Molly Loses an Eye to an Assailant with a Ball Bearing Gun Only Later to Be Victimized by an Incompetent Veterinarian
"Molly was lying on the sofa and the lump had completely gone. There was now just the hole where her eye had been, but next to her on the sofa was a massive ball bearing."
-- Denise Traynor
For some ailurophobes merely killing cats is not enough; instead, they have to maim them for life. More often than not their preferred method of maiming is to put out an eye.
Scarcely an hour in the day goes by without some cat being blinded by gunshot wounds, air guns, crossbows, nail guns, and acid. Shooting a cat in the eye with a ball bearing is, however, comparatively rare.
Nevertheless, that is precisely what happened recently to a seven-month-old brown cat with sparkling green eyes named Molly from Lyttleton Avenue in the village of Charford in Bromsgrove, Worcester. (See photo above of the horrific damage done to her left eye.)
The string of tragic events that culminated in her losing her eye began on June 30th when Molly disappeared from home. When she returned two days later it was with an ugly swelling in her left eye.
Her guardian, Denise Traynor, immediately took her to an unidentified veterinarian who incompetently misdiagnosed Molly to be suffering from an eye infection. The vet prescribed painkillers and antibiotics and then sent Molly home. Later that same day, Traynor brought Molly back to the same vet in order to have what little remained of her left eye surgically removed.
It was not until 5 a.m. on July 3rd when a large ball bearing either fell out or was clawed out of her injured eye that Traynor accidentally found out what actually had happened to Molly. (See photo below of the ball bearing alongside a coin.)
"Molly was lying on the sofa and the lump had completely gone," Traynor told the Bromsgrove Advertiser on July 6th. (See "Kitten Loses Eye after Being Shot with Ball Bearing in Bromsgrove.") "There was now just the hole where her eye had been, but next to her on the sofa was a massive ball bearing."
The belated realization that Molly had been victimized by an horrific act of animal cruelty sickened Traynor and left her groping for an explanation. "I can't believe someone could do this to a tiny defenseless animal. It's sickening," she told the Bromsgrove Advertiser in the article cited supra. "I hope these people see what has happened to Molly and feel some kind of remorse at their totally inhumane behavior."
On that last point Traynor is awfully naive if she believes that Molly's attacker is capable of feeling anything remotely approaching contrition. On the contrary, such individuals derive immense pleasure from abusing cats and take infinite pride in the commission of their evil deeds.
The police have been notified and, predictably, have decided not to even investigate the matter. Instead, they have put out a lame call to the public requesting that any and all tips be forwarded to them.
It likewise is a sure bet that the RSPCA will sit this one out just like it twiddles its thumbs at all other cases of feline abuse. The long and the short of the matter is that horrific attacks of this sort are destined to continue until the public forces humane groups and the law enforcement community into taking feline cruelty seriously.
Compounding an already tragic situation, Molly later was victimized by yet another astounding case of veterinary malpractice. Clearly, any veterinarian incapable of detecting the presence of a ball bearing after two examinations and the surgical removal of a damaged eye does not have any business practicing veterinary medicine.
As it is painfully obvious, a common eye infection is in no way comparable to the damage inflicted by ball bearings and other assorted air gun pellets. Besides, any veterinarian incapable of immediately recognizing the difference at the very least should have the bon sens to order an x-ray.
The veterinarian's gross negligence is all the more reprehensible in light of the fact that attacks upon cats by individuals armed with air guns and similar devices have reached epidemic proportions all across England. Consequently, deadly projectiles of one sort or another should be the first thing that any halfway competent vet looks for when examining cats with eye injuries. (See Cat Defender post of May 7, 2007 entitled "British Punks Are Having a Field Day Maiming Cats with Air Guns but the Peelers Continue to Look the Other Way.")
As the evidence continues to mount it becomes clearer with each passing day that competent and trustworthy veterinarians are as rare and hens' teeth. (See Cat Defender posts of June 17, 2010, July 2, 2010, and July 16, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Veterinarian Gets Away with Almost Killing Felix but Is Nailed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for Not Paying Her Dues," "Lexi Was By No Means the First Cat to Be Lost by Woosehill Vets Any More Than Angel Was Their Last Victim of a Botched Sterilization," and "Tossed Out the Window of a Car Like an Empty Beer Can, Injured Chattanooga Kitten Is Left to Die after at Least Two Veterinarians Refused to Treat It.")
Whereas it is widely known that cops are as thick as thieves and therefore rarely, if ever, report crimes committed by their colleagues, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association strongly suggests that practicing physicians also cover up the mistakes made by their incompetent colleagues. (See "Physicians' Perceptions, Preparedness for Reporting, and Experiences Related to Impaired and Incompetent Colleagues," July 14, 2010, volume 304, pages 187-193.)
Since the level of oversight exercised over the veterinary establishment is considerably less than that which pertains to the medical profession, it is a good bet that incompetent veterinarians are rarely singled out for even public censure let alone disciplinary action. Accordingly, the number of cats and other animals that they misdiagnose and subsequently kill each year must be astronomical.
Considering the extent of the damage done to Molly's eye it is unclear if prompt and competent veterinary intervention would have been sufficient in order to have saved it. Nevertheless, there can be little doubt that early removal of the ball bearing would have eased her suffering and greatly reduced not only the inflammation but the risk of infection and disease as well.
Although cats are capable of functioning with only one orb, horrific head injuries often are accompanied by not only infections but permanent neurological damage as well. Hopefully, Molly has lost only her left eye and not suffered any further damage.
Finally, it is long overdue that the authorities in Angleterre either banned outright or severely restricted the sale of air guns and crossbows, especially to minors. Such a proscription would not, however, deter individuals from cobbling together crude ball bearing guns out of, inter alia, empty toilet paper dispensers and balloons.
Photos: Bromsgrove Advertiser.