Acid Attack Leaves Solskjaer with Severe Injuries and Horrific Pain as His Heartbroken and Cash-Strapped Family Struggles to Cope
"I've never seen anything like it before. The cat was in a very bad way and it just looked like the skin had melted away."
- Veterinarian Nina Petrie
In his book Cat Stories, long-time veterinarian and celebrated author James Herriot observed, "...the unfortunate feline species seemed to be fair game for every kind of cruelty and neglect. They shot cats, threw things at them, starved them and set their dogs on them for fun." To this laundry list of heinous crimes, dousing cats with acid can now be added.
That was the terrible fate to befall a four-year-old black cat named Solskjaer from the Manchester suburb of Burnage on September 17th. The acid, which ate away a patch of fur twenty centimeters in length and six centimeters wide, left the cat's lower back musculature exposed.
"I've never seen anything like it before," Nina Petrie, a veterinarian from nearby Levenshulme who treated Solskjaer, told the South Manchester Reporter on September 20th. (See "Horrific Acid Attack on Cat Is Unbelievable.") "The cat was in a very bad way and it just looked like the skin had melted away."
Petrie sewed up Solskjaer's back using plastic tubes in order to prevent the stitches from stressing the skin any further. Although still in excruciating pain, the cat is on painkillers and is expected to recover.
The gruesome attack has left Solskjaer's guardians, Jane Worthington and Sean Mahon, devastated and dumbfounded. "Solskjaer's such a lovely cat and so friendly, I can't understand why someone would want to do this to him," Worthington told the South Manchester Reporter. "What kind of a person would attack a cat like that? It's an unbelievable act of cruelty." (See photo above of her and Solskjaer.)
"Sean's so upset because he lives for those cats," Worthington added while alluding to the family's other resident felines, Snowy, Anfield, and Torres. "He loves feeding and playing with Solskjaer and the others." This senseless act of cruelty also has traumatized the couple's two sons, nineteen-year-old Scott and thirteen-year-old Glen.
The attack, which occurred sometime before noon while the couple was grocery shopping in nearby Withington, has been reported to the authorities but no arrests have been made so far.
The already difficult situation is exacerbated by the fact that Solskjaer's guardians are in financial straits. Specifically, Mahon suffers from Hodgkin's Lymphoma and the family is forced to scrimp by on his disability benefits. Despite all of that, they did not hesitate in procuring medical help for their injured cat even though settling Petrie's $534 bill is not going to be easy for them.
This case highlights the need for the National Health Service to extend medical coverage to cats, dogs, and other companion animals. Veterinary costs are out the roof and beyond the means of all except the rich and the bourgeoisie.
The working class and the poor certainly do not love their cats and dogs any less than the privileged classes and to deny medical coverage to their pets constitutes a great injustice to both the animals and their guardians. Pet insurance is not the solution since it is merely another scam which benefits only the insurers.
The English may eventually decide to do the right thing by their cats and dogs but such a proposal would be laughed at in America. Residents of that godforsaken hellhole are so misanthropic that they gleefully deny medical coverage to fifty-million of their fellow citizens!
Despite the existence of dedicated cat lovers like Worthington and Mahon, ailurophobia is at epidemic proportions in England. Not a single day goes by without the English press being replete with stories of vicious attacks upon cats.
A large percentage of these crimes are perpetrated by yobs using either air guns or firecrackers. (See Cat Defender posts of May 7, 2007 and November 30, 2006 entitled, respectively, "British Punks Are Having a Field Day Maiming Cats with Air Guns but the Peelers Continue to Look the Other Way" and "Yobs Celebrating Guy Fawkes Day Kill Twelve-Year-Old Cat Named Tigger with Fireworks; Cat Named Sid Is Severely Burned.")
It is clearly time that the English authorities not only outlawed the sale and possession of these killing and maiming devices, but also established a task force to crack down on juveniles and others who are randomly attacking cats. A liberal application of Anti-Social Behavior Orders (ASBOs) against individuals who commit these types of crimes might be one way to curb the spiraling cycle of violence against cats.
Photo: South Manchester Reporter.