"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
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
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.")
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).