The Humane Society's Sellout of San Nicolas's Felines to the Assassins at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Was the Biggest Cat Story of 2009
"It isn't an option to kill them. This is a problem that humans have created, and to try to solve it by killing cats is really inhumane. I think we say a lot about ourselves as a society by how we treat the weakest members, including animals."
-- Mary Jean Kraybill, University of Chicago's Divinity School
The recently concluded year will be remembered as one that saw the continued mass extermination of untold numbers of cats by wildlife biologists and bird advocates. A new twist was added to the plot, however, in the form of the collusion of so-called animal protection groups in these atrocities.
In particular, the fraudulent Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) sold out San Nicolas's long-term resident felines to their archenemies at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). On Tory Island, Birdwatch Ireland rounded up and exterminated all the homeless cats.
The USFWS and its sister agency, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), illegally trapped, radio-collared, and killed America's last known jaguar, Macho B, in March. Not about to be outdone by federal and state animal killers, the police in Raymore, Missouri, trapped and summarily executed Kelly Wesner's nineteen-year-old deaf and declawed cat, Tobey.
In Seattle, southern Virginia, and Berlin, courts continued to wink at cases of horrific feline abuse. One notable exception was a court in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, which last month convicted the "Sweet Valley Mutilator" of piercing the ears, necks, and tails of so-called Gothic kittens.
Bow and arrow attacks upon cats reached epidemic proportions in 2009 as did the abandonment of both cats and kittens on busy thoroughfares. Organized Christianity continued its centuries-old abuse and defamation of cats while in both England and America pet Burmese pythons emerged as a new threat to cats.
In both Minneapolis and Luzern cats were placed under house arrest without the benefit of due process of law after having been falsely accused of attacking humans. The death of a pregnant Minskin and her unborn kittens in the cargo hold of an airliner on a cross-country flight renewed concern over not only the cruelties inflicted in the creation of designer cats but the safety of air travel for animals as well.
Finally, the tiny Belgian city of Ieper staged its triennial celebration of the odious Medieval practice of tossing cats off the tops of buildings. The only difference between then and now is that stuffed replicas have replaced the genuine articles.
For a review of the top cat stories of past years, see Cat Defender posts of January 4, 2007, January 11, 2008, and February 2, 2009 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," "Serial Cat Killer James Munn Stevenson's Victory in a Galveston Courtroom Heads the List of the Top Stories of 2007," and "The Creation of Clones That Glow in the Dark for Vivisectors to Torture and Kill with Impunity Was the Most Disturbing Cat Story to Come Out of 2008."
1.) HSUS Sells Out San Nicolas's Cats to the USFWS.
"The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection agency and considers the Preferred Alternative of padded leghold traps and shooting cats as inhumane regardless of how the EA (Environmental Assessment) labels and defends this strategy," the organization's Nancy Peterson declared in June of 2008 when the USFWS and the Navy first announced plans to eradicate more than two-hundred cats living on San Nicolas Island off the coast of Los Angeles. "This is not humane. I would not say shooting cats and leaving them in leghold traps for up to fourteen hours is humane."
Despite Peterson's high-flown rhetoric, the HSUS did an about-face a few months later and sold San Nicolas's cats down the river to the assassins at the USFWS. Under this Faustian bargain, the HSUS has trapped and removed between forty and fifty cats from the island and imprisoned them at its sanctuary in Ramona, California, where they can never, as stipulated by the USFWS, be adopted. (See photo above of three of the rescued cats.)
The remaining one-hundred-fifty or so cats have been hunted down at night by marksmen armed with torches and accompanied by bloodhounds and then shotgunned to death. Others have been snared in padded leghold traps and later killed.
Throughout much of 2009 and continuing into 2010 the HSUS and the USFWS have staged a series of dog and pony propaganda offensives where they have touted the success of their joint undertaking. At no time during any of these public relations stunts has the fate of those cats eradicated on San Nicolas ever been mentioned so much as once.
Likewise, the thoroughly dishonest capitalist media have served as the killers' press agents by concealing these horrific crimes from the public. Even the cats' corpses have been turned over to wildlife biologists who have inventoried their stomachs. Selected results obtained from these necropsies will be used as the basis for an outpouring of so-called scientific papers aimed at justifying this mass slaughter.
(See Cat Defender posts of November 20, 2009, April 28, 2009, July 10, 2008, and June 27, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Memo to the Humane Society: Tell the World Exactly How Many Cats You and Your Honeys at the USFWS Have Murdered on San Nicolas Island," "Quislings at the Humane Society Sell Out San Nicolas's Cats to the Assassins at the Diabolical United States Fish and Wildlife Service," "The Ventura County Star Races to the Defense of the Cat-Killers on San Nicolas Island," and "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas Island.")
Nor should the bloodthirsty United States Navy be allowed to escape censure since it was, after all, its personnel who were largely responsible for shanghaiing the cats and bringing them to the island in the first place. They then ruthlessly exploited them as mousers and companions before cruelly abandoning them to fend for themselves on the desolate island's forbidding landscape.
That is merely par for the course as far as the Navy and its sister branches of the military are concerned. None of them have the least bit of regard for human life, the animals, or the environment. (See Cat Defender posts of November 14, 2006, June 16, 2008, and July 16, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Military Killing Cats and Dogs by the Tens of Thousands as Imperialistic America Attempts to Conquer the World," "Targeted for Elimination by the American War Machine and Cheney's Henchmen, Baghdad's Cats Are Befriended by an English Mercenary," and "Yellow Two Is Shot and Maimed for Life at Fort Hood in the United States Army's Latest Criminal Offense Against Cats.")
To make matters worse, the HSUS's treachery on San Nicolas was merely the opening gambit in its and its allies grand scheme to sabotage the homeless cat protection movement by mandating that all caretakers be brought under its thumb. This in turn will enable it to enter into all sorts of weasel deals with the cats' sworn enemies, i.e., birders and wildlife biologists.
Of course, it almost goes without saying that the cats' caretakers still will be expected to foot one-hundred per cent of the bill for their care since the HSUS spends less than one per cent of its annual budget of $120 million on the care of the animals that it is supposedly protecting. Even for its efforts on San Nicolas it cadged $100,000 from the search engine Do Great Good while the USFWS received at least $1,854,100 in welfare dollars from the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program in order to finance its part in the killing spree. (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 des Boesen Against Cats.")
2.) Birdwatch Ireland Exterminates Homeless Cats on Tory Island.
Birdwatch Ireland proudly announced to the world in November that it had rounded up and eradicated all the homeless cats on Tory Island. Although the murderers were careful not to reveal how many cats they had slaughtered, it is likely that at the very least several dozen were killed.
Unwilling to stop even there, Birdwatch Ireland also rounded up all domestic cats and sterilized them. "As things now stand, the domestic cat population has been neutered and hopefully there won't be too many kittens next year," the organization's Sandy Alcorn roared like a latter-day wild-eyed Adolf Hitler. As far as she and her cohorts are concerned, one live cat is one too many.
This en masse extermination was undertaken ostensibly to protect the migratory Corn Crake (Crex crex) and tourists visiting the tiny island located nine miles off the coast of County Donegal. (See photo above of the birds.)
In doing so, the birders categorically rejected all humane alternatives and thus proved once again that their only raison d'etre is to defame and kill cats. Furthermore, it is anticipated that their next move is going to be the interdiction of the importation of all felines to the remote island.
Tory islanders thus have joined the citizens of at least one-hundred other islands around the globe who have cruelly and unjustly exterminated their resident felines. (See Cat Defender post of January 5, 2010 entitled "Tourists and Consumers Alike Should Boycott Ireland and Its Exports in Response to Its Extermination of the Homeless Cats on Tory Island.")
3.) Attacks by Archers Are Continuing to Increase.
Attacks against cats by archers are not only proliferating but they have become a worldwide problem. Of the countless assaults reported by the media last year, the maiming in January of a nine-month-old gray and brown cat named Valentine from the Boise suburb of Caldwell was particularly heartbreaking.
Having been shot through her left eye with an arrow by an unidentified fourteen-year-old boy, she was left blind and deaf on her left side. Adding to her distress, she was not adopted until February of this year because she also suffers from the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
As hard as it is to believe, her assailant escaped punishment and was ordered simply to pen letters of apology to Valentine's caretaker, Simply Cats, and the attending veterinarian. (See Cat Defender posts of June 1, 2009 and March 5, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Blind and Deaf on Her Left Side as the Result of a Bow and Arrow Attack by a Juvenile Miscreant, Valentine Is Still Looking for a Permanent Home" and "Struck Down by an Archer and Shunned by an Uncaring Public for More Than a Year, Valentine Finally Finds a Home.")
In the village of Terrington St Clement in Norfolk, Andrew and Juliet Childerhouse's eleven-month-old cat, Dave, returned home on June 10th with a fourteen-inch arrow in his chest that narrowly missed his heart and lungs. The good news is that he miraculously survived; the bad news is that his attacker remains at large. (See Cat Defender post of July 24, 2009 entitled "Critically Wounded Dave Limps Home to His Family with an Arrow Embedded in His Chest Only One Inch Away from His Heart.")
In Clearwater, Florida, a homeless cat named Robin Hood was discovered on June 16th by Gail McFarland with a two-foot aluminum arrow lodged in his right leg. (See photo above.)
He has since recovered and on October 22nd was moved to a sanctuary in Sarasota operated by In Defense of Animals where he will be allowed to live out his life. No arrests have been made in this case either. (See Cat Defender posts of July 23, 2009 and November 1, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Robin Hood Is Wounded in the Leg in Yet Still Another Bow and Arrow Attack Upon a Cat in the Tampa Area" and "Robin Hood, Who Survived a Near Fatal Bow and Arrow Wounding, Is Sent to a Sanctuary in Order to Live Out the Remainder of His Life.")
On August 24th, a four-year-old orange and white cat named Brownie returned home to his owner, eighty-three-year-old Dillon Eaks, in Bloomington, Indiana, with a thirteen-inch arrow in his head. Luckily, the projectile narrowly missed all vital organs and Brownie has since recovered. (See photo directly above.)
Despite the offer of a reward totaling at least $2,920, no arrests have been made in this case. (See Cat Defender post of January 6, 2010 entitled "Large Reward Fails to Lead to the Capture of the Archer Who Shot an Arrow Through Brownie's Head.")
Finally, as far as it is known, nineteen-year-old Chloe O'Connor of Hyde in Greater Manchester was the only archer to be sent to jail in 2009 for attacking a cat. On September 9th she was ordered to serve a measly twelve-weeks in juvenile detention for the cold-blooded murder of her neighbor's six-year-old ginger and white cat, Trouble. (See Cat Defender post of December 18, 2009 entitled "Teenage Wino Who Gunned Down Her Neighbor's Cat with a Crossbow from Her Bedroom Window Cheats Justice.")
4.) Burmese Pythons Emerge as a New Menace to Cats.
On June 25th, four-year-old Wilbur from the Brislington section of Bristol strayed into neighbor Darren Bishop's yard where he was eaten by a thirteen-foot-long pet Burmese python. Because of Bishop's lack of cooperation, officials from the RSPCA were forced to run a microchip scanner over the snake's body in order to determine what had happened to Wilbur. (See photo above.)
"He never stood a chance against a creature more than thirteen times his weight with such immense power," Wilbur's heartbroken owner, Martin Wadey, said afterwards. "Wilbur was ambushed, asphyxiated, and consumed whole...The fact he was trapped like this would have been his ultimate fear." (See Cat Defender post of September 8, 2009 entitled "Four-Year-Old Wilbur Is Ambushed and Eaten Whole by a Thirteen-Foot-Long Pet Burmese Python.")
In 2008, Ruth Butterworth of the Bridgeman Downs section of Brisbane was bitten twice and suffered a broken wrist when she intervened in order to save her cat, Tuffy, who also had been attacked by a python. (See Cat Defender post of March 14, 2008 entitled "Brisbane Woman Is Bitten Twice by a Voracious Python but Still Somehow Manages to Save the Life of Her Cat, Tuffy.")
In August of last year, twenty-eight-year-old Jeremy Tuffly of Mesa, Arizona, fed a kitten to a python who magnanimously refused to eat it. Incensed over the snake's uncharacteristic behavior, Tuffly then kicked the kitten to death. (See mug shot of him above on the left.)
That inspired James King of the Phoenix New Times to later opine, "Congratulations, Phoenix! We have the one guy on the planet who was outclassed by a snake. Hopefully, he can look on the bright side: if he doesn't like jail, at least he has Hell to look forward to." (See Cat Defender post of November 7, 2009 entitled "Jeremy Tuffly Feeds a Kitten to a Pet Python but When It Demurs He Does the Foul Deed Himself by Kicking It to Death.")
5.) Wildlife Biologists Kill Off America's Last Known Jaguar, Macho B.
Falsely claiming that he was suffering from renal failure, officials of the USFWS, AGFD, and the Phoenix Zoo killed off America's last known jaguar, Macho B, on March 2nd. This was after the fifteen-year-old cat twice had been illegally trapped and anesthetized by the AGFD.
Once they had him at their mercy, the wildlife biologists also took blood samples from him and fitted him with a satellite tracking collar. The GPS device apparently malfunctioned and that provided the AGFD with an excuse to dart him again only this time around he would not be released.
In the controversy that ensued, other veterinarians testified that there was nothing wrong with Macho B's kidneys but that it was rather a combination of dehydration, the anesthesia, stress brought on by the trappings, and his age that led to his lethargic behavior. Other experts also have disputed the wildlife biologists' claim that he was accidentally caught in a trap intended for cougars and black bears and instead maintain that his trapping and collaring were intentional. (See photo above of him in a leghold trap only hours before his murder.)
This in turn prompted the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to take legal action against the AGFD for repeatedly trapping Macho B without a permit as is required for all animals protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This additionally led Democratic Congressmen Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona and Nick Rahall II of West Virginia to request that the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General investigate the matter.
In January of this year that office concluded that Macho B's trapping and collaring indeed had been intentional and therefore illegal. It also concluded that the USFWS had erred in ordering a partial, as opposed to a complete, necropsy.
The AGFD is standing by its original lies and a criminal investigation into Macho B's death is continuing. (See Tucson Weekly, January 21, 2010, "United States Inspector General Macho B Inquiry: Criminal Misconduct in the Trapping of Last Known Jaguar in United States?" and Tucson Citizen, January 25, 2010, "Two Releases on Captured Jaguar Macho B: Blame and Rebuttal.")
It is indisputable, however, that Macho B was worth considerably more dead than alive to all sorts of interests. For example, no fewer than nine institutions and individuals divvied up his valuable remains. (See Cat Defender post of May 21, 2009 entitled "Macho B, America's Last Jaguar, Is Illegally Trapped, Radio-Collared, and Killed Off by Wildlife Biologists in Arizona.")
Moreover, the USFWS's decision to order a cosmetic necropsy was based, at least in part, on a desire to preserve the cat's pelt intact. His death also was no doubt welcomed by ranchers, the AGFD and, above all, the USFWS which for years had steadfastly refused to develop a recovery plan for the cats and to set aside critical habitat for them as mandated by the ESA.
On March 30, 2009, Federal District Court Judge John M. Roll sided with the CBD and ordered the USFWS to comply with the dictates of the ESA and on January 12th of this year it belatedly agreed to do so. (See Center for Biological Diversity's press release of January 12, 2010 entitled "Endangered Jaguars to Receive Critical Habitat Protection and Plan for Recovery of United States' Population.")
6.) Raymore Police Summarily Execute Family's Beloved Cat, Tobey.
Although the United States is supposedly a nation of laws, many police officers continue to operate under the mistaken belief that they are above all legal and moral constraint. For example, on Labor Day police in Raymore, Missouri, rounded up Kelly Wesner's nineteen-year-old cat, Tobey, and pumped two shotgun blasts into his head. They then nonchalantly deposited his corpse in a trash can.
Having escaped from Wesner's house, Tobey next strayed onto the property of a cat-hating neighbor who turned a garden hose on him. The unidentified neighbor then telephoned the police to report that a large and vicious feral cat with rabies had scratched a girl.
The police accepted the liar's word as gospel and promptly summarily executed Tobey. This was in spite of the fact that Tobey was declawed, deaf, and elderly. Also, because he suffered from hyperthyroidism, his weight had plummeted to only six pounds.
In the elaborate cover-up that followed, Raymore Police continued to insist that Tobey was not only vicious but had claws as well. City Manager Eric Berlin maladroitly attempted to fob off blame on the fact that the murder occurred on Labor Day and that Tobey was wet from the rain.
"He was a family member," a distraught Wesner said following Tobey's murder. "He was the sweetest animal (and he) was always there to be your friend. He didn't know a stranger." (See Cat Defender post of September 16, 2009 entitled "Acting Solely Upon the Lies of a Cat-Hater, Raymore Police Pump Two Shotgun Blasts into the Head of Nineteen-Year-Old Declawed and Deaf Tobey.")
On March 22, 2008, a policeman in Cecil, Pennsylvania, likewise summarily executed Roger Oldaker's ten-year-old Persian, Elmo. As was the case with Tobey, the officer simply accepted the lies of a cat-hating neighbor and murdered Elmo without conducting an independent investigation of any sort. (See Cat Defender post of March 31, 2008 entitled "Cecil, Pennsylvania, Police Officer Summarily Executes Family's Beloved Ten-Year-Old Persian, Elmo.")
7.) Courts Are Continuing to Wink at Criminals Who Abuse and Kill Cats.
Last year was another disaster for cats and their protectors who sought justice from the courts. Most prominently, on April 19th serial violent offender and drunkard Tracy A. Clark used a box cutter in order to inflict an eight-inch wound upon a cat named Scatt at a church-run homeless shelter in south Seattle. (See photo above of Scatt's horrific injuries.)
Not satisfied with gutting the defenseless moggy from collarbone to tail, he next flung Scatt against a wall breaking three of his ribs in the process.(See photo below of him being led out of court.)
For this dastardly crime, King County Superior Court Judge Michael C. Hayden sentenced him to spend his nights in the pokey for the next nine months; his days were to have been spent in alcohol rehabilitation. (See Cat Defender posts of May 6, 2009 and August 10, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Resident at a Church-Run Homeless Shelter in Seattle Uses a Box Cutter in Order to Gut Scatt from Collarbone to Tail" and "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.")
On April 16th, Judge Samuel T. Powell III of Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court cleared Norge sodbuster Donald Curtis Hunt of drowning five kittens in August of 2007. "I feel that justice has been done," Hunt crowed as he left court to a hero's welcome from his equally morally deprived fellow citizens.
(See Cat Defender posts of May 14, 2009 and October 23, 2007 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 "Virginia Does It Again! Farmer Who Drowned at Least Five Cats Gets Off with a Slap-on-the-Wrists.")
Demonstrating that American jurists do not hold a monopoly on coddling cat killers, a judge in Berlin last June fined thirty-nine-year-old Stefan W. thirteen-hundred-fifty euros for scalding to death his cat, Kitty, in a washing machine. Although he additionally was banned from owning any more cats, he escaped without any jail time.
In fact, he probably never would have been caught in the first place if he had not gone to a local park and bragged about his foul deed. (See Cat Defender post of October 31, 2009 entitled "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.")
8.) Disposing of Unwanted Cats and Kittens on Busy Highways Continues Unabated.
It is difficult to imagine a crueler fate than to be tossed out the window of a speeding automobile and then to be run over and killed by another motorist. As despicable as that sounds, it is nevertheless a reality faced by hundreds, if not indeed thousands, of cats and kittens each year.
Based upon their aberrant behavior, it thus would appear that a certain percentage of the population is unable to discern any measurable difference between a live animal and a candy wrapper. Compounding matters further, seldom if ever are any of these monsters apprehended and forced to atone for their vileness.
As is the case every year, 2009 saw its share of cats and kittens dumped on highways. For instance, a six-week-old black kitten named Miracle was abandoned on the McClugage Bridge in Peoria, Illinois, on June 22nd.
The quick-thinking kitten then surreptitiously hitched a ride underneath Carol Jones's auto when she stopped to mount a rescue. Miracle's fate was not known until she was discovered two days later in Jones's garage in West Peoria. Thrilled to death that her rescue attempt had not been in vain after all, Jones elected to give Miracle a permanent home. (See Cat Defender post of July 6, 2009 entitled "Miracle Survives a Drowning Attempt on the McClugage Bridge and Later Hitchhikes a Ride to Safety Underneath the Car of a Compassionate Motorist.")
On June 12th, a three-week-old kitten named Lucky was saved from a sure and certain death on Hylan Boulevard when Staten Island Judge Catherine DiDomenico stopped and rescued her from oncoming motorists. She later was put up for adoption. (See Cat Defender post of July 2, 2009 entitled "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.")
On June 30th, an eight-week-old kitten named Luzie was rescued from the three-kilometer-long Neuer Elbtunnel in Hamburg by forty-one-year-old traffic cop, Soenke de Vries. During her nightmarish ordeal Luzie sustained a broken hip and an unspecified injury to her mouth.
Fortunately, she later was adopted by de Vries and his Frau, Steffi. (See Cat Defender post of September 12, 2009 entitled "Luzie Sustains a Broken Hip and a Bloody Mouth Before She Is Successfully Rescued from the Busy Elbtunnel.")
Cats are not the only casualties that result from these cruel abandonments. Occasionally, good Samaritans come to grief while attempting to undo the evil done by cat-haters.
That is precisely what happened to twenty-eight-year-old Rachel Honeycutt last June when she stopped and got out of her car on the East-West Connector in Cobb County, Georgia, and attempted to mount a rescue of two kittens that had been tossed out the window of a speeding automobile. Blindsided by a motorist, she was knocked seventy-five feet in the air and landed on the opposite side of the road.
Battered and bruised from head to toe, she suffered a shattered pelvis as well as brain and organ damage. She then lapsed into a comma and had to be put on life-support.
Miraculously, she survived but was left with skyrocketing medical bills and, at last report, was in danger of losing her house to foreclosure because of her inability to work. The police even had the unmitigated gall to write her a ticket!
Despite all the pain and suffering, she was singing anything but the blues after she regained consciousness. "I can't believe I'm okay," she said instead. "Everybody I've helped has helped me so much in a situation that brings it all around. Everything you give you get back." (See photo above of her.)
Through her words and deeds, Rachel has proven once again that cat-lovers have some of the biggest hearts on the planet. (See Cat Defender post of August 10, 2009 entitled "Georgia Woman Is Struck and Nearly Killed by a Motorist while Attempting to Rescue Kittens Dumped in the Middle of a Busy Highway.")
9.) Organized Christianity Remains Unapologetically Hostile to Cats.
Organized Christianity's hostility toward cats did not end at the close of the Middle Ages but rather it is alive and well today. For example, back in July the hierarchy at Northside Baptist Church in Baltimore ordered a feeding station that served around forty cats be removed from its premises. (See photos above and below.)
Furthermore, Pastor Reginald Turner and deacon McKinley Watson were not the least bit hesitant about expressing their antipathy toward the species. As a consequence, for two weeks the cats were forced to go without food and water before Alley Cat Allies stepped in and negotiated an uneasy compromise that, at least for the time being, is permitting the cats to be fed on a more remote section of the church's property. (See Cat Defender post of July 30, 2009 entitled "Ferals Living at a Baltimore Church Find Out the Hard Way that Hatred of Cats Is Every Bit as Christian as Unleavened Bread and Cheap Wine.")
This type of flagrant hostility for downtrodden cats is nothing new as far as Baptists are concerned. For example, back in 2006 while its students were away on Christmas vacation underhanded administrators at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, rounded up all the homeless cats on campus and gave them to the Delaware County SPCA to exterminate. (See Cat Defender post of February 12, 2007 entitled "God-Fearing Baptists at Eastern University Kill Off Their Feral Cats on the Sly while Students Are Away on Christmas Break.")
Catholics are every bit as bad, if not indeed worse, than Protestants when it comes to mistreating cats. For instance, back in 2007 St. Jude Catholic Church in affluent Tequesta, Florida, had twenty-five cats removed from its property and taken to a shelter where they most likely were killed upon arrival.
The philosophy extolled by Mary Jean Kraybill of the University of Chicago's Divinity School in relation to Hyde Park's resident felines should be the gold standard in dealing with all homeless cats everywhere. "It isn't an option to kill them," she told the Chicago Maroon on May 9, 2008. (See "Hyde Park's Feral Cats Gain Local and Citywide Sympathy.") "This is a problem that humans have created, and to try to solve it by killing cats is really inhumane. I think we say a lot about ourselves as a society by how we treat the weakest members, including animals."
10.) Pierced Gothic Kittens Are the Latest Fad in Feline Cruelty.
Thirty-five-year-old Holly Crawford of Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania, somehow discovered that there are morally-warped individuals in this wicked old world who willingly will pay up to $400 for so-called Gothic kittens. She therefore got hold of an unspecified number of tiny black kittens and pierced their ears, necks, and tails.
Jewelry was inserted in their ears while rings were placed in their necks through which leashes then were threaded. She even crudely used rubber bands in order to dock their tails before fitting rings into the remaining stubs.
In addition to the obvious pain that she inflicted on the kittens, the piercings damaged both their hearing as well as their sense of balance and ability to jump. The mutilations also left them vulnerable to infections, cancerous growths, and torn flesh.
Her grooming business, Pawside Parlor, was raided on December 17, 2008 and five kittens were seized. She was first identified in print in February of 2009 when she was indicted. On February 3rd of this year she was convicted of one count of summary animal cruelty and one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty by a jury sitting in Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.
She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 31st. (See Cat Defender posts of January 9, 2009, February 26, 2009, and February 27, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Pennsylvania Dog Groomer Is Caught Piercing the Ears, Necks, and Tails of Cats and Dogs and then Peddling Them on eBay," "Dog Groomer Who Sold Mutilated Gothic Kittens on the Internet Is Finally Identified and Ordered to Stand Trial," and "Sweet Valley Mutilator Is Convicted of Piercing the Ears, Necks, and Tails of Tiny Kittens That She Later Sold on eBay.")
11.) Two More Cats Are Placed Under House Arrest.
If it were not bad enough that humane officials and the law enforcement community steadfastly refuse to take seriously crimes committed against cats, this deplorable situation is compounded by the draconian edicts that some municipal bodies are imposing upon the species and their caretakers. Among these are anti-roaming statutes, limits on the number of cats that an individual can own, and mandates that cats be licensed, microchipped, sterilized, and vaccinated.
In some jurisdictions cats even have been placed under house arrest for life based solely upon the unsubstantiated testimony of their detractors. Not only have they unjustly been deprived of their freedom without due process of law, but should they violate the terms of their confinement municipal officials have vowed to kill them.
In Minneapolis, eighty-two-year-old Lee Noltimier's nineteen-year-old cat, Hoppy, lives under such a death threat. This is the result of his having been involved in two separate scraps with dogs and their owners outside his home on Drew Avenue South near West Thirty-Ninth Street. (See photo above.)
Moreover, Minneapolis Animal Care and Control also has decreed not only that Noltimier must place Hoppy in a harness and on a leash whenever he takes him outside but that he must be segregated in either a kennel or a separate room whenever guests visit.
As far as it is known, this represents the first time that the long arm of the law has been used to regulate the purely social relationship between a cat and its owner inside a private dwelling. (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.")
Dogs have been attacking and killing cats ever since time immemorial and to single out the latter for defending themselves and their turf is not only unfair but ludicrous as well. The absurd lengths that some dog owners are willing to go to in order to defame and punish cats was epitomized last summer by the behavior and outlandish lies of fifty-two-year-old John Randall of Pitsea in Essex.
While out strolling the neighborhood with his Jack Russell Terrier, Scrappy,
on September 18th, Randall claims that they were attacked without provocation by a quintet of homeless cats. In response, he then proceeded to beat them with his cane. (See Cat Defender post of October 23, 2009 entitled "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.")
In addition to attacks by dogs and their owners, cats are sometimes victimized by other cat owners who unwisely intervene in cat fights. These owners often make matters worse by throwing objects at other cats and squirting them with water.
That is what happened to a thirteen-year-old cat named Bingo that is owned by Ana de Vito in Luzern. As a consequence, a Swiss tribunal on April 17th declared Bingo to be a dangerous animal after he bit a cat owner who had stepped between him and another cat in a feline standoff. (See photo above of Bingo and de Vito.)
Bingo was placed under house arrest and de Vito fined US$471.60. (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.")
The circumstances and unjust outcome reached in this case bear a striking resemblance to those involving Fairfield, Connecticut, resident Ruth Cisero's five-year-old longhaired, polydactyl tuxedo, Lewis, in 2006. (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.")
12.) Designer Cat Freezes to Death in the Cargo Hold of an Airliner.
Due to the inherent cruelty and attendant genetic defects involved in their creation, both designer and purebred cats should be outlawed. If society is unwilling to take that bold step, at the very least it should ban the shipping of these cats around in the world in the cargo holds of airliners.
That conclusion was made crystal clear early last year when a pregnant Minskin and her unborn kittens froze to death in the cargo hold of an airliner on a trip from Rhode Island to Oregon. The mother cat was shipped by Cranston breeder John Froais to another breeder on the West Coast. (See photo above of him with one of his Minskins.)
Research by the Atlanta Constitution and Journal earlier revealed not only just how dangerous it is to ship cats and other animals by air but also how thoroughly dishonest the airline industry is when it comes to disclosing exactly how many animals are killed, injured, and lost each year on planes and at airports.
Since Section 710 of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the Twenty-First Century of 2000 defines an animal as "any warm or cold-blooded animal which, at the time of transportation, is being kept as a pet in a family household in the United States," tens of thousands of deaths go unreported each year. For instance, deaths of cats shipped by breeders, such as Froais, and pet shops are not covered by the above definition. The same holds true for livestock, laboratory and zoo animals, and those employed in the entertainment industry.
In addition to those that freeze to death in cargo holds, others are killed on the tarmac by either baggage conveyor machines or the elements. Animals also often escape and disappear whenever their cages are dropped by careless airline personnel.
Some cats that are sedated never regain consciousness while even those that do survive often suffer broken teeth and claws as the result of the stress brought on by their frightening ordeal. (See Cat Defender post of April 7, 2009 entitled "Pregnant Minskin Arrives in Oregon Frozen as Solid as a Block of Ice Following a Fatal Cross-Country Flight in the Cargo Hold of an Airliner.")
Although most airlines still allow a few cats to travel in the passenger cabin, that soon may be a thing of the past, especially for those passengers who frequent either Air Canada or WestJet Airlines of Calgary. That is because the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ruled on February 25th of this year that passengers who are allergic to cats are disabled and therefore must be accommodated.
For the time being the CTA has stopped short of banning cats from the cabin but it has taken the matter under advisement and such an odious outcome is a distinct possibility. (See National Post, February 26, 2010, "Fliers with Cat Allergies Are Disabled, Agency Rules.")
Pet Airways, which inaugurated weekly service to New York, Washington, Chicago, Omaha, Fort Lauderdale, Denver, and Los Angeles last July, offers a far safer alternative, especially for those with deep pockets. An additional eighteen destinations are planned for 2011.
On these flights animals fly in climate-controlled cabins and their well-being is monitored every fifteen minutes by trained attendants. Fares start at $150.
13.) Belgians Are Still Celebrating Their Past Crimes Against Cats.
From the fourteenth century up until 1817 residents of Ieper disposed of their unwanted cats by hurling them to their deaths on Grote Markt from the top of two-hundred-thirty-foot-high Cloth Hall. Known as Kattenworp, this odious practice was the reward that the cats received for keeping the residents' precious textiles safe from rodents. In other words, the citizenry got rich while the cats got their brains splattered all over the cobblestones.
This sick and barbaric ritual was reinstituted in 1938 with the only difference being that stuffed cats were substituted for live ones. (See photo above of a jester hard at work at the 2003 event.)
A parade, known as Kattenstoet, was inaugurated in 1946 and it features thousands of costumed cat dancers, marching bands, floats, and fireworks. The forty-second edition of this triennial event stepped off on May 10th and attracted an estimated fifty-thousand spectators, many of them from Japan. (See photo below.)
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with Kattenstoet itself, it is perverse for the citizens of Ieper to continue to celebrate their past offenses against cats. It would be far more in keeping with the spirit of Kattenstoet if they instead were to abolish Kattenworp, issue a formal apology for their past crimes, and work to end current abuses and exterminations of cats throughout the country. (See Cat Defender posts of August 6, 2009 and May 22, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Unrepentant and Totally Shameless, Ieper Once Again Makes a Mockery of Its Past Crimes Against Cats by Staging Kattenstoet" and "Belgian Ritual of Tossing Stuffed Cats from Belfry Makes Jest of Hideous Crimes of Capitalists and Catholics.")
Photos: Rob Varella of the Ventura County Star (rescued cats from San Nicolas), Johann Andreas Naumann, Naturgeschichte der Voegel Mitteleuropas via Wikipedia (Corn Crakes), Bay News 9 of Tampa (Robin Hood), Rebecca Brown of Monroe County Animal Control via Splash News and the Daily Mail (Brownie), Moggies (Wilbur), Phoenix New Times (Jeremy Tuffly), AGFD (Macho B), Kelly Wesner (Tobey), Pasado's Safe Haven (Scatt), KOMO-TV of Seattle (Tracy A. Clark), WXIA-TV of Atlanta (Rachel Honeycutt), Northside Baptist Church (exterior of facility), Gene Sweeney Jr. of the Baltimore Sun (homeless cats at Northside Baptist), Sky News (Gothic kitten), KSAX-TV of Minneapolis (Hoppy), Sabine Wunderlin of Blick (Bingo and Ana de Vito), WPRI-TV of Providence (John Froais and a Minskin), Niko Deleu (Kattenworp), and De Morgen of Brussels (Kattenstoet).