unable to care for themselves. We are dedicated to relieving their suffering, proving food, shelter, medical care and comfort until we can place them in a safe and loving home."

Hear! Hear! Those are certainly noble ideals that no ailurophile could ever quibble with, but Kess's actions speak ten million times louder than her words. Is she a dedicated cat lover who simply got in over her head? Is she mentally ill? Or, was she masquerading as a cat advocate in order to garner fame and fortune? From the limited details provided by the capitalist press it is difficult to tell. Certainly, many cat hoarders feel justified in believing that any kind of life -- no matter how squalid -- is preferable to sure and certain extermination at a shelter. More than ten million cats are exterminated at shelters each year in this country and most of them are killed shortly after arrival thus foreclosing any chance of adoption. Rather than complain about hoarders, the morally correct thing to do would be to outlaw the killing of all cats, dogs, and other companion animals under all circumstances; doing that would take away any motivation to hoard animals except in extreme cases of mental derangement and where capitalism has run amok.

The staff of KittyKind must also be held culpable because they surely must have known what was going on. Also troubling is Petco's role in this sordid affair and the lack of oversight on the part of both public and private animal protection groups. Where was the SPCA, the Humane Society, and Mayor Bloomberg while these atrocities were being carried out?

Kess is quoted in The Post as apologizing to her neighbors in East Orange for creating a nuisance but she is conspicuously remorseless about the cats. It sounds like the only thing that she is sorry about is getting caught. She is also quoted as vowing to never let anything like this happen again even though Dr. Patronek's research indicates that most animal hoarders are repeat offenders who simply move on to other jurisdictions and commit more crimes of animal abuse and neglect. Kess should not therefore be taken at her word. Moreover, she should not be allowed to own another cat and, especially, to operate another shelter. KittyKind should either be padlocked or placed under new management and thereafter closely monitored by the appropriate authorities.

Worst of all, incidences of cat hoarding provide all the bloodthirsty public officials (firemen, police, animal control officers, et al.) and phony-baloney animal welfare groups in this country with the justification -- as if they needed one! -- to kill even more defenseless cats as they did so efficiently in St. Croix.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Savannahs: More Feline Cruelty Courtesy of the Capitalists and Bourgeoisie

The latest barbarism to come out of the commercial eugenics factories are Savannahs, a cross between wild African Servals and domestic cats such as Oriental Shorthairs, Egyptian Maus, Serengettis, Ocicats, Chausies, and Bengals. With one-hundred-twenty registered breeders producing an unknown number of these hybrid cats, they are starting to show up with some regularity on the sidewalks of Manhattan, Chicago, and elsewhere as the designer pets du jour of the affluent.

Savannahs have considerably longer bodies than domestic cats and with an average weight of twenty pounds they are twice as heavy. They are easily recognizable by their distinctive black spots and stripes, long legs and necks, and big ears. (See photo above.) Although they may look like miniature leopards and can be trained to use a litter box, they surprisingly enough have the personality of a dog in that they walk on leashes and love to play fetch. It is not known what accounts for this cat's strange personality, but genetic manipulation is a prime suspect.

From the limited amount of information available, Savannahs do not appear to pose any threat to either their owners or to other people and animals. They are illegal, however, in many jurisdictions and this has sparked controversy and restrictive legislation.

The problem with Savannahs, as with all hybrids (e. g., the labradoodle, a poodle-Labrador mix, and the Bengal, of Asian leopard descent itself), is not one of public safety, but rather of animal cruelty. Both The New York Times and London's Independent ran stories last week on this growing fad which deliberately ignored the pain and deaths incurred during the breeding process as well as the question of the overall welfare of the hybrids themselves. The capitalist media is so thoroughly corrupt and morally bankrupt that absolutely nothing which it reports can be taken at face value.

Web sites maintained by several Savannah breeders are considerably more forthcoming although they, quite understandably, are reluctant to go into the gory details. They do, however, admit the obvious: that it is difficult to get a forty-pound African Serval to mate with an eight-pound domestic cat. With male Savannahs retailing for more than $4,000 and females going for between $10,000 and $15,000, it is logical to assume that conception is being achieved by surgical means.

Breeders willingly admit that miscarriages and premature births are common; what they do not disclose, however, are maternal and infant mortality rates. As is the case with cat cloning and transgenics (e. g., allergy-free cats, goats that produce silk in their milk, etc.), infant and maternal mortality rates are likely to be high. Sans doute, the breeding and birthing processes are exceedingly painful. Moreover, the petit fait that male Savannahs are sterile up until either the fourth or fifth generation attests to the unnatural character of these man-made unions.

There are also strong ethical and legal issues involved as well. First of all, should the importation of wild cats from Africa and domestics from the Middle East and Asia be allowed? African Servals and other wild cats belong in the wild, not in laboratories, breeding factories, and the apartments of upscale Manhattanites. Domestic cats likewise belong in loving homes with mates of their own species.

The creation of hybrids is being driven on one end by capitalistic greed and on the other by bourgeoisie barbarism. People who purchase these misused and abused cats are moral degenerates who simply want an exotic pet to show off to their friends and colleagues.

An estimated ten-million cats and seven-million dogs are exterminated at shelters each year in the United States and if people who purchase exotic pets had any morality they would adopt a cat or a dog from a shelter rather than financially back such patently cruel practices as hybridization, cloning, and transgenics. Such behavior only encourages breeders to inflict more cruelty upon other animals in their never ending quest to produce even more exotic pets.

The breeding of all Savannahs and other hybrids should be outlawed. Those already in existence should be taken away from their breeders and given to good homes where they can live out their lives.

Monkeying around with genetics is not only dangerous but it can be deadly as well. Genetically modified crops are proliferating despite a growing body of research that has found that they are harmful to both wildlife and the environment. Designer insects (e. g., honeybees that are resilient to pesticides, silkworms that produce pharmaceuticals, and mosquitoes capable of delivering vaccines) are only four to nine years away. In addition to hybrids, the animal world is being ravaged by cloning, transgenics and xenotransplantation. Chimeras are another concern.

Irving Weissman of Stanford has created a mouse with human brain cells. As of last fall, the United States Patent and Trademark Office had issued patents for four-hundred-thirty-six new animals and, tant pis, the commercialization of the animal kingdom shows no sign of slowing down. Can designer humans and human clones be far off? H. G. Wells' The Island of Doctor Moreau was science fiction a hundred years ago; today it is the new reality.

Photo: Gulf Coast Exotic Felines.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Famous Quotes About Cats

1.) "Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as Gods. Cats have never forgotten this."
-- Anonymous

2.) "People who hate cats will come back as mice in their next life."
-- Faith Resnick

3.) "Time spent with cats is never wasted."
-- Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette

4.) "You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats."
-- Early American Proverb

5.) "The cat is nature's masterpiece."
-- Leonardo da Vinci

6.) "If a man could be crossed with a cat, it would improve man but it would deteriorate the cat."
-- Mark Twain

7.) "I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior."
-- Hippolyte Adolphe Taine

8.) "A house without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat, may be a perfect house, perhaps, but how can it prove its title?"
-- Mark Twain

9.) "These intelligent, peace-loving, four-footed friends -- who are without prejudice, without hate, without greed -- may someday teach us something."
-- Lilian Jackson Braun

10.) "In a lonely, harsh world, a cat is the repository of what is left of beauty and grace and truth."
-- Lydia Adamson

11.) "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
-- Albert Schweitzer

12.) "It is a matter to gain the affection of a cat. He is a philosophical animal, tenacious of his own habits, fond of order and neatness, and disinclined to extravagant sentiment. He will be your friend, if he finds you worthy of friendship, but not your slave."
-- Theophile Gautier

13.) "In the middle of a world that has always been a bit mad, the cat walks with confidence."
-- Roseanne Anderson

14.) "Those who love cats which do not even purr,
Or which are thin and tired and very old,
Bend down to them in the street and stroke their fur
And rub their ears and smooth their breast, and hold
Their paws, and gaze into their eyes of gold."
-- Francis Scarfe

15.) "God created man and seeing him so feeble he gave him the cat."
-- Anonymous

16.) "You know, I wouldn't be surprised if Jesus practiced His sermon with cats. Our Lord loved all creatures but surely He must have loved cats best."
-- Rita Mae Brown

17.) "The wonderful thing about the cat is the way in which, when one of its many mysteries is laid bare, it is only to reveal another. The essential enigma always remains intact, a sphinx within a sphinx within a sphinx."
-- Robert De Laroche

18.) "Dieu a fait le chat pour donner a l'homme le plaisir de caresser le tigre."
-- Fernand Mery

19.) "The cat is the only animal that lives with man on terms of equality, nay superiority. He will willingly domesticates himself but on his own conditions and never gives up his complete liberty no matter how closely he is confined. He preserves his independence in this unequal struggle even at the cost of his life."
-- Carl Van Vechten

20.) "I value in the cat the independent and almost ungrateful spirit which prevents her from attaching herself to any one, the indifference with which she passes from the salon to the housetop. When we caress her, she stretches herself and arches her back responsively; but this is because she feels an agreeable sensation, not because she takes a silly satisfaction, like the dog, in faithfully loving a thankless master. The cat lives alone, has no need of society, obeys only when she pleases, pretends to sleep that she may see more clearly, and scratches everything on which she can lay her paw."
-- Francois Rene de Chateaubriand

21.) "Cats have many gifts that are denied humans, and yet we tend to rate them by human standards. To understand a cat, you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality. A cat's lack of speech does not make him a lower animal. Cats have a contempt of speech. Why should they talk when they can communicate without words? They manage very well among themselves, and they patiently try to make their thoughts known to humans. But in order to read a cat, you must be relaxed and receptive."
-- Lilian Jackson Braun

22.) "With the qualities of cleanliness, discretion, affection, patience, dignity, and courage that cats have, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of being cats?"
-- Fernand Mery

23.) "It is perhaps easier for a cat to train a man than for a man to train a cat. A cat who desires to live with human beings makes it his business to see that the so-called superior race behaves in the proper manner toward him."
-- Carl Van Vechten

24.) "Beware of people who dislike cats."
-- Irish Proverb

25.) "Gather kittens while you may
Time brings only sorrow;
And the kittens of day
Will be old cats tomorrow."
-- Oliver Herford

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Firefighters Rescue Worf from Chimney

A black cat named Worf with a fondness for playing hide and seek was rescued from a chimney on Monday, April 25th by firefighters in Atlantic City.

Having gone AWOL the previous Thursday, he was heard crying inside the chimney on Saturday by his guardians. Several city agencies were immediately contacted but when none of them could be persuaded to help, firefighters were called in and with the permission of the building's owner, Wandy Opao, they knocked a hole in the chimney and freed Worf.

Although he was without food and water for four days, Worf had apparently developed an affinity for his confinement because as soon as he was freed he immediately attempted to return to his hiding place. Finding entree now blocked by a plastic shield, he was forced to settle for secreting himself in a cabinet beneath the sink.

Kudos are in order for firefighters Scott Evans, Bob VanDyke, Mark LaVigna, Andre Byrd, Gregg Rando, and Ed Stearns who worked for three and one-half hours on the rescue.

Source: Lynda Cohen, "A. C. Firefighters Free Cat Stuck in Chimney," The Press, 4-26-05, C1:1.