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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, February 09, 2006

A Newspaper Cat Named Tripod Is Killed Off by the Journalists That He Befriended in Vermont


"Unfortunately, I've had to have an animal put to sleep more than one time."
-- Mark Smith, publisher of The Caledonian-Record

Tripod, a three-legged gray cat who for the past several years had brightened the lives of the staff of The Caledonian-Record in tiny St. Johnsbury, Vermont, was recently killed off by the same journalists that he had befriended. The good-natured cat, who earlier had lost his right rear leg in a trap, was killed off by Companion Animal Care at the request of the journalists who claimed that he was in failing health.

Although Tripod did have a thyroid condition and had pretty much stopped eating, those were not valid reasons for killing him. More than likely these well-to-do journalists were too cheap to provide him with the medical care that he needed and that is the real reason that they had him killed.

Publisher Mark Smith even went so far as to admit in the paper's January 30th edition that he makes a habit out of killing off cats and dogs. "Unfortunately, I've had to have an animal put to sleep more than one time," he said. (See "Newspaper's Mascot Fondly Remembered.")

Ken White, who has worked in the daily's advertising department for forty-one years, is apparently aware that what he and his coworkers did was wrong because he is quoted in the same article as admitting that he felt "kind of bad" about killing Tripod. He quickly sloughed off these misgivings, however, and went on to justify the killing on the ground that "it was time for him to be in a better place."

What sophistry! How did he know that Tripod's time on this earth was up? More importantly, where is this so-called "better place" that he speaks of? Hades may or may not exist, but as far as dying is concerned Hamlet said all there is to say on that subject a long time ago.

The Caledonian-Record does not reveal how old Tripod was at the time of his killing or even how long that he had been living at the newspaper. At one time he had apparently did have a regular home because when he arrived at the paper he had already been neutered.

He lived with several other stray cats for a number of years in the newspaper's garage across the street before finally moving into the newsroom about two years ago. Alarmingly, the journalists were so derelict in their care that they allowed him to risk his life on a daily basis by being forced to cross the street between the two buildings.

Tripod's daily routine consisted of visiting the journalists at their desks, eating, and sleeping under education editor Rosie Chaloux's desk. He was also known for his ear-piercing meows and fighting ability, despite having only three legs. In short, he was a survivor who very well could have overcome his recent malaise and persevered for several more years.

With Tripod now gone, The Caledonian-Record for the first time in many years does not have any animals in the building. In the past, a dog named Spot and several other animals have made their homes there. The staff and management of the paper are to be commended for their willingness to take in homeless animals and many more businesses and institutions should do likewise, not only for the animals' benefit but for their own health and well-being also.

However, just as it was wrong for Philip Gonzalez to have killed off Ginny so, too, was it wrong for The Caledonian-Record to have repaid Tripod for his love and devotion with a jab of sodium pentobarbital. (See Cat Defender posts of September 2, 2005 and November 17,2005 entitled, respectively, "Ginny, a Dog Who Rescued Cats, Is Killed Off By Her Owner on Long Island" and "Westchester Cat Show to Celebrate the Life of a Dog Who Rescued Hundreds of Cats on Long Island.")

Cats live for only a short while and man does not have the right to shorten their time on this earth. Anyone too cheap to provide them with medical assistance should at the very least be willing to allow them to die in peace and at their own time.

Photo: The Caledonian-Record.