"Mutilating animals and calling it science condemns the human species to moral and intellectual Hell...This hideous Dark Ages of the mindless torture of animals must be overcome."
-- Gracie Slick
Although not all the cat news to come out of 2008 was bad, the vast majority of it was alarming to say the least. Most notably, it was another banner year for vivisectors.
Following upon the heels of last year's decoding of the feline genome, advances in cloning technology as well as the perfection of the use of green and red fluorescent proteins as biological markers now have made it possible to clone glow-in-the-dark cats that suffer from up to two-hundred-fifty deadly human diseases. From now on they are going to be tortured and killed as prolifically as lab mice, guinea pigs, and rabbits.
From San Nicolas Island off the coast of California to Richmond, Virginia, to Baghdad, and elsewhere, the war on feral and stray cats continued unabated as large numbers of them were systematically exterminated throughout the year. Meanwhile, the Danes and Peruvians joined their Chinese, Australian, Costa Rican, and Swiss counterparts in demonstrating their abiding love for the consumption of feline flesh.
The repercussions of the worldwide economic meltdown were reflected not only in the growing legions of homeless men and women but also in the large number of cats that were either abandoned or dumped at shelters to be killed. In particular, the plight of a German woman named Brigitte and her cat, Mumu, who have been forced to rough it at an airport on the island of Mallorca attracted worldwide sympathy but, sadly, no offers of relief.
As is the case with Felis domesticus,
big cats continue to be killed with impunity. For instance, a cougar that wandered into the North Side of Chicago was mercilessly gunned down by cops to the delight of both onlookers and the capitalist media. At the San Francisco Zoo, an Amur tigress named Tatiana was gunned down by trigger-happy cops after she attempted to defend herself from a trio of drunken potheads who taunted and threw objects at her.
Only rarely do either the police or prosecutors take seriously crimes committed against cats and even when they do it is a futile battle because judges invariably turn loose the killers and abusers. That was precisely the disposition of a case brought against an unrepentant sixteen-year-old London lass who drowned the HMS Belfast's
mascot, Kilo, in the Thames last February. Elsewhere in Old Blighty, at least two local councils banned the display of "Lost Cat" posters.
Like a bad penny that keeps turning up, serial cat killer James Munn Stevenson was back in the news making a big to-do about how much moola he is raking in as the result of his crimes. The proliferation of designer cats not only continued but became headline news when one of them named Benny bit Santa Claus.
Finally, the sad fate which befell kindhearted Christ Muth of Brooklyn pretty much epitomized what kind of a year it was for cats. Not only did he lose his job, pad, and girl, but he also was locked up in a nuthouse for attempting to rescue a cat!
A brief recap of these stories follows below. For a look back at the top cat stories of the past two years see Cat Defender posts of January 4, 2007 and January 11, 2008 entitled, respectively, The Continuing Mass Extermination of Millions of Cats at Shelters Across the World Heads the List of the Top Ten Cat Stories of 2006
and Serial Cat Killer James Munn Stevenson's Victory in a Galveston Court Heads the List of the Top Stories of 2007. .1) Fluorescent Cats Are Not Any Joking Matter.
Vivisectors have been systematically torturing and killing cats for centuries. The primary motivational factors behind these despicable crimes have been a love of both money and fame although many scientists get a sadistic kick out of torturing and killing cats. Now, thanks to three recent scientific breakthroughs, vivisectors finally have the feline species at their mercy.
The first development was the decoding of the feline genome in 2007 by a gaggle of vivisectors affiliated with the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. The sequencing of feline DNA allows researchers to, inter alia,
isolate specific genes and then study their relationship to similar genes in humans.
"The domestic cat was included in the mammalian genome set mainly to stimulate genome research on a species that provides a large number of human medical models," researcher Joan U. Pontius wrote in Genome Research
on November 1, 2007.
Ironically, even having cats treated by veterinarians is contributing to these atrocities. "Cats, like dogs, enjoy extensive veterinary medical surveillance that has described two-hundred genetic disorders analogous to human disorders," Pontius proclaimed in spite of the well-known fact that the results of animal tests are not transferable to humans. (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.")
The emergence of green and red fluorescent proteins as genetic markers has provided vivisectors, cloners, breeders, and other manipulators of feline DNA with a readily observable way of determining if their machinations have succeeded. For their contributions to this fast-emerging field of endeavor, Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie, and Roger Y. Tsien were awarded the 2008 Noble Prize in chemistry last October by the cat-killers at the Swedish Academy. (See Cat Defender post of October 20, 2008 entitled "Swedish Academy Bestows Its 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Yet Another Trio of Vivisectors Whose Discoveries Are Maiming and Killing Cats.")
Although according to research compiled jointly by the Humane Society of the United States and the American Anti-Vivisection Society, mammalian cloning has a mortality rate of ninety-nine per cent
, recent technological advancements have made it possible for researchers to clone cats with a variety of deadly human diseases. A team of researchers led by Kong Il-keun of Gyeongsang University in Jinju were the first to accomplish that feat when in 2007 they cloned several Turkish Angoras that glowed red in the dark. (See photo at the top.)
"The technology used to produce cloned cats with manipulated genes can be applied to clone animals suffering from the same diseases as humans," Kong triumphantly declared in January of last year. (See Cat Defender post of February 1, 2008 entitled "Cats Are Destined to Be Treated as Horribly as Lab Mice Now That Vivisectors Are Able to Clone Them with Altered Genes.")
The Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRES) in New Orleans quickly replicated the Koreans' work by cloning a cat named Mr. Green Genes that glows green in the dark. He then was paraded before a gullible public on MSNBC's Today Show in early November. (See photo above.)
Instead of working to save endangered wild cats, ACRES now has abandoned its original mandate and gone into the business of cloning sick cats for vivisectors to torture and murder with impunity. (See Cat Defender post of November 17, 2008 entitled "Mr. Green Genes' Coming Out Party Ushers In a New Era of Unspeakable Atrocities to Be Committed Against Cats by Cloners and Vivisectors.")
With an endless assortment of diabolical diseases at their disposal to test out on defenseless cats, vivisectors and cloners already are drooling at the mouth not only over how much money they are going to make but also about all the fun they are going to have torturing and killing cats. Sadly, the lack of a spirited response from cat-lovers to this diabolical development has been disappointing.2.) Mass Exterminations of Feral Cats Are Continuing.
Despite the best efforts of Alley Cat Allies, Nathan Winograd, and others, mass exterminations of feral and stray cats are continuing. The most outrageous offense to come out of 2008 was a decision by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the United States Navy to gun down more than two-hundred cats on San Nicolas Island off the coast of California. (See photo above.)
This slaughter follows on the heels of similar eradications of San Miguel, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara islands. (See Cat Defender posts of June 27, 2008 and July 20, 2008 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" and "The Ventura Star Races to the Defense of the Cat-Killers on San Nicolas Island.")
When it is not pimping and whoring for hunters, fishermen, farmers, ranchers, and developers, the USFWS busies itself by killing cats on Big Pine Key, in Cape May, New Jersey, and elsewhere. (See Cat Defender posts of May 6, 2008 and May 24, 2007 entitled, respectively, "National Audubon Society Wins the Right for Invasive Species of Shorebirds to Prey Upon Unborn Horseshoe Crabs" and "USDA and Fish and Wildlife Service Commence Trapping and Killing Cats on Florida's Big Pine Key.")
In addition to its dirty work on San Nicolas, the United States military has designated hit squads that scour its bases both at home and abroad looking for cats to slaughter. These feline assassins have been particularly active in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq.
About the only ally Baghdad's beleaguered cats and dogs can rely upon is a thirty-five-year-old English mercenary named Louise who so far has managed to rescue and smuggle six cats and two dogs out of the city and home to England. (See Cat Defender post of June 16, 2008 entitled "Targeted for Elimination by the American War Machine and Cheney's Henchmen, Baghdad's Cats Are Befriended by an English Mercenary.")
Closer to home, management at Fox-35 in Richmond, Virginia paid Keith Copi of Critter Control to eliminate a colony of feral cats that resided on its property at 1925 Westmoreland Road. On June 23rd, he trapped and, a la
PETA, subsequently gassed at least three cats before dumping their corpses in a Dumpster.
The station then called in a wrecking crew with bulldozers to destroy the cats' habitat. (See photo above.)
Thanks to the forceful and timely intervention of the Richmond SPCA and Save Our Shelters, the carnage was soon halted and Copi was arrested and charged with three misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.
At his August 14th trial in Henrico County General Court, the presiding judge let him off with a measly $750 fine. Since Fox-35 paid him $409 for his crimes, he was thus out of pocket only $341. For its part, Fox-35 got off scot-free.
"You'd be better off trying to get rid of a homeless person camping in your yard than having to deal with a stray cat," Copi later complained in a post-conviction interview. Quite obviously, he would not hesitate to trap and gas individuals as well as cats. (See Cat Defender posts of July 7, 2008 and August 21, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Fox Affiliate in Richmond Murders at Least Three Cats and Then Sends in the Bulldozers to Destroy Their Homes" and "Justice Denied: Exterminator Who Gassed Three Cats at the Behest of Fox-35 in Richmond Gets Off with a Minuscule Fine.") 3.) Danes and Peruvians Revel in Eating Cats.
It is well-known that the Chinese, Australians, and Swiss are voracious consumers of feline flesh. (See Cat Defender posts of February 8, 2006 and September 7, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Stray Cats Rounded Up in Shanghai, Butchered, and Sold as Mutton in Restaurants and on the Street" and " Australians Renounce Civilization and Revert to Savages with the Introduction of a Grotesque Plan to Get Rid of Cats by Eating Them.")
Although not nearly as widely publicized, the Danes also participate in this odious practice. Led by twenty-five-year-old Laura Boge Mortensen, a group of students at the Danish School of Journalism in Aarhus, Jutland, last May procured the corpse of a black and white cat that had been gunned down by a farmer and proceeded to cook and eat it. (See photo above; Mortensen is the blonde.)
Although they initially claimed that they were attempting to call attention to the plight of farm animals, the glorification of their heinous deed in the school's magazine, Citat,
the posting of thirty photographs of their repast on the web, and the inclusion of a recipe for a dish called "Litter Box" on Facebook
left the distinct impression that their actions were a cheap publicity stunt designed to promote their careers.
The posting of the recipe also seems likely to have been designed to encourage the consumption of feline flesh. Taken as a whole, their abhorrent behavior betrays their utter contempt for the feline species.
"This is the worst way to draw people's attention to animal welfare," Ole Munster of the humane organization Dyrenes Beskyttelse of Frederiksberg said of their behavior. "The choice of the cat was an especially bad one, since we get most of our calls about them." (See Cat Defender post of August 25, 2008 entitled "Danish Journalism Students Procure the Corpse of a Murdered Cat and Then Skin, Cook, and Eat It in order to Promote Their Careers.")
Denizens of the city of La Quebrada, south of Lima, do not make any effort whatsoever in order to conceal their deviant culinary tastes. In fact, each September they consume more than one-hundred cats during the Festival Gastronomica del Gato.
Some of these animals are specially-bred and raised for the pot while others, often pets, are rounded up off the streets and killed. (See photo above.)
Since some of the residents are the descendants of slaves brought to Peru in order to toil on the cotton plantations, they argue that they are entitled to eat cats. "There have always been some people who eat cat but we've broken the silence," festival organizer Sabio Canes said in 2001. "For us, it's a tradition of many years and they can't take that away from us."
Other festival participants lamely have attempted to justify their crimes on the grounds that eating cats not only helps to alleviate respiratory ailments but to improve sexual performance as well. (See Cat Defender post of December 1, 2008 entitled "Peruvians Ludicrously Claim That as the Descendants of Slaves They Are Entitled to Massacre and Eat Cats with Impunity."4.) Economic Recession Is Creating More Homeless Cats.
The economic downturn has exploded the myth that Americans love cats and dogs. Not only have people been dumping pets at shelters in record numbers but many individuals have abandoned cats and dogs inside their foreclosed homes. Still others have dumped animals in the street.
The soaring price of timothy and other grains also has contributed mightily to the wholesale abandonment of large animals such as horses and cows. While caring for livestock is an expensive proposition, the same cannot be said of cats and dogs. Although some brands of cat food have tripled in price during the past year, that nevertheless does not constitute a valid excuse for abandoning felines to fend for themselves in a hostile world.
The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates that between five and ten per cent
of America's sans-abri
own cats and dogs and this has led to the establishment of an organization known as Feeding Pets of the Homeless which collects and distributes pet food to food banks and soup kitchens. Numerous humane organizations also have begun giving away cat and dog food in an effort to put the brakes on the escalating number of companion animals that are being surrendered to shelters.
In Deutschland, an organization called Tiertafel
has established nineteen soup kitchens that cater to the nutritional needs of rabbits, guinea pigs, and birds as well as impoverished cats and dogs.
The sad plight of both homeless individuals and cats was epitomized by the revelation that a forty-eight-year-old German ex-pat named Brigitte and her Persian cat, Mumu, have been eking out an existence at Son Sant Joan Aeropuerto in Palma de Mallorca for the past ten years. (See photo above.)
Known as "La Mujer del gato" to airport personnel, Brigitte is without prospects because neither the Spanish nor the German authorities are willing to lift a finger in order to help her. As for Mumu, he would not be able to survive long without Brigitte's protection because Mallorca has one of the most atrocious animal rights' records in the world. (See Cat Defender post of November 3, 2008 entitled "Down and Out in Paradise: Against All Odds, Brigitte and Mumu Strive to Forge New Lives for Themselves at Mallorcan Airport.")5.) Big Cats Are Under Attack in Both Cities and Zoos.
In a sickening display of senseless police brutality, a two-year-old, one-hundred-twenty-four-pound male cougar who had wandered into the North Side of Chicago was shot between eighteen and sixty times and killed on April 14th. (See photo above.)
The trigger-happy cops also shot up a house and endangered the lives of residents in Roscoe Village with their reckless and bloodthirsty behavior.
Although the police later claimed that they were left with no alternative but to use lethal force, the facts tell an entirely different story. For instance, not only had the cat been roaming the neighborhood for the better part of the day, but cougars had been sighted in the suburbs for weeks.
Consequently, the police had plenty of time in order to have armed themselves with tranquilizer guns and nets. The obvious glee expressed by the local media in its coverage of this staged execution was matched only by the disgusting giggling, gawking, and joking of onlookers.
Even in death, the cougar was destined to find neither peace nor respect. Right off the bat the Brookfield Zoo and Cook County Animal and Rabies Control divested him of his organs, teeth, and brain. What little that remained of him was then given to the Field Museum which removed the fat and muscle from his pelt and bones and then filed them away for researchers to paw over from now to eternity. (See Cat Defender post of May 5, 2008 entitled "Chicago's Rambo-Style Cops Corner and Execute a Cougar to the Delight of the Hoi Polloi and Capitalist Media.")
In South Dakota, where it is legal to hunt cougars, eighteen adults were shot and killed between January 1st and January 18th of this year. In addition to that, three kittens were illegally shot. At least seventeen more adults will be massacred before hunting season ends on March 31st.
Additional hunts are currently occurring in several other western states. (See Black Hills Pioneer of Spearfish, January 19, 2008, "Two More Kittens Killed in Lion Season.")
What transpired in Chicago was an almost exact replay of events that occurred earlier on Christmas Day of 2007 at the San Francisco Zoo. On that tragic occasion an Amur tigress named Tatiana was shot and killed by the police after she was provoked into leaping from her enclosure and killing one man and mauling two others. (See photo above.)
High on both vodka and pot, Amritpal and Kulbir Dhaliwal and Carlos Sousa Jr. taunted and threw tree branches at Tatiana immediately before the attack. Now, both the Dhaliwal brothers and Sousa's survivors have instigated lawsuits against the zoo.
Although their lawsuits are without merit, the zoo should not have admitted them in the first place. More importantly, a security guard should have been stationed outside Tatiana's enclosure at all times in order to have prevented precisely this type of episode from occurring in the first place.
Furthermore, given the zoo's history of similar near-fatal mishaps, the San Francisco Police do not have a valid excuse for not having been prepared for such an eventuality. Like their counterparts in the Windy City, they should have been equipped with tranquilizer guns. Quite obviously, the members of both departments view themselves as big-game hunters more so than as policemen.
Adam Roberts of Born Free USA put his finger on the crux of the matter when he said: "Tigers simply don't belong in the zoo. Tigers don't belong on concrete, tigers don't belong behind bars, and frankly, tigers don't belong near people." In spite of that warming, the zoo did not waste any time in procuring a replacement for Tatiana. (See Cat Defender post of January 28, 2008 entitled "Hopped Up on Vodka and Pot, Trio Taunted Tatiana Prior to Attacks That Led to Her Being Killed by Police.")6.) Giggling Yob Drowns Kilo and Gets Away With It.
In the most notorious cat-killing case of 2008, a sixteen-year-old girl known only as Jessica from the borough of Enfield in south London was let off scot-free for drowning the HMS Belfast's
resident mouser and mascot, Kilo. (See photo above.)
Pissed as a coot and giggling her silly head off, Jessica and two of her mates strolled aboard the museum ship at 6 a.m. on February 9th and flung the trusting moggy overboard into the cold waters of the Thames. His body was never recovered.
Following the release of surveillance photos to the public, Jessica was eventually apprehended last fall and ordered to stand trial in Camberwell Youth Court. (See photo below; Jessica is the one in the middle.)
Despite being captured on film and positively identified by security guard Steve Laceby, Jessica not only denied being the murderer but also that she was in her cups at the time of the incident. Nevertheless, she was found guilty but District Judge Sue Green inexplicably let her off with nine-months of probation and a directive that she pen a letter of apology to the grief-stricken crew of the HMS Belfast
As hard as it may be to believe, Jessica giggled throughout the trial and even was so brazen as to howl in Green's face during sentencing on November 14th. "This is an absolute disgrace!" the editor of the web site Moggies said in a statement issued after the verdict was handed down. "So-called British justice has failed miserably to allow this teenager to go free, especially with the contempt she has shown is just not right."
As for Judge "Stench of the Bench" Green, Moggies added: "She should be barred from ever presiding over a court again." (See Cat Defender posts of July 17, 2008, October 2, 2008, November 10, 2008, and November 24, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Trio of Laughing Yobs Board HMS Belfast and Hurl Kilo to His Death in the Thames," "Sixteen-Year-Old London Girl Is Finally Arrested in the Horrific Drowning Death of Kilo from the HMS Belfast," "London Teenager, Convicted of Killing the HMS Belfast's Kilo, Also Is Unmasked as a Remorseless Liar and Drunkard," and "Kilo's Killer Walks in a Lark but the Joke Is on the Disgraceful English Judicial System.")7.) Lost Cat Posters Are Banned in England.
Over the past decade or so the English have taken numerous steps down the road to authoritarianism through the systematic abridgement of civil liberties and the banning of "Lost Cat" posters in at least two communities last year was another move in that direction.
In Whitstable, Kent, Stephen and Heather Cope were threatened last August with not only a fine but an Anti-Social Behavior Order (ASBO) as well after they posted fliers of their missing eight-year-old tortoiseshell, Milly, throughout the neighborhood. (See photo above of Heather with son Daniel.)
Public outcry eventually forced the Canterbury City Council to back down and to issue an apology to the Copes. Better still, Milly was rescued by a neighbor on October 8th who had seen one of the Copes' fliers. Without a doubt, "Lost Cat" posters do get results.
In the north London borough of Haringey, Eileen Miles also was threatened with an exorbitant fine last September after she posted fliers concerning her lost cat, Ginger Boy. (See photo above.)
Luckily for her, councillor George Meehan intervened on her behalf and the fine was rescinded and she was allowed to put up her "Lost Cat" posters after all. She received a second piece of good news on October 23rd when Ginger Boy was found in the Harringay Ladder section of the borough.
It remains to be seen, however, if the politicians have learned their lesson and will put a stop to this egregious practice. (See Cat Defender posts of September 11, 2008, October 3, 2008, and November 7, 2008 entitled, respectively, "North London Borough Bans Lost Cat Posters Thus Forcing Ginger Boy to Find His Way Home by Himself," "Haringey Council Comes to Its Senses and Rescinds Its Ban on Lost Cat Posters but It Already May Be Too Late to Save Ginger Boy," and "Ginger Boy Is Found Safe and Sound after Roaming the Streets of Harringay Ladder for Nearly Two Months.")
8.) James Munn Stevenson Cashes In on His Crimes.
Anyone who still naively believes that crime does not pay would be well advised to take a good hard look at the case of James Munn Stevenson. Fresh off of his 2007 victory in a Galveston courtroom, this notorious serial cat-killer is now living high on the hog and receiving the hero treatment from certain environmentalists.
In particular, he really cleaned up financially last year at both the profitable bed and breakfast that he operates as well as from the bird-watching tours that he conducts. "Actually, I gained hundreds and hundreds of clients because of this (killing cats)," he crowed last summer.
Being an appreciative soul, Stevenson was not about to forget all the support that he received from the capitalist media throughout his trial. "This story was in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times
. As far as my business is concerned, it was a godsend," he boasted.
He also was welcomed aboard the faculty of College of the Mainland in nearby Texas City. It is unclear, however, exactly what he possibly could be teaching since ailurophobia and rifle marksmanship are all that the knows and even they are not normally considered to be traditional academic disciplines.
It also is unclear if administrators allow him to bring his rifle on campus and to take potshots at stray cats. With him, there simply is no way of knowing when he might go berserk and kill fifteen to twenty people as well as cats.
In addition to laughing all the way to the bank, he also is wallowing head over heels in the adoration of his fellow cat-hating sympathizers. "I'm normally greeted as a hero with the environmental types," the proudly declared. "I don't go out of my way to tell people who I am, but a lot of people remember the cat incident and are very complimentary." (See Cat Defender post of August 7, 2008 entitled "Crime Pays! Having Made Fools Out of Galveston Prosecutors, Serial Cat Killer James Munn Stevenson Is Now a Hero and Laughing All the Way to the Bank.")
Not unexpectedly, Stevenson's uncanny ability to elude justice has led other bird-lovers to take the law into their own hands and kill cats. For example, Daniel Boa of Ypsilanti, Michigan, used a rifle to shoot and kill neighbor Janie Sawyer's declawed cat, Ben, in her backyard last October. (See Ypsilanti Courier, January 8, 2009, "Man Will Not Face Felonies in Cat Slaying.")9.) Designer Cat Bites Santa Claus.
Since certain segments of the public are not only willing but able to pay dearly for the privilege of owning an exotic cat, designer cats continue to proliferate. The latest such creation to hit the market in 2008 was the Ashera.
They are allegedly the end product of breeding African Servals (Leptailurus serval)
and Asian Leopard Cats (Prionailurus bengalensis)
with a trade secret domestic cat. (See photo above.)
Created by Simon Brodie's LifeStyle Pets of Los Angeles, they retail for around $22,000. (See Cat Defender post of February 19, 2008 entitled "Asheras Are the Designer Chats du Jour Despite the Cruelties Inflicted During Their Hybridization.")
Brodie, it might be remembered, was responsible for creating the world's first hypoallergenic cat earlier in 2006. (See Cat Defender posts of July 10, 2006 and October 10, 2006 entitled, respectively, "More Devilry from Scientific Community as California Company Creates World's First Hypoallergenic Cat" and "Dodgy Allerca and Dishonest CBS Join Forces to Market an Allergy-Free Cat Named Joshua to a Gullible Public.")
Consequently, it is not surprising that LifeStyle Pets also is peddling allergy-free Asheras for $28,000.
On December 7th, an exotic cat named Benny owned by Chrstine Haughey of Egg Harbor Township in southern New Jersey created a nationwide sensation when he bit Santa Claus during a photo shoot in Mays Landing. The bites were not serious, however, and Santa, a.k.a.
Jonathan Bebbington, soon recovered. (See photo below.)
That did not prevent a controversy from arising regarding the cat's pedigree. For her part, Haughey insists that he is a Pixie-Bob that she purchased from a breeder in Wyoming for $1,500; others insist that he is a bobcat. (See Cat Defender post of December 19, 2008 entitled "Regardless of Whether He Is a Pixie-Bob or a Bobcat, It Is Going to Be a Blue Christmas for Benny after He Inadvertently Bites Santa Claus.")
Unfortunately, the brouhaha over Benny's pedigree has been allowed to obscure the cruelties and illegalities involved in the creation of such cats. First of all, the importation of rare cats may be in violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of which the United States is a signatory.
Secondly, all of these cats are subjected to either forced breeding, artificial insemination and, possibly, genetic manipulation. Thirdly, many of them are born with genetic defects and experience reproductive difficulties.
Fourthly, some owners docks their tails while others have them declawed. Finally, some of them are dumped at shelters once their owners grow tired of their novelty, others run away from home, and still others are stolen by thieves. (See Cat Defender post of February 20, 2008 entitled "Exotic and Hybrid Cats, Perennial Objects of Exploitation and Abuse, Are New Being Mutilated, Abandoned, and Stolen.")10.) Brooklyn Man Winds Up in Nuthouse Trying to Save a Cat.
The outrageous coups du sort
that befell forty-nine-year-old Brooklyn contractor Chris Muth last summer pretty much sum up what type of year 2008 was for cats and their guardians. His travails began on July 7th when he generously consented to care for a friend's seven-year-old Persian and American Shorthair mix named Rumi. (See photo above.)
For some unexplained reason, Rumi became spooked and hid in a hole underneath a bathroom sink. In an effort to get him out, Muth began knocking holes in the walls of adjoining apartments.
This led to his being arrested and locked up in a nuthouse for six days. That was just the beginning of his woes in that as soon as he was released his landlord promptly evicted him from his Carroll Gardens' apartment. Next up his boss canned him for missing work. Finally, his girlfriend gave him the Bill Bailey treatment.
While all of this was going on, Animal Care and Control intervened and Rumi was rescued on July 21st. Although he lost everything trying to save him, Muth does not regret making the effort.
"Was going into apartments and making holes a bad idea? I don't think so," he later said unapologetically. "I can fix holes, but I can't bring a cat back to life."
It is unfortunate that more individuals do not share this latter-day Don Quixote's attitude. (See Cat Defender post of August 4, 2008 entitled "Brooklyn Man Gets Locked Up in a Nuthouse and Then Loses Digs, Job, and Honey All for Attempting to Save His Friend's Cat, Rumi.")Photos: Gyeongsang National University (red fluorescent Turkish Angora), MSNBC (Mr. Green Genes), State of California (San Nicolas Island), WRIC-TV of Richmond (Fox-35), Blick of Zurich (Danish cat-eaters), Peru.com (Peruvian cat-eaters), S. Llompart of the Mallorca Zeitung (Brigitte and Mumu), San Francisco Zoo (Tatiana), Candice C. Cusic of the Chicago Tribune (cougar), HMS Belfast (Kilo and his killer), Kent News (Heather and Daniel Cope), Hornsey and Crouch End Journal (Ginger Boy), Glaveston Police Department (Stevenson), Daily Mail and SWNS (Ashera), WCAU-TV of Philadelphia (Benny and Bebbington), and Ben Muessig of The Brooklyn Paper (Muth and Rumi).