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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, October 30, 2007

A Crafty Bird Lover Claims Responsibility for Stealing Six Cats from a Southampton Neighborhood and Concealing Their Whereabouts

"If the letter writer has taken these cats, then he or she is guilty of theft. Anyone who helped has aided and abetted an offender in committing the crime."
-- Inspector Andrew Timms, Hampshire Constabulary

A bird lover has claimed responsibility for trapping and abducting six out of eight cats that have disappeared during the past six weeks from Bramley Crescent in the Sholing district of Southampton. The fate of the other two cats is unknown.

In an anonymous letter sent to the Southern Daily Echo, the architect of the crimes states that the cats were trapped in his or her yard and driven a minimum of twenty-five miles away by a friend with a truck. Although the author maintains that the felines were not harmed, the letter does not give any indication of what was done with them. They could have been dumped, handed over to a shelter to kill, or sold to either fur traffickers or vivisectors.

As to the motivation behind the abductions, the writer blames the cats for killing birds, destroying shrubs, and fouling gardens with urine and feces. Furthermore, the perpetrator threatens to kill any felines that venture into his or her yard in the future.

The letter was most likely in response to a massive publicity campaign mounted by the aggrieved cat owners that has included handing out leaflets in the neighborhood and putting up posters on lampposts. Malheureusement, about the only hope that the owners have of getting their cats back rests with shelters.

Should they be picked up by animal control, perhaps someone at a shelter might either recognize them or be diligent enough to scan the animals for hidden microchips. The fact that none of that has occurred so far indicates that the cats are most likely either already dead or being held somewhere against their will.

"If the letter writer has taken these cats, then he or she is guilty of theft," Inspector Andrew Timms of the Hampshire Constabulary told the BBC on October 19th. (See "Catnapper Fear After Pets Vanish.") "Anyone who helped has aided and abetted an offender in committing the crime."

Timms went on to state that since the abductor claims to be a resident of Bramley Crescent that the Safer Neighborhood Team will be looking into the matter. (See diagram below of the neighborhood and where the cats lived.)

It is difficult to know exactly what to make of the letter. Au premier coup d'oeil, the most striking thing about it is the repeated use of commas in place of periods. A second glance reveals numerous grammatical, spelling, and punctuation irregularities. That is ironic in and of itself, especially in a country where it is not uncommon for even high school dropouts to point out grammatical errors in The Times. (See facsimile of the letter reproduced below.)

The letter therefore could be a hoax or a clumsy attempt to lead cat owners and the police on a wild goose chase. On the other hand, bird lovers are such egomaniacs and psychopaths that they cannot help but boast about their cleverness and evil deeds.

The epistle therefore could be legitimate but with the pertinent details altered so as to throw off suspicion. Par exemple, although the writer claims to have lived in Bramley Crescent for many years, he or she misspells Crescent.

For what it is worth, the catnapper also admits to living quite a distance away from the cat owners and to having children and a garden. Presumably, he or she does not own a cat.

If true, those facts alone narrow down considerably the list of suspects. Also, the perpetrator needed to either buy or rent traps and those types of transactions are traceable. (See Cat Defender post of October 23, 2007 entitled "Virginia Does It Again! Farmer Who Drowned at Least Five Cats Gets Off with a Slap-on-the-Wrists.")

Furthermore, the perpetrator also would have needed to purchase some type of bait, most likely commercial cat food made from fish, and anyone making such a purchase might be remembered at a neighborhood emporium, especially if he or she was not a regular buyer of cat food. The police therefore have quite a few leads to track down and should be able to make an arrest in the case if the details contained in the letter are remotely accurate.

Even if an arrest is made, it is unlikely to lead to either the safe return of the cats or to ease the pain felt by their owners. "We have now resigned ourselves to the fact that our cats may be dead," thirty-year-old Ellie Cato told the BBC in the article cited supra. Her three-month-old cats, Dusty and Tooty, vanished in early September. (See photo below on the right.)

"Whoever has done this is cruel, selfish, and horrible," she added. "Why would anyone take a cat?"

Twenty-nine-year-old Kelly Went, whose cats Spoon and Fletcher are also missing, is expecting the worst. "I have prepared myself for the fact that they might be dead. Even if I got my cats back now I would be too scared to let them out of the house," she told the Daily Mail on October 18th. (See "Mystery of the Catnapper Who Takes Neighbor's Pets ... and Dumps Them Twenty-Five Miles Away.")

Like other grieving cat owners in Bramley Crescent, she is struggling in vain to make sense of the situation. "Those cats were all I had and now they have gone missing -- this person is sick," she added. "He doesn't know how much our cats mean to us." (See photo above of her holding up a picture of Fletcher and the one at the bottom of the page of him by himself.)

Sadly, she is dead wrong about that. The abductor knows only too well how much cat owners dote on their companions and no doubt relishes in inflicting as much pain as is possible.

Marian Parker, who has been robbed of her cat, Puss Puss, certainly knows the score. "It is very sad and very distressing," she told the Daily Mail. "Whoever is doing this is very cruel."

An elderly resident, who chose to remain anonymous, told the Daily Mail that she fears that her ailing cat is already dead because it has been deprived of its kidney medication since its abduction. "It's disgraceful. I'm absolutely appalled. It's cruel and sick. This letter is very threatening and frightening," she said.

The heinous crimes of bird lovers are well documented. For example, Jim Stevenson of the Galveston Ornithological Society has admitted to gunning down more than two-hundred cats. (See Cat Defender posts of November 22, 2006 and May 1, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Evil Galveston Bird Lover Is Finally Arrested After Having Gunned Down Hundreds of Cats" and "Houston Chronicle Launches a Propaganda Offensive on Behalf of Serial Cat Killer Jim Stevenson.")

Bird lovers, such as Richard DeSantis of West Islip on Long Island, illegally trap their neighbors' cats and then turn them over to shelters in order to be killed. (See Cat Defender posts of June 15, 2006 and March 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Serial Cat Killer on Long Island Traps Neighbors' Cats and Then Gives Them to Shelter to Exterminate" and "Long Island Serial Cat Killer Guilty of Only Disorderly Conduct, Corrupt Court Rules.")

Robert and Debbie McCallum of the Seattle suburb of Edmonds attempted to do the same thing to Laura Martin's cat, Turbo, but were foiled. (See Cat Defender post of October 30,2006 entitled "Collar Saves a Cat Named Turbo from Extermination After He is Illegally Trapped by Bird-Loving Psychopaths.")

Other ailurophobes attempt to justify harming cats by arguing that they are merely protecting the territorial integrity of their properties. For example, Robert Eugene Brunner of the San Diego suburb of Vista killed Janeen Bubien's cat, Bill, with a bow and arrow allegedly because the cat had urinated in his yard. (See Cat Defender posts of August 14, 2007 and September 24, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Grieving Owner Seeks Justice for Orange Tabby Named Bill That Was Hunted Down and Savagely Killed with a Bow and Arrow" and "California Man Who Slew His Neighbor's Cat with a Bow and Arrow Is Sentenced to Three-Years in Jail.")

Used car salesman George A. Seymour Jr. of Virginia, who shot his neighbor's cat with a rifle, claimed that he did so because she was jumping on top of his precious jalopies. Under cross-examination at trial, he was finally forced to admit that he had never seen the cat on any of his cars. (See Cat Defender post of June 22, 2006 entitled "Used Car Dealer in Virginia Murders Sweet Three-Year-Old Cat Named Carmen with Rifle Shot to the Neck" as well as September 24, 2007 post cited supra.)

Cats are disappearing in record numbers all over the world and the culprits are not always bird lovers and inveterate ailurophobes. In Deutschland, fur traffickers and vivisectors are believed to be responsible for the abduction of hundreds of cats from Nordrhein Westfalen, Bayern, and elsewhere. (See Aachener-Zeitung, September 7, 2007 "Haustierbesitzer fuerchten sich vor gemeinen Tierfaengern," Die Links Zeitung of Muenchen, September 21, 2007, "Immer mehr Katchen vermisst -- Auftraggeber in der Ukraine?", and Passauer Neue Presse, August 24, 2007 "Einhundert Tiere vermisst: War's die 'Katzenmafia'?")

In Ottawa's New Edinburgh neighborhood, a seventeen-year-old cat named Slim belonging to Tanya Guay and Michel Giroux was abducted earlier this summer by a catnapper who claims to have been motivated by concerns about the animal's welfare. (See Cat Defender post of July 9, 2007 entitled "Hungry and Disheveled Cat Named Slim Is Picked Up Off the Streets of Ottawa by Rescuer Who Refuses to Return Him to His Owners.")

The law should treat the abduction and harming of cats the same way that it treats the kidnapping and murder of children and adults. An inveterate hatred of cats and a penchant for violence are the true motivating factors behind the crimes committed in Bramley Crescent; bird advocacy is merely the mantle that the perpetrator is hiding behind in order to mask his or her true intentions.

Instead of stealing the cats, the abductor could have fenced in his or her property and that would have solved the problem. If he or she was too cheap to have gone that route, nonlethal repellents such as water pistols, horns, and predator urine could have been employed. The sprinkling of cayenne pepper, ground-up grapefruit and lemon rinds around the yard as well as the planting of rose bushes and rue are also known to deter cats.

Writing in the May 30th edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, gardener Pam Peirce recommends using homemade barriers such as weeds, leaves, bricks and stones in order to camouflage areas where flowers and shrubs have been planted. In vegetable gardens, she counsels using straw mulch, chicken wire, window screens, and plastic mats with spikes. (See "How to Fool Cats Who Think Garden's a Litter Box.")

The perpetrator also could have posted signs on his or her property warning cat owners to keep their animals at home. Furthermore, he or she could have leafleted the neighborhood or brought the matter to the attention of either the police or block association.

The fact that the letter writer chose not to pursue any of these rational and legal options proves conclusively that he or she was motivated solely by an inveterate hatred of cats. Moreover, voles, moles, squirrels, dogs, and other animals also dig up flower beds as well as urinate and defecate in gardens and yet homeowners do not go after any of them with malice aforethought. Juveniles also damage yards and shoot birds with slingshots and yet no bird lover would be so brazen as to harm a child.

More to the point, no animal does as much urinating and defecating in yards as birds. Worst still, they defecate on automobiles, lawn furniture, swing sets, children's toys, and on people's heads. Birds also are known to spread deadly diseases, such as the West Nile Virus and Vogelgrippe. On balance, feline excrement is considerably safer and less pervasive than avian waste products.

Based upon the tortured logic that bird lovers wallow in, individuals who do not like birds would be fully justified in killing all of them that fly into their yards. It is also important to remember that birds also kill kittens, cats, small mammals, insects, and other birds.

As for cat owners, they must take precautions in order to ensure the safety of their beloved companions. Fencing in their yards and accustoming their cats to walk on leashes are both ideas worth exploring. Above all, they must remain vigilant at all times.

The long-term solution is to segregate cat owners and bird lovers in different sections of town. In the meantime, however, bird lovers who commit acts of violence must be apprehended and punished severely.

Photos: Daily Mail (Went and other cat owners, diagram, letter, and Fletcher) and BBC (Dusty and Tooty).