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Cat Defender

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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Grant Is Fitted with a Concrete Overcoat but He Manages to Get Out of It Thanks to the Timely Intervention of a Cat Lover and a Veterinarian

Grant Is Caked in Concrete

"At first I thought it was a screwed up ball of brown parcel tape that had been blown onto my front step. It was only when I got closer I realized it was a cat."
-- Faye Richards

The improvisation of concrete overcoats in order to weigh down the bodies of their victims before tossing them into rivers is a tactic long associated with mafia hit men but in the Withywood district of Bristol it certainly looks as if a still at large cretin fitted a ginger-colored tom of unspecified age named Grant with one back on November 19th. His assailant deviated from strict gangland rub out protocol, however, by doing the fitting while he was still very much alive.

Consequently, Grant was left to wander the streets of Withywood in the cold and rain as the wet concrete rapidly hardened into a funeral shroud. It is far from clear how that he managed to get there, but fortunately for him he somehow ended up on the doorstep of thirty-nine-year-old Faye Richards.

Even she, however, could barely believe what she was seeing once she had opened her front door. "At first I thought it was a screwed up ball of brown parcel tape that had been blown onto my front step," she told The Plymouth Herald on November 22nd. (See "Woman Mistakes Cat Covered in Concrete on Her Doorstep for a Parcel.") "It was only when I got closer I realized it was a cat."

The medical receptionist, who has three cats of her own, can be forgiven for her original mistake in that Grant was so slathered in concrete as to be hardly recognizable. In particular, the concrete on his back already had begun to set but that which covered his stomach was still very much wet. Worst yet, the substance not only was smeared all over his face but some of it even had worked its way into his eyes which by that time were partially closed.

"He couldn't even move. He was crying a lot and shivering," Richards added to The Plymouth Herald. "He was really cold."

Whereas many individuals would have either turned away in revulsion or shooed him off of their properties, Richards did not hesitate to do all that she could for him. "Most cats if you tried to pick them up wouldn't let you but I was able to pick him up and cuddle him even though I'd never seen him in my life," she related to The Plymouth Herald.

Her compassion did not end there however but it extended to transporting him to The Vet in Hengrove, a nearby suburb, where the concrete had to be brushed out of his fur and flushed from his eyes. Unfortunately since most of it already had hardened, it was necessary to divest him of the vast majority of his fur.

"It was quite sad to see him in that state," the surgery's Emily Slater told The Plymouth Herald. "But after having a hair cut we could see he was relieved. He seems to be doing fine."

The attending veterinarian originally was concerned that he might possibly have sustained damage to his lungs as the result of having inhaled dust and fumes from the concrete but those fears apparently turned out to be unfounded. Given that more than two months have passed since he was shaven, his fur likely has largely grown back by now and as a result he once again should pretty much resemble his old self.

Grant Is Divested of Most of His Fur

Despite all the notoriety that his case has generated, no one so far has come forward in order to reclaim him. As of January 14th, he therefore was still residing with one of the practitioners at The Vet where he is said to be "enjoying life to the fullest." It remains to be determined, however, if he is going to be allowed to remain there on a permanent basis or will be put up for adoption at a later date.

As to how he got into such a predicament, there are at least two possible explanations. If it was accidental, it would stand to reason that he likely either fell from a height or was chased into the wet concrete by either a dog or a human.

He certainly did not mistake the deadly muck for a flower garden and therefore voluntarily choose to wallow in it. Besides, outdoor construction sites that use concrete normally are cordoned off regardless of whether they are located on public or private property.

Considering that he was covered from head to tail in the substance, the most plausible explanation is that he was deliberately dunked in it in either someone's house or backyard and then left to die a long and excruciatingly painful death as it hardened. "I felt really sorry for him and shocked," Richards told The Plymouth Herald. "I don't know if it was deliberate or not but I can't think of anywhere round (sic) here where there is cement (sic) for him to fall into. You would hate to think of someone doing this intentionally but you do hear of it happening."

Her trepidations are bolstered by the sobering knowledge that individuals all around the world frequently mistreat cats in a similar fashion. For instance, in 2010 someone in the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster was dunking them in turpentine. (See Cat Defender posts of July 30, 2010, August 30, 2010, and January 3, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Harley Suffers Severe Burns to His Tongue and Mouth as Well as Lung Damage after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine," "Hope, Prayer, and Veterinary Intervention Ultimately Prove to Be Insufficient in Order to Save Harley after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine," and "Another Cat, Vincent, Is Dunked in Turpentine in New Westminster as the Police and Animal Control Continue to Laugh Up Their Dirty Sleeves.")

Dousing them with petrol and then torching them is another common tactic of those who get their jollies by abusing cats. (See Cat Defender posts of June 27, 2011, September 22, 2010, June 8, 2009, July 12, 2007. and October 5, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Citizens of Ichenheim Callously Allow a Torched Cat to Walk the Streets for Days Before Summoning Veterinary Help That Arrived Too Late," "Lätzchen Is Deliberately Set on Fire and Burned Within an Inch of Her Life in Karsdorf," "Adam Is Persevering Throughout All the Pain Two Years after Having Been Torched by Giggling Teenage Girls in Santa Rosa," "Burned Nearly to Death by Laughing Teenage Girls, Two-Month-Old Kitten Named Adam Is Fighting for His Life in Santa Rosa," and "New Jersey Teens' Idea of Fun: Beat Up a Defenseless Kitten and Then Burn It to Death.")

Along that same line, glue also can be lethal to cats regardless of whether it is used as an accelerant or as an adhesive. (See Cat Defender posts of September 23, 2005 and September 10, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Two New Zealand Teens Douse Three Caged Cats with Glue and Burn Them to Death" and "Lucky Is Saved from Starvation by a Kindhearted Woman after Her Mouth Is Glued Shut by an Assailant in West Hartford.")

Some monsters even resort to dousing them with acid. (See Cat Defender post of September 25, 2007 entitled "Acid Attack Leaves Solskjaer with Severe Injuries and Horrific Pain as His Heartbroken and Cash-Strapped Family Struggles to Cope.")

Grant's Savior, Faye Richards

In the Moosach section of München, amateur ornithologist Ernst Bernhard K. used a pressurized water hose and pepper stray in order to kill a caged cat named Rocco in December of 2010. (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 Stray 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.")

In addition to those substances, cats routinely are doused with paint and hot oil, scalded with hot water, and burned with cigarettes. It accordingly would not be surprising if wet concrete now has been added to that ever-growing list of hazardous substances to be used against them.

Even on those occasions when it is employed in a legitimate fashion it still poses a significant threat to cats as Boo of Cranberry Township in Pennsylvania recently found out to her horror. (See Cat Defender post of January 28, 2016 entitled "Boo Is Unwittingly Walled Up in Concrete and Likely Would Have Spent Eternity There If It Had Not Been for the Heroics of a Good-Hearted Landscaper.")

As best it could be determined, neither the RSPCA, the gendarmes, nor any other animal protection group has even bothered to look into what happened to Grant. Given that he could barely either see or walk, it is almost a sure bet that the attack occurred in close proximity to Richards' house and that in itself narrows down considerably the job of the authorities, that is, if they somehow could be prevailed upon to act.

Specifically, any public construction projects using concrete would have been in plain view at the time of the attack and even some private ones would have been visible in driveways and across garden fences. Searches conducted inside private dwellings, however, would have likely required probable cause and prior judicial approval.

Although it never was disclosed as to whether Grant had an owner or was homeless, his friendly demeanor toward Richards and the veterinarians strongly suggests that the former was the case. In either event, it is likely that at least some residents of the neighborhood had previously seen him out and about and as a consequence knew something about him.

That therefore makes it totally inexcusable that the RSPCA and the police did not canvass the neighborhood door-to-door with photographs of Grant. Although he was neither microchipped nor sterilized, it nevertheless would have been worthwhile to have touched bases with other nearby surgeries.

In hindsight, this was a preeminently solvable case if only the authorities had not been quite so derelict in fulfilling their responsibilities under the anti-cruelty statutes. Above all, whoever dunked Grant in concrete should not be allowed to go unpunished.

Thanks to the compassion shown him by Richards and The Vet, Grant was able to pull through this terrifying attempt upon his life but the next feline to be dunked in concrete may not be nearly as fortunate. There is a monster on the prowl in Withywood and he needs to be apprehended and jailed before another cat is made to suffer at his hands.

Photos: The Plymouth Herald and SWNS (Grant) and the Daily Mail and SWNS (Richards).