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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

Friday, July 25, 2014

Poussey Overcomes a Surprise Boat Ride to Dover, a Stint on Death Row, and Being Bandied About Like the Flying Dutchman in Order to Finally Make It Home to La Havre

Poussey and Sandrine Foehr

"That is my cat! But what is he doing in England?"
-- Sandrine Foehr

It is exceedingly rare to find a cop, especially a male one, who has any regard whatsoever for cats. Veterinarians that are willing to treat an indigent one are, likewise, about as commonplace as hens' teeth. Plus, although many fans of the species are fond of  professing their undying love for its members, not too many of them are actually willing to go the extra mile in order to track them down once they become lost.

The mathematical odds therefore of a policeman, a veterinarian, and a dedicated cat owner pooling their resources and pulling out all the stops in order to save the life of a lost cat surely must be at least a million to one. Yet despite all the improbabilities, that is exactly what happened last year in the case of a then three-year-old brown and gray male with bright green eyes named Poussey from La Havre.

His troubles began on April 22nd when he mysteriously disappeared without so much as a trace from the home that he had shared for the previous two years with Sandrine and Martial Foehr, both forty-six, and their trio of children, fourteen-year-old Charlotte, thirteen-year-old Caroline, and six-year-old Louis. They scoured the neighborhood for him but by then he, unbeknownst to them, was long gone.

Two days later, he found himself hopelessly lost, bewildered, and wandering the automobile deck of the P&O Ferry as it plied the choppy waters of the English Channel en route to Dover in Kent from Calais. It did not take long, however, for his presence on board to be detected by the ship's crew and, consequently, for him to be taken into custody. From that point onward his already perilous situation deteriorated with alacrity.

Upon docking in Dover he was handed over to PC David Palmer of the Port of Dover Police where he soon thereafter was scanned for an implanted microchip. Although one was found and deciphered, it led Palmer to a database that contained the contact information for Poussey's former owner who, as it soon was learned, had relocated elsewhere without leaving behind a forwarding address.

Owing to Angleterre's ridiculously harsh and utterly barbaric pet immigration laws, it surely looked like Poussey had met his Waterloo. "Our holding facility at the docks is designed for keeping a cat for not much longer than a day," Palmer later revealed to Kent Online on June 30, 2013. (See "Stolen Cat Poussey Reunited with Owners from France after Massive Rescue Effort.") "After that, if a home hasn't been found for it, the animal is usually put to sleep."

Only the severely warped mind of modern man could conjure up such a morally repugnant and unjust policy! Even if such an inhumane thought had crossed the minds of the Neanderthals they surely would not have been able to have acted upon it.

Being sans doute cognizant of all of that, Palmer took a shine to Poussey and even started calling him Javert in honor of the dogged and fanatical police inspector in Victor Hugo's novel, Les Misérables, who finally was able to track down Jean Valjean. Although Palmer's heart obviously was in the right place, that in and of itself did absolutely nothing in order to alleviate Poussey's plight.

"Javert was effectively on death row," Palmer added to Kent Online. "If an animal arrives without a pet passport, it becomes a rabies danger and must be put down or go into quarantine."

In a last-ditch effort to save Poussey's life, he took it upon himself to contact more than a dozen sanctuaries, catteries, and charities in Kent about taking in the stateless feline. Although some of those organizations apparently were amenable to that suggestion, the Stolperstein was the exorbitant cost of medicating and quarantining the cat for six months.

The Daily Mail in its June 28th edition, for instance, claims that it would have cost £500 alone just to quarantine Poussey but that estimate seems to be rather low. (See "Runaway French Cat Who Owes His Life to a British Policeman Who Found Him on the Ferry to Dover.")

Poussey Awaits the Arrival of His Family at Stattersfield's Surgery

For example, when Ginger arrived at Toray Textiles in Nottinghamshire on cargo ship from Xiamen in Fujian Province in 2008 her quarantine fee was £1,877.66. (See Cat Defender post of August 11, 2008 entitled "Trapped Inside a Crate, Ginger Licks Up Condensation in Order to Survive a Nightmarish Sea Voyage from China to Nottinghamshire.")

Along about that same time, a mere ten-day-old kitten named Ronaldo was assessed an equivalent amount when he arrived at clothing retailer Matalan's warehouse in Corby, Northamptonshire, on a lorry from Portugal. (See Cat Defender post of August 18, 2008 entitled "Ronaldo Escapes Death after Retailer Coughs Up the Exorbitant Bounty That Quarantine Officials Had Placed on His Head.")

Fortunately, both cats were able to elude the gallows in order to live another day when the firms that inadvertently had imported them magnanimously agreed to ransom their lives. Their amazingly good luck does absolutely nothing, however, to soften the harsh reality that they doubtlessly were exceptions to the rule.

When his efforts to secure a temporary abode for Poussey failed to bear fruit, indefatigable Palmer turned to Jeremy Stattersfield of Burnham House Veterinary Surgery in Dover for assistance. Although a bird-lover, the kindhearted practitioner did not hesitate to vaccinate Poussey and to issue him a passport free of charge. The latter is mandatory under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) for all companion animals that cross national borders within the European Union.

"He is a very affectionate cat and it wasn't his fault he found himself in the wrong country," is how Stattersfield later explained his motivation for intervening to Kent Online. "We just had to help him."

Moreover, he did not stop there but instead arranged for Poussey to spend his first three weeks away from home at The Animal Inn on Dover Road in Ringwould, near Deal. Once that expedient had run its course, he cleared the way for Poussey to be sheltered at the Rhodes Minnis Cat Sanctuary outside of Folkestone where he also operates another surgery. Perhaps most important of all, he also succeeded in getting La Fondation Brigitte Bardot in Paris to cover the cost of quarantining him.

While Stattersfield was busily weaving his magic, Palmer was able to prevail upon Major Arnauld Caron of the Police aux frontières to have the local authorities in La Havre leave a note on the door of Poussey's old abode. That gambit was a real long shot to say the least but, just as a one-hundred to one perennial loser occasionally comes home first at the track, it succeeded fabulously.

Although by this time Poussey must have been gone for almost two months, Foehr had not stopped searching for him. As it so often has been observed, all great minds think alike and while hoping against hope that just perhaps her errant feline had returned to his original home, she went there in order to search for him but instead received the shock of her life when she discovered Palmer's missive.

She got an even bigger jolt when she opened it and had digested its incredible contents. "That's my cat!" the gratte-papier exclaimed to the bobby on the telephone according to the Daily Mail article cited supra. "But what is he doing in England?"

With the assistance of one of Palmer's subalterns and Alain Lhote of the Police aux frontières, who whisked them through customs, Sandrine traveled to Dover along with her three children in order to collect Poussey at Stattersfield's surgery on Castle Street. He was handed over to the joyous family by veterinary nurse Martina Hood who had assumed responsibility for his care after he was uprooted from Rhodes Minnis in a prelude to reuniting him with the Foehrs.

"We are so grateful to David Palmer and Jeremy Stattersfield," daughter Charlotte told Kent Online. "We have another cat and a dog back home but Poussey was extra special. After all, it was he who chose to come and live with us."

Jeremy Stattersfield

For his part, Stattersfield graciously conceded that saving Poussey's life had been a team effort. "The police showed compassion, as did the quarantine kennels, who reduced their fees," he told Kent Online. "The Brigitte Bardot Foundation...paid for his quarantine costs and the Rhodes Minnis Cat Sanctuary were (sic) there for him if an owner did not come forward."

If there is any truth in Stattersfield last statement, Poussey's life perhaps would have been spared even if Palmer ultimately had been unable to locate the Foehrs. It is far better that his ploy succeeded, however, in that Poussey will be much happier back home where he not only belongs but is dearly loved.

To this day it remains a mystery as to how he got from La Havre to Calais. The only thing for certain is that he surely did not walk that great of a distance and then nonchalantly pussyfoot up the gangplank and board the ferry without so much as a ticket.

"I was frantic when he went missing. I just knew he had been stolen," Foehr swore to Kent Online. "But I never dreamed that his kidnappers would have driven him out of the area. What sort of people would do such a thing?"

The particulars to Poussey's odyssey are indeed nothing short of daunting. "It is one-hundred-seventy miles (two-hundred-seventy-four kilometers) from La Havre to Calais," Foehr pointed out. "Poussey must have escaped from the thieves' car during the twenty-five mile (actually twenty-one mile or thirty-three kilometer) Channel crossing."

Although Foehr's reconstruction of events is entirely plausible, she has not produced a shred of evidence in support of her claim that Poussey was kidnapped. A far more likely explanation is that he accidentally became trapped inside either a box or a vehicle and consequently wound up as a stowaway on the P&O ferry.

Since cats are so easily frightened by people, commotions, and loud noises, they often seek sanctuary inside small spaces and as a result end up in all sorts of jams and, quite often, far from home as well. (See Cat Defender posts of January 5, 2006, November 6, 2008, and March 16, 2013 entitled, respectively, "Miracle Cat Survives Seventy-Mile Trip Down the New Jersey Turnpike by Clinging to the Drive Shaft on an SUV," "Trapped in a Moving Van for Five Days, Texas Cat Named Neo Is Finally Freed in Colorado," and "Mausi Is Saved from a Potentially Violent Death on the Fast and Furious Autobahn Thanks to the Dramatic Intervention of a Münchner Couple.")

That is one reason why it is so vitally important that cat owners pay close attention to all objects, both those inside and outside of their houses, that move in and out of their neighborhoods. Any one of them potentially could spell doom for their beloved companions without them ever being any the wiser.

Poussey's trials and tribulations also once again highlight the extremely limited utility of implanted microchips. First and foremost, they contribute absolutely nothing to protecting cats from the myriad of dangers that they face in an ever increasingly hostile world. That petit fait alone reduces them to being little more than Silicon Valley snake oil. (See Cat Defender post of May 25, 2006 entitled "Plato's Misadventures Expose the Pitfalls of RFID Technology as Applied to Cats.")

Secondly, the contact information contained in their databases must be kept up-to-date in order for them to be of any value. Once ever so often a conscientious rescue group will voluntarily track down the owner of a cat with either an outdated microchip or a tattoo as the Oakbank Animal Hospital outside of Winnipeg did in the case of Ingrid Kerger's long-lost cat, Tiger Lily, but that is extremely rare. (See Cat Defender post of March 31, 2010 entitled "Winnipeg Family Is Astounded by Tiger Lily's Miraculous Return after Having Been Believed Dead for Fourteen Years.")

Thirdly, implanted microchips are sometimes difficult to both locate and to decipher. Most disconcerting of all, they are known to cause cancer. (See Cat Defender posts of September 21, 2007 and November 6, 2010 entitled, respectively, "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs" and "Bulkin Contracts Cancer from an Implanted Microchip and Now It Is Time for Digital Angel® and Merck to Answer for Their Crimes in a Court of Law.")

Equally important, cat owners should not be lulled into a false sense of security based upon Palmer's exemplary conduct in this case. On the contrary, cops generally speaking cannot be relied upon to do cats any favors.

In the United States, for example, whenever they do not hand them over toute de suite to shelters to be killed upon arrival they usually execute them on the spot themselves. (See Cat Defender posts of March 31, 2008, September 16, 2009, July 8, 2010, September 22, 2011, March 22, 2012, and April 29, 2008 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," "North Carolina State Trooper Who Illegally Trapped and Shot His Next-Door Neighbor's Cat, Rowdy, Is Now Crying for His Job Back," "Neanderthaloid Politicians in Lebanon, Ohio, Wholeheartedly Sanction the Illegal and Cold-Blooded Murder of Haze by a Trigger-Happy Cop," "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," and "Orange County Sheriff's Department Is Accused of Killing a Cat with a Taser at the Theo Lacy Jail.")

More recently on May 21, 2013, Lance DeLeon of the Boerne Police Department gunned down next-door neighbor Natalie Brunner's two-year-old cat, Bobby, with a crossbow after he had strayed into his precious little garden. The attack not only left Bobby with a punctured lung and a broken leg but Brunner also fractured her ankle while retrieving him.

Although a grand jury convened in the small town located forty-eight kilometers northwest of San Antonio failed to even indict DeLeon on animal cruelty charges, his superiors ultimately did the right thing when they fired him three weeks after the incident. (See the Daily Mail, May 24, 2013, "Off-Duty Texas Police Officer Arrested after Shooting Neighbor's Cat with Arrow" and the Houston Press, June 6, 2013, "Lance DeLeon: Cop Fired After Shooting Neighbor's Cat with Arrow.")

Caroline, Sandrine, Louis, Charlotte, Poussey, Palmer, Hood, and Lhote

The only patently obvious use that most cops have for cats is to occasionally employ them as station house companions and mascots as the British Transportation Police and the forces in Philadelphia, Hamilton, Massachusetts, and Lumberton, Texas, have done so in the past. (See Cat Defender posts of November 23, 2007, May 29, 2007, and March 18, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Tizer Lands a Job Working for the Police after Ending Up at a Shelter Following the Death of His Previous Owner," "Corporal Cuffs, Beloved Station House Mascot, Is Abducted Right Under Cops' Noses" and "Eco, Who for Years Was a Mainstay at a Small Massachusetts Police Department, Is Run Down and Killed by a Motorist," plus The Beaumont Enterprise, April 24, 2013, "Lumberton Police Department's Feline Friend.")

The veterinary medical profession, likewise, is anything but friendly disposed toward cats. While there are dedicated and conscientious practitioners like Stattersfield who give generously of their time, services, and resources, that in no way materially alters the fact that such individuals are members of a select fraternity.

In recent memory only Kelly Hawkins of the Valdez Veterinary Clinic, Rachelle Beardsworth of Racecourse Road Veterinary Hospital in Ballina, New South Wales, Geoffrey Weech of the Monmouth Small Animal Hospital in Monmouth, Illinois, and Deb Carroll of Grenada Veterinary Clinic in Sherwood Park, outside of Edmonton, come to mind as having been willing to save the lives of impecunious cats solely out of the goodness of their hearts. (See Cat Defender posts of February 15, 2014, March 31, 2012, November 17, 2010, and March 30, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Indefatigable Young Alaskan Woman Overcomes a Lack of Money, Jailing by the Police, and a Series of Avalanches in Order to Save Ninja's Life," "Alvin Amazingly Survives on His Own for a Fortnight Until Help Arrives after a Low-Life Scumbag Blows Off Most of His Rear End with a Firecracker," "Penniless and Suffering from Two Broken Legs, It Looked Like It Was Curtains for Trace Until Geoffrey Weech Rode to Her Rescue on His White Horse," and "Duckie Is Saved by a Compassionate Veterinarian after Family Practitioner Demands Either C$1,600 or Her Life.")

The vast majority of all veterinarians, however, demand cash on the barrelhead or the cat is left to die. That is especially the case with the larger surgeries that have money to burn, such as PennVet in the City of Brotherly Love. (See Cat Defender post of March 19, 2014 entitled "Cheap and Greedy Moral Degenerates at PennVet Extend Their Warmest Christmas Greetings to an Impecunious, but Preeminently Treatable, Cat Via a Jab of Sodium Pentobarbital.")

The most staggering indictment that can be lodged against the profession is that its practitioners actively seek out the business of individuals, rescue groups, meat producers, and others who liquidate animals that are either perfectly healthy or treatable. (See Cat Defender posts of July 28, 2011, December 22, 2011, and January 11, 2012 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," "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," and "A Deadly Intrigue Concocted by a Thief, a Shelter, and a Veterinary Chain Costs Ginger the Continued Enjoyment of His Golden Years.")

Once all of those factors have been taken into consideration it becomes clear that the Foehrs were extremely fortunate to have gotten Poussey back safe and sound. Going forward, it is imperative that they make the most of the second opportunity that they have been granted in order to care for him.

First of all, if they have not done so already they need to immediately update the contact information contained in the database of his microchip. If there is one omission that they can be faulted for it is for failing to have done so sooner in that they had known ever since Poussey first showed up on their doorstep that it contained the contact data of his previous owner. That is, after all, how they found out where he had come from and that his previous guardian did not want him returned.

It also would be worthwhile to outfit him with a breakaway collar and an identification tag because most private individuals who adopt homeless cats do not take them to a veterinarian in order to be scanned for implanted microchips. Secondly, Poussey still can be allotted his customary freedom, if circumstances so warrant, but the Foehrs need to keep a far closer eye on him.

Thirdly, they need to reconnoiter their neighborhood for potential threats that lurk just around the corner. Malice aforethought is the number one reason behind the sudden and unexplained disappearance of cats but it is far from being the only one.

Finally, England's draconian pet immigration laws need to be immediately scrapped and consigned to the dustbin of history and replaced with a new standard that respects the inalienable right of all animals not only to live but to do so in freedom and with dignity. With the RSPCA systematically annihilating just about every cat that it impounds, the odds of that becoming a reality are, regrettably, anything but promising. (See the Daily Mail, December 29, 2012, "Revealed: RSPCA Destroys Half of the Animals That It Rescues -- Yet Thousands Are Completely Healthy" and 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.")

Life is at best a roll of the dice as far as most cats are concerned but Poussey found Glück im Unglück when his rambles took him from a home where he was not wanted to one where his presence is cherished. In the topsy-turvy, haphazard, and totally unforgiving world that cats are forced to inhabit that is perhaps the very best that can be expected.

Photos: Daily Mail (Poussey and Sandrine Foehr), Burnham House Veterinary Surgery (Poussey in a cage and Stattersfield), and Rosie Blundell of Kent Online (the rescuers).

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Dumped in the Normans Kill, Chance Did Not Have a Prayer in Hell Until a Jogger Who Had Turned Off the Music Heard His Desperate Cries for Help

Chance Is Soaked to the Bone Following His Last-Minute Rescue

"I usually run with earbuds in, but didn't that day because of the rain. It's a good thing I didn't, otherwise I couldn't have been the tool God used to save the cat."
-- Matt Guidarelli

Chance was not given any chance at all. His death not only was a foregone conclusion but imminent as well.

On June 3rd, the eight-year-old brown and gray diabetic tom found himself hopelessly trapped with a thirty-pound rock inside a pet carrier that was rapidly sinking below the surface of the Normans Kill in the Slingerlands section of Bethlehem, just west of Albany. Compounding his already extremely dire situation, the rain was coming down in buckets and as a consequence the water inside his makeshift tomb already was almost up to his eyeballs.

At that point it sure looked like it was curtains for the sixteen-pound, six-ounce cat but he was not about to throw in the towel. Instead, he kept crying out for help all the while hoping against hope that someone out there would be able to hear him over the din of the falling precipitation.

Although some people consider them to be a little touched in the head, it is difficult to keep die-hard joggers cooped up indoors for very long. They run in the blazing sun, the freezing cold, and even in cloudbursts.

It thus so happened that twenty-five-year-old Matt Guidarelli was striding across a footbridge at around 5 p.m. on that fateful day when he accidentally overheard what he at first mistook to be an infant crying. Stopping to investigate, he spied the partially-submerged pet carrier ten feet below in the Normans Kill. ("Norwegian Creek" is the usual translation of the Dutch.)

Chance's yellow eyes and head were about all that were visible, however, as the remainder of his body already had been enveloped in water. Time also was running out fast in that he had only about three inches of breathing space remaining before he surely would have drowned.

Without wasting any time, Guidarelli climbed down into the creek and retrieved the pet carrier. Back on terra firma, he unlatched the cage and Chance stepped out apparently unharmed. He doubtlessly, however, had been given the scare of a lifetime.

Although the torrential rain had all but sealed his fate, it simultaneously had prompted Guidarelli to forgo his customary habit of listening to music while he jogged and that enabled him to hear Chance's plaintive cries for deliverance. Otherwise, the cat would have died a lonely and horrifying death in that the pet carrier likely soon would have been swept downstream and absolutely no one, save his attempted executioner, ever would have even known either that he had lived or how that he had died. It would have been the perfect crime.

"I usually run with earbuds in, but didn't that day because of the rain," Guidarelli told the Albany Times-Union on June 18th. (See "Jogger Rescues Drowning Cat in Carrier.") "It was a good thing I didn't otherwise I couldn't have been the tool God used to save the cat."

Wonderful and unexpected things occur whenever mass culture and all its trappings are shown a deaf ear. Once upon a time the human mind served as something other than a landfill between the ears for the lies, prejudices, and piles of filth that are disseminated so profusely by Hollywood, the television networks, Madison Avenue, the recording industry, theologians, and academicians but those halcyon days are now largely a thing of the past.

Much more to the point, the media moguls and propagandists have yet to come up with anything that is in any way half as beautiful, diverse, and as noble as the animals and Mother Earth. Man's preference for artifice at the expense of the genuine articles demonstrates not only his abhorrently bad taste but his total lack of discernment as well.

It nevertheless is refreshing that in this instance a self-professed godly individual actually went out of his way in order to save the life of a cat. That is especially the case in that Christians, if that is indeed what Guidarelli professes to be, are far better known for killing, abusing, and defaming cats than they are for doing them any favors.

Sticker Inside Chance's Would-Be Tomb

For example, Pastor Rick Bartlett of Bastrop Christian Church not only illegally trapped and stole a twelve-year-old brown and white domesticated cat named Moody in January of 2012 but he later hurled him to his death from high atop the Loop 150 Bridge in Bastrop. (See Cat Defender post of January 10, 2014 entitled "Texas Judge Idiotically Allows Pastor Rick Bartlett to Get Away with Stealing and Killing Moody but a Civil Court May Yet Hold Him Accountable.")

Every bit as reprehensible, many Christian churches, both Protestant and Catholic alike, kill and mistreat homeless felines with impunity. (See Cat Defender posts of February 12, 2007, July 30, 2009, and May 1, 2010 entitled, respectively, "God-Fearing Baptists at Eastern University Kill Off Their Feral Cats on the Sly while Students Are Away on Christmas Break," "Ferals Living at a Baltimore Church Find Out the Hard Way That Hatred of Cats Is Every Bit as Christian as Unleavened Bread and Cheap Wine," and "When It Comes to Cats, Acts of Faith Count for Absolutely Nothing with the Good Christians at Northside Baptist.")

True to his creed, Guidarelli likewise is anything but a cat fancier. "I'm not a cat person at all, and am actually allergic to them," he confessed to the Albany Times-Union. "What I did is what anyone should do if they have the physical ability to do it."

That type of crabbed thinking and behavior is so typical of Christians in that the vast majority of them care absolutely nothing about their fellow human beings, the animals, and Mother Earth. Rather, on those rare occasions when they are moved to extend a kindness of one sort or another to any of them they are motivated solely by the hope of being handsomely rewarded for doing so with eternal life in the sweet-by-and-by.

Regardless of his motivation, Chance would not be alive today if Guidarelli had not interceded on his behalf and for that act of compassion he is to be commended. It nonetheless is lamentable that he and his fellow Christians are so selfish and pigheaded as to be totally incapable of looking upon the animals and Mother Earth as anything other than objects of exploitation.

The only clue as to Chance's identity was a pink sticker attached to the inside of his cage. In particular, it included a weight measurement and a space for a cat's name. It has not been disclosed, however, if the weight recorded on the sticker corresponds with Chance's poundage.

Furthermore, officials are not even certain if the sticker was placed there by a veterinary clinic, shelter, kennel, or airline. Confounding the investigation ever further, apparently no decipherable fingerprints were recovered from the cage.

Not surprisingly, both the Albany Police and local Animal Control officials immediately seized upon the lack of readily available incriminating evidence as a convenient excuse in order to wash their hands of the entire matter. Instead, they have issued their customary plea for the public to intervene and do their jobs for them.

That in a nutshell demonstrates writ large everything that is so terribly wrong with the enforcement of the anti-cruelty statutes. Specifically, private individuals and professional cat killers, such as ornithologists, wildlife biologists, and PETA, are going to continue to commit their atrocities so long as they are able to rely upon the authorities not to either investigate or to hold them accountable under the law.

In this case, it is inexcusable that the Albany Police, Animal Control, and other humane groups did not have enough initiative in order to circulate photographs of Chance to all local veterinarians, shelters, and kennels because one of them surely would have remembered treating an obese and diabetic cat. A corresponding effort likewise should have been undertaken in order to locate the pharmacy that supplied Chance's owner with insulin.

Thirdly, police and Animal Control could have blanketed the hamlet of Slingerlands with Lost Cat posters. Fourthly, they could have conducted door-to-door interviews in the area where Chance was found.

While it is conceivable that the attempt on Chance's life was made by someone from out of town, facts and circumstances tend to indicate that the assailant was a local resident. It thus would appear that this was a preeminently solvable case of animal cruelty but due to the intransigence of the authorities the culprit not only has escaped justice but remains free to strike again as so many others like him have done so in the past.

Chance Is All Dried Out and Ready for a New Start in Life

For example, on May 5, 2008 a motorist in the Ithaca suburb of Newfield, two-hundred-eighty kilometers to the west of Slingerlands, accidentally spotted something moving inside a sack that had lodged in a branch of a dead tree above the West Branch of Cayuga Inlet Creek. Upon investigation, the driver discovered a gray mother cat trapped inside the sack.

As was the case with Chance, the sack had been weighted down with a brick and the American Shorthair surely would have drowned long ago if if had not been for the tree. She was lucky a second time in that she was not injured although neither her newly-born kittens nor her assailant ever were located.

"I don't know what drives people to kill an animal when there is a place for them in their community," Abigail Smith of the Tompkins County SPCA in Ithaca, which assumed custody of the nameless cat, remarked afterwards. (See Cat Defender post of May 20, 2008 entitled "Malice Aforethought: Upstate New York Cat Is Saved from a Watery Grave by a Dead Tree and a Passerby; New Hampshire Cat Is Not So Fortunate.")

A huge part of the problem is attributable to the fact that just about all conventional shelters kill upon arrival every cat that passes through their portals. That logic is inapplicable however in respect to both Chance and the Newfield female because their owners not only wanted to kill them but to inflict as much pain and suffering as possible in the process.

Despite the morally repugnant nature of such reprehensible acts of ailurophobia, Guidarelli's sympathies clearly lie with Chance's would-be executioner. "I can't be angry with the person who did this because I don't know the circumstances they (sic) were in, but there are so many other alternatives to get rid of an unwanted pet," he plainly told the Albany Times-Union.

The implied assumption in Guidarelli's declaration is that it is perfectly acceptable under certain circumstances to hideously murder an innocent cat. He also apparently views unwanted cats as something to be gotten rid of much like either la grippe or an especially virulent strain of venereal disease. Carried to its logical conclusion, such a warped morality could be employed in order to sanction the commission of almost any crime.

Followers of Christ can always be counted upon to sooner or later expose the baseness that lies hidden in the pits of their rotten souls. In the end, they seldom fail to put the screws to the animals, Mother Earth, and everyone else who is unwilling to go along with their blatant hypocrisies and evil deeds.

"I realized that Eastern thought had somewhat more compassion for all living things. Man was a form of life and that in another reincarnation might possibly be a horsefly or a bird of paradise or a deer," is how former United States Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas once summed up the difference between Western and Eastern religions. "So a man of such a faith, looking at animals, might be looking at old friends or ancestors. In the East the wilderness has no evil connotation; it is thought of as an expression of the unity and harmony of the universe."

Just like in a storybook, everything eventually worked out extremely well for Chance in that a fortnight or so after his terrible ordeal in the Normans Kill he was adopted by Megan McGinnis and Dena Sanders of Schenectady. "It was love at first sight," McGinnis declared to the Albany Times-Union. "There was just something about him, and we had to adopt him."

For better or worse, Chance's past experiences apparently have done absolutely nothing in order to diminish his trust in those devils who strut around on two legs with their noses poked high in the air and running off at the mouth. "It's amazing," Sanders told to the Albany Times-Union. "He's very cuddly and loves to chase a laser pointer."

She additionally is the one that he has to thank for his new moniker. "He's getting a second chance at life," she added.

Mother Cat Dumped in Cayuga Inlet Creek

McGinnis and Sanders are to be commended for opening up their hearts and home to him not only because of all that he has been put through but also due to the fact that attending to a diabetic cat is both time-consuming and expensive. In Chance's case, he suffers from type one diabetes mellitus and thus requires twice daily insulin injections and biweekly veterinary visits.

According to the report in the Albany Times-Union, Chance's insulin costs McGinnis and Sanders $250 a vial but it is difficult to decipher that statement because insulin is usually sold in bottles. For example, a ten milliliter bottle of the brand Humulin retails for $100 at ShopRite; Rite-Aid charges $139 for the same thing.

By way of contrast Glargine, which is sold under the brand name of Lantas, ranges in cost from $357 at Walmart to $442 at Kmart. It does have the advantage of reportedly being better suited for cats in that it not only is long-acting but is released into the bloodstream in small and equal amounts.

On top of the cost of the insulin itself, one-hundred syringes with needles are advertised on the web at around $25. Plus, diabetic cats require regular visits to the vet, blood-sugar testing at home, a specialized diet, and a healthy, stress-free lifestyle. (See "Regulating and Monitoring a Diabetic Cat Using Insulin" at www.peteducation.com and "Feline Diabetes. What Is Diabetes Mellitus?" on the web site of Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine.")

"He's an expensive kitty," McGinnis admitted to the Albany Times-Union. "But he's worth it."

That unquestionably is true and no one knows any better than McGinnis and Sanders just how fortunate they are to have him share their lives. Press reports have not broached the subject of Chance's prognosis, but generally speaking diabetic cats are capable of living long and full lives provided that their blood-sugar levels can be stabilized and they are blessed with diligent guardians.

One of his guardians' top priorities should be to get him on a diet. Simply shedding some of his excess weight might possibly either reduce or, perhaps, totally eliminate over time his dependency upon insulin injections.

Being in a home where he is both loved and wanted also should produce a marked improvement in his overall health. That is especially the case in that it is difficult to imagine that he previously enjoyed anything even remotely resembling a happy and tranquil life considering the diabolical extreme that his former owner went to in order to get shed of him.

Furthermore, since numerous cats have intervened in order to save the lives of their caretakers whenever they have suffered diabetic seizures, it is only fitting that Chance's new guardians are returning that life-saving kindness to him. (See Cat Defender posts of May 18, 2009 and April 21, 2012 entitled, respectively, "Elijah Teaches Himself How to Detect Low Blood Sugar Levels in His Guardians and Others" and "Adopted from a Shelter Only Hours Previously, Pudding Saves His Rescuer's Life by Awakening Her from a Diabetic Seizure.")

There also is much to be learned from Chance's trials and tribulations. First and foremost, is never to give up no matter how difficult and hopeless the circumstances. Dum vita est spes est.

Secondly, there are a few, but not very many, decent individuals left in this world. The trick is finding them and even that rests with The Fates.

It additionally could be argued that the best therapy for anyone feeling down in the dumps would be to simply think of Chance trapped in the Normans Kill. He got out of that jam and few individuals, if any, ever will be called upon to experience anything even remotely as harrowing and hopeless as that in their lifetimes.

He accordingly is an inspiration to one and all and his stunning, turnaround victory over outrageous misfortune is a celebration of life over death and of hope over despair. Hopefully, he will have a long life that is characterized by both good health and happiness.

Photos: the Albany Times-Union (Chance and pet carrier) and the Tompkins County SPCA (Newfield mother cat).