Cats Protection Races to Alfie's Side after His Owner Dies and He Winds Up on the Street, Swears It Is Going to Help Him, and Then Turns Around and Has Him Whacked
|Alfie Rests in His Prison Cell During His Final Days|
"Rest assured his little life has now changed for the better and he will receive all the care and affection he deserves."
-- Bianca Kubler of Cats Protection
Another elderly and ailing cat who earlier had been cruelly abandoned has been unjustly arrested, incarcerated, and summarily executed and, tant pis, the perpetrators of this shocking crime are not to be found anywhere amongst the ranks of the usual suspects. Rather, they belong to none other than the charity Cats Protection which masquerades throughout the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland as the savior the species.
This time around the victim was an eleven-year-old brown and white tom named Alfie from Stevenage, a town of roughly eighty-five-thousand inhabitants located fifty kilometers north of central London in Hertfordshire, whose downward spiral into that bottomless abyss from which no cat ever returns began at 7:35 p.m. on September 26th when he was spotted taking a breather on a doorstep in Mackenzie Square by twenty-five-year-old Gemma Brown while she was out canvassing door-to-door for the Stevenage Borough Council. His face was such a mess that au premier coup d'oeil she did not know quite what to think.
"It was really dark and initially I thought he had been attacked by a dog, but having a closer look it seemed like cigarette burns," she related to The Comet of Stevenage two days later on September 28th. (See "Hunt to Find Owner after Badly Injured Cat -- Covered in Suspected Cigarette Burns -- Is Found on Stevenage Doorstep.") "One of his eyes (the right one) was completely red and his nose was really swollen around two cigarette burns. His hair was all matted and he smelt bad."
In addition to the horrific injuries to his face, he apparently also was on the point of starvation. It therefore is not surprising that between his injuries and a lack of sustenance that he either was unable or had lost all interest in grooming himself.
Given that any halfway healthy cat is the very epitome of cleanliness, any one with matted fur and a discernible body odor is a cause for grave concern. To her credit, Brown immediately recognized the danger signs and wasted no time in taking action.
She first telephoned her mother, Carmen, who readily agreed to come and stay with Alfie while she returned home for a cage. While she was away, he not only conclusively demonstrated his domesticity but his trusting and forgiving nature as well by waiting patiently with the older woman until Brown returned.
She then transported him to Great Ashby Veterinary Hospital on Whitehorse Lane whereby she immediately turned around and undid all the good that she had done by relinquishing custody of him to the knackers. That colossal and totally unforgivable mistake on her part spelled the end for Alfie.
"I am hoping that the cat is okay and makes a full recovery and is put in a decent home," she added to The Comet. "Whoever did this should be caught and face justice because it is disgusting."
Hope and vengeance are worth considerably less than nothing under most circumstances but that is especially the case after an ailing and defenseless cat has been thrown to the wolves. If she had cared so much as one whit about Alfie she would have retained custody of him, paid for his treatment out of her own pocket and, above all, demanded in no uncertain terms that the veterinarians kept him alive at all costs.
What exactly the practitioners did for him is shrouded in secrecy. The Comet, for instance, at first reported that they were unable to pry open his mouth and that in return necessitated that he had to be anesthetized before they could examine him. The newspaper later reversed itself by claiming that Alfie was not well enough to be properly examined and that as a result the veterinarians were unable to substantiate that the injuries to his face had been inflicted by a burning cigarette.
It was at this juncture that either Brown or, more likely, Great Ashby contacted the North Hertfordshire Branch of Cats Protection. That petit fait alone gives the game away because the only conceivable reason that either party had for doing so was of a monetary nature. C'est-à-dire, neither Brown nor Great Ashby were willing to pay for Alfie's treatment.
The charity's Bianca Kubler then sprinted into the breach where she wasted no time in pulling the wool over the eyes of the unsuspecting citizens of Stevenage. "A big thank you to the public for all the interest shown in Alfie's plight," she blowed to The Comet on October 1st. (See "Future of Neglected Cat -- Found in Terrible Condition in Stevenage -- Looking Much Brighter Thanks to Good Samaritans.") "Rest assured his little life has now changed for the better and he will receive all the care and affection he deserves."
Against all odds, it initially looked as if Cats Protection had mended its evil ways and for once was actually operating on the level. "Alfie had three suppers on Tuesday night (September 29th) and his face has been gently cleaned," she added to The Comet on October 1st. "He seems happy to be snuggled up in his soft, warm bed with a full tummy."
Almost as soon as those words had escaped from her lying lips Kubler had a change of heart and instructed the mercenaries at Great Ashby to whack him. "Sadly he had bone cancer most probably," she told The Comet on October 2nd. (See "Badly Neglected Cat Found on Stevenage Doorstep Put Down after Vets Discover Incurable Cancer.") "We took him on because it was going to be quite costly to treat him but there was nothing that could be done for him."
First of all, it is extremely odd that she would allege that he "most probably" had bone cancer. That is especially the case in that such a determination is usually only arrived at following a thorough physical examination that is accompanied by a litany of diagnostic tests that often include a complete blood count, a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, x-rays, and computated tomography, nuclear bone, and radiographic scans.
The most reliable indicator, however, is a biopsy. Since neither Cats Protection nor Great Ashby have revealed if any of those diagnostic tools were utilized, it is difficult to understand how that Kubler could have arrived at the non sequitur "that nothing could be done for him" without first knowing what exactly ailed him.
As a consequence, the abscesses on Alfie's face could have been the result of almost anything, including a beating with some type of object. Also, Brown's original concerns about either a dog or a cretin wielding a lighted cigarette cannot be completely ruled out of the equation.
Under any of those scenarios, they likely would have been benign and therefore preeminently treatable. Even if Alfie had been suffering from chrondrosarcoma (CSA), he could have been treated with radiation, radiotherapy, and possibly even chemotherapy. (See PetMD.com, "Bone Cancer in Cats.")
At the very least, he could have been made comfortable with painkillers, antibiotics, and topical analgesics and then placed in a secure and loving home where he would have been provided with plenty to eat. The mere fact that he was able to scarf down "three suppers" is proof that he still had both a hearty appetite and the will to live.
|Alfie and His Supposedly Cancer-Ravaged Face|
It is even possible that between a warm, stress-free home, a proper diet, and the appropriate treatment that he might have lived for an extended period of time. Even though nothing ever could have made up for the horrors and deprivations that he had been subjected to while living on the mean streets of Stevenage, Cats Protection owed him not only the chance, no matter how slim, to go on living but to at the very least spend his last days in a loving home.
Like Brown and Ashby before it, Cats Protection ultimately proved to be too cheap and heartless to do even that much for him. Instead, it had him rubbed out in his tiny prison cell and afterwards his corpse likely was tossed into the trash just as if he were nothing more than an old piece of meat.
Even more deplorably, this is by no means the first time in recent memory that Cats Protection has abruptly killed off a cat after publicly pledging to treat it. For example on July 6th of last year, it whacked a fifteen-year-old ginger-colored tom named Tigger under strikingly similar circumstances.
Tigger, who was born in Sydney in 1999, mysteriously turned up in London in 2004. He then disappeared from the radar screen until June 7th of last year when an unidentified woman residing in Laurelvale, fifty-six kilometers south of Belfast, telephoned the Armagh Branch of Cats Protection in order to report him for loitering in her precious little garden.
The charity came and collected him and took him to the Willow Veterinary Clinic in Portatown, thirty-seven kilometers southwest of Belfast, where he initially was diagnosed to be malnourished but otherwise as fit as a fiddle. Just as history was destined to repeat itself a few months later, Cats Protection promptly pledged not only to care for him but to reunite him with his original owners.
"We are desperate to unravel the rest of this cat's past and hopefully reunite him with his owners," Gilliam McMullen of the organization's Armagh Branch pledged to The Independent of London on June 18th. (See "The Mystery of the Twenty-Five-Year-Old (sic) Australian Cat Which Turned Up in Northern Ireland.")
Less than two weeks later the organization was talking and behaving just like PETA. "Sadly his health has deteriorated and he is in kidney failure," an unidentified spokesperson for the Armagh Branch told the Daily Mail on July 1st. (See "Globetrotting Aussie Cat Found in Ireland (sic) Is Spending His Last Days in a Cat Shelter after Being Diagnosed with Kidney Failure.") "He is spending his last days with us and when his time comes it will end in dignity surrounded by love."
True to its word, Cats Protection announced in a press release dated July 6th that it had washed its hands of Tigger once and for all time. (See "Dignified End for Globetrotting Puss Ozzie" and Cat Defender post of August 26, 2015 entitled "A Myriad of Cruel and Unforgivable Abandonments, a Chinese Puzzle, and Finally the Handing Down and Carrying Out of a Death Sentence Spell the End for Long-Suffering and Peripatetic Tigger.")
Cats Protection never will come clean but it nevertheless is strongly suspected that it killed both Alfie and Tigger because their owners had refused not only to pay for their treatment but to care for them during their convalescence. The only other explanation that makes sense is that the conditions and quality of care provided at its shelters in Stevenage and Armagh must be lethal to cats.
No one ever comments on the matter but it is awfully strange that cats who are able to persevere for years on their own and under the most dreadful circumstances imaginable are by contrast only able to last for either a few hours or days once they are arrested and carted off to a shelter. (See Cat Defender post of September 28, 2011 entitled "Marvin Is Betrayed, Abducted, and Murdered by a Journalist and a Shelter Who Preposterously Maintain That They Were Doing Him a Favor.")
Although some rescue groups are willing to medicate cats suffering from minor ailments, most of them draw the line when it comes to treating those that require long-term and expensive care, such as Alfie. For example, New Start Cat Rescue Center in Newent, Gloucester, killed off a cat named Victoria in December of 2012 after the cancer had returned to her ears. (See Cat Defender posts of November 14, 2012 and February 9, 2013 entitled, respectively, "In Utter Desperation, Victoria Claws Off Her Rotting Ears after She Is Stricken with Cancer and Abandoned to Aimlessly Wander the Forbidding Streets of Newent" and "New Start Cat Rescue Center Abruptly Kills Off Victoria after the Cancer Returns to Her Already Ravaged Ears.")
In addition to Brown, Great Ashby, and Cats Protection, the laundry list of villains who played crucial roles in Alfie's demise also includes his former owner. It was, after all, that individual who set the wheels in motion that ultimately led to his death by dying without making any provisions whatsoever for his continued care.
Sometimes tragic dénouements of that sort cannot be helped, such as when an owner dies suddenly. At other times, cats are saddled with owners who are all alone in this world themselves and therefore have no one to turn to whenever they become ill. Nevertheless, extenuating circumstances of that sort are of cold comfort to a cat who has been left behind to fend for himself.
Although there is absolutely nothing in the public record to support such an accusation, it nonetheless is remotely conceivable that Alfie could have been abandoned after he became ill and therefore long before his guardian died. As reprehensible as that sounds, it is suspected that was precisely what happened to Victoria.
The negligence of Alfie's guardian was compounded by the despicable callousness of that individual's relatives who never wanted any part of him. In fact, they were so unwilling to foot the bill for his treatment that they signed over custody of him to Cats Protection almost as soon as they were identified and contacted.
They additionally cannot claim that they were ignorant of his plight in that he was a well-known figure in and around Mackenzie Square. "I posted a picture of the cat on Facebook to try and find the owner and loads of people have been commenting saying that they've seen it being abused for a long time, but why am I the first person to report it?" Brown complained to The Comet in the September 28th article cited supra.
That testimony also casts further doubt on the nature and origin of the bruises on Alfie's face. The one thing that is not in dispute is that he was on the street for quite a while and in bad shape to boot while both the relatives of the deceased and the general public turned blind eyes to his interminable suffering.
A similarly cruel fate befell not only Victoria but also a forever nameless cat from Ichenheim in January of 2011 after he was deliberately set on fire and burned to death. (See Cat Defender post of June 27, 2011 entitled "Citizens of Ichenheim Callously Allow a Torched Cat to Walk the Street for Days Before Summoning Veterinary Help That Arrived Too Late.")
In spite of all of that, Cats Protection has bent over backwards in order to defend the derelict and heartless relatives. "The family of the deceased were with him at the end and are upset about it all," Kubler caroled to The Comet on October 2nd.
|Alfie on Death Row at the Great Ashby Veterinary Hospital|
It is almost superfluous to point it out but of all of Cats Protection's myriad of outrageous lies that one is the most unbelievable. More to the point, their presence at the time of his execution is beside the point; au contraire, the key question that cries out for an answer is where were they while he was languishing on the street?
Inexplicably, none of them were charged with either abandonment or neglect. Plus, Cats Protection was so obliging as to even shield them from public censure by categorically refusing to divulge their identities.
Furthermore, since neither the origin nor the nature of the wounds to Alfie's face ever was established beyond a reasonable doubt, they additionally could have been charged with abuse at well. Besides Brown's testimony, Angela Sapsford from parts unknown is of the opinion that Alfie had been abused.
"Absolutely disgusting," she told The Comet in the October 1st article cited supra. "I hope the culprit gets prosecuted."
The RSPCA echoed those sentiments. "This sounds like an extremely upsetting incident and a (sic) horrific attack on a defenseless animal," a spokesman for that agency told The Comet on September 28th. Rather than looking into the matter, the organization as per usual contented itself with issuing an appeal to the public to do its job for it.
The chain of tragic events that befell Alfie is something that he shares in common with tens of thousands of cats who are cruelly left to fend for themselves in a hostile world whenever their guardians die intestate. Whereas responsibility for their continued care and well-being should fall by default to the relatives of their deceased owners, not too many of them are compassionate enough in order to undertake such a solemn responsibility.
In recent memory, only fifty-six-year-old Beverley Hume of the Kingston Park section of Newcastle-upon-Tyne has been known to buck that depressing trend. That occurred in 2001 when she graciously took in a fifteen-year-old, one-eyed cat named Ginger following the death of her parents.
Despite all the compassion, love, and devotion that she lavished on him, her good work was undone ten years later on by the machinations of others. (See Cat Defender post of January 11, 2012 entitled "A Deadly Intrigue Concocted by a Thief, a Shelter, and a Veterinary Chain Costs Ginger the Continued Enjoyment of His Golden Years.")
Some institutions are likewise every bit as uncaring as the relatives of Alfie's deceased owner. For example, when San Francisco radiologist Larry Johnson died at age sixty-eight in July of 2007 he left his $6.5 million estate and his cat, Princess, to his alma mater, Juanita College in Huntington, Pennsylvania.
True to form, the greedy eggheads gobbled up the moola in a nanosecond but wanted no part of Princess. Luckily for her, a neighbor of the deceased later adopted her. (See Cat Defender post of June 9, 2008 entitled "Pennsylvania College Greedily Snatches Up Alumnus' Multimillion-Dollar Bequest but Turns Away His Cat, Princess.")
Other than being taken in by either relatives or neighbors, the options open to such cats are few in number. Regrettably, many of them die of starvation after they become trapped inside apartments and houses with their deceased owners.
That is exactly what would have become of a ten-year-old tuxedo named Ian from the Kingstanding section of north Birmingham after his guardian died in May of 2103 if concerned neighbors had not contacted the authorities. He accordingly was brought out alive and later successfully rehomed by Cats Protection. (See Cat Defender post of July 27, 2013 entitled "Instead of Killing Her Off with a Jab of Sodium Pentobarbital and Then Burning Her Corpse, Ian Remains Steadfast at His Guardian's Side Long after Her Death.")
The vast majority of cats left behind by their deceased owners do not find new homes but rather are systematically liquidated by shelters and Animal Control officers. Given that utterly deplorable reality, those who wind up on the street like Alfie are actually the fortunate ones.
Even so, living on the street is a difficult row to hoe for any cat but that is especially the case for those who are elderly, sickly, and have been cooped up indoors for all of their lives and therefore do not possess the prerequisite savior-faire in order to make it on their own. Some of them even have been declawed and sterilized. (See Cat Defender post of February 2, 2015 entitled "Cruelly Denatured and Locked up Indoors for All of His Life, Nicky Is Suddenly Thrust into the Bitter Cold and Snow for Twenty-One Consecutive Days with Predictably Tragic Results.")
Try as one may, it is utterly impossible not only to find any knights in shining armor in this story but even any good guys in white hats. Au contraire, the entire dramatis personae is deserving of both a good public thrashing and ten years' worth of hard labor in a penal institution. Perhaps that would succeed in sweating some of the lies, arrogance, and downright evil out of their worthless hides.
In the case of Cats Protection, its pattern of lies and broken promises have robbed it of whatever credibility it once may have enjoyed. Most damning of all, its publicly acknowledged liquidations of Alfie and Tigger are a strong indication that it also surely must be systematically killing off countless other cats on the sly each year.
The only foolproof means of putting an end to these senseless killings is to divest shelters, veterinarians, and everyone else involved of the right to kill cats under any circumstances. Until when, and if, that day dawns the only rights that they will have are those that are bestowed upon them by their owners and the managers of TNR colonies but, as the horrific murders of Alfie and Tigger have more than amply demonstrated, those are not anywhere nearly sufficient.
Contrary to what Cats Protection earnestly believes and practices, the lives of all cats matter and this world is a far poorer place with Alfie and Tigger now gone. The injustice of the matter is equally insufferable in that those who neglected, abused, and killed the both of them not only never have been punished for their despicable crimes but remain above ground to continue preening, strutting, lying and, above all, perpetrating additional atrocities against the species.
Photos: The Comet.