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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

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In Memoriam: Trooper Survives Being Thrown from a Speeding Automobile Only to Later Die on the Operating Table

"Oh Death, please consider my age
Please don't take me at this stage...
Oh Death, oh Death
Won't you spare me over till another year?"
-- Ralph Stanley

There are plenty of misty eyes and broken hearts at the Mount Pleasant Veterinary Clinic in Chesapeake, Virginia these days. Little Trooper has died at the tender age of eight-weeks.

His tragic demise began on July 31st when he was tossed from a speeding automobile on Route 168 South somewhere in the vicinity of the North Carolina and Virginia border. Luckily, he was picked up by Michele Laney of Moyock who rushed him to the veterinary clinic.

The hazel-eyed, twenty-four-ounce black and white kitten sustained a broken rear leg as well as cuts and bruises to his face as the result of this diabolical act of animal cruelty. Pins were inserted in his femur and the leg was placed in a cast. Antibiotics were administered and he was put on a high-protein diet.

As soon as his plight became known to the general public, get-well cards, gift baskets, and money for his treatment poured in so profusely that the clinic was forced into taking the unprecedented step of turning away donations. For his part, Trooper seemed to be responding so well to treatment that he was expected to go home with Laney, who had decided to adopt him, in about a week.

"He is really doing fabulously," veterinary technician Gabrielle Reed told The Virginian Pilot on August 7th. (See "Kitten Thrown from Chesapeake Car Is Healing, Enjoying Fame.")

A few days later, however, Trooper's condition took a tragic turn for the worst. His lungs collapsed and his kidneys started to fail.

Emergency surgery was performed on him August 14th in order to install a catheter but he stopped breathing and died unexpectedly shortly after completion of the procedure. "We performed CPR for ten to fifteen minutes," Reed told The Virginian Pilot on August 19th. (See "Kitten Thrown from Car Dies After Surgery in Chesapeake.") "We couldn't resuscitate him."

Reed and her colleagues theorize that Trooper must have sustained internal injuries that did not show up on the initial X-rays taken shortly after he was admitted to the clinic. He also more than likely was just too young for his system to cope with the severity of his injuries.

Both the clinic and Laney are mum on burial plans and whether or not there will be a memorial service. The clinic nonetheless has announced that it will be returning to the community the more than $2,000 donated for Trooper's care.

Although the staff at the hospital knew that one day they would have to say good-bye to the adorable kitten who loved to be held they certainly did not anticipate that it would be under these somber circumstances. "We're all running around holding him when we get the chance," Barbara Springer told The Virginian Pilot in the August 7th article cited supra. "I'm trying not to get attached because it'll break your heart when he leaves."

That is a feeling that Reed understands only too well. "He got through what is known in medicine as the hardest days," she told The Virginian Pilot in the August 19th article cited supra. "I allowed myself to get attached. My heart is broken." (See photo below of her and Trooper in happier days.)

As sad and heartrending as Trooper's story is, all of the grief obscures an even harsher reality, namely, that his is not an isolated case. Au fait, scarcely a day goes by without several cats being tossed from automobiles.

Most of them never make it to a veterinary hospital and as a consequence their plights do not become part of public consciousness. They instead are either run over by oncoming motorists who refuse to brake for them or limp away to die alone in the woods from their untreated injuries.

One of the fortunate ones to survive such an ordeal was an orange tabby named Freeway who was tossed from a gray pickup truck on I-95 near Stuart, Florida on Boxing Day. (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.")

He sustained abrasions to his face, nose, and ears but no fractures unless a broken tooth counts. Like Trooper, he was lucky enough to have been rescued by a passing motorist, in this case Catherine Barton, who procured emergency medical treatment for him.

Dumping cats on the side of the road and locking them inside abandoned houses are horrible enough deeds in their own right, but it takes an inveterate cat-hater to toss one out the window of a speeding automobile. Moreover, such heinous acts are not committed solely in order to get rid of unwanted felines, but rather for the sadistic thrill of inflicting as much pain and damage as possible upon defenseless animals.

Furthermore, it is doubtful that any of the perpetrators of these despicable acts ever have been arrested and forced to answer for their crimes. That is because it is not only difficult to track down such fiends, but also due to the fact that the law enforcement community has never taken cruelty to cats seriously.

Even when the police and SPCA officials do their jobs neither prosecutors nor judges are willing to punish offenders. (See Cat Defender post of August 21, 2008 entitled "Justice Denied: Exterminator Who Gassed Three Cats at the Behest of Fox-35 in Richmond Gets Off with a Minuscule Fine.")

In other cases, unsympathetic juries refuse to follow the law and convict. (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.")

Trooper certainly did not deserve to be either abused in such a horrible manner or to have his life ended so shortly after it only had begun. He was a lovable and friendly kitten who no doubt would have grown into a very special cat that would have enriched the lives of everyone around him.

Alas, none of that is any longer possible. As legendary bluegrass performer Ralph Stanley knows only too well, there is no dickering with the Grim Reaper:

"Oh Death, please consider my age
Please don't take me at this stage...
Oh Death, oh Death
Won't you spare me over till another year?"

Requiescat in pace, Trooper. Your sojourn upon this earth may have been brief, but it was not in vain and you will live on in the memories of everyone who was fortunate enough to have known you.

You experienced firsthand the best and worst that human nature has to offer and yet somehow managed to embrace life with an open heart. In doing so, you became an inspiration for one and all.

Photos: Brian Clark of Hampton Roads TV (Trooper) and Moggies (Trooper and Reed).