Only Eight-Weeks-Old, Harrison Is Maimed for Life When an Assailant Cuts Off Both of His Ears with a Pair of Scissors
"He can get debris in there, and if it rains, it can be a disaster. So he's definitely going to be an indoor kitty. If there's any more further issues with it, definitely because he does have his claws, if he scratches or tries to clean it, he probably won't be the best at it."
-- Stephanie Miller
It has happened again. Some cretin has used a pair of scissors in order to cut off the ears of another defenseless kitten. This time around the victim was an eight-week-old kitten named Harrison. (See photo above.)
Found by a good Samaritan in Harrisonburg, sixty-three miles north of Charlottesville, during the early days of July, he was rushed to the nearby Shenandoah Valley Spay and Neuter Clinic where the attendants were able to stanch the bleeding and treat his wounds.
It is not clear how badly his hearing has been impaired but since cats rotate their ears in order to better pinpoint the location of sounds some diminishment is likely. Just as importantly, his inner ear no longer has any external protection from the elements, insects, and sharp objects.
After recuperating in foster care provided by the Cat's Cradle in Harrisonburg, he was adopted on July 14th by Stephanie Miller of Valley Veterinarian Hospital in Harrisonburg. While his health problems stemming from this horrific act of animal cruelty are going to be with him for the remainder of his life, the fact that Miller works in a veterinary hospital will ensure that he continues to receive the top-notch care that he so richly deserves and needs.
Miller equally understands that she is going to have to help him to clean and take care of his ears. "He can get debris in there, and if it rains, it can be a disaster. So he's definitely going to be an indoor kitty," she told WHSV-TV of Harrisonburg on July 14th. (See "Abused Kitten Adopted by Vet Employee.") "If there's any more further issues with it, definitely because he does have his claws, if he scratches or tries to clean it, he probably won't be the best at it."
Harrisonburg Animal Control supposedly is investigating this attack but that is highly unlikely. Animal protection groups and the police seldom, if ever, investigate attacks upon cats. On those extremely rare occasions when arrests are made they are the result of the intervention of concerned citizens.
This steadfast refusal to take animal cruelty seriously persists in the face of its wider societal implications. "This is very serious and it's significant not only because of what happened to this little kitty, Harrison, but also because we know that evidence has shown that there is a link between animal cruelty and other forms of interpersonal violence," Cate Mansfield of Shenandoah Valley Spay and Neuter told WHSV-TV earlier on July 13th. (See "Abused Kitten Had Ears Cut Off.")
On that point she is supported by Christoph Paulus of the Universität Saarland who estimates that between eighty and eighty-nine per cent of all violent offenders began their careers by abusing animals. (See Hamburger Abendblatt, August 26, 2010, "Katze im Schließfach: PETA setzt Belohnung aus.")
Mansfield therefore is definitely on the right track but she carelessly fails to carry her argument to its logical conclusion. In particular, if there is a causal link between randomized, individual acts of feline cruelty and violence toward humans, there is an even stronger relationship between that kind of violence and the institutionalized and organized slaughter of cats carried out every day by shelters and Animal Control officers, vivisectors, birders, wildlife biologists, and the United States government.
Although political compacts ostensibly are entered into in order to secure the common good, that is rarely ever the case, at least not for very long. The police, politicians, bureaucrats, financial interests, and bigoted clans and tribes soon corrupt the social and political order for their own selfish ends. Once that happens, societies become even far worse hellholes than Thomas Hobbes's state of nature where life was said to be "nasty, brutish, and short."
Societies may continue to punish some individual miscreants, but the really big offenders become institutionalized and continue to commit their heinous crimes with impunity. It therefore really is not any mystery why crimes against cats, other animals, Mother Earth, and the downtrodden go unpunished.
In America, for instance, it is doubtful that there is a halfway honest politician at any level of government. Public service exists, as Ambrose Bierce pointed out in his Devil's Dictionary, for private gain. Moreover, that is the way most Americans like to be governed.
Harrison is by no means the first kitten to have had his ears cut off with scissors. In September of 2006, a kitten named Zoe in Kingsville, Texas, suffered the same fate. Afterwards she was deposited in a Dumpster and left to bleed to death.
Fortunately, she was rescued by a good Samaritan and later adopted by Melissa Webb and her young daughter, Lexy. At last report, her ears were still functioning although it takes her a moment in order to locate the direction of sounds. (See photo of her above.)
In addition to making a miraculous recovery from a cruel fate, she has gone on to become the heroine of a series of children's books written and self-published by the Webbs. The first of which is entitled Zoe the Earless Kitten, The Adoption. (See Cat Defender posts of October 27, 2006 and September 2, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Tiny Kitten Named Zoe Has Her Ears Cut Off by Fiends but Texas Police Do Not Seem to Care," and "Zoe Rebounds from Having Her Ears Cut Off in a Savage Attack to Become the Heroine of a New Series of Children's Books.")
Perhaps Harrison will follow in Zoe's footsteps. That would be one way at least for the public to follow his recovery and progress.
Earlier this spring, a beautiful and friendly brown and white nameless cat without ears turned up at the Gasthof Linde in Löffingen, Baden Württemberg, where she stayed for two months before being cruelly and inexcusably handed over to the Löffinger Tierheim. (See photo directly above.)
Local veterinarians speculate that her ears were surgically removed when she underwent neck surgery. They further believe that they were removed because of sunburn.
Whereas white-haired cats are more prone to sunburn than others, this cat's ears appear to be brown which casts considerable doubt on that hypothesis. Besides, the proper way to protect such cats is to either keep them out of the sun or to equip them with special headgear and sun blockers. More to the point, it is difficult to conceive of any circumstances where it would be advantageous for a cat to have its ears removed.
It is difficult to say with any certainty given the few facts provided, but a far more logical explanation would be that she had both of her ears cut off and her neck injured in a vicious assault. Veterinarians then repaired the damage done to her neck but were unable to do anything about her ears.
Unlike most cats, she is not the least bit afraid of riding in cars which suggests that she has done a fair amount of traveling. "Sie fährt liebend gerne Auto," Ingrid Messmer of Gasthof Linde told the Schwarzwälder-Bote of Oberndorf am Neckar on July 29th. (See "Katze ohne Ohren sucht Besitzer.")
Unfortunately, it has not been possible to find out what happened to her once she arrived at the Löffinger Tierheim. Considering all the pain and suffering that she has been put through, she certainly is deserving of a permanent and loving home and for this shelter to harm her in any way would be every bit as egregious as the monster who cut off her ears.
In addition to an ingrained hatred of cats, individuals also mutilate their ears for profit. That was the cruel and sadistic business that Holly Crawford of Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania, had going until she was busted by the authorities in late 2008.
In particular, she was piercing the ears of tiny black kittens and then threading heavy jewelry through them. Throughout the long-drawn-out judicial proceeding against her, she maintained to the bitter end that it was "neat" to abuse kittens in such a manner. Obviously, neat and profitable are synonymous as far as she is concerned. (See Cat Defender post of April 24, 2010 entitled "Holly Crawford Hits the Jackpot by Drawing a Judge Who Simply Adores Kitten Mutilators and Dope Addicts.")
All of these horrible mutilations are simply revolting. With the notable exception of blinding cats with air guns, crossbows, ball bearings, nail guns, and firecrackers, it is difficult to think of a crueler form of abuse than to cut off their ears. If there were an ounce of justice in this world the culprits would be apprehended and their ears cut off in retaliation.
Photos: WHSV-TV (Harrison), KRIS-TV of Corpus Christi (Zoe), and Schwarzwälder-Bote (cat from Gasthof Linde).