Lucky Is Saved from Starvation by a Kindhearted Woman after Her Mouth Is Glued Shut by an Assailant in West Hartford
"She (the Good Samaritan) was able, with a little bit of warm water and a towel...to pry it open gently. And I think she was the one that really saved Lucky's life, because if she wasn't able to do that, who knows how long she would have lasted out there."
-- Lisa Shackett of Mary's Kitty Korner
An innocuous tube of glue normally is not thought of as a lethal weapon but, as both history and experience have demonstrated, nothing ever can be taken for granted where cats are concerned. That god-awful truth was brought home to a malnourished, nine-week-old kitten named Lucky over the long July 4th weekend when someone in West Hartford, Connecticut, glued shut her tiny mouth.
Fortunately for her, she was discovered in the parking lot of an apartment complex by a good-hearted woman who saved her life by removing the glue before taking her to Mary's Kitty Korner (MKK) in nearby Granby. (See photo of her above.)
"She was able, with a little bit of warm water and a towel...to pry it open gently," Lisa Shackett of MKK told WFSB-TV of Hartford on July 6th. (See "Kitten Found with Mouth Glued Shut.") "And I think she was the one that really saved Lucky's life, because if she wasn't able to do that, who knows how long she would have lasted out there."
As things stood, Lucky weighed less than two pounds and had a swollen eye which, most likely, was sustained during the attack. Worst still, with her mouth glued shut she sooner or later would have succumbed to either malnutrition or dehydration.
Back in November of 2007, a cat named Wild Oats from Bartlett, Tennessee, was forced to go without food and water for nineteen days after her head became trapped in a discarded peanut butter jar. (See Cat Defender post of December 18, 2007 entitled "Wild Oats Survives Nineteen Days with a Peanut Butter Jar Stuck on Her Head.")
Although it is not known how long Lucky's mouth had been glued shut, there are several factors which distinguish the two cases. For starters, Wild Oats was an adult cat who had reserves of body fat in order to sustain her. Secondly, she may have been able to take advantage of the condensation that formed overnights inside the jar. Lucky, on the other hand, had none of those advantages.
Following a short stay at MKK, Lucky was placed in foster care and since has been adopted. According to an untitled July 21st posting on MKK's Facebook page by Cathleen E. Gonyer, Lucky's weight increased from 1.9 to 2.3 pounds within two weeks of her rescue and her eye is said to be healing.
A report has been filed with the West Hartford Police but, as per usual, they are not expected to take any action other than to deep six it and to pretend that animal cruelty does not exist.
Glue traps, designed to catch mice, also have become a hazard for cats and other small animals. For example, a four-week-old, twelve-ounce Boston kitten named Elma with beautiful blue eyes became trapped in one of these deadly devices just after the dawning of the new year back in January and nearly starved to death as the result. (See photo of her immediately below.)
"Her hindquarters were covered in glue," Brian Adams of the Massachusetts SPCA (MSPCA) told the Boston Herald on January 8th. (See "Cat Saved from Sticky Situation by a Whisker.") "Her tail was glued to one leg and her back legs were glued together."
As was the case with Lucky, Elma was malnourished when she was surrendered to the MSPCA on January 6th. It is not known either how long she was trapped in the glue or the name of the individual who discovered her plight.
Multiple scrubbings with dishwashing detergent were required in order to remove the glue from her fur and, because of her tender years, staff at the MSPCA were forced to hand-feed her with a syringe. Named after Elmer's Glue, she was expected to make a full recovery and then to be put up for adoption in February.
Earlier in July of 2010, a twelve-week-old kitten dubbed Sticky from the Sparkhill section of Birmingham also became ensnared in a glue trap set out in a garden. As a result, her paws, legs, and sides became coated with glue and other assorted debris.
In addition to requiring multiple baths like Elma, the fur on Sticky's right side had to be removed and she was forced to don an Elizabethan collar. (See Cat Defender post of August 17, 2010 entitled "Sticky Loses Much of Her Fur after She Is Ensnared in a Glue Trap Inhumanely Set in a Birmingham Garden.")
Although both the RSPCA and the MSPCA are on record as being opposed to the use of glue traps, they remain legal in both Angleterre and the United States but wisely have been outlawed in Ireland. More often than not, animals caught in these devices die of starvation and thirst.
One of the most ruthless and barbaric uses of glue on record occurred in April of 2005 when seventeen-year-old Wirimu Karena and eighteen-year-old Sahn Papa of Huntly, an hour south of Auckland, doused a trio of caged kittens with it and then set them on fire. The conflagration killed one of the kittens and the authorities polished off the other two badly burned survivors.
In August of that same year, Karena was sentenced to two years in jail while Papa was ordered to serve nine months. It is doubtful, however, that either of these remorseless cretins served their full sentences. (See Cat Defender post of September 22, 2005 entitled "Two New Zealand Teens Douse Three Caged Cats with Glue and Burn Them to Death.")
In addition to glue, male teens are known to use firecrackers, air guns, bows and arrows, and spray paint in order to maim and kill cats. For example, on August 23, 2010 two unidentified thirteen-year-old students at Horseshoe Bend High School in New Site, Alabama, shot a kitten named Jane Doe in the eyes with a can of spray paint in a deliberate attempt to blind her. (See photo of her below.)
They also tossed Jane around like she was a football and in the process broke one of her legs. One way or another, the police were notified and she was rushed to Twin Creeks Veterinary Services in nearby Ashland where she underwent emergency surgery.
The good news is that she soon recovered from her injuries and subsequently was adopted. Hopefully, her eyesight has not been impaired by the paint.
The bad news is the utterly disgraceful lengths that the authorities in New Site have gone to in order to condone the boys' horrific crime. "It has been handled according to Tallapoosa County's Code of Conduct, which I believe is the appropriate action for us to take," Casey Davis, principal of Horseshoe Bend, told the Press-Register of Mobile on September 10, 2010. (See "Alabama Teens Who Spray-Painted Kitten's Eyes, Broke Its Leg Go to Court September 16th.") "Beyond that we have no reason to comment further because our response to the issue has been handled as it should have been and that has been within our school system guidelines."
If Casey's total unwillingness to even condemn this dastardly act of premeditated animal cruelty were not bad enough in itself, the sympathy expressed for the teens by Chief of Police John McKelvey was even more revolting. "These kids are living people, that they're living organisms themselves," he defended them to the Press-Register. "I've seen people convicted of murder be received back into the community better than these kids have been."
The only conceivable way to interpret McKelvey's comments is that he has an extremely low opinion not only of cats but of those who own and care deeply about them. Moreover, they foreshadowed by about a year the shocking lovefest staged by Judge Gerhard Simon and state prosecutor Beate Miksch in Landgericht München last month for Rocco's cold-blooded murderer and torturer. (See Cat Defender post of August 17, 2011 entitled "Ernst K. Walks Away Smelling Like a Rose as Both the Prosecutor and Judge Turn His Trial for Killing Rocco into a Lovefest for a Sadistic Cat Killer.")
The callous disregard for feline lives and blatant dereliction of duty demonstrated by McKelvey, Casey, Simon, Miksch, and countless other public officials takes all of the mystery out of why the number and severity of attacks perpetrated against the species continue to escalate. As long as those in authority continue to wink at animal cruelty while simultaneously lavishing all of their pity on the abusers no other outcome is possible.
As far as Jane Doe's attackers are concerned, they were scheduled to have appeared in Juvenile Court last September 16th but it was a foregone conclusion from the outset that they would be let off scot-free. It is conceivable that they may have received a scolding from the presiding judge but that likely was the extent of their punishment. There was some talk in the days leading up to the trial that their parents would be held liable for the $600 tab that Jane Doe ran up at Twin Creeks but even that is doubtful.
Since the legal establishment only rarely ever holds adults accountable, it is not about to punish juveniles who abuse cats. That is in spite of the clearly observable fact that the suffering inflicted upon cats is no less egregious regardless of the ages of the perpetrators.
Much more poignantly, even juveniles know the difference between right and wrong and it is ludicrous for jurists to pretend otherwise. Besides, individuals that morally depraved are destined to commit even far worse crimes once they grow into adulthood. The only thing that they ever learn from their adolescent brushes with the law is not to get caught again.
Photos: Cathleen E. Gonyer of Mary's Kitty Korner (Lucky), Brian Adams of MSPCA (Elma), and New Site Police Department (Jane Doe).