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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, January 28, 2008

Hopped Up on Vodka and Pot, Trio Taunted Tatiana Prior to Attacks That Led to Her Being Killed by the Police

"Tigers simply don't belong in the zoo. Tigers don't belong on concrete, tigers don't belong behind bars, and frankly, tigers don't belong near people."
-- Adam Roberts, Born Free USA

Slowly but surely the truth is finally emerging about the mauling of three young men by an Amur tigress known as Tatiana at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day. (See photo above.) Not only did the louts taunt the tigress but they were all under the influence of Grey Goose vodka and pot.

That admission, made by nineteen-year-old Amritpal Dhaliwal, confirms numerous eyewitness reports that the cat was indeed taunted. Dhaliwal has denied, however, that the youths threw a tree branch and a pine cone, later found inside the enclosure, at the tigress. (See photo of Amritpal below.)

With a blood-alcohol content of .16, twice the legal limit, he also was as drunk as a bartender on his night off from work. Moreover, he was already on probation as the result of a previous conviction for drunk driving.

His twenty-three-year-old brother, Kulbir, had a .04 blood-alcohol content. (See middle photo below; he is the one on the right.) The third member of the group and the only one to be killed, Carlos Sousa Jr., had a blood-alcohol content of .02. (See bottom photo.)

Kulbir also has reportedly admitted to authorities that the trio smoked pot at home in San Jose before driving to the zoo. (See San Francisco Chronicle, January 18, 2008, "Mauling Survivor Said He Yelled at Tiger.")

Although the Dhaliwal brothers also were injured in the attack, the real victim of this unfortunate series of events was Tatiana who was mercilessly gunned down by the police. A necropsy performed on her corpse revealed that she was in such an agitated state that she broke several claws in her haste to scale the concrete wall that separated her from her tormentors.

Quite understandably, some critics are now calling for the zoo to be closed because of its persistent record of lax security and mistreatment of its inmates. Most glaringly, security appears to have been nonexistent on the day of the attacks.

Drunks should never be sold tickets and a security guard should have been stationed outside the tiger exhibit at all times in order to prevent incidents of this nature from occurring in the first place. More to the point, security and police should have been armed with tranquilizer bullets. Tatiana did not have to die.

Moreover, the fact that the wall surrounding the tiger exhibit was several feet too low raises serious questions about the level of oversight exercised by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which accredits such facilities.

Making matters worse, the zoo's negligence neither began nor ended with Tatiana's murder. In December of 2006 it was fined $18,000 by the state's OSHA office for allowing her to maul employee Lori Komejan inside a feeding cage.

Apparently having learned absolutely nothing from the events of Christmas Day, there were separate incidents earlier this month involving a snow leopard and polar bear that have raised new security and animal cruelty issues. (See The San Diego Union-Tribune, January 11, 2008, "New Animal Incidents Bring Fresh Attention to San Francisco Zoo.")

Taunting a zoo animal is considered to be misdemeanor under the law and the authorities are attempting to determine if the Dhaliwals have committed a felony as well. The brothers have responded by hiring famed shyster Mark Geragos to represent them. In the past he has defended such notables as Michael Jackson and Gary Condit although he is best remembered for botching Scott Peterson's defense.

Geragos also has indicated that he will most likely file a civil suit against the zoo on behalf of his clients. The Sousa family has likewise retained Michael Cardoza to represent them in a wrongful death lawsuit against the institution.

While the zoo is quite obviously guilty of failing to provide proper security in and around the tiger exhibit, these rowdies have no one to blame for their injuries except themselves. Moreover, they are guilty of causing Tatiana's death. It would therefore be an egregious miscarriage of justice if they were allowed to profit from the evil that they have done.

As it was to be expected, this incident has reignited the smoldering debate over whether tigers in fact belong in cages in the first place. Proponents argue that caged tigers not only play a vital role in raising public awareness of the animals' plight in the wild, but also that captive breeding programs preserve and enhance their genetic diversity.

Both arguments are clearly flawed. With their numbers declining almost everywhere, it is dishonest to argue that imprisoning tigers in zoos is beneficial to their conservation in the wild. Par exemple, only four-hundred-fifty to five-hundred Amur Tigers remain in the wild, which is about the same number that are held in zoos. There are maybe two-thousand Bengals, twelve-hundred Indochinese, six-hundred to eight-hundred Malayan Tigers, and four-hundred to five-hundred Sumatran Tigers.

By contrast, there are at the most only twenty to thirty South China Tigers left in the wild and this species is almost certain to join the Balinese, Javanese, and Caspian tigers in the dustbin of history. (See Cat Defender post of December 2, 2007 entitled "For the First Time in Three Decades, Rare South China Tiger Is Confirmed to Be Alive in the Wild.")

Tigers have been brought to the precipice of extinction because the political will to save them simply does not exist. Developers keep carving up their habitats and poachers continue to slaughter them for their valuable pelts and body parts, the latter of which is a staple of traditional Chinese medicine.

Valmik Thapar, who is working to save India's Bengal Tigers, summed up the dilemma rather well when he told the Washington Post on October 16, 2007, "...all the government cares about now is call centers, shopping malls, and apartments. That leaves the tiger situation in a miserable mess. So why save the tigers? Because saving the tigers means saving every insect in the forest, and the forest itself, and that's important not just to India, but to the world." (See "Poaching and Population Threaten India's Tigers.")

Adam Roberts of Born Free USA concurs. "The tiger is the perfect example of the way that zoos are missing the point about conservation," he told Salon on January 5th. (See "Tigers Don't Belong in the Zoo.") "There's an expenditure of millions if not tens of millions of dollars on captive tigers. If we really want tigers and not just a shell of the beast we call the tiger, the real emphasis needs to be first and foremost in the field."

Although captive breeding programs do preserve and expand their gene pool, reintroducing tigers into the wild so far has not proven to be feasible. Such a program jointly undertaken by conservationists in China and South Africa in order to save the South China Tiger may, however, prove the critics wrong.

If all goes according to plans, the first graduates of this innovative program are expected to be returned to China from Philippolis this year and released into the wild in order to coincide with the opening of the Summer Olympics.

Nevertheless, it seems absurd for zoos to spend time and money attempting to replicate the habitat that tigers enjoy in the wild when these scarce resources could be better put to use purchasing and fencing off their existing habitats. That way developers, hunters, and taggers could be kept out and the animals left to live in peace.

"If you are not going to set aside habitat where there are no humans you cannot have tigers," Thapar told The Independent on November 2, 2007. (See "The Face of a Doomed Species.")

Once again, Roberts of Born Free wholeheartedly agrees. "Tigers simply don't belong in the zoo. Tigers don't belong on concrete, tigers don't belong behind bars, and frankly, tigers don't belong near people," he told Salon in the article cited supra.

The root of the problem lies in man's insatiable greed and will to dominate. He is simply too greedy and violent in order to allow either the animals or Mother Earth to live. In fact, he is not even willing to allow most of his fellow humans to live!

Zoos make money off of caging and mistreating tigers and other animals while wildlife biologists and other members of the scientific community also clean up financially by repeatedly trapping and fitting animals with surveillance equipment. Although all of these groups like to masquerade as conservationists, they are every bit as predatory as capitalists and hunters.

As far as the San Francisco Zoo is concerned, all immediate attention desperately needs to be focused on the welfare of its three remaining Amur Tigers. Based upon the gross negligence that it displayed with Tatiana, it would be far preferable if these magnificent animals were relocated to a sanctuary. Regrettably, returning them to the wild is not an option.

Photos: San Francisco Zoo (Tatiana), Paul Chinn of the San Francisco Chronicle (Amritpal and Kulbir Dhaliwal), and Sousa Family (Carlos Sousa Jr.).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Emmy Survives Being Locked in an Outdoor Storage Shed for Nine Weeks Without Either Food or Water

"Emmy survived a nightmare ordeal and lived to tell the tale and now needs a good home...If only she could speak and let us know how she got through it because she has an amazing story to tell."
-- Spokesperson for the Torbay Blue Cross Animal Center

A ten-year-old black and white cat named Emmy was freed earlier this month from a garden shed in Torquay, Devon where she had spent the preceding nine weeks without either food or water. Based upon the tongue marks on the windowpanes, RSPCA officials theorize that she survived on condensation.

Although she was almost skeletal and nearly dead when rescued, she is now on the road to a full recovery. Officials at the Torbay Blue Cross Animal Center in Watcombe, where she is currently being cared for, are concerned however because she has apparently lost either the ability or inclination to jump. (See photo above of her with an unnamed staffer of the shelter and the one below of her by herself.)

Her long and trying ordeal also has left her with some pretty severe psychological scars. For instance, she has, understandably, developed a fear of tight places and of being left alone.

Her inability to either jump or even to hop down off of objects is most likely attributable to atrophy in her bones and muscles caused by a lack of nourishment. She accordingly may need to be placed on a special diet and given vitamins for a while but her jumping ability should return.

Her mental scars may, however, stay with her for a while. To make matters worse, she is now homeless.

According to a rather convoluted account of events in London's Daily Mail, Emmy's unnamed owners gave her up because they were either too upset over what had happened to her in order to keep her or because they had just moved into a new house.

Although no criminal charges have been brought against them, their abandonment of her raises serious questions about her confinement.

According to the Daily Mail, Emmy followed the man of the house into the shed in late October and was accidentally locked inside. That explanation in and of itself sounds improbable but it nevertheless possibly could be true. (See photo below of shed.)

The couple's assertion that they spent weeks looking for the cat but never once thought of searching the shed is considerably less credible. Although it is difficult to believe that any cat owner would deliberately sentence any feline to the fate that befell Emmy, the couple's account of events leaves open that possibility.

Whenever individuals decide to relocate they have been known to do some pretty cruel things to cats and dogs. (See Cat Defender post of January 14, 2008 entitled "Freeway Miraculously Survives Being Tossed Out the Window of a Truck on Busy I-95 in South Florida.")

Despite all of that, Laura Valentine of Torbay Blue Cross has accepted the couple's version of events. "Her owner really had no idea where she was," she told the Daily Mail on January 3rd. (See "Cat Survives in Garden Shed for Two Months by Licking Condensation Off Windows.")

Valentine is now concentrating all her efforts on finding Emmy a new home. "She is an absolute darling," she told the Daily Mail. "She has a slight tilt to her head and doesn't like to jump. She's not too good with young children but a home with teenagers would be fine."

A spokesperson for Blue Cross added, "Emmy survived a nightmare ordeal and lived to tell the tale and now needs a good home. Whoever adopts her will have a loving cat who needs constant attention and care. If only she could speak and let us know how she got through it because she has an amazing story to tell."

All of that is certainly true enough and Emmy is unquestionably a remarkable cat that has suffered greatly. Nonetheless, it is a sure bet that her previous owners could tell quite a story themselves, that is, if anyone could ever ply the truth out of them.

Photos: Daily Mail (Emmy with Blue Cross official and shed) and BBC (Emmy).

Friday, January 18, 2008

Heartbroken Lancashire Heeler Named Oscar Digs Up and Retrieves the Corpse of His Feline Playmate, Arthur

"He had managed to climb out through the cat flap in the night, obviously with the intent to get Arthur back...Then he pulled him into the basket and went to sleep next to him."
-- Robert Bell

Arthur's death was a little bit too much for Oscar. After witnessing his owner, Robert Bell, bury his best friend in the garden, the eighteen-month-old Lancashire Heeler from the Manchester borough of Wigan knew immediately what he had to do.

As a consequence, the seventy-three-year-old Bell and his wife, Mavis, got one of the biggest surprises of their lives the next morning when they discovered the little dog curled up alongside the deceased cat in the sleeping basket that they used to share. (See photos above of the pair.)

"He had managed to climb out through the cat flap in the night, obviously with the intent to get Arthur back," Bell later told The Times of London on January 10th. (See "Dog Retrieves His Best Friend -- a Cat Buried in the Garden.") "Then he pulled him into the basket and went to sleep next to him."

Since Arthur was a pretty good sized cat, it must have taken a herculean effort on the part of the diminutive dog just to retrieve Arthur's body. Oscar did not stop there, however, but instead spent the greater part of the night licking clean Arthur's white fur.

Despite being touched by Oscar's devotion to Arthur, Bell knew that he could not allow him to retain possession of the cat's body. Consequently, Arthur has been interred in a secure grave and a kitten named Limpet has been acquired to serve as Oscar's new playmate.

While Arthur was alive, the duo were inseparable and the cat even used to assist Oscar in climbing up onto the sofa. It will take Oscar a while to get over Arthur's death but the heart does go on and hopefully things will work out between him and Limpet.

As sad as this story is, it is yet another confirmation that cats and dogs need not be mortal enemies. In particular, if they are introduced to one another as kittens and puppies the odds are good that they will be able to live together in peace and harmony. Oscar's devotion to Arthur may appear to be a little extreme but it is not unprecedented.

At the Amesbury, Massachusetts residence of Diane and Les Packer, an eighteen-pound tomcat named Yodi served as the eyes of a blind ninety-pound female boxer-terrier mix named Aspen for ten years.

The white cat would use his tail in order to guide the brown dog to her food dish, the bathroom, and anywhere else she needed to go. "They were together all the time. Inseparable," Les told The Daily News of Newburyport on October 3rd. (See "Blind Dog's Cat Friend, Guide Is Missing.")

Tragically, Yodi mysteriously disappeared over the Labor Day weekend while the Packers were away and his absence has left Aspen heartbroken. "The dog's been very lethargic, just lying around," Diane told The Daily News. (See photo above of her and Aspen.)

She is not coping much better herself. "He's a very special cat, and he's such a homebody," she added. "(It is) just a mystery what's happened to him. I feel devastated."

The Packers, who also have seven other cats, had jury-rigged their house in such a fashion as to enable all of their pets to come and go as they please and that, coupled with their absence, no doubt facilitated Yodi's disappearance. It would have been far wiser for them to have locked the cat flaps and hired a pet sitter.

This is especially true in light of the petit fait that Yodi already had a deformed right paw as the result of having been run down by a motorist.

As amazing as these two stories are, feline and canine bonding is not limited to providing mutual assistance but it sometimes also extends to the rearing of each other's offspring. (See Cat Defender posts of October 15, 2005 and July 17, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Elsa, a Rottweiler Feared in the 'Hood, Shows Her Soft Spot by Adopting an Abandoned Kitten" and "Dachshund Named Emma Adopts Quintet of Feral Kittens That Her Mistress Cruelly Stole from Their Mother.")

Photos: Manchester Evening News (Oscar and Arthur) and Katie McMahon of The Daily News of Newburyport (Aspen and Diane Packer).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

From a Mason Jar to Death Row: Homeless New Jersey Cat Is Once Again Fighting for His Life

"We just worked a little on the neck and it popped right off."
-- Thomas Dodd

Another homeless cat has fallen victim to an uncapped glass container carelessly tossed out by someone illegally dumping trash. This time around it was an eight-month-old black and white American Shorthair who was forced to wander around Hunterdon County in northern New Jersey for more than a week with a mason jar stuck on his head.

Fortunately for the yet unnamed cat, he was rescued by Raritan Township Animal Control Officer Thomas Dodd early on January 10th and immediately taken to a veterinarian who used cooking oil in order to remove the jar. (See photos above and below.)

"We just worked a little on the neck and it popped right off," Dodd told Newark's The Star Ledger on January 10th. (See "Cat Freed from Jar in Hunterdon.") The cat had been corralled earlier by employees of Wayne Hunt Real Estate Agency but it escaped before they were able to remove the jar.

Other than being famished and dehydrated the cat appears to be in pretty good shape. He has been taken to the Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter in Milford where officials say that they will hold him for seven days.

Although they insist that he then will be put up for adoption, that is most likely a lie since almost one-hundred per cent of all feral cats entering shelters never come out alive. Consequently, this poor cat has gone from the frying pan into the fire.

In November of last year a cat named Wild Oats from the Memphis suburb of Bartlett survived an amazing nineteen days with a peanut butter jar stuck on her head. Luckily for her, she was rescued by private citizens and is presumably still alive. (See Cat Defender post of December 18, 2007 entitled "Wild Oats Survives Nineteen Days with a Peanut Butter Jar Stuck on Her Head.")

Individuals who truly care about cats should not give the knackers at either Animal Control or shelters an opportunity to get their murdering hands on any felines. Rescues of this sort are best left to private individuals.

That is not to say that Animal Control did not do a good job in this instance, but by the same token it has been more than amply rewarded for its act of compassion by a blizzard of positive publicity. The shekel counters at The Star Ledger also have benefited from being able to publish another cat story with a purported happy ending.

Therein lies the rub, as Shakespeare would say, in that this cat's reprieve is only temporary. Moreover, it is a sure bet that neither Animal Control nor The Star Ledger will be on hand a few days from now in order to mount either another rescue or to provide coverage of his murder.

Consequently, the only winners in this killing game are Animal Control and the capitalist media; as per usual, a defenseless cat loses again.

As far as illegal garbage dumping is concerned, it is not only unsightly and detrimental to Mother Earth but it often proves lethal to animals. If individuals must indiscriminately discard bottles and jars they should at the very least make sure that they are capped.

It would be far better if municipalities in New Jersey and elsewhere imposed a garbage removal surcharge on all residents; voluntary opt-in arrangements do not work in that they only encourage illegal dumping. This is borne out by the fact that illegal dumping has reached epidemic proportions in the Garden State.

Photos: Thomas Dodd.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Freeway Miraculously Survives Being Tossed Out the Window of a Truck on Busy I-95 in South Florida

"All of a sudden, I see this cat flying in the air...I was devastated when I saw him. The poor thing bounced as high as my truck."
-- Catherine Bartron

There simply does not appear to be any end to the cruelties that man inflicts upon cats. The latest such outrage occurred on Boxing Day when the driver of a gray pickup truck tossed an orange-colored cat subsequently dubbed Freeway out his window and onto busy I-95 near the exit to Stuart in southern Florida.

"All of a sudden, I see this cat flying in the air," Catherine Bartron told the Vero Beach Press Journal on January 3rd. (See "Freeway the Cat Survives Toss onto I-95 near Stuart.") "I was devastated when I saw him. The poor thing bounced as high as my truck."

Fortunately for Freeway, Bartron is an animal lover who does volunteer work for a no-kill shelter called Dogs and Cats Forever in St. Lucie County. Fighting off a totally understandable urge to go after the miscreant who committed this grossly inhumane act, she pulled over to the side and instead went to Freeway's aid.

Although injured and stunned, the cat not only had enough strength and presence of mind in order to make it to the safety of the median but also to fight off Bartron's rescue attempt. Perseverance payed off for her, however, and she was eventually able to wrap the frightened feline in a shirt and get him to a veterinarian.

Even then she was not optimistic about his chances of surviving. "There's no way this poor cat is going to make it," she later recalled thinking to herself at the time.

The courageous little cat proved her wrong, however. Although he did suffer abrasions to his face, nose, and ears, he did not sustain any broken bones unless one broken tooth counts.

His cruel treatment has nevertheless left him with some severe emotional scars that are going to take a while to heal. Specifically, he appears to be suffering from depression.

"I think he's insulted by what happened to him," Joel Rossen, who operates a mobile veterinary clinic called Treasure Coast Vet, told the Press Journal in the article cited supra. (See photo above of him and Freeway.)

Since the cat was in good health and appears to have been well cared for, Rossen believes that the driver of the truck was not his rightful owner. He is therefore concentrating all his efforts on reuniting Freeway with his family.

"I'm not trying to get him adopted. I'm not trying to get him a home," Rossen said. "I want to get him back to his home. I know someone is looking for him."

That may or may not turn out to be the case. Even cat owners can do some pretty horrific things to their faithful companions, especially when they decide to change addresses. (See Cat Defender posts of September 27, 2007 and February 23, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Abandoned to Die in a World of Darkness and Without Even Teeth, Maxwell Is Saved by the Compassion of a Rescue Group and a Veterinarian" and "Born Without Eyes and Later Abandoned, Humble Kitten Appropriately Enough Named Angel Has Hope for a Brighter Tomorrow.")

Moreover, it is well established that cat dumping and abandonment are the main reasons millions of cats are slaughtered at shelters and left to fend for themselves in the wild. Mercifully, only a handful of cat owners are so wicked that they dispose of their unwanted felines on busy interstate highways.

Bartron did the right thing by rescuing Freeway instead of trying to apprehend the perpetrator of this heinous crime; saving a life should always take precedence over the desire to see justice served. Nonetheless, should this fiend ever be caught he deserves nothing less than a good dose of what he gave Freeway.

Photo: Deborah Silver of the Vero Beach Press Journal.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Serial Killer James Munn Stevenson's Victory in a Galveston Courtroom Heads the List of the Top Cat Stories of 2007

"Die Grausamkeit gegen die Tiere ist der Pflicht des Menschen gegen sich selbst entgegengesetzt. Wir konnen das Herz eines Menschen danach beurteilen, wie er Tiere behandelt."
-- Immanuel Kant

The year just concluded was not a good one for cats. Most notably, bird and wildlife advocates continued to commit heinous crimes against them. Some clever, albeit morally warped, Australians hit upon the barbaric idea that the best way to get rid of their homeless cats was to eat them into extinction while JFK International decided it would do things the traditional way and simply have its cats trapped and handed over to Animal Control to kill.

Phony-baloney PETA at long last had its hideous crimes against cats and dogs exposed in a North Carolina courtroom but, like serial cat killer James Munn Stevenson, it too beat the rap. Despite the inherent cruelty involved in their creation, Toygers and Asheras joined a growing list of designer cats ready to be peddled to a gullible public.

Research revealed that diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and passive smoking are killing indoor cats in alarming numbers and that implanted microchips cause cancer in dogs, rats, and mice. The decoding of the feline genome unraveled much of the species' glorious past but also opened the door for diabolical vivisectors to have a field day.

Wild cats continued to face a multitude of obstacles in their struggle to ward off extinction but cat lovers were heartened by the first confirmed sighting of a South China Tiger in almost three decades.

A brief recap of these stories follows below. For a look back at the top cat stories of 2006 see Cat Defender post of January 4, 2007 entitled "The Continuing Mass Extermination of Millions of Cats at Shelters Across the World Heads List of Top Ten Cat Stories of 2006."

1.) Bird Lover Gets Away with Murdering Hundreds of Cats.

It was quite a year for bird lovers. With malevolence and mendacity oozing from their pores like malignant waste from a cracked sewer pipe, these inveterate cat haters, pathological liars, and hardened criminals continued not only to perpetuate a myriad of crimes against cats but, more importantly, to get away with doing so.

Sans doute, their biggest coup of the year came in late November when a divided jury in a Galveston courtroom failed to convict arch-villain James Munn Stevenson for gunning down a pregnant cat known as Mama Cat that he had previously wounded a few days earlier. (See mug shot on the right.) Actually, this monster has been killing cats for more than a decade and his victims most likely number in the hundreds. (See Cat Defender post of November 20, 2007 entitled "Bird Lovers All Over the World Rejoice as Serial Killer James M. Stevenson Is Rewarded by Galveston Court for Gunning Down Hundreds of Cats.")

Although Stevenson's criminal conduct had been championed from the outset by the Houston Chronicle, after he had beaten the rap he also became the darling of the The New York Times, National Public Radio, and The Daily News of Galveston. (See Cat Defender posts of May 1, 2007 and December 8, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Houston Chronicle Launches a Propaganda Offensive on Behalf of Serial Cat Killer Jim Stevenson" and "'All the Lies That Fit.' Scheming New York Times Hires a Bird Lover to Render His 'Unbiased' Support for James M. Stevenson."

Novelist Pete Dexter's characterization of the Washington Post's literary critic Jonathan Yardley as a "worn-out old whore" seems also to be a fitting description of the capitalist media in general and the sham journalists at The New York Times in particular.

Earlier in March, cat-haters supreme Les Underhill of the University of Cape Town and disgraceful journalist John Yeld of the Cape Argus celebrated the gunning down of the last of several hundred cats on Robben Island. (See Cat Defender post of March 23, 2007 entitled "Bird Lovers in South Africa Break Out the Champagne to Celebrate the Merciless Gunning Down of the Last of Robben Island's Cats.")

Victims of imperialism and colonialism, these cats' ancestors were brought to the island against their will in order to help control the rodent population. Once bird-watching and ecotourism became such lucrative enterprises Underhill and Yeld launched a defamation and extermination campaign against the cats. Predictably, Underhill's murderous rampage has been championed by the ailurophobic Sulzberger Gang. (See The New York Times, June 4, 2007, "Robben Island Journal: Dinner Disappears, and African Penguins Pay the Price.")

Any lingering doubts as to the true nature of the agenda being advanced by bird lovers were quickly dispelled by publication of the Connecticut Audubon Society's 2007 State of the Birds report. In this anti-cat diatribe, the organization called not only for the roundup and extermination of outdoor cats but also all mute swans, mallard ducks, Canada geese, and deer. (See Cat Defender post of March 15, 2007 entitled "Connecticut Audubon Society Shows Its True Colors by Calling for the Slaughter of Feral Cats, Mute Swans, Mallards, Canada Geese, and Deer.")

Even though the brand of ecotourism that they practice is detrimental to the very animals that they are supposedly defending, birders rake in a pile of shekels each year off of conducting bird-watching tours and related activities, such as feeding and housing bird enthusiasts. Consequently, they are willing to engage in every conceivable criminal and immoral activity under the sun in order to keep the shekels flowing.

Neither their inveterate hatred of all cats nor the infinite pleasure that they derive from defaming and killing them can be discounted, however. This is especially true now that they have large chunks of the moneybags media pimping and whoring for them and their cause.

2.) Wildlife Officials Are Using Fishers and Coyotes to Kill Cats.

Every bit as committed to the eradication of the feline species as are birders, wildlife proponents have begun introducing fishers and coyotes into urban and suburban areas with the explicit purpose of having them prey upon cats. (See Cat Defender posts of July 19, 2007 and August 28, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Up to Their Old Tricks, Wildlife Officials Reintroduce Fishers to the Northeast to Prey Upon Cats and to Provide Income for Fur Traffickers" and "TNR Programs, Domestic Cats, Dogs, and Humans Imperiled by Wildlife Proponents' Use and Abuse of Coyotes and Fishers.")

All the while they are doing this, wildlife officials are simultaneously exterminating coyotes and millions of other wild animals in rural areas at the behest of farmers, ranchers, and developers. (See Cat Defender post of September 15, 2005 entitled "United States Government Exterminates Millions of Wild Animals at the Behest of Capitalists.") In addition to killing cats, fishers have been reintroduced to the northeast so that they in turn can be preyed upon by fur traffickers. (See photo above.)

The sinister intent of wildlife officials was made abundantly clear when University of Rhode Island wildlife professor Thomas B. Husband told The Providence Journal that he thought it was "neat" that fishers had savaged two pet dogs.

Coyotes and fishers killed hundreds if not indeed thousands of cats, both feral and domestic, during 2007 and severely injured countless others. (See Cat Defender post of December 4, 2007 entitled "Grieving Widow Risks Her Life in Order to Save Cosmo from the Jaws of a Hungry Coyote in Thousand Oaks.")

Of special concern are TNR colonies which in certain areas have been decimated by coyotes. These killings also provide bird lovers with another excuse to celebrate as the New Jersey Audubon Society gleefully does every time a coyote eats another cat in Cape May or elsewhere within the Garden State.

An increasing number of dogs also are being attacked by both of these savage predators and even a few humans as well. It is going to be interesting to see how much longer pet owners are going to tolerate the machinations of rogue wildlife officials who feed at the public trough while simultaneously pursuing an agenda that is inimical to the vital interests of the vast majority of Americans.

3.) Cat Abductions Are Increasing.

Shooting cats and introducing predators into urban areas are not the only ways in order to get rid of them. Several enterprising groups of individuals have discovered that stealing and dumping their neighbors' cats can be just as effective as doing them malice aforethought.

For instance, on Bramley Crescent in the Sholing district of Southampton a bird lover by his own admission trapped and dumped at least six of his neighbors' cats last fall. (See photo above of aggrieved cat owners.) Despite the Peelers' pledge of prompt action, so far only one of the felines has been recovered and he, unfortunately, was the victim of a hit-and-run driver. (See Cat Defender posts of October 30, 2007 and November 16, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Crafty Bird Lover Claims Responsibility for Stealing Six Cats from a Southampton Neighborhood and Concealing Their Whereabouts" and "Fletcher, One of the Cats Abducted from Bramley Crescent, Is Killed by a Motorist in Corhampton.")

Even so-called ailurophiles have gotten in on the act. In Ottawa, an unidentified person stole a cat named Slim off of the street and so far has refused to return him because he looked down-at-the-heel. Also, in the Auckland suburb of Westmere a physician stole and dumped his neighbor's cat because it was entering his residence through his unlocked cat flap and allegedly scrapping with his cat. (See Cat Defender posts of July 9, 2007 and December 24, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Hungry and Disheveled Cat Named Slim Is Picked Up Off the Streets of Ottawa by Rescuer Who Refuses to Return Him to His Owners" and "Prominent New Zealand Physician Who Ludicrously Claims to Be an Ailurophile Gets Away With Stealing and Dumping His Neighbor's Cat.")

One of the most prolific practitioners of trapping his neighbors' cats and then turning them over to shelters in order to be killed is Richard DeSantis, a bird lover from West Islip on Long Island. Up until his arrest in 2006, he had disposed of several of his neighbors' cats in this manner.

Like Stevenson, he too beat the rap when he was convicted in March of last year of only disorderly conduct and fined a minuscule $250 and placed on probation for six months. (See Cat Defender post of March 9, 2007 entitled "Long Island Serial Cat Killer Guilty of Only Disorderly Conduct, Corrupt Court Rules.")

4.) PETA Is Exposed in Court but Not Convicted of Much.

PETA employees Adria Hinkle, 28, of Norfolk and Andrew Benjamin Cook, 26, of Virginia Beach were caught in 2005 dumping the bodies of seventeen cats and eighty-two dogs that they had murdered in a Dumpster behind a Piggly Wiggly in Ahoskie, North Carolina. (See mug shots on the left and below.) They were tried in a Hertford, North Carolina courtroom in January and February of last year but were exonerated for killing the defenseless animals and instead convicted of only littering. (See Cat Defender posts of January 29, 2007 and February 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "PETA's Long History of Killing Cats and Dogs Is Finally Exposed in North Carolina Courtroom" and "Verdict in PETA Trial: Littering Is a Crime but Not the Mass Slaughter of Innocent Cats and Dogs.")

Specifically, they were each given ten-day suspended jail sentences, fined $1,000, placed on probation for twelve months, and ordered to perform fifty-hours of community service. They were also ordered to split $5,975.10 in restitution for the storage of evidence and the proper disposal of the corpses that they had dumped. At last report, they were still employed by PETA.

No stranger to the killing fields, PETA has for a long time partnered with bird and wildlife enthusiasts in calling for the roundup and systematic slaughter of all feral cats. Moreover, it admits to a kill-rate in excess of eighty-six per cent at its Norfolk shelter.

Perhaps even more importantly, the subterfuges and charades that it has concocted in order to camouflage its crimes opened the eyes of many courtroom observers. Operating under the pretext that they were going to secure good homes for them, Hinkle and Cook collected cats and dogs from shelters and veterinarians and then immediately killed them and dumped their corpses.

In some cases they even mailed the shelters and veterinarians photographs that purported to show the surrendered animals playing outside their new homes. The only problem was that the photo-ops were staged just before the animals were annihilated.

As per usual, the unconscionable capitalist media choose to all but ignore this seminal case in animal rights law. Moreover, it is extremely doubtful that PETA has mended its animal killing ways.

5.) Feline Genome Is Decoded.

Cats now have the dubious distinction of joining homo sapiens, dogs, chimpanzees, cows, mice, and rats in having their genomes decoded. (See graphic above.) In the years ahead, they will be joined by at least twenty other mammals. (See Cat Defender post of December 5, 2007 entitled "Decoding the Feline Genome Provides Vivisectors with Thousands of New Excuses to Continue Torturing Cats in the Course of Their Bogus Research.")

Although hailed by the scientific community as a monumental breakthrough, precious little good will accrue to cats from having the most intimate secrets of their existence revealed. In fact, this will only lead to millions of additional cats being tortured, cut up, and killed by vivisectors in the course of their fraudulent research.

Scientists are already salivating about at least two-hundred-fifty human maladies that they want to first test on cats. In addition to vivisectors, this development is going to be a bonanza for those unscrupulous individuals who breed and raise cats specifically for the scientific community's own patented version of the medieval rack and the screw.

Decoding the female genome also will enable scientists to manipulate the species at will. This point was underscored by Stephen O'Brien of the National Cancer Institute, which spearheaded the study, when he said, " One thing I'd like to discover is (sic) the genes for good behavior in cats -- the genes for domestication, the things that make them not want to kill our children but play with them."

Despite efforts under way within the European Union to reduce the number of animals used in biomedical research, the scientific community is constantly generating additional rationales in order to justify its mutilation of animals. It is therefore important to keep in mind what Leo Tolstoy had to say on this subject: "What I think about vivisection is that if people admit that they have the right to take or endanger the life of living beings for the benefit of the many, there will be no limit to their cruelty."

6.) Implanted Microchips Are Found to Cause Cancer.

Implanted microchips have become the rage for both pet owners and the general public alike over the past decade. Cat and dog owners have them implanted in their pets for identification purposes should they get either lost or be stolen. Individuals accept them for medical reasons, convenience (paying bills, etc.), and identification purposes as well.

Thanks to the investigative reporting of Todd Lewan of the Associated Press (AP) and the unstinting advocacy of Katherine Albrecht of Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN), it now has been revealed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has known since at least 1996 of the existence of research which shows that these devices cause cancer in mice, rats, and dogs. (See Cat Defender post of September 21, 2007 entitled "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs.")

"There is no way in the world, having read this information, that I would have one of these devices implanted in my skin, or in one of my family members," Dr. Robert Benezra of Memorial Sloan-Kettering in Manhattan told AP.

Perhaps even more disturbingly, there does not appear to be any way of stopping the scientific community and wildlife officials from reducing the world's animals to glorified guinea pigs that they can manipulate at will. Through the wide-scale use of implanted microchips, radio-equipped collars, and surveillance cameras of all sorts, they intend to reduce all of nature to an outdoor zoo, without the bars, where they decide which animals are going to be allowed to live and under what conditions. (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.")

It is a sad thing to have to admit but some cat owners are guilty of aiding and abetting these totalitarians. For example, Juergen Perthold of Anderson, South Carolina has constructed a mini-camera that when attached to the collar of his cat, Lee, (See photo above) snaps a picture of his every move. (See Cat Defender post of June 11, 2007 entitled "Katzen-Kameras Are Not Only Cruel and Inhumane but Represent an Assault Upon Cats' Liberties and Privacy" and Freie Presse of Chemnitz, Sachsen, January 9, 2008, "Kater Fritz wird zum Star-Fotografen.")

7.) Diabetes, Hyperthyroidism, and Passive Smoking Are Killing Indoor Cats.

For years cats have been victimized by mass sterilizations, cruel and inhumane onychectomies, and unnecessary vaccinations administered by unscrupulous moneygrubbing veterinarians. Now, recent research has revealed that an indoor lifestyle also can be hazardous to them.

A study of more than fourteen-hundred indoor cats conducted by Danielle Gunn-Moore and her colleagues at the University of Edinburgh's Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine found that an astounding sixty-one per cent of them were suffering from diabetes mellitus (DM). The researchers attributed this dramatic increase to overeating, a lack of exercise, and sterilizations.

"While cats would naturally exercise outside, many cats are now housebound, perhaps they live in a flat or because their owners feel that it is too dangerous to let them out, so they have little left to do all day but eat, sleep, and gain weight," Gunn-Moore said.

One person intent upon doing something to help alleviate this epidemic is Louise Ellerington of Lincoln Cat Care in Lincolnshire who places diabetic cats in homes with diabetic adults. The rationale behind this innovative plan is that diabetics are not only more knowledgeable about the needs of diabetic cats but also more sympathetic and willing to help them. (See photo above of her with a diabetic cat named Mog.)

In another disturbing development, a study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that the prevalence of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the home has caused a dramatic increase in the number of cats dying from feline hyperthyroidism (FH). Introduced in the 1970s, these fire retardants are found in, inter alia, electronic appliances, carpeting, mattresses, and furniture. (See photo below of O.P. who is suffering from FH.)

The study found that cats afflicted with FH had PBDE levels in their blood twenty to one-hundred times greater than those found in healthy humans. (See Cat Defender post of August 22, 2007 entitled "Indoor Cats Are Dying from Diabetes, Hyperthyroidism, and Various Toxins in the Home" and University of California at Riverside press release of December 25, 2007 entitled "The Danger of PBDEs," which is available at Common Dreams.)

Furthermore, a series of studies conducted over the past fifteen years by Tufts and Colorado State University have linked secondhand tobacco smoke to an increased incidence of various cancers in cats, dogs, and caged birds. (See Cat Defender post of October 19, 2007 entitled "Smokers Are Killing Their Cats, Dogs, Birds, and Infants by Continuing to Light Up in Their Presence.")

Of course, the laundry list of carcinogens found in the home that are harmful to pets certainly is not limited to PBDEs and tobacco smoke. Because of their smaller noses and lungs as well as their grooming habits (cats particularly), almost any toxic substance released into the air can have a deleterious affect upon their health.

Of particular concern are asbestos, the smoking of illicit drugs, aerosols, and cleaning products. Self-contained buildings and modes of conveyance that are seldom ventilated only exacerbate these problems.

8.) Wild Cats Are Struggling to Survive.

The wild cats of the world, both big and small, are under assault from farmers, developers, alternative fuel producers, climate change, fur traffickers, and increased vehicular activity on the one hand and scientists and wildlife proponents on the other hand who are using electronic surveillance in order to exterminate and enslave them. As their numbers dwindle, they simultaneously become susceptible to disease and the debilitating consequences of inbreeding.

One bright spot in 2007 was the capture on film of a South China Tiger by a farmer from Zhenping County in Shaanxi Province. Thought to be extinct in the wild, this was the first confirmed sighting of the stem species of all tigers in almost three decades. (See photo above.)

Although some experts believe that as many as twenty and thirty of the cats may remain in the wild, the long-term outlook for the species is extremely bleak. (See Cat Defender post of November 2, 2007 entitled "For the First Time in Three Decades, Rare South China Tiger Is Confirmed to Be Alive in the Wild.")

Also in China and along the edge of the Tibetan Plateau in Sichuan Province, a reclusive Chinese Mountain Cat was photographed for the first time in the wild back in July. Their conservation status is unknown and absolutely nothing is being done to protect them even though they are under attack from a number of sources .(See Cat Defender post of October 2, 2007 entitled "Chinese Mountain Cats Are Under Assault from Fur Traffickers, Farmers, Global Warming, and Wildlife Officials.")

Half a world away, conservationists in Deutschland are attempting to save Felis silvestris bieti's European cousins, Felis silvestris silvestris, from extinction through the construction of wildlife corridors that will link up the nation's parks into one contiguous habitat. (See Cat Defender post of October 9, 2007 entitled "Constructing Wildlife Corridors May Help to Save Deutschland's Wildcats but Fitting Them with Radio Collars Is Only Going to Lead to Their Demise.")

In Angleterre, an attempt is being made to save Scottish Wildcats through captive breeding programs and back in May a kitten was born at Wildwood Discovery Park near Canterbury in Kent to two purebred members of Felis silvestris grampia. Although the cats have inhabited the British Isles for more than two-million years, only around four-hundred purebreds remain in the wild. (See Cat Defender post of June 25, 2007 entitled "Scottish Wildcat Born in Captivity May Hold the Key to Saving Critically Endangered Species from Extinction.")

In a desolate corner of southeast Texas about one-hundred Texas ocelots are waging a valiant struggle in order to stay alive. With only thirty to forty of them of breeding age, however, they face an uphill struggle and the proposed border fence is only going to worsen their plight. (See Cat Defender post of July 26, 2007 entitled "Tottering on the Brink of Extinction, Texas Ocelots Must Overcome a Myriad of Obstacles If They Are Going to Survive.")

Finally, researchers revealed in March that the clouded leopards of Borneo, Sumatra, and the Batu Islands are a distinct species from their cousins living on mainland southeast Asia. The divergence is believed to have occurred 1.4 million years ago when the islands separated from the mainland. (See Cat Defender post of April 17, 2007 entitled "Clouded Leopards of Sumatra and Borneo Are Discovered to Be a Distinct Species from Their Cousins in Mainland Southeast Asia.")

9.) Exotic Hybrids Continue to Proliferate.

Despite the fact that tens of millions of cats are systematically exterminated at shelters and veterinarians' offices each year in the United States and that millions more are homeless, certain unscrupulous individuals continue to create high-priced exotic hybrids for retail sale.

The latest such creations to hit the market during 2007 were Toygers. (See photo above.) Alleged to be the product of forcibly breeding domestic cats, Bengals, and an unspecified "street cat from Kashmir," these hybrids resemble Sumatran Tigers but have canine personalities.

Created by Judy Sugden of Eeyaas Cattery near Los Angeles, the cats already cost $4,000 apiece although the breed is not expected to be perfected until 2010. (See Cat Defender post of April 13, 2007 entitled "Killing and Torturing Wild and Domestic Cats in Order to Create Toygers Is Not Going to Save Sumatran Tigers.")

Hot on the heels of Toygers are an even more expensive hybrid called Asheras which retail for $22,000 each in the United States. Created by Simon Brodie of Lifestyle Pets of Los Angeles, these cats are allegedly a cross between African Servals, Asian Leopard Cats, and a secret breed of domestic cats. (See CBC's As It Happens, December 7, 2007, "Designer Cat.")

Toygers and Asheras join an already crowded market occupied by Bengals, Savannahs, Cheetohs, Serengetis, Pixie-Bobs, clones, and hypoallergenic cats. (See Cat Defender post of June 28, 2007 entitled "Rural Alabama Man Makes a 'Killing' Forcibly Breeding Domestic Cats to Bobcats in Order to Create Pixie-Bobs.")

Championed by the cat-haters at National Geographic as well as the capitalist media, the death toll and cruelties that occur at the Frankenstein catteries where these breeds are created are off the Richter scale but neither the government nor animal rights groups care enough to demand that these facilities be closed. Some of these cats also run away from home and wind up at shelters. This not only leads to more needless feline fatalities but it also dictates that new rescue groups must be formed in order to care of them.

10.) Australians Are Now Eating Cats.

Throughout the millenniums cat-haters all over the world have devised ingenious schemes in order to do in the feline species. Veterinarian turned writer James Herriot certainly knew what he was talking about when he wrote in Cat Stories that "...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."

No one, however, had ever before suggested eating the species into oblivion until Australian children's writer and wildlife proponent Kaye Kessing put forward that diabolical plan last August. "The Asians have been eating cat and dog for centuries, so why can't we in Australia, where it would be really helpful if we started eating feral cats, camels, and rabbits?" she proposed to Melbourne's The Age.

True to her word, she entered a stew concocted out of feline flesh and peaches at the Bushfoods-Wildfoods Recipe Competition held in Alice Springs. (See photo above of her proudly displaying her feline fare.) Amazingly enough, the judges did not flinch when it came time to wolf down her inhumane entry.

Actually, Kessing has been killing cats with impunity for the past fifteen years on her spread in Alice Springs. It is furthermore believed that she trafficks in their pelts. (See Cat Defender post of September 7, 2007 entitled "Australians Renounce Civilization and Revert to Savages with the Introduction of a Grotesque Plan to Get Rid of Cats by Eating Them.")

In a sense, eating cats is a natural progression for Australians who are currently systematically exterminating tens of millions of, inter alia, feral cats, camels, horses, donkeys, pigs, rabbits, goats, foxes, kangaroos, dingoes, and cane toads. (See Agence France Presse, September 25, 2005, "Millions of Animals Face Death Sentences in Australia" and Stern, January 6, 2008, "Kameljagd im Outback.")

With the notable exception of kangaroos and dingoes, all of these animals were imported by the imperialists when they colonized the continent and later abandoned when their services were no longer needed. Now that the Aussies have discovered that tourists will pay dearly in order to see native fauna, they are killing off the imported species. As much as they like to portray themselves as conservationists, au fond they are just murdering, moneygrubbing capitalists from head to toe.

Although they are correct in excoriating the Japanese for slaughtering whales and dolphins, the Australians crimes against their own animals robs them of the moral authority to speak out on this or any other animal rights issues. (See Agence France Presse, January 7, 2008, "Australia Hits Back Over Pro-Japan Whaling Video" and YouTube video entitled "Racist Australia and Japanese Whaling.")

There is not any obvious connection, but a thirty-four-year-old Costa Rican bull rider named Douglas Barahona has gone one step beyond even the Australians in that he devours live cats, dogs, chickens, pigeons, snakes, bats, buzzards, frogs, toads, and worms. Although he claims that eating live flesh makes him a better bull rider, he also admits to relishing killing small animals. (See Cat Defender post of September 13, 2007 entitled "Costa Rican Bull Rider Bites Off the Heads of Live Cats, Dogs, and Other Animals, Drinks Their Blood, and Then Eats Their Flesh.")

11.) JFK Is Killing Off Its Cats.

Last autumn, JFK International started rounding up and evicting its estimated one-hundred homeless cats. The felines, who along with their ancestors had lived at the sprawling facility in Queens, New York for decades, were handed over to Animal Control.

Their fate remains unknown, but most likely nearly all of them were summarily executed; volunteers were able, however, to rescue a few of them before they were barred from the premises. (See photo above of a rescued kitten.)

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PA), which operates the airport, has attempted to justify the mass eradication on the grounds that food left out for the cats is attracting shorebirds who in turn fly into airliners. In reality, however, the problem with the birds stems from the PA's initial decision to build an airport on the periphery of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Consequently, getting rid of the cats is not going to enhance passenger safety; it merely provides the ailurophobes at the PA with a convenient excuse in order to kill cats. (See Cat Defender post of November 5, 2007 entitled "Port Authority Gives JFK's Long-Term Resident Felines the Boot and Rescue Groups Are Too Impotent to Save Them.")

Despite being the richest city in the world, the response from local animal rights groups has been underwhelming to say the least. Some of them even had the chutzpah to attempt to fob off the problem onto Alley Cat Allies of Bethesda, Maryland.

This is another knock against a city already known for its bigotry, greed, violence, and moral depravity. City elders like to claim that they still aspire to no-kill status but at this rate Gotham is never going to make the grade.

Photos: Galveston Police Department (Stevenson), John Shishmanian of the Norwich, CT Bulletin (fisher), Daily Mail (Bramley Crescent cat owners), NCPD (Hinkle and Cook), National Cancer Institute (feline genome chart), Shaker Veterinary Hospital of Latham, NY (microchip), Juergen Perthold (Kater Lee), Lincolnshire Echo (Ellerington and Mog), Janice Dye of the EPA (O.P.), Save China's Tigers (South China Tiger), Bob Rohrbaugh of WildFX Cats (Toyger), Wayne Taylor of The Age (Kessing), and The Gothamist (JFK kitten).

Monday, January 07, 2008

Roosevelt, Who Has Brightened the Lives of So Many Vacationers, Now Sets His Sights on Saving Other Homeless Cats and Dogs

"... he (Roosevelt) just loves it here. He's like a concierge. He goes on the deck and greets people. Everyone loves him."
-- Leslie Blain

No one is quite certain where Roosevelt came from; he simply wandered onto the grounds of Lake Quinault Lodge on Washington State's Pacific Coast one day last spring and things have never been quite the same ever since. (See photo above.)

Named in honor of the thirty-second president of the United States who stayed at the lodge on October 1, 1937, the black tomcat quickly captured the hearts of both staffers and vacationers alike. He was eventually sterilized and vaccinated and is now arguably the establishment's most popular attraction.

He is so popular in fact that employees spend their breaks with him and guests take him along with them on their hikes through surrounding Olympia National Park. He is, however, always punctual about returning to his favorite spot on a couch in front of the fireplace in the lodge's cozy lounge. (See photo below.)

For Christmas, he even received a cigar filled with catnip from a group of satisfied guests and admirers. The accompanying card said simply, "Thank you for being a gentleman."

Roosevelt also seems to like his new digs. "...he just loves it here," waitress Leslie Blain told The Daily World of nearby Aberdeen on December 21st. (See "Resort's Adopted Cat Helps Raise Money for Pets.") "He's like a concierge. He goes on the deck and greets people. Everyone loves him."

If all that Roosevelt ever accomplished during his brief sojourn upon this earth was to become head mouser, mascot, and concierge of a famous resort that would have been sufficient in and of itself. The Fates, however, had other plans in store for him.

His presence at the lodge got staffers to pondering the plight of other homeless cats and dogs in the area and out of these ruminations it was decided that they would join forces with other community leaders in building a no-kill shelter in Aberdeen. Toward that end, a Roosevelt Giving Tree featuring a photograph of the cat in place of a star at the top has been erected in the lobby.

So far, an unspecified amount of cash has been collected as well as a considerable amount of feline and canine provisions. The money will be given to the proposed Coastal Animal Rescue and Adoption (CARE) Center while the food will be donated to groups already charged with caring for the community's homeless animals.

While no-kill shelters are a definite step in the right direction, CARE's announced intention to continue killing homeless animals with medical and so-called behavioral problems is morally indefensible. Sick animals need and deserve medical care and sanctuaries can be found for those that have been abused in the past and are therefore difficult to place in new homes.

No-kill should mean an end to all killings. That is certainly the way that Roosevelt and other cats and dogs would want it to be if they were able to talk.

Photos: David Sandler of The Daily World (Roosevelt) and Travelocity (fireplace).