Alvin Amazingly Survives on His Own for a Fortnight Until Help Arrives after a Low-life Scumbag Blows Off Most of His Rear End with a Firecracker
"Alvin had burns right down his legs, his fur was burnt and his whiskers had been burnt off. He had severe damage around his anus and severe burning inside. When we were cleaning him up we actually found the burnt wick from the firecracker."
--Rachelle Beardsworth of Racecourse Road Veterinary Hospital
As the rest of the world was merrily ushering in 2012, a still unidentified assailant in Ballina, New South Wales, was getting either his or her jollies by shoving a firecracker up the rear end of a then five-week-old brown and white trusting kitten named Alvin. As it readily can be imagined, the damage done by the blast was nothing short of horrific.
"Alvin had burns right down his legs, his fur was burnt and his whiskers had been burnt off," Rachelle Beardsworth of Racecourse Road Veterinary Hospital (RRVH) in Ballina told the Northern Star of Goonellabah on February 8th. (See "Firecracker Used to Blow Up Kitten.") "He had severe damage around his anus and severe burning inside. When we were cleaning him up we actually found the burnt wick from the firecracker."
If the injuries that he suffered were not sufficient in themselves to have killed most kittens, the unrelenting pain, infections, and trauma that always accompanies such barbaric acts of cruelty would have done the job in time. Against all odds, Alvin somehow managed to survive for two weeks on his own until he was rescued in mid-January by Northern Rivers Animal Services (NRAS) of Ballina.
By that time he also had become emaciated. That most likely was due to a combination of a lack of food and the inability to properly digest and eliminate what little he was able to procure.
At first Beardsworth and the staff at RRVH were not certain that Alvin was going to make it but, at last report, his condition had stabilized. Nevertheless, he has a long road ahead of him and probably never will be completely healthy again. The important thing, however, is that he is alive. (See photo above of him with fourteen-year-old Charlotte shortly after his arrival at the hospital.)
"He is doing great," Beardsworth told the Northern Star on March 8th. (See "Alvin's Amazing Road to Recovery.") "We're doing procedures on Alvin about two or three times a week because we are trying to get his bottom to function properly."
He also has been placed on a special diet and the veterinarians are attempting to slow down the healing process so as to minimize scarring. "With burns, there can be a lot of scar tissue, which wouldn't be good for him in that location," Beardsworth added. "But compared to the little kitten that came here weeks ago, it is just an amazing transformation."
Because of the severity of his injuries and his need for continual veterinary care, RRVH has decided against putting him up for adoption. Instead, he will live out the remainder of his life at the clinic.
"He rules the roost here," Beardsworth told the Northern Star in the March 8th article cited supra. "Now he greets everyone in the waiting room; he is a gorgeous-natured little fellow. But he's also a bundle of mischief." (See photo of him directly above after several weeks of treatment.)
Perhaps that is the best that can be done for him under the circumstances in that there are not too many individuals in this wicked and greedy old world who are willing to take on the financial and time-consuming responsibilities involved in caring for a severely injured cat. Nonetheless, it is the norm for veterinarians to ruthlessly exploit their office cats as blood donors.
The best that therefore can be hoped for Alvin is that his veins do not contain the rare Type B blood and as a consequence he will not be as nakedly exploited as Christopher at Nine Lives Foundation's Well-Care Clinic in Redwood City. (See Cat Defender post of November 13, 2010 entitled "Christopher, Who Has Persevered Through Tragedy and Given Back So Much, Is Now Being Held Captive for His Valuable Blood.")
Although RRVH is to be commended for saving Alvin's life, it is nothing short of revolting that it now has to exact its pound of flesh from him. There is perhaps nothing more disgusting about man than his steadfast refusal to do anything beneficial for the animals, Mother Earth, and his fellow human beings unless he receives something in return.
"We have all fallen in love with him," Beardsworth cooed to the Northern Star in the February 8th article cited supra. "He was purring when he was brought into the clinic."
If she is even halfway sincere, she should medicate, attend to his needs, and love him without turning him into a guinea pig. He has been put through enough hell and deserves a better future than that.
The attack has been reported to both the Ballina Police and the Australian RSPCA but, typically, no arrest has been made and none is expected. It is highly doubtful that either agency has stirred so much as a bone in order to even investigate the matter.
Equally disturbing, no one has come forward to claim him. Since he was discovered at the Ballina Fair Shopping Center it is highly likely that he either was owned by a resident from the area or that a shopkeeper saw him being dumped on the grounds.
If either the police or the RSPCA cared about stopping horrific acts of animal cruelty of this nature they would canvass the neighborhood door-to-door. Specifically, any resident or shopkeeper with a litter of kittens would have some explaining to do.
"Alvin is so trusting. He would have trusted the person that did this to him (and) that's what makes my blood boil," Beardsworth correctly deduced for the benefit of the readers of the Northern Star in the February 8th article cited supra. "I have never seen anything this nasty."
Even at the tender age of five-weeks-old, a kitten is not all that easy to corral and on top of that there is the difficulty of holding it down while an explosive is rammed into its anus. All of that strongly suggests not only that Alvin knew his assailant but that he was cornered either indoors or within a confined area. It even is conceivable that two or more individuals were required in order to perpetuate this diabolical act of animal cruelty.
The residents and shopkeepers in and around Ballina Fair do not come off as looking much better in that they callously allowed him to walk the streets in severe pain and near death for a fortnight without even bothering to come to his aid. Far from being alone in their moral depravity, the citizens of Ichenheim in Baden-Württemberg likewise ignored for several days a cat that had been set on fire in January of 2011. (See Cat Defender post of June 27, 2011 entitled "Citizens of Ichenheim Callously Allow a Torched Cat to Walk the Streets for Days Before Summoning Veterinary Help That Arrived Too Late.")
Even though this despicable crime was unable to elicit a positive response from either the Ballina Police or the RSPCA it did succeed in generating the usual torrent of moral outrage. "This was all caused by some heartless, sick person placed a firecracker in Alvin's bottom and lit it," Robyn Mostyn of NRAS told the Northern Star on February 8th.
Moral indignation has its place but it certainly is not any substitute for enforcing the anti-cruelty statutes. Moreover, Mostyn is incorrect in chalking up this violent attack to a heartless and sick individual. Au contraire, Alvin's assailant is an evil criminal who should be dealt with as such. Above all, neither he nor she is worthy of either society's compassion or forbearance.
For the sake of analysis, cat abusers and killers can be divided into individual ailurophobes and professional killers, such as ornithologists, wildlife biologists, and governmental officials. Although it is difficult to establish a causal relationship between professionals who earn their daily bread and get their perverted kicks by defaming, abusing, and killing cats on the one hand and individual, randomized acts of cat abuse on the other hand, there surely is a connection of some sort. After all, there is safety in numbers and individuals can be profoundly influenced by the words and deeds of elites.
For example, earlier this year Steve Austin, president of the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA), went hunting in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and gunned down an unspecified number of homeless cats. He was in fact so proud of his murderous rampage that he had the audacity to pose with one of his trophies. (See photo of him above grinning like Old Nick himself as he dangles a murdered cat from the end of a rope.)
Even though Australia perennially vies with South Africa for the dubious title of being the most cat-hating nation in the world, Austin's criminal behavior ultimately proved to be too much for even his callous countrymen. "It's in really poor taste. It is just so disrespectful to the animal, and as president of the pet industry he needs to stand down," Debra Tranter of Oscar's Law told the Herald Sun of Melbourne on March 7th. (See "Outrage over Photo of Pet Industry Group President Posing with Dead Cat.") "I mean, the pet industry are (sic) advising government on animal welfare and he's not an appropriate person to sit as the president of the PIAA."
At last report, Austin was still on the job even though an online petition inaugurated by Alley Cat Rescue of Mount Rainier, Maryland, and calling for his ouster had collected in excess of fifteen-hundred signatures. (See "Remove Feral Cat Killer as Head of PIAA at www.thepetitionsite.com.)
All over the world ornithologists, wildlife biologists, and governmental entities, such as the Pentagon, eradicate cats not only with impunity but, just as importantly, with welfare dollars cadged from taxpayers. Austin's genius, if it may be called that, is to use the money that he makes off of cat owners in order to turn around and finance his feline killing sprees.
His and PIAA's criminal and dishonest behavior stand in stark contrast to that of PetSmart Charities of Phoenix who since 2007 have donated $26.3 million in order to sterilize more than one-million cats and dogs. Quite obviously, any humane and civilized approach to dealing with homeless cats is an anathema as far as Austin and the majority of Australians are concerned. Besides, he enjoys killing defenseless cats far too much to ever mend his evil ways.
Not only his deeds but his words leave little doubt as to which side he is playing on and the extraordinary dishonest and underhanded means that he is willing to engage in order to achieve his objectives. "Feral cats, like the one pictured, are not like our friendly pet moggy but are a devastating problem that decimate and kill our Australian wildlife in the millions," he blew long and hard to the Herald Sun in the article cited supra. "I am pleased to be working with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy to prevent feral cats from destroying our wildlife inside our native sanctuaries."
That is pure nonsense in that there is not a scintilla of difference between a cat who has an owner and one that is cruelly abandoned to its own devices. "A cat is a cat and that's that," as an old American proverb stipulates.
To advocate such a patently dishonest and morally repugnant rationale for the purpose of eradicating the impecunious is tantamount to rounding up and killing orphans. That, by the way, is precisely what the Australians came perilously close to doing to the so-called "Lost Generation" of poor and unwanted children that were shipped out of Merry Old England at the behest of good Christians and governmental officials during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Instead of killing them outright, the Australians converted them into slave laborers and objects of sexual exploitation. That is in addition to permanently separating siblings.
Cats, like the tens of millions of other domesticated animals that the Australians imported, exploited, and then abandoned, are entitled to humane treatment, not eradication. Furthermore, it is the moral imperative of every Australian to ensure that they not only belatedly receive justice but that their abusers and killers are punished for their diabolical crimes. (See Agence France Presse, September 15, 2005, "Millions of Animals Face Death Sentence in Australia.")
Sadly, the majority of the exiles from High Gate are of such inferior stock as to be totally incorrigible. In particular, their en masse feline eradication efforts continue unabated on Macquarie, Tasman, and elsewhere. (See Cat Defender posts of September 21, 2006 and January 6, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Aussies' Mass Extermination of Cats Opens the Door for Mice and Rabbits to Wreak Havoc on Macquarie" and "DNA Tests Confirm that 'Big Cat' Killed in Australia Was a Feral Tabby and Not a Puma.")
Whenever they are not gunning down cats, Australians excel in developing all sorts of deadly poisons. They even make a joke out of their diabolical crimes by giving their concoctions such contemptuous names as "Curiosity" and "Eradicat." (See Australian Broadcasting Company, April 30, 2010, "'Curiosity' About to Kill (Tasman) Island Cats," Herald Sun, June 18, 2010, "Cats Poisoned in Bid to Save Endangered Western Ground Parrot," and Cat Defender post of August 11, 2005 entitled "Barbaric Australians Come UP with an Ingenious New Poison in Order to Exterminate Cats.")
Private entrepreneurs even have gotten in on the cat killing craze by trafficking in their flesh and fur. (See Cat Defender posts of September 7, 2007 and July 14, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Australians Renounce Civilization and Revert to Savages with the Introduction of a Grotesque Plan to Get Rid of Cats by Eating Them" and "Australian Park Ranger and a Seamstress Team Up to Go into Business as Cat Killers and Fur Traffickers.")
Although Australia certainly does not have a monopoly on phony-baloney humane groups and unscrupulous veterinarians who make their livings by defaming and killing cats, they are nonetheless a major problem Down Under as well as elsewhere. (See Cat Defender posts of April 22, 2008 and August 24, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Australian RSPCA Sells Out by Readily Agreeing to Gun Down Charles Sturt's Defenseless 'Rock' Cats" and "Self-Defense Is Against the Law in Australia after a Woman Who Attacked a Cat Gets Away with Her Crime Whereas Her Victim is Trapped and Executed.")
Like air guns, fireworks more often than not are the weapons of choice for those individuals intent upon abusing cats. Also, their victims most often are trusting domesticated cats like Alvin.
In one especially disturbing and heartbreaking case, a four- to five-year-old white cat named Sparkles was killed after a firecracker was rammed into her left ear and detonated on October 29, 2008 outside The Old Ship at 44 Main Street in Arklow. The blast was so powerful that it blew off her ear and part of the left side of her face.
She also suffered a broken jaw and was left deaf by the blast. (See photo of her further up the page.)
She valiantly clung to life for more than a month and even was adopted during the interim. The intense pain, seizures, infections, and disorientation refused to abate, however, and veterinarians at Avondale Veterinary Hospital ultimately elected to end her life. (See Cat Defender posts of November 20, 2008, January 12, 2009, and January 25, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Trusting Domestic Cat Has Her Left Ear Blown Off with a Firecracker by Cretins Outside an Irish Bar," "Disoriented and Racked with Excruciating Pain, Seizures, and Infections, Sparkles Loses Her Long Struggle to Live" and "Sparkles, Who Was Forced to Pay the Ultimate Price for Belonging to the World's Most Abused Species, Tops the List of the Most Memorable Cats of 2008.")
Earlier on October 31, 2006, a twelve-year-old cat named Tigger from the London suburb of New Addington was killed when fireworks either were strapped to or rammed into his rear end and then ignited. (See photo above of his guardians, Roy and nine-year-old Stephanie Purkiss, holding a picture of him.)
Two days earlier on October 29, 2006, a one-year-old gray tom named Syd was found severely burned and covered in blood in a garden in the Edinburgh suburb of Granton. (See photo of him directly above with veterinary nurse Cheryl McKenzie.)
As was the case with Tigger, there is evidence that the explosives were strapped to his tiny body with masking tape. (See Cat Defender post of November 30, 2006 entitled "Yobs Celebrating Guy Fawkes Day Kill Twelve-Year-Old Cat Named Tigger with Fireworks; Cat Named Syd Is Severely Burned.")
Dogs also often are horribly abused by miscreants armed with firecrackers. For instance, on September 15, 2010 a small tan-colored female retriever estimated to have been between two and three years old was held down by a group of punks in the Dublin suburb of Finglas while a firecracker was stuffed into her mouth. The blast blew out all of her front teeth, the bottom portion of her jaw, and part of her face.
She later was killed off by a veterinarian. (See Cat Defender post of October 2, 2010 entitled "History Repeats Itself Only This Time Around It Is a Dog as Opposed to a Cat That has Her Head Nearly Blown Off by Irish Punks with a Firecracker.")
It thus seems clear that private individuals do not have any business possessing pyrotechnics of any denomination. Even public displays sometimes leave cats, dogs, and wildlife so traumatized that they are forced into committing desperate acts that ultimately end up costing them their lives. (See Cat Defender post of July 11, 2005 entitled "Thirty Dogs Killed Fleeing Fireworks in Tucson.")
In addition to the horrific toll that fireworks, both those used in private mischief as well as in public displays, take on cats and other animals, they are loud and obnoxious intrusions into the tranquility that some citizens covet. Since societies are so unwilling to outlaw them, restricting their use to enclosed public venues, such as stadiums, would be a positive step in the right direction.
Their devotees then would be free to indulge their passion for loud bangs and sparkling light shows whereas the animals and lovers of peace and quiet would be left in safety and tranquility. Perhaps, over time, these fanatics will succeed in blowing each other to kingdom come and the world will be shed of them once and for all time.
"I can't believe how many people cared," Beardsworth told the Northern Star on March 8th in reference to the outpouring of public concern for Alvin. "The support has been phenomenal; we would just love to thank everyone."
Nevertheless, Alvin's ongoing treatment is expensive and a fund established in his name is still soliciting donations from the public. Anyone wishing to contribute can contract RRVH either by mail at 25-A, Racecourse Road, Ballina, New South Wales 2478 or by telephone at 61-02-6686-9333. Donations also can be made to NRAS either by mail at 2/268 River Street, Ballina, New South Wales 2478 or by telephone at 61-02-6681-1860.
Most important of all, it is vitally important that Alvin, Sparkles, Tigger, Syd, and the countless other cats and dogs that are maimed and killed each year by assailants armed with fireworks never be forgotten. In time, perhaps, all those who abuse animals in such a hideous fashion will be identified, apprehended, and punished severely. A day of reckoning also is surely coming for all police officers and so-called humane officials who continue to turn a blind eye to these types of attacks.
Photos: Northern Star (Alvin and Charlotte and Alvin by himself), The Herald Sun (Austin), Belfast Telegraph (Sparkles), Croydon Guardian (Tigger), and Rob McDougall of the Edinburgh Evening News (Sid).