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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, May 13, 2008

Just When It Appeared That She Was Going to Make It, Arwen Dies Suddenly after Being Shot in the Abdomen with a Barbed Arrow

"In my short time knowing her, I could tell she was a very special kitty. I wanted to give her every chance she deserved."
-- Veterinarian Geoffrey Adams

The last week of Arwen's all-too-short life was pure hell. Shot through the abdomen with an arrow outfitted with razor blades sometime around April 28th, she wandered around New Port Richey, Florida for three or four days with the projectile still inside her until she was spotted a few blocks from Sims Park by an unidentified good Samaritan on May 1st.

The woman then rushed her to veterinarian Geoffrey Adams who was able to successfully remove the prickly arrow. Unfortunately, her left front leg had become so infected by then that it had to be amputated. In its place Adams inserted a small hollow drain tube. (See photo above.)

Named after Arwen Undomiel from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, the black and white cat was given a blood transfusion courtesy of Adams' office cat and placed on antibiotics and painkillers. A feeding tube was inserted, IV fluids administered, and she was placed in an incubator. Adams, his wife, and two-year-old son even spent the weekend hand-feeding and watching over her in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of his surgery.

She seemed to be responding well to treatment and Adams even went so far as to predict that she was going to be fine. Sometimes the desire to live is not enough, however, even when it is coupled with the love and dedication of a trained professional.

The forces of evil often are just too strong to be overcome. Sadly, that was Arwen's fate and the seven-pound moggy crossed the Rainbow Bridge on May 4th.

"She fought hard while she was with us, so we did not give up on her," Adams told WTSP-TV of Tampa on May 4th. (See "Update: Cat Dies After Being Shot with Arrow.") "In my short time knowing her, I could tell she was a very special kitty. I wanted to give her every chance she deserved." (See photos below of Adams by himself and with the deadly arrow.)

In a world where liars and four-flushers predominate, Adams was true to his word and although his herculean efforts were for nought he takes comfort in knowing that he was able at least to ease Arwen's misery. "She never suffered in our care," he added. "We kept her pain-free with analgesics while she was in our ICU."

It was a minor miracle that Arwen even made it to Adams' surgery in the first place. Au premier coup d'oeil, her rescuer could not believe her eyes but instead thought that the cat was a stuffed animal with an arrow through its stomach. It was only after Arwen suddenly blinked and stared back at her that she belatedly realized that this was not a prank.

This senseless killing of still another cat has left Adams dumbfounded. "It's cruel. It's just unfathomable. I don't know how somebody can do this. I don't know why," he told WTSP-TV on May 1st. (See "Cat Found with Arrow Through Belly.") "I don't know how to think like someone that could do something like this."

Not only did Adams, who specializes in treating reptiles, donate his services gratis, but he also had pledged to house and feed Arwen until a good home could be found for her. "We are going to treat her, fatten her up, spay her, and nurse her back to health," he told WTSP-TV in the May 1st article cited supra.

Because of her friendly and outgoing personality, Arwen obviously was not a feral cat. She either had a home or at least previously was cared for by someone. Sadly, no one has come forward to even claim her remains.

Although she would have been handicapped for the remainder of her life, Adams felt that she would have gotten along just fine on three legs. "If she gets the chance, she's going to have a good life and make someone happy," he predicted. (See Cat Defender posts of November 2, 2006 and February 9, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Three-Legged, Bobtailed Cat Named Opie Melts the Hearts of Hardened Criminals at Rural Tennessee Prison" and "Newspaper Cat Named Tripod Is Killed Off by Journalists He Befriended in Vermont.")

It is a sad commentary upon the profession but there are not many practicing veterinarians who are willing to treat homeless animals. Most of them nonchalantly allow the impecunious to die unless someone steps forward and agrees to foot the bill for their care. Quite obviously, veterinarians who think and behave in such a mercenary fashion are no better than the Sam Waltons, Warren Buffets, and Bill Gateses of this miserable old world.

Even in cases involving either injured or sickly companion animals veterinarians employ runners who hustle back and forth between the operating theater and the waiting room in order to deliver price quotes and to receive assurances that they will be paid for each level of treatment administered. (See Renae Hamrick, "A Technician's Night in the Veterinary Emergency Room" at petplace.com and Cat Defender post of September 25, 2007 entitled "Acid Attack Leaves Solskjaer with Severe Injuries and Horrific Pain as His Heartbroken and Cash-Strapped Family Struggles to Cope.")

Regular physicians are almost as cutthroat. For instance, emergency rooms in New Jersey often will not treat the poor unless they are hemorrhaging profusely and even then it is only to save their carpeting. Worst still, the old oligarch who runs the show in Trenton is even trying to eliminate what little charity care hospitals now provide.

Arwen's murder is the second horrific bow and arrow attack upon a cat in the Tampa area in less than three years. On August 17, 2005, a nine-week-old black and white male kitten named Archer from Tarpon Springs was wounded by a twelve-inch metal and plastic arrow fired from a crossbow.

The projectile, which missed his tiny heart by centimeters, broke a rib, punctured a lung, and pierced his liver. He since has made a complete recovery and now lives with his rescuer, Kathy Powers of Tropic Signs and Shirts. (See Cat Defender post of August 25, 2005 entitled "Nine-Week-Old Kitten Nicknamed Archer Recovering After Being Shot with Crossbow Near Tampa.")

Twenty-year-old Stephen H. Cockerill of Palm Harbor pleaded guilty on July 28, 2006 to the attack but was let off by Circuit Judge Doug Baird with a minuscule thirty-days in jail. (See Cat Defender post of August 2, 2007 entitled "Ohio Cat Shot in the Leg with an Arrow Is Forced to Endure a Long-Drawn Out and Excruciating Death.")

Whereas police officers, prosecutors and judges in Florida snicker at animal cruelty, the legal establishment in California is considerably more protective of the rights of animals. For instance, Robert Eugene Brunner of the San Diego suburb of Vista was given three years in the cooler last year for firing two arrows into his next door neighbor's cat, Bill.

In a separate civil suit, he also was ordered to pay Bill's distraught owner, Janeen Bubien, $2,500 in damages plus give her an additional $5,000 in order that she might relocate to a more feline-friendly neighborhood. (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.")

In Dodge County, Wisconsin, seventeen-year-old Patrick Dalle-Nogare of Brownsville is accused of shooting a four-month-old kitten from Theresa in the eye with an arrow on September 24th of last year.

The kitten survived the unprovoked attack but the event has left its owner "shocked, sick, and upset." Dale-Nogare, who is due back in court on May 28th, will without a doubt beat the rap. (See The Reporter of Fond du Lac, May 6, 2008, "Teen Accused of Shooting Cat in Eye with Arrow.")

Bows and guns are manufactured and sold for only one purpose: to kill. Whether the intended victim is a defenseless animal or an individual, these lethal devices do not have any place in any halfway humane society.

The same logic equally applies to Tasers. (See Cat Defender posts of April 8, 2008 and April 28, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Ohio Politician Purposes Adding Cats to the Growing List of Pigs, Other Animals, and Humans Killed by Tasers" and "Orange County Sheriff's Department Is Accused of Killing a Cat with a Taser at the Theo Lacy Jail.")

Since most legislators are on the payrolls of the National Rife Association and pro-hunting groups, the onus by default falls upon judges and juries to protect animal and human life by severely punishing both individuals and policemen who misuse guns, bows, Tasers, and other lethal weapons.

The task of bringing Arwen's killer to justice is compounded by the lack of interest shown in this case by the New Port Richey Police. For instance, although Arwen's rescuer telephoned 911, the department did not even dispatch an officer to the crime scene.

Even the filing of an official complaint by Arwen's rescuer has not been sufficient to spur the police into action. Lt. Scott Baker apparently has decided to wait until the killer assaults a person before launching an investigation.

"We often see unfortunate cases later on, when these people become worse and move on to person-on-person crime," he told the St. Petersburg Times on May 11th. (See "Cat's Fate Tears at Hearts.") "There is a pattern."

Besides being a gross dereliction of his sworn duty as an officer of the law, Baker's attitude is nothing short of disgusting. Cats, dogs, and other animals have just as much of a right to live and to be treated humanely as do people.

What was done to Arwen is an outrage and this case should be investigated on its own merits. Waiting around until the perpetrator kills another cat or attacks a person neither satisfies the demands of justice nor protects feline and human life.

Even local animal rights groups are conspicuously silent. The only organization known to even have offered a reward for the capture of the killer is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona!

"Whoever committed this horrific act of animal cruelty should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and undergo psychological counseling," Carmine Cardamone of the Animal Defense Council told the St. Petersburg Times on May 12th. (See "Reward Offered in Cat Cruelty Case.") "We are deeply concerned that the person or persons who perpetrated this barbaric crime will commit more acts of animal cruelty, and will eventually harm people in the community. Cruelty against animals is often an indicator of future violence against humans."

Thousands of cats and other animals are either killed or abused every day around the world but only a handful of these cases make the news. Righteous indignation and complaining have their places but they will not put an end to the killing and abuse.

That will occur only when animal advocacy groups muster the strength in order to force this nation's corrupt-as-hell legal and political establishments into taking animal cruelty cases seriously. In fact, a strong case could be made that individuals who commit these dastardly deeds should be punished even more severely than their counterparts who attack individuals.

In Tolkien's Sindarin, Arwen means "noble woman" which is an especially fitting epithet for the brave little cat who suffered so mightily but yet courageously fought on until her tiny body finally gave out on her. Her remains will be cremated but, sadly, no service is planned.

Perhaps Adams will find it in his heart to at least offer her a proper burial and a tombstone. That alone would go a long way toward ensuring that she does not simply become another victim whose murder has been conveniently forgotten.

Photos: WTSP-TV (Arwen), Pasco Animal Hospital (Adams), and Brendan Fitterer of the St. Petersburg Times (Adams with arrow.)