Bilbo Baggins Does Justice to the Memory of His Esteemable Namesake by Surviving Being Hogtied, Wrapped in Plastic, and Stuffed into a Shopping Bag in Order to Finally Come Out on Top in the End
"It was soft material but tied so tight we had to cut it off. The woman was laughing at us because we couldn't undo it."
-- Louise Hutton of Pets at Doncaster
May 12th started out pretty much like any other Tuesday at Pets at Doncaster, located in the Westfield Doncaster Shopping Center in the Melbourne suburb of Doncaster, but all that changed rather quickly when an elderly woman moseyed in at around 11 a.m. with a shopping bag perched on her walker. It has not been divulged whether she was an aborigine or a new immigrant but in either case she apparently was unable to speak the King's English and that forced her into settling for wildly gesticulating at her shopping bag.
Regardless of whatever tongue she spoke, it surely must have been a fairly common one in that area because it took sales clerk Louise Hutton almost no time at all in order to secure the services of an interpreter. What she soon learned from that intermediary, however, was almost enough to have made her wish that the language barrier never had been breached in the first place.
"Word for word, she said: 'The cat was small and her house was small, now the cat is big and her house is still small," Hutton later related to the Waverley Leader of Blackburn in Victoria on May 15th. (See "Bilbo the Cat Ditched at Doncaster Pet Shop Because Owner Said It Grew Too Big.")
Of all the moronic and inhumane reasons for getting rid of a cat that surely must rank near the top. Besides, if that old woman of nursery rhyme lore could bear to live in a shoe filled with kids, surely it would have been possible for the Aussie to have coexisted with a cat even in a small house.
Although abandoning a cat under any circumstances is totally unconscionable and unforgivable, that as it soon was revealed was the least of the woman's crimes. Specifically, when the store's owner delved into her shopping bag that individual was shocked to find a six-month-old black kitten with a distinctive patch of white on his chest tightly wrapped in a plastic bag. Worst still, his legs were tied together.
"It was soft material but tied so tight we had to cut it off," Hutton added to the Waverley Leader. "The woman was laughing at us because we couldn't undo it."
It thus would seem clear that the woman was knowledgeable enough about cats in order to realize that place means everything to them and accordingly she was not taking any chances on the kitten ever venturing to return home. Her laughter also demonstrated that she was especially proud of not only her sadistic cruelty but her skill in trussing him up as well. That in turn leads to speculation that whenever she is not working full-time at abusing cats she moonlights as a dominatrix.
Once Hutton and her boss had recovered sufficiently from their initial shock, they took custody of the kitten and curtly showed the woman the door. They did not even bother with questioning her out of a very real fear that she would take back the abused kitten and do no telling what with it.
Named by his rescuers in honor of the intrepid protagonist in J.R.R. Tolkien's 1937 classic, The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins was taken immediately to the Oakleigh Central Veterinary Clinic in Oakleigh, fourteen kilometers south of Doncaster, where he was diagnosed with runny eyes but to be otherwise unharmed. Apparently, the material used in order to truss him up had not been in situ long enough in order to have inflicted any lasting damage to his legs as was the case with Bruce Almighty in Regina earlier this year and with Nicolino Camardi's victims in Calgary back in 2014. (See Cat Defender posts of November 18, 2015 and November 25, 2015 entitled, respectively, "Bruce Almighty Weathers an Abominable Act of Cruelty Coupled with the Intrigues of the Regina Humane Society in Order to Hopefully Be Able to Pick Up the Pieces of His Shattered Life" and "A Cruel Teenage Drunkard and Dope Addict Who Bound a Cat and Dog with Tape Before Killing Them Is Let Off Easy by a Calgary Court.")
While he was at Oakleigh, Bilbo was sterilized, vaccinated, and microchipped before being handed off to Robyn's Nest and all the Rest Animal Rescue. It only then became clear that he had been forced to endure far more abuse and deprivations during his short sojourn upon this earth than merely being hogtied and deserted.
In particular, it appears that he had been taken away from his mother way too early and later was abused and severely neglected by his owner. With such a history, it was anything but surprising that he was scared to death of people.
Whereas most humane groups would have written him off as a lost cause, Robyn's Nest took it upon itself to save his life by socializing him for eventual adoption. "When you're walking by he'll bring the claws out because he just doesn't know any better," the charity's eponymous Robyn Hunter told the Waverley Leader on July 14th. (See "Robyn's Nest and the Rest Animal Rescue (sic) Searches for New Home for Hogtied Cat Bilbo.")
Pacifying a young kitten who has known nothing except abuse and deprivation is never easy and it was not any different with Bilbo. In his case, he quickly wore out his welcome in no less than four foster homes.
"He doesn't know how to play," Nadia Munday, who gave taming him a try before finally throwing in the towel, told the Waverley Leader on July 14th. "Most kittens are taught how to play by their mother (sic) when they start venturing out of the nest around three weeks of age, and when they are too rough playing the mother cat tells them off. It's almost like he hasn't had any of that."
To its credit, Robyn's Nest never wavered in its commitment to him and as a result Bilbo was adopted sometime in August. Best of all, the socialization process turned out especially well in that he now is said to be a totally normal kitten.
His amazing transformation from being frightened and standoffish into a normal, domesticated kitten is just one more example that all abused and homeless cats can be socialized and domesticated. That process, however, requires time, money, effort, a certain amount of savoir-faire, and patience and not too many individuals and groups are willing to make that kind of investment in any cat.
On the contrary, they almost always elect to take the cheap and easy route by killing them off with lethal injections. Perhaps even worse, they continue to disseminate the outrageous lie that abused and homeless kittens and cats cannot be tamed as a justification for the commission of their hideous crimes against the species. Moreover, even if what they allege were to be true it still would not constitute a valid excuse for liquidating them.
Robyn's Nest therefore is richly deserving of all the praise in the world for choosing life over death. It would be remiss however not to point out that in doing so its superlative behavior stands out like a sore thumb in a country where the elites are currently in the process of systematically exterminating up to two million homeless cats.
Even before they inaugurated their latest onslaught against the species, Australians already could lay claim to the prestigious title of being the most ailurophobic people on earth. For instance, not only do they routinely gun down cats with impunity but they also lead the world when it comes to developing and deploying the most wretched and diabolical feline poisons ever conceived by the human mind. (See Cat Defender posts of January 6, 2006 and August 11, 2005 entitled, respectively, "DNA Tests Confirm That Big Cat Killed in Australia Was a Feral Tabby and Not a Puma" and "Barbaric Australians Come Up with an Ingenious New Poison in Order to Exterminate Cats.")
They likewise have conducted en masse feline eradications on Macquaire, Kangaroo, Christmas, and other islands. (See Cat Defender post of September 21, 2006 entitled "Aussies' Mass Extermination of Cats Opens the Door for Mice and Rabbits to Wreak Havoc on Macquire" the Australian Broadcasting Company, July 20, 2015, "Kangaroo Island Group Sets 2030 Feral Cat Eradication Deadline as Part of Three-Stage Project," and The Straits Times of Singapore, November 22, 2015, "Christmas Island Winning War Against Feral Cats.")
Even more shocking, those and other extirpations have received the blessings of the RSPCA and other phony-baloney animal rights groups. (See Cat Defender post of April 22, 2008 entitled "Australian RSPCA Sells Out by Readily Agreeing to Gun Down Charles Sturt's Defenseless Rock Cats.")
Even ordinary citizens eat them, traffic in their fur, and falsely accuse them of being aggressive as a pretext in order to have them killed. (See Cat Defender posts of September 7, 2007, July 14, 2008, and August 24, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Australians Renounce Civilization and Revert to Savages with the Introduction of a Grotesque Plan to Get Rid of Cats by Eating Them," "Australian Park Ranger and a Seamstress Team Up to Go into Business as Cat-Killers and Fur Traffickers," and "Self-Defense Is Against the Law in Australia after a Woman Who Attacked a Cat Gets Away with Her Crime Whereas Her Victim Is Trapped and Executed.")
Cats are far from being the only animals to feel the Australians' wrath. For example, for at least the past decade they have been systematically exterminating millions of wild horses, camels, donkeys, pigs, foxes, goats, rabbits, cane toads, and other animals that they imported from abroad and subsequently abandoned to their own desserts once they no longer had any need for them. (See Agence France Presse, September 25, 2005, "Millions of Animals Face Death Sentence in Australia.")
They even kill and eat such native species as kangaroos. Yet, they and especially Environment Minister Greg Hunt, mastermind of the current feline eradication scheme, are so hypocritically self-righteous as to have the chutzpah to chastise the Japanese for killing minke whales in the Southern Ocean. (See The Dominion Post of Wellington, November 29, 2015, "New Zealand and Australia Condemn Japan for Resuming Southern Ocean Whaling.")
The woman who so cruelly mistreated Bilbo never was even so much as publicly identified, let alone arrested. In hindsight, that was perhaps just as well because it likely would not have made much difference because any nation that thinks absolutely nothing about extirpating millions of cats and other animals is not about to take a solitary case of animal cruelty seriously.
Much more to the point, once the deafening silence emanating from Australia's so-called animal protection groups on these extirpations is taken into consideration it is difficult to imagine how that any of them can bear to so much as look themselves in the mirror. At the very least they should have enough self-respect and decency to stop living a lie and to accordingly fold up shop. As things now stand, they are complicit in their government's outrageous crimes.
As far as Bilbo is concerned, it is truly frightening to realize that he is destined to spend his entire life in a feline hellhole such as Australia. The very best that can be hoped for him is that Robyn's Nest has placed him in a home with a guardian who will religiously safeguard him from both the machinations of the authorities as well as the country's myriad of run-of-the-mill cat abusers.
He certainly has had enough adventures and misadventures in order to last him for a lifetime. "We are a plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things!" his illustrious namesake told Gandalf the wizard when the latter first approached him about accompanying the dwarves on an expedition to recover their treasures from Smaug the dragon. "Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
Bilbo therefore needs, like the noble hobbit himself, a comfortable place by the fire where the quiet is interrupted only by the reassuring whistle of the tea kettle. It also would be great if he somehow could get ahold of a ring like the one that Mr. Baggins took from Gollum.
With it in his possession, all that he would need to do whenever he got into trouble would be to slip it on one of his toes and then to magically disappear. It then would be up to that low-life, murdering scumbag Hunt and his henchmen to try and figure out how to get their bloody hands on a cat that they cannot even see.
Photo: Paul Loughnan of the Waverley Leader.