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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

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Brutal Murders of a Trio of Atlantic City's Boardwalk Cats Provide an Occasion for the Local Rag and PETA to Whoop It Up and to Break Open the Champagne

Suspect Number One

"We are devastated about the loss of these cats, and we're doing everything we can to find out who is behind this cruelty."
-- Alley Cat Allies

Three of the world famous Boardwalk cats of Atlantic City have been killed. Press reports differ as to exactly when these atrocities were carried out, but as best it could be determined they occurred during the nighttime hours of either March 22nd or March 27th.

Absolutely nothing has been publicly revealed as to the methodology employed but since the media claim that the victims were "slain," that would tend to preclude poisoning as the cause of death. That in turn lends itself to speculation that they were killed by either multiple steel pellets fired from an air gun or a barrage of bullets unleashed from a more conventional firearm.

Given the cats' friendly disposition toward humans, it additionally is conceivable that their assailants could have gotten close enough to them in order to have bludgeoned them to death. Such an undertaking would have been greatly facilitated if the cats had been blindsided while reposing in their winterized shelters.

Those modi operandi are by no means exhaustive and cat killers, both individuals as well as organizations, have been known to go to extraordinary lengths in order to realize their fiendish designs. (See Cat Defender posts of January 19, 2011 and November 18, 2016 entitled, respectively, "Bird Lover in München Illegally Traps Rocco and Then Methodically Tortures Him to Death with Water and Pepper Spray over an Eleven-Day Period" and "A Clever Devil at the University of Adelaide Boasts That He has Discovered the Achilles' Heel of Cats with His Invention of Robotic Grooming Traps as the Thoroughly Evil Australians' All-Out War Against the Species Enters Its Final Stages.")

In Atlantic City, there are fifteen managed colonies that altogether contain somewhere between ninety and one-hundred cats. They are located underneath the planking at the infamous Underwood Hotel and are spread out over a distance of more than three kilometers beginning at Absecon Inlet in the north end of town and extending as far south as, it is believed, Providence Avenue.

The victims reportedly belonged to the Vermont Avenue colony which is situated two blocks removed from the Inlet. Although that particular section of the Boardwalk teems with fishermen during the daylight hours it is almost completely deserted after dark.

There are not any commercial enterprises in the area and the nearest gambling den that is still open for business, Resorts, is .48 kilometers south along the wooden way. Although its isolated location provides the cats with some much needed peace and quiet, it also leaves them at the mercy of those individuals intent upon doing them harm.

As a consequence, that forlorn section of the Boardwalk was all but deserted on that cold March night and, as far as it is known, there were not any eyewitnesses to what transpired. The cats' killers accordingly believed that they had perpetrated a series of perfect crimes but they failed to realize that their images were being captured by a surveillance camera that was mounted on either the Boardwalk or at a nearby residential structure.

The footage later revealed that three, fairly young males, two whites and one black, had been in the area during the overnight period in question. Although it has not been disclosed if the camera recorded the presence of any other individuals in the vicinity, it is conceivable that it did but that the authorities do not consider them to be suspects.

It likewise has not been disclosed if the camera recorded the cats being killed but the assumption, rightly or wrongly, is that the atrocities were carried out underneath the pines and well out of range of the camera. That also leaves open the remote possibility that the killers could have entered and exited the colony from the beach and therefore possibly could be individuals other than the trio captured on film.

Normally, surveillance photography is of such poor quality as to be almost worthless but in this instance the faces of the suspects are clearly recognizable and that alone should have made their apprehension a cinch. Regrettably, the stellar work done by the camera was almost immediately negated by the still unexplained fact that neither the images that it captured nor even the news of the cats' killing was brought to the attention of the public until almost four months after the fact. "We are devastated about the loss of these cats, and we're doing everything we can to find out who is behind this cruelty," Alley Cat Allies (ACA) of Bethesda, Maryland, who since 2000 has overseen the Boardwalk Cats Project, belatedly informed the Philadelphia Daily News on July 19th. (See "Reward Offered in Killing of Three Boardwalk Cats.") "Animal cruelty must be taken seriously, and the guilty parties should be punished to the full extent of the law."

Other than offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension of the killers, it is not known what, if any, action ACA has undertaken. As far as the Atlantic City Police Department (ACPD) is concerned, it is not known to have done anything other than to post photographs of the suspects on its web site.

At the very least, necropsies should have been performed on the victims. Secondly, the entire area where the cats were found should have been cordoned off and treated as a crime scene.

In particular, the railing along the Boardwalk as well as the handrails of the steps that lead down to the beach should have been dusted for fingerprints. The same should have been done with any weapons, such as sticks, bats, and stones, found nearby as well as the cats' food dishes and winterized shelters. In short, any surfaces that the killers possibly could have come in contact with should have been gone over with a fine-tooth comb for fingerprints and other forensic evidence.

Most importantly of all, photographs should have been made form the surveillance footage and immediately circulated to all members of the ACPD, security guards and other personnel at the gambling dens, Boardwalk merchants, the coolies who push rolling chairs, and jitney drivers. Since the Underwood Hotel is such a popular rendezvous for drunkards, dope addicts, transients, and the homeless, the stills should have been circulated around the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, the Salvation Army's soup kitchen, and other establishments that cater to that clientele.

The photographs likewise should have been shown to the drivers of New Jersey Transit and Greyhound buses as well as to conductors on the Atlantic City Rail Line. If all of those efforts had failed to bear fruit, the search should have been extended to Philadelphia and New York City just in case the suspects were day-trippers who had come to town on a casino junket.

Whereas it is not known if either the ACPD or ACA have actively pursued that line of inquiry, it is strongly suspected that has not been the case. That assumption is based solely upon the reasoning that it seems more than likely that if they had actively done so that someone would have recognized at least one of the suspects.

Suspect Number Two

Furthermore, given that their images are still plastered all over the web, it seems unlikely that they have been identified, interviewed, and cleared of wrongdoing. Even though most of the sand has long since drained out of the hourglass, there is still a remote possibility that this case could be cracked.

If the ACPD cannot be prevailed upon to take these killings seriously, ACA has at least twenty-nine volunteers who care for the cats and they could be pressed into service as investigators. If ACA is unwilling for whatever reason to do even that, it sole remaining recourse would be to retain the services of a private dick.

That is precisely what Neil Tregarthen of Truro in Cornwall was forced into doing after both the Devon and Cornwall Police as well as the RSPCA categorically refused to investigate the murder of his daughter's beloved fourteen-month-old black cat, Farah, by an assailant wielding an air gun. The peepers did their job in that they were able to locate and identify a suspect but even that proved to be insufficient in order to get any movement out of the authorities. (See Cat Defender post of April 2, 2015 entitled "Cornishman Shells Out £10,000 on Private Peepers in Order to Track Down Farah's Killer but Once Again Gets Stiffed by Both the Police and the RSPCA.")

There accordingly are not any foolproof solutions available to ACA. Nevertheless, justice demands that the culprits be apprehended and made to stand trial for what they have done. Besides, if that should prove not to be the case it is highly probable that they are going to target other cats in the future whether they are living at the Boardwalk or elsewhere.

On June 15th, ACA held a Cat Hero Celebration on the Boardwalk at which time it singled out Steven Dash of the Humane Society of Atlantic County, Paul Jerkins, directors of public works for the city, Police Chief Henry White, and Mayor Don Guardian for their support and cooperation with the cats. The volunteers who attend to their daily needs were feted, but not named, at an indoor event held afterwards.

"(I am) very humbled to receive this award from such an outstanding organization," White said while pledging his continued support according to ACA's press release of June 21st. (See "Celebrating the Cat Heroes of Atlantic City, New Jersey!")

Guardian was equally effusive. "I want to thank you very much for taking (an) interest in Atlantic City and showing how we can all live together on this earth and on this beach," he told those assembled. "We're proud of our cats."

He certainly has more than enough reason for being so in that they are one of the few success stories to be found in a bankrupt city that has seen no fewer that eight of its once prosperous gambling dens bite the dust over the course of the past twenty years. Plus, beyond the glow of the casinos' flickering neons there exists an altogether different Atlantic City where corruption, poverty, crime, and despair are the norms with the only known palliatives being the equally destructive alcohol, drugs, whores, and violence.

Conspicuously omitted from the festivities was any mention whatsoever that something had gone terribly awry with the cats. Once the news of the horrible deaths of three of them had become public fodder a little over a month later it became clear as to why ACA had labored so hard in order to keep that under wraps.

Every bit as predictable as clockwork, all the old familiar cat-haters immediately spilled onto the scene much like cockroaches out of an old mattress in order to seize upon that revelation as an affirmation of all that they hold holy and dear. Given that absolutely nothing in this big, wide world thrills this crowd quite so much as a report of dead cats, there was much glee, gloating, preening, strutting, and the popping of champagne corks.

Once their whooping it up and high-fiving of each other had subsided to a point so as to once again allow them to remaster the faculty of language, they proceeded to launch into a seemingly never-ending recitation of their myriad of outrageous lies. As per usual, their goal was to bludgeon the public long and hard over the head with their fabrications until it eventually would be forced into either conceding the veracity of them or succumbed to fatigue.

In pursuit of that stratagem, the first batter to step up to the plate was none other than the cats' longtime nemesis, The Press of Atlantic City. Owned by the buffet man, Warren Buffet of Omaha, Nebraska, and located, not at the shore, but rather in neighboring Pleasantville, it goes almost without saying that what goes on at the Underwood Hotel is really not any of its business.

Undeterred by such considerations, The Press went right ahead with its vituperation and in doing so it did not take long for it to demonstrate that its views regarding the Boardwalk cats have not ameliorated one iota over the years. (See Cat Defender post of July 5, 2007 entitled "Bird and Wildlife Proponents, Ably Assisted by The Press of Atlantic City, Launch a Malicious Libel Campaign Against Feral Cats.")

Totally in keeping with the standard modus operandi of just about all professional cat-haters, The Press began its onslaught by expressing its condolences to the deceased. "Beyond the illegality, it's very sad to see this happen to cats or any other animals," the editors stated in an August 7th editorial. (See "Atlantic City Cat Killings Another Reason to Ban Managed Feral Colonies.")

As it soon became perfectly clear, what the editors meant by that was that it broke their hearts to see anyone other than themselves and their comrades-in-arms within the political establishment abusing and killing cats. "Pets are great and there are many mutual benefits for cats, dogs and people -- but only if people take full responsibility for the care, protection and health of their pets. And that includes ensuring pets don't become an affliction on other people, their property or the natural world," the editors pontificated. "It's simple. Pets should stay in their caregivers' homes and on their properties...Anything less is just another form of abandonment."

Translated into shirtsleeve English, what the editors are really saying is that homeless cats do not have any right to so much as draw another breath. They are simply too dishonest and concerned about subscribers cancelling their subscriptions to come right out and say it; instead, they have chosen to dance pirouettes around the truth.

Following that inauspicious beginning, the writers next threw their wholehearted support behind a 2013 study conducted by the convicted cat abusers at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington that made outlandish claims about feline predation of birds and small mammals. Even though that study has been dismissed as junk and utter nonsense by just about all impartial individuals who have examined it, the continued dissemination of it as the gospel truth by The Press and other media outlets serves only to call attention once again to their ingrained dishonesty and prejudices.

Suspect Number Three

While they were at it the editors likewise claimed that cats do not belong on barrier islands because they pose a threat to migrating and nesting shorebirds but those considerations are hardly applicable as far as Atlantic City is concerned. First of all, it is virtually impossible for a cat to get close enough to a shorebird on a beach in order to take it down even if it were so inclined.

Secondly, any nests constructed on the beach in Atlantic City would not last for very long and that would not be due to any inference on the part of the cats. Rather, it is precisely vehicular traffic, the presence of restaurants and bars, and thousands of daily sunbathers and joggers that make the area totally inhospitable to nesting and migrating birds.

Even Pete Bacinski and Scott Barnes of the New Jersey chapter of the National Audubon Society are willing to acknowledge that foxes, raccoons, and gulls kills far more shorebirds than cats. They additionally are on record as stating that adverse weather, such as n'oreasters and hurricanes, take the heaviest toll of all on birds. (See The Star Ledger of Newark, July 1, 2007, "Respect Beach Rules to Protect Nesting Birds.")

Next up the editors alleged that cats are such filthy creatures that they spread ringworm, cat scratch fever, and toxoplasmosis to people. Quite obviously, that is simply another example of them making up lies because, given the number of cats, there surely would be epidemics of those diseases if there were so much as a scintilla of truth to their assertions.

Often overlooked in this contentious debate is the petit fait that it is precisely birds that spread epidemics of influenza, destroy crops, and foul city streets, land, and streams with their excrement. It likewise is bats, raccoons, and skunks that spread rabies, not cats.

Nevertheless, it simply is accepted without question that birds and other wildlife have an unqualified right to live, eat, reproduce, defecate, prey upon other animals including cats, and even to spread deadly diseases. By contrast, it is only cats that The Press and its supporters want to deprive of all of those rights.

If The Press's nonsensical and utterly absurd anti-cat rant sounds familiar, that is because it is taken chapter and verse from the self-serving propaganda so profusely disseminated by the biggest liars, criminals, and phonies on the planet. "I am from New Jersey and I have seen these cats on the Boardwalk and the beach. It breaks my heart to know that they are trying to fend for themselves in a world they are not adapted to, but with a background in ecology and conservation I feel that wildlife must come first," Kimberly Spiegel of PETA appendaged those comments to the bottom of The Press's editorial. "Euthanasia is the best option when these cats can't be rehomed, (and) it is certainly better than dying a violent death at the hands of cruel people."

Declarations such at that leave little room for doubt that if PETA, the editors of The Press, and all others who think like them were on hand at concentration camps they would be imploring the condemned that they were destined for a far better place as they shoved them headfirst into the furnaces in order to be burned to a crisp. Moreover, the petit fait that they could talk that way about animals who are unable to defend themselves exposes them to be the lowest, vilest, most unprincipled and utterly ruthless monsters to ever have trodden upon the face of the earth.

They also would have to be considered to be the world's biggest liars. "No organization is more completely dedicated to the interests, welfare and rights of animals than People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals," the editors of The Press concluded, presumably, with a straight face.

If they were simply trying out their shtick on an audience at the Comedy Stop everyone would be entitled to laugh along with them but that is far from being the case in that what they are doing is preying upon the ignorance of the uninformed. It is an old story to be sure but it nonetheless bears repeating, especially if PETA and its minions at The Press and elsewhere so stubbornly insist upon spreading nothing but lies.

To begin at the beginning, for the organization's head honcho, Ingrid E. Newkirk, the en masse murders of totally innocent cats, dogs, and other animals began a long time ago when she ran an unidentified shelter in the nation's capital. In an article entitled "The Extremist: The Woman Behind the Most Successful Radical Group in America," which appeared in the April 4, 2003 edition of The New Yorker, she proudly made the following candid admission:

"I went to the front office all the time, and I would say, 'John is kicking the dogs and putting them in freezers.' Or I would say, 'They are stepping on the animals, crushing them like grapes, and they don't care.' In the end, I would go to work early, before anyone got there, and I would just kill the animals myself. Because I couldn't stand to let them go through that. I must have killed thousands of them, sometimes dozens every day."

C'est-à-dire, from the very beginning she was totally unwilling to put a stop to the blatant acts of animal cruelty that she witnessed being perpetrated right underneath her own nose and by her own employees. Secondly, she refused to find homes for those cats and dogs under her care. Thirdly and most reprehensible of all, she never has had so much as a scintilla of respect for the sanctity of animal life.

It therefore is not the least bit surprising that it was precisely those same policies that she put in situ when she founded PETA. For example, the organization admits to annually exterminating up to ninety-eight per cent of all the cats and dogs that it impounds at its shelter in Norfolk.

Less well known is that it also liquidates chickens, rabbits, rats, and other species. To make a long story short, it kills just about every single living creature that unwittingly falls into its bloodstained hands.

Perhaps most outrageous of all, the donations continue to keep rolling right on in from around the country and the world in spite of Newkirk's admission. "Our service is to provide a peaceful and painless death to animals who no one wants," she has declared on numerous occasions.

PETA therefore is anything but an animal rights group; au contraire, what it actually is operating is a slaughterhouse. Furthermore, its actual kill rate at its shelter is sans doute considerably higher than even it is willing to publicly admit in that it operates a fleet of death vans that travel around to shelters in southern Virginia, northern North Carolina, and perhaps elsewhere as well in order to collect cats and dogs.

The Volunteers Have Cared for the Cats Since 2000

It promises the shelters that it is going to place them in good homes and it even sometimes goes as far as to send back photographs of cats and dogs gamboling in the yards and fields of their supposedly new abodes. In reality, however, the photographs have been staged and the animals depicted in them were killed off almost as soon as they left the shelters.

All of that came to light in 2006 when it was caught disposing of the bodies of its victims in Dumpsters. Reprehensibly, the morons who dispense justice in the Tar Heel State let off the murderers scot-free. (See Cat Defender posts of January 29, 2007 and February 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "PETA's Long History of Killings Cats and Dogs Is Finally Exposed in a North Carolina Courtroom" and "Verdict in PETA Trial: Littering Is a Crime but Not the Mass Slaughter of Innocent Cats and Dogs.")

Following its public chastisement PETA became considerably more circumspect in its criminal activities but it is still very much active in the business of stealing and killing cats. (See Cat Defender post of October 7, 2011 entitled "PETA Traps and Kills a Cat and Then Goes Online in Order to Brag about Its Criminal and Foul Deed.")

It likewise continues to treat dogs in much the same fashion and that was proven on October 18, 2014 when the organization's Victoria Jean Carey and Jennifer Lisa Woods stole a three-year-old chihuahua named Maya off the porch of a trailer in Parksley, Virginia's Eastern Shore, and promptly snuffed out its life. Demonstrating once again that it is every bit as cheap as it is murderous, PETA afterwards gave the dog's owner, Wilbur Cerate, a basket of fruit as compensation. (See The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, articles dated December 1, 2014 and February 27, 2015 and entitled, respectively, "Man Says PETA Took His Dog from Porch, Killed It" and "PETA Devastated after Dog Taken from Porch Is Euthanized.")

The only positive thing that can be said about that sorry episode is that Cerate got, in a roundabout way, exactly what he deserved in that he was the one who originally had asked PETA to come over and kill several homeless cats. The criminals subsequently trapped, removed and, no doubt, exterminated at least two of them.

In the uproar that ensued not so much as a word ever was uttered about the killing of the cats and that just goes to show why that things are as they are in this world. The only morality worth having is, not the one propagated by the Jews and the Christians, but rather one that encompasses Mother Earth and all the animals as well as people.

Early on in his existence man discovered that he could live high on the hog by destroying the earth, killing off the animals, and enslaving his fellow beings and as a consequence the killing and naked exploitation has never abated. On top of all of that, he has an unquenchable thirst for blood and a love of inflicting pain on others.

Cerate's behavior also vividly demonstrates that those individuals and groups who freely choose to roll in the hay with devils must fully expect to feel the sting of their horns and pitchforks. (See Cat Defender post of March 10, 2009 entitled "Audubons' Dirty Dealings with the Mercenary United States Fish and Wildlife Service Rebound to the Detriment of Acorn Woodpeckers.")

The theft and killing of Maya furthermore demonstrated that The Press is far from being the only newspaper that PETA has in its back pocket. "As long as people abandon or surrender their pets, as long as other shelters choose to turn away injured, aggressive or feral animals, there'll be a need for PETA to do what it does," the editors of The Virginian Pilot declared by way of racing to the killers' defense on February 27, 2015. (See "Taking Aim at PETA's Work.")

Perhaps the most compelling affirmation that PETA is little more than a cat defamation and extermination service came a little bit earlier in 2014 when the city of San Diego invited in the diabolical USDA's Wildlife Services in order to hunt down homeless pigs with dogs and to shoot them from helicopters as well as on foot. That in turn proved to be too much for Newkirk's soldiers to stomach.

"No animal should be killed for doing that (simply trying to provide for its family and to survive)," the organization's Kristen Simon declared to The San Diego Times-Union on September 17, 2014. (See "City Aims to Kill Feral Pigs.")

While the organization was crying out its eyes for the pigs it simultaneously was lobbying officials in Tucson to veto a TNR initiative sponsored by the Pima Animal Care Center and Best Friends of Kanab, Utah. (See KGUN-TV of Tucson, August 5, 2014, "PETA Says Euthanasia 'Preferable' to TNR.")

"Perhaps it's time to correct misinterpretations about PETA: that it is an organization devoted to fighting for animal rights and sheltering the homeless animals that need helping for not being in the best of health," Sunshine Blanco wrote in The Glam Monitor on November 15, 2014. (See "How Ethical Is PETA's Treatment of Animals?") "After all, PETA seems to have a singular, simple answer to address all forms of suffering and need: death."

From there she proceeded to pose the most pressing question of all. "So before we answer how ethical PETA's treatment of animals is, first we should answer the question: is it ethical at all?"

Far more important than that, the organization's tax-exempt status as well as its licenses to operates a shelter and to administer lethal drugs should be revoked. Above all, Newkirk and her morally-warped acolytes should have been put behind bars decades ago for all the cats and dogs that they have stolen and murdered.

Since it continues to enjoy the widespread support of the capitalist media and governmental officials alike, that in turn gives rise to speculation that PETA possibly could be a creation of dark forces within both the American and English political establishments in order to discredit the animal rights movement in general and to forestall the eventual emergence of a legitimate organization that would actually take seriously animal welfare issues. After all, such underhanded tactics have been tried in the past. (See The New Yorker, August 25, 2014, "The Spy Who Loved Me.")

Gregory S. Okin
It additionally cannot be totally ruled out that it was precisely representatives of possibly PETA, the National Audubon Society, the Smithsonian Institution, or some other virulently anti-cat organization that were behind the killing of the Boardwalk cats. (See Cat Defender posts of May 18, 2013 and January 6, 2012 entitled, respectively, "Ted Williams and the National Audubon Society Issue a Call for Cats to Be Poisoned with Tylenol® and then Try to Lie Out of It" and "Nico Dauphiné Is Let Off with an Insultingly Lenient $100 Fine in a Show Trial That Was Fixed from the Very Beginning.")

There is not any evidence to support such suspicions but their rhetoric and past behavior has more than demonstrated that they would not think so much as even twice about killing cats if they thought for one second that they could get away with doing so. At the very least, the activities of those groups need to be closely monitored.

The Press's outrageous lies about the Boardwalk cats provoked a spirited rebuttal from ACA's Becky Robinson. "What is particularly shocking about the editorial is that evidence of how cats can live worthwhile lives outdoors is right in front of us at the Atlantic City Boardwalk," she wrote August 12th in an op-ed piece for the paper. (See "Boardwalk Cat Colonies Shouldn't Be Banned.") "The cats in our Alley Cat Allies Boardwalk Cats Project have healthy lives as a result of our TNR program with many living well into their teens."

That is certainly true enough in that a gray and white female named Snowball lived at the site of the Taj Mahal's old gambling den until her sad death in August of 2011 at the age of twenty. (See Cat Defender post of December 10, 2011 entitled "Snowball Succumbs to the Inevitable after Toughing It Out for Two Decades at Atlantic City's Dangerous Underwood Hotel.")

A nineteen-year-old shorthair named Inky still resides at that same site and the recently deceased Genie lived to be eighteen years old. Above all, the quality of life that the cats enjoy is not a matter of opinion but rather their good health and the excellent care that they receive is self-evident to any Boardwalk promenader.

"I've had cats at home for many years," ACA's Matthew Wildman told the Philly Voice on July 17th. (See "Meet the People Who Care for One-Hundred 'Boardwalk Cats' at Jersey Shore.") "None of them lived to nineteen."

The quality of life and longevity enjoyed by some outdoor cats is by no means a phenomenon that is limited to Atlantic City. "On average, outdoor cats are healthier than indoor," Fred Hampton, who cares for some of those that are homeless in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, testified to The Riverdale Press on June 10, 2010. (See "They Care for Cats That Others Don't Care For.") "And they live longer too."

Robinson next up totally obliterated Spiegel's sottise about cats being ill-equipped to live outdoors. "Cats lived outdoors alongside people for more than ten-thousand years in virtually every landscape on every continent where people live," she wrote in The Press on August 12th. "Only in the past seventy years, with the invention of kitty litter, have they become popular domestic pets."

Even in venturing that much she has grossly understated the case in that even before their domestication cats survived and flourished on their own for millions of years. The threats posed to them by motorists, dogs, coyotes, raccoons, and other animals are very real but none of those perils are present in the world that exists underneath the pines in Atlantic City.

Robinson was considerably less honest, however, when she categorically declared that homeless cats "aren't socialized to humans and can't live indoors." On the contrary, if Tiny Kittens was able to have brought in from the cold Grandpa Mason, practically every homeless cat on the planet can be domesticated to one degree or the other. (See Cat Defender post of July 24, 2017 entitled "A Rescue Group in British Columbia Compassionately Elects to Spare Grandpa Mason's Life and in Return for Doing So It Receives an Unexpected Reward Worth More That Gold Itself.")

Doing so would require, first of all, that homes were made available to them. Secondly, socializing them would require a great deal of time, effort, patience, and expertise and, regrettably, few individuals and groups are willing to make that type of investment in any cat.

Robinson therefore was justified in dismissing The Press's edict that all cats be kept at home as "unrealistic and unreasonable." That by no means absolves her organization, however, of the solemn responsibility of finding homes for as many of its cats as is feasible and that is especially the case with those that are either elderly or sickly.

In addition to being frequented by some very dangerous individuals, the Underwood Hotel is cold, damp, and forbidding. Hurricanes, such as Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012, also claimed the lives of an undisclosed number of the cats.

Given that a number of them already have been socialized to the point of permitting their caregivers and tourists to pet them, that in turn augurs well for their ability to adapt to living with a family. Ironically, it could have been precisely the friendly demeanor of the victims that allowed the suspects to have gotten close enough to them to have killed them.

For the time being, however, ACA is not planning on making in changes in its stewardship of the cats. "There's no real end point for the project," Wildman disclosed to the Philly Voice. "We'll just keep working to provide the best quality of life for those cats that we can."

Nothing remains the same for very long in this world however and since the feline population at the Underwood has declined by seventy-two per cent since ACA's intercession, the Boardwalk cats are not likely to be around for too much longer. That is especially the case since no new kittens have arrived on the scene in recent years.

Nevertheless, even if they along with every other homeless cat on the planet were to die off today that stunning dénouement would contribute absolutely nothing toward silencing inveterate cat-haters such as The Press, PETA, and their allies. Au contraire, they simply would then redirect their venom, slanders, and criminal conduct in the direction of domiciled cats.

That was demonstrated writ large once again on August 2nd when Gregory S. Okin, a geographer at UCLA, published in PLOS ONE an article entitled "Environmental Impacts of Food Consumption by Dogs and Cats." Although his conclusions are at best estimates, he nevertheless theorizes that America's roughly one-hundred-eighty million pet cats and dogs consume a whopping twenty-five per cent of all the animal-derived calories that are produced in this country.

By way of remedying that situation he recommends that cats and dogs be fed offal and organ meats as opposed to good-quality cuts. He additionally proposes that dog owners either trade in their large companions in favor of smaller ones that eat less or, better still, that they get rid of them altogether and in their stead acquire hamsters.

His conclusions regarding diet were wholeheartedly endorsed by Tufts veterinarian Cailin Heinze. "Dogs and cats happily eat organ meats," she told The Washington Post on August 4th. (See "The Hidden Costs of Dog and Cat Food.") "Americans do not."

A Resident Peers Out from the Desolate and Dangerous Underwood Hotel

Conspicuously absent from The Washington Post's diatribe was any mention whatsoever that man, unlike cats, is not an obligate carnivore and therefore could single-handedly remedy the situation by ceasing to eat meat. Secondly, barbaric animal sacrificial rites, such as the Jews' economically motivated slaughter of tens of thousands of chickens each year during the Yom Kippur celebration of Kaparot, could be outlawed.

So, too, could be the use of animals in scientific research, trauma training, law enforcement, and war. The creation of designer animals and clones could be proscribed as well as the use of animals in sports, the entertainment industry, and their unjust incarceration in zoos.

Most egregious of all, the newspaper intentionally neglects to point out not only that the human population of the United States has doubled in the past seventy years or so and continues to expand but that the land of the free and the home of the brave has become a nation of gluttons, drunkards, dope addicts, and profligates. Yet, Okin and Heinze have the unmitigated gall to suggest that cats and dogs be fed garbage while they and their fellow Homo sapiens continue to gorge themselves.

All of those glaring omissions are quite understandable in that the article was written by none other than Karin Brulliard who scarcely could be defined as a fan of cats and dogs.  For instance, in 2005 Old Brulliard Bird paid a visit to the Loudoun County Animal Shelter in Waterford, Virginia, and afterwards she penned an article that clearly demonstrated that PETA's slimy tentacles stretch far and deep into the heart of the capitalist media.

In particular, she argued, inter alia, that there was nothing wrong with the en masse killing of cats and dogs, that they would be happier in heaven, and that they were little more than inanimate objects. (See Cat Defender post of September 30, 2005 entitled "Morally Bankrupt Washington Post Pens a Love Letter to Shelter Workers Who Exterminate Cats and Dogs.")

Okin likewise is hardly an impartial observer in this debate given that one of his fellow geographers at UCLA is none other than Travis Longcore who, in his second job as science director of The Urban Wildlands Group, was able to convince a local judge back in 2009 to bar the city of Los Angeles from funding TNR. (See Cat Defender post of July 18, 2011 entitled "Evil Professors Have Transformed College Campuses into Hotbeds of Hatred Where Cats Routinely Are Vilified, Horribly Abused, and Systematically Abused.")

Back in the day when intellectual integrity and academic credentials counted for something, a pair of glorified map jockeys never would have been able to have gotten away with passing themselves off as experts on the diet and predatory activities of cats but, quite obviously, things have changed considerably since then. Nowadays, most anything goes and scurrilous journalists such as Brulliard are more than happy to serve as the professors' stooges.

As simply god-awful as she is as a journalist, Old Brulliard Bird is far from being the only member of her ignoble profession to be in the thrall of cat-haters. For instance, Irene Banos Ruiz of Deutsche Welle of Köln went so far off her rocker after having soaked up a good dose of Okin's baloney that she completely forgot all about the environmental impact of dogs and instead elected to direct all of her energies into defaming cats.

Following in the well-trodden path of The Press, she began by voicing her unqualified support for the Smithsonian's 2013 nonsensical study of feline predation. Although she did have the bon sens not to endorse Okin's and Heinze's suggestion that cats be fed a steady diet of slaughterhouse offal, she did propose that they be put on an organic diet that is marketed in environmentally-friendly packaging.

It was, however, the excretory functions of cats that really got her goat. In particular, she recommends that hot water not be used in order to sanitize litter boxes and that owners purchase litter made from compost.

She does not say so explicitly, but it seems rather clear that starving cats is the central thesis of her war on excrement. "As with all our resources, reducing consumption is the first step," she hypocritically pontificated in the August 8th edition of Deutsche Welle. (See "Your Cat Is Killing the Earth -- but You Can Prevent It.") "Thinking twice to avoid overfeeding and reduce (sic) waste can be a good starting point."

In her rant about feline excrement Ruiz is not really breaking any new ground in that as early as 2006 Patricia Conrad of the University of California at Davis accused cats of killing sea otters by spreading the parasite toxoplasma gondii in their feces. (See Cat Defender post of March 3, 2006 entitled "A Cat-Hating Professor at UC-Davis and the BBC Call for the Extermination of Seventy-Eight-Million Feral Felines.")

So, in the final analysis, despisers of the species simply cannot abide cats either indoors or outside, they begrudge them what little that they eat, and they are adamantly opposed to them even so much as taking a shit. The only thing that they have not yet accused them of is halitosis and that is surely percolating somewhere in their cauldron of evil.

Meanwhile they and their fellow hate-filled fascists remain as innocent as lambs and see absolutely nothing wrong with the ever-expanding human population, the insane levels of superfluous consumption that are accompanying it, unchecked greed, violence, and bigotry of every sort imaginable. Instead, it is cats alone that are to blame for all the world's evils.

In spite of The Press's vocal opposition to their continued existence, the Boardwalk cats do not appear to be in any imminent danger of losing their homes and that is thanks not only to ACA's coup in winning over both the mayor and chief of police to its side but also to widespread public support for the inalienable right of homeless cats to live. "People would rather leave cats in their outdoor homes than have them brought to a shelter and killed," the organization's Rebekah DeHaven told USA Today on July 12th. (See "These Feral Cats Aren't Put Down, They're Put to Work.") "It's not a politically viable option."

The real danger confronting the cats lies rather in the possibility that the attacks carried out back in March were the beginning of a coordinated campaign designed not only to pick them off one by one but to simultaneously undermine the fine work being done by the volunteers. That must not be allowed to happen but, unfortunately, neither the police nor the public can be counted on to protect the cats. That awesome responsibility rests squarely upon the shoulders of ACA and it is therefore imperative that it undertake decisive measures in order to ensure that there are not any additional killings.

In that respect, the principal concern is for the safety of those cats that reside in the colonies that are located north of Resorts and near Absecon Inlet. If it has not done so already, ACA should have its volunteers take turns patrolling those areas at night.

If no one can be found who is willing to undertake that dangerous job, ACA does not have any alternative other than to hire a security guard to watch over the cats. The installation of surveillance cameras at all fifteen colonies would deter some individuals from harming the cats but not everyone.

Although the only thing that really matters is the safety and well-being of the cats, there is going to be a high price to be paid politically should there be additional killings. Worst still, such an adverse development would have the potential of transforming perennial losers such as The Press, PETA, and those who think like them into winners and that is the absolute last thing that cats need.

Photos: the Atlantic City Police Department (suspects), Emmy Favilla of BuzzFeed (sign), Research Gate (Okin), and The Press (cat at the Underwood Hotel).