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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

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Stray Cat Ignominiously Named Stinky Is Rescued from a Rooftop by Good Samaritans After the Fire Department Refuses to Help

A black stray cat ignominiously dubbed Stinky was rescued from a steep rooftop in New Albany, Indiana on February 9th by two kindhearted brothers who gave up their lunch hours in order to save him. The frightened and hungry feline had been trapped on the roof for three days. (See photo above.)

After about forty-five minutes of fruitless tossing, Christopher Drake, assisted by his brother David, was able to snare the marooned cat with a lasso that he had threaded through a section of PVC pipe. (See middle photo). He then reeled him in like a prized trout and carried him down the ladder to safety. (See bottom photo.)

Once he landed on terra firma, Stinky scampered away and took sanctuary underneath a parked truck. He was later coaxed out of hiding by an offer of food.

"Once he calms down, he's got a home if he wants one," Drake told the News and Tribune of nearby Jeffersonville on February 10th. (See "Cat Stuck Atop Steep Roof Gets Rescued by Innovative Neighbors.") Since he already has a cat of his own, Drake is also willing to surrender Stinky to a good home.

The cat, who has been a fixture in the small suburban Louisville town since last summer, received his derogatory sobriquet allegedly because of his poor hygiene. Since cats, even strays, are known for their fastidiousness, Drake's slander has done the cat a huge disservice. At the very least he should give Stinky a more dignified appellation.

Drake's heroics were necessitated because the New Albany Fire Department is too lazy to be bothered with rescuing cats. Deputy Fire Chief Stan Mason defended his department's abdication of duty by arguing that citizens had complained about it trimming trees at taxpayers' expense during past rescues. He also groused that even cat owners had complained about broken tree limbs.

The attitude of the New Albany Floyd County Animal Control and Shelter is every bit as appalling. According to its director, David Hall, its employees are not permitted to climb trees because the department's insurance does not cover such exigencies.

According to the News-Tribune, the prevailing attitude amongst officials in New Albany is to wait until trapped cats either come down on their own accord or plunge to their deaths. On at least one occasion the city has hired a professional tree-climber in order to rescue a stranded feline, but it most likely passed along the cost of this service to the cat's owner.

The position taken by both departments is preposterous. If a man or a woman were trapped on a roof or in a tree it is doubtful that they would be allowed to shirk their duties by concocting lame excuses. More importantly, it is not in the best interests of governmental officials to force cat owners to rescue their pets from trees and buildings.

First of all, cats are citizens too and as such they are every bit as much entitled to police, fire, and emergency medical assistance as are humans. Secondly, forcing amateurs to climb trees and to scale tall buildings is not only dangerous to the rescuers themselves but to bystanders on the ground below. Thirdly, city and county officials could be held liable in court for dereliction of duty in the event that someone is injured.

In conclusion, rescuing stranded cats always has been deemed to be the responsibility of fire departments. Moreover, not only are these types of rescues considerably less hazardous than fighting fires but they have the added benefit of engendering a considerable amount of goodwill.

The do-nothing attitude of the officials involved in this case is nothing peculiar to New Albany. Rather, it is symptomatic of a growing trend all across the country whereby both politicians and bureaucrats attend to the needs of only themselves and the rich and powerful who put them in office in the first place.

It does not make any sense for taxpayers to continue to hand over their hard-earned dollars year after year to governments that work against them, the animals, and Mother Earth. The cats and citizens of New Albany deserve better treatment than they received in this instance.

Photos: Kevin McGloshen of the News and Tribune.