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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stefan W., Who Publicly Boasted of Scalding Kitty to Death in a Washing Machine, Is Let Off by a Berlin Court with a Measly Fine

"Sie ist doch von alleine rein in die Maschine. Ich idiot hab' das im Park den Kollegen erzaehlt. Denunzianten!"
-- Stefan W.

With hatred of cats being as old and as widespread as it is, it is easy to be lulled into believing that human ingenuity has exhausted itself when it comes to the various methods of eradicating them. Ailurophobes cannot, however, be underestimated under any circumstances.

"All things were possible with cats because some people seem to regard them as fair game for any cruelty," veterinarian James Herriot observed in his book, Cat Stories. They are routinely drowned, suffocated, dumped on busy highways, electrocuted, frozen to death, shot with bullets, arrows, Tasers, and BBs, doused with acid, hideously mutilated, poisoned, snared in deadly leghold traps, and even run through wood chippers.

Shelters gas and poison millions of them each year, the Chinese, Swiss, and Australians consume their flesh and traffic in their pelts, vivisectors have a field day torturing the life out of them, and the diabolical South Africans killed thousands of them on Marion Island by deliberately infecting them with panleukemia. It is scarcely a wonder that cats are said to have nine lives because they certainly need all of them.

To this ever-growing list of feline eradication methods, scalding in hot water must now be added. Back in June, thirty-nine-year-old Stefan W. from the community of Steglitz in the borough of Steglitz-Zehlendorf in southwest Berlin was convicted of scalding to death his cat, Kitty, in a washing machine. (See photo of him above.)

Incensed over Kitty's incessant grooming, Stefan stuffed the small mackerel-colored cat into his washing machine along with a blanket and started the wash cycle. Amazingly, Kitty somehow survived this ordeal but that served only to further anger Stefan who subsequently put her through a second cycle which ultimately killed her.

He then froze her body, thawed it out, and finally buried it. He then went out and bought another cat.

In all likelihood, this monster would have gotten away with his hideous crime if he had not gone to the park and boasted of his evil deed to acquaintances who, to their credit, did the right thing and ratted him out to the authorities. "Sie ist doch von alleine rein in die Maschine," he is quoted by B.Z. Berlin on June 24th as saying. (See "Katze in Maschine totgewaschen.") "Ich idiot hab' das im Park den Kollegen erzaehlt. Denunzianten!"

At his trial, Stefan thought that he could escape punishment by mouthing an insincere "tut mir ja so leid," but the presiding judge refused to have any of that. "Sie haben Katze Kitty im Waschgang gewaschen, um sie zu toeten!" the judge fired back.

In the end, however, Stefan got off rather lightly in that the judge fined him only thirteen-hundred-fifty euros and barred him from owning any more cats. For such a despicable crime he should have been given life in prison without parole.

Just as Kitty failed to receive justice from a Berlin court, so too was the case with a Welsh cat known as Paws. (See photo above.)

The six-year-old deaf white cat was scalded to death in a washing machine on July 8, 2006 by then forty-two-year-old Diane Hannon of Old Colwyn in Conwy County Borough. The official cause of death was listed as a heart attack, but the cat also suffered severe burns and a loss of fur as the result of the scalding that it received.

At the time of the crime, Hannon was cat-sitting at the flat of her boyfriend, Duncan Carthy, while he was away visiting his son. Before he departed, the duo had argued about his ex-wife and children. (See photo above of her.)

In a jealous fit, Hannon then took out her frustrations on Paws. When Carthy later telephoned to inquire about Paws, Hannon is quoted by the BBC on December 19, 2006 as telling him, "I hate you! No, I've killed it!" (See "Pet Cat Killed in Washing Machine.")

At that time, Carthy thought that Hannon was having him on but when he returned home the next day to an empty apartment he discovered to his horror that she had not been jesting. In fact, she had not even bothered to remove Paws's scalded body from the washing machine.

This case is somewhat of an anomaly in that the perpetrator was a woman. In most domestic disputes involving cats it is almost always the man who takes out his wrath on his partner's cat.

That was what happened recently when former New York Mets' farmhand Joseph Petcka used a pair of steel-toed boots in order to stomp to death Sports Illustrated reporter Lisa Altobelli's cat, Norman.

At her trial in Llandudno Magistrates Court in November of 2006, Hannon readily admitted that she had indeed intended to harm the totally innocent Paws but not to kill the cat. Speaking in her defense, lawyer Peter Brown told the court that since she was suffering from depression she was not thinking "coldly and calmly" at the time of the incident.

Although he declared that this was the worst act of animal cruelty to ever come before him, District Judge Andrew Shaw ultimately bought into Brown's argument and let off his client with a four-month suspended jail sentence. Hannon was banned from owning any pets for as long as she lives and ordered to pay three-hundred pounds in court costs but those added punishments are too trivial to be of any consequence.

Despite the absurdity of the ruling, the RSPCA's Kevin Paton was pleased with the outcome. "This sends a strong signal to the public that animal cruelty will not be tolerated," he ludicrously crowed to the BBC on February 5, 2007. (See "Suspended Sentence for Cat Killer.")

If press reports are to be believed, a tomcat named Zorro from Hannover escaped serious injury this past July 31st when he inadvertently became trapped inside a washing machine. (See photo of him directly above.)

The unsuspecting cat allegedly climbed into the already loaded machine on July 30th and slept there overnight. At seven a.m. the following morning, three-year-old Can and four-year-old Deniz activated the machine without realizing that Zorro was inside.

Once Zorro started screaming, his plight came to the attention of the boys' twenty-one-year-old mother who inexplicably telephoned the Fire Department as opposed to simply shutting off the machine. Luckily for Zorro, the firefighters arrived a scant ten minutes later and freed him.

By that time the water temperature had reached thirty degrees Celsius on its way to a deadly ninety degrees Celsius. Although he outwardly at least came through his ordeal no worse for wear, Zorro was taken to Tieraerztliche Hochschule Hannover where he was kept for observation over the weekend.

"Kater hatte grosses Glueck," Michael Ferl of the university told the Hannover Reporter on July 31st. (See "Kater ueberlebt Waschgang in Waschmaschine.") "...sieben Leben kann man woertlich nehmen...beschreibt den Gesundheitszustand des Tieres...solche Faelle sind leider nicht selten..."

There are several obvious problems with this rather fantastic story. First of all, it is difficult to believe that the lads failed to notice that Zorro was inside the machine. Since it was a front-end loader, they had to close the door and lock it before the machine would start. (See photo above of the machine.)

Secondly, although cats are renown for their love of wallowing in warm clothing that has been recently removed from the dryer, there is little evidence to support the thesis that they are similarly attracted to smelly, dirty laundry.

Thirdly, the boys' mother could have interrupted the wash cycle at any time by simply either opening the door or turning off the electricity. Instead, she risked killing Zorro by allowing him to remain trapped inside for an additional ten minutes.

It therefore is conceivable that the lads deliberately locked Zorro inside the machine as a deadly prank. Consequently, humane officials should have launched an immediate investigation into this matter. Even more importantly, Zorro should have been removed from the home because this obviously dysfunctional family has proven itself to be incapable of properly caring for him.

Animal cruelty is no less egregious simply because the perpetrators are minors. Even boys as young as these two are nevertheless capable of all sorts of cruel mischief.

Photos: B.Z.Berlin (Stefan W.), BBC (Paws and Hannon), and Hannover Reporter (Zorro and washing machine.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

An Essex Welfare Bum Who Sicced His Dog on Cats and Beat Them with His Cane Is Now Pretending to Be the Victim of an Assault

John Randall and Scrappy

"They leapt out, pouncing on my dog. They were biting and scratching her. I tried to get them off but then they started scratching me. I had to hit them with my walking stick and they still wouldn't leave her alone. I did nothing to provoke them and my dog was terrified but they kept jumping at us."
-- John Randall

The outrageous lies concocted by cat-haters and disseminated by their buddies within the capitalist media just keep getting bigger and more fantastic with each passing day.

If fifty-two-year-old, arthritic John Randall is to be believed, he and his four-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, Scrappy, were strolling on Chatham Pavement in Pitsea, Essex, at around 11 a.m. on September 18th when they were ambushed by five feral cats who sprang from underneath a parked car.

"They leapt out, pouncing on my dog. They were biting and scratching her. I tried to get them off but then they started scratching me," is how he described the encounter to the Daily Mail on September 22nd. (See "Pack of Feral Cats Terrorize Housing Estate Ambushing Pedestrians and Attacking Dog.") "I had to hit them with my walking stick and they still wouldn't leave her alone."

Of course, to hear Randall tell it both he and Scrappy were totally innocent victims. "I did nothing to provoke them and my dog was terrified but they kept jumping at us," he swore to the Daily Mail.

Randall, who not only claims to be disabled but also lives in public housing, is an old hand at playing the victim and thus conning the social welfare system out of every nickel that he can get. It therefore is not surprising that he has put those finely-honed talents to work at the cats' expense.

"I was really shocked. I've seen cats fight before but this was like a free-for-all," he continued. "In the end I pulled Scrappy close to me and got her away. I was left with scratches down my leg and Scrappy is (sic) really scared."

Anyone who cares to believe that this burly blighter armed with a cane and a Jack Russell Terrier was the innocent and victimized party in this altercation is welcome to indulge themselves in their delusions, but Randall is quite obviously serving up to the public a severely redacted version of events. A far more likely scenario is that as soon as Scrappy got a whiff of the cats' presence underneath the car she started growling and went after them.

After all, Jack Russell Terriers are notoriously pugnacious dogs that are well-known for their tendency to attack other animals. Even their admirers often refer to them as terrorists.

More to the point, it is highly improbable that Randall calls his dog Scrappy because she has a placid personality. Au contraire, he more than likely encourages her aggressiveness and eggs her on to attack cats.

The breed additionally has a rather checkered history when it comes to cats. For example, the scum-of-the-earth racist imperialists in South Africa used them in order to track down at least eight-hundred-ninety-seven cats on Marion Island between 1986-1989. The cats were then shot at night by marksmen carrying torches. That was in addition to the more than twenty-five-hundred cats that the South Africans either poisoned or deliberately infected with panleukemia.

One of the Cats Attacked by Randall and Scrappy

More generally speaking, it is ludicrous for Randall or anyone else to maintain that they were attacked by a cat. Both experience and logic attest to the fact that cats, especially ferals, are scared to death of both people and dogs and only become violent after they have been attacked. 

Even Klare Kennett of the RSPCA is skeptical of Randall's lies. "It is not unusual to get communities of feral cats but it is unusual for them to attack someone," she told the Daily Mail in the article cited supra. "I can only imagine they had a litter nearby and felt threatened by the presence of the dog."

The most unfair part of this scenario is that whereas Randall is free to run his trap until the cows come home, the cats are unable to speak for themselves. If they were able to do so, it is certain that a far different account of events would soon emerge.

As Ernest Hemingway knew only too well, cats have impeccable integrity. "A cat has absolute honesty. Human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not," he once wrote.

The sensationalist English media likewise have contributed mightily to this injustice by simply accepting Randall's ludicrous assertions as gospel. It would have been easy enough for the press to have spent some time on the estate visiting with the cats and interviewing other tenants. From those interactions, the reporters surely would have been able to ascertain the truth.

It also must be noted that by Randall's own admission the cats have been living on the estate for at least six years and this appears to have been the first reported attack. If they are as prone to violence as he and the capitalist media allege, there surely would have been a multitude of prior assaults.

Sadly, logic, truth, and fairness count for absolutely nothing with either die-hard cat-haters like Randall or the moneybags media. Both are motivated by the same perverse desire: to do in cats at any cost!

A strikingly similar situation is currently unfolding in Minneapolis where eighty-two-year-old Lee Noltimier's nineteen-year-old cat, Hoppy, has several times felt the wrath of Minneapolis Animal Care and Control (MACC) for defending his turf against dogs. Not only has he been grounded for life, but MACC has vowed to kill him if he gets into any more scrapes with dogs. (See Cat Defender post of October 18, 2009 entitled "Minneapolis Is Working Overtime Trying to Kill an Octogenarian's Cat Named Hoppy for Defending His turf Against Canine Intruders.")

In Fairfield, Connecticut, five cat-hating women attempted in 2006 to have real estate broker Ruth Cisero's five-year-old polydactyl, Lewis, killed after he allegedly attacked them without provocation on seven separate occasions over a three-year period.

Upon investigation, however, it was determined that in all of those instances it actually was the accusers who had attacked Lewis. In some of the cases, the women foolishly intervened in standoffs between Lewis and their cats.

Lewis and Ruth Cisero

An Avon peddler, who later sued Cisero for $5,000, either stepped on Lewis's tail or closed a door on him. Bird advocates also doused him with water and threw eggs at him.

One neighbor even illegally trapped Lewis and took him to a shelter to be killed. Fortunately, the shelter was closed that day and Lewis was later freed.

Thousands of other cats are not nearly so lucky. (See Cat Defender posts of June 15, 2006 and March 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Serial Cat Killer on Long Island Traps Neighbors' Cats and Then Gives Them to Shelter to Exterminate" and "Long Island Serial Cat Killer Guilty of Only Disorderly Conduct, Corrupt Court Rules.")

In the end, however, the truth did not matter one whit because a state court placed Lewis under house arrest for the remainder of his life. Cisero also was placed on probation for two years and ordered to perform fifty hours of community service.

"They (the accusers) want to kill a cat for a scratch. These people have to get a life!" is how Fairfield resident Marisa Sampieri described the absurdity and injustice of the situation. (See Cat Defender posts of April 3, 2006 and June 26, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Free Lewis Now! Connecticut Tomcat, Victimized by a Bum Rap, Is Placed Under House Arrest" and "Lewis Cheats the Hangman but Is Placed Under House Arrest for the Remainder of His Life.")

Ana De Vito's thirteen-year-old resident feline, Bingo, was similarly shortchanged by the Swiss judicial system back in April when he was grounded for life after biting a neighbor who had intervened in a dispute between him and her cat. (See Cat Defender post of October 17, 2009 entitled "Bingo Is Placed Under House Arrest for Defending Himself Against a Neighbor Who Foolishly Intervened in a Cat Fight.")

In 2007, forty-eight-year-old Ann Hogben of Ramsgate, Kent, found herself in hot water after her twelve-year-old cat, Blackie, was accused of assaulting thirteen individuals over a six-year period. As it was later revealed, Blackie merely was protecting his turf against interlopers in that his victims consisted of five letter carriers from the Royal Mail, five paper boys, a construction worker, a fastfood delivery man, and a bobby. (See Cat Defender post of March 8, 2007 entitled "Blackie the Cat Has Postmen, Bobbies, and Deliverymen Looking Over Their Shoulders in Ramsgate, Kent.")

As was the case with Hoppy, Lewis, Bingo, and Blackie, the cause celebre in Pitsea is being driven by ailurophobia and nothing more. With there being up to fifteen unaltered and unfed feral cats living on the housing estate, that alone is bound to generate opposition.

In addition to Randall's blatant falsifications, the cats have been accused of destroying property, ruining gardens, keeping residents up at night with their vocalizations, and of rummaging through the trash.

"Every Friday the rubbish comes out and they just come out of the woodwork and rip open the bags, making an awful mess," Randall groused to the Daily Mail.

An unidentified fifty-nine-year-old female resident has accused the cats of damaging sheds and fences. "The situation has got out of hand," she complained to the The Sun on September 21st. (See "Feral Cat Pack Terrorize Town.") "It is like (Alfred Hitchcock's) The Birds around here but with cats."

Blackie and Ann Hogben

Another unidentified fifty-seven-year-old woman has kvetched about being deprived of a few winks because of the cats. While it is doubtful that there is much validity in any of those complaints, the rubbish situation could be easily remedied by properly securing skips and there are a multitude of organic, non-lethal methods of keeping cats out of gardens. As far as noise is concerned, it is doubtful that a few cats baying at the moon are in any way comparable to the dim churned up by Scrappy and other canines barking, vehicular traffic, stereos, and televisions.

In all likelihood, the cats were cruelly and irresponsibly abandoned by tenants of the housing estate and even if they were dumped there by outsiders they are still the estate's responsibility. Consequently, the estate should have long ago had them sterilized and provided with food, water, shelter and, if feasible, new homes.

If management of the estate had acted responsibly and humanely this situation never would have gotten out of hand in the first place. Even now the estate remains both obstinate and derelict in its duties and as a consequence the RSPCA, for better or worse, is going to be forced to intervene.

While it is at it, the organization should undertake an investigation into Randall's conduct. For siccing his dog on the cats and beating them with his cane, he obviously is guilty of the worst form of animal cruelty.

No one is required to like cats but the law should compel every member of society to respect their right to live. Likewise, whenever individuals, such as Randall, refuse to do so they must be held accountable for their crimes.

Unfortunately, there is not any legal redress for slandering and libeling cats. If there were, Randall, bird advocates, and wildlife biologists would soon find themselves in the dock with their wallets considerably lighter.

In conclusion, it is nothing short of revolting to see a young squirt like Randall living high on the hog at the expense of his countrymen. Instead of living on the dole and in public housing, he should be forced to earn his daily bread by the sweat of his brow.

He has a good fifty years remaining and as such should be put to work at some hard, back-breaking job, such as either mining coal or cleaning sewers. Perhaps such an arduous undertaking would sweat some of the lies and evil out of him and teach him to keep his hands and dog off of homeless cats.

Photos: Peter Lawson of the East News Press Agency (Randall and Scrappy, feral cat), Brian A. Pounds of the Connecticut Post (Lewis and Cisero), and Daily Mail (Blackie and Hogben).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Minneapolis Is Working Overtime Trying to Kill an Octogenarian's Cat Named Hoppy for Defending His Turf Against Canine Intruders

"Hoppy doesn't bite. He doesn't scratch. Gossip is easy. Where's the evidence?"
-- Lee Noltimier

Cats and dogs are, with rare exceptions, mortal enemies who have been scrapping for millenniums. Because of their superior size, strength, and viciousness, canines usually prevail in just about all of these tiffs and that is vouched for by the fact that whereas dogs kill hundreds, if not indeed thousands, of cats each year, no one has ever heard of a cat killing a dog.

That petit fait should count for something with thinking and fair-minded individuals but with Dan Niziolek of Minneapolis Animal Care and Control (MACC) it counts for absolutely nothing. That is why he threw the book at eighty-two-year-old Lee Noltimier's cat, Hoppy, back in June after he was involved in a scrap with a man and his dog outside his home on Drew Avenue South near West Thirty-Ninth Street. (See photo above of Hoppy.)

According to Russ King, he was walking his Maltese, Charlie, past Noltimier's residence on May 20th when out of the blue they were attacked by nineteen-year-old, jet-black Hoppy. After scooping up Charlie from the pavement, King was repeatedly scratched by Hoppy.

King then hightailed it to MACC screaming bloody murder where, not surprisingly, he found a receptive audience. MACC then dispatched its goons to Noltimier's house but he wisely refused to surrender his beloved companion.

MACC later sought and obtained a search warrant and Hoppy was subsequently arrested in June and carted off to the clink where he was held for several days. Although he was later released on June 23rd, he is no longer a free cat.

In addition to mandating that he be microchipped, given a rabies shot, and registered each year with the city, MACC ordered Noltimier to put him in a harness and on a leash whenever he is taken outside. The agency even had the unmitigated gall to require that Noltimier either confine him in a separate room or put him in a cat carrier whenever he receives visitors at his residence.

First of all, microchips have not only been linked to cancer but they offer cats absolutely no protection against motorists, wild animals, thieves, and ailurophobes. (See Cat Defender posts of September 21, 2007 and May 25, 2006 entitled, respectively, "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs" and "Plato's Misadventures Expose the Pitfalls of RFID Technology as Applied to Cats.")

Secondly, since Hoppy can longer be allowed outside unless he is on a leash, both the microchip and rabies shot are superfluous. Moreover, because of his advanced age, both procedures could create potential health problems.

Requiring Noltimier to register Hoppy with MACC is likewise not only a form of harassment but, more importantly, a means of raiding his wallet. After all, the agency most certainly knows who Hoppy is and where he can be found.

Worst of all, MACC has warned Noltimier that if Hoppy is involved in another scrap it plans to kill him without further ado. Should that occur, that would mark the third time within two years that the bloodthirsty cat-haters at MACC have attempted to end his life.

In the autumn of 2007, Thomas Buchberger was walking his dog, Walden, past Noltimier's house when they became involved in a scrap with Hoppy. In the aftermath, Buchberger claimed that he was scratched and bitten by the cat.

Taking Buchberger's word as the gospel truth, MACC immediately took Hoppy away from Noltimier and initialed his death warrant. One way or another, Noltimier somehow was able to get the order overturned and Hoppy freed from death row.

To his everlasting credit, Noltimier is sticking by his companion. "Hoppy doesn't bite. He doesn't scratch," he told KSAX-TV of Alexandria, Minnesota, on June 25th. (See "Minneapolis Deems Cat a Dangerous Animal.") "Gossip is easy. Where's the evidence?"

The short answer to that question is that there is not any. Both King and Buchberger can speak for themselves whereas Hoppy cannot so MACC, believing what it wants to hear, has chosen to take their sides in this dispute.

The same thing occurred in Fairfield, Connecticut, in 2006 when a court grounded Ruth Cisero's cat, Lewis, for life. (See Cat Defender posts of April 3, 2006 and June 26, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Free Lewis Now! Connecticut Tomcat, Victimized by a Bum Rap, Is Placed Under House Arrest" and "Lewis the Cat Cheats the Hangman but Is Placed Under House Arrest for the Remainder of His Life.")

Just to prove that Americans do not have a monopoly on either ailurophobia or injustice, a Swiss tribunal followed suit in April of this year when it grounded Ana De Vito's cat, Bingo, based solely upon the one-sided testimony of a neighbor. (See Cat Defender post of October 17, 2009 entitled "Bingo Is Placed Under House Arrest for Defending Himself Against a Neighbor Who Foolishly Intervened in a Cat Fight.")

In all likelihood, King's and Buchberger's dogs got a whiff of Hoppy's presence as they were passing Noltimier's house and began menacing the cat. A standoff ensued and when both men intervened they were inadvertently scratched.

Inexplicably, there is no indication in the record of exactly where these disputes occurred. If Hoppy ventured out onto the sidewalk, then many would consider him to have been the aggressor even though in his own mind he was only defending his turf against an invader who sans doute was intent upon doing him bodily harm.

On the other hand, if either Charlie or Walden so much as stuck their noses into Noltimier's yard they were not only the instigators but trespasses as well. The same holds true if they started yapping at Hoppy from the middle of the sidewalk.

Despite all of Niziolek's bluster and pontification, he was not present when either incident occurred and therefore has no business of accepting King's and Buchberger's unsubstantiated accounts of what transpired. In the absence of corroborating evidence, history and logic must prevail and both are clearly on Hoppy's side.

The way in which the American media have falsely portrayed cats like Hoppy and Lewis is nothing short of disgraceful. By contrast, Blick, SF1-TV, and Le Matin went out of their way in order to understand and explain why Bingo acted as he did.

Of course, it goes almost without saying that Americans as a people are disgusting brownnosers and suck-ups. As long as it comes out the piehole of a man with either money or position they readily accept it as being the truth no matter how absurd.

Knowing a good thing when he sees it, Niziolek is not about to stop defaming and killing cats. In addition to Hoppy, he and his colleagues have labeled a cat named Ralph who lives on the 400 block of Beard Avenue South as "potentially dangerous." As was the case with Hoppy, he is ludicrously accused of attacking a dog.

Finally, in addition to learning to tell the truth once in a while, both King and Buchberger need to start behaving like adults instead of cry babies. Moaning and groaning about how they were manhandled by a cat serves only to make them look like wussies.

As for Niziolek and his cronies at MACC, they need to find some other form of amusement besides defaming and killing cats. The fact that they have targeted the cat of an octogenarian makes their conduct all the more reprehensible.

Photo: KSAX-TV.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bingo Is Placed Under House Arrest for Defending Himself Against a Neighbor Who Foolishly Intervened in a Cat Fight

"Er merkt schon, dass er sein Territorium, sein Revier verloren hat. Er waere viel lieber draussen."
-- Stella De Vito

Bingo is not a happy camper these days. The thirteen-year-old castrated black cat had lived his entire life as an indoor-outdoor cat in the Maihofquartier of Luzern until he was placed under house arrest by a Strafverfuegung issued on April 17th by the Amtsstatthalteramt.

That was the culmination of his having been declared to be dangerous after he bit a female neighbor on August 22, 2007 and again on December 19, 2008. His forty-eight-year-old guardian, Ana De Vito, also was fined four-hundred-eighty Swiss francs (US$471.60) by the tribunal. (See photo above of her with Bingo.)

That precipitate designation was made over the objections of Gieri Bolliger of the Stiftung fuer das Tier im Recht in Zurich. "Das ist sicher nicht normal," he told SF1-TV of Zurich on June 2nd. (See "Busse wegen Buesi: Kampfkatze von Amtes wegen.") "Bevor so eine Strafverfuegung erlassen wird, muessten die Strafuntersuchungsbehoerden wirklich abklaeren, ob der Tatbestand erfuellt ist, ob das Tier wirklich gefaehrlich oder boesartig ist." (See photo below of the Strafverfuegung.)

At the request of Blick of Zurich, sixty-year-old animal psychologist Heini Meier examined Bingo and concluded that although the cat was indeed suffering from anxiety, he was not dangerous. (See photo below of him, Ana, and Bingo.)

"Er ist gestresst," he told Blick on June 7th. (See "So gefaehrlich ist Kater Bingo wirklich.") "Das hoert man an seinem Miauen, er heult ja fast. Man sieht es auch am Gang und dem gestraeuben Schwanz, den er hin und herbewegt."

As to the source of Bingo's alleged aggression, Meier confirmed what Ana and her husband, Mario, had known right from the beginning. "Vielleicht warf man mit Gegenstaenden nach ihm," he theorized to Blick.

True enough, the neighbor had foolishly intervened in several squabbles between her cat and Bingo and as the result was bitten. It therefore was she who physically attacked Bingo and, possibly, even threw objects at him.

That drew the ire of legal expert Doris Slongo who said, in effect, that the unidentified neighbor had no one to blame for her subsequent injuries except herself. Much more importantly, she contends that the De Vitoes are blameless. "Deshalb ist der Katzenbesitzer nicht haftbar fuer den Schaden," she told SF1-TV in the article cited supra.

As a practicable matter, Tomi Tomek of SOS Chats in Noiraigue recommends that cat owners who feel compelled to intervene in these types of disputes use water. "Il ne faut pas separer des chats avec la main ou le pied, mais avec de l'eau," she volunteered to Le Matin of Lausanne on June 4th. (See "Bingo: ce chat est une terreur!")

Actually, that is only partially correct. As long as there is not any blood or torn flesh it is best to let cats settle their disputes themselves. Although these tiffs can be extremely loud, they most always sound considerably worse than they are in reality. Besides, human intervention does not accomplish much and usually is resented.

This case bears a disturbing resemblance to the fate that befell a five-year-old, longhaired polydactyl named Lewis from Fairfield, Connecticut, in 2006. (See photo below of him looking out the window.)

In an equally gross miscarriage of justice, a state court placed Lewis under house arrest for the remainder of his life after he fought with five different women over a three-year period. His owner, real estate broker Ruth Cisero, also was placed on probation for two years and ordered to perform fifty hours of community service following her conviction for second degree reckless endangerment.

Although the court pigheadedly refused to take cognizance of the circumstances surrounding these incidents, Lewis was every bit as innocent as Bingo. In some of the instances he was only defending himself after cat-owners had intervened in standoffs between him and their cats. One of the victims even instigated hostilities by either stepping on his tail or closing a door on him.

Lewis also had been repeatedly abused by bird advocates who had thrown eggs at him and doused him with water. One cat-hating neighbor even went so far as to illegally trap him and take him to a shelter. (See Cat Defender posts of April 3, 2006 and June 26, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Free Lewis Now! Connecticut Tomcat, Victimized by a Bum Rap, Is Placed Under House Arrest" and "Lewis the Cat Cheats the Hangman but Is Placed Under House Arrest for the Remainder of His Life.")

Once he had completed his examination of Bingo, Meier wound up recommending that the De Vitoes send the neighbor, who has since relocated elsewhere, a bottle of wine as a peace offering. It is doubtful, however, that such a gesture will help much unless she can be prevailed upon to go before the Amtsstatthalteramt and convince it to rescind its Strafverfuegung.

He also counseled that they, who at last report were still contesting the fine, take out insurance just in case Bingo gets into any more legal scrapes. Thankfully the De Vitoes' neighbors so far have not called for Bingo's scalp as did Cisero's counterparts in Fairfield with Lewis.

Besides, it is a sure bet that the De Vitoes would strenuously oppose any such attempt. "Einschlaefern kam nicht in Frage," Ana declared to Blick.

After having been unfairly assaulted on so many occasions, Bingo understandably has become suspicious of strangers. It is, however, the loss of his freedom that he is finding to be the most vexing.

"Er merkt schon, dass er sein Territorium, sein Revier verloren hat," daughter Stella told SF1-TV in the article cited supra. "Er waere viel lieber draussen."

Mario, for his part, steadfastly maintains that the cat who sleeps under the covers with his children and loves Miau von Denner is not a threat to the general public. "Notre chat est adorable, il dort toute la journee," he told Le Matin.

As was the case with Lewis, it is a pity that there were not either third-party, impartial witnesses to these alleged attacks or surveillance cameras. If either of them had been in situ it is likely that they would have shown him to have acted in self-defense.

It is important to point out that Bingo is not an isolated case. In fact, hundreds of cats throughout Switzerland have been designated by the authorities as dangerous. It is not known, however, how many of them have been sent to the gallows as the result.

That is not really all that surprising in light of Switzerland's notorious mistreatment of the species. For example, like the Chinese, Australians, and Peruvians, the Swiss not only eat cats but traffic in their pelts as well.

Photos: Sabine Wunderlin of Blick (Bingo and Ana, Strafverfuegung, and Meier with Bingo and Ana) and News 12-TV of Norwalk (Lewis).

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Deliberately Entombed Inside a Canvas Bag for Six Days, Duff Is Saved by a Pair of Alert Maintenance Workers at an Apartment Complex in Spokane

"This kitten was very lucky to be found at 11:00 this morning, otherwise it probably would have died today. We are thankful to those who rescued this kitten from what would have been a (sic) horrific death."
-- Nicole Montano of SCRAPS

Donivan Crews thought that he had committed the perfect crime. Saddled with caring for an orange and white kitten that he did not want, he entombed it inside a black canvas bag and, just to make doubly sure that it did not escape, he zipped up the bag inside an even larger duffel bag. He then tossed out the bag with the trash.

The worst part of this scenario is that he almost succeeded. Thankfully, the Spokane apartment dweller's fiendish plot unraveled like a cheap sweater on August 20th when two maintenance workers who were testing and reprogramming garage door openers heard the kitten meowing from behind one of them.

Quickly unzipping the bags, the unidentified workers freed the emaciated kitten who was now covered in urine and feces. One way or another, the workers and representatives of the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) were able to successfully trace the bags back to Crews who readily admitted that he indeed had placed the kitten inside them six days previously.

Having gone without food and water for such an extended period of time, officials at SCRAPS believe that the kitten, subsequently named Duff, was about at the end of his rope. "This kitten was very lucky to be found at 11:00 this morning, otherwise it probably would have died today," Nicole Montano stated August 20th on the organization's web site. (See "Man Charged Criminally for Leaving Kitten in Duffel Bag.") "We are thankful to those who rescued this kitten from what would have been a (sic) horrific death."

Following his eleventh-hour rescue, Duff was taken to SCRAPS's headquarters for some much needed nourishment and rehabilitation. Once he recovered, his two rescuers were expected to have adopted him. (See photo above.)

As hard as it is to comprehend, Crews so far has been charged with only "confinement in an unsafe manner." At the very least, he should have been charged with criminal animal cruelty if not indeed attempted murder.

Of equal concern, whenever there is one kitten there are likely to be additional newborns plus a mother cat. Clearly, Crews has no business owning cats and any others found in his possession should have been promptly removed by SCRAPS and provided with new homes.

Also, since litters normally consist of four to six kittens, SCRAPS should launch an investigation into what happened to Duff's siblings. More than likely Crews has used suffocation and starvation in order to get rid of countless other kittens in the past.

Like Virginia, Washington has a well-deserved reputation of being hostile to cats. For example, earlier this year a court in Seattle sentenced a serial violent offender to a minuscule nine-months of daytime alcohol rehabilitation with nights in the pokey after he viciously used a box cutter in order to nearly kill a therapy cat named Scatt at a homeless shelter. (See Cat Defender posts of August 17, 2009 and May 6, 2009 entitled, respectively, "America's Insane Love Affair with Criminals Continues as Drunkard Who Sliced Open Scatt with a Box Cutter Gets Off with Time on the Water Wagon" and "Resident at Church-Run Homeless Shelter in Seattle Uses a Box Cutter in Order to Gut Scatt from Collarbone to Tail.")

Then there are bird advocates such as Robert and Debbie McCallum from the Seattle suburb of Edmonds who back in 2006 got away with illegally trapping Laura Martin's two-year-old cat, Turbo, and turning him over to a shelter. (See Cat Defender post of October 30, 2006 entitled "Collar Saves Cat Named Turbo from Extermination After He Is Illegally Trapped by Bird-Loving Psychopaths.")

During his traumatic ordeal, Turbo sustained multiple lacerations to his face as the result of his futile attempt to extricate himself from the trap and this wound up costing Martin $58.25 in veterinary fees. (See photo above of her and Turbo.)

One of the most heartwrenching stories of animal cruelty to come out of Washington in 2007 concerned a four-week-old kitten named Angel who was not only born without eyes but also prematurely taken away from her mother and dumped at the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County. (See Cat Defender post of February 23, 2007 entitled "Born Without Eyes and Later Abandoned, Humble Kitten Appropriately Named Angel Has Hope for a Brighter Tomorrow.")

Fortunately for her, officials at the shelter elected not to kill her but instead saw to it that she received the necessary surgeries that she required in order to remove her tear ducts and to suture shut her eyes. After that, she was put up for adoption.

Like wildlife biologists everywhere, those employed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) insist that raccoons and coyotes have an unbridled right to live in towns where they prey upon both domestic and feral cats. (See Cat Defender posts of August 28, 2006 and October 2, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Marauding Packs of Vicious Raccoons Rip Ten House Cats to Shreds and Terrorize Residents but Wildlife Officials Refuse to Intervene" and "Coyotes, Cheered on by Wildlife Officials, Join Raccoons in Killing Cats and Dogs in Washington State.")

As a consequence of those policies, Matthew Garcia of Seattle was forced on July 1st of last year to come to the aid of his cat, Jewel, after she was attacked by a raccoon in his yard. (See Cat Defender post of September 25, 2008 entitled "Seattle Resident Beats Off a Voracious Raccoon with a Broom in Order to Save the Life of His Cat, Jewel.")

Jewel was so traumatized by the attack that she ran away and did not return home until eight days later. When she did, Garcia discovered to his horror that she has sustained a broken fibula, a fractured hip, and two puncture wounds.

While wildlife biologists have out the welcome mat for coyotes and raccoons, cougars are strictly verboten. On September 6th, the WDFW used bloodhounds in order to chase a two-year-old cougar up a tree in Seattle's five-hundred-thirty-four-acre Discovery Park. (See photo below.)

This animal, which was at least the second cougar in the past dozen or so years to be summarily evicted from the park, was tranquilized and eventually released in the foothills of the Cascades near Skykomish. (See BBC, September 9, 2009, "Wild Cougar Captured in United States Park.")

Before they released it, WDFW officials attached a radio collar to its neck that will twice daily relay its location. This will allow wildlife biologists to turn it into a guinea pig that they will be able to repeatedly trap in order to replace worn-out batteries in the collar and to carry out various invasive experiments.

Should it at anytime be suspected of either killing livestock or of just being too old, the biologists will use the radio signal emitted by its collar in order to track it down and kill it. (See Cat Defender posts of May 21, 2009, February 29, 2008, and May 4, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Macho B, America's Last Jaguar, Is Illegally Trapped, Radio-Collared, and Killed Off by Wildlife Biologists in Arizona," "The Repeated Hounding Down and Tagging of Walruses Exposes Electronic Surveillance as Not Only Cruel but a Fraud," and "Scientific Community's Use of High-Tech Surveillance Is Aimed at Subjugating, Not Saving, the Animals.")

Like all tagged animals, this cougar has been irretrievably deprived of its freedom and will never see another day of peace for as long as it lives, which probably will not be for very long. Also, WDFW officials killed an unspecified number of fish and elk that they used in an unsuccessful attempt to trap the cougar.

The prevailing attitude amongst a wide spectrum of the public is that kittens do not have any legitimate right to live and as a consequence they may be disposed of in any convenient fashion. Practitioners of these horrendous crimes point to the equally outrageous offenses perpetrated at shelters and by Animal Control officers, who kill millions of cats each year, as a justification for their actions. Clearly, both groups do not have any regard for either feline life or an ounce of morality.

Far from being an isolated case, Crews's attempt to suffocate little Duff is a common modus operandi of cat-haters. For example, seamen stationed at the United States Naval Base in Rota, Spain, routinely wrap kittens in plastic bags and toss them out with the trash. That is in addition to poisoning others with antifreeze. (See Star and Stripes, European Edition, April 28, 2004, "Navy Policy Has Compounded Problem of Stray Cats at Rota, Some Say.")

Back in late June, a seven-week-old kitten subsequently named Sleepy was sealed up in a brown box without either ventilation or food and water and left on the doorstep of one of Sleepy's retail outlets in Swansea, Massachusetts. A few days earlier, an eight-week-old kitten named Postina was found stuffed inside a mailbox in Boston's Hyde Park.

Miraculously, both kittens survived thanks to timely rescues. (See Cat Defender post of July 3, 2009 entitled "Pretty Little Sleepy Survives a Suffocation and Starvation Attempt on Her Life Thanks to the Timely Intervention of a Mattress Store Employee.")

Other than suffocation, death by drowning always has been a popular method of disposing of unwanted kittens. (See Cat Defender posts of May 14, 2009 and July 3, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Virginia Is for Cat-Killers, Not Lovers, Now That Its Legal Establishment Has Sanctioned Donald Curtis Hunt's Drowning of Five Kittens" and "Crooked Massachusetts Cops Allow Politician to Get Away with Attempting to Drown a Kitten Named Lucky Girl.")

In her celebrated tome, Concerning Cats, Helen M. Winslow admits to drowning dozens of kittens. Worst still, this self-proclaimed lover of the species carried out her heinous crimes without, apparently, a smidgen of remorse.

In addition to suffocating and drowning defenseless kittens, the odious practice of dumping them on busy highways to be crushed to death underneath the wheels of speeding, unconscionable motorists is steadily gaining in popularity. (See Cat Defender posts of July 2, 2009 and August 28, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Three-Week-Old Lucky Is Rescued by a Staten Island Judge after She Is Tossed Out the Window of a Pickup Truck on Hylan Boulevard" and "In Memoriam: Trooper Survives Being Thrown from a Speeding Automobile Only to Later Die on the Operating Table.")

These and other despicable crimes committed against cats and kittens persist because, first of all, society places a minuscule value on feline life and, secondly, it is difficult to apprehend the perpetrators. Even more alarming, in those rare cases where kitten killers and abusers, such as Crews, are caught red-handed prosecutors and the courts refuse to punish them.

With the legal establishment so unwilling to change its thinking and ailurophiles too impotent to turn their concerns into political and legal reality, more kittens like Duff are destined to suffer.

Photos: SCRAPS (Duff), Jon Lok of The Seattle Times (Turbo and Martin), and BBC (cougar).