Disoriented and Racked with Excruciating Pain, Seizures, and Infections, Sparkles Loses Her Long Struggle to Live
"The cat had been through so much. She fought for weeks and weeks and I am just so saddened that she could not hold on any longer...She hung on so long but she was just in pain and disoriented. It was very difficult."
-- Sparkles' unidentified guardian
In yet still another tragic denouement to one of last year's most heartbreaking stories, little Sparkles has lost her six-week tussle with the Grim Reaper and died. The end came about a month ago when her guardian and staff at Avondale Veterinary Hospital in Arklow decided to euthanize her. (See photos above and below.)
With the world being so chock-full of ailurophobes, individuals who work with cats on a daily basis sooner or later come to anticipate a certain amount of suffering and abuse. Nevertheless, some cases are destined to remain forever indelibly etched in human consciousness and this is certainly one of them.
The four to five-year-old white female was discovered drenched in blood and near death on October 29th by bar patrons at The Old Ship located at 44 Main Street in Arklow, south of Dublin. Her left ear and the back of her head had been blown off by a firecracker that had been deliberately rammed into her ear canal and then lighted.
Veterinarians at Avondale rewired her broken jaw and removed damaged tissue from her ear. Against all odds, the brave little moggy survived numerous rounds of surgery and was expected to recover although she was destined to be deaf. (See Cat Defender post of November 20, 2008 entitled "Trusting Domestic Cat Has Her Left Ear Blown Off with a Firecracker by Cretins Outside an Irish Bar.")
After she was cleared to leave the hospital she was adopted by an unidentified party from the Templerainey section of the city. Some miracles are just too good to last, however, and the infections and seizures that she was prone to simply refused to abate.
Consequently, the decision was made to end her life. Whether or not that was the correct call it is difficult to say.
Life is not only precious but short and as a general rule not a single second of it should be sacrificed to either expediency or necessity. Nevertheless, no matter how much everyone wanted her to live there can be no denying that horrific pain was the price that she was paying for her perseverance.
"The cat had been through so much. She fought for weeks and weeks and I am just so saddened that she could not hold on any longer," her owner told Wicklow People on December 17th. (See "Cat Injured by Firecracker Loses Its Battle to Survive.") "She hung on so long but she was just in pain and disoriented. It was very difficult."
Sparkles' brutal murder has left her owner with a wound of her own that steadfastly refuses to heal. "I'm just so angry and upset. The people who did this need to know the consequences of their actions and realize how serious this is," she told Wicklow People.
While perfectly understandable, her last comment is off-target because the monster who committed this despicable act did so knowing exactly how much damage it was going to engender. In fact, it is through the maiming and killing of defenseless cats and homeless men that sadistic cretins of this genre get their kicks. (See Washington Post, January 10, 2009, "Fatally Beaten Homeless Man Lives On in the Songs He Sang.")
Consequently, it is ludicrous to believe that such devils can be rehabilitated through education. More than likely the perpetrator is extremely pleased with either himself or herself and has enjoyed to the hilt Sparkles' suffering.
Au contraire, what is needed first of all is a total ban on the sale of all fireworks and BB guns. Secondly, animal lovers must demand that police, prosecutors, and judges begin to take animal cruelty seriously.
The fact that no arrests have been made in this case proves that, despite all the public pronouncements to the contrary, the authorities in Wicklow County simply do not care how many cats are horribly abused and killed. More than likely, the police have not even opened an investigation into Sparkles' murder.
It is not a certainty but there is a good chance that Sparkles knew her attacker since it is difficult for a perfect stranger to get that close to even a domesticated cat. The petit fait that her previous owner did not come forward to claim her after her photograph appeared in several local newspapers tends to lend a certain degree of credence to this line of thinking.
This is definitely a lead worth pursuing. Unfortunately, it appears that the police in Wicklow County are such good-for-nothing bums that they are not about to lift a finger in order to bring Sparkles' killer to justice. That is a perennial problem with cops everywhere in that they never can be counted on to do their jobs because they are too busy engaging in either illegal activities or goldbricking.
As for Sparkles, it is impossible to underestimate just how horribly she was made to suffer during the last six-weeks of her life. It is a shame that her life had to end the way it did, but it is an even bigger disgrace that Irish society is so callous that it winks at such barbaric crimes.
Finally, it is highly unlikely that it was a mere coincidence that this heinous crime was perpetrated outside a bar. For instance, last summer a cat named Fifi was horribly killed by drunks 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.")
The Irish possess many admirable qualities but a love of sobriety is not one of them. Since they quite obviously are incapable of holding their liquor they would be far better off if restrictions were placed on its manufacture and sale.
Photos: Wicklow People (Sparkles and an unidentified woman) and Belfast Telegraph (Sparkles).