Former Halifax Mayoral Hopeful Tuxedo Stan Is Killed Off by His Owner after Chemotherapy Fails to Halt the Onslaught of Renal Lymphoma
"We wanted Stan to be outside, to be in Catopia. It was raining out and so we were sitting beneath our covered deck. I actually administered the euthanasia injection myself."
-- Hugh Chisholm
Although the death watch had begun way back in January when it was first publicly disclosed that Tuxedo Stan was suffering from renal lymphoma, the announcement on September 8th that he had been killed off earlier in the day at 4:55 p.m. by his owner nevertheless came as a shock. Regardless of whether death comes instantaneously or is a long-drawn-out affair, there simply is not any way of mitigating the pain and sadness that accompanies the demise of any cat.
That holds true for both nameless homeless cats as well as for those who have achieved worldwide renown. Thanks to his campaign to become the next mayor of Halifax in Nova Scotia, Stan leapfrogged seemingly overnight into the latter group and as a consequence the sorrow occasioned by his untimely death has been felt weit und breit.
Although his name was not technically on the ballot in last year's October 20th primary, his campaign was for real in every other sense. For instance, the Tuxedo Party was formed in order to promote his candidacy and he quickly secured the endorsements of both CNN's Anderson Cooper and entertainer Ellen DeGeneris.
Stan's sole reason for venturing into the rough and tumble political thicket was to call attention to the desperate plight of homeless cats in Halifax and elsewhere. Running under the campaign slogan of "Because Neglect Isn't Working," he donated the proceeds from the sale of his campaign buttons, T-shirts, and lawn signs to a local sterilization effort. (See Cat Defender post of September 25, 2012 entitled "Talkeetna Has Profited Handsomely from Mayor Stubbs' Enlightened Leadership but the Lure of Higher Office Soon Could Be Beckoning Him to Change His Address.")
Regrettably for him and the world, Stan did not prevail in that election. Then, three months later, came the heartbreaking disclosure that a cancerous tumor had been detected on his left kidney.
"He has pretty serious troubles but we are doing what we can for him," his owner, Hugh Chisholm, confided to the News Herald of Halifax on January 24th. (See "Mayoral Hopeful Tuxedo Stan Battling Cancer.") "Unfortunately, it is not something that can be surgically removed because lymphoma is often located in other places, even though it may not show up on testing yet."
Most distressing of all, there is not any known cure for feline renal lymphoma although chemotherapy, a corticosteroid known as predinisone, and nutritional supplements usually are prescribed in order to slow down the advance of the disease. Both the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and the Feline Immunosuppression Virus (FIV) have been identified as the most likely causes of the deadly malady.
Normally, the disease afflicts cats that eight or more years old but the fact that it stuck down Stan during the third year of his life just goes to show that even the tenderness of youth is not any protection against it. In spite of all of that Chisholm initially attempted to put a brave face on a truly tragic situation.
"The good news is that his right kidney looks pretty normal and his kidney function is still good," he added to the News Herald. "Those are the things in his favor but it is a high grade of lymphoma, meaning...it is a fairly aggressive tumor."
Six months of both oral and intravenous chemotherapy were begun on January 23rd but by June the tumor had begun to grow again and Stan's kidneys began to fail. From that point on his fate was pretty much sealed.
"He died peacefully. He was sitting in my wife's lap," Chisholm told the National Post of Toronto on September 9th. (See "Tuxedo Stan -- the World Famous Halifax Cat Who Ran for Mayor -- Has Died of Kidney Cancer.") "She had his favorite mat, a rainbow rug he used to like to lay on by our door, and so he lay on the mat on her lap."
Being a retired veterinarian who in all probability has dispatched thousands of cats, dogs, and other animals to the devil during his long career, Chisholm did not shy away from doing likewise to his own cat. "We wanted Stan to be outside, to be in Catopia. It was raining out and so we were sitting beneath our covered deck," he told to the National Post. "I actually administered the euthanasia myself."
In keeping with the long-standing policy adhered to by just about all veterinarians, individuals, shelters, and rescue groups, Chisholm conveniently neglects to inform the public exactly why he was so dead set against allowing Stan to die a natural death. As a practitioner of veterinary medicine, he undoubtedly is aware that even terminally ill cats can be made comfortable and thus allowed to die on their own terms. No human intervention is either needed or warranted.
|Tuxedo Stan in Happier Days|
He even went so far as to provide him with a large, fenced-in yard that he dubbed Catopia. That spared him not only the cruel injustice of being incarcerated indoors all the time but at the same time protected him from the debilitating effects that indoor pollutants can have on a cat's health. Best of all, Catopia allowed him to experience an outdoor environment that was free of the machinations of motorists and other ailurophobes.
Money does not appear to have been a consideration either in that Chisholm is financially well-off. He even turned down donations from the public and elected to pay for Stan's chemotherapy out of his own pocket.
Another possibility is that he simply grew weary of caring for a dying cat. Regardless of his true motivation, he has demonstrated by his actions that he earnestly believes that man has a right to kill cats and other animals with impunity.
In that regard, Chisholm is by no mean alone. For example, his fellow practitioner, John Bradshaw of the University of Bristol, has been busy of late making the rounds on the rubber chicken circuit in order to promote his new tome, Cat Sense. In doing so, he has not hesitated to preach the gospel of the misnomered and grossly misused practice of euthanasia.
He typically begins his spiels by lambasting his critics for anthropo-morphizing cats. "Cats are not furry little people," be bellowed to Fresh Air of Philadelphia's WHYY-FM on September 5th. (See "What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' of Your Cat's Behavior.")
From there he went on to declare that cats not only do not have any concept of death but do not appreciate efforts undertaken on their behalf in order to prolong their lives. "If I was a cat and lived in the here and now and didn't have any idea that death was final -- because I don't think they do -- then what would I want for myself and then answer that little voice in your head and obey it," he pontificated to Fresh Air.
"Is the animal having quality of life?" is the only valid consideration as far as he is concerned. If not, kill it, he counsels.
Regardless of whatever else may be said for Bradshaw and his warped morality he is unquestionably a remorseless practitioner of what he preaches. "No, I have not regretted having any of my animals euthanized," he proudly confessed to Fresh Air.
First of all, Bradshaw does not produce one scintilla of evidence in order to substantiate his outrageous dogma. Secondly, although speculating upon what cats are thinking is always a dicey proposition, a preponderance of the available anecdotal evidence tends to suggest that he is off his rocker.
For instance, mother cats demonstrate their firsthand knowledge of death time and time again by promptly disposing of their dead kittens. Many cats, both males and females, also mourn the loss of their playmates and owners. (See Cat Defender posts of March 28, 2013 and July 27, 2013 entitled, respectively, "Even the Finality of the Grave Fails to Diminish Toldo's Abiding Love and Devotion to His Long Dead Owner" and "Instead of Killing Her Off with a Jab of Sodium Pentobarbital and Then Burning Her Corpse, Ian Remains Steadfast at His Guardian's Side Long after Her Death.")
Some of them, such as Bisbee of Texas A&M, wander off and secure safe places where they can die in peace once they realize that the end is fast approaching. (See Cat Defender post of October 15, 2012 entitled "Texas A&M Ushers In a New Academic Year but Things Are Just Not Quite the Same Without Its Beloved Bisbee.")
At Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, a cat named Oscar is so well acquainted with death that he is able to predict when a resident is about to die far more accurately than attending physicians. (See Cat Defender posts of July 30, 2007 and May 27, 2010 entitled, respectively, "A Visit from Oscar the Cat Means the Grim Reaper Cannot Be Far Behind for the Terminally Ill at Rhode Island Nursing Home" and "When Lovers, Friends, Health, and All Hope Have Vanished, Oscar Is There for Those Who Have No One and Nothing Left.")
Similar behavior is by no means confined to cats but is regularly witnessed in dogs, deer, and other animals. (See Cat Defender posts of January 18, 2008 and January 16, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Heartbroken Lancashire Heeler Named Oscar Digs Up and Retrieves the Corpse of His Feline Playmate, Arthur" and "Dying of Kidney Failure, Nine-Year-Old Cat Named Sammy Is Shown Compassion by an Unexpected Friend.")
Even plants are far from being the dumb, inanimate objects that most people mistakenly believe them to be. For example, researchers Susan Dudley and Amanda File of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, have documented that some of them not only recognize close relatives but actually act altruistically toward them. Research also is currently being undertaken in an effort to substantiate similar behavior in trees. (See Public Broadcasting Service, April 13, 2013, "Plants with Family Values.")
A compelling case therefore could be made that the animals and nature are far more alive, knowledgeable, and compassionate than man. Their only problem is that they are totally defenseless against a beast as thoroughly unprincipled, supremely evil, and destructive as man.
Falsely accusing cats of being ignorant about matters of life and death does, however, serve to provide individuals like Bradshaw with yet still another excuse for continuing to exploit and kill them at will. That same perverted logic and morality also is employed in order to sanction vivisection, the eating of meat, and a host of other heinous crimes that are committed on a daily basis against the animals and Mother Earth.
Trumping all of those concerns is the moral issue and in that regard the killing of any cat, regardless of its state of health, never can be justified. Therefore, no matter how idyllic the setting or how beautiful the apology, what Chisholm did to Tuxedo Stan can only be regarded as premeditated, cold-blooded murder!
He never could get away with doing likewise to a fellow human being and that moral prohibition should be made equally applicable to Tuxedo Stan and all other cats. In coming out in favor of the legalization of assisted suicide in England, even noted cosmologist Stephen Hawking did so with reservations.
"There must be safeguards that the person concerned genuinely wants to end their (sic) life and are not being pressurized (sic) into it or have it done without their knowledge and consent as would have been the case with me (after being put on life support with pneumonia)," he told Philadelphia's Metro on September 18th. (See "British Cosmologist Hawking Backs Right to Assisted Suicide.")
Therein lies the rub, as Hamlet would say, in that cats do not have any way of making their intentions known to man. Accordingly, the only moral and compassionate avenue left open to man is to hold sacrosanct their inalienable right to live and to do everything humanly possible in order to preserve their lives.
Since he quite obviously has little or no respect for the sanctity of feline life, it is not surprising that Bradshaw is so willing to make what little time that they are allotted on this earth as miserable as possible. He goes about doing that by first of all dishonestly segregating the species into ferals and domestics.
Anyone even remotely familiar with the subject knows only too well that to make such an absurd distinction is tantamount to branding orphans as feral boys and girls. As an old American proverb stipulates, "A cat is a cat and that's that."
From there he went on to tell Fresh Air that feral kittens, and presumably feral cats as well, cannot be socialized. That is simply an outright lie!
Any cat can be socialized to one degree or another so long as individuals and groups are willing to invest the prerequisite time and effort in the project. Sadly, not many rescue groups and shelters are willing to make that effort.
It is much easier to simply label homeless cats are ferals as a prelude to snuffing out their lives. It also is considerably more economical than the morally acceptable alternative of socializing and providing them with homes.
Bradshaw and his colleagues at the University of Bristol also have appropriated for themselves the right to shanghai cats into becoming guinea pigs. For example, in April of this year he and his fellow exploiters hoodwinked residents of Shamley Green in Surrey into loaning them the use of fifty of their cats.
|Tuxedo Stan as a Bright-Eyed Kitten|
The cats in turn were outfitted with GPS tracking devices and miniature cameras that recorded their activities over the course of a twenty-four-hour period. The results of what the scientists learned then were presented to the world on June 13th on the BBC program, The Secret Life of the Cat. (See the BBC, June 12, 2013, "Secret Life of the Cat: The Science of Tracking Our Pets" and Get Surrey, June 14, 2013, "Secret Lives of Shamley Green Cats Revealed.")
As it might be recalled by some, that was precisely what Nico Dauphiné of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington was up to before she was caught red-handed attempting to poison a managed colony in Meridian Hill Park. (See Cat Defender posts of July 12, 2011, November 18, 2011, January 6, 2012, and December 20, 2012, entitled, respectively, "The Arrest of Nico Dauphiné for Attempting to Poison a Colony of Homeless Cats Unmasks the National Zoo as a Hideout for Ailurophobes and Criminals," "Nico Dauphiné, Ph.D., Is Convicted of Attempting to Poison a Colony of Homeless Cats but Questions Remain Concerning the Smithsonian's Role," "Nico Dauphiné Is Let Off with an Insultingly Lenient $100 Fine in a Show Trial That Was Fixed from the Very Beginning," and "The Inexcusable Refusal of Washington's Derelict Legal Establishment to Punish Nico Dauphiné and the Smithsonian for Their Despicable Crimes Was the Most Momentous Cat Story to Come Out of 2011.")
The Smithsonian later published Dauphiné's tainted and trumped up research of alleged feline predation of birds and the capitalist media ate it up as if it were manna from heaven. Deplorably, neither the courts nor any rescue group has been willing to hold the dishonest and slimy Smithsonian accountable as to where it gets its cats and, more importantly, what becomes of them once it has finished with them.
The myriad of problems associated with the widespread use of so-called euthanasia extend far beyond the killing off of terminally ill cats like Tuxedo Stan. In fact, the practice has become so commonplace and accepted that it is now almost synonymous with feline population control.
To begin with, most individuals see absolutely nothing morally reprehensible about having their cats killed off once they become either elderly, sickly, or simply unwanted. In most cases it is strongly suspected that they merely are too cheap and lazy in order to care for them in their hour of greatest need.
To put the case succinctly, they like healthy and trouble-free cats but do not want any part of their opposites. Cat owners of this ilk are the very epitome of fair weather friends. (See Cat Defender posts of February 9, 2006, December 7, 2006, October 27, 2008, March 12, 2009, and July 17, 2013 entitled, respectively, "Newspaper Cat Named Tripod Is Killed Off by Journalists He Befriended in Vermont," "After Nineteen Years of Service and Companionship, Ingrates at Iowa Library Murder Dewey Readmore Books," "Loved and Admired All Over the World, Feline Heroine Scarlett Is Killed Off by Her Owner after She Becomes Ill," "Too Cheap and Lazy to Care for Him During His Final Days, Betty Currie Has Socks Killed Off and His Corpse Burned," and "Not Satisfied with Merely Whacking Meiko, Garrison Keillor Struts on Stage in Order to Shed a Bucketful of Crocodile Tears and to Denigrate the Entire Species.")
Shelters and Animal Control officers steal perfectly healthy cats off the street, kill them, and then make up outrageous lies about how they were knocking on death's door as a way of excusing their criminal behavior. (See Cat Defender posts of March 19, 2010, June 15, 2010, September 28, 2011, and January 11, 2012 entitled, respectively, "Trapped and Killed by the Delaware County SPCA, Keecha's Life Is Valued at Only $1 by a Pennsylvania Arbitration Panel," "Bay City Shelter Murders a Six-Week-Old Kitten with a Common Cold Despite Several Individuals Having Offered to Give It a Permanent Home," "Marvin Is Betrayed, Abducted, and Murdered by a Journalist and a Shelter Who Preposterously Maintain That They Were Doing Him a Favor," and "A Deadly Intrigue Concocted by a Thief, a Shelter, and a Veterinary Chain Costs Ginger the Continued Enjoyment of His Golden Years.")
Across the pond, the RSPCA employs the same modus operandi. (See Cat Defender posts of June 5, 2007 and October 23, 2010 entitled, respectively, "RSPCA's Unlawful Seizure and Senseless Killing of Mork Leaves His Sister, Mindy, Brokenhearted and His Caretakers Devastated" and "RSPCA Steals and Executes Nightshift Who Was His Elderly Caretaker's Last Surviving Link to Her Dead Husband.")
Even those organizations that claim to represent the best interests of cats do not hesitate to kill them whenever it suits their purposes. (See Cat Defender posts of January 2, 2013 and February 9, 2013 entitled, respectively, "Alley Cat Allies Demonstrates Its Utter Contempt for the Sanctity of Life by Unconscionably Killing Off Its Office Cat, Jared" and "New Start Cat Rescue Center Abruptly Kills Off Victoria after the Cancer Returns to Her Already Ravaged Ears.")
Phony-baloney no-kill operations also slaughter cats by the scores. (See Cat Defender posts of October 23, 2012 and July 29, 2010 entitled, respectively, "A Supposedly No-Kill Operation in Marblehead Betrays Sally and Snuffs Out Her Life Instead of Providing Her with a Home and Veterinary Care" and "Benicia Vallejo Humane Society Is Outsourcing the Mass Killing of Kittens and Cats All the While Masquerading as a No-Kill Shelter.")
No individual or group, no matter how duplicitous and evil, ever could come even remotely close to matching the crimes committed against the species by PETA. As far as the membership of that thoroughly detestable organization is concerned, euthanasia and mass feline murder are one and the same thing. (See Cat Defender posts of January 29, 2007, February 9, 2007, and October 7, 2011 entitled, respectively, "PETA's Long History of Killing Cats and Dogs Is Finally Exposed in North Carolina Courtroom," "Verdict in PETA Trial: Littering Is a Crime but Not the Mass Slaughter of Innocent Cats and Dogs," and "PETA Traps and Kills a Cat and Then Shamelessly Goes Online in Order to Brag about Its Criminal and Foul Deed.")
Not about to be left out whenever there are cats to be abused, cops shoot and kill perfectly healthy and friendly cats all the time only later to turn around and claim that they were sickly and aggressive and therefore had to be "euthanized." (See Cat Defender posts of March 31, 2008, September 16, 2009, September 22, 2011, and March 22, 2012 entitled, respectively, "Cecil, Pennsylvania, Police Officer Summarily Executes Family's Beloved Ten-Year-Old Persian, Elmo," "Acting Solely Upon the Lies of a Cat-Hater, Raymore Police Pump Two Shotgun Blasts into the Head of Nineteen-Year-Old Declawed and Deaf Tobey," "Neanderthaloid Politicians in Lebanon, Ohio, Wholeheartedly Sanction the Illegal and Cold-Blooded Murder of Haze by a Trigger-Happy Cop," and "In Another Outrageous Miscarriage of Justice, Rogue Cop Jonathan N. Snoddy Is Let Off with a $50 Fine for Savagely Bludgeoning to Death an Injured Cat.")
A large percentage of the crimes committed against cats and other animals under the guise of the odious practice of euthanasia would not be possible if it were not for the cooperation of Chisholm and his colleagues within the veterinary medical profession. (See Cat Defender posts of July 28, 2011 and December 22, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Tammy and Maddy Are Forced to Pay the Ultimate Price after Their Owner and an Incompetent Veterinarian Elect to Play Russian Roulette with Their Lives" and "Rogue TNR Practitioner and Three Unscrupulous Veterinarians Kill at Least Sixty-Two Cats with the Complicity of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals.")
|Tuxedo Stan and Hugh Chisholm|
The situation is compounded by veterinarians who charge a king's ransom in order to treat sick and injured cats. Worst still, whenever a pet owner is either unwilling or unable to pony up they, scared to death of losing a paying customer, offer to kill off the cat at a cut-rate.
Such a practice is patently unethical and constitutes a blatant conflict of interest in that veterinarians should be using their skills only to save lives. Moreover, unless this practice is permanently outlawed the killing is never going to end.
Not a great deal is known about Stan's early days other than that he was born at a veterinary hospital, most likely Chisholm's own Atlantic Cat Hospital, three weeks after his pregnant mother was rescued from the streets of Halifax. It therefore is conceivable that his mother may have infected him with either FeLV or FIV and that in turn could have been what triggered the onset of renal lymphoma.
Despite having been born into poverty he was able to seize Glück from Umglück when Chisholm elected to give him a permanent home. "I knew Stan from the day he was born," Chisholm averred to the National Post in the article cited supra. "He was a real bright light, and when I saw that and saw his stunning good looks I said, "Enough, I am bringing him home with me'."
In addition to Chisholm and his literary wife, Kathy, Stan is survived by his brother, Earl Grey, three other cats, two dogs, a pair of guinea pigs, and seventeen-thousand, five-hundred followers on Facebook. It has not been possible to determine if his mother and two other brothers are still alive.
No funeral or burial plans have been announced but hopefully he is resting comfortably in Catopia beneath a fitting tombstone. Most likely that is what he would have wanted under the circumstances.
In May of this year, the Halifax City Council gave $40,000 to the Nova Scotia SPCA in the Dartmouth section of the city in order to establish a low-cost sterilization clinic in Stan's name and that likely is destined to be his most lasting legacy. There is even some speculation that Earl Grey may take over for him and continue his advocacy.
Although both Stan's and Chisholm's efforts are highly commendable, it nevertheless must be pointed out that the problem of feline overpopulation would not be nearly as acute if it were not for the exorbitant sterilization fees demanded by veterinarians. On top of that, some practitioners are not even competent to perform either a simple spay or neuter operation. (See Cat Defender posts of July 2, 2010 and February 26, 2008 entitled, respectively, "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 "The Dark Side of Spay and Neuter: Veterinarian Botched Surgeries and Back Alley Castrations Claims the Lives of Numerous Cats.")
The sterilization mills run by rescue groups are not much of an improvement in that there are far too few of them, they impose too many restrictions, charge too much, and also botch too many surgeries. Most frightening of all, the poor who utilize their services do not have the means of procuring alternative emergency veterinary care whenever they mutilate their cats.
For example, although PetSmart Charities donates huge sums of money to rescue groups that sterilize cats and dogs, those groups turn around and not only charge for their services but impose residency restrictions as well. In New York City, The Toby Project sterilizes for free the cats of city residents that receive public assistance but charges all others $60 in order to spay a female.
Although these and similar efforts are a step in the right direction, they are far from being any panacea. First of all, many individuals who cannot afford to have their cats sterilized are unable, for one reason or another, to get public assistance. Secondly, some individuals are too niggardly to pay for having their cats sterilized even though they have money to burn.
Therefore, in order to make any genuine progress in this area it is incumbent that sterilization services be offered totally free and without restrictions. In particular, all individuals and groups involved in this effort need to immediately stop attempting to punish and denigrate individuals and instead concentrate all of their efforts on the welfare of cats.
If they somehow could be prevailed upon to do that, as well as to outlaw euthanasia, then and only then will Tuxedo Stan not have lived and died in vain.
Photos: Facebook (Stan in memoriam), Hugh Chisholm (Stan outdoors), University of Bristol (Bradshaw), Tuxedo Stan.com (Stan as a kitten), and Ryan Taplin of the News Herald (Stan and Chisholm).