Sixteen-Year-Old London Girl Is Finally Arrested in the Horrific Drowning Death of Kilo from the HMS Belfast
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
-- Mohandas Gandhi
An arrest finally has been made in the despicable killing of the HMS Belfast's mascot and resident mouser, Kilo. (See photo above.)
At around 6 a.m. on February 9th, three yobs boarded the museum ship as it was anchored near the London Bridge and hurled the defenseless moggy to his death in the Thames. Adopted from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in 2007, he had been on the job for less than a year. (See Cat Defender post of July 17, 2008 entitled "Trio of Laughing Yobs Board HMS Belfast and Hurl Kilo to His Death in the Thames.")
An unidentified sixteen-year-old girl from the Enfield section of London was arrested on September 3rd and charged with animal cruelty. She was arraigned on September 10th in Camberwell Green Youth Court where she pleaded not guilty and was released on bail.
She is expected to stand trial later this year but that is a mere formality and this is probably the last that anyone will ever hear of the matter. Since the courts so steadfastly refuse to punish adults who kill cats, it is a foregone conclusion that they are not about to hold a minor accountable.
Surveillance cameras aboard the HMS Belfast did, however, capture her image and it has been reported in the media that her first name is Jessica. (See photo below. She is either number 4219 or 4220.) Nevertheless, the authorities are refusing to divulge her full name because of her age. (See Southwark News, September 15, 2008, "Alleged Cat Killer Caught.")
If, as Mohandas Gandhi once said, "the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated," English society is rapidly going down the toilet. Although the island nation most certainly has its fair share of ailurophiles, there are many within its borders who have declared it to be open season on all cats.
For instance, the RSPCA investigated 137,245 cases of animal cruelty in 2007 which marked a twelve per cent increase over the previous year. These inquiries resulted in 1,197 convictions for cruelty to dogs but only two-hundred-seventy-seven convictions for feline abuse.
Even more disturbingly, only fifty-four of those convicted received any jail time. (See RSPCA press release of July 30, 2008, "Animal Victims of Our Throwaway Society.")
As far as cats are concerned, the RSPCA's figures are either grossly inaccurate or the organization is not doing its job. Even a casual perusal of the London dailies reveals dozens of unspeakable attacks upon cats each week. Extrapolating that bit of anecdotal evidence and applying it nationwide, it would not be farfetched to put the annual number of attacks on cats to be in the tens of thousands.
Just as was the case with Kilo, the overwhelming majority of these unconscionable attacks are committed by juveniles. While BB guns are their primary weapons of choice, Guy Fawkes Day ushers in a slew of assaults involving firecrackers. (See Cat Defender posts of May 7, 2007 and November 30, 2006 entitled, respectively, "British Punks Are Having a Field Day Maiming Cats with Air Guns but the Peelers Continue to Look the Other Way" and "Yobs Celebrating Guy Fawkes Day Kill Twelve-Year-Old Cat Named Tigger with Fireworks; Cat Named Sid Is Severely Burned.")
Still other felines have been tragically disfigured in acid attacks. (See 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.")
A cat named Bella was kicked to death last year by her owner for having muddy paws. Others have been maimed by illegal leghold traps and purposefully stalked and killed by dogs sicced on them by ailurophobes.
The current craze sweeping the country is to poison cats with antifreeze. During the past five months, for instance, at least twenty-seven cats have died after ingesting the deadly substance in the towns of Bridgwater and Weston-super-Mare in Somerset County. (See Daily Mail, September 30, 2008, "Fears that West Country Cat Killer Who Murdered Eighteen Moggies with Antifreeze Has Moved...and Killed Nine More.")
As per usual, bird lovers also have gotten in on the act by illegally trapping and dumping their neighbors' cats. (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.")
It is thoroughly reprehensible that the authorities refuse to take seriously attacks upon cats. Those responsible should be apprehended and severely punished regardless of their age.
Moreover, the RSPCA certainly does not engender respect for the sanctity of feline life when it illegally traps and kills the very cats that it has been sworn to protect. (See Cat Defender post of June 5, 2007 entitled "RSPCA's Unlawful Seizure and Senseless Killing of Mork Leaves His Sister, Mindy, Brokenhearted and His Caretakers Devastated.")
Even more astounding, the politicians continue to permit the retail sale of BB guns, fireworks, acid, and leghold traps. Since they are so unwilling to punish those who abuse and kill cats, they should at the very least interdict the sale of the weapons and substances that the perpetrators utilize in order to commit their hideous and barbaric crimes.
As far as antifreeze is concerned, a sour tasting and smelling chemical can be added to the lethal mixture so as to make it unattractive for felines. Doing so would only add a few cents to the cost of each container and it would save the lives of countless cats.
If the manufacturers were halfway decent and responsible individuals they would undertake this life-saving initiative on their own. Since they obviously are unwilling to do so, government should force them to act.
As for poor Kilo, his body was never found and he most likely now lies at either the bottom of the Thames or has been swept out to sea by the current. He was a lovely cat who had so much to live for and so much to give.
He also had a twin brother named Oscar who disappeared without a trace last Christmas Eve. Hopefully, the yobs did not get him as well and he has found sanctuary somewhere and is alive and well.
Photos: HMS Belfast.