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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, July 31, 2006

A Fifteen-Year-Old Cat Named Bamboo Miraculously Survives Being Abducted and Mauled by a Hoot Owl in British Columbia

"I swear she is going to outlive me."
-- Colleen Hamilton

No one is quite certain how she pulled it off, but a diminutive fifteen-year-old cat named Bamboo recently survived being abducted and mauled by a hoot owl in Oak Bay, British Columbia.

The six and one-half pound feline was snatched from Colleen Hamilton's back porch on Oliver Street by a great horned owl and apparently carried back to the raptor's nest as its intended dinner. Since Bamboo's disappearance had been preceded by a loud, thump, thump, thump, Hamilton immediately suspected a Bubo virginianus because the voracious predators occasionally visit her yard.

Hamilton spent the night scouring the neighborhood for Bamboo and putting up posters without any luck. When she had just about given up all hope of ever seeing her beloved cat again, Bamboo limped home twenty-two hours later. (See photo above of the happy duo) "I nearly jumped out of the window when I heard her," Hamilton later told the Oak Bay News on July 26th. (See "Comeback Cat Survives Brush with Raptor.")

Poor little Bamboo was in sad shape but lucky to be alive. Having either been dropped or fallen from a great height, she had three broken legs and several puncture wounds, including a large piece of missing flesh and fur on her right front paw.

Most likely, the spunky feline was able to use her claws in order to force the owl to let go of her but the force of the fall was too much for her aged legs to withstand. Although cats have been known to fall from grattes-ciels in Manhattan without being injured, they probably were not quite as advanced in years as Bamboo. In human terms, Bamboo is seventy-six years old.

It is a credit to her determination to live that she was able to summon the willpower in order to make it home. "No one could believe that she was walking on the paws," Hamilton said. "No one thought she was going to survive. My vets call her the miracle cat."

Since Hamilton could not afford the around-the-clock veterinary supervision that Bamboo required, she instead took two weeks off from work in order to nurse her tiny companion back to health. Bamboo is doing better now but her right front leg is still in a cast and she may, unfortunately, lose that paw.

Hamilton attributes Bamboo's recovery to the fact that her parents were both feral. "She (has) always been really feisty and she has already survived a lot," she told the Oak Bay News. "I swear she is going to outlive me."

Many other cats, both domestic and feral, have not been quite as fortunate in their run-ins with hoot owls (See photo below) in Oak Bay, a small city of 18,000 souls located four kilometers to the east of Victoria. For instance, David Allinson of the Victoria Natural History Society told the Oak Bay News that he has observed owls feasting on cats on numerous occasions at nearby Swan Lake. He furthermore recommends that owners keep their pets inside at dusk and dawn because, like mosquitoes, that is when owls are on the prowl.

Although to the two-hundred-fifty-three known species of animal life that it preys upon the great horned owl is no doubt looked upon as a devil, the raptor in fact does not have horns. Its name is derived instead from tufts of feathers that only appear to be horns. Other than cats, owls also prey upon, inter alia, dogs, chickens, rabbits, skunks, raccoons, armadillos, porcupines, muskrats, bats, pigeons, hawks, ducks, sea gulls, fish, frogs, snakes, and even baby alligators.

Since their only natural predators are other owls and Northern Goshawks, owls have a relatively long life expectancy of thirteen years in the wild and some in captivity live to be as much as thirty to forty years old. As with all animals, man is their biggest menace with shootings, trapping, and collisions with automobiles and electrical wires accounting for most of their mortalities.

Inveterate cat-haters, such as the American Bird Conservancy (ABC), National Audubon Society, et alius, rant all the time about cats killing birds but they never mention that owls, eagles, and hawks also prey upon cats. If felines must be locked up in order to safeguard songbirds as the ABC proposes, should not raptors also be confined indoors in order to protect cats? Even songbirds devour an inordinate amount of insects as well as bedevil chipmunks and other small mammals.

Furthermore, birds spread such deadly diseases as Vogelgrippe and the West Nile Virus. They also foul streams, yards, and storefronts with their droppings as well as occasionally start a forest fire or two.

Colleen Hamilton sans doute loves Bamboo but since she already knew that hoot owls frequented her yard she was foolish to have allowed her cat outside unsupervised, especially during the evening. If she is going to allow her cat outside in a neighborhood frequented by owls, it is incumbent upon her not only to keep a close eye on her companion but also to be armed with either tear gas or pepper spray in order to chase away the predators.

Photos: Erin Kelley-Gedischk of the Oak Bay News (Colleen Hamilton and Bamboo) and Paul Miller of www. owlpages.com (hoot owl).

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Northrop Grumman Plans to Exterminate a Colony of Feral Cats That Has Lived at Its Redondo Beach Facility for Twenty Years

Capitalists are such barbarians. They not only enslave, exploit, and murder their fellow human beings but they treat the animals and Mother Nature even worse. A good case in point is giant defense contractor Northrop Grumman which announced last week that it plans to exterminate a colony of feral cats that has called its Space Technology unit in Redondo Beach (See photo above) home for the past twenty years.

To be totally accurate, Northrop did not say exactly that in so many words but the import of what it did say left little doubt as to the company's true intentions. Like such inveterate cat-haters as the American Bird Conservancy, National Audubon Society, PETA, National Geographic, the National Wildlife Federation, Les Underhill of the University of Cape Town, and UC-Davis' Pat Conrad, Northrop speaks with a forked tongue in order to protect itself from a backlash from ailurophiles. (See Cat Defender post of Marcy 3, 2006 entitled "Cat-Hating Professor at UC-Davis and the BBC Call for the Extermination of 78 Million Feral Felines.")

While denying that any final decision has been made as to the cats' fate, Director of Facilities Keith Roberts called the felines a nuisance and said that many employees had complained about them. "We just want to make sure we're ensuring the health and welfare of all our employees," he told Torrance's Daily Breeze on July 22nd. (See "Northrop Frets Over Feral Feline Issue.")

Despite Roberts' denial, Northrop has already contacted Western Exterminator of Anaheim which has offered to trap the cats and turn them over to an unnamed animal shelter in Los Angeles County. As it is well known, almost one-hundred per cent of feral cats dumped at shelters are killed immediately upon arrival. The murderous monsters who run these pet genocide factories are too cheap to house and feed them and too lazy to either socialize or find homes for them. Plus, they love killing cats and dogs!

In addition to being nuisances, Roberts and Western Exterminator claim that the cats are unhealthy, spread disease, and create a stench. None of these claims are true. Sheila Dodson (See photo above), a veterinarian with No More Homeless Pets Kansas City, has stated that feral cats are healthy and do not have any higher incidence of disease than do their domestic counterparts. They are thus no more likely to spread disease than domesticated felines. (See Cat Defender post of May 16, 2006 entitled "Kansas City Vets Break Ranks with AVMA to Defend Cats Against Bird Advocates, Wildlife Proponents, and Exterminators.")

Complaints about the cats smelling up the grounds are almost certainly untrue as well because since 1995 a dedicated group of Northrop employees has been looking after them. Over the past five years they have spent more than $20,000 on food, trapping, desexing, vaccinations, and flea powder. It is therefore highly unlikely that they have allowed urine and feces to build up and moreover sterilization puts an end to tomcats spraying in order to mark their territory.

Over the years, the implementation of a TNR program has helped to reduce the colony from thirty to thirteen cats. The caregivers have grievously erred however in killing sick cats. Not only is what they have done immoral, but alternatives are available. For instance, 10th Life Sanctuary in Clewiston, Florida provides a home for sick cats and there are no doubt other such facilities elsewhere. (See Cat Defender post of July 13, 2006 entitled "Heroic Little Kitten, Fiendishly Run Through a Wood Chipper by Some Devil, Loses His Nineteen-Day Struggle to Live.")

Caregiver Carol Kahler, who retired from Northrop in 2003 after thirty-six years, suspects a more selfish motivation behind the company's bid to do in the cats: parking space. "Some idiot engineer comes along and said, 'I want to park my car back here but there are cats,'" she told the Daily Breeze.

In the final analysis, the reasoning behind the bigwigs' plans to get rid of the cats is really unimportant. Killing cats is not only immoral but TNR will gradually reduce the colony to zero and Northrop Grumman will then be all the poorer. The caregivers are doing a good job overall and management's intervention at this time is neither merited nor wanted.

Earlier this year, a plan to exterminate the long-term resident felines of the swanky Army Navy Country Club (See photo below) in Arlington, Virginia was torpedoed thanks in no small part to the intervention of Iraq War critic John P. Murtha. (See Cat Defender post of January 19, 2006 entitled "Public Outcry Forces Army Navy Country Club to Scrap Plans to Evict and Exterminate Long-Term Resident Felines.")

Since Northrop receives so many Defense Department contracts, cat advocates in Redondo Beach should consider asking Murtha (See photo above) to make the receipt of any future governmental largess contingent upon the manufacturer not harming its resident felines. Because of the key role that he plays in military appropriations, it is certainly within his province to do this.

With seven research and manufacturing facilities in the United States, Northrop Grumman is the third largest manufacturer in the world. It employs 120,000 workers and has annual revenues approaching $19 billion. Its Redondo Beach facility alone employs 9,300 people and last year racked up $3.4 billion in sales. A large chunk of its billions comes from the U.S. Treasury and it is therefore vulnerable to political pressure.

As the manufacturer of the B-2 Stealth Bomber, the Global Hawk Unarmed Aerial Vehicle, warships, lasers, missile systems, etc., Northrop is fully ensconced in the killing business. It is therefore not surprising that it does not have any respect for feline life. By letting the world know just what it is up to and through the application of political pressure it may be just possible to save the cats.

Photos: Northrop Grumman (Redondo Beach facility), Kansas City Star (Sheila Dodson), Cheryl Senter of the Associated Press (John P. Murtha), and James A. Parcell of the Washington Post (Army Navy Country Club cats).

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Tale of Two Cities: Residents of Aachen Abandon Cats and Dogs to Go on Vacation as Luxury Pet Hotel Opens in Philadelphia

Summer vacations are far more important to Europeans than they are to Americans. Being more cultured and considerably less money-crazy, they realize that there is more to life than slaving away all the time for some sleazy, shekel-counting popinjay in a three-piece suit. More importantly, they customarily receive up to a month off from work as compared to a measly two weeks for most Americans.

Increased leisure time should not be accompanied by a corresponding decrease in moral responsibility and this is especially true where companion animals are concerned. Unfortunately, this is not a lesson that some pet owners in Europe and elsewhere have ever bothered to learn.

Instead of using their long vacations to spend additional time with their often neglected cats and dogs, many Europeans are instead abandoning their faithful four-footed companions so that they can go en vacance unencumbered.

Zum Beispiel, the animal shelter in the German city of Aachen recently reported that a record number of cats, dogs, and small animals had been dumped on its doorstep this summer by individuals either too selfish to take them along with them en vacance or too cheap to board them. Worst still, the Aachener Zeitung reported on July 17th that some uncaring pet owners were "dass Bello oder Mieze einfach am nachsten Laternenpfahl angebunden." Fortunately for them, Katerchen Anton and Hundedame Aki (See photo above) have been spared both of those cruel fates because they have a good home.

There are, of course, many options other than abandoning a pet. For instance, there a number of kennels in the Aachen area that board cats and dogs although space is limited and there are long waiting lists. A Katzenpension run by Helga Creutz in nearby Wuerselen can accommodate up to thirty-five cats but reservations need to be made at least four months in advance. The facility also requires that all of its inmates be desexed and vaccinated.

Much the same is true for the Hundepension Huenschemeyer in Baesweiler. It is fully booked for the summer and has a three-month waiting list.

The dearth of kennel space is not, however, a valid reason for dumping pets at shelters to be exterminated. This is especially the case since there are numerous pet sitters available; in fact, hiring a pet sitter is far preferable to boarding a cat or dog.

Kennels as a rule are rife with all sorts of disease but hiring a pet sitter eliminates this worry because pets never leave the sanitary confines of their homes. Perhaps even more importantly, this arrangement is considerably less psychologically stressful for them because it gives them reason to believe that their owners will return home soon.

Pet sitters are also able to give each animal individual attention. Most of them not only feed and water their charges, but they additionally spend time with them each day. At kennels, however, it is rare that cats and dogs ever receive very much in the way of individual attention.

Of course, there are more elaborate alternatives available when it comes to foster pet care. Earlier this year, Jenee and A.J. Mazzu opened Philadelphia's first luxury hotel for pets. Located along with the riverfront in the Old City, Mazzu's Canine and Feline Hotel provides a place for cats and dogs with a taste for haute couture to hang out while their owners are out of town.

In addition to two squares a day and all the water that they can drink, cats and dogs are housed in carpeted rooms that feature comfortable beds with colorful bedding and televisions equipped with DVD players. (See photo on the right of a doggie suite.) As is the case with Katzenpensionen and Hundepensionen in Aachen, space is extremely limited and in more than one way.

For starters, the hotel can accommodate only seven dogs and five cats at a time and the rooms are rather small. The feline suites, for example, consist of little more than cabinet space.

Compounding matters further is the petit fait that with rack rates starting at $155 per night for dogs and $60 for cats, this hotel is prohibitively expensive for all except the affluent.

Then there are all the extras. Add in a meal or two of either such haute cuisine staples as filet mignon or fresh salmon, an extra jaunt around the block for a dog, pickup and delivery service to and from the hotel, the administration of medications, and grooming at the hotel's spa, and the bill for a one-night stay could go as high as several hundred dollars.

Despite the cost involved, there is definitely a market for luxury pet hotels. "I know people who won't travel because they won't put their pets in a kennel," Jenee Mazzu told the Philadelphia Weekly on February 1, 2006. (See "Tails of the City.") "If my dog can feel happy, feel sad and feel scared, then she definitely has to know the difference between a very warm and cozy environment versus a kennel."

Mazzu, who hopes to open other luxury pet hotels in the future, added, "We want to deal in quality and not quantity. I've researched places that call themselves dog hotels or dog spas, and they're nicer than your normal grooming shop or boarding place, but they still haven't fully grasped it. I feel that's what we've done."

Photos: Aachener Zeitung (Anton and Aki) and Philadelphia Weekly (dog suite at Mazzu Hotel).

Monday, July 17, 2006

Dachshund Named Emma Adopts Quintet of Feral Kittens That Her Mistress Cruelly Stole from Their Mother

It is common knowledge that cats and dogs as a rule do not like each other, but that is not always the case. For instance, a three-year-old dachshund named Emma (See photo above) from Rose Valley, Washington recently adopted five four-week-old feral kittens.

Since she had been recently in estrus although not pregnant, her body is now producing milk and as a result she is able to nurse the kittens. She also grooms them and herds them around with her nose and body.

She is additionally very protective of them. Whenever either of the two male dachshunds who share living quarters with her on Kari and Brad Pearson's farm come near the kittens she drives them away with her snarls. She even went so far as to rouse Kari from her slumber one night a while back when one of the kittens fell off the couch where it was sleeping. It was only after her mistress had returned it to its rightful place alongside its littermates that she relaxed.

"They're her puppies. It's hysterical," Pearson told The Daily News of nearby Longview on June 7th. (See "Dog Turns Out to Be Cat Lover, 'Adopts' Litter of Kittens.") "Now I know if anything needs a mom, she can take care of it. She can be the roving adoptive mother."

The kittens adopted by Emma belonged to a feral cat named Nowhere who had been living in the Pearsons' barn for a year. Knowing what was afoot, Nowhere tried to protect her babies as best she could by hiding them in, inter alia, a woodpile, tree stump, and a fifty-five gallon drum. It was all in vain, however, because Pearson eventually stole her kittens and gave them to Emma. Now, an understandably perturbed Nowhere growls at Pearson whenever she comes near.

Although Pearson was justifiably concerned about a population explosion and inbreeding, stealing Nowhere's kittens was cruel. Usually kittens need to remain with their mothers until they are at least eight to ten weeks old so that she can teach them how to hunt and to groom themselves. Pearson could have accordingly waited until then to have trapped and sterilized the kittens. Better still, if she did not want any more cats she should have trapped and desexed Nowhere before she had the opportunity to get pregnant in the first place.

Emma's overly active maternal instinct recalls to mind the story of Elsa, a nineteen-month-old Rottweiler who last year adopted a homeless kitten in Luton, England. Like Emma, Elsa would also keep her kitten warm, groom it, and instruct it in proper toilet etiquette. (See Cat Defender post of October 15, 2005 entitled "Elsa, a Rottweiler Feared in the 'Hood, Shows Her Soft Side by Adopting an Abandoned Kitten.")

There are no known detrimental side effects for kittens raised by dogs but this is too rare a phenomenon to know for sure. Absent the natural mother, a canine mom is certainly better than no mother at all.

At the White River Humane Society in Bedford, Indiana, a beautiful golden retriever named Rosie has adopted an unnamed domestic Shorthair kitten. She grooms him and returns him to the safety of his littermates whenever he wanders too far away. Unlike Emma, she transports him by the scruff of his neck (See photo on the left).

Since she is housebroken and gets along well with the other inmates, Rosie is allowed to roam the halls of the shelter as a de facto cop walking the beat. For some unknown reason she took a liking to this particular kitten and now watches over him just as if he belonged to her.

"She likes to clean him and carry him around," shelter manager Melissa Kusturin told Bedford's Times-Mail on June 6th. (See "Retriever, Kitten Comprise Odd Couple; Strays Develop Bond Inside Animal Shelter.") "He enjoys it for a little while, but after so much licking with Rosie's big tongue, he's soaked. He's ready to wander again."

Rosie's relationship with the kitten is nothing out of the ordinary for the shelter. "We have two adult cats -- Popeye and Mighty -- who basically run loose. Most of the dogs love them," Kusturin added.

Jim Waeltz of the Bedford Veterinary Medical Center told The Times-Mail in the article cited supra that "a dog and cat enjoying each other's company is not abnormal, but it is a learned behavior. And, it doesn't work for every animal."

Waeltz also stressed the special attributes of golden retrievers as a deciding factor in Rosie's behavior. "Golden retrievers have soft mouths and like to retrieve things. They can be very playful. While most herding breeds probably wouldn't hurt a kitten, some breeds would."

Photos: Roger Werth of The Daily News (Emma and kittens) and Pete Schreiner of The Times-Mail (Rosie and kitten).

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Heroic Little Kitten, Fiendishly Run Through a Wood Chipper by Some Devil, Loses His Nineteen-Day Struggle to Live

"All things were possible with cats because some people seem to regard them as fair game for any cruelty."
-- James Herriot, Cat Stories

The news out of South Dixie Animal Hospital in West Palm Beach over the weekend was nothing short of heartbreaking. It is, in fact, almost too sad to even relate. Chipper, a tiny, ten-week-old orange and white kitten (See photos above and below) who on June 20th had been fiendishly run through a wood chipper by some unknown devil, lost his struggle to live and died suddenly Saturday afternoon in his sleep.

Chipper's front legs and neck were broken in the assault and his right eye and head were also injured. After his arrival at the hospital, Dr. Salvatore Zeitlin (See photo above) operated on him three times in order to save his life and a fourth procedure had been planned to repair damaged skin on his head.

Considering the extent of his injuries, he had made remarkable progress toward making a full recovery. He had regained locomotion somewhat and was eating on his own. Zeitlin was justifiably encouraged. "He just gets stronger and better with time," he told Fort Lauderdale's South Florida Sun-Sentinel on July 3rd. (See "Kitten Survives Tumble Through Wood Chipper.")

Three days later Chipper took an unexpected turn for the worst and started having seizures. These attacks, which continued throughout the day, caused him to become non-responsive and forced the hospital to insert a feeding tube.

Being the fighter and brave little kitten that he was, Chipper rallied Friday and was almost back to his old self. He continued to improve Saturday right up until his stout little heart unexpectedly stopped beating. A post-mortem later revealed that he had died from an abscess deep inside his brain.

"He really inspired us here with his courage," Zeitlin told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on July 11th. (See "Mauled in Wood Chipper, Kitten Dies from Injuries.")

Once the mass media picked up his story, more than eight-hundred people from around the world made inquiries about Chipper with one-hundred of them offering to give him a home once he recovered. Malheursement, the only home that this beautiful and brave little kitten is going to see now is a burial plot on the grounds of The 10th Life Sanctuary in Clewiston, eighty-eight kilometers west of West Palm Beach.

This sad story began at 9 a.m. on June 20th when the Sanctuary's Maury Swee received a telephone call from an unidentified woman in Boca Raton informing him that Chipper had been badly mauled two hours earlier when some unidentified person had turned on a wood chipper while he was sleeping inside.

Not believing one word of the woman's lies, Swee nonetheless agreed to come and pick up the kitten since the woman insisted that she had neither transportation nor money for veterinary care. Furthermore, in order to protect herself from animal cruelty charges, she insisted that Swee meet her at a gas station rather than at her house.

It took Swee an hour to reach Chipper and another twenty minutes to deliver him to Dr. Zeitlin in West Palm Beach. All totaled, Chipper was forced to go without medical assistance for three-hours and twenty-minutes! The pain was so excruciating in fact that he cried out every few minutes on the way to the hospital.

Since Chipper was in such sad shape both Swee and Zeitlin briefly considered finishing what the monster who had run him through the wood chipper had started but, being lovers of life rather than merchants of death, they quickly ruled out that option and elected instead to do everything humanly possible to save him. They almost succeeded.

Chipper is gone now but his $5,000 medical bill remains. In order that they may continue to help injured cats in the future, Swee and Zeitlin are accepting donations at The 10th Life Sanctuary, P. O. Box 970456, Boca Raton, FL 33497 and South Dixie Animal Hospital, 6510 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33405.

Although he has not publicly commented on the matter, it is hoped that Swee will pursue bringing Chipper's assailants to justice. Anyone who would put a kitten through a wood chipper does not deserve to go on breathing.

Of course, with more than seven-hundred cats to care for at his five-acre sanctuary (See photo below), Swee may not have either the time or resources to pursue the matter. In that event, it is hoped that other animal protection agencies will bring Chipper's murderers to justice.

Absolutely nothing is known about the first eight-weeks of Chipper's short, tragic existence; he could have had a home or he may have been feral. His last nineteen days were pure hell filled with excruciating pain but he at least went to his grave knowing that he had the love and compassion of both Swee and Zeitlin. That is not much but it is something.

Chipper's memory can best be served by bringing his assailants to justice and by significantly strengthening the animal cruelty statutes. A cat's life -- or that of any animal for that matter -- is no less precious than human life and should therefore receive just as much protection from the law.

Good-bye, Chipper. You will be missed but never forgotten.

Photos: Danny Ghitis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Chipper) and The 10th Life Sanctuary (cats lounging on shelves).

Monday, July 10, 2006

More Devilry from Scientific Community as California Company Creates World's First Hypoallergenic Cat

"Atrocities are not less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research."
-- George Bernard Shaw

Allerca Lifestyle Pets of San Diego announced last month that it had created the world's first hypoallergenic cat. The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) of La Jolla is currently carrying out controlled trials and if all goes well these cats are expected to become commercially available sometime next year.

As is usually the case whenever the scientific community and the capitalists get together in order to manipulate some defenseless species, the details of the so-called breakthrough are shrouded in secrecy. Not only do they not want animal rights activists to know what they have been up to but they also want to keep their modus operandi secret from their competitors in the lucrative designer pet field.

If Allerca can be believed, its researchers analyzed the genes of English and American Shorthairs, like the one shown in the photo above, in order to isolate those proteins believed to provoke allergic reactions in humans. They then selectively bred an undisclosed number of cats over several generations in order to create more than twenty hypoallergenic cats. (See The Times of London, June 4, 2006, "Clinical Kitty: Science Comes Up with Non-Allergy Cat.")

Even these sketchy details raise serious animal welfare issues. First of all, where does Allerca get the cats that it manipulates? Most likely it gets them from a company that specifically breeds cats for research labs or possibly through pound seizure. In either case, both procurement methods should be outlawed.

Secondly, in order to selectively breed its allergy-free cats Allerca has to imprison large numbers of felines in cramped cages for their entire lives. DNA samples have to be taken and other tests performed on a more or less daily basis. Much the same de rigueur no doubt applies to the actual breeding itself whether it be natural, forced, or artificially induced.

Allerca stated recently that it had originally entertained the idea of using genetic manipulation in order to achieve its goal but that it had been forced to abandon that idea because of fears of side effects. That admission neglects to point out that selective breeding is fraught with the same problems. By controlling for genes that produce allergies, scientists are at the same time subjecting cats to a thousand other defects and maladies.

More importantly, what does Allerca do with its cats after it is finished manipulating them? It no doubt repays them for their valuable contributions to the "advancement of science" by exterminating them en masse.

As far as conditions at its laboratory are concerned, Allerca has been equally evasive, stating only that it complies with guidelines established by the USDA. That is not saying much. The Agriculture Department concerns itself only with such mundane animal welfare issues as cage size and feeding requirements. These good-for-nothing, bought and paid for capitalist pimps do not involve themselves with either animal torture or murder. According to this perverted logic, it is perfectly all right to torture, cripple, and even kill defenseless animals so long as they are fed and watered once a day and provided with enough space in order to lie down.

The capitalist media around the world have treated this development as a curiosity item without raising so much as an iota of concern about the welfare of the cats at Allerca's lab.

Allergy-free cats have long been coveted by people who are allergic to a protein found in the sebaceous glands of cats' skin and in their saliva. This protein is also dispersed throughout their fur during grooming. Itchy, watery, and swollen eyes, runny noses, sneezing, and breathing difficulties are common symptoms shared by individuals allergic to cats.

These cats are not going to be cheap, however. According to The Times of London article cited supra, they are expected to fetch about $15,000 apiece in Old Blighty and that figure does not include shipping, quarantine, and insurance. Stern, considerably more conservative in its estimate, predicted in its June 8th edition that they would cost as little as 3,100 euros. (See "2007 kommt die Katze fur Allergiker.")

With there being 2.6 million asthma sufferers in England and many times more that number on the Continent and in the United States, demand for these specially-bred felines is expected to be high. "Ab 2009 wollen wir jahrlich 10,000 dieser Haustiere zuchten," Allerca's Megan Young is quoted by Stern as saying in the article cited supra.

Animal rights groups were quick to condemn the development. James Kirkwood of the Companion Animal Welfare Council told The Times that selective breeding can only be justified if it is necessary for a cat's well-being and that the creation of hypoallergenic cats clearly does not meet that standard.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) put its finger on the heart of the matter when it stated that selective breeding "undermines the value of animal life." The organization went on to warn that "genetic modification and selective breeding can produce health effects that don't become apparent until further down the track."

Regardless of whether the reproductive method involves selective breeding, genetic alteration, hybridization, or cloning, the creation of hypoallergenic cats is another step down a dark and perilous road that treats cats and other animals as little more than matter to be manipulated for man's benefit. Morally bankrupt scientists and capitalists undertake this sort of research for the money and glory that equally morally perverse consumers are willing to shell out for the hideous products that it produces.

While it is true that a large number of individuals who dump cats at shelters to be exterminated attempt to excuse their abysmal cruelty by citing feline-borne allergies, they neglect to acknowledge that they had no business owning a cat in the first place. These claims are largely bogus anyway because there are numerous humane measures that cat-owners can take in order to substantially reduce allergic reactions to their cats.

Since cats generally do not care too much for water it will take some doing but frequently bathing a cat, particularly around its face, can greatly cut down on allergic reactions. For those less industrious, allergy wipes, such as Allerpet, are available. If it can be done safely, cats should be allowed outside so that some of the allergens that collect in their fur can be allowed to dissipate into the fresh air.

It is also a good idea to frequently clean houses and apartments and to keep them well ventilated. Items that collect huge amounts of allergens, such as carpeting and heavy drapes, can be replaced and other allergy causing substances, such as smoke, dust, mold, candles, chemicals, and pollen, can be easily eliminated from the home. Needless to say, individuals allergic to cats should not sleep with them.

As is the case with avoiding die Grippe and the common cold, maintaining proper personal hygiene is essential if allergic reactions are to be reduced. For instance, hands should be washed frequently with hot water and soap, especially after handling a cat, and kept away from the mouth, nose, and eyes at all times. Wearing apparel and bedding should be laundered frequently. Also, cotton clothing generally attracts fewer allergens than does wool.

Clearly, it is far more humane to reduce allergens in the home than to barbarously selectively breed cats. Interfering with the feline reproductive cycle is even more barbaric than mass sterilizations, onychetomies, and the American Bird Conservancy's campaign to imprison cats indoors.

For those individuals too lazy to undertake these remedial measures the lesson is clear: get a dog, a rabbit, a pig, or any other animal but leave cats alone! They are not toys to be manipulated in order to satisfy the whims of consumers who are so morally bent that they are unable to distinguish between animate and inanimate objects. Cats are sentient beings who are entitled to be left alone.

More to the point, with an estimated ten million cats being exterminated at shelters in the United States each year (See photo at the bottom of the page of cats awaiting adoption at St. Francis Animal Rescue, a no-kill shelter in South Venice, Florida) and another sixty million without homes, the world certainly does not need any more cats, especially designer felines.

As cruel and inhumane as selective breeding is, it is merely one of several poisonous arrows that the scientific community has in its ever-expanding quiver. For instance, scientists have created more than four-hundred-thirty-five new hybrids. Wild African Servals have been bred with domestic cats to create a new breed called Savannahs. (See photo above as well as Cat Defender post of May 19, 2005 entitled "Savannahs: More Feline Cruelty Courtesy of the Capitalists and the Bourgeoisie.") In addition to Savannahs and allergy-free cats, scientists have created a labrador and poodle mix called a labradoodle and a pug and beagle mix called a puggie.

Scientists have also cloned more than a dozen animals including domestic cats such as the lovely CC (See photo above) and the clones of African Wildcats have been successfully bred. (See Cat Defender post of September 6, 2005 entitled "Clones of Endangered African Wildcats Give Birth to Eight Naturally-Bred Healthy Kittens in New Orleans.") The difficult riddle of canine cloning was finally solved last year when now disgraced stem cell pioneer Hwang Woo Suk produced Snuppy. (See Cat Defender post of August 15, 2005 entitled "South Koreans Clone World's First Dog; Vivisectors and Stem Cell Proponents See $$$.")

Of all the scientific community's evil deeds, its attempt to tag all animals of the world with RFID or similar technologies is its most ambitious effort. Once this project succeeds, scientists will be able to determine at the click of a mouse not only which animals are going to be allowed to go on living but under what circumstances. Man, of course, will be next on their hit list. (See Cat Defender post of May 4, 2006 entitled "Scientific Community's Use of High-Tech Surveillance Is Aimed at Subjugating, Not Saving, the Animals.")

The scientific community is comprised primarily of godless fascists who spend their entire lives alternately living off of welfare and pimping and whoring for the capitalists. Without scientists, the subjugation of the animals would not be possible, nuclear weapons and other instruments of mass destruction would not exist, and Mother Earth would not be dying as the result of the poisonous chemicals that they have created in their laboratories.

Rather than wasting precious time and energy trying to reform corrupt political and economic systems, it might be far more productive for concerned individuals to target universities. Too many evil professors have gotten away with too many crimes for too long by hiding behind the cloak of intellectual respectability. It is high time that this cloak was stripped away and their sources of funding revealed and their morals and ethics placed under the microscope.

Photos: Stefan Kiefer of DDP for Stern (domestic cat), Gulf Coast Exotic Felines (Savannah), Richard Olsenius (CC), and Danielle Rappaport of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Caged cats at St. Francis Animal Rescue).

Monday, July 03, 2006

Crooked Massachusetts Cops Allow an Elderly Politician to Get Away with Attempting to Drown a Kitten Named Lucky Girl

Lucky Girl with Morgan and Christine Hill

"I looked in the bucket and I saw a little mouth opening and closing, like gasping."
-- Christine Hill

Eighty-three-year-old Laurence E. Thayer, a sewer commissioner in North Brookfield, Massachusetts, is an evil man. On June 1st he wrapped a defenseless kitten in netting and attempted to drown it in a bucket of water.

The kitten was miraculously saved by the timely intervention of forty-two-year-old Christine Hill who just happened to notice what Thayer was doing as she passed by his house. Acting quickly, she pulled it from its watery grave and then pressed on its stomach in order to force out the water.

"I looked in the bucket and I saw a little mouth opening and closing, like gasping" Hill later told the Worcester Telegram on June 23rd. (See "Woman Steps In to Save Cat.") The tiny kitten, who has since been named Lucky Girl, now lives with Christine and her daughter, Morgan.

Despite the fact that drowning a kitten is against the law in Massachusetts, Animal Control Officer Douglas J. Blood refused to prosecute Thayer allegedly because of his age and the fact that the tiny kitten was feral. Had he been convicted of animal cruelty, he could have been sentenced to either five years in jail or fined $2,500. That is far too lenient a punishment for a crime of this magnitude but it would have been better than letting him get away scot-free with his devilry.

Blood was backed up one-hundred per cent in his flagrant dereliction of duty by North Brookfield Police Chief Aram Thomasian Jr. who defended Thayer by ludicrously arguing, "He dealt with the problem the best he could. Back in their day, that's what they did."

By his own admission, Thayer has been killing cats for a long, long time. "I didn't know it was against the law. I've been doing it for a hundred years," he unrepentantly boasted to the Telegram.

The failure of Massachusetts officials to enforce the anti-cruelty laws extends beyond animal control and the police. For instance, when Hill reported Thayer to the Boston office of the Animal Rescue League that phony-baloney organization disgraced itself by agreeing with Blood and Thomasian.

Since Thayer is a sewer commissioner it is likely that both Blood and Thomasian are bound to him by either political or familial connections and that alone accounts for their unwillingness to prosecute him. A perusal of the town's website, www. northbrookfield.net, reveals that it is rife with both nepotism and corruption.

In addition to being chief of police, Thomasian also serves as E911 Coordinator and is a member of the Insurance Advisory Commission and the Local Emergency Planning board. Blood is even greedier. For instance, in addition to being Animal Control Officer, he is also a police sergeant, Emergency Management Director, and Harbormaster as well as serving on the Local Emergency Planning board, the North Brookfield Emergency Management Agency, and the Town Beach Committee. Thayer also has a relative by the name of Larry who serves as a "Fence Viewer."

These corrupt officials are no doubt raking it in with both hands. The median household income in North Brookfield is more than $44,000 a year and since the town has only about forty-six-hundred residents there is plenty of money to go around. Nothing stinks quite like nepotism and corruption in a small town.

Hill is quite understandably perturbed at the city's refusal to go after Thayer. "It really bothered me that no one cared," she told the Telegram. With North Brookfield being so corrupt, there is unfortunately very little that she can do about the situation.

Blood's inexcusable conduct has also drawn fire from Carol A. Gaucher, animal control officer for the town of Spencer eight kilometers away, who criticized him for failing to address not only the feral cat problem in North Brookfield but also a recent outbreak of rabies.

Hill, who operates the Upscale Salon of Spencer, says that Lucky Girl is as "sweet as pie" and it is sincerely hoped that she will go on to have a long and happy life.

Sadly, the same thing cannot be said for the hundreds -- if not indeed thousands -- of cats that Thayer has murdered during his lifetime. Some feline advocacy group from outside of Massachusetts needs to intervene in North Brookfield and demand not only that Thayer be prosecuted but also that Blood and Thomasian be fired for dereliction of duty and corruption.

Photo: Dan Gould of the Worcester Telegram.