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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

Friday, August 04, 2017

Mayor Stubbs, 1997-2017: A Melancholic Remembrance, an Appreciation, and a Tearful au Revoir

The Unforgettable Stubbs

"He was a trooper (sic) until the very last day of his life. Meowing at us throughout the day to pet him or to come sit on the bed with him and let him snuggle and purr for hours in our lap (sic)."
-- Stephanie Enders

Even though it cannot be said that his quietus was not altogether unexpected, that has not made the recent death of Mayor Stubbs of Talkeetna any less painful. The only positive thing that can be said about it is that he, apparently, was allowed to live out his brief sojourn upon this earth to the very end and then to die a natural death.

"The night of July 20th, we checked on the cats before bed and Stubbs was snuggled up with Aurora in the bed next to his," Stephanie Enders who, along with Kjetil Andre Spone, owns Nagley's Store and the adjacent West Rib Pub and Grill, announced July 22nd in an online article entitled simply, Mayor Stubbs, 1997-2017. "Stubbs went to bed as usual and before we woke the morning of July 21, he was already in heaven."

Although Enders claims that at the time of his passing he was twenty years and three months old, prior press reports maintain that he turned sixteen on March 7, 2012 and that in turn would have made him twenty-one years and four months old. Regardless of who is doing the arithmetic, he had a relatively long life for a cat. Compared to the longevity enjoyed by humans, however, his limited tenure left him with time for little more than a cup of coffee.

It is not much of a consolation given the enormity of the loss that the cat world has suffered, but from all accounts Stubbs was pain-free and in relatively good health right up until the bitter end. "He was a trooper (sic) until the very last day of his life," Enders continued. "Meowing at us throughout the day to pet him or to come sit on the bed with him and let him snuggle and purr for hours in our lap (sic)."

It also would seem that the love he held in his heart for her, Spone, and their two young girls was fully reciprocated. "Thank you, Stubbs, for coming into our lives for the past thirty-one months; you are (sic) a remarkable cat and we will dearly miss you," is how that she chose to eulogize him. "We loved the time we were allowed to spend with you."

Even though he served as mayor of the tiny hamlet located one-hundred-eighty-two kilometers north of Anchorage at the foot of Mount McKinley for twenty years, no other eulogies have appeared online from any of its nine-hundred or so residents. Even press coverage of his death in the United States has been pretty much limited to the Anchorage area. (See KTVA-TV of Anchorage, July 22, 2017, "Stubbs, Talkeetna's Honorary Cat Mayor Dies" and the Alaska Dispatch News of Anchorage, July 24, 2017, "Stubbs, Talkeetna's Honorary 'Mayor' Cat and Beloved Feline Fixture, Dies at Twenty.")

Although the capitalist media in the United States may be comprised of largely an uncaring, unappreciative, and callous lot of rotters who, to crib from Oscar Wilde, "know the price of everything but the value of nothing," the English press certainly was well aware of Stubbs' intrinsic value and duly remembered his passing. (See the Daily Mail, July 24, 2017, "Stubbs, the Honorary Mayor of Alaska (sic) Town That Held the Role Since He Was a Kitten, Dies Aged Twenty" and The Guardian, July 23, 2017, "Feline Sad: Cat Who Was 'Mayor' of Alaskan Town for Twenty Years Dies.")

The press in Deutschland likewise gave extensive coverage to his death. (See the Süddeutsche Zeitung of München, July 24, 2017, "Katzen-Bürgermeister in Alaska ist tot" and the Berliner Morgenpost, July 25, 2017, "Alaska trauert um Katzen-Bürgermeister.")

In announcing the death of her cat, Enders neglected to make any mention whatsoever about holding a memorial service for him. She likewise omitted any reference as to what was to be done with his remains.

At the very least, Stubbs deserved a proper resting place and a tombstone worthy of a cat of his stature. Hopefully, his remains were not either casually tossed out in the trash or burned to ashes.

Stubbs on the Job at Nagley's

Even though the vast majority of his fans, admirers, and supporters had known him far longer than her, she did not even think so much as twice about uncharitably warning them not to telephone either Nagley's or West Rib Pub and Grill. Instead, she has directed that all condolences be sent in his name to Post Office Box 413, Talkeetna, Alaska 99676.

All post cards received are scheduled to be placed in a scrapbook that will be put on display at the store. A photograph album also is planned and those wishing to contribute to it may do so at info@NagleysStore.com.

As is the case with so many cats, Stubbs came from the humblest of beginnings imaginable. Not only did his original owner not want any part of him and his littermates, but that individual was so desperate to get shed of them that either he or she had resorted to the expedient of doling them out for free to the public from a cardboard box in a Talkeetna parking lot.

This world is chock-full of horror stories about what happens to kittens that are fobbed off to the public under the rubric of "free to a good home," but the orange-colored, part-Manx kitten without much of a tail hit the jackpot when he was adopted on that fateful day back in 1997 by Laurie Stec who at that time owned Nagley's. Either she or someone else shortly thereafter came up with the brilliant idea of having him declared to be the town's mayor and the rest of the story is pretty much history.

He soon thereafter settled into a normal routine of whereby he would spend his days at the store greeting visitors and posing with them for photographs. At times when he was not working he enjoyed dining on Alaskan snow crabs at the store and sipping water laced with catnip from a wine glass at the West Rib Pub and Grill.

Word of his meteoric ascendancy soon spread weit und breit and that in turn brought in the tourists and their godly green. "Oh my gosh, we probably have thirty to forty people a day come in who are tourists wanting to see him," Stec declared back in 2012. "He was just in Alaska Magazine (April 2012 edition), and he's been featured in a few different things."

She accordingly was more than justified in singing his praises to the high heavens. "He's good. Probably the best (mayor) we've had," she continued in 2012. "He doesn't raise our taxes (and) we have no sales tax. He doesn't interfere with business."

He even made a half-hearted run for the presidency in 2012 and, given what has transpired since then, the country most definitely would be far better off today if it had had the bon sens to have voted for him as opposed to the bum who ultimately prevailed in that election as well as the blighter who won last year's contest. (See Cat Defender posts of June 23, 2017 and April 28, 2017 entitled, respectively, "For Eight Long and Tortuous Years, Barack Obama and His Bloodthirsty Henchmen Within the Federal Bureaucracy Waged a Ruthless, No-Holds-Barred War on Cats" and "Trump Not Only Exposes Himself for What He Is but Also Disgraces the Office of the President in the Process by Feting Cat Killers Theodore Anthony Nugent and Kid Rock at the White House.")

Being a politician is not all fun and games, however, and that admonition applies to felines as well as to humans. In Stubbs' case, he came under attack from wildlife advocate Peter Mathiesen and his wife as well as Patti Callen of the Mostly Moose Gift Shop at 13594 East Main Street.

"His biggest political rivals would be other local businesses that would hate that he comes over and takes a nap and leaves fur everywhere. They aren't big fans of him," Skye Farrar, an employee of Nagley's, disclosed in 2012. "We usually say, 'You have to deal with it. He runs the town'." (See Cat Defender post of September 25, 2012 entitled "Talkeetna Has Profited Handsomely from Mayor Stubbs' Enlightened Leadership but the Lure of Higher Office Soon Could Be Beckoning Him to Change His Address.")

In addition to fastidious merchants and cat-hating wildlife advocates, Talkeetna is home to a large canine population and on the night of August 31, 2013 one of them almost put an end not only to Stubbs' tenure as mayor but his life as well. He was on his way to the Wildflower Cafe at 13578 East Main Street, which is only a short one-minute walk from Nagley's, when he was attacked by an unleashed dog and subsequently left for dead by its reprehensible owner.

Stubbs and His Longtime Owner Laurie Stec

An unidentified Good Samaritan discovered him bloodied and dying on the ground and telephoned Stec. She rushed right over but it nonetheless took her some time in order to locate him.

Once she had done so she rushed him to Golden Pond Veterinary Services in Talkeetna where practitioner Jennifer Pironis was able to stanch the hemorrhaging and to stabilize his condition. What followed next was a nightmarish, ninety-six kilometer race against the clock to the Big Lake Susitna Veterinary Hospital in Big Lake. Stubbs' condition was so dire in fact that Pironis brought along with her a jab of sodium pentobarbital just in case it worsened en route.

At the hospital veterinarian Amy Lehman diagnosed him to have suffered a long, deep gash in his side that required twelve stitches to close, a punctured lung, a fractured sternum, an unspecified number of broken ribs, and a bruised hip. The repairs and the insertion of a breathing tube consumed three hours of her time.

It all very well could have ended right then and there for Stubbs if Stec had not insisted that Lehman treat, as opposed to kill, him. "I knew who he was when I got the call and so I knew who was coming, but I was never expecting this kind of circus to arise out of his being here," she said afterwards. "But he's a cat, you know, so for me he's a patient and I'm treating him just like everybody else."

It was touch and go for a while as Stubbs lingered somewhere between life and death for days. By September 5th, however, he was back on his feet again and four days later he was well enough to return home with Stec.

The damage already had been done, however, and he was destined never to be quite the same again. In addition to that, he was confronted with a long and difficult recuperation that included the daily administration of painkillers as well as frequent return visits to Lehman's surgery.

Approximately six weeks later, he announced what his many fans and supporters long had feared. "As you have read I don't think I will return to public life in the same manner as before," he wrote October 18th on his Facebook page. "I had a great run and a very exciting life as mayor but it is time for Talkeetna to find a new mayor."

Every bit as gracious in exiting the political stage as he was when he first walked out on it, Stubbs' only concern was, not for himself, but rather his subjects. "I only hope that I have served them (the residents of Talkeetna) with as much love and respect as you (sic) all have shown me," he continued. "I love you all -- meeow!"

Although the dog's owner was belatedly identified and Stec did file a formal complaint against him with the Animal Control officers at the Matanuska-Susitna Animal Shelter, as far as it is known no action ever was taken against either him or his dog. (See Cat Defender post of October 28, 2013 entitled "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.")

Although that unquestionably was the worst thing that ever happened to him, it was far from being the only calamity to have befallen him during his lifetime. For example, in 2008 teenage hooligans armed with air guns shot him in the rear.

In 2012, he became soaked in oil when he accidentally tumbled into a fryer at a local restaurant. Luckily for him, the pan was turned off and the oil cold.

Stubbs and Some of the Visible Injuries That a Dog Inflicted Upon Him

Earlier, he unwittingly had climbed aboard a garbage truck and was transported out of town. He nevertheless was able to have kept his wits about him and subsequently jumped off at the first opportunity that presented itself to him. He was not harmed but he did have a long walk back to town.

Stubbs pretty much stayed out of the media's spotlight during 2014 and that in turn served only to intensify the jolt that the cat world received in January of 2015 when Stec not only sold Nagley's and West Rib Pub and Grill to Enders and Spone but, inexplicably, ran out on the cat that she had sheltered and cared for over the course of the past eighteen years. "Really, without having him, the deal would have gone a lot differently," was all that Enders was willing to divulge about what transpired to KTVA-TV of Anchorage on January 14, 2015. (See "Talkeetna Store Gets New Owner; Mayor Stubbs the Cat Sticks Around.") "He's a big part of Talkeetna in general."

It simply defies all logic, morality, and common sense that Stec could have given up custody of Stubbs. Although it is often said that dogs belong to people whereas cats belong to places, the latter are far more malleable and adaptable than they are generally given credit for and Stubbs accordingly easily could have adjusted to a new abode with Stec as his caretaker.

Not a great deal is known about the psychological makeup of cats but it would be absurd not to assume that Stec's desertion of him did not adversely affect him. While she possibly could have stayed on in Talkeetna and therefore occasionally put in brief cameo appearances in his life, that somehow does not seem to have been very likely.

From the tidbits of information to be found online, it would appear that it was solely her decision to have abandoned Stubbs. "We knew Stubbs before he really knew us," Enders pointed out in the online posting announcing his death. "Never did we imagine that the mayor of Talkeetna would become our new pet and best friend."

In spite of Stec's simply outrageous and unconscionable act of betrayal, Enders and her family would appear to have done all right by him. "Just over two and one-half years ago, we purchased Nagley's Store and West Rib Pub and Grill and part of the contract was that Stubbs would stay with the store," she related in her online posting. "We couldn't have been happier. The girls were ecstatic that they finally got a friend that could sleep in their beds and romp around the house with."

Even more importantly, the family's commitment to Stubbs was not limited solely to palaver. Rather, Enders started him on a regimen of regular veterinary visits and gave him special foods, medicines, vitamins, and saline. She even improvised a kitty walk so as to help him getting up and down the stairs at their house.

As 2015 played out, he could still be found at Nagley's but not on a regular basis. Instead, he started spending considerably more time at Enders' house located, it is believed, directly in back of the store.

In 2016, his appearances at Nagley's became even less frequent but he still could be occasionally found at the West Rib Pub and Grill enjoying his customary wine glass filled to the brim with water and catnip. It also was along about then that Enders' daughters took to carrying him across the road to a public park so that he could get some fresh air and exercise.

On May 16th of that same year, a posting on Martin McCullough's Facebook page entitled "Stubbs Mayor Cat," which is to be distinguished from the mayor's own page, declared that he had died. Enders, however, quickly refuted that claim.

A Very Old Stubbs During His Twilight Days

"He's alive and well, and we can't get all of the fake pages off Facebook," she told KTVA-TV on May 16th. (See "Mayor Stubbs Is 'Alive and Well' Despite Facebook Rumors of His Death.") "You post on social media about Stubbs, and within minutes there's thousands of people who have commented or shared or liked. So this kind of thing gets out so fast you can't even screech the brakes enough to stop it."

So, as he had done so many times in the past, Stubbs survived in order to live another day. The false report nevertheless served as a harbinger of what was to come. "He's getting older and inevitably (it) will probably happen someday, (sic) but today is not that day and he is super-fine," Enders summed up.

In preparation for that eventuality, she adopted two kittens, a brother and a sister named Denali and Aurora, in August. Their presence also helped somewhat to bolster Stubbs' flagging energy and spirits.

Following the summer of 2016, he rarely left the house. As a consequence, whenever visitors to Nagley's requested an audience with him the girls, if they were about, would fetch him from home and carry him over for a brief interview and photo opportunity.

Earlier this year he appeared on a couple of television shows and did a handful of interviews but that was about the extent of his public appearances. He visited the store a few times this summer in order to say hello and to snuggle with some of the employees but that, in retrospect, turned out to be his swan song.

Despite Stec's cruel abandonment of him and his many injuries and brushes with disaster, it cannot be said by any stretch of the imagination that he had an unhappy life. Yet at the same time it also is indisputable that Nagley's in particular and Talkeetna in general got considerably more out of the relationship than did Stubbs.

He first of all was a cash cow who helped both Stec and Enders to line their pockets. "Over seventy-five per cent of visitors ask 'Where's the mayor?' or come in with this statement: 'I have an appointment with the mayor'," Enders acknowledged in her online article. "I think we heard those two statements over one-hundred times a day during our first year."

Secondly, he put the tiny Census Designated Place on the map. Now, people all over the world have heard of Talkeetna and that is all attributable to him, his personality, and exploits.

Thirdly, and most importantly, he was a faithful friend and companion to Stec, Enders and her family, and the workers at Nagley's. Talkeetna may very well be all about turning a fast and easy buck but it would be absurd to attempt to place a price tag on the fidelity, class, and loyalty that Stubbs dispensed so freely.

Even though his corpse is barely cold, Enders and her family already have moved on to the next chapter in their commercial lives and now it is Denali, not Stubbs, who is the focus of all their attentions and affections. "Amazingly, Denali has the exact personality as Stubbs. He loves the attention, he's like a little puppy when he's around people," she wrote in the online article. "We couldn't have asked for a better understudy than Denali. He really has followed in Stubbs' paw prints in just about everything."

By contrast, Aurora is said to be shy and standoffish. Whereas she may eventually warm to the public, for the present time it would appear that her role is going to be pretty much limited to serving as her brother's companion, that is unless Enders should elect to get rid of her altogether.

Last Call Has Sounded for Stubbs

By stepping into Stubbs' shoes, Denali is following a time-honored tradition at Nagley's that began in the 1970's with a longhaired gray and white cat named Gemini. She was succeeded in the late 1980's by a kitten named Holly who lived at the store until the early 1990's. For unexplained reasons, she was exiled to a ranch in Bend, Oregon, where she later died in 1999.

She was followed by a white and brown tom named Squeeker who was killed in a fire in 1997. A brown and white Persian named Charlie followed in his stead but he did not fare much better than his predecessor in that he succumbed to a sudden, undisclosed illness in 2004.

Nagley's track record in taking care of its resident felines is therefore underwhelming to say the least. Most glaringly, its getting rid of Holly, the death of Squeeker, and Stec's desertion of Stubbs are black marks against the establishment and its naked exploitation of cats.

Enders and her family accordingly have been presented with a golden opportunity not only to rake in some serious moola but, more importantly, to reverse the uncaring and exploitative policies of their predecessors. With human nature being what it is coupled with the talismanical effect that a love of shekels has been known to have on people, it would be naïve to expect very much in the way of improvement from any of them in that regard.

Looking ahead, the tourists are still going to continue to trek to Talkeetna and that in turn is going to make the cash registers at Nagley's hum. Denali is destined to do a good job as Stubbs' replacement and soon is going to have a following of his own.

It often is said that the dead live on both in their writings as well as in the memories of those whose lives that they have touched. In Stubbs' case, however, he not only never put down his thoughts on paper but even the days of those who were fortunate enough to have known him are likewise numbered.

Things change but time keeps marching on and after a while the petit fait that he even once so much as graced the face of the earth will gradually begin to recede from public consciousness. C'est la vie!

It nevertheless is difficult to get around the stubborn feeling that his life was not all that it could have been if only one of the many individuals who walked in and out of it had bestowed upon him the attentions, love, and appreciation that he so richly merited.  In that light, it would be especially interesting to know if on his last day Enders and her family indulged him in his desperate need for attention or were they too busy chasing shekels to have been bothered with honoring the last wishes of a dying cat?

Cats are cognizant of many things that are totally beyond the grasp of their human counterparts and one of them is death. For instance, it is common practice for some of them that are knocking on death's door to hold out against all odds until their owners return home before dying shortly thereafter. Mother cats likewise can readily recognize when something is deathly wrong with their newborns and accordingly will steadfastly refuse all entreaties to nurse them.

Perhaps most amazing of all, at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, a cat named Oscar is able to predict whenever the Grim Reaper is about to strike with far greater accuracy than any of the highly-paid medical professionals on staff. (See Cat Defender posts of July 30, 2007 and May 27, 2010 entitled, respectively, "A Visit from Oscar Means That the Grim Reaper Cannot Be Far Behind for the Terminally Ill at a Rhode Island Nursing Home" and "When Lovers, Friends, Health, and All Hope Have Vanished, Oscar Is There for Those Who Have No One and Nothing Left.")

Stubbs likewise was far more than an inexpensive, four-legged prop that lured in the tourists and their coveted greenbacks. Au contraire, he was a true individual who carried around inside his beautiful soul far more gold than there is to be found in the pocketbooks of a million tourists. The tragedy therefore lies in the abject failure of all those who knew him to have realized that and now it is much, much too late for them to make amends.

Photos: KTUU-TV of Anchorage (Stubbs up close), Bailey Berg of the Alaska Dispatch News (Stubbs at the store), Jim Carlton of the Wall Street Journal (Stubbs and Stec), Laurie Stec (Stubbs and his injuries), KTVA-TV (Stubbs in his twilight days), and Facebook (Stubbs drinking catnip and water).

Monday, July 24, 2017

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 Than Gold Itself

Long Suffering Grandpa Mason

"He (Grandpa Mason) also shows us that old, broken, ferocious, 'lost cause' cats still have value and are worthy of compassion."
-- Shelly Roche of Tiny Kittens

Far from the maddening crowd at an undisclosed location in British Columbia an estimated ten-year-old gray and brown formerly homeless tom named Grandpa Mason is waging a lonely and uphill battle against the Grim Reaper and accordingly could only have either days or months in which to live. His is unquestionably a sad and disturbing story but that serves only to make its telling all the more imperative.

His recent history began last October when he was trapped and removed from a farm by the charity Tiny Kittens of Fort Langley, forty-seven kilometers southeast of Vancouver. His uprooting and removal was necessitated after a developer had purchased the farm and began to tear down the derelict barns that he and roughly fifty-nine other cats and kittens had called home for an undetermined number of years.

Absolutely nothing has been disclosed about either his early years or how that the managed to survive for so long on his own, but given his ingrained fear of humans it would appear that he likely was born on the farm and lived his entire life without so much as a glimmer of human contact and support. Much more importantly, judging from his rapidly deteriorating health his deliverance did not come a day too soon.

In particular, he had a massive growth on the bottom of his right paw, his tail had been broken multiple times, his teeth had gone bad, and he was suffering from several unspecified infections. Tiny Kittens attended to those maladies, sterilized him, and was planning on returning him to the wild when it discovered that, tragically, his kidneys are failing.

Fearing that he would not be able to make it through another winter on the outside, the organization was left with the choice of either killing him off or bringing him inside. Fortunately for him, it chose compassion over expediency.

"We are a no-kill organization, and believe that any life is worth saving as long as we are able to alleviate suffering," founder Shelly Roche wrote in an untitled and undated article that appears on the charity's web site, www.tinykittens.com. "Mason's many scars told us how hard he had fought to survive this long, and we were determined to give him a chance to experience comfort, safety and freedom from pain during his sunset months."

Although Roche wisely had elected to exercise the only morally acceptable option available to her under the circumstances, that did not necessarily make the task at hand all that much easier. "He is one of the oldest ferals we have seen, and throughout his recovery, he made it clear his feral instincts were deeply ingrained," she pointed out.

Consequently, his unsocialized nature coupled with his rapidly deteriorating health meant that adoption was all but out of the question. That in turn left Roche with little choice other than to bring him home with her to live in her house.

The details have not been spelled out, but it apparently was, to say the least, a rather interesting adjustment period for the both of them. Eventually, Mason reached the point where he would engage in play with Roche but other than that he still did not want to have much to do with her.

It was only after he had begun to play with his toys and to rearrange the throw rugs and pillows that she realized he was beginning to adjust to his new home and life. "I thought that was a pretty great outcome for an old, terminally ill feral cat, and I didn't think it could get any better," she wrote on her web site.

As things eventually turned out, she was completely wrong about that. "The wonderful thing about the cat is the way in which, when one of its many mysteries is laid bare, it is only to reveal another," Robert De Laroche wrote in his 1997 tome, The Secret Lives of Cats. "The essential enigma always remains intact, a sphinx within a sphinx within a sphinx."

So, too, was it with Mason and Roche's epiphany came when she introduced several kittens that she was fostering to him. Halfway expecting the grizzled tom not to want any part of the rambunctious little ones, she received the shock of her lifetime when something altogether different occurred.

As soon as the kittens were placed in the same room with him they made a beeline for his lair and quickly climbed all over him. Not only did he not chase them away but when intrepid, ginger-colored, Scrammy licked his ear his old calloused heart melted away faster than a cone of ice cream on a hot July afternoon. Now, he and the kittens regularly play, snuggle, wrestle, and chase each other around Roche's house. (Videos of him and the kittens are posted on Tiny Kittens' web site.)

It Did Not Take Scrammy Long to Melt Mason's Heart

He sometimes calls out to them in order to gain their attention and even grooms them. "...the one thing missing for Mason had been contact with another living being, and while he didn't want that from me, he had clearly been craving it from his own kind," Roche concluded.

Actually, it is not all that uncommon for toms to assume some type of a role in the rearing of kittens although in most instances such activity is pretty much confined to keeping them warm and minding the nest while their mothers are away. In Mason's case, however, there appears to be a good deal more going on, such as perhaps a pressing need for companionship and possibly even a few latest pangs of paternalism.

According to his latest round of blood tests, his kidneys have stabilized. His weight is steady and he is said to be looking "great."

Even so, it does not appear that his story is destined to have a happy ending. "We are trying to be realistic and prepare ourselves that he likely only has months left, but we are determined to make those months the best he's ever had," is how that Roche summed up Mason's rather gloomy prospects.

Tiny Kittens has not given up on him completely, however, in that he is receiving some form of unspecified treatment. What, if any, impact that is going to have on his prospects is not known.

Since cats, like humans, can get by on one kidney, a transplant would be one option for Tiny Kittens to explore. Such procedures are only performed in the United States and England and cost around US$15,000. (See Cat Defender post of October 11, 2013 entitled "Heroic Hermione Is Holding Her Own Despite Tragically Losing a Kidney in a Botched Sterilization Two Years Ago.")

In spite of their daunting price tags, thirty-five-year-old Thomas Rätsch of Hannover brought his six-year-old cat, Maxi, to the United States in 2010 for such a procedure. (See the Hannover Allgemeine Zeitung, October 27, 2010, "Kater aus Hannover bekommt Vereinigten Staaten -- Niere für siebentausend Euro" and Die Welt of Frankfurt am Main, October 27, 2010, "Katze soll neue Niere für siebentausend Euro bekommen.")

Fred Petrick and Tony Lacari from parts unknown in Virginia likewise paid the University of Georgia in Athens US$15,000 back in 2015 to implant a kidney in their beloved cat, Arthur. (See the Daily Mail, November 5, 2015, "Couple Rescue a Stray Cat...So They Can Use It for a $15,000 Transplant to Save Their Pet with Fatal Kidney Disease.")

It is not known how that either Maxi or Arthur have fared but on the average only fifty per cent of transplant recipients live for as long as three years. In spite of that rather disappointing success rate, some cats do beat the odds. For instance, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia claims on its web site that one of its transplant recipients lived for at least thirteen years.

In Mason's case, his options likely are pretty much limited to diuresis, dialysis, chemotherapy and, possibly, stem cell treatments. Another possibility would be a regimen of home care consisting of daily injections of subcutaneous fluids and a special diet rich in omega three fatty acids.

"I've seen even very sick cats, cats who need hospitalization in the beginning, do really well on home care with an owner who was willing to give it a try," Patty Khuly of Sunset Animal Clinic in Miami told the San Francisco Chronicle on August 18, 2009. (See "Caring for a Cat Whose Kidneys Have Failed.") "What makes the difference in how well a cat with kidney failure does is not how sick they are, or how bad their kidney values are on a blood test. It's the attitude of the owner."

The odds against Mason are definitely long but all is not lost just quite yet. "Many of these cats who were on the brink of death can be brought back with supportive care at home," Khuly continued. "Not only brought back for days or weeks or months, but years. You just don't know unless you try."

Needless to say, the administration of subcutaneous fluids to a formerly homeless cat like Mason would not be an easy feat to pull off but Roche and the staff at Mountain View Veterinary Hospital in Langley City, eleven kilometers south of Fort Langley, should be resourceful enough in order to be able to master that difficult chore. If doing so would help to extend his life, a few scratches and bites would be a small price to pay.

Mason and Lucy Enjoy a Snuggle

In addition to subcutaneous fluids and a diet rich in protein, veterinarian Karen Becker of the Chicago area also recommends that cats suffering from kidney disease be provided with good quality water, kept in stress-free environments, and monitored for anemia and hypertension. She additionally counsels that kibble be eliminated from their diets. (See www.healthypets.mercola.com, August 6, 2012, "Why Do So Many Domestic Cats Have Chronic Kidney Failure?")

Practitioners at Colorado State University in Fort Collins also recommend that the vaccinations for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (herpes), Feline Calicivirus (pneumonia), and Feline Panleukopenia (distemper) be either omitted altogether or at least significantly reduced. (See Truth4pets.org, May 25, 2012, "Don't Vaccinate Your Adult Cat for Distemper" and catinfo.org, April 2011, "Vaccines for Cats: We Need to Stop Overvaccinating.")

Founded in 2013 in order to help cats and kittens by, inter alia, mounting rescues, providing veterinary care, foster parents, placement in new homes, and sterilization services, Tiny Kittens also has embarked upon an ambitious agenda aimed at educating the world about both the plight as well as the intrinsic value of homeless cats. "He (Mason) is helping us raise awareness about feral cats, the hardships they face, the love they have to give, and that spaying and neutering is a very easy way to prevent the suffering that results from cat overpopulation," Roche writes on her web site. "He also shows us that old, broken, ferocious, 'lost cause' cats still have value and are worthy of compassion."

The only thing that she fails to mention is the astronomical death toll that the failure to sterilize takes on kittens that are born premature and stillborn; countless others are, for one reason or another, deserted by their mothers. Being subjected to a long series of continuous pregnancies also takes a heavy toll on females and some of them actually die while giving birth.

Unneutered toms likewise also have a hard row to hoe. In addition to the cuts and scratches that they often sustain while fighting amongst themselves over fertile females, their incessant roaming also makes them easy prey for motorists who are only too happy to intentionally end their lives.

Ideally, cats that are allowed to breed need to be healthy, well fed and cared for, and domiciled. In the case of females, the number of litters that they are allowed to produce needs to be restricted. Above all, owners need to be willing to take responsibility for any and all kittens that their cats bring into this cruel and ailurophobic world.

Beyond its rescue and heuristic efforts, Tiny Kittens has demonstrated through its rescue and care of Mason that homeless cats can be socialized. Secondly, its choice of life over death serves as a model for all feline rescue groups to emulate.

Thirdly, it has shown that old old cats not only have value but are to be treasured as well. (See Cat Defender posts of November 21, 2012, March 23, 2015, April 16, 2015, August 6, 2015, September 12, 2015, May 27, 2016, and May 4, 2017 entitled, respectively, "Officials at Plymouth College of Art Should Be Charged with Gross Negligence and Animal Cruelty in the Tragic Death of the School's Longtime Resident Feline, PCAT," "Old, Sickly, and on the Street, George Accidentally Wanders into a Pet Store and That, in All Likelihood, Saved His Life," "Nelson's Odyssey from Being the Long Abused Cat That Nobody Wanted to One of England's Most Beloved Comes to a Sad End at Age Twenty," "Elderly, Frail, and on Death Row, Lovely Pops Desperately Needs a New Home Before Time Finally Runs Out on Her," "Pops Finally Secures a Permanent Home but Pressing Concerns about Both Her Continued Care and Right to Live Remain Unaddressed," "Snubbed by an Ignorant, Tasteless, and Uncaring Public for the Past Twenty-One Years, Tilly Has Forged an Alternative Existence of Relative Contentment at a Sanctuary in the Black Country," and "Seventeen-Years-Old, Sickly, and Blind Orakel Is Abandoned to Fend for Herself in the Unforgiving Streets of Breitenfurt bei Wien.")

There cannot be any disputing that Mason's lot in life has been an outrageously unfair one. Tant pis, there is not any power on earth that is capable of undoing the multitude of wrongs that have been done to him.

Although there is not any way of putting the sand back into the hourglass and thus giving him back his youth and health, it would be a small step in that direction if Tiny Kittens and its veterinarians were to put their heads together and come up with some means of extending his sojourn upon this earth even if it is only for a very brief period of time. He most definitely is a rare treasure who is more than worthy of such an eleventh-hour effort.

The days and weeks ahead are destined to be difficult ones for him. His flesh is going to grow progressively weaker and his spirits are going to begin to flag. Under such trying circumstances, the urge to give up the ghost is going to be almost too much to resist.

There likewise may come a point in time when Tiny Kittens wearies of the cost and effort that are required in order to sustain an ailing cat. It accordingly will be sorely tempted to either simply let nature take its course or, worst still, to get rid of him once and for all.

The very best that therefore can be hoped for is that he somehow will be able to summon the reserves that he is surely going to need in order to carry on and that Tiny Kittens will remain steadfast and unwavering by his side. The gold standard for the both of them is therefore identical to the one that Dylan Thomas laid out for his ailing father way back in 1951:

"Do not go gentle into that good night
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Photos: Tiny Kittens.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Death Watch Has Begun for King Loui I Who Has Been Abandoned to Wander the Dangerous Streets of Aachen by His Derelict Owner and the Ingrates at RWTH

King Loui I Outside the Hauptgebäude of RWTH

"Stoff für viele weitere Abenteuer der Fellnasenbande habe ich jedenfalls mehr als genug."
-- Nadine Biewer

The gargantuan lengths that some owners are prepared to go in order to exploit their cats for financial and professional gain continue to astound as well as to infuriate at the same time. Was noch schlimmer ist, they are so ruthless and callous that they knowingly and willingly place the lives of their companions in grave jeopardy without so much as a second thought.

That is precisely what thirty-six-year-old Nadine Biewer has done by turning loose her gray and brown cat, King Loui I, to roam the perilous streets of Aachen in Nordrhein Westfalen. In particular, she allows him to wander the six-hundred-twenty-one-acre campus of Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) where he has become a huge favorite of the more than forty-four-thousand students who attend Deutschland's largest technical university.

While on campus, he hangs out with the pupils and even attends some classes. That latter activity demonstrates beyond the shadow of a doubt that his roaming is fully supported by the school's five-thousand-nine-hundred-thirteen instructors and three-thousand-three-hundred-fifty-one administrators.

Be that as it may, a college campus is hardly a fitting environment for a footloose cat and that petit fait is demonstrated by some of the students taking it upon themselves to feed Loui all sorts of inappropriate food. According to his Facebook page, Aachener Campuskatze, that in turn has led to him having been sickened once in May by Dönerkebab und Eis, again in June by an unspecified food, and at no doubt other times as well.

That, generally speaking, is pretty much standard conduct on the part of students. For instance, for more than a decade those in attendance at Plymouth College of Art (PCA) in Devon used to feed all sorts of food to a truly beautiful brown and white homeless cat named PCAT.

"She used to hang about and now and then you'd do something like hand her a cheeky bit of ham from your sandwich," sophomore photography student Dan Richards said back in 2012. "She was really chilled out and laid back -- pretty cool for a cat."

Loui and Nadine Biewer

Although it never was disclosed if she ever were sickened by the scraps and tidbits tossed in her direction by Richards and other students, that which is not in dispute is that the school did practically nothing in order to ease her plight. For instance, it never fed and watered her, provided her with veterinary care, sought to place her in a home, or undertook any measures designed to ensure her personal safety. The only positive thing that it is known to have done for her was to provide her with an unheated outdoor kennel in which to sleep.

As is the case with Loui and RWTH, no moral bond ever was established between PCAT and PCA and therein lies the rub. Captive audiences, whether they are to be found in either an academic or a business setting, think and behave much like prisoners doing time. Das heißt, their members are so bored by what they are doing that they will welcome almost any distraction that helps to relieve the tedium and thus makes the hours of drudgery go by faster.

They thus willingly accept all the attentions, amusements, and affections that cats like PCAT and Loui have to offer without returning anything other than a few kind words, pats on the head, and scraps of food. Beyond that, they could care less what happens to them.

It therefore was not all that unexpected when PCAT's life ended tragically underneath the wheels of a hit-and-run motorist one block south of campus in October of 2012. (See Cat Defender post of November 21, 2012 entitled "Officials at Plymouth College of Art Should Be Charged with Gross Negligence and Animal Cruelty in the Tragic Death of the School's Longtime Resident Feline, PCAT.")

The academic world likewise long ago sullied its image through its wholesale eradications of homeless cats, opposition to TNR, and its abandonment policies. (See Cat Defender posts of February 12, 2007, September 11, 2006, July 31, 2008, and June 9, 2008 entitled, respectively, "God-Fearing Baptists at Eastern University Kill Off Their Feral Cats on the Sly while Students Are Away on Christmas Break," "Selfish and Brutal Eggheads at Central Michigan University Target a Colony of Feral Cats for Defamation and Eradication," "Cal State Long Beach Is Using the Presence of Coyotes as a Pretext in Order to Get Rid of Its Feral Cats," and "Pennsylvania College Greedily Snatches Up Alumnus's Multimillion-Dollar Bequest but Turns Away His Cat, Princess.")

In addition to the countless cats that vivisectors at universities all over the world torture to death each year, some students also have been known to commit horrific crimes against the species. (See Cat Defender post of September 22, 2005 entitled "College Students in South Africa Cook a Cat to Death in a Microwave Oven.")

Loui Attends Class

Wildlife biologists, ornithologists, and other cat-haters that are on the payrolls of these disgraceful degree mills not only defame and kill cats with impunity but shanghai them into servitude as guinea pigs as well. (See Cat Defender posts of November 18, 2016 and July 18, 2011 entitled, respectively, "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" and "Evil Professors Have Transformed College Campuses into Hotbeds of Hatred Where Cats Routinely Are Vilified, Horribly Abused, and Systematically Killed.")

In keeping with the inherent dishonesty of their profession, the professors then have the chutzpah to turn around and not only cavalierly excuse their wholesale offenses against the species but to additionally claim that its members can take care of themselves. (See Cat Defender post of October 9, 2015 entitled "A Lynch Mob Comprised of Dishonest Eggheads from the University of Lincoln Issues Another Scurrilous Broadside Against Cats by Declaring That They Do Not Need Guardians in Order to Safeguard Their Fragile Lives.")

The most pressing concern as far as Loui is concerned arises whenever he leaves campus and ventures into the clogged streets of the Innenstadt. The Aachener Cathedral (the Dom), where Karl der Große was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800 A.D. and subsequently buried fourteen years later, is one of his favorite haunts and he often can be spotted at the entrance to the Domschatzkammer, a museum containing religious relics that date back to the early Middle Ages. He also is known to frequent Burgerservices am Katschhof as well as many businesses and cafes in the vicinity.

With two-hundred-fifty-thousand residents, Aachen is a big city and the area around RWTH and the Dom is unquestionably its most congested part. It is so dangerous in fact that scarcely a day goes by without either a pedestrian or a bicyclist being run down and that is despite the willingness of the Aachener Polizei, in stark contrast to their utterly worthless American counterparts, to take these matters seriously.

It is a debatable point, but it nevertheless could be argued with some force that motorists are the number one killers of cats worldwide. (See Cat Defender posts of April 17, 2017, June 25, 2015, June 18, 2015, March 18, 2009, and August 17, 2006 entitled, respectively, "As Peat Tragically Found Out, Alcohol and Cats Are Such a Bad Mix That Even Working at a Distillery Can Be Deadly," "Kayden Is Run Down Three Times in Succession by a Van Driver in Yet Still Another Graphic Example of How So Many Motorists Intentionally Kill Cats," "Harry Is Run Down and Killed by a Pair of Derbyshire Police Officers Who Then Steal and Dispose of His Body in an Amateurish Attempt to Cover Up Their Heinous Crime," "Eco, Who for Years Was a Mainstay at a Small Massachusetts Police Department, Is Run Down and Killed by a Motorist," and "Brave Little Fred the Undercover Cat Has His Short, Tragic Life Snuffed Out by a Hit-and-Run Driver in Queens.")

Even those cats that are able to survive these deliberate attacks not only suffer egregiously but often end up crippled for life. (See Cat Defender posts of March 5, 2007, September 12, 2009, April 29, 2010, January 5, 2011,May 2, 2012, November 10, 2014, and October 13, 2016 entitled, respectively, "Run Down by a Motorist and Frozen to the Ice by His Own Blood, Roo Is Saved by a Caring Woman," "Luzie Sustains a Broken Hip and a Bloody Mouth Before She Is Successfully Rescued from the Busy Elbtunnel," "Long Suffering River Finally Finds a Home after Having Been Run Over by a Motorist and Nearly Drowned," "Gunned Down by an Assassin and Then Mowed Down by a Hit-and-Run Driver, Big Bob Loses a Leg but Survives and Now Is Looking for a Home," "Pregnant, Abandoned, and Deliberately Almost Killed by a Hit-and-Run Driver, Sugar Crawls Back to Her Subterranean Abode in Order to Feed Her Kittens," "Freya, the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Resident Feline, Cheats Death Once Again When She Survives Being Run Down and Injured by a Motorist but Her Good Luck Cannot Last for Much Longer," and "Bart Has Courageously Overcome Being Run Down by a Hit-and-Run Motorist and Subsequently Buried Alive by His Owner but Another Dark Cloud Is Looming over His Future.")

The Majestic and Unforgettable PCAT

Because of his friendly disposition and trusting nature, Loui is his own worst enemy and it is precisely those qualities that have gotten him into trouble more than once. For instance, back in May he wandered into a delivery truck and was AWOL for an unspecified length of time.

He also would make an easy target for kidnappers. Malevolent individuals could snatch him from the street and in turn sell him to vivisectors and that would be the end of him. Others could abduct him for the best of reasons but quickly tire of his presence and in turn dump him back in the street with disastrous consequences. (See Cat Defender post of February 8, 2017 entitled "The Long and Hopelessly Frustrating Search for the Kidnapped Mr. Cheeky Ends Tragically Underneath the Wheels of a Hit-and-Run Motorist.")

It additionally is entirely conceivable that a caring and conscientious member of the public sooner or later is going to steal him and refuse to give him back because of the gross negligence displayed toward him by his owner. (See Cat Defender posts of July 9, 2007 and June 26, 2012 entitled, respectively, "A Hungry and Disheveled Cat Named Slim Is Picked Up Off the Streets of Ottawa by a Rescuer Who Refuses to Return Him to His Owners" and "A Family in Wiltshire Turns to Social Media and Leaflets in Order to Shame a Veterinary Chain and a Foster Parent into Returning Tazzy.")

Unleashed dogs, like the one that nearly killed Mayor Stubbs of Talkeetna a few years back, are another potential danger that could spell the end for Loui. (See Cat Defender post of October 28, 2013 entitled "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.")

It is far from clear exactly how long that Loui has been wandering the forbidding streets of Aachen. Although Biewer's Facebook page was established in 2010, it strains credulity that any cat could survive for seven years in streets as congested and violent as those in Aachen.

The ambiguous title of her Facebook page also invites the suspicion that Loui may have had predecessors. If there is any truth in that supposition, that in turn brings up the disturbing issue of what has become of them.

Loui's Rambles As Tracked by Satellite

Another piece of incriminating information comes courtesy of an untitled August 14, 2015 posting on RWTH's Facebook page wherein Loui is identified for the first time as the cat that has been visiting its sprawling campus. If, on the other hand, Loui had been Biewer's original Campuskatze, it does seem rather odd that it would have taken the college five years to have tumbled to his presence.

That is important because what could be going on here is a case of long-term and serial abuse of multiple cats. If so, RWTH has become complicit in Biewer's crimes.

It likewise is not known how much time that Loui spends on the street but the impression, rightly or wrongly, is that it is all day with him returning home only at night. According to information contained online, Biewer lives in a four-story building located at 20 Annuntiatenbach which is located between the Dom and RWTH.

Moreover, since the ground level of her building is devoted to a photography shop, it would appear that she carries him downstairs in the morning and subsequently dumps him in the street to fend for himself. Either she or a confederate then has to locate him in the evening and transport him back home and up the stairs.

What she does with him on weekends, holidays, when classes are out, in times of inclement weather, and whenever special events are held in the Innenstadt has not been explained. It is strongly suspected, however, that at such times his care often is fobbed off on others.

It accordingly is clear that this is not a usual case of whereby a cat is allowed out into the yard and then strays to parts unknown; rather, Loui is deliberately dumped in the street and condemned to spend his days there until he meets his Waterloo. Every bit as revolting, he is being treated this way so that Biewer can make money and advance her career as a writer.

In Order to Publish This Book, Loui Has to Die

For example, he already has attracted more than five-thousand fans on Facebook, two-hundred-eighty people follow him on Instagram, and he has his own accounts on both Twitter and Jodel. Most promising of all, Biewer recently published an e-book on Amazon under the Schriffstellername of Dina Bell entitled Die Fellnasenbande. Hinter dem Gartenzaun.

The book concerns the adventures of not only Loui but her other resident feline, Mia, and two purely fictional strays. A print edition is expected out soon.

It is described as a work about friendship, courage, and the right to be different. "Eigentlich habe ich es für Kinder geschrieben, aber es ist näturlich auch für die Aachener Studenten," she told the Aachener Zeitung on May 27th. (See "Campuskater King Loui I stellt die Stadt auf den Kopf.")

What Biewer is doing to Loui should be illegal but, regrettably, that is not the case. Furthermore, she is far from being the only individual to ever have so nakedly exploited a cat for financial gain.

For example, between 2006 and 2010 a handsome, longhaired tuxedo named Casper from the Barne Barton section of St. Budeaux in Plymouth, Devonshire, was allowed to ride First's buses around town all by his lonesome. His owner, sixty-five-year-old Susan Finden, put up with that madness even though she knew from the very outset that she was playing Russian roulette with his life.

"We think he's about twelve years old but he has no road sense whatsoever," she early on admitted. "He just runs across the road to the bus stop."

Long Gone but Not Forgotten Casper

On January 14, 2010, he stepped into Poole Park Road where he promptly was mowed down by a speeding taxi driver. Like Biewer, Finden got at least one book out of Casper's exploits and his image still adorns some of First's buses.

For whatever it is worth, his death did, apparently, cause her a few pangs of belated conscience. "I never dreamt I'd miss an animal as much as I miss him," she later confessed. "He was lovely and loved people so much. He was such a different character." (See Cat Defender posts of August 27, 2009 and January 30, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Casper Treats Himself to an Unescorted Tour Around Plymouth Each Morning Courtesy of the Number Three Bus" and "Casper Is Run Down and Killed by a Hit-and-Run Taxi Driver While Crossing the Street in Order to Get to the Bus Stop.")

It is not known with absolute certainty, but it is believed that both Loui and Mia were adopted, most likely from a local rescue group. Although there may be certain similarities in their backgrounds, their personalities are as different as night and day.

Whereas Loui is a gregarious and outgoing male, Mia is a shy female who still carries around with her the psychological scars of her difficult upbringing. It therefore seems unlikely that she could be anything other than an exclusively indoor cat.

The picture of Biewer that emerges from all of this is that of an ambitious professional who is either too busy or uncaring in order to take proper care of Loui during the daytime. While it is true that she has equipped him with a satellite tracking collar, that would appear to have been done more so in order to gather information for her various writing projects than as a safety device.

Other than alerting her as to where to search for him each evening, such devices are thoroughly worthless when it comes to protecting cats from humans and other animals intent upon doing them harm. That in turn relegates them to the same category of Silicon Valley snake oil as implanted microchips and surveillance cameras. (See Cat Defender posts of June 11, 2007, May 25, 2006, and February 22, 2017 entitled, respectively, "Katzen-Kameras Are Not Only Cruel and Inhumane but Represent an Assault Upon Cats' Liberties and Privacy," "Plato's Misadventures Expose the Pitfalls of RFID Technology as Applied to Cats," and "The Months of Unrelenting Abuse Meted Out to Elfie by a Roommate Graphically Demonstrate the Advantages as Well as the Limitations of Using Surveillance Cameras in Order to Protect Cats.")

Loui with His Tracking Collar

Just how idiotic and irresponsible it is to rely upon technology in order to safeguard the lives of cats was demonstrated writ large a few years back when Iain Simpson and Clare Smith of Quarrington in Lincolnshire fitted their four-year-old cat, Archie, with a satellite tracking collar. Even though they soon learned that he was sleeping in the middle of a busy motorway, they did absolutely nothing in order to remove him from harm's way. (See Cat Defender post of March 29, 2017 entitled "Archie Is Knowingly Allowed to Sleep Smack-Dab in the Middle of a Busy Thoroughfare by His Derelict Owners Who Are Contented with Merely Tracking His Movements by Satellite.")

The same criticisms are equally applicable in regard to Biewer's irresponsible guardianship of Loui. The case against her is furthermore compounded in that she is having difficulty even keeping batteries in his tracking collar.

Even though she is now laughing all the way to the bank and has forged a budding literary career for herself, she nonetheless insists that none of that was planned. "Ich habe die ganze Aufmerksamkeit nie beabsichtigt oder geplant," she vowed to the Aachener Zeitung. "Loui liebt einfach die Menschen, und die Menschen lieben ihn."

All over the world it is always the same auld lang syne: bad things generally can be counted upon to happen to cats that become too friendly disposed toward humans. For their own safety and well-being, they never should be encouraged to go anywhere near strangers and, above all, to accept food from anyone other than their owners.

Even under the best of circumstances cats are sometimes going to be sickened by raiding garbage cans and, worst still, killed by eating rodents that have ingested d-CON and other poisons. Owners who fail to heed these admonitions are asking for big trouble. (See Cat Defender post of July 14, 2016 entitled "Missy, Who Was Too Kindly Disposed Toward Humans for Her Own Good, Is Memorialized in Wood at the Bus Stop That She Called Her Home Away from Home for Almost a Decade.")

Much more poignantly, a cat is said to have the intellectual development of a four-year-old child and absolutely no halfway conscientious parent ever would turn loose a toddler in the street. Since cats accordingly do not have any conceivable way of anticipating the multitude of dangers that lurk around every corner in this highly ailurophobic world, that makes it doubly imperative that they have responsible owners who are willing to ensure their personal safety.

Biewer's claim that Loui loves strangers also does not ring quite true. Unless they have not been sterilized and therefore are on the prowl for mates, cats generally are more than content to be homebodies. Loui, who most likely was sterilized long ago, therefore does not have any valid excuse for living on the street.

Wohin nun, Loui?

Furthermore, it is an outright lie for Biewer or anyone else for that matter to claim that a sterilized cat would prefer to live in the street as opposed to being at home with a loving and caring owner. In Loui's case, he has not freely chosen to live as a Vagabund; im Gegenteil, that is the lifestyle that she has foisted upon him for her own selfish and exploitative reasons.

If, on the other hand, she were willing to stay home with him, to entertain him, and to sprinkle in a few treats now and again, he not only would be infinitely happier but, much more importantly, safe as well. Besides, anyone who is unable to write with five or six cats drapped on top of her and pestering her nonstop needs to find another vocation.

As if her abject neglect and naked exploitation of him were not bad enough, Biewer hypocritically claims that she is passionate about animal welfare issues and in furtherance of that objective has pledged to donate half of the proceeds from her new tome to animal protection groups operating in the Aachen area. Given that such monies have been raised at Loui's expense, it is hard to imagine how that any such organizations could accept them while at the same time remaining true to their missions.

The roll call of shame does not merely include Biewer and those charities that accept money from her but it also extends to Rector Ernst M. Schmachtenberg and the other administrators, professors, and students at RWTH, the holy men of the Dom, social media, Amazon, and the Aachener Zeitung. Since none of them have raised so much as a finger in order to protect Loui's precious and fragile life, they are every bit as responsible as Biewer for how that he currently is being treated as well as for what ultimately becomes of him.

Make no mistake about it, for addition to being callous and exploitative what is being done to Loui constitutes a textbook case of animal abandonment, neglect, and endangerment of the first degree. Consequently, anyone even so much as tangentially involved in Biewer's machinations is richly deserving of substantial time in jail.

"Stoff für viele weitere Abenteuer der Fellnasenbande habe ich jedenfalls mehr als genug," she declared to the Aachener Zeitung. Quite obviously, she does not believe a word of that because if she did she would immediately bring Loui home and keep him there with Mia.

Given her unwillingness to do even that much for him, coupled with the intransigence of local animal protection groups, the time has come to, sadly, start a death watch for him. Under such perilous and utterly hopeless circumstances, it is all but impossible to envision any other dénouement for him than the ones that robbed the world of both PCAT and Casper.

Photos: BuzzFeed (Loui outside RWTH), Katharina Menne of the Aachener Zeitung (Loui and Biewer), Facebook (Loui in class, PCAT, map, book jacket, Loui in the grass, and close up), and The Sun (Casper).

Monday, July 03, 2017

Paucho Somehow Made It Out of Grenfell Tower Alive but the Fate of the Dozens of Other Cats That Resided in the High-Rise Firetrap Remains Shrouded in Secrecy


"I hope they're (her three cats) still there."
-- Esther Watts of Hurstway Walk

The deadly inferno that broke out during the small hours of June 14th and subsequently destroyed Grenfell Tower in the Kensington section of west London has dominated the news on both sides of the Atlantic for the past three weeks. Lost in both the daily reports chronicling the steadily increasing human death toll as well as the esoteric debates concerning the use of external cladding in order to insulate and beautify the outsides of buildings has been scarcely any mention whatsoever of the fate of the dozens, if not indeed hundreds, of cats that also resided in the Latimer Road house of death.

What precious little information that has eked out of London has been sketchy and contradictory but as best it could be determined the twenty-four-story skyscraper contained approximately one-hundred-twenty-seven apartments that were home to somewhere between four-hundred and six-hundred souls. Illegal tenants as well as those who were away on summer holidays no doubt have contributed to the confusion over not only just how many individuals were at home on that god-awful night but also the exact number of fatalities.

Nevertheless, given that the English are known to favor cats as companion animals, it might not be unreasonable to assume that at least half of the flats contained one or more felines. Although Kensington is an affluent area of the realm that boasts the presence of such well-heeled tenants as the Royal Albert Hall, the French Consulate, and Imperial College, the vast majority of those who resided in the upscale public housing project appear to have belonged to the ranks of the working class and the poor and that in turn may have had a negative impact upon the number of cats actually living in the structure.

Those caveats aside, it probably is safe to assume that there were at least sixty cats living in the building on that fateful night. Given the structure's height and layout, it additionally is totally out of the question that they could have been anything other than indoor felines. (See Cat Defender post of March 10, 2017 entitled "A Caring Woman in Tekirdag Comes Up with an Innovative Way in Order to Lure In Cats from the Cold.")

Yet, it has proven to be all but impossible to find out any information concerning the fate of those cats. For instance, both the dailies as well as the weeklies have avoided broaching the subject as if it were the plague and that in itself is extremely peculiar in that they, as a rule, seemingly never can get their hands on enough stories about the species.

Local animal rescue groups likewise have been every bit as reticent. For instance, the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in the south London borough of Wandsworth immediately offered to provide temporary assistance to companion animals that had been left homeless by the inferno but it has not proven possible to locate any data relating to just how many cats, if any, that the charity has rescued. (See Your Local Guardian of Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, June 14, 2017, "Battersea Dogs and Cats Offers Temporary Shelter to Pets of Those Affected by Grenfell Tower Fire in North Kensington.")

The Grenfell Tower Blaze Lit Up the London Skyline 

The only cat reputed to have made it out of the burning building alive is a brown and white, blue-eyed male named Paucho. Even in his case, it has not been publicly divulged either how that he masterminded that bit of deering-do or what has happened to his caretakers.

Shortly after his escape, he was taken in by the Parish of St. Clement's and St. James on nearby Treagold Street and there his story ends. It accordingly is not possible to say how that he is getting on and where he is living today. (See the Metro of London, June 15, 2017, "Grenfell Tower Fire Cat Being Looked After at Church Near Scene.")

The Bush Theatre, located a little less than two kilometers away in the Shepherd's Bush section of the borough of Hammersmith and Fulton, has offered to provide shelter for children displaced by the fire but even in doing that it has failed to so much as mention the plight of the displaced cats. That is all the more odd in that it has a trio of resident felines of its own.

"If your kids need a cuddle, Marley, Caramel and I are here," a dashing tuxedo named Pirate, reportedly told the Express of London on June 14th. (See "London Fire: Local Theatre Offers 'Cuddles with Cats' to Terrified Children.") "Thoughts with those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire."

His mate, jet-black Marley, was equally forthcoming. "We are here if you want to chat with humans, a quiet place, a shower, Wi-Fi or cat cuddles," he chipped in to the debate. "So awful this has happened."

Fires, explosions, and other cataclysmic events present a myriad of nearly insurmountable obstacles for cats that live in apartment blocks. First of all, in addition to the damage that the flames and smoke can rapidly inflict upon their fur, whiskers, lungs, and eyes, it is totally impossible for them to open either the doors that lead out of their apartments or those that block entry into the stairwells.


They likewise do not have any means of activating the elevators, even if they should be still in service. Leaping from a window is a remote, albeit death-defying, possibility but even that last-ditch escape route is only available to them if one has been left ajar.

They therefore are totally at the mercy of their owners for their deliverance. The latter therefore must not only have cages ready at hand but, much more importantly, they must be willing to take the time and effort that is required in order to locate and corral them.

Next, they need to cover the cages with wet towels in order to protect their occupants' tiny lungs from succumbing to smoke inhalation. Finally, they must transport them through the smoke and fire to safety and for that task it is essential that they have flame-resistant and sturdy cages that will not either catch on fire themselves or come apart at the seams whenever their terrified occupants start to trash about in panic.

It accordingly is long overdue that derelict local fire and public safety officials took into consideration the safety of cats and thereby enacted protocols designed to ensure their safe evacuation from high-rises in times of emergency. If they are unwilling to do that, it is then time to, perhaps, consider banning cats from apartment blocks. This world most definitely does not need any more cats to be burned alive.

Fire departments in the United States, who only rarely can be prevailed upon to rescue cats that have become stranded in trees and on electrical poles,  recently have nevertheless purchased pet oxygen masks and, as far as it is known, their officers have not been shy about coming to the assistance of cats in need of resuscitation. Some firemen even have risked their lives by reentering buildings in order to pull cats to safety. (See Cat Defender posts of February 20, 2007 and March 20,2008 entitled, respectively, "A Stray Cat Ignominiously Named Stinky Is Rescued from a Rooftop by Good Samaritans After the Fire Department Refuses to Help" and "Bone-Lazy, Mendacious Firefighters Are Costing the Lives of Both Cats and Humans by Refusing to Do Their Duty.")

Generally speaking, however, the solemn duty of evacuating cats from burning buildings falls squarely upon the shoulders of their owners. With human nature being what it is, far too many of them forget all about their faithful companions in times of emergencies and instead think only of saving their own worthless hides.


If past history is any guide, that is exactly what a good portion of the residents of Grenfell Tower and surrounding apartment blocks did on the morning of June 14th. The only person who so far has been willing to publicly admit to such shameful conduct has been fifty-year-old Esther Watts of nearby Hurstway Walk.

After having been told by the police to evacuate, she quickly gathered up her twelve-year-old son and dog and hightailed it out of her flat. Cruelly left behind to fend for themselves were her three cats. "I hope they're still there," she later told The Telegraph on June 14th. (See "Cat Saved from Grenfell Tower Now Being Looked After in Church.")

Earlier on December 31, 2009, forty-six-year-old Edgar K. and forty-four-year-old Susi S. of Altshausen in Baden Württemburg ran out on their cats, Lumpi and Sissi, after an early morning blaze had engulfed their apartment. Sissi miraculously survived by hiding underneath a bed but nine-month-old Lumpi was not nearly as fortunate.

The couple's simply reprehensible conduct was made all the more deplorable in that they surely would have been burned to death if their cats had not awakened them from their slumber. "Jetzt verdanken wir ihm unser Leben," Susi S. afterwards truthfully acknowledged. (See Cat Defender post of April 3, 2010 entitled, "Lumpi Is Unforgivably Left to Die in a Burning Apartment by the Ingrates Whose Lives He Saved.")

The numerous wildfires that rage across the western United States and Canada each summer also provide callous owners with another golden opportunity in order to desert their cats in their times of greatest need. (See Cat Defender post of July 3, 2008 and October 14, 2015 entitled, respectively, "Phoenix Is Severely Burned but Still Manages to Save One of Her Kittens from the Humboldt Fire" and "Because a Compassionate Firefighter from Oregon Chose to Care When His California Guardians Could Not Be Bothered with Doing So, Monty Burns Is Able to Escape the Valley Fire with His Life.")

These fires also take a rather heavy toll on the newborn kittens of big cats, such as bobcats, but that is not attributable to their mothers running out of them but rather to their being burned alive themselves. (See Cat Defender posts of February 21, 2013 and December 13, 2013 entitled, respectively, "Orphaned by a Wildlife and Then Rescued by a Forest Ranger, Chips Is Bracing for a Frightening Return to the Wild" and "Chips Is Abandoned in the Perilous California Wild Where Her Fur Alone Is Worth $700 to Trappers.")

Cuddles and Jennifer Powder

The feline death toll that ensued when an American train carrying highly inflammable crude extracted from the Bakken Formation exploded in downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, in July of 2013 never will be known, but some of them were undoubtedly left to die in the flames whereas others later succumbed to starvation. (See Cat Defender post of March 31, 2014 entitled "Mario Is Brought Back from Death's Door When His Silhouette Is Accidentally Spotted in a Window of Fire-Ravaged Lac-Mégantic.")

Public and private shelters alike are sometimes little more than dressed-up firetraps. Worst still, some of their operators will go to great lengths in order to save the lives of their canine inmates while simultaneously turning deaf ears to the plaintive cries for help of the cats that they have unjustly and negligently incarcerated. (See Cat Defender posts of March 15, 2016 and April 3, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Freckles Is Alive and Well More Than Two Years after Having Been Left for Dead in the Rubble of the Burned-Out Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter" and "Fires at Private Shelters Claim the Lives of More Than Two Dozen Cats in Connecticut.")

On September 9, 2008, forty-three-year-old Warren Niles and forty-four-year-old Joan T. Ferreira of New Bedford, Massachusetts, were charged with arson for setting their apartment on fire in order to collect on a renters' insurance policy. In doing so, they did not even bother to first remove their three resident felines.

Two of the cats perished in the blaze but a three-year-old tiger Angora named Kiki survived. (See Cat Defender post of September 29, 2008 entitled "Kiki Is Healthy Again but in Legal Limbo as Her Rescuer, Firefighter Al Machado, Basks in the Glory of His Heroics.")

While obviously not totally unheard of, torching cats for money is fairly rare; the far larger problem pertains to individuals who do likewise for fun. (See Cat Defender posts of October 5, 2006, July 12, 2007, June 8, 2009, September 22, 2010, and June 27, 2011 entitled, respectively, "New Jersey Teens' Idea of Fun: Beat Up a Defenseless Kitten and Then Burn It to Death," "Burned Nearly to Death by Laughing Teenage Girls, Two-Month-Old Kitten Named Adam Is Fighting for His Life in Santa Rosa," "Adam Is Persevering Throughout All the Pain Two Years after Having Been Torched by Giggling Teenage Girls in Santa Rosa," "Lätzchen Is Deliberately Set on Fire and Burned Within an Inch of Her Life in Karsdorf," and "Citizens of Ichenheim Callously Allow a Torched Cat to Walk the Streets for Days Before Summoning Veterinary Help That Arrived Too Late.")

In addition to the ongoing recriminations and public protests that the Grenfell Tower fire has engendered, the authorities have embarked upon an ambitious program to test the external cladding in at least six-hundred apartment blocks across England. Many of those structures have already flunked their tests and that has necessitated the temporary uprooting and relocation of dozens, if not hundreds, of tenants. (See the BBC, June 24, 2017, "Cladding Fire Tests Failed by Thirty-Four Blocks in Seventeen Areas.")

Bacon and Kristen Eliasson

Yet in spite of all of that, the fate of the Grenfell Tower cats remains unexplained. Almost as importantly, the question of how best to protect cats that live in skyscrapers had yet to filter into public consciousness.

It thus seems clear that as far as most owners, public officials, and rescue groups are concerned, the welfare of cats does not count for any more in times of domestic emergencies than it does in wartime. C'est-à-dire, they are considered to be expendable and of little value.

The only glimmer of hope that cats have lies in the petit fait that not all of their guardians are as selfish and uncaring as Edgar K. and Susi S. For example, twelve-year-old Jennifer Powder of Prince Albert in Saskatchewan made sure that her four-year-old, multicolored cat, Cuddles, made it out alive when the home that they shared was destroyed by a fire on October 12, 2007.

"I love my cat," she said succinctly and sincerely afterwards. (See Cat Defender post of November 30, 2007 entitled "Cuddles Saves Saskatchewan Family from a Blaze in a Faulty Fireplace That Destroys Their Home.")

Twenty-six-year-old Kristen Eliasson acted every bit as admirably when she wrapped her cat, Bacon, in a blanket and then spirited him to safety after a fire had engulfed her Ottawa apartment earlier on October 16th of that same year. Even though she wound up losing not only her abode but all of her personal belongings as well, she was singing anything but the blues.

"I'm just glad my cat's alive," was all that she had to say. (See Cat Defender post of October 31, 2007 entitled "Bacon Shows His Appreciation and Love for His Rescuer by Awakening Her from a Burning Apartment.")

Photos: the London Metro (Paucho), The Telegraph (Grenfell Tower ablaze), The Guardian of London (Pirate and Marley), The Prince Albert Herald (Cuddles and Powder), and the Ottawa Citizen (Bacon and Eliasson).

Friday, June 23, 2017

For Eight Long and Tortuous Years, Barack Obama and His Bloodthirsty Henchmen Within the Federal Bureaucracy Waged a Ruthless, No-Holds-Barred War on Cats

A Grinning Barack Obama

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

-- Barack Obama

He has long since sacked up his loot and hightailed it out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and now is residing in the Kalorama section of Washington where he is raking it in with both fists on the rubber chicken circuit. As Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr so aptly put it in the January 1849 edition of Les Guêpes, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." (See the New York Post, May 1, 2017, "Notorious Banker Hosts O.")

Much like an old firehouse dog who although no longer able to make it to any major conflagrations nonetheless still delights in the bells, whistles, and hustle and bustle that accompany every new alarm that is sounded, he has kept a hand in politics. Most recently he stuck his schnoz into the presidential election in Frankreich and after that he was off to Deutschland where he was the beneficiary of a welcome worthy of the one that Jack Kennedy received in 1963 when he delivered his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech. The most logical conclusion to be drawn from all of that is that ignorance is every bit as blissful on the continent as it is in the Vereinigten Staaten.

Even if the sun finally has gone down on the Obama Administration and the dust all but settled, it is never too late in order to take a look back in the rearview mirror as to how that he and his minions treated cats during his seemingly interminable eight years in office. Given the enormous complexity and breadth of the issue, it is impossible to delve into every action that he either took or refused to take that impacted, directly or indirectly, upon the lives of cats but, to say the least, he was anything but a friend of the species.

1.)  The United States Fish and Wildlife Service Slaughtered One-Hundred-Fifty Cats on San Nicolas.

Two Cats That Were Allegedly Rescued from San Nicolas

Obama's most egregious crime against cats was, arguably, turning loose the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), a division of the Department of the Interior, to massacre an estimated one-hundred-fifty cats on San Nicolas Island, located in the Channel Islands off the coast of Los Angeles. The gory specifics have not been publicly divulged, but initial plans called for the cats to be snared in leghold traps and then blasted to kingdom come by USFWS marksmen armed with shotguns.

Those that proved to be too wily to be trapped were to have been hounded down at night by bloodhounds and then shot by assassins aided by battery-powered torches. The USFWS and its cohorts originally wanted to infect the cats with the Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV), as Professor Marthán Bester of the University of Pretoria had done with a lion's share of the more than thirty-four-hundred cats and he and his accomplices killed on Marion Island between the late 1970's and the early 1990's, but they ultimately were dissuaded from doing so out of concerns, not for the prolonged and excruciating suffering that such a measure would have inflicted upon the cats, but rather in order to spare other species on the island from becoming accidentally infected.

Regardless of the methodologies that ultimately were adopted, the USFWS was determined from the outset to kill every cat on San Nicolas. "We have to make sure we have every one of them," the agency's Jane Hendron declared in April of 2009.

The only token opposition that this outrageous slaughter provoked came from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Washington. "This is not humane. I would not say shooting cats or leaving them in leghold traps for up to fourteen hours is humane," its Nancy Peterson protested in June of 2008. "This is proposed by wildlife biologists who are treating cats like wildlife...These are like the domestic pussy cats we have at home, but they're living a wild lifestyle."

No sooner than those words had escaped from her forked tongue, Peterson and the HSUS did an abrupt about-face and sold out the cats living on San Nicolas by joining forces with their killers. Specifically, this Faustian bargain consisted of the USFWS agreeing to allow the HSUS to remove a handful of cats and kittens from the island in return for the latter's support for its extermination of the remainder of them.

Consequently, somewhere between fifty-two and fifty-four cats and kittens were trapped and removed from the island. They in turn were taken to the HSUS's Fund for Animals Rehabilitation Center in Ramona, fifty-six kilometers north of San Diego. Even in sparing the lives of those cats and kittens, the USFWS forced the HSUS into agreeing to confine them indoors for the remainder of their lives and that covenant even was made binding upon those individuals who either fostered or later adopted them.

The world has long forgotten about these cruelly uprooted, marooned, and incarcerated in a foreign land cats and it accordingly is not possible to say whatever became of them. Nevertheless, it is difficult to imagine that there ever could have been many happy endings to their already sad stories.

As, most likely, the descendants of cats brought to the island and soon thereafter cruelly abandoned by the United States Navy, they had spent their entire lives without shelter, veterinary care, and human contact. Their diet likewise consisted entirely of whatever they were able to eke out a forbidding and almost barren landscape. Consequently, their health could not have been all that great.

On top of that, they were trapped, roughly handled, bandied about, and finally given life imprisonment sentences. The trauma as well as the new diseases that they were exposed to very well could have been sufficient in order to soon have put an end to them. (See The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 11, 2011, "Shelter Shock. Cats Can Get Sick from Stress. One Proposed Remedy? Keep Them Out.")

With between two and three million simoleons at its disposal, the USFWS quickly disposed of those cats that remained on San Nicolas and by early 2012 the island was declared to be cat-free. Bursting at the seams with glee, the USFWS, the Navy, HSUS, and the Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS) of Arcata held a party in February of that year in order to celebrate their slaughter of the cats.

"This project is a testament to the commitment of multiple agencies to find common ground and develop solutions for feral cats in areas with threatened or endangered species," Peterson's colleague at the HSUS, Betsy McFarland, earlier had crowed. "The cats from San Nicolas deserve the opportunity to live a full and happy life, and we're proud to provide that at our sanctuary."

She was right about that but most definitely not in the way that she would have the general public to believe. C'est-à-dire, the only thing that ententes between phony-baloney animal protection groups, such as the HSUS, on the one hand and wildlife biologists and ornithologists on the other hand ever have resulted in is more dead cats.

If the HSUS's despicable sellout of those living on San Nicolas were the end of the story that in itself would have been bad enough but that was hardly the case. "This is a great conservation story," the IWS's David K. Gorcelon rejoiced at the soirée mentioned supra. "The size and scope of this project set the bar for similar ones."

Translated into shirtsleeve English, that means that it is the intention of Gorcelon, the USFWS, and ornithologists to transform the United States from sea to shining sea into the killing fields of Australia and New Zealand where it is no longer safe for any cat to so much as walk the streets. (See Cat Defender post of November 18, 2016 entitled "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 spite of this simply horrendous slaughter of totally innocent cats, not a solitary feline protection group has been able to muster the willingness to demand justice for those killed and that is a black mark that is destined to haunt them for as long as they continue to pretend to be looking after the interests of cats. The first step in that process would be the filing of a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against the USFWS and the Navy.

Such a lawsuit would demand that those two criminal agencies disclose, inter alia, the exact number of cats murdered, the methods of execution employed, the names, addresses, and affiliations of their killers, and the disposition of their remains. A second lawsuit under the act should be directed against the HSUS and demand that it release the exact number of cats and kittens that it removed from the island as well as to explain happened to them afterwards.

Although the USFWS's and the Navy's devilry was hatched during the waning days of Bush Bird II's reign, Obama could have intervened at any time and stopped the slaughter but since he chose not to do so that makes him every bit as guilty as the killers themselves and the HSUS. It obviously is way too late to help the cats now but it yet still might be possible to secure a small measure of justice for them.

Above all, they never must be forgotten and all planned future eradications must be thwarted. (See Cat Defender posts of June 27, 2008, July 10, 2008, April 28, 2009, November 20, 2009, and February 24, 2012 entitled, respectively, "The United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas Island," "The Ventura County Star Races to the Defense of the Cat-Killers on San Nicolas Island," "Quislings at the Humane Society Sell Out San Nicolas's Cats to the Assassins at the Diabolical United States Fish and Wildlife Service," "Memo to the Humane Society: Tell the World Exactly How Many Cats You and Your Honeys at the USFWS Have Murdered on San Nicolas Island," and "The United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Humane Society Hoist a Glass in Celebration of Their Extermination of the Cats on San Nicolas Island.")

2.) The USFWS Had a Field Day Stealing and Killing Cats in the Florida Keys.

Anne Morkill and Ken Salazar Plot to Kill Cats in the Florida Keys

Obama Bird kept the USFWS as busy as a bee during his tenure by not only approving the atrocities that it committed against cats on San Nicolas but also by allowing it to continue to commit its horrendous crimes against those residing in the Florida Keys. Accurate statistics are almost as rare as hens' teeth, but it is estimated that over the course of the past dozen or so years that the USFWS in conjunction with the USDA's Wildlife Services have trapped and killed thousands of cats in the Keys.

In addition to those that the feds have killed, just about all of the remainder that they dumped at shelters also are immediately killed. "Rarely has anyone wanted to adopt a feral cat," Connie Christian of the Florida Keys SPCA in Key West admitted in 2011.

In addition to all the homeless cats that the USFWS and shelters kill, innumerable domestic cats also get caught up in their webs of intrigue and as a result suffer the same cruel and unjust fate. Contrary to what many of those involved in these eradications claim, it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between homeless and domesticated cats.

Plus, collars can easily come off and get lost and microchips are sometimes both difficult to locate as well as to decipher. An appalling lack of information concerning those that have been confiscated additionally prevents many owners from locating and reclaiming them. Time also is of the essence in that most shelters in the area only hold cats for seven days or less.

As best it could be determined, the USFWS's most recent killing sprees have been primarily concentrated in the National Key Deer Refuge and the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge, both located on Big Pine Key, the Key West National Wildlife Refuge, and Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge in North Key Largo. Earlier in 2005 and 2006, however, at least twenty cats were trapped, removed, and presumably killed at the United States Naval Air Station on Boca Chica Key.

In support of these exterminations, the United States Congress is known to have appropriated $50,000 in 2006 and another $50,000 in 2011. Given the scale and duration of the USFWS's atrocities in the Keys, it undoubtedly has received further appropriations either from Congress or other unidentified sources.

As was the case with its carnage on San Nicolas and elsewhere, the USFWS is relying upon a pack of blatant lies and a massive propaganda outreach initiative in order to sell its diabolical crimes to a skeptical public. "The plan is based on a deeply flawed interpretation of TNR research, and several studies were omitted," Becky Robinson of Alley Cat Allies of Bethesda, Maryland, complained in 2011. "Similar plans by the agency have already killed feral, stray and pet cats with no benefit whatsoever."

None of that deterred Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar from making a much publicized visit to the Keys in early 2011 where he held at tête-à-tête with the USFWS's Anne Morkill in order to put the finishing touches on their cat stealing and killing strategies. "Due to extensive habitat loss from human development, these species (rabbits and rats) have declined to such low numbers that management intervention is necessary to ensure their survival," she blowed long and hard to The Keynoter of Marathon on December 29, 2010. (See "Keys Refuges to Target Animal Predators.") "Secondary impacts from development include the introduction of non-native predators. While we can't turn back the clock to return the Keys to its once pristine condition, we can take action now to control current threats from cats and other exotic animals."

First of all, that is a blatant admission on her part that cats once again have been made the scapegoats for a million and one offenses committed by their human counterparts. It additionally is a public acknowledgement that the feds in general and the USFWS in particular are little more than a gang of thugs and bullies who go after defenseless animals with malice aforethought while simultaneously being too cowardly to take on those individuals, groups, and interests that are capable of defending themselves.

Secondly, it is quite a hoot to hear a fat-ass, honky-donkey such as Morkill label cats as "non-native predators" and as "exotic" animals. Au contraire, it is precisely her and her fellow wildlife biologists and ornithologists who are the poster boys and girls for exotic and non-native predators. Furthermore, any individual or group that is willing to spout such balderdash also should be willing to lead by example and accordingly take the very next boat back to Italy, England, or wherever their ancestors came from and in doing so return the New World to its rightful owners, i.e., the Native Americans.

Individuals and organizations of Morkill's and the USFWS's ilk love to bandy about such nonsensical terms as if they were privy to some stupendous insight that somehow has miraculously eluded the remainder of mankind, but rather than establishing their intellectual and moral superiority all that such reductiones ad absurdum succeed in accomplishing is to demonstrate writ large their abject dishonesty and ruthlessness.

Such ratiocinating also is getting to be rather old and tedious in much the same vein that inspired Bob Dylan to pen the following lyrics to his 1965 song, "Positively Fourth Street:"
"Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is
"To see you."

While she had the wind up, old bigmouthed Morkill cavalierly belittled the legitimate concerns expressed by Robinson and other cat advocates. "...some people believe any animal has a right to live," she sneered down her long, dirty schnoz to the Miami Herald on January 2, 2011. (See "Feds Hope to Rid Keys' Refuges of Exotic Predators, Including Cats.")

If the USFWS, Wildlife Services, and their cohorts were confining their stealing and killing of cats to federal lands that would be bad enough in its own right, but they have appropriated for themselves the right to do likewise on state and municipal properties as well. For example, they have decreed that TNR feeding stations must be removed from all public areas that are either adjacent or near refuge lands.

Secondly, they have been pressuring local municipalities to erect not only anti-roaming statutes but to require the mandatory microchipping and tagging of all cats. Most egregiously of all, they have been venturing into purely residential neighborhoods where they have illegally trapped, stolen and, in all likelihood, even killed an unspecified number of domestic cats.

When the USFWS illegally trapped a brown and white cat named Rocky back in 2014 it finally got its long overdue comeuppance. That is because he is owned by world famous scuba diver Captain Spencer Slate who resides on Loquat Drive in the Garden Cove section of North Key Largo.

The first inkling that he had of what was afoot came when a representative of the USFWS showed up on his doorstep in order to issue him a US$75 citation for allowing Rocky to stray into nearby Crocodile Lake. Slate also was warned that if it happened again he would be arrested and locked up in jail. To make matters even worse, the thief did not even have the common decency to return Rocky to him and that necessitated in Slate being forced into driving twenty-four kilometers to a shelter in order to reclaim him.

It has not been disclosed how much that it cost Slate to ransom him off of death row but it is exceedingly unlikely that the shelter issued Rocky a get out of jail for free card. Plus, his face had been badly injured and bloodied by the trapping and that doubtlessly required veterinary intervention which Slate had to pay for out of his own pocket.

Proving that he is one cat owner who is not about to be cowed by an out of control gaggle of criminal bureaucrats, Slate refused to pay the fine and the case ultimately was dismissed by a federal district court judge sitting in Key West. "Simply, when I presented the truth and facts, it was easy to see who was telling the truth," he afterwards confided to the Keys News of Key West on June 18, 2014. (See "Cat Owner Avoids Fine in Trapping Case.")

In Rocky's case, he was trapped within fifty feet of Slate's house. "Just because cats are fed outside doesn't mean they're feral," he told The Keynoter on November 12, 2014. (See "Feds Defend Cat-Trapping Policy.")

It is rather difficult to keep abreast of the rapidly unfolding events in the Keys, but hopefully Slate will file a civil lawsuit for damages against the USFWS for what its goons did to Rocky. Whether he does so or not, he is not about to either be intimidated or to back down. "The murder of our beloved pets must be stopped," he declared to The Keynoter.

Even in death, the USFWS's victims are denied any peace in that as soon as they depart this vale of tears their remains are cut up so that their stomachs can be inventoried. The data gleaned from these post-mortem mutilations are in turn used by the USFWS's highly-paid, with welfare dollars no less, propagandists in order to churn out broadsheets designed to justify not only their cruel liquidations but that of additional cats in the future as well. (See Cat Defender posts of May 24, 2007 and June 23, 2011 entitled, respectively, "The United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA's Wildlife Services Commence Trapping and Killing Cats on Florida's Big Pine Key" and "Wallowing in Welfare Dollars, Lies, and Prejudice, the Bloodthirsty United States Fish and Wildlife Service Is Again Killing Cats in the Florida Keys.")

3.) APHIS Won a Major Victory over Ernest Hemingway's Polydactyls.

Patches Has a Go at Hemingway's machine à écrire portative

The Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a division of the USDA, is charged under the weak-as-water Animal Welfare Act (AWA) of 1966 with regulating, inter alia, animal research laboratories, zoos, and circuses. If it ever were to take that mandate even so much as halfway seriously it would have more than enough on its plate in order to keep itself busy, but like all power-hungry governmental agencies it is always on the prowl for new opportunities to expand its dominions and in the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West it finally found a victim to its liking.

The trouble all began in 2003 when Michael Morawski, owner of the museum, mindlessly hired Debbie Schultz, formerly of the Florida Keys SPCA in Key West, to sterilize some of the forty to fifty polydactyls that reside at Hemingway's stately old mansion. She in turn did such a bang-up job that she nearly succeeded in putting an end to a line of cats whose lineage is believed to go all the way back to 1935.

Once he fully realized the extent of the damage that she was doing, Morawski fired her and she retaliated by ratting out the museum to APHIS which responded by dispatching agents to Key West in order to spy on and videotape the cats' activities. About all that they uncovered were cats leaving the compound in order to roam and one of them, Toby, actually being run down and killed by a motorist.

Nevertheless, that was more than sufficient for the agency to demand that the museum either raise the six-foot retaining wall that surrounds the compound or to string an electrified wire across the top of it. It also demanded that the museum either cage or confine the cats as well as to hire a nightwatchman.

Although the museum did spend US$15,000 on a sprinkler system as well as to install a net across the top of the wall, it refused to cage the cats. APHIS responded by refusing to issue it an exhibitor's license and immediately began to fine it US$200 a day for failing to knuckle under to its demands. The exhibitor's license was required because the agency earlier had decreed that the museum was exhibiting cats within the meaning of the AWA.

"They're (APHIS) comparing Hemingway House to a circus or a zoo because there are cats on the premises," the museum's attorney, Cara Higgins, responded in 2006. "This is not a circus. These cats have been here forever."

With the battle lines now drawn, what ensued was nine years of multiple federal court rulings, a hearing before an administrative law judge, and an examination of the cats by Dr. Terry Marie Curtis, a cat behaviorist from the University of Florida in Gainesville. As if all of that were not enough for the museum to contend with, the cats and their caretakers were forced to live with the constant threat of even worse punitive action that could have come down upon their heads at almost any moment.

"There's always a possibility of confiscation," APHIS' Darby Halladay told USA Today on December 26, 2006. (See "The Plot Thickens for Hemingway Cats.") "The likelihood of that occurring, I can't state. But that is a remedy."

The issue finally came to a head on December 7, 2012 when a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta ruled unanimously in favor of, not surprisingly, the government in a case entitled 907 Whitehead Street doing business as the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum versus the United States Department of Agriculture, Chester A. Gipson, Deputy Administrator of the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service. The case turned on how such nebulous terms as "exhibitor" and "distribution" contained in the AWA were to be interpreted and how that they in turn affected interstate commerce.

For its part the museum steadfastly maintained that it was not exhibiting cats and since they are not transported across state lines it most definitely was not involved in interstate commerce. It also argued that the AWA does not authorize federal preemption of a field already regulated by local and state animal protection groups.

One-by-one Chief Judge Joel Frederick Dubina methodically rejected all of the museum's contentions. "The statute is ambiguous on the question of whether 'distribution' includes the display of animals by a fixed-site commercial enterprise," he did concede. "And, given Congress's intent to regulate zoos, which are notably stationary and which could potentially exhibit animals that are neither purchased nor transported in commerce, we cannot see how the Secretary's (of the USDA) interpretation of "exhibitor" is unreasonable."

From there Dubina went on to conclude that the museum was "substantially" involved in interstate commerce because the cats are prominently featured in its advertising materials and that it charges admission to its premises. If Dubina had had the bon sens to have stopped there that would have been god-awful enough but he could not resist the temptation to lay it on even thicker.

"Not withholding our decision, we appreciate the museum's somewhat unique situation, and we sympathize with its frustrations," he gassed. "Nevertheless, it is not the court's role to evaluate the wisdom of federal regulations implemented according to the powers constitutionally vested in Congress."

Therein lies the rub, however, in that the authors of the AWA and those members of Congress who voted it into law never in their wildest dreams ever imagined that one day it would be used by the feds as a legal pretext for them to invade the homes of cats and to regulate the minute details of their everyday lives. Therefore, Dubina's tour de force was strictly a case of judge-made law.

The ruling, quite understandably, left Morawski apoplectic. "I'm still dumbfounded. This is overreach by the federal government," he later said. "We are a local business. Our goods don't go outside of Key West. So how could we be involved in interstate commerce?"

A year earlier on August 12, 2011, Dubina and his colleagues on the bench were not nearly so deferential to congressional intent when they struck down as unconstitutional the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in a case entitled State of Florida et al. versus United States Department of Health and Human Services. Taken together, the import of the two rulings is that although Congress cannot force individuals to purchase health insurance, it can regulate the minute care and activities of their cats. So, in the final tally, Obama and his minions won one case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and lost one.

In practical terms, the ruling meant that the museum was forced into purchasing an exhibitor's license and that its cats had to be tagged and individually confined each night in cages with elevated resting areas. It also was forced into hiring a nightwatchman as well as securing its perimeter fence.

"We (the museum and its cats) are now at the whim of the agency (APHIS). It's silliness; it just got insane," Higgins exclaimed in the wake of her humiliating defeat in court. "This is what your tax dollars are paying for. The agents (of APHIS) are coming down here on vacation, going to bars and taking pictures of cats."

On a much broader level, the feds now have a legal mandate to abuse, confiscate, and even possibly kill cats that reside in businesses and, possibly, private homes. Of particular concern are bloggers, authors, veterinarians, breeders, groomers, street performers, libraries, and all other individuals, businesses, and entities that have any dealings with cats while simultaneously taking in any kind of monetary compensation for their activities.

Fortunately, this ruling applies only to the states of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama which make up the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. Should the museum appeal this outrageous verdict to the United States Supreme Court in Washington and lose it then would be the law of the land and apply everywhere.

Having already spent in excess of US$200,000 in order to bring the museum into compliance with APHIS's demands plus another US$600,000 in legal fees, the museum at last word had not expressed any appetite for additional legal wranglings but instead was looking into pursuing a legislative remedy. Finally, although Obama was not the president who instigated this insane attack upon Hemingway's polydactyls, he could have put an end to it at any time by reigning in APHIS but since he chose not to do so he is every bit as much to blame for its actions as the agency itself. (See Cat Defender posts of August 3, 2006, January 9, 2007, July 23, 2007, January 24, 2013, and June 2, 2017 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," "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," and "Martha Gellhorn Is Locked Up for Ten Days after Biting a Tourist in the Latest Calamity to Befall Ernest Hemingway's Star-Crossed Polydactyls.")

4.) The Smithsonian Institution Got Away with Attempting to Poison a TNR Colony.

 Nico Dauphiné

On May 11, 2011, agents of the Washington Humane Society (WHS) caught Nico Dauphiné, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Zoo's Migratory Bird Center, putting antifreeze and rat poison in the food dishes of cats belonging to a TNR colony in Washington's Meridian Hill Park. Her arrest came after poison first had been found in the cats' food dishes in March but it never has been publicly acknowledged how many cats that she may have killed.

There never was any doubt about her guilt because she had been captured on video surveillance cameras putting out the poison. Nevertheless, she steadfastly refused to resign and the zoo stood firmly behind her all the way to the bitter end of the road.

"We know what she's doing would in no way jeopardize our animal collection at the National Zoo or jeopardize wildlife, so we feel perfectly comfortable that she continue her research," the zoo's Pamela Baker-Masson said in the aftermath of Dauphiné's arrest. C'est-à-dire, the Smithsonian Institution, of which the zoo is an integral part, fully supported her poisoning of the cats.

The WHS's Scott Giacoppo was not so easily convinced, however. "If she did this, then we naturally would be concerned about her being around all animals. Whoever would do such a thing is a threat to animals," he declared. "It's (poisoning) a slow and painful death. It was callous and complete disregard for animals' well-being."

On October 31st, she was convicted in a bench trial presided over by Judge Truman A. Morrison III of the District of Columbia Superior Court. That turned out to be a pyrrhic victory for cat-lovers, however, because on December 14th he sentenced her to a measly US$100 fine, which is about what a parking ticket costs nowadays in the nation's capital.

Even in meting out that very polite tap on the wrists Morrison was far more concerned about jeopardizing her budding career as a cat killer than he was with either dispensing justice or protecting the lives of innocent cats. "This is a serious offense, more serious than many misdemeanors," he mindlessly gassed before demonstrating writ large his true sentiments. "Her career is now in grave jeopardy and will never be what it was before she was prosecuted and convicted."

In making such an asinine proclamation Morrison quite obviously was lamely attempting to put a pretty face on a simply outrageous miscarriage of justice. First of all, no one even remotely connected to the Smithsonian ever uttered so much as a contrary word against either Dauphiné or her patently criminal activites.

Secondly, not a solitary ornithologist or wildlife biologist ever condemned her behavior. Au contraire, they wrote letters to Morrison proclaiming to the high heavens her total innocence and likely also donated money for her defense. The bulk of the enormous legal tab that she ran up at two high-powered law firms, however, most likely was footed by the taxpayers.

She has been keeping a low profile since her conviction but it would be a shock if she had not returned to either academia or an institution similar to the Smithsonian. She is, after all, a hero to ornithologists and wildlife biologists and birds of a feather normally flock together.

The capitalist media and just about everyone else soon forgot all about this cause cèlébre and that was a huge mistake because its dénouement left unanswered a slew of issues concerning how that the Smithsonian treats cats. In particular, at the National Zoo Dauphiné was fitting domestic felines with video cameras in order to record their interactions with birds and other wildlife.

It never was explained, however, where that the National Zoo gets the cats that it turns into guinea pigs, how that it treats them and, most importantly of all, what happens to them once Dauphiné and her cronies have sucked all the blood that they can out of them. The most probable answer to the first question is that they are supplied by the same firms that peddle cats to vivisectors.

As far as their treatment is concerned, Dauphiné and her colleagues most likely horribly abuse them and may even starve them so that when they are turned loose they are eager to hunt and thereby unwittingly supply their gaolers with enough data in order to hang the entire species. It therefore goes almost without saying that it is highly unlikely that any cat ever has escaped from the Smithsonian alive because any institution that would poison them in the street is not about to spare any of them that it already has securely locked up in cages.

Besides, Dauphiné is an old hand when it comes to killing cats. For instance, while she was studying at the University of Georgia in Athens she trapped dozens, if not indeed hundreds, of cats that she in turn gave to shelters in order to kill. Furthermore, it is a good bet that she was poisoning cats there just as she was doing in Washington.

"Wild animals are just as important as companion animals," Giacoppo declared. "This case shows that whether or not an animal is in someone's lap or in the alley, they are entitled to the same protections."

Regrettably, his highfalutin rhetoric has not been matched by any corresponding action. In particular, the WHS has adamantly refused to investigate how that the zoo treats not only cats but the other two-thousand animals that it has unjustly incarcerated not only in Washington but Front Royal, Virginia, as well.

In recent years, for example, its head veterinarian has been accused of falsifying records and it is known that, inter alia, a red panda died after it accidentally ingested rat poison, a red fox killed a bald eagle, a three-year-old Sulawesi macaque named Ripley was killed by an hydraulic door, and as Asian elephant named Toni was intentionally killed off. Moreover, zoos all over the world are notorious for promoting inbreeding as well as trafficking in their so-called surplus species.

Those that are aged, sickly, and simply of no longer any monetary value to them are either publicly dissected or systematically killed off and the National Zoo is most assuredly guilty of those and other offenses as well. (See the Ottawa Citizen, February 20, 2014, "Killing of Marius the Giraffe at Danish Zoo Too Much to Stomach," The Independent of London, February 27, 2014, "Zoos in Europe 'Kill Five-Thousand Healthy Animals a Year'," the BBC, March 25, 2014, "Danish Zoo That Culled Giraffe Kills Family of Lions," and the Daily Mail, October 15, 2015, "Children Gasp in Shock (and Hold Their Noses) as Lion's Intestines Are Removed During Controversial Public Dissection at Danish Zoo.")

Dauphiné's boss at the Migratory Bird Center was Peter P. Marra and last year his comrades-in-arms at Princeton University published his scurrilous new tome, Cat War: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer. In that long-winded piece of unabashed drivel and outright lies, he argues that all cats that venture outdoors should be killed by "any means necessary" and that in turn makes it all but conclusive that he not only was aware of Dauphiné's nefarious activities but approved of them as well. (See WABE, 90.11 FM of Atlanta, September 29, 2016, "Stakes Grow Higher in Cat-Bird Wars.")

This egomaniac even had the unmitigated gall to go on a book tour, financed by the taxpayers no doubt, to England last year but he did not receive the kind of welcome that he had anticipated. "To pick on cats for killing birds is speciesism and elitism, a very dangerous cocktail indeed," Liz Jones warned in the Daily Mail on September 24th. (See "It's Not Just Cats That Should Be Culled -- It's Ignorant Men.") "Dr. Marra sounds about as intelligent as the designer Michael Kors who, when I asked how he could countenance using fur in his designs, told me he had just been on safari and seen big cats killing prey. He couldn't differentiate between humans causing immense suffering in the name of vanity and a wild animal feeding her family..."

Cat activist Celia Hammond was even blunter. "Go away, Dr. Marra," she told the Daily Mail. "Cats bring pleasure to the majority of people in this country. We are not interested in your ailurophobic views."

It is just too bad that there are not any individuals and groups in the United States with the guts to tell Marra and the Smithsonian, the American Bird Conservancy, the National Audubon Society, and the feds the same thing. It certainly is long overdue.

In addition to Marra, the Smithsonian's department of agit-prop boasts the services of Abigail Tucker who likes to pass herself off as somewhat of a savant when it comes to cats. Even so much as a cursory glance at her unctuous scribblings, however, reveals her to be nothing more than an outrageous liar who, like Marra, has absolutely no use whatsoever for the truth.

"Ten-thousand years after their ancestors invaded our Fertile Crescent settlements, house cats -- trailing our armies and sailing on our ships -- have spread like dandelion fluff," she bellowed in defense of the woodrats in the Florida Keys in an article written for the October of 2016 edition of Smithsonian Magazine . (See "To Save the Woodrat, Conservationists Have to Deal with an Invasive Species First: House Cats.")

First of all, according to most archaeologists cats are indigenous to the Middle East and surrounding areas. Consequently, Old Thingumajig Tucker cannot have it both ways; that is, she cannot claims that they are an invasive species everywhere.

Secondly, the Fertile Crescent never has belonged to her, the Smithsonian, or Americans. Thirdly, it is utterly preposterous for her to claim that cats voluntarily vacated their homelands in order to dutifully follow their imperialistic and capitalistic exploiters. On the contrary, they were uprooted from their homes and forcibly transported to the far corners of the globe.

They accordingly are the victims of militaristic and economic imperialism and Tucker, who looks like something that has been squeezed out of a tube of hemorrhoidal ointment and then pissed on by a mule, can lie her ugly little face off until the cows come home but it is not going to change that incontrovertible fact. The Australians, New Zealanders, and the South Africans long have gotten away with their despicable crimes against cats by spouting such rubbish but it is not about to pass intellectual muster in this country.

Fourthly, Tucker claims that cats are so fertile that just a pair of them is capable of producing three-hundred-fifty-four-thousand-two-hundred-ninety-four descendants within the short span of five years. That is another of her outrageous lies that has been around for seemingly forever.

By comparison, the Math Department at the University of Washington in Seattle puts that number at a considerably more conservative one-hundred to four-hundred over a seven-year period. (See The Feral Cat Times, February of 2006, "How Many Kittens in Seven Years?")

It would be higher, however, if it were not for birds of prey, wildlife, ornithologists, and wildlife biologists killing them. Fifthly, while she busily was laying on the lies with a trowel Old Talkative Tucker endorsed the Smithsonian's widely discredited 2013 study that ludicrously claimed that American cats kill between two and four billion birds as well as between seven and twenty-one billion mammals each year.

Sixthly, this self-professed authority on cats ludicrously claims that even tiny kittens are mega predators. "Even kittens know how to kill. Diligent feline mothers teach kittens to hunt starting at just a few weeks of age by bringing them live prey, if it's available," she wrote in the Smithsonian Magazine article cited supra. "But if no mother is around, kittens still figure out how to stalk and pounce."

Rarely has such a load of absolute crap ever been passed off as the unvarnished truth! To begin with, kittens do not even open their eyes until they are at least ten days old and it is several weeks later until they are able to use their legs. More to the point, they do not start to acquire teeth until they are around two months old and even then they do not get all thirty of their adult teeth until they reach the age of six months or so. They accordingly are unable to eat anything of substance, let alone meat, even if their mothers were to be foolish enough to present it to them.

Kittens therefore rely solely upon their mothers' milk in order to survive for the first eight to twelve weeks of their lives. Moreover, some cats do not wean their kittens until a full twelve months after they were born. Once their mothers wean them however, they transfer that dependence to their human caretakers; no hunting is involved. If their mothers should be either trapped or killed by the likes of Tucker and her colleagues at the Smithsonian, they do not magically learn "how to stalk and pounce" but rather they die of starvation and that usually occurs within forty-eight hours.

Furthermore, mother cats, whether in the wild or in a domestic setting, do not teach their kittens how to hunt; rather, that skill is innate. To be more precise, it is not so much a hunting skill as it is a love of chasing things that move. On the other hand, if what Tucker and others claims were true cats certainly would possess more intelligence than to waste time and energy chasing strings and the light emitted by lasers and other objects.

It strains credulity that someone who claims to have graduated summa cum laude from Harvard could possibly be as bloody stupid as Tucker lets on to be and that in turn leads to the alternative conclusion that she is rather an outrageous liar. On the other hand, since reportedly ninety-four per cent of the students at her old Beantown degree mill are rewarded with A's by their professors, it is entirely possible that almost any halfwit on campus would be regarded as a genius. Au royaume des aveugles, les borgnes sont roi.

Finally, there cannot be any doubt that Obama not only was aware of the Smithsonian's crimes against cats but approved of them as well. For instance, Morrell John Berry not only worked at the Smithsonian during the 1990's but returned as director of the National Zoo from 2005 to 2009.

Obama later appointed him as United States ambassador to Australia in 2013 and he served in that capacity through 2016. While doing so, he not only wholeheartedly endorsed Greg Hunt's mass eradication of cats but praised his "leadership position" on wildlife preservation. (See Town Hall of Salem Communications, August 17, 2015, "Environmentalists Kill Millions of Cats and Birds.")

Berry most recently parlayed that experience into getting himself appointed as president of the American Australian Association in New York. Proving that he is man for all seasons, he joined Donald John Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull May 4th aboard the USS Intrepid, a museum ship moored in the Hudson River, in order to commemorate the 1942 Battle of Coral Sea.

In human affairs, it is seldom the crème de la crème that rises to the top but rather the flotsam and jetsam of the human race. (See the New York Post, May 4, 2017, "Teens Who Joined Forces Seventy-Five Years Ago Reunite in New York for Salute by Prez and PM.")

Finally, the Smithsonian receives around a billion dollars each year from the taxpayers and part of that goes toward abusing, killing, and defaming cats. That, along with its huge appropriations for operating two zoos, desperately needs to be eliminated. In May of this year, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus finally went out of business and it accordingly is long overdue for Congress to get out of the business of operating zoos.

If the institution wishes to engage in such abhorrent and morally repulsive activities it should be willing to finance them out of its own pockets. Even more importantly, if the WHS had any backbone it would hold it accountable under the anti-cruelty statutes. (See Cat Defender posts of July 12, 2011, November 18, 2011, and January 6, 2012 entitled, respectively, "The Arrest of Nico Dauphiné for Attempting to Poison a Colony of Homeless Cats Unmasks the National Zoo as a Hideout for Ailurophobes and Criminals," "Nico Dauphiné, Ph.D., Is Convicted of Attempting to Poison a Colony of Homeless Cats but Questions Remain Concerning the Smithsonian's Role" and "Nico Dauphiné Is Let Off with an Insultingly Lenient $100 Fine in a Show Trial That Was Fixed from the Very Beginning.")

5.) The National Park Service Cruelly Evicted Thirty-Three Cats from Plum Beach.

The NPS' Eviction Notice

Of all the dirty, spiteful, and underhanded deeds that Obama and his fellow criminals committed against cats none perhaps was more repulsive than the National Park Service's (NPS) cruel eviction of a TNR colony from Plum Beach, Brooklyn, in June of 2014. The eviction was served June 8th in the form of signs posted at the entrance to the area.

The NPS gave the cats' caretakers five days in order to remove their feeding stations and winterized shelters and if that was not done it vowed to steal them. Likewise, if the cats were not removed it pledged to trap and dump them at a shelter.

"At this point, our plans are to take those structures down and try to round up the cats and take them to a city shelter," the agency's Daphne Yun threatened in no uncertain terms. Quite obviously, neither she nor anyone else connected to the NPS has any use whatsoever for the just compensation clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution which explicitly bars the federal government from seizing private property without first obtaining a legal mandate from the courts and even then only after paying the injured party just compensation.

Far more importantly, if the cats had wound up at a shelter they almost certainly would have been killed. "They (the cats) get five days before they put them down," Nancy Rogers of K9 Kastle of Brooklyn, which cared for them, pointed out the obvious.

In defense of its outrageous edict, the NPS trotted out the old familiar and time-worn litany of lies that have become the bread and butter of seemingly all ornithologists and wildlife biologists. First of all, it claimed that they were a threat to shorebirds, small mammals, and reptiles. Secondly, it claimed that they are an invasive species. Thirdly, it alleged that their presence on all federal lands is illegal.

"For a national park to have any exotic species that could pose a threat to native wildlife is a direct conflict with national law," the NPS' Doug Adamo bellowed. "It is conservatively estimated that one billion birds (are) killed by domestic cats in the United States alone."

While it is true that as a part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, Plum Beach falls within the NPS' legal mandate to govern fifty-nine parks as well as three-hundred-forty-two national monuments, conservation areas, and historical sites, Congress never has explicitly declared cats to be either an invasive species or to have ordered their ouster from all public lands. The decision to remove those living in Plum Beach therefore was made by the NPS and Obama without so much as a scintilla of legal authority.

The timing of the cats' ouster also is peculiar in that they had been living in Plum Beach for eleven years. Although the NPS ludicrously claimed that it only recently had learned of their presence, it quite obviously was either lying or blind. For instance, the United States Army Corps of Engineers certainly was not only well aware of their presence but made sure that their caretakers had access to parts of Plum Beach that had been fenced off while it was rebuilding areas of it that had been damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The volunteers fed and watered the cats every day, provided them with shelters, and Carolyn Euvino even spent US$30,00 of her own money in order to have them sterilized. Every bit as importantly, there never had been any complaints from residents concerning their presence.

"These cats have been here for years," Rogers summed up. "They bother no one."

They additionally performed a valuable public service free of charge. "Do you know there's a rat problem in New York City?" Janelle Barabash of Midwood asked rhetorically. "(Do) you know where there's not a rat problem? Plum Beach."

Merely attending to their everyday needs proved to be beneficial for some of their dedicated caretakers. "It's like therapy for me -- I was in Vietnam," Joe Destefan of Bay Ridge testified. "I still go to group (therapy), but this helps a lot."

Rogers and K9 Kastle did what they could in order to defend the cats but in the end they proved not to be much of a match for an enemy as well financed, armed and, above all, thoroughly ruthless and unscrupulous as the NPS. "We all came down to the reality that no matter how much we fought, these cats are not going to be able to stay where they are," she concluded.

It therefore became crystal clear to her that if the cats were to go on living they had to be relocated elsewhere but even that was impossible under the tight deadline set by NPS. "It took a year and a half to trap and spay or neuter the population," she protested. "I don't know how Doug (Adamo) thinks we'll do this in eight (sic) days."

Like an old miser counting his precious pennies, Adamo at first decided to extend the eviction mandate until June 20th. When that proved to be insufficient, he grudgingly advanced his eviction timetable until June 30th.

Even with the extra time allotted them, the enormity of the task that confronted Rogers and her helpers cannot in any way be underestimated. First of all, each of the cats had to be trapped and then temporarily warehoused in Rogers' garage.

Some way and somehow she was fortunate enough to locate a farm "south of the city" that was willing to accept the cats provided that they were up-to-date on their vaccinations and that necessitated a trip to a local veterinarian for all of them. Finally, they had to be driven to their new home.

The entire exercise was expected to have cost K9 Kastle US$3,000 but the charity was able to raise US$2,535 of that amount via an online appeal. It is not known for certain, but more than likely it is still on the hook for the cost of the cats' continued care in their new home.

Hopefully, Rogers was able to remove all thirty-three of the cats but press reports at the time could only confirm that twenty of them had been successfully trapped and spirited to safety. Needless to say, any that were left behind were promptly killed by the NPS and that also is destined to be the fate of any newcomers that are dumped there in the future by their equally unconscionable owners.

Absolutely nothing has been disclosed about how that the cats are getting on at their new home but every day that they persevere serves as a rather poignant repudiation of the NPS and its cat-killing agenda. In that same vein, not enough can be said about the herculean job that Rogers and her colleagues did in getting them out of Plum Beach alive.

Finally, the cavalier fashion with which the NPS treated the cats and their caretakers stands in stark juxtaposition to how that it and its sister agency within the Interior Department, the Bureau of Land Management, dealt with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in April of that same year. Most memorably, when agents from both services showed up in order to seize his cows in settlement of the millions of dollars that he owed them in unpaid grazing fees dating back to the 1990's, they quickly turned tail and ran like scalded hounds when he and his militiamen drew down on them.

By 2016, however, the feds had regained some of their nerve as they amply demonstrated by training their dogs, rubber bullets, and water cannons on members of the Standing Rock Sioux and their supporters who were protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. It accordingly can be safely concluded that the feds are not only inveterate liars and criminals but rank cowards as well.

That is to say, those animals and individuals that are unable to defend themselves and their interests, such as cats, their owners, and Native Americans, are fair game for almost any form of abuse and tyranny whereas armed criminals and well-heeled crooks, such as Bundy and the Wall Street crowd, are given a wide berth by the feds. (See Cat Defender post of August 7, 2014 entitled "The National Park Service Racks Up a Major Victory by Expelling the Plum Beach Cats but It Is Thwarted in Its Burning Desire to Dance a Merry Little Jig on Their Graves.")

6.) Wildlife Services Killed Thousands of Cats in 2016.

A Rare White Wolf with a Radio Collar

Few individuals ever have so much as heard of it but nonetheless the USDA's Wildlife Services is the nation's designated death squad in that it annually exterminates between two and five million animals. In fulfillment of its congressional mandate, it has appropriated for its use seemingly every hideous method of killing imaginable.

For example, it guns down animals not only on the ground but also from airplanes and helicopters. Both leghold and body-gripper traps are integral parts of its arsenal of death. So, too are poisons such as sodium monofluoroacetate (1080), drowning, asphyxiation, and starvation. It even has spring-loaded, sweet-smelling M-44 cyanide land mines at its disposal.

The principal beneficiaries of the agency's professional killers are farmers, ranchers, airports, golf course operators, and municipal, county, and state authorities. At times when it is not busy doing the bidding of the capitalists it lends its expertise to ornithologists and wildlife biologists aligned with the USFWS in order to extirpate cats and other species that it either does not like or can get away with killing. (See Cat Defender post of September 14, 2005 entitled "The USDA's Wildlife Services Exterminates Millions of Animals Each Year at the Behest of Capitalists.")

In 2016, for instance, it exterminated two-million-seven-hundred-thousand animals including one-million-six-hundred-thousand native species. That in itself puts the lie to feds' often repeated mantra that they only kill exotic species and dearly cherish those that are native. If the truth dare to be told, they gladly will kill almost any animal.

The data supplied by the agency are believed to be not only gross underestimates but they are difficult to decipher as well. For instance, in its Program Data Report for G-2016, Wildlife Services admits to killing five-hundred-sixty-six cats. It also claims to have trapped and freed six-hundred-eighty others but the report neglects to define what that entailed. In particular, "freed" could mean only that they were turned over to shelters to be killed.

It likewise claims to have dispersed four-hundred-sixty-seven more but, once again, the agency fails to disclose what it means by that. More importantly, it does not disclose where that they were relocated.

Considering just how ingrained hatred of cats is within the entire federal bureaucracy, it is difficult to believe that Wildlife Services ever would spare the life of any cat that it had successfully trapped. Taken altogether, the agency in all probability killed in excess of seventeen-hundred cats last year.

It additionally admits to killing nine-hundred-ninety-seven bobcats, trapping and releasing twenty-four as well as dispersing nine others. It also mowed down three-hundred-thirty-four cougars.

Other than cats, Wildlife Services killed four-hundred-fifteen wolves. It also liquidated seventy-six-thousand-nine-hundred-sixty-three coyotes, four-hundred-seven black bears, twenty-one-thousand-one-hundred-eighty-four beavers, three-thousand-seven-hundred-ninety-one foxes, and fourteen-thousand-six-hundred-fifty-four prairie dogs.

Ever since Chesley Sullenberger ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River back in 2009 it has been open season on Canadian geese and that deadly and utterly barbaric trend continued during 2016. Specifically, Wildlife Services rounded up and gassed twenty-two-thousand-three-hundred, eighty-eight of these majestic birds. It also trapped and freed two-thousand-five-hundred-eighteen more of them as well as having dispersed an astounding five-hundred-seven-thousand-fifty-four additional members of the species.

Pigs also were on the receiving end of the agency's unquenchable thirst for innocent blood in that it killed fifty-six-thousand-eight-hundred-fifty-five of these highly intelligent animals. Three-hundred-fourteen of them were trapped and freed while an additional eighty-nine were dispersed.

Once again, Obama either could have directed the service to have ceased with these senseless slaughters or simply stripped it of its funding but he, typically, sat idly by and did absolutely nothing. He also could have leaned heavily on the states, which also have their own animal killers, to put away their guns and poisons as well as to outlaw all recreational hunting.

7.) The United States Military Continued to Kill Thousands of Cats Each Year.

A Young Boy Attempts to Save His Animals from the Fighting in Mosul

"...the cruelest, most terrible, most cynical, most murderous empire that has existed," is how former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez described the United States a few years before his untimely death. By even saying that much he grossly understated the case in that he failed to take into consideration the simply abominable crimes that Americans inflict upon cats, other animals, and Mother Earth.

As everyone already knows, the United States is currently engaged in armed conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia but that is far from being the complete story. In particular, it is believed to have Special Operations Forces, primarily Army Green Berets and Navy SEALs, on the ground in another one-hundred-twenty-eight countries. (See The Nation, September 24, 2015, "How Many Wars Is the United States Really Fighting?")

The greatest damage is done, however, by the bombs and missiles that the Air Force and Navy indiscriminately and criminally drop on the heads of civilians, such as those recently killed in Mosul, groups such as Medicins sans frontiére, and umpteen scores of cats and other animals. Given that human lives count for absolutely nothing as far as the bloodthirsty American imperialists are concerned, it is almost superfluous to point out that the lives of cats and other animals count for even less than that; instead, all of them are lumped together under the rubric of collateral damage and then conveniently assigned to the dust bin of history.

Even far removed from the combat theatres, the lives of just about all cats are not worth so much as a plugged nickel. At the more than six-thousand military bases at home as well as the more than eight-hundred of them that operate on foreign soil, cats are routinely trapped and killed and it makes little difference whether they have been cruelly abandoned by military personnel, wander in on their own, or are dumped outside the gates.

Still others are shot on sight. For example, on April 28, 2009 a one-year-old bobtailed tom named Yellow Two was shot by a pest control officer and left for dead after he unknowingly wandered into Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.

If his owner, Herman Wright, had not overheard the report of the gunshot and raced to the scene he surely would have died of his injuries. Even as things eventually turned out, the damage inflicted upon him was debilitating enough in its own right. (See Cat Defender post of July 16, 2009 entitled "Yellow Two Is Shot and Maimed for Life in the United States Army's Latest Criminal Offense Against Cats.")

In late 2001, Central Command issued General Order 1-A (GO-1A) mandating that all non-working animals in combat zones be exterminated and at along about that same time Chief of Naval Operations Vern Clark ordered that all bases under his purview promptly get rid of their cats and dogs. (See the Humane Society of the United States' press release of May 27, 2005, "United States Military Treats Stray Dogs and Cats Befriended by Troops as Enemies of State.")

Whenever the military wearies of killing them itself, it outsources their extermination to mercenaries such as the Haliburton subsidiary of Kellogg, Brown, and Root as well as the Filipinos. In places like Baghdad, Iraqi soldiers gun down dogs, and presumably cats as well, on sight.

At the United States naval base in Rota, Spain, sailors poison cats with antifreeze and suffocate kittens in plastic bags. (See the Stars and Stripes, April 28, 2004, "Navy Policy Has Compounded Problem of Stray Cats at Rota, Some Say" and RT Television of Washington, June 7, 2016, "United States Navy Accused of 'Disappearing' Cats in Spain.")

At the long-running gulag that the Navy operates at Guantánamo Bay, one-hundred-eighty-six cats were killed during 2016. It is not known, however, if that tally is indicative of the average number of them that are killed each year because the Navy only grudgingly coughed up that information after it was served with an order to divulge under the Freedom of Information Act. (See the Miami Herald, April 19, 2017, "Guantánamo Base Kills Plan to Save Feral Cats.")

As if the Pentagon did not have enough firepower and poisons at its disposal in order to eliminate every cat from the face of the earth, it also counts among its hired guns the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Already charged with managing two-hundred-eighty-four lakes and reservoirs, six-hundred-nine dams, two-hundred-fifty-seven navigational locks at two-hundred-twelve locations, nine-hundred-twenty-six coasts and inland harbors, and thirty-eight-thousand-seven-hundred acres of wetlands as well as various projects in ninety foreign countries, the agency in recent years has added evicting and killing cats to its mandate.

For instance, in March of 2008 it gave the managers of a TNR colony residing in West Bank Park at Lake Lanier, seventy-nine kilometers north of Atlanta, one week in order to remove the thirty to one-hundred cats under their care. As far as those that remained behind were concerned, the USACE vowed to trap and give them to a shelter to kill.

"From a health standpoint, from a safety standpoint, from a natural resources standpoint, a large colony of cats on a small twenty-eight-acre park that's the most visited recreational area on Lake Lanier, just doesn't work for us," the agency's Chris Lovejoy decreed.

That provoked a swift and spirited rebuttal from area resident Bessie Lamica. "The cats, to me, are as much a part of the park as the squirrels, the birds, and the people," she declared. "I don't see them as any more of a threat, a danger, or nuisance than the geese that poop everywhere or the squirrels that get in the garbage and knock everything over."

Unpersuaded to say the least, Lovejoy retailed by trotting out every libel and slander that he could think of about cats. "The other side is they carry diseases that are harmful to pregnant women. They're a vector for rabies," he added. "Not to mention the fact that there are kids in the park by the hundreds on holiday weekend, any given weekend, and it takes just one time for that cat to get trapped or penned in some place and it attacks someone."

That load of absolute balderdash was just too much for Carmela Quinlan, one of the cats' longtime caretakers, to stomach. "They don't pose a threat to anyone," she retorted. "They're not a threat to humans. They're afraid of humans." (See Cat Defender post of April 17, 2010 entitled "Lake Lanier's Cats Face an Uncertain Future Following Their Ouster by the Liars and Defamers at the United States Army Corps of Engineers.")

Under the authority vested in him as commander and chief, Obama could have taken in interest in these matters and ordered the Department of Defense to have spared the lives of cats and other animals both at home and abroad but he instead deliberately chose to turn a blind eye to his soldiers' despicable crimes. That in turn makes him their accomplice and as such exposes him as just another morally bankrupt bum.

8.) Cats Were No Longer Welcome to Use the United States Post Office in Notasulga.


For more than a decade, an orange cat named Sammy was a regular feature at the post office in Notasulga, Alabama, where he would nap on a front table and greet patrons. All was fine until January of 2009 when an unidentified woman demanded that he be given the bum's rush.

In defense of her ultimatum, she argued not only that he does not pay taxes but that he also once assaulted her. Finally, she claimed that he had to go because she is allergic to cats.

In pursuance of that objective, she rang up postmistress Carolyn Hood and gave her a good raking over the coals. "She acted very ugly on the phone with me," the object of her ire later divulged. "I told her I'd do everything I could to keep the cat outside."

True to her word, Old Hood caved in quicker than a sod roof in a downpour. "Sammy (the post office cat) is no longer allowed in this building due to a customer complaint," she wrote in a notice that she posted on the front door. "Thanks for your help."

To their credit, Sammy's supporters remained loyal and refused to knuckle under to Hood's edict. In an effort to legitimize his presence, Elizabeth Averrett and Louise Pratt even went so far as to take out a post office box in his name. Once his plight had become known, letters of support, food parcels, toys, money, and gift certificates poured in from his numerous supporters around the country.

"Sammy's got more friends in Notasulga than any other individual I know," legendary Auburn University football coach Pat Dye declared. "We ain't worried about football. We're worried about the cat."

For a while it looked as if Sammy and his supporters might somehow be able to prevail. "But the town went crazy after the sign went up," Hood acknowledged. "They call (Sammy) in here more than ever now."

In the end, however, he had to go and the United States Postal Service's edict can only be viewed as another example of the feds' all-out war on cats, the first such step of which is to completely eliminate them from all federal properties. After that, they plan on eliminating them from state and private properties as well. (See Cat Defender post of February 11, 2009 entitled "The United States Postal Service Knuckles Under to the Threats and Lies of a Cat-Hater and Gives Sammy the Boot.")

9.) The USFWS and Its Associates Killed Off America's Last Jaguar, Macho B.

Macho B. Fitted with a Bulky Radio Collar

In addition to the large number of cougars and bobcats that Wildlife Services and others, both inside and outside of federal and state governments, liquidate each year, the USFWS killed off America's last remaining jaguar on March 2, 2009. The cat originally had been snared in a leghold trap south of Tucson and near the Mexican border on February 18th by agents of the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD).

On that occasion, he had been examined and bodily fluids and tissues were stolen from him for analysis. He also was fitted with a bulky radio collar and then released.

He shortly thereafter was darted again on March 2nd and the decision to end his life was made by the USFWS in consultation with the AGFD and the Phoenix Zoo where he had been taken after his second capture. Considering the financial bonanza that no less than nine institutions and individuals reaped by later trafficking in his fur, bones, and bodily fluids, he clearly was worth considerably more to the so-called conservationists dead than alive. (See Cat Defender post of May 21, 2009 entitled "Macho B., America's Last Jaguar, Is Illegally Trapped, Radio-Collared, and Killed Off by Wildlife Biologists in Arizona.")

In recent years, at least three jaguars, including one dubbed El Jefe, have been spotted in the Arizona-New Mexico area but their quest to reclaim the territory that was stolen from their ancestors long ago is being thwarted by, inter alia, motorists, hunters, the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine, and Trump's plan to build a wall along the Mexican border. (See the Silver City Sun-News, July 5, 2016, "Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) Files Notice of Intent to Sue to Protect El Jefe's Territory" and the Arizona Daily Star of Tucson, March 2, 2017, "Another Jaguar Discovery in Southern Arizona Adds to Border-Wall Debate.")

In Maine, it is the rare Canada Lynx that is under threat. On November 4, 2014, the USFWS issued a permit to allow both private individuals as well as state agents to trap lynxes.

Although the cats are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), a total of seventy of them were trapped in Maine between 1999 and 2012. Some of them sustained injuries but it is not known if any of them were killed. (See CBD press release of November 4, 2014, "Feds Approve Maine Trapping Plan Allowing Rare Canada Lynx to Be Harmed, Killed" and the Portland Press Herald, August 17, 2015, "Wildlife Groups Sue to Stop Maine's Trapping Season to Protect Canada Lynx.")

The Obama Administration also did little or nothing in order to protect the fewer than one-hundred ocelots that remain in Texas and Arizona. (See CBD press release of May 26, 2016, "Lawsuit Launched to Protect Endangered Cats in Arizona, Texas from Government Killing" and Cat Defender post of July 26, 2007 entitled "Tottering on the Brink of Extinction, Texas Ocelots Must Overcome a Myriad of Obstacles If They Are Going to Survive.")

The situation is even direr for the fifty or so Florida Panthers that remain in the wild and captive-bred lions that are slaughtered for the dinner table. (See The Ledger of Lakeland, June 19, 2017, "Endangered Florida Panther Killed by Car; Fifteenth Death This Year" and Living on Earth, May 20, 2011, "Lion Meat, Anyone?")

10.) Obama Reneged on a Pledge to Adopt a Shelter Animal.

The New York Times and National Public Radio Love Kitten Killers

During the 2008 presidential campaign both Obama and his wife, Michele, pledged to adopt a shelter animal if elected. Once in office, however, they completely forgot about that promise and since then never have uttered so much as a syllable concerning the plight of the millions of cats and dogs that are exterminated each year by shelters and veterinarians.

Furthermore, as far as it is known the only cat that Obama came face-to-face with during his eight years in office was Gli of Hagia Sophia whom he met during a trip to Istanbul in April of 2009. He possibly could have run into Larry when he paid an ill-advised visit to 10 Downing Street last summer in an effort to mobilize support against Brexit but that is by no means certain. (See YouTube video, April 7, 2009, "Obama Visits Hagia Sophia Church.")

Even more egregiously, his much ballyhooed ACA completely omits any reference, let along offering any assistance, to ailing and injured companion animals. He, like everyone else on the planet, is surely aware that the exorbitant fees demanded by veterinarians are responsible for untold unnecessary deaths each year. Also, sky-high sterilization fees are, arguably, the number one force driving pet overpopulation.

There is not much to report on the positive side of the ledger but in 2015 the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, did belatedly issue a warning concerning Flurbiprofen but even that did not come until after the topical analgesic had killed at least three cats and induced renal failure in two others. (See FDA press release of April 17, 2015, "Flurbiprofen Containing Topical Pain Medications: FDA Alert -- Illnesses and Deaths in Pets Exposed to Prescription Topical Pain Medication.")

Whereas the FDA under Obama is to be commended for finally alerting cat owners to the dangers posed by Flurbiprofen, it blotted its copybook by failing to look into the toxicity of implanted microchips. (See Cat Defender posts of September 21, 2007 and November 6, 2010 entitled, respectively, "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs" and "Bulkin Contracts Cancer from an Implanted Microchip and Now It's Time for Digital Angel® and Merck to Answer for Their Crimes in a Court of Law.")

In May of 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally was able to prevail upon Reckitt Benckisor to stop selling d-CON to consumers. Over the course of several decades, the second-generation anticoagulent rodenticides contained in it have killed, both intentionally as well as unintentionally, countless cats, dogs, and wildlife. (See the Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2014, "Maker of Powerful Rat Poison Will Cease Production in July" and Earth Justice of San Francisco's press release of May 30, 2014, "d-CON Agrees to Pull Super-Toxic Rat Poisons from Stores.")

This poison was supposed to have been removed from retailers' shelves by the middle of 2015 but it still can be found to this very day at ShopRite and, presumably, other stores as well. While it is entirely conceivable that it has been watered-down in order to pass EPA muster, rat poison is still a deadly killer and contaminates the environment regardless of its potency.

That which is not in dispute is that the EPA has allowed Reckitt Benckiser to continue to market its original product to farmers, exterminators, landscapers, and real estate managers. As a consequence, cougars, coyotes, foxes, hawks, raccoons, black bears, and fishers are continuing to be poisoned to death by it.

In fact, the actual number of poisonings have increased, not decreased, since the EPA's ban went into effect. (See KCET-TV of Burbank, January 24, 2017, "Despite Ban, Rat Poison Still Sickening Mountain Lions.")

On December 9, 2010, Obama signed into law a bill that outlawed crush videos. Although these perverse videos depict all sorts of animal abuse, one of the more popular genres feature naked women in razor-sharp stiletto heels stomping to death kittens and puppies.

Legislative and executive action was needed because the numbskulls who sit on the United States Supreme Court earlier in United States versus Stevens, 559 US 460 (2010) had upheld their constitutionality under the First Amendment in an eight to one majority opinion. Not surprisingly, The New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Outdoor Writers Association filed amicus curiae briefs with the court in support of the kitten and puppy killers.

Ironically, Obama cannot even take credit for putting an end to that odious business because the bill, both in its original as well as amended form, was introduced by Elton Gallegly, a Republican congressman from California who represented Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Regrettably, he threw in the towel in 2012 and is no longer in politics.

11.) Obama Also Gave the Cold Shoulder to Wildlife, Lab Animals, and Livestock.

Mustangs Are Rounded Up for Eviction and, in Some Cases, Slaughter

The issues impacting upon the lives of wildlife, research animals, and livestock are so numerous and nuanced that is difficult to give them anything other than a cursory review. Even so, there can be little doubt that Obama could have cared less whether they lived or died.

When it comes to wildlife, his most enduring legacy will be that of the president who sanctioned the brutal gunning down of more than four-thousand gray, and few rare white, wolves between 2011 and 2017. Declared extinct in the continental United States in 1948, several of them were imported from Canada during the Clinton Administration and reintroduced into several western states.

In 2011, the USFWS stripped the vast majority of them of their protections under the ESA and since then it has been open season on them by the likes of Wildlife Services, state wildlife officials, and hunters. Even worse, they are killed by some of the most hateful methods imaginable.

For instance, should cyanide traps fail to kill them, they are hunted down by marksmen in airplanes and helicopters. They bravely attempt to outrun their pursuers but there is not any way that they can escape thanks to the tracking signals being emitted by the bulky radio-collars that they are forced to wear around their necks. Their plight not only is sad and reprehensible but a harbinger of what is in store for mankind in a not-too-distant surveillance society.

In eastern North Carolina, as few as forty-five red wolves remain alive in the wild. The USFWS all but abandoned plans for their recovery in 2014 and since then illegal hunting has been decimating their ranks. (See CBD press release of April 25, 2016, "Reward for Information on Red Wolf Killing Comes Six Months Too Late" and The Star Ledger of Newark, October 20, 2016, "Scientists Call Plan for Red Wolves Misguided, Wrong.")

On June 22nd of this year, the USFWS stripped the seven-hundred or so brown bears that live in and around Yellowstone and the Grand Teton national parks of their protections under the ESA.  From now on those of them that stray outside of those areas will be once again fair game for hunters and wildlife officials in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Although the delisting has come under Trump's watch, it was initiated by the Obama Administration and had been in the works for several years. (See The Washington Post, June 22, 2017, "Yellowstone Grizzly Bears to Lose Protections After Forty-Two Years on Endangered Species List.")

Every bit as shameful as Obama's turning of his back on wolves has been his sellout of wild horses and burros. Not only have fifty-five-thousand of them been removed from the range and incarcerated in governmental holding corrals but between 2008 and 2012 the Bureau of Land Management, which under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act has sole authority over them, sold one-thousand-seven-hundred-ninety-four of them to Tom Davis of La Jara, Colorado, who in turn resold them to businesses that delivered them up to slaughterhouses in Mexico. (See The Washington Post, articles dated November 2, 2015 and September 16, 2016 and entitled, respectively, "Nearly Two-Thousand Wild Horses Sent to Slaughterhouses Instead of Pasture after Government Sale, Probe Says" and "Rumor Has It Government Is Going to Kill Forty-Five-Thousand Horses. Here's the Reality.")

The mustangs and burros, which are being evicted in order to free up more land for cattle and sheep ranchers as well as energy extraction concerns, face even more perils under the Trump Administration which plans on saving a few shekels by selling more of them to slaughterhouses and killing others. (See The Washington Post, May 26, 2017, "Wild Horses Could Be Sold for Slaughter or Euthanized Under Trump Budget.")

Fish and marine animals did not fare any better under Obama's stewardship than did their terrestrial counterparts. Most notably, the Navy continued to injure and kill millions of whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals with its use of eardrum-splitting sonar and underwater detonations.

Already dying off in droves as the result of pollution and being run down by ships, what little protection that these magnificent creatures of the deep have received has come courtesy of the federal courts. (See The Huffington Post, April 3, 2015, "Whales, Dolphins Get Life-Saving Break from Navy's War Games.")

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a division of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration within the Commerce Department, along with wildlife officials from the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho have slaughtered at least one-hundred-sixty-six California sea lion since 2008 in order to keep them from feeding on salmon and steelhead trout. Private individuals also have killed an unspecified number of them and now Native Americans are clamoring to be allowed in on the killing spree. (See KOIN-TV of Portland, July 6, 2016, "Oregon Can Kill Salmon-Eating Sea Lions Until 2021" and US News and World Report, April 11, 2017, "Bill Seeks to Allow Tribes to Kill Salmon-Eating Sea Lions.")

The sea lions are supposedly protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 whereas the fish are covered by the ESA but neither law ever has done any of them very much good. The fish are only allowed to live so that they can be killed by fishermen and the sea lions, which eat only three to four per cent of the fish, are shot on sight for doing the same thing. All three species thus lose and both statutes are turned on their heads with the only winners being the fishermen who are laughing all the way to the bank.

NMFS, also known as NOAA Fisheries, likewise has been implicated in the death of an endangered orca named L95 after one of its agents shot an arrow into its dorsal fin in order to attach a satellite transmitter. The titanium arrow not only injured the whale but failed to break away and that prevented the wound from healing.

The satellite transmitters, which remain inside the animals for months if not indeed forever, also could be toxic. At least seven other orcas have been found with arrows in their hides and all totaled more than five-hundred marine mammals representing nineteen species have been subjected this totally unnecessary barbarism. (See CTV-News of Vancouver, April 14, 2016, "Scientists Blast 'Overly Barbaric' Orca Tagging System" and the CBC, April 16, 2016, "Orca Satellite Tagging Halted after Dart Found in Dead Whale.")

Public outcry spawned by the 2013 documentary film, Blackfish, forced SeaWorld to announce plans in 2016 to phase out its use of orcas in its marine shows and in March of this year it stated that it also is going to end its captive-breeding program. Yet, the far worse abuse and even killing of these animals by NMFS and the Navy not only continues unabated but sans so much as a speck of public opposition.

All things considered, the whales probably would be better off at SeaWorld in that at least it has a rather substantial financial incentive in keeping them alive and that is a good deal more than ever can be said for NMFS. Moreover, this is another classic example of individuals and groups who, justifiably, want to see animal abusers and exploiters punished but, reprehensively, do not give so much as a rat's ass about what ultimately becomes of their victims. (See the New York Post, June 15, 2017, "SeaWorld Kingfish Poised to Walk Plank.")

Even more disturbing, this horrific mistreatment of animals in the name of controlling them is by no means limited to the Americans' diabolical crimes against orcas but rather wildlife biologists all over the world are actively engaged in doing the same thing to just about all species. With that being the case, injuries and high mortality rates, whether publicly acknowledged or not, are the rule.

The goal therefore of NMFS in particular and wildlife biologists in general is to transform all of the great outdoors into one large zoo where they have the sole authority to determine which animals are going to be allowed to go on living and under what circumstances. Like its bastard brother, speciesism, electronic monitoring of them is nothing less than the principles of fascism applied to the animal world. (See Cat Defender posts of February 29, 2008, April 17, 2006, and May 4, 2006 entitled, respectively, "The Repeated Hounding Down and Tagging of Walruses Exposes Electronic Surveillance as Not Only Cruel but a Fraud," "Hal the Central Park Coyote Is Suffocated to Death by Wildlife Biologists Attempting to Tag Him," and "Scientific Community's Use of High-Tech Surveillance Is Aimed at Subjugating, Not Saving, the Animals.")

Even though Obama is certainly not known to ever have taken up arms against any animal, he nevertheless does not have a problem with those who hunt. "Justice (Antonin) Scalia was both an avid hunter and an opera lover...," is how that he chose to eulogize the former jurist to The Washington Post on February 13, 2016. (See "Transcript: President Obama Speaks on the Death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.")

Every bit as shameful, his colleagues within the Democratic Party, Senators Dianne Feinstein of California and "Dirty" Dick Durbin of Illinois, repeatedly voiced their abiding love for hunters and the sport itself during Obama's weak-kneed attempt at gun control legislation a few years back. They willingly threw all the animals underneath the bus in an attempt to reinstate the ban on assault rifles that had been in situ during the Clinton years but in the end they failed to get even that much accomplished, let alone anything else. They, in effect, prostituted themselves for nothing.

The only positive thing that Obama is known to have done for wildlife came this past January when, on his way out the door, he issued an executive order banning the use of lead-based ammunition and fishing tackle on federal lands. Even in doing that much, he gave the USFWS until January of 2022 in order to begin enforcing the law and Trump is likely to cancel that order almost any day now. (See the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 29, 2017, "Can a Federal Ban on Most Ammunition and Sinkers Protect Wildlife from Lead Poisoning?")

Finally, the Obama Administration labored hard in order to weaken the ESA. It went about that by, among other things, limiting the overall number of species that qualify for protection, failing to set aside critical habitat for the recovery of some endangered ones, placing restrictions on the rights of citizens to petition the government to protect animals and plants, and by exempting federal agencies from considering the cumulative effects that their decisions can have on endangered species.

"Not since the Reagan presidency has an administration pushed regulatory changes that so severely undermine the Endangered Species Act," the CBD proclaimed in a press release on June 4, 2015. (See "Cutting the Safety Net: the Obama Administration's Stealth Attack on the Endangered Species Act.")

Yet, when the Democratic Party held its national convention last July in Philadelphia it carried on just as if nothing at all had changed. "Democrats oppose efforts to undermine the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act to protect threatened and endangered species," it declared in its party platform.

That, by the way, was the only acknowledgement that the party made to animals anywhere in the lengthy, fifty-five page document and it is highly unlikely that Hillary Rodham "and Gomorrah" Clinton so much as ever even mentioned them while on the campaign trail. The changing climate and energy policy did not fare all that much better in that they merited only three pages of ink.

When it came to the piteous suffering of the millions of animals that die each year in research laboratories the usually loquacious Obama was every bit as quiet as a church mouse. In particular, he did absolutely nothing in order to stop the hideous abuse that goes on in both governmental laboratories as well as on college campuses which also are in large part funded by the federal government.

The Trump Administration is even worse in that regard in that on February 3rd APHIS, which is charged under the AWA with regulating research labs, shut down its online database thus blocking access to thousands of records documenting the abuse meted out to animals at not only research laboratories but circuses and kitten and puppy mills as well. Now, such information can only be obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. (See American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS) of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, untitled press release of February 8, 2017.)

Obama likewise did absolutely nothing in order to stop the Defense Department from annually shooting, stabbing, burning, and dismembering more than eighty-five-hundred live goats and pigs in its various trauma training exercises. (See AAVS newsletter of May 30, 2017, "End Use of Animals in Combat Training.")

He additionally could have stopped the United States Coast Guard, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, from doing likewise to an undisclosed number of defenseless goats and pigs during its trauma training exercises but, once again, he chose to remain silent. (See The Washington Post, April 28, 2017, "Coast Guard Suspends Practice of Shooting, Stabbing and Dismembering Animals in Trauma Training.")

He was not even willing to defund the USDA's Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska, where all sorts of diabolical crimes are perpetrated against defenseless farm animals. (See The New York Times, January 19, 2015, "United States Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer in Quest for Profit.")

Obama's EPA even refused to intervene in order to stop the state of Texas from poisoning up to two-million homeless pigs with warfarin. In a way that was merely par for the course in that it was precisely a USDA laboratory in Kingsville, following in the steps of its Australian colleagues, that came up with that diabolical way of killing animals. (See The Washington Post, February 23, 2017, "'Hog Apocalypse': Texas Has a New Weapon in Its War on Feral Pigs. It's Not Pretty.")

The agency did intervene, however, in order to stop Boston, New York, and Chicago from killing mice with dry ice. (See USA Today, November 23, 2016, "EPA to Big Cities: Stop Killing Rats with Dry Ice.")

Even though mice and other rodents have just as much of a right to live as do other animals, it nevertheless is odd to say the least that Obama and his minions valued them more than pigs in Texas and cats in Key Largo.

Then there is the matter of the ritualistic slaughter of thousands of innocent chickens each autumn by Orthodox Jews during their Yom Kippur celebration of Kaparot to consider. Whenever he was not wasting petrol and polluting the air during his frequent trips between Washington and Honolulu, Obama was in either Manhattan or Los Angeles raking in the shekels so he hardly could have been ignorant of this simply abhorrent and senseless practice. Besides, no halfway decent individual ever would do either the bidding or accept money from moral reprobates who commit such crimes against defenseless animals.

12.) Conclusion: A Final Grade of F for Obama on All Cat and Animal Rights Issues.

Obama Considered the Killing of Forty-Six Million Turkeys to Be Funny

It was, however, the sickening performance that Obama turned in last November 23rd during the annual presidential pardoning of two turkeys that revealed his abject callousness toward all animals in general. First of all, for the leader of a nation that slaughters and consumes forty-six-million turkeys each Thanksgiving to spare the lives of two of them can only be labeled as ironic to say the least.

Even more appalling, Obama could not resist the overwhelming temptation to make a joke out of the carnage. "I know that there are some bad ones in here, but this is the last time I'm doing this, so we're not leaving any leftovers," he yukked it up to those assembled according to an account of the proceedings rendered in The New York Times on November 23rd. (See "Obama Lets Bad Puns Fly at Turkey Pardoning Tinged with Sadness.")"And so let's get on with the pardoning, because it's Wednesday afternoon and everybody knows that Thanksgiving traffic can put everybody in a foul mood."

Then, after rattling off his accomplishments in the areas of health care, housing, and jobs, he added, "That's worth gobbling about."

At least he did have the bon sens not to mention his abysmal record on animal rights. That was superfluous anyway considering that his bad puns and clowning around with the obviously frightened birds already had said all that there was to say on that subject. It is not even known with any certainty if the birds' lives were indeed spared; it all could have been a cheap publicity stunt.

As head of the executive branch of the federal government for eight years, Obama had tens of millions of civil servants and soldiers at his beck and call and although it would not have been feasible for him to have fired all of them he most assuredly could have appointed cabinet secretaries and division heads who cared about animals and were willing to enforce the anti-cruelty statutes. He also could have issued any number of executive orders that would have substantially improved the lives of cats, wildlife, lab animals, and livestock.

He additionally could have used his high office as a bully pulpit in order to have pursued an animal-friendly agenda. As Richard Neustadt observed in his 1960 seminal work on the presidency, Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents: the Politics of Leadership, the power of the office is equivalent to the power to persuade.

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time," Obama once pontificated while on the stump according to The New York Times' February 5, 2008 edition. (See "Barack Obama's February 5, 2008 Speech.") "We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

Those remarks, quite obviously, were not intended to apply to cats and other animals. Moreover, when it comes to abusing and killing animals he was more than satisfied with the status quo.

His total lack of interest in animal welfare issues is attributable in large part to fact that they never were a part of his moral and intellectual landscape. "Until one has loved an animal part of one's soul remains unawakened," Anatole France once pointed out and in that respect Obama's abject callousness toward them relegates him to the class of the "undisturbed" and "sleep-lovers" that John D. MacDonald so vividly described in his 1964 novel, The Quick Red Fox.

Secondly, he quite obviously was not about to offend any potential voters and donors by beating a drum for any animal. Consequently, the only grade that he is deserving of is an F when it comes to his treatment of both cats and other animals as well.

That is not meant to imply in any way that Trump is going to be an improvement. Au contraire, he already has more than amply demonstrated that he cares even less for animals than did his predecessor. (See Cat Defender post of April 28, 2017 entitled "Trump Not Only Exposes Himself for What He Is but Also Disgraces the Office of the President in the Process by Feting Cat-Killers Theodore Anthony Nugent and Kid Rock at the White House.")

If there is any advantage to be found in having a Republican in the White House it lies in the opposition that his presence and policies are bound to generate. By contrast, whenever a Democrat is in the catbird's seat the overwhelming majority of animal advocates pipe down and become suck-ups to power; au fond, the only thing that they care about is being on the side that is winning and that is far different from being on the side of the animals.

So, in the end, the animals always lose regardless of whichever political party wields power. The only real difference between them boils down to a choice between the Democrats' insufferable lies and bullshit and the Republicans' consummate hatred of everyone and everything.

The final word fittingly belongs to Charles Dickens who in his 1842 novel, Martin Chuzzlewit, described the United States in the following terms:

"I should want to draw it like a bat, for its short-sightedness; like a bantam, for its bragging; like a magpie for its honesty; like a peacock, for its vanity; like an ostrich, for putting its head in the mud, and thinking nobody sees it..."

Photos: Peter Souza of the United States Government (Obama), Hayne Palmour IV of the North County Times of Escondido (San Nicolas' cats), Tami Heilemann of the Department of the Interior (Morkill and Salazar), Roberto Rodriguez of the Associated Press (Patches), the Examiner.com (Dauphiné), Steve Solomonson of the Brooklyn Daily (Plum Beach eviction notice), the National Park Service (radio-collared wolf), Ahmed Jadallah of Reuters (boy from Mosul with his animals), The Tuskegee News (Sammy), Arizona Game and Fish Department (Macho B.), www.care2.com (crush video), and Carlos Barria of Reuters via NBC-TV (Obama pardoning a pair of turkeys).