Swedish Couple Out Gathering Mushrooms Unearths a Trio of Four-Week-Old Kittens Buried Alive in the Woods
"Kvinnan var helt uppriven när hon ringde och berättade vad som hänt. Som tur var hade den som grävt gjort graven så grund att den ena katten lyckades få upp sitt huvud."
-- Tina Karlsson of Kattstugan
The outright killing, maiming, and torturing of cats has become old hat as far as some ailurophobes are concerned. Nowadays they require a more macabre means of doing in members of the world's most abused species.
That was the shocking reality foisted upon an unidentified couple out picking mushrooms in the woods near Hindås, thirty-four kilometers east of Göteborg, in southwestern Sweden on the evening of August 26th. Behind a tree stump they unexpectedly spotted a tiny kitten who through sheer determination and an indomitable will to live had been able to poke its head out of a would-be grave.
Being kindhearted and caring individuals, they began frantically digging and soon freed not only that kitten but also two of its four-week-old littermates. They next contacted Tina Karlsson of Kattstugan (Cat Cottage) in nearby Horred who came and took possession of them.
"Kvinnan var helt uppriven när hon ringde och berättade vad som hänt," she later told Borås Tidning on August 28th. (See "Katter begravdes levande i skogen.") "Som tur var hade den som grävt gjort graven så grund att den ena katten lyckades få upp sitt huvud." ("The woman was totally distraught when she called and told me what had happened. Luckily, one of the kittens was able to dig its head out of the grave.")
It is not exactly clear what condition the two females and one male are in or if any of them have suffered any lasting damage as the result of being taken away from their mother at such a tender age and then being nearly suffocated to death in the ground. For her part, Karlsson is committed to seeing to it that they receive every chance to recuperate and, most importantly, to live.
"Men jag ger inte upp på dessa små som precis har startat sina liv," she vowed to Borås Tidning. ("I will not give up on these small ones who have just begun to live.")
She therefore plans on bottle-feeding them until they become twelve-weeks-old. They then will be dewormed, sterilized, and put up for adoption. (See photo above of her and the kittens.)
At last report, no arrests have been made in this case and none are expected. In fact, it is doubtful that either humane officials or the police are even bothering to look into the matter.
"Det år så vidrigt gjort, djurplågeri av värsta slaget," Karlsson told Borås Tidning in the article cited supra. "Finge jag tag i den som gjort detta vet jag inte vad jag skulle göra." ("It is so disgusting, cruelty of the worst kind. If I got hold of whoever did this I don't know what I'd do.")
She then proceeds to commit the faux pas of allowing her moral indignation to get the better of her bon sens. "Mitt hjärta blöder för dessa små och så får de ingen chans på grund av att det finns idioter utan hjärta eller hjärna," she told Borås Tidning. ("My heart bleeds for these small creatures who don't get a chance because of idiots without either a heart or a brain.")
Actually, individuals and groups who kill and abuse cats have plenty of brains. The National Audubon Society, the American Bird Conservancy, practically all branches of the United States government but especially the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, shelters and Animal Control officers, vivisectors, and phony-baloney animal protection groups such as PETA and the Humane Society of the United States systematically slaughter millions of cats each year with impunity and no one ever has accused any of them of being mentally deficient.
Sensational, randomized attacks upon cats, while every bit as detestable, pale in comparison with the wholesale abuse and slaughters carried out by these groups and agencies. Another thing that both groups have in common is that almost none of them are ever apprehended and punished for their crimes.
Along about the same time that the mushroom pickers were digging out the Hindås kittens, a trio of lasses were doing likewise for a nameless seven-month-old male black and white kitten from the Glen Top section of Stacksteads in the borough of Rossendale in Lancashire. Specifically, he had been stuffed in a basket, dumped in a hole alive, and then covered up with dirt and a pile of bricks.
That most likely would have been the end of him if thirteen-year-old twins Elle and Beth Hardman along with their friend, Lucy Pilkington, had not heard his frantic cries for help. "The kids were on their way out and heard this racket. They found the buried basket and got the cat," Elle and Beth's mother, Gilly, later explained to the Lancashire Telegraph on August 27th. (See "Buried Alive Kitten Saved by Rossendale Teenagers.") "It was absolutely soaked and terrified."
The Hardmans gave the kitten a bath and something to eat and he soon was his old self again. "He is a friendly little thing and just wanted to be cuddled," Hardman added.
Since the kitten was neither tagged nor microchipped, an appeal has gone out to his owner to come forward and reclaim him. In the meantime, he has been transferred to the RSPCA in Oldham, Greater Manchester, which will attempt to find him a new home if no one claims him.
"He was very dirty, but other than that he was fine," the RSPCA's Catherine Hamblin told the Lancashire Telegraph in the article cited supra. "It looks like whoever did this was trying to kill him. This was a very cruel incident and was very distressing for the animal." (See photo above of her with the kitten.)
Yobs are suspected of being responsible for this heinous crime and since the cat was found on property owned by the Hardmans it is likely that they have a pretty good idea of who the culprits are and where they live. Instead of pursuing that obvious lead, the RSPCA is inexplicably calling for eyewitnesses to come forward.
That is both a dereliction of duty and a total waste of time. Very few cat abusers, including yobs, are bold enough in order to commit their despicable crimes in the presence of eyewitnesses.
Consequently, good old-fashioned detective work is the only way in which to bring the assailants in this case, as well as those in Hindås, to justice. That, of course, would require a substantial expenditure of both money and manpower and the RSPCA has demonstrated time and time again that it is totally unwilling to part with very much of either in order to apprehend feline abusers.
Most notably, it is yet to charge forty-five-year-old Bank of Scotland employee Mary Bale of Stoke in Coventry who on August 21st was caught on a surveillance camera picking up Darryl Mann's four-year-old cat, Lola, outside her residence on Brays Lane and stuffing her into a trash can. (See photo montage below.)
Lola was found and rescued fifteen-hours later by Mann after he had reviewed the surveillance tapes. If it had not been for the tapes, she likely would have been crushed to death at either a recycling plant or the city dump. (See Cat Defender posts of May 4, 2010 and August 23, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Picked Up by a Garbage Truck Driver and Dumped with the Remainder of the Trash, Alfie Narrowly Misses Being Recycled" and "An Alert Scrap Metal Worker Discovers a Pretty 'Penny' Hidden in a Mound of Rubble.")
Despite incontrovertible evidence of Bale's guilt, the good-for-nothing RSPCA steadfastly refuses to indict her. Given such intransigence, it is not the least bit surprising that crimes against cats continue to skyrocket. (See Coventry Telegraph, September 2, 2010, "RSPCA Still Debating Whether to Punish Wheelie Bin Cat Woman" and the Daily Mail, August 26, 2010, "Gray-Haired Bank Worker Who Dumped Cat in Wheelie Bin Could Face Court as RSPCA Prosecutors Review Case.")
"The RSPCA has a responsibility to charge Mary Bale with animal cruelty," the editor of Moggies wrote on the organization's web site on September 5th. "To not do so would put the RSPCA to shame."
Sadly, not all cats that are buried alive survive. For example, on May 6th a five-year-old one named Spud was hit over the head with a shovel and then buried alive in a garden that he frequented in Maxton Court on the Lansbury Park estate in Caerphilly, twelve kilometers outside of Cardiff.
Despite the blow to his tiny head, Spud was able to dig himself out of the ground and was lying in the mud when a fireman came and took him to Valley Vets. His herculean effort proved to be in vain, however, as the vets elected to kill him off anyway.
"It was in a fetal position and squirming and opening and closing its mouth and struggling to breathe," Emma Smith of the RSPCA told the South Wales Echo of Cardiff on May 27th. (See "Cat Died after It Was Buried Alive.") "He would have to have been down there for a good few hours. The fact that grit and mud was (sic) in his airways suggests he was down there for quite a while. He was absolutely exhausted."
Although Smith has vowed to track down the killer, as far as it is known no arrests have been made in this case. As with the Stacksteads' kitten, the RSPCA pretty much has limited its involvement to begging the public to do its job for it.
"What the poor cat went through was horrendous and it's vital that the public help us find the perpetrators," she gassed to the Caerphilly News on May 27th. (See "RSPCA Investigate Cat Buried Alive in Caerphilly Garden.")
The RSPCA is taking that absurd position in spite of the perfectly obvious fact that the owner of the garden and shovel have considerable explaining to do. At the very least the handle of the murder weapon should have been dusted immediately for fingerprints.
Seeing as how how some gardeners hate cats with a passion, it is likely that Spud was killed simply for being in the garden. (See Cat Defender posts of August 26, 2010, August 19, 2010, June 10, 2010, and June 5, 2007 entitled, respectively, "In Stark Contrast to Ailurophobic America, Ziegelchen's Illegal Trapping by a Gardener in Altstädten-Burbach Is Roundly Condemned in Deutschland," "Music Lessons and Buggsey Are Murdered by a Cat-Hating Gardener and an Extermination Factory Posing as an Animal Shelter in Saginaw," "Cat-Hating Gardener in Nordrhein Westfalen Is Told by the Local Authorities to Remove a Board of Nails from His Yard," and "RSPCA's Unlawful Seizure and Senseless Killing of Mork Leaves His Sister, Mindy, Brokenhearted and His Caretakers Devastated.")
"I had him for about five years. He used to like to eat potato peelings, that's why I called him Spud," the cat's heartbroken fifty-three-year-old owner, Ellen John of Trevelyan Court, told the South Wales Echo in the article cited supra. "He used to sit on the side of the draining board doing that. I've not seen any other cats like that. It was a bit odd. But cats are odd things."
Spud also was a very friendly and gentle cat that John sometimes would wrap up in blankets and carry around the house like a baby. "To do something like that (kill Spud) is just mindless cruelty," she added.
In conclusion, about the only thing positive that can be said about the incidents in both Hindås and Stacksteads is that all four kittens are alive. It would have been so easy for their assailants to first have killed them and afterwards buried them. If both Karlsson and the RSPCA do what they are supposed to do each of them should be able to look forward to a long and happy life.
The Swedish couple, Hardman twins, and Pilkington are to be commended for both their compassion and for saving these four precious young lives. Each of them are genuine heroes who through their actions have made this miserable old world just a little bit more livable for both cats and humans alike.
Photos: Magnus Larsson of Borås Tidning (Karlsson and kittens), Lancashire Telegraph (Stacksteads' kitten and Hamblin), and Darryl Mann (Bale stuffing Lola in a trash can).
N.B. All Swedish translations are, at best, rough approximations.