Yellow Two Is Shot and Maimed for Life at Fort Hood in the United States Army's Latest Criminal Offense Against Cats
"They carry diseases and are a nuisance around units when training because they (the units) have food. We have several endangered species on Fort Hood and, in fact, the feral cats and dogs are the biggest threats."
-- Chuck Medley of Fort Hood
Yellow Two has pins in his right front leg and walks with a limp. In approximately three and one-half months veterinarians will reevaluate him in order to determine if the pins can be removed.
While his long-term prognosis is uncertain, it is a foregone conclusion that he has been maimed and most likely faces a diminished life expectancy. (See photo above.)
At around 9 a.m. on April 28th, he crawled through a barbed-wire fence that separates his owner's ranch on Maxdale Road in Killeen, Texas, from the United States Army's base at Fort Hood. His presence inside the compound was immediately detected by a cat-hating pest control officer who wasted no time in putting a bullet through his leg.
Yellow Two crumpled to the ground in a patch of dense brush and the unidentified pest control officer, satisfied with both himself and his dirty deed, left him to die a prolonged and agonizing death while he continued on his merry rounds seeking out other defenseless cats to kill. More than likely that would have been the end of the line for Yellow Two if his owner, Herman Wright, had not been working outside and heard the gunshot.
Upon investigation, he discovered his wounded cat and rushed him to a local veterinarian who stanched the bleeding, inserted the pins, and placed his leg in a splint. The good news is that the one-year-old bobtailed cat has survived this senseless and unprovoked attack; the bad news is that he probably never will be able to climb or jump properly again and is going to have to learn to live with pain for the remainder of his life.
The incident has, quite justifiably, infuriated Wright. "I'm getting madder by the minute. There's no reason (for the shooting)," he told The Killeen Daily Herald on May 3rd. (See "Game Warden Shoots Cat; Post Investigating.") "That cat was no danger to him."
Moreover, it is not only the wounding of Yellow Two that disturbs Wright but the pest control officer's callous act of leaving him to suffer. "If he's going to shoot something, he should make sure it's dead, not just lying there," he added.
Wright's girlfriend, Belinda Robertson, was ever blunter in her criticism. "Some people may say it's just a cat, but a federal game warden has no business shooting a cat," she told The Killeen Daily Herald in the article cited supra.
In the uproar that followed the shooting, the pest control officer was temporarily relieved of his responsibilities and assigned to administrative duties while the Army conducted its own so-called investigation. The inquiry now has been completed and, as predictable as it is that feces is going to smell, the Army has exonerated the pest control officer.
Chuck Medley, acting director of emergency services at Fort Hood, ostensibly claims that Yellow Two was shot because he was not wearing a collar. As it will be shortly demonstrated, that self-serving hogwash hardly jives with the facts.
Since the cat was shot in dense brush and from an unspecified distance, it is unlikely that the pest control officer was in any position to see if he was wearing a collar or not. Secondly, he could have been wearing a breakaway collar which is designed to come off whenever it becomes snagged in brush, barbed-wire, or other objects that might have asphyxiated him.
Thirdly, collars are passe as identification devices in that more and more cat owners are opting for implanted microchips. In fact, just about all shelters implant chips in the felines that they offer to the public for adoption.
Consequently, Medley's overreliance upon Yellow Two's lack of a collar is a totally bogus argument. In addition to there not being any surefire way to distinguish between ferals and strays on the one hand and domestics on the other hand, a cat's inalienable right to life and liberty is not nullified by its socio-economic status.
To indulge in such sottise is tantamount to claiming that only the rich and the bourgeoisie are entitled to the protections afforded by the law whereas it is permissible to gun down with impunity the impecunious and working class. Of course, it almost goes without saying that based upon its criminal conduct in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, and elsewhere, it is not surprising that the Army has no regard for the lives of cats.
In reality, it does not have any regard for life at all, whether it be human, animal, or environmental. Its sole raison d'etre is to kill and destroy. As an old Chinese proverb maintains, "One does not make soldiers out of good men anymore than one makes bullets out of good steel."
Cat-haters, whether they be bird advocates, wildlife biologists, or the United States Military, are the easiest of all puzzles to solve. This is because the antipathy that they harbor in their malignant bosoms for the feline species is seldom far from the surface no matter how much effort they put into trying to camouflage their true feelings.
As far as the case at hand is concerned, it certainly did not take Medley long to show his hand. "They carry diseases and are a nuisance around units when training because they (the units) have food," he pontificated to The Killeen Daily Herald on July 3rd. (See "Fort Hood: Cat Shooting Unfortunate, but Legal.") "We have several endangered species on Fort Hood and, in fact, the feral cats and dogs are the biggest threats."
So, in the end, the truth finally emerges and, lo and behold, the petit fait that Yellow Two was not wearing a collar had absolutely nothing to do with the attempt on his life. The real reason he was shot is that the United States Army hates cats.
Furthermore, Medley's outrageous slanders and lies sound as if they were taken verbatim from press releases distributed by the American Bird Conservancy and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). (See Cat Defender post of June 15, 2009 entitled "American Bird Conservancy, The New York Times, and the Humane Society Unite to Form an Achse of Boesen Against Cats.")
Regardless of whichever group is responsible for their espousal, these lies are so old, tired, and worn-out that they sound like a broken record. Nonetheless, since such diverse media outlets as The Killeen Daily Herald and The New York Times continue to view their role in society as to function as the cat-haters' public relations department, it is necessary once again to refute them.
First of all, cats are extremely clean animals that neither carry diseases nor make nuisances of themselves. On the contrary, it is precisely birds and other wildlife that carry and spread deadly diseases, such as Schweinegrippe, and destroy property.
Wildlife also pollute streams with their excrement. For example, more than half of the bacteria found in Virginia's Potomac and Anacostia rivers and the Magothy River and Accotink Creek in Maryland comes from wildlife. (See Washington Post, September 29, 2006, "Wildlife Waste Is Major Water Polluter, Studies Say.")
More to the point, the United States Military is arguably the world's biggest menace to the animals and the environment. To pretend that bullets, saturation bombing, chemical warfare, nuclear weapons, and such modern killing devices as depleted uranium, white phosphorous, and cluster bombs ever could be friendly to wildlife and the environment is even more preposterous than for the coal companies to claim that leveling five-hundred mountains in Appalachia is good for the people and the region.
Even the air and noise pollution that the armed forces' planes, ships, rockets, and tanks emit during training maneuvers and on the battlefield do irreparable damage to the health of all living beings, including Mother Earth. Moreover, unless they have their sticky fingers in the till, it is difficult to believe that residents living in close proximity to a military base would ever classify it as being anything other than a public nuisance.
Second of all, cats pose only a very limited threat to endangered species when compared to the egregious crimes committed by the military against both wildlife and the environment. The recovery credit system in place at Fort Hood is itself an acknowledgement of that reality.
Fashioned after the discredited anti-pollution cap and trade policies of the EU and Turtle Bay, the recovery credit system allows Fort Hood to kill endangered species and to destroy their habitats at a rate commensurate with that which the Pentagon is able to convince local landowners to temporarily set aside habitat for the endangered Golden-Cheeked Warbler. Administered by the cat-cloners at Texas A&M University of College Station, this program so far has doled out $4.4 million to landowners and contractors.
Plans also are in the works to expand this program to Camp Lejeune in eastern North Carolina where the activities of the United States Marine Corps are impacting upon the endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpecker. The Federal Highway Administration also is expected to get in on the deal even though it is unclear how any animal could possibly last for long living alongside a busy thoroughfare.
Combining war machines and kamikaze motorists on the one hand with animals and pristine environments on the other hand is akin to mixing vodka and toxic sludge in a glass and then pretending to have a potable refreshment. (See Washington Post, February 9, 2009, "Pentagon Issues 'Credits' to Offset Harm to Wildlife.")
The lies, corruption, and egregious crimes committed against cats and other animals nonetheless continue to persist. Currently, the United States Navy is assisting the USFWS and bird advocates in the gunning down of two-hundred cats on San Nicolas Island, off the coast of Los Angeles, where it maintains a large base.
This deplorable situation is not much better for wildlife in that those animals not either mowed down or traumatized to death by the Navy are in turn repeatedly subjected to continuous trappings, electronic collarings, medical manipulations, and experimental captive-breeding initiatives run by wildlife biologists. In the end, the cats are exterminated and wildlife enslaved all in the name of conservation.
It also is important to bear in mind that most of the cats currently being eliminated, or at least their ancestors, were brought to the island by naval personnel who used and abused them and then abandoned them to fend for themselves. That sort of crass, unconscionable behavior is so typical of the godless American war machine which also leaves behind tens of thousands of half-breed, illegitimate children whenever it ventures abroad.
Even the rank opportunists and inveterate shekel chasers at the Humane Society of the United States have been brought on board in order to help the Navy and the USFWS to legitimize their heinous crimes. (See Cat Defender posts of June 27, 2008, July 10, 2008, and April 28, 2009 entitled, respectively, "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas Island," "The Ventura County Star Races to the Defense of the Cat-Killers on San Nicolas Island," and "Quislings at the Humane Society Sell Out San Nicolas's Cats to the Assassins at the Diabolical United States Fish and Wildlife Service.")
For whatever it is worth, Fort Hood has instituted new regulations that require pest control officers to report to their superiors whenever they shoot animals and to identify their victims as best they can before they leave the killing field. "We just wanted to strengthen the policy a little bit more to make sure we didn't have another unfortunate incident like that," Medley somehow managed to spit out with a straight face to The Killeen Daily Herald in the July 3rd article cited supra.
As it is immediately obvious for all except the mentally impaired to comprehend, these new regulation would not have saved Yellow Two from being gunned down and left to die. Moreover, they do absolutely nothing to put a stop to Fort Hood's flagrant crimes against cats.
Even more astonishing, if pest control officers are unable to identify what they are shooting at they do not have any business shooting at all. Once an animal, or an individual, has been shot it is too late most of the time to undo the damage.
None of that has deterred Medley from continuing to lay on the lies with a trowel. "We want to make sure we're doing the right thing," he added to The Killeen Daily Herald on July 3rd.
To their eternal credit, neither Wright nor Robertson believe a word of Fort Hood's outrageous lies and are continuing to seek justice for Yellow Two. Although they failed in their quest to have the pest control officer charged with animal cruelty, they have filed a $5,000 claim against the installation in an effort to recoup the $5,000 that they have spent so far on veterinary care for Yellow Two and as compensation for the irreparable damage done to his health. The Army is expected to drag its feet for up to six months before turning down Wright and Robertson flat without so much as a lousy dime in compensation.
The sniveling cowards and bare-faced liars at Fort Hood should stop acting like spoiled, snot-nosed teens and admit that they are in the wrong. They should not only immediately pay Wright and Robertson the $5,000 that they are demanding, but pledge to cover all of Yellow Two's future veterinary bills.
Even that petit gesture would neither restore Yellow Two's health nor adequately compensate Wright and Robertson for their anguish. "I felt I couldn't put a price on my cat," Robertson told The Killeen Herald on July 3rd. "My cat is still limping. I think he's going to stay crippled."
Fort Hood also should issue a formal apology to Wright and Robertson. The pest control officer should be identified and turned over to civilian authorities for prosecution. Contrary to what an awful lot of people in this country believe, soldiers are not above the law anymore than corporations and former Vice Presidents.
Above all, the United States Army must change its policies and safeguard the lives of all cats on and near its facilities. As a first step in that process, Fort Hood should be compelled to make a public accounting of exactly how many cats it has killed since it opened for business in 1942.
If it does not want cats on its bases, the proper thing for the United States Military to do would be to humanely trap the animals and deliver them to either no-kill shelters or sanctuaries. Its persistent failure to do even that much proves conclusively that it not only hates cats but believes, as do birders and the USFWS, that the only good cat is a dead one.
As far as the monetary damages are concerned, Fort Hood has no business squealing like a stuck pig in light of the fact that the United States Military is an even bigger welfare bum than Wall Street, Detroit, Israel, and big agriculture combined. Since every cent that it has in its bulging coffers comes directly from the people, it therefore does not have a valid excuse for not paying Wright and Robertson.
It is an often overlooked point, but the United States Military is paid the astronomical sums that it is in order to keep America safe from its foreign enemies, not to go around gunning down its citizens' cats. Unlike the Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services, it is not supposed to be acting as the USFWS's death squad.
The inhumane and disgraceful way in which cats are treated at Fort Hood is typical of the way that they are mercilessly abused at America's six-thousand domestic military installations and its more than one-thousand facilities abroad. Although an official death warrant was issued in 2002 for all non-working animals on its bases, the American military has been killing and abusing cats with impunity ever since it came into existence. (See Shawn Plourde, "What Did You Do in the War, Fido?")
For example, the Air Force's Three-Hundred-Eightieth Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron's Entomology Flight tramps the globe looking for cats to kill. In 2006, it killed at least one-hundred-fifty-eight felines at Al Udied, a base that the United States shares with its Qatari counterparts. (See photo further up the page of a caged yellow cat right before it was executed.)
Even when the military is not actually doing the killing itself it is contracting out the work to the likes of Halliburton and its former subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown, and Root. This is how most of Baghdad's cats were eliminated. (See Cat Defender posts of November 14, 2006 and July 16, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Military Killing Cats and Dogs by the Tens of Thousands as Imperialistic America Attempts to Conquer the World" and "Targeted for Elimination by the American War Machine and Cheney's Henchmen, Baghdad's Cats Are Befriended by an English Mercenary.")
An attempt was even made in 2005 to do in the cats whose ancestors have been living on the grounds of the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia, since the days of the Johnson Administration. Fortunately, Alley Cat Allies and Democratic Congressman John P. Murtha were able to put the kibosh to that devilry. (See Cat Defender post of January 19, 2006 entitled "Public Outcry Forces Army Navy Country Club to Scrap Plans to Evict and Exterminate Long-Tern Resident Felines.")
The trumped up war on terrorism also has cost innumerable cats their lives as vacant buildings that they once called home have been demolished in order to make room for mock anti-terrorism drills. (See Cat Defender post of June 9, 2005 entitled "War on Terrorism Costs Cats Their Home -- and Maybe Their Lives Also.")
In stark contrast to the totally reprehensible and murderous polices pursued by military brass, numerous enlisted personnel as well as lower-ranking officers continue to go out of their way in order to rescue cats and kittens. One of the most compelling rescues occurred on June 22nd at Hurlburt Field in Mary Esther, Florida, when members of the Five-Hundred-Fifth Command and Control Wing pulled a quartet of four-day-old kittens from inside a wall. (See Air Force Print News, June 25, 2009, "Airmen Rescue Kittens Inside Wall.")
At Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, the Ninety-Fifth Mission Support Group has hired a one-year-old gray Maine Coon and Manx-Mix named Wizzo as a weapons support officer. (See photo above.)
In civilian parlance that means he is head mouser at the base's supply warehouse. So far, Wizzo has garnered nothing but accolades for both his proficiency as a mouser and as a dear companion.
"Wizzo is our mobility rodent deterrent," Warehouse Specialist Heather Chapman said at the time that his appointment was announced to the public. "He was brought in for pest control and is earning his keep by doing his job." (See Cat Defender post of August 6, 2007 entitled "In a Marked Departure from Its Cat Killing Ways, Air Force Hires Wizzo as Head Mouser at California Warehouse.")
Not all enlisted men and women harbor soft spots in their hearts for cats, however; in fact, some of them can be every bit as brutal as the cat-hating cretins that they serve. At the United States Naval Base in Rota, Spain, for example, sailors routinely poison cats with antifreeze and suffocate kittens in plastic bags. (See Stars and Stripes, European Edition, April 28, 2004, "Navy Policy Has Compounded Problem of Stray Cats at Rota, Some Say.")
Photos: Wright and Robertson (Yellow Two), Jason Tudor of the Air Force (cat at Al Udeid), and Mike Young of the Air Force (Wizzo).