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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

Monday, June 05, 2017

Martha Gellhorn Is Locked Up for Ten Days after Biting a Tourist in the Latest Calamity to Befall Ernest Hemingway's Star-Crossed Polydactyls

Martha Gellhorn Is Back Home at the Museum

"It was the first time ever and the woman was aggressive with the cat."

-- Jacque Sands of the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

The much maligned and litigated polydactyls that reside at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West have once again run afoul of the long arm of the law. This time around the culprit is a brown female of unspecified age known as Martha Gellhorn who at around 4 p.m. on July 20th of last year bit the left hand of seventy-six-year-old Mary Ann Law of New Port Richey, seven-hundred-eighteen kilometers to the north on the Gulf of Mexico.

No details have been released as to either the severity of the bite or what type of medical attention that it required. Whereas scratches are not normally anything to be overly concerned about, bites are an altogether different matter owing to the potentially harmful bacteria that lives in a cat's mouth.

It therefore is imperative that such wounds to immediately cleansed with water and that any blood that has pooled on the surface be removed. The wound next needs to the irrigated with either hydrogen peroxide or iodine before common, over-the-counter antibiotics, such as bacitracin, neomycin sulfate, and polymyxin b. sulfate are applied. The bite then needs to be bandaged so that the antibiotics will remain in situ and work their magic.

In most instances, such remedial efforts are sufficient in order to ward off the onset of further difficulties. The wound may be sore for a few days and there might even be some slight swelling but that usually is the extent of the damage.

Time is of the essence, however, in that cat bites must be dealt with promptly. If that is not the case, severe inflammation may ensue and professional intervention may be warranted. Even under the worst of circumstances, however, the swelling normally subsides in a few weeks with the infected area returning to its normal size and function.

Given that polydactyls have resided at 907 Whitehead Street ever since 1935, staffers should be well versed by this time on how to treat cat bites and scratches and have, at the very least, a first aid kit on the premises. It also would be helpful if they possessed the prerequisite savoir-faire in order to calm victims and, if necessary, were willing to financially compensate them on the spot so as to foreclose on the prospect of any future legal problems.

In this instance, Law reportedly did not want to make a stink about the matter but her meddlesome daughter insisted upon calling in the Key West Police Department. While it is true that there is a law on the books in Florida that stipulates that all animal bites must be reported to the authorities, Americans have a long history of observing such edicts much more in the breach than in the spirit in which they were intended. Besides, considering how trigger-happy cops have become of late any thinking individual would be wary of asking any of them for so much as the time of day.

No harm ensued in this instance however because the cops, predictably, did not want anything to do with the matter and instead handed off the baton to the Florida Keys SPCA in Key West. That which followed was an all-too-familiar refrain from a song that never seems to change.

Specifically, the SPCA dispatched its Animal Control officer, Lindsey Thompson, who arrived johnny-on-the-spot and promptly took Martha, who was so named in honor of Hemingway's third wife, into custody. She then transported her to the All Animals Clinic on Stock Island, five kilometers north of Key West, where she was placed under lock and key.

After serving a ten-day sentence for allegedly being rabid, Martha was released from custody on July 30th and returned to the museum. "No sign of rabies," Thompson concluded according to The Keynoter of Marathon's August 17th edition. (See "Hemingway Cat 'Jailed' after Tourist Complains of Bite Returns Home.")

Rocky and Samantha Davies

Even though such behavior is patently unfair and mindlessly absurd, every time that a cat either bites or scratches someone the authorities immediately start screaming their bloody heads off about rabies. For example back on August 20, 2014, members of the Gorham Police Department in Maine even went so far as to anoint themselves as judge, jury, and executioner of an elegant tuxedo named Clark. Every bit as outrageous, they based that decision solely upon the uncorroborated testimony supplied by a member of the public who swore that he was rabid. (See Cat Defender post of September 27, 2014 entitled "Falsely Branded as Being Rabid by a Cat-Hater, an Animal Control Officer, and the Gorham Police Department, Clark Is Hounded Down and Blasted with a Shotgun.")

Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed in Martha's case but even then she did not receive so much as a scintilla of due process of law. Rather, she was assumed to have been guilty from the outset and brusquely carted off to the clink in order to serve her time. If she had not been up-to-date on her rabies' vaccinations, however, she very well could have been left to languished for even longer in the sneezer.

By contrast, individuals and groups that perpetrate all sorts of heinous crimes against cats only rarely receive harsher sentences. For instance, Larry Negard of Bossier City, Louisiana, received only ten days in jail even though he had been implicated in the brutal murders of nine of his next-door neighbor's cats. (See the Bossier City Press, March 4, 2016, "Bossier City Man Jailed for Killing Neighbor's Cat.")

Every bit as unfair, owners such as Sylvain Brunette of Franklin, Quebec, are sometimes sent to jail for simply owning too many cats. (See Cat Defender post of December 15, 2016 entitled "A Quebec Man Risks His Own Life by Electing to Spend Four Days in a Hellhole Prison Rather Than to Give Up His Six Elderly Cats.")

The unjust punishment meted out to Martha was all the more revolting in that she only bit Law in self-defense. "It was the first time ever and the woman was aggressive with the cat," the museum's manager, Jacque Sands, later protested to The Keynoter.

It has not been publicly divulged exactly what it was that Law did in order to provoke Martha's ire but, generally speaking, cats do not appreciate strangers getting too close to them and that is especially the case if they attempt to either corner or manhandle them. For instance, when Larry arrived at 10 Downing Street on February 11, 2011, ITV-News reporter Lucy Manning forcibly attempted to get him to pose for her and was rewarded for her bad manners with a scratch on her arm. (See Cat Defender post of July 21, 2011 entitled "Larry Faces Many Challenges and Dangers in His New Rôle as 10 Downing Street's Resident Feline.")

It also is illuminating that Martha used her teeth as opposed to her claws on Law. That in itself is a rather strong indication that her nemesis was either holding her front paws or had her cornered in that a cat's first line of defense is always her claws.

It accordingly is usually only their trusted owners who are able to get close enough to them in order to be bitten. Such incidents normally occurs when an owner is attempting to either medicate their eyes, force-feed them when they are sick, or to remove parasites from around their faces. Kittens, as soon as they acquire a fang or two, are the ones who are the most inclined to bite and their little teeth are every bit as sharp as razor blades.

"Those who will play with cats must expect to be scratched," Miguel de Cervantes once observed and that admonition is equally applicable to being bitten.

Even though the museum was, thankfully, not only able to save Martha's life but to retain custody of her as well, the incident nonetheless ended up costing it a pretty penny. First of all, it had to pony up for Law's treatment. Secondly, it was on the hook for Martha's hefty quarantine bill as well as any treatment that she may have received while at the All Animals Clinic.

Shiny Is a Wanted Tom in Little Treviscoe

If Law should decide at some point in the future to sue the museum, such action is bound to further deplete its coffers. In its nine-year running battle with the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a division of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the museum already has spent in excess of US$200,000 in attempting to appease it plus another US$600,000 in legal fees.

As the result of that titanic struggle, APHIS now mandates that each of the museum's fifty or so resident felines be tagged and individually caged each night. It also has been forced into hiring a nightwatchman as well as to fortifying the perimeter wall around the mansion. (See Cat Defender posts of August 3, 2006, January 9, 2007, July 23, 2007, and January 24, 2013 entitled, respectively, "The USDA Fines Hemingway Memorial in Key West $200 a Day for Exhibiting Papa's Polydactyl Cats Without a License," "Papa Hemingway's Polydactyl Cats Face New Threats from Both the USDA and Their Caretakers," "Cat Behaviorist Is Summoned to Key West in Order to Help Determine the Fate of Hemingway's Polydactyls," and "The Feds Now Have Cats and Their Owners Exactly Where They Want Them Thanks to an Outrageous Court Ruling Targeting the Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West.")

It is not known what, if any, punitive action the overzealous bureaucrats at APHIS are planning to take against the museum in the wake of Martha's run-in with Law, but is seems unlikely that they are going to be willing to pass up such a golden opportunity to once again sock it to the cats.

In the October 24, 2010 panels of Darby Conley's "Get Fuzzy," Bucky Katt famously defined heaven as "lying in a laundry basket (and being) massaged by a polydactyl." While there is sans doute considerable truth in that observation, at least from a cat's perspective, the machinations of both APHIS and Law have made life for Hemingway's polydactyls anything but paradisaical.

On a much broader level, it has become a popular pastime of late for many individuals, groups and, above all, the capitalist media to portray diminutive and peace-loving cats as savage beasts that attack without provocation much larger and powerful humans and dogs. A review of some of these causes célèbres that have made the news in recent years points to an entirely different conclusion, however.

First of all, the overwhelming majority of those individuals who have been either scratched or bitten received their injuries while foolishly intervening in disputes between their cats and other felines. Even more unfairly, they escaped with only minor injuries whereas the consequences have been significantly costlier for the victims of their slanders and libels.

For example, a cat named Lewis from Fairfield, Connecticut, and one named Bingo from the Maihofquartier in Luzern were placed under house arrest all because idiotic neighbors were scratched when they stepped between them and their cats during standoffs. (See Cat Defender posts of April 3, 2006, June 26, 2006, and October 17, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Free Lewis Now! Connecticut Tomcat, Victimized by a Bum Rap, Is Placed Under House Arrest," "Lewis the Cat Cheats the Hangman but Is Placed Under House Arrest for the Remainder of His Life," and "Bingo Is Placed Under House Arrest for Defending Herself Against a Neighbor Who Foolishly Intervened in a Cat Fight.")

A few years back a stunningly beautiful four-year-old ginger and white tom named Rocky from Rotherham in South Yorkshire likewise was accused of scrapping with both cats and dogs as well as biting two individuals. That in turn prompted the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council to issue his thirty-five-year-old owner, Samantha Davies, an Anti-Social Behavior Order (ASBO) which stipulated that he had to be confined on her property.

"It's just like an animal ASBO, and its completely ridiculous," she fumed to the Yorkshire Post of Leeds in West Yorkshire on July 25, 2014. (See "Safety Claws as Council Slaps ASBO on a Cat.") "How can a cat behave antisocially? It's an animal, it's a pet. He's not going to bite your leg off, drink alcohol in the street or try and rob your phone."

She also strenuously denied that he is a vicious and destructive cat. "The only time he has bitten someone was when they pulled its tail," she averred to the Daily Mail on July 25, 2014. (See "Must Be Feline Pretty Anti-Social: Cat Slapped with an 'Animal ASBO' for Biting People and Damaging Property in 'Campaign of Terror'.") "He has been accused of damaging property because he scratched a fence."

The Beloved Louis of Wells Cathedral

A large black cat named Shiny from Little Treviscoe in Cornwall also has felt the sting of the law for fighting with cats and dogs and for scratching their owners when they intervened in these skirmishes. That in turn has prompted some residents to call for his tiny head to be delivered to them upon a silver platter.

"The laws need to be changed so the same rules apply for cats as they do dogs," thirty-four-year-old Helen Wade moronically bellowed to The Plymouth Herald on December 14, 2013. (See "Shiny the Cat Branded Country's Most Ferocious Feline after Attacking Residents and Pets.") "If a cat attacks a person, they should immediately be put down."

In an effort to appease their irate neighbors, Shiny's owners, Mandie and Adrian Knowles, not only had him sterilized but also asked the RSPCA and animal psychologist Roger Mugford to examine him. Not surprisingly, both of them gave him clean bills of health. Best of all, his owners wisely have rejected Wade's absurd demand that Shiny be killed.

"We've taken the vets' advice and had him neutered but we're not going to put him down when he's perfectly healthy," Adrian defiantly vowed to The Plymouth Herald. "But it's getting very unfair on Shiny. If we genuinely thought that this cat was attacking innocent people or children we would have him put down."

It was Mandie, however, who put his finger on the crux of the matter. "These people (Shiny's accusers) must have done something for him to act that way," he speculated to The Plymouth Herald. "He wouldn't attack them out of the blue."

Unfortunately, homeless cats do not have loving and knowledgeable guardians like the Knowleses in order to defend their rights and lives and as a result they usually are forced into paying the ultimate price whenever disputes of this nature occur. For instance, a forever nameless cat from South Yunderup, a suburb of Perth in the state of Western Australia, was trapped and subsequently liquidated by the authorities in 2011 after it had bitten Sandy Williams when she intervened in a dispute between it and her cat, Tiger. (See Cat Defender post of August 24, 2011 entitled "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 Euthanized.")

Even on those occasions when owners of Williams' ilk choose not to rat out cats to the authorities they instead take matters into their own hands. That is precisely what physician Peter Parkinson from the Auckland suburb of Westmere did on July 26, 2007 when he abducted a six-year-old cat named Max, drove him across the Auckland Harbor Bridge, and then dumped him in Northcote.

He undertook that drastic action because Max allegedly had been entering his house and fighting with his resident feline, Chiquita. He also was accused of helping himself to her rations and leaving behind the telltale byproducts of his repasts.

Once the police had begun to close in on him, Parkinson got scared and sent Max's owner, Lisa Morice, an anonymous letter informing her that her cat had been treated to "a vacation overseas." He also enclosed a map describing where that he had dumped him as "Max's Hilton."

It took her a fortnight of looking high and low but Morice eventually was able to locate Max and to bring him home. Despite having the goods on Parkinson, the authorities steadfastly refused to bring any charges against him. (See Cat Defender post of December 24, 2007 entitled "A Prominent New Zealand Physician Who Ludicrously Claims to Be an Ailurophile Gets Away with Stealing and Dumping His Neighbor's Cat.")

Sam's Disgraceful Owner Dumped Him at a Shelter

Even on those occasions when cats manage to escape with their lives after having been attacked by humans that does not necessarily mean that they will be as fortunate the next time around. Besides, the verbal complaints lodged against them by their accusers often irreparably tarnish their reputations in an unflattering and unjust manner.

That is precisely how that seamstress and part-time nanny Patti Talbot of Kennington in Oxfordshire got back at a nameless tom after he had bitten her while visiting two cats that are owned by her common law husband, Paul Taylor. Much more importantly, the cat was only defending himself in that she had blasted him with a water pistol in the course of chasing him off of her property. (See the Oxford Mail, March 14, 2011, "Woman Claims She Is Being Terrorized by a Feral Cat.")

As everyone knows, cats and canines are a volatile mix under just about all circumstances so it is patently dishonest and unfair to malign and blame the former whenever the fur starts to fly between these age-old antagonists. Nevertheless, that is all too often precisely what transpires. (See Cat Defender posts of October 18, 2009 and October 23, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Minneapolis Is Working Overtime Trying to Kill an Octogenarian's Cat Named Hoppy for Defending His Turf Against Canine Intruders" and "An Essex Welfare Bum Who Sicced His Dog on Cats and Beat Them with His Cane Is Now Pretending to Be the Victim of an Assault.")

Even the world renowned seventeen-year-old Louis of Wells Cathedral in the city of the same name in Somerset has been accused of assaulting a trio of dogs. Those charges could have been cases of mistaken identity, however, in that at least two other ginger-colored cats reside in the same neighborhood.

By conceding even that much the church has been far too generously inclined toward his accusers because, even if the attacker were him, he most likely was only acting in self-defense. "For an old guy who spends most of his day sound asleep in the cathedral shop, it must have taken an event of magnitude to have caused such a reaction," an unidentified member of Fans of Louis speculated to the Daily Mail on March 16, 2015. (See "Mew-Dunnit! Can This Cuddly Moggy Really Be the Beast of Bath and Wells?") "Be honored (because) we may not see such an event again in our lifetime."

Even if a cat on occasion should scratch a dog, such infractions pale in comparison to the large number of cats and kittens that canines maim and kill each year. Moreover, in most such cases these vicious maulings are instigated by the dogs' owners. (See Cat Defender posts of March 24, 2010, October 28, 2013, July 2, 2015, and July 18, 2015 entitled, respectively, "Seven-Month-Old Bailey Is Fed to a Lurcher by a Group of Sadistic Teens in Search of Cheap Thrills in Northern Ireland," "Slow to Recuperate from Life-Threatening Injuries Sustained in a Savage Mauling by an Unleashed Dog, Stubbs Announces His Intention to Step Down as Mayor of Talkeetna," "After Allowing One of Their Dogs to Maul McGuire to Within an Inch of His Life, the Toronto Police Do Not Have Even the Common Decency to Summon Veterinary Help for Him," and "Blackpudlian Thrill Seeker Who Sicced Her Pit Bull on Regi and Then Laughed Off Her Fat Ass as He Tore Him Apart Receives a Customary Clean Bill of Health from the Courts.")

Cases of alleged violence that involve other cats, dogs, and individuals who have confessed, either voluntarily or inadvertently, as having been the instigators can be safely dismissed as slanders and libels directed against the species. The problem of separating fact from fiction arises when there are not any other cats and dogs involved and when there is a complete absence of unbiased, third-party witnesses.

For example, twenty-eight-year-old Karen Costa of Astoria in Queens claims that on May 30, 2007 she was bitten by a cat named Harry that she recently had adopted from a shelter in Manhattan. (See the New York Daily News, May 11, 2010, "Queens Woman Karen Costa Sues Petco after Cat with Lion-Sized Temper Takes Bite Out of Her Finger.")

Seventy-one-year-old Barbara Pinchbeck of Mahopac in upstate New York additionally claims that a black cat named Wheezer did likewise to her after she had adopted him from a shelter in April of 2010. (See the New York Daily News, November 21, 2010, "Woman Sues Shelter for $2 Million after She Says 'Crazed' Hellcat Attacks Her.")

In November of 2010, Cheryl Sibley of Hasbruck Heights in New Jersey filed a lawsuit against McSorley's Old Ale House in the East Village, where Abraham Lincoln used to drink, alleging that its resident feline, Minnie II, had attacked her in October of 2009. Despite the public nature of the establishment, there apparently were not any witnesses to this alleged assault. (See the New York Post, December 5, 2010, "Is This the Face of a Killer?" and the American Spectator of Arlington, Virginia, November 23, 2016, "Regulators Chase Cat from Bar and Are Shocked When Mice Appear.")

Even though a twelve-year-old cat named Blackie from Ramsgate in Kent has been accused of multiple assaults over the years, as far as it is known none of those incidents have been independently corroborated. (See Cat Defender post of March 8, 2007 entitled "Blackie the Cat Has Postmen, Bobbies, and Deliverymen Looking over Their Shoulders in Ramsgate, Kent.")

Izzy and David Seigel

Some of the charges leveled against allegedly aggressive felines are so fantastic as to be totally lacking in so much as a scintilla of credibility. For example, thirty-five-year-old Aydan Ulugun of Walthamstow in the East London borough of Waltham Forest claims that her two-year-old resident feline Sam, who up until then had been as "good as gold," one day suddenly went wild and viciously attacked her without provocation.

"...when I walked into the spare room he was looking very odd. His hair puffed up and his tail seemed far larger than normal," she related to the Daily Mail on December 13, 2013. (See "Attack of the 'Feline Ninja'.") "His facial expression changed and became menacing and he started making strange, aggressive noises, when he is normally quiet."

In the aftermath that followed she wasted no time in dumping him at the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in south London. "It's going to be for his best interests and mine," is how that she rationalized that heartless and irresponsible decision to the Daily Mail.

Thirty-seven-year-old David Seigel and his twenty-seven-year-old live-in lover Amanda of Richmond Hill, thirty-eight kilometers north of Toronto in the province of Ontario, likewise shamelessly put the screws to their five-year-old black female Izzy by likening her to the devil incarnate. They did so by taking out an advertisement on Craig's List wherein they labeled her as being "angry, miserable (and) vindictive" as well as the "evil sidekick a super villain has always wanted."

"The reason we've kept her this long is because we feel if we let her out into the world, she will take it over," the ad continued according to the Toronto Star's February 6, 2015 edition. (See "Couple Looks for New Home for 'Crazy Satan' Cat.") "This little one can be the Mr. Bigglesworth (a cat featured in the Austin Powers' cinematic trilogy) to your Dr. Evil."

Among other things, Seigel accused Izzy of knocking over glasses, raiding the icebox and consuming a block of cheese, opening a locked cupboard and pinching some dog food, using the floor as a toilet, attracting male suitors by meowing loudly from a second-floor window, eating a moth, locking Amanda and their dog out of the house, and of being far too skillful with her claws. "If the appearance of stable mental health is crucial to your plans, don't approach her without sleeves," Seigel continued in the ad. "Her scratches will look like attempted cutting and people will offer to call social workers on your behalf (this actually happened to my Amanda)."

None of those charges ever were independently confirmed but, even if true, they are the very epitome of normal behavior for any female cat, especially one that has not been sterilized. The response to the ad came fast and furious but it was not exactly what Seigel had anticipated.

For example, one user of Craig's List flagged the ad and Seigel thus was forced into removing it. "One person did say 'where are you? I'm going to come and get her (Izzy)'," Seigel revealed to the Toronto Star. "'You are treating her terribly'."

When the uproar failed to abate, Seigel abruptly changed his tune and commenced claiming that the ad had been intended as a joke. "We love the little beast. It is at the point that we want to find her an actual home with someone who can give her more time and attention. But we thought before we even do that, let's tell the world what's she like in a funny way," Seigel told the Toronto Star. "We want the exact opposite of what we said. We don't want super villains or evil people."

Whereas Seigel's true motives in posting such asinine sottise on social media are a matter of considerable conjecture, there cannot be any denying that he and his girlfriend wanted rid of Izzy in the worst possible way. "You must pick her up. We will not take her back under any circumstances -- even if you get arrested in your evil doings, make other arrangements for her," the ad concluded. "Please hurry."

There likewise cannot be any doubt that the notice was libelous to the hilt, vindictive, mean-spirited and, above all, seriously damaging to Izzy's chances of securing a new home. Perhaps most hypocritical of all, Seigel and his paramour had the chutzpah to pass themselves off as experienced pet rescuers and owners to the Toronto Star.  Even if against all odds they were not simply blowing it out both ends for the sake of hearing themselves roar, the type of experience that they have acquired is most definitely the wrong kind as far as cats like Izzy are concerned.

It is not known whatever became of her but it is highly unlikely that she is still alive today. After damaging her reputation so badly as to make her all but unadoptable, Seigel likely ended up dumping her at a shelter where she was killed.

The Unidentified Cat That Was Attacked by Bruce and Eileen Gough

Moreover, since she was with Seigel for less than two years, that means that she already had been bandied about several times during her short and unhappy life. If he did not want her, the very least that he could have done was to have refrained from demonizing her but he simply had to have his revenge on her for not living up to his expectations.

Individuals like him and Amanda should be permanently banned from adopting additional cats in the future. Instead, they either should stick to dogs or perhaps adopt something that they are fully capable of handling, such as a pet rock.

In addition to harming Izzy's chances of securing a new home, Seigel's modus operandi seems to have started a bit of a trend. For example, Cat People of Melbourne in Australia recently employed the same defamatory tactic is an effort to, supposedly, place a two-year-old black tom named Mr. Biggles in a new home. (See the Daily Mail, May 18, 2017, "An Utter Bastard of a Cat: Animal Shelter Writes Brutally Honest Adoption ad for 'Dictator' Black Tomcat 'Mr. Biggles' Because of His Arrogant and Aggressive Behavior.")

The ne plus ultra of all tall tales concerning allegedly vicious cats comes courtesy of a pair of addlebrained old farts named Bruce and Eileen Gough from Chartham in Kent. In particular, back in 2014 they claimed to have been held hostage in their swanky digs at Tower View for two days by a cat that had made its way inside through a window that had been carelessly left open.

By their own inadvertent admission, however, that which followed could not possibly have been anyone's fault but their own. "When I got up, it dashed off into a spare bedroom and I found it hiding under the bed. I tried to coax it out but it wouldn't budge, so I got a broom to ease it out," seventy-four-year-old Bruce admitted to The Telegraph of London on July 3, 2014. (See "RSPCA Refuses to Remove Feral Cat Destroying Couple's Home.") "But when I went to pick it up, it just flew at me and sank its teeth and claws into my forearm. It was going berserk and flew around the room, knocking things over, including a Victorian ewer on the mantelpiece, which shattered."

Even though it may have been expensive, the broken water jug was not of any consequence. As things eventually turned out, what the Goughs desperately needed was not it but rather a pot de chambre. "Unfortunately, the cat defecated and urinated in the room, which now stinks," seventy-seven-year-old Eileen testified to The Telegraph.

The cat, quite obviously, had wandered in looking for sustenance and shelter only to have been confronted by the hostile and moronic Goughs yelling and screaming, attacking it with a broom, and idiotically attempting to corral it barehanded. What this pair of blooming idiots should have done was to either have left it alone or offered it some food and water and it soon enough would have vacated the premises of its own accord.

Given what is already known about how that cats sometimes interact with both each other and dogs, coupled with the admissions made by their human accusers, it thus seems clear that unsubstantiated allegations made against members of the species by the likes of Costa, Pinchbeck, Sibley, Ulugun, Seigel, and Blackie's detractors cannot be accepted at face value. C'est-à-dire, no punitive action ever should be taken against any cat without such allegations first having been independently corroborated.

That is imperative given the legions of cat-haters in this world and man's penchant for telling nothing but lies. Besides, cats cannot speak for themselves.

None of the foregoing is meant to deny that cats do not occasionally become frightened and agitated and that is especially the case whenever humans commence running around like chickens with their heads cut off, screaming, bandying objects about and, generally speaking, behaving like possessed demons themselves. Under such stressful, frightening, and confusing circumstances, cats occasionally will inadvertently scratch and bite even their owners, especially if they accidentally should step on their tails or sit down on top of them.

Like everything else connected with cats, what is needed from the public is considerably more honesty as well as a modicum of intelligence. It does not require a great deal of the latter in order to know how to deal with a cat but it nonetheless does require some and that glaring deficiency is a big problem for both the so-called intelligentsia as well as for commoners. It additionally would be refreshing if the capitalist media were for once to stop disseminating unsubstantiated rubbish about the species.

Photos: The Keynoter (Martha Gellhorn), The Mirror (Rocky and Davies), The Plymouth Herald (Shiny), Wells Cathedral (Louis), Bradley Page of the Daily Mail (Sam), Manisha Krishnan of the Toronto Star (Izzy and Seigel), and The Telegraph (the cat that was attacked by the Goughs).