Grace Survives Being Shot Point-Blank Between the Eyes by a Monster with a Nail Gun but Sioux City Authorities Refuse to Even Investigate the Attack
"She was purring and wagging her tail. She just had a nail in her head."
-- Animal Control Officer Jake Appel
In addition to the sodium pentobarbital and gas chambers used so profusely by Animal Control officers and conventional shelters during their daily mass feline eradication efforts, the means of killing and injuring cats are almost endless. For the sake of analysis, however, they may be divided into familiar old school methods and modern new wave devices.
To the first category belong such conventional modes as, inter alia, shooting with guns, cutting with knives and box cutters, spearing with cross bows, burning with fire and firecrackers, drowning, poisoning with antifreeze and tainted meat, mutilation by acid and other chemicals, snaring in leghold traps, and malice aforethought using dogs, snakes, and other animals. "...the unfortunate feline species seemed to be fair game for every kind of cruelty and neglect," veterinarian and author James Herriot remarked in his book, Cat Stories. "They shot cats, threw things at them, starved them, and set their dogs on them for fun."
Modern man has added microwave ovens, Tasers, wood chippers, BB guns, washing machines, automobiles, and farm equipment to his arsenal of feline torture and killing devices. C'est-a-dire, any deadly modern contrivance that he is able to get his filthy hands on he is going to sooner or later try out on some defenseless cat.
Therefore, it was only a matter of time before someone started shooting them with nail guns. The first known victim of such an attack is a brown and gray cat named Amazing Grace who was discovered on either May 12th or May 19th (press reports are contradictory) with a three-inch nail lodged between her eyes. (See photo above.)
She was found cowering underneath a parked truck on the 500 block of Center Street in Sioux City, Iowa, by Animal Control Officer Jake Appel after an unidentified woman had telephoned his office. Although she had been living underneath the truck for at least three days, the authorities have not speculated as to when she was shot.
Despite all the hell that she had been put through, she miraculously was still alive. "She was purring and wagging her tail," Appel told Peoplepets.com on May 26th. (See "Amazing: Cat Survives Nail Shot into Skull.") "She just had a nail in her head."
Rushed to Siouxland Animal Hospital the nail was surgically removed two days later and, at least for the time being, it looks like Grace is going to live. "The cat is doing extremely well," Appel's fellow officer, Cody Harrington, told the Sioux City Journal on May 26th. (See "Reward Offered for Person Who Injured Cat.") "(She is) up and playful."
So far, neither any infections nor complications relating to the surgery have manifested themselves and she is reported to be eating, purring, playing, and in good spirits. Sadly, she suffered corneal damage and may lose the sight in her left eye.
Since she was not either wearing a collar or microchipped, it is not known where she came from but her friendly disposition tends to indicate that she was accustomed to being around people. If no one comes forward to claim her, she will be put up for adoption as soon as she recovers.
Since nails fired from nail guns are capable of traveling at a velocity of four-hundred-ninety-feet per second, it is not surprising that the projectile came close to exiting the back of Grace's tiny head. Somehow or another, it missed striking any vital tissues by about a millimeter. (See x-ray below.)
Of the roughly forty-two-thousand Americans, both amateurs and professionals, who are shot with nail guns each year about five-hundred-fifty of them are innocent bystanders. For example, both motorists and a man sitting in a barber's chair getting a haircut have been maimed by stray nails fired from these deadly tools. (See The Sacramento Bee, April 13, 2008, "Investigative Report: Nail Gun Safety Under Fire as Injuries Soar.")
This does not appear to have been the case with Grace since she was shot directly between the eyes at point-blank range. The Siouxland Humane Society (SHS), an anonymous donor, and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) therefore have pooled their resources and are offering an insignificant reward of $3,500 for the apprehension of the low-life scumbag who shot Grace.
Predictably, neither humane officials nor the police in Sioux City have received any tips or leads in the case. Perhaps it is about time that somebody informed these good-for-nothing, lazy-ass bindle stiffs that competent police work requires a great deal more than merely sitting idly by and waiting for the telephone to ring.
As per usual in cases of this sort, a proverbial feast of big talk and self-righteous moral indignation is being served up to the cat-loving public as a substitute for concerted action. "I didn't think anyone in this city was that mean," Appel volunteered for the benefit of Peoplepets. "I didn't think the cat was going to survive either."
"Those who committed this terrible torturous act against a helpless animal must be caught and held accountable," Jerry Dominicak of SHS chimed in for the readers of the Sioux City Journal in the May 26th article cited supra. "We hope a reward of this size will help law enforcement find and punish him or her to the fullest extent of the law."
Not about to be left out, Appel's colleague Cindy Rarrat had to add her two cents' worth. "If we've got somebody out there with a nail gun that's doing things to animals, the whole community should be concerned 'cause this is just a (sic) horrific act the owners need to be prosecuted for and they will be," she gassed to Radio Iowa on May 24th. (See "Sioux City Cat Recovering from Nail Driven in Its Head.")
Should the blowhards who control the levers of power in Sioux City ever make up their devious little minds and decide to treat this horrific assault seriously there are several steps that must be taken promptly. First of all, they should start with the premise that the 500 block of Center Street was Grace's home turf and expand the search area by about a square acre. Should it later turn out that she was shot elsewhere and later dumped there, a new search paradigm will have to be designed.
Operating upon the assumption that the above premise has merit, the authorities should commit the manpower to canvass the community door-to-door in an effort to ascertain who had been caring for Grace and who owns nail guns. Since Grace had to have come from somewhere, the records of shelters, Animal Control, and breeders should be examined. Hardware stores and other retail outlets that sell nail guns also should be contacted.
Data collected from these inquiries should be cross-checked with that supplied by area residents and discrepancies relentlessly pursued. Also, since most municipalities require that a permit must be obtained even for renovating a house, those records should be checked against sales receipts for nail guns.
Once a suspect has been identified, those trained in ballistics should be given the task of matching up the nail taken out of Grace's head with the gun from which it was fired. The chances are good that someone in the neighborhood either saw, heard, or knows something about this incident and it is up to the authorities to coax it out of them.
If juveniles are to blame, it is even money that a video of the wounding also exists. Monsters who commit these hideous offenses quite often cannot resist the temptation to record their devilry for both posterity and their own future amusement.
Although by no means exclusive, these are precisely the procedures that the police would follow in investigating a homicide and their total unwillingness to do as much for Grace can mean only that they are indifferent to the suffering of cats. Above all, it is imperative that the decent citizens of Sioux City force these slackers into enforcing the anti-cruelty statutes.
The same logic applies in spades to the SHS and the rich-as-Croesus HSUS who only are offering an award because they know bloody well that they never will be forced to make good on their pledge. Instead of running off at the mouth and staging cheap publicity stunts in order to line their pockets, they should be out in the neighborhood searching high and low for Grace's assailant and badgering the police both night and day to do the same.
Like politicians everywhere when it comes to crimes perpetrated against cats, those in Sioux City have been conspicuously silent about this assault. Voters who care about cats should let them know exactly what they think about their dereliction of duty the next time that they traipse to the polls.
The total unwillingness on the part of police departments, humane groups, and politicians to treat cruelty to cats seriously is not anything that is peculiar to Sioux City; au contraire, it is the universal norm. For example, some forces are so unwilling to enforce the anti-cruelty statutes that they categorically refuse to investigate cases of feline cruelty even when they are supplied with the names, descriptions, and addresses of the culprits.
The force in Absecon, New Jersey, is one such no-good, rotten operation. Recently, when it was supplied with evidence that a local resident was attacking a managed colony of homeless cats it retaliated by threatening to have the cats trapped and killed if the complainant did not go away and shut up. To date, three cats have disappeared and are presumed to have been poisoned.
The one bit of encouraging news to come out of Sioux City is that Grace apparently has several potential homes awaiting her once she recovers. Although it is unclear where she currently is being housed, she needs to get out of there as soon as possible.
Too cheap to feed her wet food, she has been switched to a diet that consists exclusively of dry food. While all commercial cat food is pure garbage, kibble is the worst of a bad lot.
Secondly, a video posted May 25th on the web site of KTIV-TV of Sioux City shows either a kennel worker or a veterinarian roughly massaging Grace's surgically-repaired head. (See "Humane Society Offers Reward in Case of Cat with Nail in Head.")
First of all, the last thing on earth that a cat which has just undergone brain surgery needs is a head massage. Secondly, someone should inform this buffoon that a cat is not a dog and that rough treatment is not appreciated under any circumstances.
"Une nouvelle vie attend ce chat dans une famille qui lui fera oublier les mauvais traitements du passe," Wamiz opined on May 27th. (See "Un clou dans la tete, le chat survit.")
Hopefully, such a happy denouement is just around the corner for Grace and perhaps then she finally will be able to meet some halfway decent human beings instead of the monsters and posers who have preyed upon her for so long.
Photos: Sioux City Animal Control (Grace) and Siouxland Animal Hospital via Splash and the Daily Mail (x-ray).