Trusting Domestic Cat Has Her Left Ear Blown Off with a Firecracker by Cretins Outside an Irish Bar
"She really was in a very bad state and the fact that it was an intentional act is just appalling."
-- Julie Doyle, Avondale Veterinary Hospital
Scarcely a minute ticks off the clock without at least one defenseless cat somewhere in the world being horribly victimized by an unprovoked act of violence. That is not news in itself but the elaborate lengths that ailurophobes are prepared to go in order to commit their heinous crimes continues to shock the conscience.
A good case in point was the dastardly act of cruelty perpetrated against a nameless four- to five-year-old white cat outside a pub called The Old Ship at 44 Main Street in Arklow on the east coast of Ireland on October 29th. That was when one or more cretins jammed a firecracker into the female's left ear and lit the fuse.
The blast blew off not only her ear but part of the left side of her face as well. (See photo above.)
Left for dead, she was discovered by bar patrons at 11 p.m. and rushed to Avondale Veterinary Hospital where Mairead Berkely treated her for shock and monitored her condition throughout the night. The following afternoon she and colleague Tommy Heffernan performed three hours of emergency surgery on the cat during which time her broken jaw was wired, damaged tissue removed from her ear, and a surgical drain inserted.
Miraculously, she is expected to live although she will be deaf. That may not be quite as terrible as it sounds in that since a significant percentage of white cats are deaf she already might have been hearing impaired.
Injuries to her brain, eyes, and motor skills are of paramount concern but since the veterinarians have not publicly commented on those issues it is impossible to speculate as to the quality of life that she will enjoy.
Because of her friendly disposition, she quite obviously is a domesticated cat although at last report no one had come forward to claim her. To their credit, Berkely and Heffernan are treating her gratis and have pledged to secure a permanent home for her as soon as she recovers from her injuries.
In an age where most veterinarians insist upon being paid advance for their services, cat-lovers are in Berkely's and Heffernan's debt for the compassion and generosity that they have showered upon this horribly abused cat. They truly are a credit to their profession.
"She really was in a very bad state and the fact that it was an intentional act is just appalling," Julie Doyle, manager of the hospital, told the Belfast Telegraph on November 11th. (See "Firework Put in Cat's Ear.") "Those who carry out such cruel acts should take a look at the damage they cause and realize it is a very serious situation."
On that last point, she is making the fatal mistake of confusing evil with ignorance. Individuals who commit acts such as this do so fully cognizant of how much pain and damage their actions are going to engender. That is how they gets their kicks and no amount of schooling is going to transform them into law-abiding citizens.
Moral outrage and indignation also have lost their sting. Consequently, the only remedy is to bring the culprits to justice as soon as possible, convict them, and then line them up against a wall and shoot them. They are not fit to go on breathing.
This is the second horrific crime perpetrated against cats in Ireland within recent months. Back in September, a domestic cat named Fifi was brutally killed by a drunk outside an unidentified watering hole in Limerick. (See Cat Defender post of September 18, 2008 entitled "Drunken Brute Beats, Stabs, and Then Hurls Fifi to Her Death Against the Side of a House in Limerick.")
As far as it is known, no arrests have been made in Fifi's death and the outcome in Arklow more than likely will be the same. The police do not take animal cruelty seriously and on those rare occasions when a conscientious district attorney does prosecute judges invariably turn loose the abusers and killers.
In addition to the constables' total lack of interest, there are several other striking parallels between the two cases. For starters, both victims were house cats and it was precisely their domestication that made possible their abuse.
In this respect at least, the ingrained fear that ferals have of humans gives them a big advantage over their far more trusting domiciled cousins. This benefit is more than negated, however, by the numerous deprivations that they suffer which in turn make them easy prey for skilled trappers who starve them half to death in order to rob them of their freedom, fertility and, quite often, lives.
Secondly, both incidents occurred outside drinking establishments. While alcohol definitely played a part in Fifi's death, it is yet to be determined what, if any, role it played in the attack upon the cat in Arklow.
Thirdly, since fireworks feature so prominently in attacks upon cats in Ireland and Angleterre, cat-lovers in both countries should be demanding that their sale, along with that of BB guns, be interdicted. The staging of pyrotechnics should be under the strict control of the local authorities. (See Cat Defender post of November 30, 2006 entitled "Yobs Celebrating Guy Fawkes Day Kill Twelve-Year-Old Cat Named Tigger; Cat Named Sid Is Severely Burned.")
In his 1974 recording "Streets of Arklow," Van Morrison spoke of the city as "God's green land" and extolled its "drenching beauty" and "clean souls." There is no doubt a scintilla of truth in those lyrics but the souls of those persons who assaulted this defenseless cat are anything but clean; au contraire, they are every bit as black as the one that belongs to the devil that they serve.
Photo: Belfast Telegraph.