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.