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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Stone-Broke, Homeless, and All Alone at the Crossroads of the World, Disaster Is Snatched from Harm's Way by a Representative of the Walking Dead

Disaster and Jeremy Zelkowitz
"It (Disaster) was really, really scared. He was, like, looking around at the sirens and stuff."
-- Jeremy Zelkowitz
"From Times Square to Columbus Circle, it's the gaudiest, the most violent, the lonesomest mile in the world. It's Broadway, my beat." That is how fictional police lieutenant Danny Clover began and ended each episode of the stellar 1950's radio drama, Broadway Is My Beat.

Times Square has changed a great deal over the course of the past sixty years but probably not enough in order to significantly alter Clover's world-weary assessment of it. Even back then it was a no man's land for cats and that is even truer today as a five-year-old castrated black and white tom named Disaster recently found out firsthand.

Owing to reason and circumstances that likely never either will be known or fully understood, the former Woodmere, Long Island, resident found himself dodging both motorists and pedestrians early Easter morning in jam-packed Times Square. Under such perilous conditions his life expectancy could have been measured in seconds.

Regardless of whatever else can be said about New York City, it certainly attracts a wide assortment of people. With human nature being what it is, most of them are really bad individuals, but that is far from being the entire story.

The bright lights that shine down on Broadway also attract their fair share of noble and kindhearted souls and heartwarming acts of altruism magically can materialize from the most unexpected quarters. In Disaster's case, his savior was, of all things, a zombie.

Not an actual card-carrying member of the fraternity of the walking dead, but rather twenty-two-year-old Jeremy Zelkowitz of Coney Island in Brooklyn who earns his daily bread by dressing as one in order to lure promenaders into visiting the Times Scare Hotel of Horrors. Located at 669 Eighth Avenue and directly across the street from another long-running Manhattan horror show, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, it is a combination haunted house, bar, cafe, and disco that operates year-round.

Times Square was cleaned up back in the 1990's and the whorehouses, peep show parlors, fleabag hotels, and greasy spoons are now largely a thing of the past. Gone too are the disheveled, disease-carrying streetwalkers, their equally repulsive pimps, the dope dealers, muggers, chain snatchers, and two-dollar horse players.

Upscale restaurants, clubs, and various tourist traps have transformed the district to such an extent that even Damon Runyon would have difficulty recognizing it if he were still alive and prowling its alleyways in search of its oddballs and eccentrics that he later would immortalize in his unforgettable short stories. Despite all of these improvements, Zelkowitz's job at the crossroads of the world is anything but a piece of cake in that he is forced to work outrageous hours and in the elements as well.

Thankfully, he not only was there for Disaster in his hour of greatest need but did not hesitate to intervene even at the risk of being injured himself. That is considerably more than can be said for the numerous businesses in the area that cruelly gave him the bum's rush whenever he sought sanctuary within their portals.

"I almost got hit by a car," Zelkowitz later confided to ABC News on April 6th. (See "Zombie Finds Cat in Times Square after Two Years Lost, Reunited with New York Police Officer Owner.") "I spoke to people who had seen it earlier trying to get into Dallas BBQ and Starbucks and a whole bunch of stores on Forty-Second (Street)."

In the midst of the swirling ball of confusion that defines Times Square, Zelkowitz somehow was able to chase down and corral Disaster without either getting him killed or being killed himself. "There were a lot of looks, but I'm used to it," he told the New York Daily News on April 5th. (See "Times Square Zombie Finds Cat That Cop Lost Two Years Ago.") "It was a black cat, so some people looked kind of freaked out."

Every bit as amazing, he somehow was able to hold onto Disaster who by this time no doubt was frightened out of his wits. "It was really, really scared," Zelkowitz told ABC News. "He was, like, looking around at the sirens and stuff."

Sensing that Disaster possibly might be in need of veterinary attention, Zelkowitz hailed a taxi and transported him to BluePearl Veterinary Partners at 410 West 55th Street which, fortunately, operates an all-night emergency clinic. Once there, he apparently had an uphill battle in convincing the Tampa-based veterinary chain, which operates surgeries in twelve states, that he was serious and wanted the cat treated.

"I told them right away, 'Look, I'm not crazy. I work at the haunted house'," he related to the Daily News.

Press reports have not broached the subject, but money likely was the sticking point because only rarely will veterinarians treat sick and injured animals out of the goodness of their moneygrubbing, black hearts. That is even more so the case with veterinary chains as opposed to lone wolf practitioners.

Consequently, it is a good bet that Zelkowitz was forced to pony up for Disaster's treatment in advance and that makes his heroism all the more commendable. Not many individuals are willing to go that far although Hannelore and Erich B. of München gladly shelled out €197 in order to have Mausi, a homeless cat that they rescued on the Autobahn, treated. (See Cat Defender post of March 16, 2013 entitled "Mausi Is Saved from a Potentially Violent Death on the Fast and Furious Autobahn Thanks to the Dramatic Intervention of a Münchner Couple.")

"I dress as a zombie every day and I just love animals," is how Zelkowitz explained his motivation for saving Disaster to the Daily News in the article cited supra. "I try to do the right thing."

It also helped that cats are not on the menu at the Times Scare Hotel of Horrors. "I usually only eat human brains," Zelkowitz added tongue in cheek to ABC News. "I'm not fond of any cat brains."

In spite of all that he had been put through, Disaster was in remarkably good condition with the exception of an infected right ear. Never-theless, if his deliverance had not come when it did, this story very well could have had an altogether different denouement.

The greatest menace that footloose cats like Disaster face in a city like New York comes from motorists and in that light he easily could have succumbed to the same cruel fate that in 2006 befell Brooklyn's famous undercover cat, Fred. (See Cat Defender posts of February 14, 2006 and August 17, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Special Agent Fred the Cat Goes Undercover to Help Nab Quack Vet in Brooklyn Sting Operation" and "Brave Little Fred the Undercover Cat Has His Short, Tragic Life Snuffed Out by a Hit-and-Run Driver in Queens.")

Disaster's life likewise easily could have been transformed into an unmitigated Hell if he either had been abandoned or unwittingly stumbled into the city labyrinthine subway system. That is precisely what happened to a seven-month-old cat named Georgia who was forced to spend twenty-five days underground back in 2008 before finally being brought out alive. (See Cat Defender post of March 7, 2008 entitled " Georgia Is Found Safe and Sound after Spending a Harrowing Twenty-Five Days Lost in the Bowels of the New York City Subway System.")

Even if Disaster somehow had managed to get by on his own, sooner or later an ailurophobe would have ratted him out to Animal Care and Control and that surely would have been the end of him. (See Cat Defender post of November 5, 2007 entitled "Port Authority Gives JFK's Long-Term Resident Felines the Boot and Rescue Groups Are Too Impotent to Save Them.")

PETA also has its death squads combing the five boroughs of the city and elsewhere night and day in search of cats to round up and liquidate. (See PETA. org, May 25, 2012, "Starving Cat Saved from Filthy Dumpster" and Cat Defender post of October 7, 2011 entitled "PETA Traps and Kills a Cat and Then Shamelessly Goes Online in Order to Brag about Its Criminal and Foul Deed.")

He additionally could have been done in by either an unprincipled TNR practitioner, such as Paul Zhang, or a totally unconscionable veterinarian. (See Cat Defender post of December 22, 2011 entitled "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.")

As if all of that were not enough to worry about, he could have been eaten at almost any moment by any one of a number of raptors that have taken up residence in Manhattan and elsewhere in the city. (See Cat Defender post of August 1, 2011 entitled "Eddie Is Saved by an Outdoor Umbrella after He Is Abducted from the Balcony of His Manhattan Apartment and Then Dropped by a Redtailed Hawk.")

In the process of attending to Disaster, the veterinarians at BluePearl discovered an implanted microchip and that revealed both a big surprise as well as a Chinese puzzle. Specifically, the chip led to the disclosure that he had disappeared from Jimmy Helliesen's house in Woodmere two years earlier.

During his twenty-nine years as a New York City cop Helliesen has received many shocks and surprises but he hardly was prepared for the telephone call that he got from BluePearl. "He couldn't believe it and thought we were playing a practical joke on him," the surgery's Steve Baker related to the Daily News.
Disaster and Jimmy Helliesen

"I was shocked," Helliesen later confirmed to Alabama.com on April 4th. (See "New York City 'Zombie' Finds Long Island Cat in Times Square.") "How did he get to Manhattan? That's quite an adventure."

From all indications, Disaster apparently still recognized Helliesen despite their long separation. "He's friendly," the latter told the Daily News. "When I got him home, he jumped up in my lap."

Helliesen also was impressed by his prodigal moggy's good health. "He looked pretty good," he told ABC News. "Eating at all those restaurants (I suppose)."

Sadly, Disaster's homecoming was destined to be an exceedingly brief one in that Helliesen immediately put him up for adoption. Since no further stories have appeared in the press concerning him, it is not known what has become of the intrepid little fellow.

Helliesen, who works out of the Seventy-Ninth Precinct in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, rescues homeless cats from the street and did have eight other cats. That most likely was the primary reason behind his relinquishment of not only Disaster but a trio of cats named Tom, Dick, and Harry.

A desire to maintain spousal harmony likely also factored somewhere into the equation. "My wife has been very understanding," he confided to Alabama. com in the article cited supra.

Disaster, whose name is derived from the Seventy-Ninth Precinct's unofficial motto, "flirting with disaster," also simply may have worn out his welcome at Helliesen's house in that this was the second time that he had absconded. Absence, after all, does not always serve to make the heart grow more fonder.

None of that in any way explains how he made it from Woodmere to Manhattan. With the roughly forty kilometers of streets that separate the two communities being so congested there simply is not any conceivable way that he could have hoofed it.

Moreover, Manhattan has precious little that ever would interest any cat. Helliesen's suggestion to ABC News that he was attracted by "the pull of the bright lights and the big city" therefore can be safely dismissed as a joke.

The most plausible explanation is that he was picked up off the streets of Woodmere by someone who transported him to Manhattan. He then later escaped from his new home and wound up roaming the mean thoroughfares of Times Square.

His good health coupled with the dangers associated with ruffing it in Manhattan tend to suggest that he had been homeless for only a very brief period of time. Even under such a scenario it is odd that his caretaker in Manhattan did not come forward in order to reclaim him in spite of the enormous amount of publicity generated by his rescue. That also would tend to suggest that he could have been deliberately dumped in the street.

It also is remotely conceivable that he could have reached Manhattan as an unwitting stowaway in either a moving van, train, or parcel post. That would not explain, however, where he has been living for the past two years unless he immediately was rescued upon his arrival in Manhattan. (See Cat Defender posts of November 6, 2006, June 7, 2007, and July 21, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Trapped in a Moving Van for Five Days, Texas Cat Named Neo is Finally Freed in Colorado," "Rascal Hops a Freight Train in South Bend and Unwittingly Winds Up in Chattanooga," and "Janosch Survives Being Sent Through the Post from Bayern to the Rhineland.")

"I wish the microchip had a camera or something," Baker or BluePearl mused to the Daily News in the article cited supra.

That is simply a terrible suggestion because precious little good ever will accrue to cats as the result of man's spying on them. For example, although Katzen-Kameras originally were invented so as to allow owners to keep tabs of their moggies' rambles, they soon were appropriated by the sworn enemies of the species at, inter alia, the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Georgia, and the University of Illinois in order to collect data on their predatory behavior as a prelude to having them exterminated.

As with all forms of surveillance, that of humans included, the power to monitor is equivalent to the power to control and the latter is synonymous with the power to destroy. (See Cat Defender posts of June 11, 2007, July 12, 2011, and July 18, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Katzen-Kameras Are Not Only Cruel and Inhumane but Represent an Assault Upon Cats' Liberties and Privacy," "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," and "Evil Professors Have Transformed College Campuses into Hotbeds of Hatred Where Cats Routinely Are Vilified, Horribly Abused, and Systematically Killed.")

The same holds true for the decoding of the feline genome. (See Cat Defender post of December 5, 2007 entitled "Decoding the Feline Genome Provides Vivisectors with Thousands of New Excuses to Continue Torturing Cats in the Course of Their Bogus Research.")

Anyone who has spent any amount time in Manhattan surely must have noticed the total absence of cats. Dogs are everywhere but cats are completely missing from the urban landscape. The American Bird Conservancy with its perverse and cruel cats indoors agenda surely must regard the borough as heaven on earth.

Even New York's totally obnoxious mayor, Mike "Dirty Bloomers" Bloomberg, has gotten in on the bandwagon by ordering the Algonquin Hotel to confine its residential feline, Matilda III. (See Cat Defender post of December 5, 2011 entitled "The Algonquin Cruelly Responds to Threats Made by New York City by Trussing Up Matilda III and Bombarding Her with Shock Therapy.")

Imprisoning cats indoors is not only cruel and unfair to them but detrimental to society as well. In order to weave their magical spells, cats need above all to be seen.

That is the only way that they can brighten people's days and exert a calming influence over them. If Manhattan had considerably more cats and correspondingly fewer people and cars it undeniably would be a far more pleasant place in which to live and work as opposed to the teeming, cutthroat hellhole that it is today.

Their presence also serves as a reminder that there are other inhabitants of this planet that are far more beautiful, noble, and important than man and his selfish and trivial concerns. That realization sometimes is accompanied by an acknowledgement that man has a duty to safeguard the animals and Mother Earth as opposed to nakedly exploiting and subjugating them.

Regrettably, respect for them, the environment, and even their fellow citizens never has been the strong suit of most Americans. Even when they are not slaughtering and ruthlessly exploiting them, the very best that they often have to offer their fellow denizens of this planet is institutionalization.

For example, companion animals are warehoused in death camps erroneously known as shelters. Livestock are bred, reared, and unceremoniously killed without ever having had so much as an inkling that there is anything other than factory farms and abattoirs in this world. Zoos, circuses, and captive-breeding facilities likewise constitute the sum total of reality that many exotic animals ever are allowed to experience.

Large sections of humanity do not fare much better. For instance, the homeless are locked away in remote, hellish shelters that would make the workhouses of Victorian England look like palaces. The aged are confined in old folks' homes, the mentally ill in nuthouses, the poor and disobedient in prisons, and the young, volatile, and impressionable in predatory schools and universities that are run by apologists for the thoroughly corrupt establishment.

The removal of these animals and groups from all moral, political, and economic consideration leaves the field wide open for their gaolers not only to gobble up a lion's share of the world's resources but to do so with only token opposition. Plus, these self-appointed lords of the universe are allowed to cash in a second time through the operation of their spiraling web of dead-end warehouses.

In conclusion, it would be heartening to know what has become of Disaster but unless he, like the great Houdini, has another trick up his sleeve the world very well may have heard the last of him. A faint glimmer of hope does remain, however.

"He likes looking out the windows," Helliesen told ABC News in the article cited supra. "Maybe he's planning his next escape."

So, perhaps in parts unknown Disaster is at this very moment gazing forlornly out someone else's windows and just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself so that he can once again answer the siren call of the open road. Whether it be Wanderlust that burns in his precious little heart or simply boredom, it is sincerely hoped that some day he will find whatever it is that he is so desperately searching for and at long last secure the happiness that he so richly deserves.

Photos: New York Daily News (Disaster and Zelkowitz) and Danielle Finkelstein of Newsday (Disaster and Helliesen).

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ted Williams and the National Audubon Society Issue a Call for Cats to be Poisoned with Tylenol® and Then Try to Lie Out of It

Cat Poisoning  Advocate Ted Williams
"There are two effective, humane alternatives to the cathell (sic) of TNR. One is Tylenol® (the human pain medication) -- a completely selective feral-cat (sic) poison. But the TNR lobby has blocked its registration for this use. The other is trap and euthanize (TE). TE is practiced by state and federal wildlife managers; but municipal TE needs to happen if the annihilation of native wildlife is to be significantly slowed."
-- Ted Williams of the National Audubon Society

Of the multitude of methods that ornithologists and wildlife biologists have racked their diseased gourds in order to come up with to kill cats poisoning them is by far the most insidious. That is because their totally innocent victims are left with no alternative other than to crawl off somewhere all by themselves in order to die prolonged and excruciatingly painful deaths.

Their corpses, twisted in pain, are rarely discovered and even when they are, whether it be by either their owners or rescue groups, necropsies are seldom performed and their untimely deaths thus remain unexplained mysteries. Almost as abhorrent, absolutely no one ever bothers to take these cold-blooded, premeditated murders seriously and as a consequence the masterminds behind them seldom, if ever, are arrested and brought to justice.

In spite of being cowardly, illegal, and patently immoral, poisoning cats is an exceedingly attractive, low-risk endeavor as far as ornithologists and wildlife proponents are concerned. To put the matter succinctly, it constitutes the perfect crime.

It also tickles pink their already grossly overinflated egos and enhances their sense of their own cleverness and superiority. There is, after all, not only tremendous pleasure to be derived from doing evil but even greater delights accrue to those individuals and groups who are allowed to get away unscathed with their diabolical crimes.

It therefore hardly came as any surprise when Ted Williams of the National Audubon Society (NAS), a longtime and well-known defamer and hater of cats, recently issued a public call for his like-minded supporters to embark upon an en masse feline poisoning campaign using acetaminophen. Being the enterprising and scheming provocateur that he is, Williams knew exactly which scurrilous newspaper to inveigle into helping him to disseminate his message of hatred and lawlessness.

"There are two effective, humane alternatives to the cathell (sic) of TNR. One is Tylenol® (the human pain medication) -- a completely selective feral-cat (sic) poison. But the TNR lobby has blocked its registration for this use," he wrote in an op-ed column for the Orlando Sentinel on March 14th. (See "Trap, Neuter, Return Programs Make Feral-Cat (sic) Problems Worse.") "The other is trap and euthanize (TE). TE is practiced by state and federal wildlife managers; but municipal TE needs to happen if the annihilation of native wildlife is to be significantly slowed."

In the firestorm that ensued, The Orlando Sentinel belatedly deleted not only Williams' comments regarding Tylenol® but also his assertion that he was speaking for the NAS. Consequently, those comments are not  found in the redacted version of his anti-feline rant that lives on in cyberspace; the remainder of his pack of lies has not been edited.

By the time that the Orlando Sentinel finally came to its senses it was too late because Williams' and the NAS's call for individuals and groups to take the law into their own hands already had been received loud and clear by their supporters. It was, all in all, quite a coup for both him and NAS and vividly demonstrates once again the eagerness of the thoroughly unprincipled capitalist media to throw their considerable weight behind almost any illegality and immorality.

In the days and weeks that followed, the public was treated to a second round of meticulously choreographed lies, double-talk, and face-saving public relations' stunts courtesy of both Williams and the NAS. To be perfectly honest, their conniving actually was quite entertaining and it surely must have brought  a broad grim to the ugly map of whatever devil that they serve.

The NAS got the ball rolling on March 16th when it temporarily suspended Williams and removed his name and title, editor at large, from the masthead of its in-house propaganda rag, Audubon Magazine. "Ted Williams is a freelance writer who published a personal opinion piece in the Orlando Sentinel," the NAS confided to its bosom buddies and oftentimes partners in crime at National Geographic on March 20th. (See "Writer's Call to Kill Feral Cats Sparks Outcry.") "We regret any misimpression that Mr. Williams was speaking for us in any way. He wasn't." (See Cat Defender posts of April 15, 2005 and April 13, 2007 entitled, respectively, "National Geographic Trying to Exterminate Cats" and "Killing and Torturing Wild and Domestic Cats in Order to Create Toygers Is Not Going to Save Sumatran Tigers.")

David Ringer, director of media relations for the NAS, added a few carefully chosen words of his own. "Cats do a great deal of damage to birds and other wildlife, and it needs to be addressed, but Audubon absolutely rejects the idea of individuals harming or poisoning cats," he told National Geographic.

At this juncture it is important to point out that his disavowal, even if against all odds it should be even remotely sincere, is strictly limited to action undertaken by private individuals. At no time has either he or the NAS repudiated Williams' demand that local, state, and federal authorities poison cats with acetaminophen.

On March 21st, Williams once again took stylo in hand and added a revealing postscript to his earlier diatribe. "In my recent op-ed I reported that a common over-the-counter drug, an effective and selective poison for feral cats, had not been registered for this purpose because of pressure from feral-cat (sic) advocacy groups. While that statement was not inaccurate, it was unwise because readers might construe it as a suggestion to go out and start poisoning cats," he opined. "What's more, the statement could be, indeed was, manipulated by feral-cat (sic) advocates into something I didn't write or intend."

In other words, it is permissible for him and the NAS to advocate that cats be poisoned but strictly verboten for anyone to point out that such behavior is illegal in all fifty states. It therefore is perfectly clear that Williams and the NAS believe that they not only are above the law but all criticism as well.

That would have been bad enough in itself if Slick Willie had stopped there but he had one more vitally important disclosure to make. "I should have used the generic, lesser-known name," he added, presumably, with a straight face.

C'est-à-dire, poisoning cats with acetaminophen is perfectly all right as opposed to killing them with Tylenol.® That statement in itself reveals writ large the utter contempt that he and NAS harbor in their malignant bosoms for the intellectual acumen of the reading public. It accordingly is anything but surprising that they arrogantly believe that they can get away with poisoning cats.

He did backtrack a little by joining Ringer and declaring that acetaminophen should be used only by federal and state wildlife biologists in order to poison cats. "I urge people not to take the law into their own hands. They should leave it to the professionals," he added.
Williams' and the NAS's Cat Poison of Choice

Even in saying that much he is being only partially truthful because the explicit objective of his March 14th posting was to encourage municipal, as well as state and federal, authorities to use acetaminophen in order to poison cats. Furthermore, there can be little doubt that both he and the NAS, despite their denials, would be overjoyed if individuals took matters into their own hands and thus did their dirty and illegal deeds for them.

That is precisely what Nico Dauphiné was up to in both Athens while she was studying at the University of Georgia and later in Washington while she was working at the ailurophobic Smithsonian Institution. "The defendant has advocated for the elimination of feral cat populations through euthanasia," prosecuting attorneys Kevin Chambers and Clare Pozos wrote in pleadings at her 2011 trial. "The government is concerned that by attempting to poison cats, the defendant intended to effectuate the message her public works and advocacy were unable to achieve." (See CNN, December 15, 2011, "Ex-National Zoo Employee Sentenced in Attempted Feral Cat Poisoning.")

The full extent of Williams' mendacity and total lack of anything even faintly resembling a moral compass was brought into sharper focus a few days later. "I regret that in theOrlando Sentinel op-ed, I used the brand name of a common over-the-counter painkiller and described it as a humane way to euthanize feral cats," he wrote in Audubon Magazine on March 26th. (See "An Apology from Ted Williams.") "Using the name of the painkiller was irresponsible, and characterizing it as humane was inaccurate, according to veterinarians and scientists."

It is important to note that Williams himself does not state that there is anything either immoral, inhumane, or even illegal about poisoning cats with acetaminophen. Rather, he merely pays token lip service to the opinions of veterinarians and scientists.

Even so much as a cursory examination of the detrimental effects that the drug has on cats makes it crystal clear that both Williams and the NAS not only want them dead at any cost but to inflict as much suffering as possible in the process. For instance, the outwardly observable symptoms of feline acetaminophen poisoning include, inter alia, depression, weakness, labored breathing, swollen faces, necks, and limbs, hypothermia, vomiting, brownish-gray gums and tongues, and jaundice due to liver damage. Cats then lapse into comas and die.

Since they, unlike most other animals, lack the enzymes necessary in order to metabolize the drug, it quickly destroys their red blood cells and thus their ability to transport oxygen to their vital organs. That is precisely what Williams was obliquely referring to when he correctly characterized acetaminophen as a "selective" cat poison.

Like all poisons, however, acetaminophen does not discriminate between cats' socio-economic status and that makes its application anything but selective. Much more importantly, poisoning cats is both morally and legally indefensible regardless of whether or not they have owners and it should not make any difference whatsoever whether the perpetrators of such despicable crimes are either private citizens or public employees.

Acetaminophen additionally has the advantage of being both readily available and virtually untraceable. It also is a real bargain in that it only takes one tablet in order to kill a cat.

"Our data show that if an average-sized cat ingests as little as one extra-strength acetaminophen pain-reliever caplet and is not treated in time, it can suffer fatal consequences," Steve Hansen of the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Illinois, told the Cat Channel on June 8, 2007. (See "Acetaminophen in Cat Food Discovered.")

That makes it even cheaper than the eight ounces of sodium pentobarbital that PETA is all the time championing as being more than sufficient in order to do away with eighty-three cats. (See Wheeling News-Register, December 16, 2010, "PETA Peeved at Hancock County's Feral Cat Problem.")

Given that acetaminophen is so cheap, untraceable, deadly, and inflicts so much pain and suffering, it strains credulity that both Williams and the NAS have not used it in the past in order to kill cats. Even if they should lack firsthand knowledge of the matter, they most assuredly are acquainted with others, possibly state and federal wildlife biologists, who have engaged in such illegal killings.

Although just about everybody on the planet in guilty of taking literary license with the term euthanasia, Williams is the first blighter known to equate it with poisoning cats. In that light, it would be interesting to know just how far he and the NAS would be willing to extend that analogy. Most likely they are so dishonest and morally bankrupt that they would be more than willing to apply it to the systematic eradication of almost any animal that they hate or group of individuals that stand in the way of their designs.

In the Audubon Magazine article cited supra, Williams does grudgingly concede that he lied through his rotten teeth when he categorically stated on March 14th that TNR, which has been sanctioned by no less than three-hundred-thirty municipal governments across the country, was illegal. He stubbornly refuses, however,to disavow any of the multitude of additional lies that he passed off on that occasion as the unvarnished truth.

In particular, he declared that between sixty-two and eighty per cent of cats carry toxoplasmosis and that they are the most common vectors of rabies. If there were so much as a scintilla of truth to either of those allegations, both diseases surely would be a epidemic levels.

Furthermore, the only evidence that Williams puts forward in order to bolster those allegations is the unsupported, anecdotal claim that some individuals in Florida have been attacked by rabid cats. Even if that were the case,  it does seem rather odd that rabid cats apparently are found only in the Sunshine State.

He further alleges that they infect lynxes, bobcats, and Florida Panthers with leukemia, distemper, and the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. That, too, is odd in that it is highly unlikely that any domestic cats that ventured onto the turfs of those large predators would survive for very long.

Totally full of it and really starting to feel his birdseed by this time, Slick Willie next tosses out the old familiar lie that cats hunt for pleasure as opposed to sustenance. That argument, as any halfway intelligent person understands, only has validity when it is turned around and applied to Williams and his fellow Home sapiens.
George Fenwick

He additionally blames cats for single-handedly killing off thirty-three avian species and praises to high heaven a totally fraudulent and discredited study by the Smithsonian Institution that ludicrously claims that cats kill up to an astounding twenty-one billion wild animals each year. Finally, he caps off his recital of tall tales by reiterating the same blatant lies about managed colonies at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu that he told in the September-October 2009 edition of Audubon Magazine. (See "Feline Fatales.")

In that earlier rant, Williams not only called for the prosecution of those who feed homeless cats but lauded an inhumane practice in Wisconsin that allows for them to be shot and drowned on private property. He even went to far as to call for animal control officers to shoot them in the head with rifles.

"This approach is certainly kinder to the cats than stressing them with traps, transport, and eventually and almost inevitably lethal injections at shelters," he wrote. Even morally warped PETA has balked at stooping to that level of hypocrisy and abject cruelty.

The utter contempt that Williams harbors in his black soul for the species is perhaps nowhere better exhibited than in a July 2, 2009 column that he wrote for Fly Rod and Reel wherein he takes special delight in coyote predation of cats. (See "Let Them Eat Cat. Best Use of Free-Roaming Cats I've Heard Yet.")

Williams' agenda for liquidating cats, whether it be by poisoning, shooting, drowning, or feeding them to the coyotes, is plastered all over the Internet in black and white. Even more damning, since his endorsement of shooting and drowning cats appeared in Audubon Magazine there can be little doubt that the NAS supports such measures. That additionally casts considerable doubt on its narrowly circumscribed criticism of his proposal to poison them with Tylenol.®

Anyone even remotely familiar with the writings and public pronouncements of ornithologists and wildlife proponents knows only too well that they are exceedingly clever chaps. Their columns and speeches do not contain any mistakes; every buzzword and lie are painstakingly selected in order to advance their agenda of defaming and killing cats.

It accordingly came as quite a hoot to read that Slick Willie had chalked up his March 14th column to, of all things, slovenliness. "I wrote the op-ed in haste, without the care and precision my editors and readers expect. The result was that I called Audubon's reputation into question," he wrote in Audubon Magazine on March 26th. "I got benched and earned the suspension; it was bad journalism and bad judgment. I apologize and will work to rebuild your (NAS's) trust."

As if that were not enough malarkey for one article, Williams could not resist the overpowering temptation to lay it on ever thicker. "Like you (NAS), I am passionate about protecting birds," he added. "In my recent op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel, I let my passion get the best of me, calling into question the scientific credibility of Audubon and squandering some of my own."

First of all, inveterate liars and criminals such as Williams, the NAS, and their supporters do not have so much as a shred of credibility. Besides, the only thing that he and NAS are ashamed of is being forced to publicly atone for their words and deeds.

They got a little bit too big for their breeches and their public chastisement has punctured a tiny hole in their massive egos but that is the extent of the damage. None of them have amended either their thinking or behavior one iota and au fond they are still the same old low-life scumbags.

Furthermore, if Williams' mea culpa sounds familiar it because it is taken chapter and verse from the one that Dauphiné issued after her conviction in a Washington courtroom. "I plan to go back to the community (of like-minded cat-haters and poisoners) and work to repair all the damage that has been done," she stated on that historic occasion. I am "very ashamed" for disappointing supporters and I know I have an "enormous task ahead" in regaining their esteem. (See Cat Defender post of January 6, 2012 entitled "Nico Dauphiné Is Let Off with an Insultingly Lenient $100 Fine in a Show Trial That Was Fixed from the Very Beginning.")

Amateur ornithologist James Munn Stevenson, who boasted to gunning down more than two-hundred cats, likewise never has so much as uttered a syllable of contrition. Rather, he has parlayed his criminality into financial success and today is regarded as a hero by birders and wildlife biologists. (See Cat Defender posts of November 22, 2006, November 20, 2007, and August 7, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Evil Galveston Bird Lover Is Finally Arrested After Having Gunned Down Hundreds of Cats," "Bird Lovers All Over the World Rejoice as Serial Killer James M. Stevenson Is Rewarded by Galveston Court for Gunning Down Hundreds of Cats," and "Crime Pays! Having Made Fools Out of Galveston Prosecutors, Serial Cat Killer James Munn Stevenson Is Now a Hero and Laughing All the Way to the Bank.")

Similarly at his 2011 trial in München for torturing Rocco to death, Ernst Bernhard K. was forced to cover his face with his hands in order to conceal his mirth as prosecutors detailed his sadistic cruelty. (See Cat Defender posts of January 19, 2011, August 8, 2011, and August 17, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Bird Lover in München Illegally Traps Rocco and Then Methodically Tortures Him to Death with Water and Pepper Spray over an Eleven-Day Period," "Ernst K.'s Trial for Kidnapping, Torturing, and Murdering Rocco Nears Its Climax in a München Courtroom," and "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.")

Even more telling, not a single bird or wildlife advocacy groups ever has condemned the criminal conduct of Stevenson, Ernst K., Dauphiné or, as far as it is known, any cat killer. Au contraire, they always have closed ranks around the defamers and killers.

For its part, the NAS's support for Williams has been unwavering and that was demonstrated by his reinstatement as an editor at large on March 26th. "We accept Ted's apology. We've always thought that Audubon Magazine is better when Ted Williams' work is in it," the organization stated on that date. (See "Audubon and Ted Williams.") "That's been true for thirty-three years...We're satisfied that there's no larger pattern of missteps that would warrant further disciplinary action."

In doing so the NAS followed Williams' lead by cavalierly dismissing his remarks about Tylenol® as simply a miscue. "Everyone makes mistakes in their jobs. Usually, a handful of co-workers, a classroom full of kids or some other collection of colleagues sees our mistakes," it continued in the same article. "Not journalists. We publish our mistakes for everyone to see."

When viewed against the backdrop of all the other inhumane and illegal methods of liquidating cats that the NAS has lent its support to over the years, its labeling of Williams' comments as simply a mistake constitutes just one more of its blatant fabrications. Equally important, it is guilty of providing both the environment and succor for moral deviants like him not only to work in but to flourish as well.

The organization also chose this occasion to indulge in more of its patented double-talk. "We absolutely reject the notion of individuals poisoning cats or treating cats in any inhumane way," it declared. "We urge communities around the country to adopt effective measures to counter problems suffered and caused by cats and to vigorously enforce existing rules and procedures."
Mike Lafferty

Stripped of its nuances and translated into shirtsleeve English, the NAS is advocating, at the very least, that local authorities round up and kill cats. Moreover, based upon its publication of Williams' 2009 article it obviously does not consider drowning and shooting them to be inhumane and most assuredly would wholeheartedly support poisoning them with acetaminophen and other drugs if it thought for one minute that it could get away with doing so.

For example, back in 2007 its Connecticut chapter issued a clarion call for the complete eradication of cats and a host of other animals as well. (See Cat Defender post of March 15, 2007 entitled "Connecticut Audubon Society Shows Its True Colors by Calling for the Slaughter of Feral Cats, Mute Swans, Mallards, Canada Geese, and Deer.")

As recently as 2010 when Aaron M. Hildreth, Stephen M. Vantassel, and Scott E. Hygnstrom of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln published a paper entitled "Feral Cats and Their Management" wherein they proposed that the species be liquidated through gunshots to the head, chemical injections, carbon dioxide asphyxiation, and body-gripper traps, the NAS's sister agency, the American Bird Conservancy (ABC), was beside itself with unbridled joy. "This report is a must read for any community or government official thinking about what to do about feral cats," the organization's Darin Schroeder told the Huffington Post on December 2, 2010. (See "Feral Cats Should Be Killed with a 'Gunshot to the Head' to Control Population -- UNL Undergraduate Report.") "It encapsulates the extensive research on this subject and draws conclusions based on that data. Not surprisingly, the report validates everything the American Bird Conservancy has been saying about the feral cat issue for many years, namely TNR does not work in controlling feral cat populations."

In many respects Williams' March 14th spiel is both a deliberate plagiarization as well as a continuation of an anti-feline diatribe delivered a few weeks earlier by ABC President George Fenwick. "The only sure way to protect wildlife, cats and people is for domestic cats to be permanently removed from the outdoor environment. Trap-Neuter-Release programs that perpetuate the slaughter of wildlife and encourage the dumping of unwanted cats is a failed strategy being implemented across the United States without any consideration for environment, human health, or animal welfare effects," he thundered in an angry op-ed piece for The Baltimore Sun on February 26th. (See "The Destructive Invasive Species Purring on Your Lap.") "It can no longer be tolerated."

After typically making cats the scapegoats for all that is wrong with wildlife and the environment, Fenwick's remedy was equally contrived. "Local governments need to act swiftly and decisively to gather the thirty to eighty million unowned cats, aggressively seek adoptions and establish sanctuaries for or euthanize those cats that are not adoptable," he demanded. Since Fenwick knows as well as everyone else that it would be impossible to secure homes and sanctuaries for that many cats, he actually is advocating that all of them be slaughtered. He simply is too dishonest to come out and say it.

Fenwick did not limit his attack to homeless cats, however, but instead went on to call for the sterilization and imprisonment of all cats indoors. He capped off his tirade by even calling for the prosecution of owners who abandon cats. As he surely must know, any person with so much as a smidgen of conscience is not about to surrender a cat to a death house regardless of the law.

In hindsight, it now seems clear that Fenwick laid the groundwork for Williams' proposal about Tylenol.® The entire affair either could have been scripted from the start by Fenwick, Williams, and the NAS or it  simply could have been a case of synchronicity, that is, three evil and warped minds erupting independently of each other much like spontaneous combustions in a bloated sewer.

Once their fiendish plot had been hatched, all that they required was an obliging conduit in order to disseminate it and they certainly found that and considerably more in the editors of The Orlando Sentinel. "It's true you can find bomb-building plans on the Internet, but you won't find them on the Orlando Sentinel's web site," the paper's Mike Lafferty wrote March 22nd in an online posting. (See "Column about Feral Cats Deserved a Forum, and More Editing.") "Neither should you find specific information on which drugs make effective feral cat poisons, especially considering the risk that could pose to common house cats."

It did not take long, however, before he lapsed into Williams' tactic of blaming his critics. "While some of the rhetoric from cat advocates was overblown, the criticism of our decision-making had validity," he added.

Not only that but both Lafferty and the Orlando Sentinel need to locate not only their moral compasses, that is if they have any, but to acquaint themselves with the law. For instance, if it could be substantiated that either some individual or group had poisoned cats upon the advice of an article that had appeared in the paper, Lafferty and his overlords could be held liable in court.

After much palaver and dancing all around the truth, Lafferty eventually came clean and admitted that he is a regular imbiber of the Kool-Aid® served up by Williams and the  NAS. "And considering the scale of destruction that feral cats are inflicting on wildlife, Ted Williams' views on the matter deserved publication," he wrote. "At the same time, the public deserved more discretion -- and editing from us."

That is as close as he ever has come to issuing an apology and at no time has he come out and stated unequivocally that it is both morally repugnant and illegal to poison cats. As a veteran newspaperman, he surely must realize that there are at least two sides to every story and yet his only concern throughout this entire sordid affair has been to furnish Williams and the NAS with a platform from which to spew forth their hatred and to advance their agenda.

For better or worse, there are not any restrictions on what newspapers either can or cannot print. That did not used to be quite as big of a dilemma as it is today following the monopolization of the industry and the fragmentation of interests. Anyone even remotely familiar with this topic surely must be struck by the contrast between the diversity of society on the one hand and the homogenization of the mass media on the other hand; consequently, in an age that cries out for more hard news stories and a greater diversity of viewpoints there actually are fewer of both.

Needless to say, ornithologists, wildlife biologists, and other inveterate cat haters quickly have learned to manipulate the press in order to advance their perverted agenda. The most common venue afforded them is the "Letters to the Editor" section of daily newspapers.

Linda Cherkassky, an apprentice (for about twenty years no less) wildlife rehabilitator from Voorhees, New Jersey, and PETA somehow manage to get their hate-filled missives directed against cats into some obliging newspaper practically every day of the week. Both of them, and others like them, spew out the lies as fast as their pens can move across the page. Compounding matters further, apparently no newspaper editor ever has had either the objectivity or fairness of mind to ask them to substantiate any of their outrageous allegations.

Quite obviously, newspapers do not publish all the letters that they receive and even some of those that they do use are pared down to the bone. No one outside the business knows exactly who decides which letters are published but given the success rate of ornithologists and wildlife biologists in getting out their message it would appear that most editorial staffs hate cats with a vengeance.

Op-ed pieces, such as the anti-cat screeds published by Williams and Fenwick, are an altogether different matter. Not only are they considerably lengthier but usually their authors are either well-known or have contacts within a newspaper. Despite Lafferty's assertions to the contrary, op-ed pieces are not doled out to just anybody and their content most assuredly receives a level of scrutiny that far exceeds that given to letters.

Williams very well could reside in Orlando and thus have contacts at the paper. In any event, considering Loews Hotels' eviction of its cats last year as well as the city's brutal treatment of its homeless population, Williams sans doute believes that the city is fertile ground from which to launch his en masse feline poisoning campaign. (See Webwire press release of April 4, 2012, "Loews Orlando Hotels Begin Cruel Trapping of Their Harmless Outdoor Cats" and The Orlando Sentinel, July 25, 2006, "Eola (Park) Homeless Meals Banned.")

In spite of playing host to Disney World and  being blessed with schönste Wetter, Orlando has been regarded for years as one of the meanest twenty cities in America by the National Coalition for the Homeless. That is not surprising in that abuse of the down-and-out and animal cruelty go together like peanut butter and jelly. (See The Orlando Sentinel, July 30, 2006, "Orlando Heads Back to List of Meanest Cities.")
Joe Mason

The only known journalist with enough morality and integrity to even take Williams to task has been Joe Mason. "But to suggest the best way to solve the problem of homeless cats is to poison them might be the dumbest and most irresponsible thing I've seen written in paper," he wrote in the Burlington County Times of Willingboro, New Jersey, on March 16th. (See "Killing Cats Is a Problem Not a Solution.") "It's outrageous, stupid, dumb, and every other word you can use for idiotic."

He also had a few choice words for Lafferty and the other prevaricating moral retards at the Orlando Sentinel. "I work at a paper and we're held to standards...," he added. "So when a paper allows someone to suggest poisoning cats as a solution to a problem, it really makes me angry."

Quite obviously, The Orlando Sentinel does not have any standards worth mentioning but it is far from being alone in that regard. For example, The New York Times has shown itself over the years to be a persistently strident and underhanded defamer of cats. (See Cat Defender posts of December 8, 2007 and June 15, 2009 entitled, respectively, "All the Lies That Fit: Scheming New York Times Hires a Bird Lover to Render His 'Unbiased' Support for James M. Stevenson" and "American Bird Conservancy, The New York Times, and the Humane Society Unite to Form an Achse des Bösen Against Cats.")

The Houston Chronicle likewise went to the mat a few years back in order to defend Stevenson. (See Cat Defender post of May 1, 2007 entitled "Houston Chronicle Launches a Propaganda Offensive on Behalf of Serial Cat Killer Jim Stevenson.")

The same is true of the Ventura County Star of Camarillo, California, which gleefully led the cheering section for the assassins of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as they mercilessly gunned down up to one-hundred-fifty cats on San Nicolas. (See Cat Defender post of July 10, 2008 entitled "The Ventura County Star Races to the Defense of the Cat-Killers on San Nicolas Island.")

It is John Yeld of the Cape Argus of Cape Town, however, who can justifiably lay claim to the prestigious title of being the world's most dishonest and unscrupulous journalist. He has earned that high praise for acting not only as a toady for Les Underhill of the University of Cape Town during his eradication of the cats on Robben Island but also as the number one stooge for Marthan Bester of the University of Pretoria throughout his relentless slaughter of up to four-thousand cats on Marion Island. (See Cat Defender posts of March 23, 2007, April 27, 2006, and March 23, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Bird Lovers in South Africa Break Out the Champagne to Celebrate the Merciless Gunning Down of the Last of Robben Island's Cats," "Cat-Hating Monster Les Underhill and Moneygrubbing Robben Island Museum Resume Slaughtering Cats in South Africa," and "South Africans, Supported by Ailurophobic PETA, Are Slaughtering More Cats on Robben Island.")

Much like the Orlando Sentinel, the movers and shakers in Atlantic City always can count on The Press whenever they want to go after either cats or the homeless. (See Cat Defender post of July 5, 2007 entitled "Bird and Wildlife Proponents, Ably Assisted by The Press of Atlantic City, Launch Malicious Libel Campaign Against Feral Cats.")

Sometimes sitting on the sidelines and merely pimping and whoring for cat killers gets a little boring and that in turn prompts journalists to take matters into their own hands. That is precisely what Ted Greenberg of NBC Philadelphia did last year when his lust for innocent feline blood got the better of him and he responded by calling in a private exterminator in order to snuff out the lives of six kittens at an apartment complex just north of Atlantic City. (See Cat Defender post of July 7, 2012 entitled "NBC Philadelphia Conspires with a Virulent Cat-Hater and an Exterminator in Order to Have Six Newborn and Totally Innocent Kittens Killed in Southern New Jersey.")

There is not any way of denying the obvious: the capitalist media have been directly complicit in the killing of thousands of cats. In addition to that, they have greased the skids for the elimination of millions more of them by relentlessly demonizing the species.

No news organizations could get away with persistently defaming minorities, let alone calling for their extermination, and that same standard of morality should be applied to cats and all other animals. Cats have an unqualified right not only to live but also to be free regardless of what Williams, the NAS, ABC, or the Orlando Sentinel postulate to the contrary.

Despite Williams' audacity and the far reaching implications of his outrageous proposal, it has been greeted with only tacit opposition from cat advocacy groups. For instance, although Alley Cat Allies (ACA) initially got off on the right foot by giving Williams and the NAS the dressing down that they so richly deserved, it soon lost its impetus.

"Ted Williams' Sentinel column is full of hate and devoid of facts, but far worse, it represents the latest in a string of outrageous attacks and encouragement of cruelty aimed at cats," the organization's Becky Robinson said in a March 15th press release. (See "Alley Cat Allies Slams Audubon Editor for Encouraging Cat Poisoning.") "Williams should be fired for these blatantly irresponsible comments."

ACA and its supporters then followed up by sending thirty-one-thousand e-mail letters to the NAS but the only thing that they received in return for their trouble was a deceitful, false-hearted pledge to suspend Williams. Like sheep to the slaughter, ACA fell hook, line, and sinker for that ploy.

"We are satisfied with this outcome, but we will continue to remain vigilant in challenging any support for cruelty or for policies that would lead to more cats being killed in pounds and shelters," Robinson caroled in a March 18th press release. (See "Alley Cat Allies Expresses Satisfaction after Audubon Removes At-Large Editor from Masthead.") "Killing cats will not protect birds or any other species."

Quite obviously, it does not take much to satisfy Robinson and ACA. Moreover, Williams and the NAS must rest awfully easy at night knowing that the worst that they have to fear from ACA and its supporters are a few angry e-mail letters.

When Williams' suspension was lifted a few days later ACA was left with egg all over its face. "Alley Cat Allies is stunned," Robinson gulped to The New York Times on March 26th. (See "Writer, and Bird Lover, at Center of Dispute About Cats Is Reinstated.") "By reinstating him so soon after this incident, it is clear that the National Audubon Society is not understanding and grasping the gravity of the issue."

With that final salvo, ACA washed its hands of the entire affair and has not uttered so much as another syllable concerning it. In addition to furnishing Williams and the NAS with a million hearty chuckles, ACA's behavior has been nothing short of an embarrassment not only to itself but cat lovers everywhere. Worst of all, such an anemic, weak-kneed response is destined to only embolden Williams, the NAS, and other cat-haters into committing even greater atrocities against the species.
Theodore Anthony Nugent

The total absurdity of ACA's response is so obvious that just to point it out is tantamount to belaboring the point. Most obviously, both Williams and the NAS are incorrigible and therefore could care less what ACA thinks.

Therefore, attempting to appeal to their better natures is reminiscent of George Harrison's chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna in the face of Michael Abram as the latter carved him up like a Christmas ham during a break-in at Friar Park on Henley-on-Thames back on December 30, 1999. In other words, ACA is wasting both its time and resources begging Williams and the NAS to be good little boys.

Whether or not cats continue to survive and under what circumstances will be decided by others, not Williams and the NAS, and it is precisely to those individuals, groups, and political powerbrokers that anyone even halfway serious about protecting them must make their appeal. ACA's public posturing may keep the shekels rolling in but it contributes precious little toward the welfare of cats.

The same is true concerning e-mail letters and petitions. For example, in the past the USFWS has dismissed ACA's e-mail campaigns as "Internet-generated letters with standard comments" and gone right ahead and liquidated cats on both San Nicolas and in the Florida Keys. (See Cat Defender posts of June 27, 2008 and June 23, 2011 entitled, respectively, "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas" and "Wallowing in Welfare Dollars, Lies, and Prejudice, the Bloodthirsty United States Fish and Wildlife Service Is Again Killing Cats in the Florida Keys.")

The only missives that politicians and bureaucrats so much as glance at are those that are handwritten on expensive stationery and bear tony return addresses, such as either Beverly Hills or Sutton Place. Even then it is only the irresistible smell of money that they exude that makes them so appealing to policymakers. This is, after all, America and not Shangrila.

In spite of all of that, ACA stubbornly persists with its petitions and on May 1st delivered another one to the Smithsonian in a futile attempt to convince those inveterate liars and welfare bums to straighten up and fly right. "Americans don't want an institution that receives taxpayer money to fund a study that essentially declares war on the nation's most beloved companion animal," Robinson declared in a press release of the same date. (See "Alley Cat Allies Delivers Fifty-Five-Thousand Signatures to Smithsonian to Protest Flawed Study on Cats and Birds.") "We are calling on the Smithsonian to disavow this research and stop funding junk science with immediate effect."

To its credit, the organization was able to convince Gregory J. Matthews of the University of Massachusetts to review the Smithsonian's most recent anti-feline screed and he not only  gave it a failing grade but also deemed it unfit for publication. Notwithstanding that, ACA needs to take a more proactive stance when it comes to protecting cats.

For example, at the very least it should be filing lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act so as to force the secretive USFWS into disclosing exactly how many cats that it has slaughtered on San Nicolas and in the Florida Keys. The former are long gone but the liquidation in southern Florida continues to this very day. (See Cat Defender post of February 24, 2012 entitled "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Humane Society Hoist a Glass in Celebration of Their Extermination of the Cats on San Nicolas Island" and The Keynoter of Key West, January 30, 2013, "Refuges' Management Plan Targets Feral Cats.")

The gravity of the situation requires a multidimensional strategy if the machinations of ornithologists and wildlife biologists are to be checkmated. Such an approach, quite obviously, is going to require the raising of a tremendous amount of money as well as considerable time in order to be implemented.

In the meantime, cats are destined to continue to die unless preventive measures are not immediately undertaken. First of all, feline advocacy groups need to compile lists of individuals and groups who publicly have vowed to harm the species and then begin to monitor their activities as well.

These lists need to include not only anyone even remotely connected to the NAS, ABC, USFWS, and Smithsonian, but also those affiliated with universities and governmental laboratories that either experiment on cats or use them as guinea pigs in order to collect data on their alleged predatory behavior. (See Cat Defender post of July 18, 2011 entitled "Evil Professors Have Transformed College Campuses into Hotbeds of Hatred Where Cats Routinely Are Vilified, Horribly Abused, and Systematically Killed.")

The local police and those groups charged with enforcing the anti-cruelty statutes should be supplied with these lists along with the offending statements. Perhaps that alone will be sufficient in order to, at least occasionally, entice some of the authorities into regarding those named individuals and groups as the number one suspects whenever a cat either dies under unexplained circumstances or simply disappears.

If the intransigence of the authorities cannot be overcome, cat protection groups eventually are going to be forced into hiring their own animal cruelty investigators. Owners and individuals of conscience also can be a big help by not only looking out for all cats but reporting abuse in a timely fashion.

None of this would be necessary if the authorities would do their jobs. For example, although the Washington Humane Society did investigate and subsequently arrest Dauphiné, it now seems clear in hindsight that it in all likelihood would not have done even that much if it had known beforehand that she was a big shot at the Smithsonian. That conclusion is borne out by its steadfast refusal to look into the wholesale abuses that the organization doles out to the cats that it shanghais into becoming research guinea pigs. (See Cat Defender post of November 18, 2011 entitled "Nico Dauphiné, Ph.D., Is Convicted of Attempting to Poison a Colony of Homeless Cats but Questions Remain Concerning the Smithsonian's Role.")

Likewise, humane officials have refused to investigate Williams' soul mate, disgraced rocker Theodore Anthony Nugent, despite his persistent bragging about shooting cats on the grounds of the canned hunting ranch that he operates near Jackson, Michigan. "Always has been, always will be on the Nugent farm, where I have instructed my family, friends, hunting buddies and casual passer-by to blast every cat they see," he wrote in an op-ed column for The Washington Times on December 3, 2010. (See "Nugent: The Time for Kitty Killing Has Come.")

Wherever there is smoke there usually also is fire and far too many cats either perish or disappear every day of the week under unexplained circumstances for all of them to be the victims of randomized violence. Any halfway serious inquiry into this matter is therefore almost guaranteed to uncover a level of criminality on the part of both ornithologists and wildlife proponents that extends far beyond the words and deeds of Williams, Dauphiné, Stevenson, and Ernst K. and their confederates.

The only palliative is to identify and monitor these individuals and groups as a prelude to investigating, arresting, and incarcerating them whenever they harm cats. Zebra stripes are, after all, the most appropriate plumage for these dirty birds.

Photos: The New York Times (Williams), People's Pharmacy (Tylenol®), Bird Conservation Alliance (Fenwick), The Orlando Sentinel (Lafferty), Burlington County Times (Mason), and Lenny Francioni of the United States Navy and Wikipedia (Nugent).

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Poisoned Within an Inch of His Life While Living on the Mean Streets of Detroit, Chairman Waffles Survives Three Surgeries in Order to Live Again

Chairman Waffles

"I always end up fostering the special needs guys who come in here. He just happened to be exceptionally special."
-- veterinarian Amy Koppenhoefer

No one seems to know how he wound up there, but at the tender age of five-months Chairman Waffles found himself all alone on the forlorn and forbidding streets of Detroit. As if simply evading predators, both human and animal, procuring food, and securing shelter were not daunting tasks enough in their own right, he somewhere along the way sustained life-threatening chemical burns to his mouth, tongue, and face.

It is unclear whether he simply licked up a toxic substance or was deliberately doused in the face. Moreover, the nature of the corrosive has not been disclosed.

All that is known for certain is that he was found last September by either an unidentified Good Samaritan or group and handed over to the Michigan Humane Society (MHS) in Bingham Farms, twenty-eight kilometers outside of the Motor City. That act of compassion in all likelihood saved his life because as it was he barely could breathe and surely would not have lasted much longer without prompt veterinary intervention.

"He was obviously in a tremendous amount of pain," Kevin Hatman of the MHS told The News Herald of Southgate on February 16th. (See "Kitten's Mouth Burned Off after Drinking Chemical.")

Even after his initial rescue Chairman Waffles was far from being out of the lion's den. Thousands of sick and injured cats are brought into shelters and veterinarians' offices each year but only a select few of them ever receive the care that they so desperately need and deserve.

The best that they usually can expect are jabs of sodium pentobarbital. In its self-appointed role as the world's premier feline eradication service, PETA has its death squads scouring the streets and alleyways night and day in search of perfectly healthy cats in order to liquidate. (See Cat Defender post of October 7, 2011 entitled "PETA Traps and Kills a Cat and Then Shamelessly Goes Online in Order to Brag about Its Criminal and Foul Deed.")

This is not merely a problem for homeless cats but rather it extends to those with owners who are too cheap and uncaring in order to pay for their treatment. (See Cat Defender post of January 2, 2013 entitled "Alley Cat Allies Demonstrates Its Utter Contempt for the Sanctity of Life by Unconscionably Killing Off Its Office Cat, Jared.")

Generally speaking, however, both the homeless and those who have the misfortune to belong to either the miserly or the impecunious are in the same porous boat and rarely can they rely upon the compassion of either rescue groups or veterinarians in order to save their lives. It therefore would have been a simple matter for the MHS to have dispatched Chairman Waffles to the devil without so much as a second thought.

There is not, after all, any law against such morally repugnant behavior and it is rather doubtful that anyone outside the organization ever would have known that Chairman Waffles had so much as existed, let alone the circumstances surrounding his demise.

To its credit, the MHS chose compassion over expediency even though that decision ended up costing the privately-funded charity thousands of dollars. "MHS reached one-hundred per cent adoption of healthy dogs and cats in 2010 and immediately set forth on a new top goal: guaranteed placement of all healthy and treatable animals within the next few years while -- very importantly-- remaining truly open admission to all animals regardless of their condition," it declares on its web site.

While that is highly commendable, it still leaves considerable room for improvement. Specifically, the next logical step for it to take would be to publicly renounce the killing of cats and dogs under all circumstances.

Animals should not be deprived of their inalienable right to exist just because they are deemed to be either terminally-ill or unadoptable. Even under such dire circumstances sanctuaries and hospices should be secured for them.

On top of the financial considerations, treating Chairman Waffles' burns and internal injuries proved to be an involved and tedious task with a successful outcome by no means assured. In particular, the black and white tom was forced to go under the knife on three separate occasions.

The first surgery was to remove dead tissue from around his nose and mouth, including possibly his burned tongue, so as to enable him to once again breathe freely.

A second procedure was required in order to remove his hard palette. Finally, two canine teeth were extracted and his face reconstructed.

The good news is that he defied all the odds and sailed through those terrible operations with flying colors; the bad news is that he now looks like a train wreck. "The mouth is constantly exposed," Hatman told The News Herald. "You can see his tongue."

He additionally will require specialized care for the remainder of his life but Hatman is fairly confident that he is going to be all right. "There are potential medical issues, but our veterinarians are pretty confident that, because (they) haven't developed yet, there's a very low risk for future medical problems," he added.

In spite of all the pain and deprivations, Chairman Waffles today is not only a resilient but also a vibrant, one-year-old cat. "He's happy, always on the go, jumps around and likes to explore. He likes to cuddle and purrs a lot," Hatman told The News Herald. "If you didn't look at him, you wouldn't know that he's been through what he's been through. His recovery, both physically and emotionally, has been incredible."

Following his surgeries and while awaiting a new home, Chairman Waffles was placed in foster care with MHS veterinarian Amy Koppenhoefer. "I always end up fostering the special needs guys who come in here," she confided to The News Herald in the article cited supra. "He just happened to be exceptionally special."

Somewhere near the end of February, he was adopted by Dawn S. Zifilippo of St. Clair Shores, twenty-one kilometers northeast of Detroit. As an added bonus, she graciously agreed to take along his best friend, Mr. Burns, who was in foster care with him at Koppenhoefer's house.

If there ever was a cat who deserved a second chance at life it unquestionably is Chairman Waffles and thanks to the compassion and generosity shown him by the MHS, Koppenhoefer, and Zifilippo he now is getting it. No one can predict the future but hopefully his days will be long and filled with much joy.

Tragically, the same cannot be said for an attractive Siamese named Rupert who was rescued from the streets of Cambridge during the last week of February by a Good Samaritan. Like Chairman Waffles, he too had sustained extensive chemical damage to his paws, mouth, and tongue. It was the irreversible damage done to his kidneys, however, that doomed him.

The Cambridge branch of the RSPCA arranged for him to be treated by Companion Care Vets of Coldhams Lane who immediately placed him on intravenous fluids. He courageously held on to life for several days before either dying on his own or being killed off by those treating him.

The type of corrosive has not been publicly identified and it is unclear precisely how he was poisoned. "Sadly it appears that he has suffered from some kind of poisoning, possibly through treading in a substance and licking it off his paws, or possibly maliciously," Rosemary Rodd of the RSPCA theorized to the Cambridge News on March 2nd. (See "Cat Suffers Chemical Burns after Poisoning.") "The vets initially thought it was likely to be antifreeze, but are now thinking that it may be some corrosive substance as he also has signs of chemical burns in his mouth."

Although Rupert was neither neutered nor microchipped, it is unlikely that he was homeless owing to his pedigree. Nevertheless, no one ever came forward in order to reclaim either him or his remains despite the publicity generated by his predicament. No one likewise ever attempted to reclaim Chairman Waffles.

As far as it is known, no arrest has been made in his death and it is extremely doubtful that either the RSPCA or the local police are even bothering to look into the matter. "Whether or not this was deliberate, the RSPCA is obviously concerned that someone has left a dangerous substance where animals can come contaminated and suffer," Rodd added to the Cambridge News.

The RSPCA expressed similar sentiments back in July of 2010 when a cat named Sticky became ensnared in a glue trap that was placed in a garden on Nansen Road in the Sparkhill section of Birmingham. She mercifully escaped with her life but even that required multiple baths and the removal of most of the fur from her paws, legs, and sides.

"This kitten has suffered as a result of the irresponsible and inhumane use of traps. Like snares and most pest control equipment, glue traps are indiscriminate," the RSPCA's Boris Lasserre said back then. "We are regularly alerted to incidents of non-target species being caught in snares and traps." (See Cat Defender post of August 17, 2010 entitled "Sticky Loses Most of Her Fur after She Is Ensnared in a Glue Trap Inhumanely Set in a Birmingham Garden.")

Every bit as reprehensible is the conscious use of these horrible torture devices in order to kill mice and other so-called pests. For instance, the Hinds County Circuit Court in Jackson, Mississippi, recently deployed glue traps in order to snare an unspecified number of totally harmless DeKay's snakes, Storeria dekayi. (See The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 26, 2013, "Courthouse Gets Too Snaky" and the Clarion Ledger of Jackson, April 25, 2013, "Snakes in Courthouse: Five Found in Hinds Circuit Clerk's Office.")

Whereas it is readily conceded that the apprehension of cat poisoners and illegal trappers is anything but an easy task, the RSPCA needs to be doing considerably more than merely expressing its concern. Each poisoning needs to be vigorously investigated with zero tolerance shown toward all offenders.

The same policy should be applied to accidental as well as to deliberate poisonings. Specifically, individuals and businesses that use toxic substances have a legal and moral responsibility to not only handle them with circumspection but to later properly dispose of them. Failure to do so not only often kills animals but it likewise pollutes the environment and endangers individuals.

The RSPCA is by no means alone in its unwillingness to go after cat poisoners. For example, police and humane groups in New Westminster, British Columbia, adamantly refused to even lift so much as a lousy finger in order to investigate a spate of poisonings that occurred in late 2010. That was in spite of evidence indicating that the felines were deliberately picked up and dunked up to their waists in vats of turpentine.

"I don't know if they're even bothering," Jennifer Szoke, who lost her beloved cat, Harley, to a poisoner, said at that time. "Nobody has even contacted me, and they haven't contacted the neighbor who saw the cats running in afterward either." (See Cat Defender posts of July 30, 2010 and August 30, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Harley Suffers Severe Burns to His Tongue and Mouth as Well as Lung Damage after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine" and "Hope, Prayer, and Veterinary Intervention Ultimately Prove to Be Insufficient in Order to Save Harley after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine.")

Once a cat comes into contact with any poison, whether it be either deliberate or accidental, time is of the essence if its life is to be saved. This is paramount owing to not only the lethal nature of chemicals themselves but also the species' renowned fastidiousness.

Connie Ritchie's cat, Linden, was dunked in turpentine along with Harley but his life was spared thanks to her prompt discovery of his plight. The same held true for Rob Stainton's cat, Vincent, who also was dunked in turpentine a few months later. (See Cat Defender post of January 3, 2011 entitled "Another Cat, Vincent, Is Dunked in Turpentine in New Westminster as the Police and Animal Control Continue to Laugh Up Their Dirty Sleeves.")

It is antifreeze, however, that most often serves as the toxin of choice for most cat poisoners. (See Cat Defender post of July 2, 2007 entitled "Cats Are Being Poisoned with Antifreeze in San Francisco but Animal Control Refuses to Take the Killings Seriously.")

Chairman Waffles has been forced to pay an awful price for either the maliciousness or carelessness of humans but he at least is still alive. As for Rupert, all those who care deeply about cats are left to mourn his suffering, early death, and tragic loss of potential.

Photos: The News Herald (Chairman Waffles) and the Cambridge News (Rupert).