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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

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Forget about Women! Adopting a Cat Is a Far More Rewarding Alternative for Some Guys Who Are Searching for Their Forever Valentines

 Cats Make the Perfect Valentines
"Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell."
-- Joan Crawford

Valentine's Day has come and gone and, lamentably, many guys once again found themselves without anyone to buy chocolates and roses for or even for that matter to take out to a swanky restaurant for a sit-down meal. Instead, they were relegated to spending the entire day home alone staring at the four walls and pacing the floor.

Scarfing down warmed-up TV dinners and chug-a-lugging six-packs of Pabst Blue Ribbon® did not help much either to take the sting out of their empty and lonely existences. At the close of their seemingly interminable days their only consolation was watching reruns of Bonanza, The Saint, and The Beverly Hillbillies on YouTube.

Every bit as deplorable, their unhappiness was in vain and could have been easily remedied if only they had known not to look to the tender gender for their deliverance but rather to their local animal shelter. There they surely would have found hundreds of adorable cats ready, willing, and able to have ventured into their unfinished lives and to gladly have made them complete.

"There is something about the presence of a cat...that seems to take the bite out of being alone," veterinarian Albert J. Camuti once observed.

For those who still require convincing, there are countless reasons why adopting a cat is a better option than waiting around for Miss Right to leisurely stroll into one's world and that which follows is an examination of just a few of them.

1.) Easier to Get in Bed.

Not wasting any time and immediately getting right down to the nitty-gritty, there can be little disputing that getting a cat in the sack is a far easier task to pull off than doing likewise with a woman. The payoff may not be in any way comparable but the getting is most assuredly a piece of cake.

In stark contrast to the situation with women, the problem with cats is not so much getting them in bed but rather getting them out of it. In particular, digging out each morning from underneath a blanket of five to ten slumbering felines can be quite a job and that is especially the case in that they do not recognize any such thing as a final eviction notice.

Rather, they seem to believe that beds belong to them. "In my experience, cats and beds seem to be a natural combination," Camuti added.

Author Stephen L. Baker even has gone to the trouble of calculating just how many cats that an average size bed can accommodate. "Most beds sleep up to six cats," he has deduced. "Ten without the owner."

In that respect it is a good thing that geometry is not the species' strong suit otherwise an owner soon might find himself shivering all alone on the cold, hardwood flooring. Having a bed full of cats also furnishes a bloke with an apt rejoinder to all those loudmouths in the pubs who are all the time bragging about their numerous conquests.

Getting a Cat Out of Bed Is Not an Easy Task

In particular such an owner could, should he be so inclined, truthfully chime in by declaring that he, too, has a bed full of pussy every night. There is not any need for him to let on that his playmates are of the four-legged variety.

2.) Nothing to Fear from the Me Too Movement.

A man can smooch and goose a cat to his heart's content without the fear of provoking a blizzard of reprisals and condemnations from the Me Too Movement. Even the sneaking of a fast feel might not be totally out of the question.

A man likewise need not worry about getting into the pickle that befell former President George Herbert Walker Bush. On the other hand, no sensible man ever would even so much as contemplate polluting the noble and pristine souls of cats with off-color jokes and dirty ditties.

3.) Health Benefits.

Substituting a cat for a woman as a bed partner furnishes a man with an opportunity to get a good night's rest as opposed to waking up knackered each morning as the result of having had to slug it out between the sheets with some insatiable woman all night long. There are, of course, some veterinarians who slanderously claim that cats are too dirty to sleep with but they quite obviously never have shared a pillow with some women. (See NBC-TV, January 25, 2011, "Out of the Sack, Cat! Sleeping with Pets Carries Disease Risk.")

Cats additionally teach men how to relax thereby reducing stress levels which in turn promotes cardiovascular health. (See U.S. News and World Report, February 21, 2008, "Cats Help Shield Owners from Heart Attack. Study Finds Thirty Per Cent Risk Reduction When Felines Are in the Home.")

4.) Excellent Listeners.

When it comes to having someone who is willing to listen to a man's troubles, cats simply cannot be beaten. They never interrupt, rudely commence gassing on their mobile telephones, or cleverly steer the conversation around to their own worries. (See moggies.co.uk, October 11, 2007, "Forget Therapists -- Pets Are the Listeners.")

5.) Good Providers.

When it comes to putting food on the table a woman is almost totally useless. For example, some of them are incapable of even possessing the savoir-faire to use a can opener. Others do not have so much as a clue as how to make cold water hot.

Even when they are supplied with enough Lebensmittel in order to feed an army, what they often end up preparing is inedible. At other times, it very well could be laced with poison so as to get an older man out of the way and thus to allow her to not only get her hands on his money but to run off with a young gallant.

A cat at least can be depended upon to occasionally bring home a dead mouse or two. Not wanting to seem ungrateful, some men douse the rodents with ketchup and try not to think about what they are eating.

For vegetarians, however, such an expedient is not an option. Instead, they are forced into acting out ridiculous pantomimes for the benefit of their cats whereby they pretend to devour their unfortunate victims before discreetly burying them in the garden.

Most Beds Will Comfortably Sleep Six Cats but Only Two Big Fat Women

On this issue it is admittedly a close call but at the end of the day the vote has to go to cats. Sometimes it is the thought that counts.

6.) Security.

Owing to their truly remarkable sense of hearing, cats make excellent sentries. For instance, they are capable of detecting the presence of intruders on foot from as far away as one-hundred yards. They also are capable of hearing nails lose from their moorings long before the pictures and photographs that they support coming crashing to the floor.

Even more impressive, countless individuals are alive today all because their cats detected gas leaks, fires, and the presence of burglars. (See Cat Defender posts of April 23, 2007 and October 31, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Winnie Saves an Indians Family of Three from Dying of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning" and "Bacon Shows His Appreciation and Love for His Rescuer by Awakening Her from a Burning Apartment.")

7.) Cleanliness.

When it comes to personal hygiene, it is no contest and cats win hands-down. "A cat is the only domestic animal I know who toilet trains itself and does a damned impressive job of it," author Joseph Epstein once marveled.

On the other hand, some women fanatically believe that soap and water are corrosives that will wear out their skins and they accordingly avoid them as if they were the plague. With such an attitude, it is not surprising that they are the repositories of contagious diseases, toxic chemicals, obnoxious smells, and all sorts of accumulated grime and dirt.

Before even permitting one of them indoors it often is necessary to strip them down in the backyard, douse them with a bucket of soap, and then turn a garden hose on them. Following that there is the painstaking and time-consuming job of scraping off all sorts of paint, glue, caked-on mascara, abhorrent smelling perfumes, and who knows what other contaminants.

In severe cases, it sometimes is even necessary to rake them across a scrubboard a time or two in order to get at stubborn grime and grease. Next, it is off to the barn in order to borrow Old Paint's comb for the purpose of giving them a good currying from head to toe. Untangling their long, unkempt, and unwashed manes is not any walk in the park either given that some of them have a tendency to scratch like a cat and to kick like a mule.

Provided that a fellow has not keeled over from exhaustion by that time, he next must transport them to the health clinic in order to be vaccinated; the vets will not touch them with twenty-foot poles. After that it is back home and a trip to the smokehouse where, in some cases, it is necessary to hang them on  hooks for thirty days in order to allow them to cure properly and for any lingering bad smells to dissipate.

These precautions are necessary in order to, first of all, prevent the spread of diseases and germs. Resorting to robbing the cradle, as Judge Roy Moore has been accused of doing, is not a valid alternative in that, if press reports are to be believed, some girls nowadays are considered to be old, worn-out, and diseased by the time that they reach the ripe old age of fourteen.

Secondly, a man likes to know what is underneath all of that paint and glue. In particular, it is imperative that he make sure in advance that he is getting one-hundred per cent woman without any undesirable subtractions and additions as is the case with those hybrids that are now on the market. Half & Half® may be all right in the java but not in a woman.

A Cat Is the Epitome of Cleanliness

In that respect, the Me Too Movement has been sorely remiss for failing to include a proviso in its manifesto whereby concerned members of the opposite sex can satisfy their legitimate concerns in this area. Such an initiative would need to be carefully crafted, however, so as to prevent all sorts of rotters from exploiting such a loophole in order to stock up on a year's supply of finger pie in one swoop.

Finally, after a man has invested so much time, trouble, and expense cleaning, scrubbing, delousing, currying, manicuring, pedicuring, and inoculating a woman he surely would be entitled to enjoy the fruits of his labors. Unfortunately, that hardly ever turns out to be the case because as soon as he takes his eyes off of her for so long as a solitary minute she absconds with the pizza delivery boy.

Such a disastrous dénouement hardly seems fair but, on second thought, perhaps turning that garden hose on her was carrying cleanliness a bit too far. Still, when it comes to a women a man likes a clean body; a dirty mind is all right. The latter never has been known to send a bloke trotting off to the health clinic.

That is just one example of how the best laid plans of any man can go awry whenever they happen to include a woman. For instance, in this case the hypothetical man not only lost the woman but, even worse, the cats no longer have anyone to deliver their piping-hot pies! Women may be a dime a dozen but a good delivery boy is not quite so easy to replace.

Cleaning up and straightening out a woman accordingly requires a huge investment of time, energy, and money from which a man can only expect minimal, if any, dividends. It is far too arduous a job for most old goats to undertake and young bucks, who already have their pick of the litter, do not have any interest in taking on such reclamation projects. As a result, the majority of these women wind up at either the Old Spinsters' Society, the Lesbian League, or in even direr straits.

With a cat it is an entirely different matter in that even a down-at-the-heel denizen of the street can be taken in and successfully rehabilitated almost overnight and with very little cost and effort. Cats consequently are what the gurus on Wall Street would call low investment, high-yield stocks.

8.) No Need to Keep Up with the Joneses.

Keeping a cat is considerably easier on the wallet than having a woman. About all that it takes in order to satisfy the former are tuna, kibble, milk, and water whereas even expensive jewelry, exotic vacations, and a lavish lifestyle often are insufficient to keep the latter at home.

Consequently, with a cat a man does not have to worry about keeping pace with the Joneses. First of all, it is hardly unlikely that any cat ever has so much as heard of them. Secondly, even if the reverse should turn out to be true, no cat gives so much as a non Gradus Anus Rodentum about keeping up with them.

Moreover, just the simple act of getting rid of a woman and replacing her with a cat has been known to transform beleaguered, cash-strapped working stiffs into relaxed and tanned spectators of this world with pockets bulging with greenbacks. Perhaps most importantly of all, cats do not consider it to be either a federal offense or a sure sign of moral decay for a man to be a lazy bum who lies around the house all day sleeping.

9.) Wardrobe Expenses Are Negligible.

Absolutely no one has ever heard any self-respecting cat to complain about not having anything to wear. Au contraire, they gladly wear the same old seven and six year in and year out.

Watch Out for Those Pizza Toters; They Deliver More Than Pies for the Cats

On the other hand, some women would not be satisfied with a man who owned a clothing factory. Compounding matters further, some men have been forced into adding entire wings to their houses just to have a place in order to store all the clothing and accessories that their wives never wear.

10.) Real Homebodies.

As is the case with clothing, no one ever has heard a cat complain that its owner never takes it anywhere. Being true homebodies, they never want to go anywhere and that nips that dilemma right in the bud.

By contrast, women have an annoying habit of dragging their male counterparts not only all over town but, sometimes, halfway around the world. Aside from the incredible expense involved in such excursions, all of that moving around is bound to sooner or later wear out a bloke.

11.)  Free Heat.

At this juncture some men may be prompted to object that they could not possibly make it through these long, cold winter nights without having one or two big fat women in order to prevent them from freezing to death. That certainly is a point well taken in that the invaluable contributions made by the beefy babes of this world can in no way be underestimated.

If events had turned out differently and all that had been around at the dawning of time were those skinny young wigglers, jigglers, and gigglers of today, the human race surely never would have made it out of the starting gate. It therefore is not surprising that it is precisely at those times when the bottom has dropped out of the thermometer, there is a foot of snow on the ground, and the furnace has conked out that the Bertha Butts and Two-Ton Thelmas of this world shine the brightest.

Nestled up warm and snug between them, a man could not possibly feel any pain. The situation is entirely different with those short-sighted fellows who foolishly attempt to make it through these hellish winters with only bags of bones for comfort.

Having readily acknowledged all of that, it nevertheless must be pointed out that a man can fare every bit as well by curling up each night with four to five well-fed cats. Doing so also spares him the expense, labor in the kitchen, and subsequent clean-up that goes hand-in-hand with the preparation of a large pots of soup beans, seasoned to the nine with ramps and jalapeno peppers, a mess or two of turnip greens, half an acre of home fries, three or four cakes of corn dodger and, to wash it all down, a couple of liters of Ripple.®

Whereas a cat's rhythmic purring can be every bit as reassuring as it is soporific, Bertha's and Thelma's loud snoring, burping, belching, and backfiring all night can be a bit disconcerting. Plus, there is always the possibility that either one or both of them could pass out on top of a fellow and suffocate him to death.

With cats, however, a man seldom has to put up with any unpleasant smells, sounds, or other intrusions into his repose. "Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I have never heard of one who suffered from insomnia," writer Joseph Wood Krutsch once declared.

Then there is the added expense if the girls ever should want to go anywhere, such as to (who knows why?) the beauty parlor, to be factored into the equation. In that regard, the most efficient way to accommodate women of that size would be to rent a hoist in order to take them out through the roof and on to the freight depot. There they in turn could be fastened onto a flat car and moved around as avoirdupois; it is cheaper that way as opposed to purchasing each of them three or four seats on a passenger train.

A Man Should Not Always Behave Like a Tomcat, Especially Toward Women

By switching to cats, however, a man can could avoid all of that bother and expense while at the same time still make it through these long and cold winter nights in relative comfort.

12.) No Obnoxious Relatives and Disagreeable Entanglements.

The best thing about cats is, arguably, that they are real loners. For an owner, that translates into him being free to forget about putting up with any obnoxious relatives and friends, which just about all women attract in droves.

Cats also do not have any use whatsoever for religion, politics, and flag-waving and that is truly a beautiful character trait. Furthermore, they never will pollute a man's life by having the faintest bit of interest whatsoever in boring, sleazy, and corrupt athletics.

13.) No Bad Habits.

Cats do not drink, smoke, use drugs, or gamble and the same most assuredly cannot be said for the vast majority of women. They also seldom either snore or refuse to bathe.

14.) A Lack of Malice.

One of the most endearing character traits enjoyed by members of the species is their total lack of malice. For example, whenever little squabbles ensue, such as over who is entitled to the last wedge of cheesecake or whose turn it is to sit in the rocking chair, they are soon patched up and forgotten with a loving pat on the head and the offer of a small treat.

"As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind," Cleveland Amory, author of the 1987 bestseller The Cat Who Came for Christmas, once noted.

It is an entirely different matter with a woman. Every affront, whether real or imagined, is immediately seized upon as an annuity to be nurtured and safeguarded until a propitious time arrives when it can be dredged up, thrown in a man's face, and milked for all that it is worth.

15.) A Total Lack of Jealousy.

Since cats are not the jealous types a man can have as many of them as he so desires. At the same time it goes almost without saying that few women would be amendable to such a laissez-faire arrangement.

16.) Honesty.

"A cat has absolute honesty," Ernest Hemingway once pointed out. "Humans beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not."

Differences between the sexes only serve to compound that problem. "Woman's heart and mind are insoluble puzzles to the male," Arthur Conan Doyle observed in his short-story, "The Adventure of the Illustrious Client."

What Man Could Ask for More?

17.)  Non-Judgmental.

So long as a man treats it well, a cat could care less about what the remainder of society thinks about him. Furthermore, it does not care on whit about the size of his house, the make and model of his old jalopy, and his social standing. He likewise could be a peripatetic hobo who is looked down upon by all of society and that would not matter to his cat.

18.) Heuristic Considerations.

"The intelligent, peace-loving, four-footed friends -- who are without prejudice, without hate, without greed -- may someday teach us something," celebrated novelist Lilian Jackson Brown once predicted.

Comedian and actor Bill Dana already has been the beneficiary of their tutelage. "I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult," he has acknowledged. "It's not. Mine had me trained in two days."

Gary Smith is another convert. "Everything I know I learned from my cat," he once candidly admitted. "When you're hungry, eat. When you're tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vet's, pee on your owner."

One of their chief contributions in this area is that since they live such terribly brief existences they instill in their caretakers an almost reverential respect for the present. C'est-à-dire, individuals should live for today, cherish the moment, and not leave important matters unfinished because tomorrow is not guaranteed to any man or cat.

"There is indeed no single quality of the cat that man could not emulate to his advantage," Carl Van Vechten proclaimed in his 1922 magnum opus, The Tiger in the House.

Whereas that is generally true, a man nevertheless should perhaps think twice about asking his resident tom to supply him with a few pointers on the ancient art of lovemaking. The problem is not that he would be unwilling to do so but rather that it would not be a good idea for any man to attempt to put into practice such advice.

For example, chasing a woman around the house in a prelude to pinning her to the floor with his teeth clinched around her neck and then porking her from behind is not a good idea. First of all, women do not appreciate such rough handling.

Secondly, jurists take a dim view of such behavior to the tune of about thirty years in the state penitentiary. Thirdly, if the Me Too Movement ever got wind of such goings on it would be howling from now until Judgment Day.

Also, hanging out until the small hours underneath the window of the source of one's affliction all the while crying piteously like a lovesick tomcat is not recommended. Although the woman in question might be flattered by such devotion, the neighbors are unlikely to feel quite as charitable.

What goes for them goes double for the local gendarmes. After all, they eagerly await their turns on the graveyard shift so that they can get in a full week's worth of kip on the public's dime and for that reason they are unlikely to take kindly to having their repose interrupted, especially by some fool of a man who thinks that he has been reincarnated as an overgrown tomcat.

Millions of Cats Are Waiting to Be Someone's Valentine

19.) Loyalty.

In a rapidly changing world, the fidelity of a cat is one of the few things in life that a man can count on through thick and thin. Unlike many women, a cat will not run off with the first man with money that comes strutting down the pike.

They care absolutely nothing about money and they never change. A man therefore does not have anything to fear on that score; a heaping helping of red salmon and bowl of thick cream could, however, be an entirely different matter.

Cats even remain loyal after death. (See Cat Defender posts of March 28, 2013 and July 27, 2013 entitled, respectively, "Even the Finality of the Grave Fails to Diminish Toldo's Abiding Love and Devotion for His Long Dead Guardian" and "Instead of Killing her Off with a Jab of Sodium Pentobarbital and Then Burning Her Corpse, Ian Remains Steadfast at His Guardian's Side Long after Her Death.")

Women, however, are more often than not relieved once a bloke is gone. As a result, a complete stranger is soon thereafter sleeping in the deceased's bed, guzzling his port, and gambling away his hard-earned cash.

Only his cat remains loyal and after a while even it realizes that he is not coming back and gives up the vigil. C'est la vie!

20.)  No Regrets.

The best reason of all as to why a cat makes a far better valentine than a woman is that a man can love it with his whole heart, unreservedly, and never with any regrets. No amount of time and money ever spent on it is therefore wasted.

As Thomas Hardy reminded the world in his 1876 novel, The Hand of Ethelberta, "a lover without indiscretion is no lover at all."

It was perhaps Charles Dickens, however, who best summed up the situation with his declaration: "What greater gift than the love of a cat?"

Loving a cat does come with one huge negative and that is their shortened life expectancies. Moreover, once it is gone there simply is not any conceivable way of closing the rent that its passing leaves in a man's heart.


As it hopefully has been convincingly demonstrated, cats are clearly the better choice but that bit of gratuitous advice is bound to fall upon the deaf ears of those bucks who simply must have the services of a woman every night. Ergo, the tender gender has little to fear from feline competition in that they are destined to be what men continue to covet the most and pursue the most fervently.

A Cat's Love Is Eternal Like This 1909 Valentine

Furthermore, romantic love never has suffered from any lack of defenders. "The happiness of one man and one woman is the greatest thing in all the world," Hercule Poirot declared in Dame Agatha's 1920 novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

Rather, this essay is directed at those chaps who have gotten above a certain age and, whether it be attributable to either medical or fiscal constraints, are no longer able to handle those all-night, every night scrimmages between the sheets that all lusty lasses so enjoy. In that light, a cat also is the perfect companion for those who suffer from ED.

"Someone asked Sophocles, 'How do you feel about sex? Are you still able to have a woman?'" Plato related in Book I, 329B of The Republic. "He replied, 'Hush, man; most gladly indeed am I rid of it all, as though I had escaped from a mad and savage master'."

For those unpersuaded blokes who still insist upon throwing caution to the wind and acquiring a wild and woolly woman, they need to fully realize that is a very reckless, not to say foolhardy, thing to attempt. "Love is a fire," actress Joan Crawford once declared. "But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell."

On top of that there is the nearly insurmountable obstacle of finding the right one. Also, there is little solace to be found in the old adage that "there are more than one fish in the sea."

“There's lots of good fish in the sea...maybe...but the vast masses seem to be mackerel or herring, and if you're not mackerel or herring yourself, you are likely to find very few good fish in the sea,” D. H. Lawrence astutely pointed out in his 1928 novel, Lady Chatterley's Lover. From that it thus would appear that a man's long-term happiness needs to be built upon surer ground than that afforded by a woman's fleeting passion.

All is not lost, however, in that research has shown that having a cat helps couples to stay together. "Research on cohabiting couples show (sic) conclusively that getting a cat is a better indicator of staying together than having a baby," Harry Benson of the Marriage Foundation of Cambridge told The Telegraph on February 15, 2013. (See "Couples Who Get a Kitten Before a Baby 'More Likely to Last'.")

Furthermore, it also is believed that having a cat is a good proving ground for men wanting to advance to getting a woman. For instance, caring for one accustoms him to, inter alia, taking orders, always speaking softly, and to being polite.

He additionally is able to learn from his feline companion a healthy toleration for a certain amount of unpredictable behavior, ill-timed interruptions, and stubbornness. Perhaps most importantly of all, he learns that in order to get the best out of a woman he must, as he does with his cat, spoil her rotten.

Even if all of his best laid plans and schemes should come to naught, his dutiful labors on behalf of the great god Eros need not necessarily to have been completely in vain. "Happiness is a good woman...or a bad woman," is how that comedian George Burns once summed up that eternal dilemma.

Photos: The Philly Voice (gray cat), YouTube (two cats in bed, a cat grooming itself, and one sitting on a fence), The Creative Cat (six cats in bed),  BuzzFeed (a cat eating pizza), Amazon (two cats inside a heart), Pinterest (a gray cat with a heart), and Chorboard of Wikipedia (1909 Valentine).

Disclaimer. No women were harmed during the researching and scratching out of this report although a few of them were discreetly observed, albeit at a safe distance to be sure. That exercise was undertaken not so much as an aid in the furtherance of knowledge but rather just to see what they were up to (nothing worthwhile) and for reasons of personal amusement.

Friday, February 02, 2018

An Ailing and Cash-Strapped Widow Is Fighting a Lonely and Uphill Battle in Order to Save Not Only Herself but also Her Sixty-Five Cats

Hamide Boran with a Few of Her Cats

"I can starve, but my cats must have full stomachs."
-- Hamide Boran

In a detached two-story house in the city of Yalova, ninety-four kilometers south of Istanbul on the Sea of Marmora, a fifty-two-year-old widow by the name of Hamide Boran is waging a valiant and lonely battle against Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and diabetes. Should she ultimately lose that fight, it likely also is going to mean curtains for the sixty-five cats that live with her.

Even though her attending physician has advised her to get rid of them, that is something that she is totally unwilling to even so much as contemplate. "I sleep with my cats," she informed the Hürriyet Daily News on January 25th. (See "Kitty Kingdom: Woman in Northwest Turkey Keeps House with Dozens of Cats.") "I can starve, but my cats must have full stomachs."

As if her health woes were not enough of a burden for her to bear, she also is rather poor in that as a retired cleaning woman she is expected to scrimp by on a monthly pension of only three-hundred-fifty Turkish liras (US$93). Fortunately, her sons help her out with the rent as well as the food that both she and her cats require.

Six years ago, she lost her husband to a brain tumor and since then the cats have been pretty much her sole companions. Press reports have not disclosed how it was that she came to have so many of them, but it is known that she and her husband did care for at least one cat before he died.

"A cat was resting on his arm when he passed away," she told the Hürriyet Daily News. "We couldn't get it to move."

She furthermore avers that the unidentified feline subsequently died after refusing to eat and drink anything for three months. Quite obviously, something has been lost in the translation from Turkish into English because a cat that refuses to at least drink can die within as short a time span as two days.

Even so, that is not any reason to doubt that the cat was indeed grievously affected by the man's death. For example, after seventy-one-year-old Renzo Iozzelli of Montagnana in the Italian province of Padova passed away on September 22, 2011 his three-year-old gray and white resident feline, Toldo, categorically refused to accept the fact that he was gone for good.

As a consequence, after following Iozzelli's coffin to the cemetery on the day of his burial he afterwards began visiting his caretaker's grave on a daily basis. In addition to standing vigil over it, he also on those occasions would bring along with him small tokens of his enduring affection, such as sticks, leaves, twigs, plastic cups, and paper towels.

"Mio marito era molto affettuoso con lui. Renzo amava gli animali," Iozzelli's widow, Ada, said at that time. "È quasi come se Toldo volesse essergli riconoscente. È un gatto speciale, non si può che volergli bene." (See Cat Defender post of March 28, 2013 entitled "Even the Finality of the Grave Fails to Diminish Toldo's Abiding Love and Affection for His Long Dead Guardian.")

In May of 2013, a ten-year-old tuxedo named Ian from Birmingham was found curled up beside the lifeless body of his unidentified guardian in a house on Knightwick Crescent. It never was disclosed how long that the pensioner had been dead or for what length of time that Ian had been forced to go without food and water.

Like Toldo, he too had refused to leave the side of his deceased owner. "The circumstances were very sad and it must have been awful for the cat," Sheila Pennell of Cats Protection said after Ian's rescue and eventual rehoming. "He was trapped indoors wondering why his owner wouldn't wake up, feed him or let him out." (See Cat Defender post of July 27, 2013 entitled "Instead of Killing Her Off with a Jab of Sodium Pentobarbital and Then Burning Her Corpse, Ian Remains Steadfast at His Guardian's Side Long after Her Death.")

In Boran's case, there seems to be little doubt that she cares deeply about her cats. "They are my sweethearts, my everything," she declared to the Hürriyet Daily News. "I love them like my own children."

Even so, that is not necessarily the most important consideration. Rather, it is the health and well-being of the cats that should be paramount.

In particular, it often is difficult in cases of this sort to determine exactly where love leaves off and need takes over as the dominant motivation and that is especially the case with socially isolated and lonely individuals. As Paul McCartney so poignantly lamented in his composition, "Eleanor Rigby:"

"All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?"

Moreover, in those instances where need has been judged, correctly or incorrectly, to hold sway, individuals such as Boran have been accused of being hoarders and, sometimes, even arrested. (See Cat Defender posts of July 21, 2005, August 13, 2005, December 23, 2005, and March 29, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Northern Virginia Woman Caught Hoarding 575 Cats," "Virginia Woman Caught Hoarding 105 Cats; Montana Woman Discovered with 75 Cats and 14 Dogs," "Virginia Cat Hoarder Who Killed 221 Cats and Kept Another 354 in Abominable Conditions Gets Off with a $500 Fine," and "Famed Manhattan Cat Hoarder Marlene Kess Gets Off with a Fine and Community Service.")

Fortunately for her, officials in Turkey view matters of this sort rather differently than do their counterparts in the United States and as a consequence it does not appear that she is going to be subjected to any legal reprisals. That in no way alters the disturbing reality that she sorely lacks the prerequisite wherewithal in order to properly care for that many felines.

Specifically, she has publicly admitted that some of her charges are suffering from cancer whereas others are paralyzed and even some of them are blind. Whereas it undoubtedly would require a princely sum in order to alleviate the plight of those seriously ill felines, many more of them likely are afflicted with ailments that could be either warded off or remedied with a modest investment in the veterinary care that she, quite obviously, is unable to afford.

First of all, many if not all of them need to be sterilized so as to not only put an end to their uncontrolled breeding but also to forestall the birth of stillborn and sickly kittens. All of them additionally need to be vaccinated against at least the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).

Press reports have not delved into what she feeds them, but they need good-quality cat food and clean water as opposed to a steady diet of table scraps and rain water. Although Boran reportedly cleans up after them whenever they foul her neighbors' yards, the sanitary conditions that prevail inside her house are a far more important consideration.

If she is physically able and willing to blanket the premises with dozens of litter boxes that she religiously empties each day, she just might be able to maintain a satisfactory level of sanitation. Even in adopting such an expedient it would still be mandatory for her to thoroughly clean up after those cats that eliminate outside their boxes.

Any way that the situation is analyzed, caring for that many cats would be a herculean job for even a healthy individual with moola to burn. That in turn segues into the much more pressing dilemma of what is going to happen to them once she is no longer capable of taking care of them or, worst still, follows in the footsteps of Iozzelli and Ian's guardian.

On the one hand it seems a bit much to expect a sickly and impoverished woman to put the welfare of her cats above her own but that nevertheless is something that she needs to at least consider. That is especially the case in that it is highly unlikely that her sons are going to be willing to take care of them after she is gone.

Without knowing what, if any, animal protection charities exist in Yalova, it is difficult to say what The Fates have in store for them but it is at least even odds that are going to be cast out into the street in order to either sink or swim on their own. As the highly acclaimed film Kedi has made plain, thousands of them have been cruelly abandoned to roam the streets of Istanbul and the same deplorable situation likely exists in Yalova and throughout the remainder of Turkey.

Those cats that survive Boran therefore may be able to occasionally find sympathetic souls who will be willing to toss them scraps of fish from time to time but that would appear to be about the extent of the succor that they can expect from the public.

To their credit, the Turks do not round up and systematically murder every homeless cat that they get their hands on like their American counterparts. Nevertheless, their policy of benign neglect whereby they deprive them of safety, homes, veterinary care, and proper diets is almost as abhorrent.

The manner in which cats are mistreated in both Turkey and the United States is all the more shameful in that the solution to this problem is so simple. Most pressing of all, Americans need to fire their Animal Control officers and to shutter their feline extermination camps.

Secondly, both nations need to implement an across-the-board TNR policy whereby all homeless cats are sterilized and supplied with veterinary care, outside shelters, and food and water. Even in doing that much, TNR still has two major shortcomings.

First of all, those cats that belong to managed colonies need to be provided with around-the-clock security. The United States in particular is too chock-full of criminal ornithologists, wildlife biologists, and other low-life scumbags to leave cats unattended and unprotected. (See Cat Defender post of August 24, 2017 entitled "The Brutal Murders of a Trio of Atlantic City's Boardwalk Cats Provide an Occasion for the Local Rag and PETA to Whoop It Up and to Break Open the Champagne.")

Secondly, TNR never should be viewed as an end in itself. Rather, the caretakers of these colonies need to go the extra mile for their charges by securing permanent homes for them.

The game is afoot and those individuals and groups who care deeply about cats need to act with alacrity. That is due not only to the machinations of the species' sworn enemies but also because climate change is accelerating at a rapid pace and that in turn is imperiling the continued existence of such colonies.

Life is unquestionably the greatest of all gifts but even it requires a host of support systems and favorable circumstances that the Turkish people are totally unwilling to bestow upon their long suffering and hideously neglected cats. With that being the case, those that belong to Boran are, barring a miracle, living on borrowed time.

Photo: the Hürriyet Daily News.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Steve Ecklund's Savage Killing of a Cougar and Vainglorious Gloating, Strutting, and Preening Are Resoundingly Applauded by Canada's Ever Obliging Media and Complicitous Universities

Killing the Cougar Gave Steve Ecklund Immense Joy

"What a creep. Chasing a cougar with dogs until they are exhausted then shooting a scared, cornered and tired animal. Must be compensating for something, small penis probably."

-- Laureen Ann Harper.

It often has been observed that man is the only animal that kills for the pleasure of doing so and confirmation of that disturbing characteristic was perhaps nowhere more vividly demonstrated than in the recent abhorrent conduct of Ontario native Steve Ecklund. The specifics have not been divulged, but in early December he and at least three other individuals used a pair of beagles in order to track down and kill a very large male cougar in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains somewhere between the small towns of Rocky Mountain House and Drayton Valley in southern Alberta.

Given that between one-hundred-twenty-five and one-hundred-eighty-five of these magnificent cats are killed in a similar fashion each year in Alberta alone, that hardly was news in itself. Rather, it was Ecklund's notoriety as a host of the popular television show, The Edge, that automatically transformed this all-too-common senseless killing into a newsworthy event.

Not contented with merely snuffing out the forever nameless cat's precious life, he then went on social media in order to gloat. In particular, he wasted no time in posting photographs of himself, delirious with joy and self-importance, parading before the camera all the while holding up the lifeless body of the cat.

In that respect, his bloodthirsty, egomaniacal behavior was reminiscent of that displayed by archers Zach "Shaggy" Slattery and Aaron Wilksch after they had gunned down innumerable domestic cats on Kangaroo Island in 2015. (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," the Daily Mail, February 24, 2016, "Man Who Shoots Feral Cats with a Bow and Arrow Posts Pictures of His Kills Online Gets Death Threats for His 'Animal Cruelty'," and the Australian Broadcasting Company articles dated February 24, 2016 and March 13, 2016 and entitled, respectively, "Bow Hunter Targeted with Global Hate Campaign for Shooting Feral Cats in Australia" and "Bow Hunting of Feral Cats Is Cruel and 'Not Part of the Strategy,' Threatened Species Commissioner Says.")

Ecklund did not stop there, however, but instead he went on to even outdo Slattery and Wilksch by skinning the cougar and cooking at least some of its flesh. The implication to be drawn from that is that he was hungry but there is not any evidence that he actually consumed any of the cat. Besides, he has money to burn and there most assuredly is not any shortage of food in Canada.

What he did with its luxuriant pelt has not been disclosed but he could have sold it to someone connected to the fur industry. It also is entirely conceivable that he took it, along with the cat's head, to a taxidermist in order to be mounted. The latter expedient accordingly will allow him to not only bask in the glory of his gore until his own hide rots off of his malignant bones but to show off his trophy to his like-minded friends and colleagues.

Press reports have not broached the matter but more than likely the entire chase, kill, celebration, and feasting were filmed for future broadcast on Wild TV of Edmonton which hosts The Edge. After all, professional and monetary considerations usually go hand in hand with a lust for the shedding of innocent blood, the thrill of killing, and runaway egotism.

"...not only is hunting his passion, but a motivational life-saver," either he or, more likely, one of his subordinates, declares on his web site in reference to a trip that he made not too long ago to Alaska in order to kill a Dall's Sheep. He furthermore credits that totally inexcusable killing with enabling him to defeat cancer.

While there is not any known scientific connection between the killing of a sheep and the curing of cancer, some folks in Victorian England purportedly believed that having it off with a virgin was a sure-fire cure for venereal disease. It would be nothing short of stupefying if there were any causal connection in either case; rather, Ecklund simply gets a huge thrill out of slaughtering animals whereas some diseased men enjoy deflowering and infecting clean and healthy young girls.

Be that as it may, the good thing about cancer is that it has a long and checkered history of not only recurring but with a vengeance. Furthermore, when it does return it has been known to wipe the smirks off of maps uglier than Ecklund's and of humbling even those more full of themselves than him.

The second thing that has distinguished Ecklund's killing from the thousands of other cougars that are eradicated each year, for one reason or another, in Canada and the United States has been the unprecedented debate that it has spawned. Predictably, his boss at Wild TV, Ryan Kohler, was thrilled to his back teeth by his underling's actions.

"We fully support the ethical and legal kill that Steve Ecklund has presented to us," he gushed to CTV on December 21st. (See "TV Host's Cougar Hunt Was Legal 'as Far as We Know': Alberta Environment.") "Unfortunately he is getting some huge backlash, but that won't change the fact that we love our hunting heritage in Canada."

Paul Frame of Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) in Edmonton was quick to put his stamp of approval on the kill. "Did the hunter have a proper license? Was the quota still open in that specific management area? Was everything done legally?" he postured to CTV in a backhanded, exaggerated fashion. "As far as we know, that was a legal hunt."

Ecklund Finally Let Go of the Cat but There Was Not Any End to His Gloating

According to data supplied by CTV, Alberta residents are allowed to legally massacre one-hundred-fifty-five cougars each year whereas outsiders, such as Ecklund, are permitted to gun down another thirty of them. For example, during the 2016-2017 hunting season, one-thousand-twenty-five licenses were issued which resulted in the deaths of one-hundred-twenty-five cougars.

During this hunting season, which began on December 1st and extends through the end of February, seven-hundred-seventy-five licenses have been sold so far. CTV purposefully neglects, however, to reveal how many cats have been liquidated to date.

The Daily Mail claims in its December 20th edition, however, that under Alberta law it is illegal to use dogs, such as Ecklund did, in order to track big game animals during the winter hunting season and Frame has conveniently failed to address that important issue. (See "Grinning Canadian TV Presenter Bags a Huge Mountain Lion -- but Some Animal Rights Activists Are Not Happy.")

Ecklund also likes to pass himself off as a so-called fair chase hunter, as opposed to being a participant in the canned hunts staged by the likes of Ted Turner, Theodore Anthony Nugent, and others, but it is difficult to see so much as a speck of fairness in a gang of bloodthirsty men, armed with high-powered rifles and bows as well as dogs, going after a defenseless cougar. "The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of a gun," Anglo-American novelist P.G. Wodehouse once astutely pointed out.

If Ecklund were a real man instead of the cowardly impostor that he is he would leave his guns, bows, dogs, and buddies at home and hunt cougars by his lonesome and mano a mano. The petit fait that he is far too craven to do any of that just goes to show that his idea of a fair chase amounts to little more than an extended version of a canned hunt.

Frame furthermore agrees with Kohler that killing cougars is a fine old, time-honored Canadian way of life. "There's a long-standing tradition of hunting cougars in Alberta," he proudly declared to CTV. "It's been regulated since 1969, with a quota in place since 1990. We adjust quotas based on the environmental conditions of the time, so we review them annually or biannually."

Demonstrating writ large once again that no atrocity perpetrated against cats, no matter how heinous, will ever fail to receive the wholehearted endorsement of those utterly despicable moral degenerates who rule the roost in the world's temples of academic excellence was sixty-seven-year-old wildlife biology professor Mark Stephen Boyce of the University of Alberta in Edmonton. "Cougar hunting is popular, especially with hounds," is how that he began his defense of Ecklund to CTV.

From that starting point he went on to ludicrously claim that dispatching cougars to the devil was a form of public service that would not adversely affect the health of the species. "There is considerable concern about rising numbers of cougars because they are dangerous...and occasionally they kill livestock," he pontificated. "Hunter harvests are low enough that they do not threaten our cougar populations and sustainable harvests are possible."

First of all, as a wildlife biologist Old Boyce Bird is surely aware that cougars were present in Alberta and elsewhere in North America long before he and the sportsmen, ranchers, and other economic interests that he stooges for ever arrived on the scene. He and his fellow murderers therefore are guilty of invading and trespassing upon their turf, not vice-versa.

Secondly, cougar attacks upon humans are extremely rare even in the densely populated areas that surround the Santa Monica and Santa Ana mountains near Los Angeles. They accordingly surely must be even less common in a remote and thinly-populated area such as Alberta.

Finally, after stooping about as low as an academician can without coming eyeball to eyeball with a termite, Old Boyce Bird chucked off the mask of all intellectual respectability and finally revealed his true colors. "This is an anti-hunting rant," he bellowed like a stuck pig to CTV in reference to Ecklund's detractors. "There is nothing illegal about cougar hunting, but I understand that some people do not accept hunting. That's a personal choice."

There is not, arguably, anything quite as amusing as to sit back and listen to loudmouthed, pompous, and dogmatic professors cavalierly dismissing all opinions and values that they disagree with as being either rants or totally irrelevant. According to their modus operandi, telling lies, wallowing in prejudices, killing innocent cats, arousing irrational and unfounded fears in the uneducated masses, and pimping and whoring for economic interests is the one and only true way to live and think.

Furthermore, since he believes that killing cats is purely a personal choice, it would be interesting to know his thoughts on homicide. For instance, would he feel comfortable with the doing away of the laws against murder?

Wildlife biologist Adam Ford of the University of British Columbia in Okanagan not only endorsed Frame's and Boyce's opinions on the sustainability of cougar hunting but he ventured one step further by making it explicit that when it comes to cats individuals do not count. "It's seeing a much greater value on an individual animal rather than a population, but the system is set up for us to manage populations, not individuals," he told The Woodstock Sentinel Review of Ontario via The Canadian Press on January 8th. (See "Cougar Hunt in Alberta Sparks Debate Among Scientists, Hunters and Activists.") "The way hunting has been designed for a long time is not to have an impact on the population."

Ecklund and His Confederates Celebrate Their Evil Act

With such an ossified mindset his next utterance hardly came as any surprise. "My morals are different from yours, but facts should be facts," he barked like the hound of the Baskervilles to the Woodstock Sentinel Review.

In regard to his first admission, it would have been far more honest for him to have declared that he does not have any morals at all. If the lives of individual animals do not count for anything at all, there can scarcely be any morality in keeping alive a few members of a given species just so that Ford and his like-minded henchmen can subjugate, debase and, sooner or later, wipe out altogether.

On those occasions when such morally bankrupt thinking has held sway over the minds of men it usually has resulted in fascism, genocide, and ethnic cleansing and the so-called management, electronic monitoring, and culling of species amount to pretty much the same thing. The only real difference that separates the two is that the hideous crimes perpetrated by Ford and his supporters are carried out over a longer period of time and on a piecemeal basis.

Such a distinction nevertheless fails to substantially alter the reality that both groups travel a road that leads to the same cul-de-sac for both animals and humans alike. (See Cat Defender posts of April 17, 2006, May 4, 2006, February 29, 2008, and May 21, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Hal the Central Park Coyote Is Suffocated to Death by Wildlife Biologists Attempting to Tag Him." "The Scientific Community's Use of High-Tech Surveillance Is Aimed at Subjugating, Not Saving, the Animals," "The Repeated Hounding Down and Tagging of Walruses Exposes Electronic Surveillance as Not Only Cruel but a Fraud," and "Macho B., America's Last Jaguar, Is Illegally Trapped, Radio-Collared, and Killed Off by Wildlife Biologists in Arizona.")

It is way too much for minds like Ford and Boyce to comprehend, but not a single animal is born to serve as sport and prey for mankind. "Every creature is better alive than dead, man and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve life than destroy it," Henry David Thoreau once said.

Ford's dishonest reliance upon facts amounts to little more than an unsupported assertion of authority. That is because facts do not exist in a vacuum and therefore can never be completely divested of the value judgments that are inherent in both their creation and accumulation.

"As politics have gotten more and more polarized, everyone has to claim their views are objective, pure and factual, which means they are pulled into the scientific side," David Goldston of Princeton University was honest enough to admit to USA Today on August 6, 2007. (See "Science Versus Politics Gets Down and Dirty.") "Most of these issues are largely values questions, but no one wants to discuss those, so we end up with baroque debates about science."

Tom Shakespeare has stated the case even more forcefully. "...I am not sure philosophers are so different from the lay public (that relies upon intuition), it's just that the former are trained to cover their tracks with an impressive edifice of arguments and logic," he told the New Scientist on July 23, 2008. (See "A World Based on Reason.") "It is hard to be truly objective, to eliminate our history, and culture and psychology from our thinking."

C'est-à-dire, the question of whether cougars are to live or die is preeminently a moral one that has absolutely nothing to do with science. Why, the very idea that either science or logic should be employed in order to justify the killing of animals is simply monstrous as well as being disingenuous.

Moreover, treating individual cougars as disposable and of no inherent value fails to take into consideration the injustice of robbing them of their right to exist as well as the fear and suffering inflicted upon them through the commission of such crimes. Such warped thinking likewise fails to take into consideration their intrinsic value to their mates, offspring, the species, and the health of the ecosystems to which they belong. Killing them also robs their supporters of the pleasure of seeing and photographing them.

Wildlife biologists additionally are guilty of incorrectly doing their sums. For example, hunters like Ecklund kill only the fittest animals because they want trophies but that is not how nature operates. In the wild, it usually is the sickly and less fit animals that serve as prey for those that are stronger and healthier.

By removing the fittest representatives of a species from the environment, hunting has been shown in some cases to lead to the birth of smaller and less fit animals. Consequently, the proper management of any species involves considerably more than counting heads as Frame, Boyce, and Ford would have the world to believe.

One of the Cougar's Organs That Ecklund Cut Out

Hunting also produces a large number of orphans who, in most instances, are left to die. Removing a species from any environment can also upset the ecological balance and thus lead to all sorts of destructive and unintended consequences.

That sort of imbecility has been demonstrated time and time again by wildlife biologists who attempt to return areas, primarily islands, to some pristine ideal that may or may not even have existed in the past. There is good money in such undertakings and countless so-called non-native species for them to hideously eradicate but that is all. (See Cat Defender post of September 21, 2006 entitled "The Aussies' Mass Extermination of Cats Opens the Door for Mice and Rabbits to Wreak Havoc on Macquarie.")

Over the course of the last one-hundred years or so all sorts of species, some of which that had been around for millions of years, have either gone extinct or become endangered and that has occurred under the management of wildlife biologists. They therefore are not only guilty of being on the payrolls of hunters and other economic interests but grossly incompetent to boot.

In its full court press designed to legitimize the killing of cougars, the Woodstock Sentinel Review next dredged up Wayne Lowry, a former president of the Alberta Fish and Game Association in Edmonton, in order to contribute his two cents' worth to the debate. "As an outdoor enthusiast, we look for opportunities to get into the outdoors," he gassed to that scurrilous rag. "The cougar season offers a very late-season hunting opportunity."

First of all, who ever knew that Canadians so dearly loved being out in the cold and snow? Even if against all odds that should be true, they could play ice hockey or go sledding. If, on the other hand, they should be looking for something to do that is considerably more challenging, they ought to go skiing in British Columbia and in doing so perhaps they would be lucky enough to get caught in one of the province's famous avalanches.

While he was busily blowing it out both ends, Lowry paused in order to fondly reminisce about a cougar that he killed and mounted fifteen years ago. "It took me two years. For me, it was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event," he oozed with nostalgia. "It was a great experience...you see the dogs get excited and you get excited as well."

The torrent of outrage directed in Ecklund's direction was spearheaded by, of all people, Laureen Ann Harper, the fifty-four-year-old spouse of former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper. "What a creep. Chasing a cougar with dogs until they are exhausted then shooting a scared, cornered and tired animal," she wrote on Twitter according to CTV's December 20th edition. (See "Laureen Harper Slams Cougar Hunter as 'Creep' Who 'Must Be Compensating'.") "Must be compensating for something, small penis probably."

Her tweet took many Canadians by surprise and that prompted her to go back online in order to confirm that it was indeed her and that she did use the language attributed to her. "Wasn't hacked," she told CTV on December 20th. "I was really angry that some guy flies all the way to Alberta to kill a magnificent cougar, so he can make a stir fry."

If her tweet accomplished nothing else it provided Ford with another opportunity to take a broad swipe at those individuals who have the temerity to question his authority by defending the inalienable right of individual animals to live. "You see this come up when the individual-focus conservation people see a dead cougar and call people out for having a small penis (sic)."

Even that salvo amounted to little more than beating a dead horse in that Harper already had compromised her moral and intellectual integrity by publicly admitting that her family, and by implication she herself, are avid hunters and fishers. She next lamely attempted to deflect such criticism by arguing that she was only opposed to killing for sport.

Such a distinction is pure nonsense in that it is hard to believe that someone with her affluence ever would need to kill animals in order to feed herself. Much more importantly, the motivating factors behind such killings are irrelevant; the offense lies in the taking of innocent lives.

Chris Darimont, a geography professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia nonetheless seconded that distinction. "They (opponents of hunting) cannot accept the idea that people kill carnivores not to feed families, but to feed their egos," he opined to the Woodstock Sentinel Review. "Wildlife managers for decades have acknowledged that these (animals) are not killed for their meat, but for their trophy items."

No sooner had those words escaped from his lips then he slipped into the same moral sinkhole as Harper by admitting that he slaughters either one elk or one deer each year, allegedly, in order to eat. He also, apparently, is of the opinion that it is permissible to kill ruminants, such as deer and elk, because their flesh is tasty as opposed to that of predators, such as cougars, whose meat is reportedly anything but pleasing to the palate.

Kid Rock Killed a Cougar with the Help of Ted  Nugent

Although the making of such a ridiculous distinction is just one more example of his self-serving hypocrisy, he nevertheless does possess the bon sens to realize that the hunting of cougars needs to be reconsidered. That is because it is difficult to arrive at an accurate count of their numbers and with that being the case there is always the fear that hunting could lead to a precipitate decline in the species.

"There's lots of uncertainty," he admitted to the Woodstock Sentinel Review. "(Wildlife) managers can and do make mistakes, and then we are just starting to learn of the evolutionary and social costs of killing large carnivores."

Given that this is the information age, opposition to Ecklund's killing of the cougar was not confined to Canada. "Whether legal or illegal, and whatever country it occurs in, hunting for sport is morally reprehensible and has no place in a so-called civilized society," Lee Moon of the Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) of London told the Daily Mail in the December 20th article cited supra. "Links between animal and human abuse are well documented and it's beyond our comprehension what makes people think this kind of barbaric act is deemed acceptable."

While what he says is on target as far as it goes, he is guilty of falling into the small moral quagmire that snared both Harper and Darimont. If one is going to gas about morality, there cannot be any justification whatsoever, except in extremely rare cases of self-defense, for the killing of any animal and that most definitely includes operating an abattoir.

As it always is the case whenever any controversy arises concerning animals, the no-account, twenty-four karat fraudsters at PETA were quick to chime in with their warped logic and morality. "Only someone dead in heart and head could fail to see that mountain lions, wild boars, deer, and other animals are thinking, feeling individuals -- not 'things' to blow away for amusement," a spokesperson for the organization told the Daily Mail. "All most of us see when we look at a photograph of a hunter who gunned down an animal for 'pleasure' is photographic evidence of a small person with deep-seated insecurities."

That was the same tune that PETA was singing back in 2014 when San Diego called in the USDA's Wildlife Services in order to hideously eradicate its population of homeless pigs. "No animal should be killed for doing that (simply trying to provide for its family and to survive)," the charity's Kristen Simon declared to The San Diego Times-Union on September 17, 2014. (See "City Aims to Kill Feral Pigs.")

Those are lofty sentiments indeed but when it comes to domestic cats PETA's heart is as cold as ice and its intentions every bit as ruthless as those that Jack the Ripper harbored toward women. Specifically, it seldom passes up any opportunity to either defame the species or to slaughter its members en masse. (See Cat Defender posts of January 29, 2007 and February 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "PETA's Long History of Killing Cats and Dogs Is Finally Exposed in a North Carolina Courtroom" and "Verdict in PETA Trial: Littering Is a Crime but Not the Mass Slaughter of Innocent Cats and Dogs.")

Like Ecklund, it gloats and preens like a peacock every time that either it or someone else kills a cat. (See Cat Defender posts of October 7, 2011 and August 24, 2017 entitled, respectively, "PETA Traps and Kills a Cat and Then Goes Online in Order to Brag about Its Criminal and Foul Deed" and "The Brutal Murders of a Trio of Atlantic City's Boardwalk Cats Provide an Occasion for the Local Rag and PETA to Whoop It Up and to Break Open the Champagne.")

With the likes of Harper, Darimont, HSA, and PETA wallowing in both sottise and hypocrisy up to their eyeballs and bolstered by the unfailing support shown him by Kohler, Frame, Boyce, Ford, Lowry, and the Canadian media, it is not surprising that Ecklund is really feeling his oats these days."If you can guess what post has nine-hundred likes, four-hundred-fifty comments, thirteen confirmed death threats, seven-hundred-fifty-four swear words and one very happy hunter in it...I will enter your name into the draw for the new cougar cookbook, filled with mouth water (sic) recipes for your next mountain lion hunt," he is quoted by the Daily Mail as taunting his detractors.

To sum up, the hunting of cougars, or any animal for that matter, cannot be defended on ethical and moral grounds. Secondly, although it may be legal, laws can be changed.

Thirdly, to say that it is traditional is hardly a valid argument in its favor. For instance, at various times and locales throughout history child abuse, incest, cannibalism, slavery, genocide, and a million other evils have been considered to be traditional but none of them are embraced today by any halfway civilized society.

Fourthly, as far as the sustainability of cougar hunting is concerned, it is absurd for wildlife biologists to claim that to be the case when the best that they can do is to estimate that between two-thousand and thirty-five-hundred of them currently live in Alberta. Moreover, in addition to the carnage inflicted upon the cats by licensed hunters, others are killed by non-licensed hunters and motorists while still others succumb to starvation, disease, and other maladies.

Fifthly, as the international uproar over Ecklund's killing and preening has more than amply demonstrated, attitudes are changing somewhat in that many individuals do in fact care greatly about what happens to individual members of the species. Plus, they are becoming more and more less inclined to allow wildlife biologists, eggheads, hunt associations, and those individuals and organizations that profit from their destruction, such as those who sell hunting licenses, bows, guns, shells, and Wild TV, to continue to have an exclusive right in deciding their fates.

Daniel W. Richards with His Trophy Kill

For example, Ecklund is far from being the first cougar killer to have sparked international outrage. In January of 2015 Kid Rock, assisted by Nugent, killed one of the animals at an undisclosed location believed to have been somewhere in the western United States and then went online in order to gloat.

In April of last year, both of them were invited to the White House in order to break bread with Donald John Trump. (See The Mirror of London, January 21, 2015, "Kid Rock Angers Fans by Posing with Dead Cougar -- Grisly Snap Was Posted Online after Hunting Trips" and 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.")

Earlier in February of 2012 Daniel W. Richards, president of the California Fish and Game Commission, shot and ate a cougar in Idaho. As Ecklund and Rock would later do, he subsequently posted photographs online of himself grinning from ear to ear with the dead cat. Even though the sport hunting of cougars is legal in Idaho, as opposed to California, in August of that same year he was ousted as president and is no longer a member of that body. (See the LA Weekly, August 18, 2012, "Dan Richards Loses War to 'Enviro-Terrorists': Mountain Lion Killer No Longer President of Fish and Game" and KQED-TV of San Francisco, August 8, 2012, "Cougar Hunter Dan Richards Is Out as Fish and Game Commission President after Vote.")

In order to get an idea of just how difficult it is to keep these big cats alive it is illustrative to remember that in 1990 the voters in California approved Proposition 117 which outlawed their recreational killing. Yet, instead of saving lives, that measure has led to a quadrupling of their deaths.

That is because the initiative contained a very huge loophole that allows for the issuance of depredation permits on demand to livestock and domestic pet owners who claim to have been aggrieved by the cats. Accordingly, since 1990 ninety-eight cougars have been killed on the average each year, mostly at the behest of the owners of sheep, goats, and cows.

In 2016, that number soared to one-hundred-twenty. During that same time period, hunters in Oregon killed two-hundred-sixty-eight of the cats for pleasure while livestock owners systematically liquidated another one-hundred-fifty-one of them. (See The Sacramento Bee, November 3, 2017, "Why We Still Kill Cougars.")

On January 2nd of this year, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that it was ending the practice of automatically issuing depredation permits. Aggrieved applicants now are supposed, for what it is worth, to attempt to shoo away the cats before the licenses to kill will be issued.

It is highly doubtful that such a policy is either enforceable or that it is going to make much of a difference when it comes to reducing cougar fatalities. Besides, it pertains only to those cats that live in the Santa Monica and Santa Ana mountain ranges and that act of beau geste has been introduced only because their continued existence is threatened due to inbreeding. (See The Sacramento Bee, January 3, 2018, "State Lifts Automatic Death Sentence for These Mountain Lions That Prey on Pets and Livestock.")

Those cats that reside in Canada do not have any hope at all because any nation that is so bloodthirsty as to club to death more than three-hundred-thousand baby seals each winter for their valuable pelts and to slaughter hundreds, if not indeed thousands, of sled dogs once their services are no longer needed is not about to spare the life of a solitary cougar. (See Cat Defender post of March 27, 2006 entitled "Six Protesters Arrested as Baby Seal Slaughter Gets Under Way in Canada," Daily Mail articles of February 1, 2011 and May 3, 2011 and entitled, respectively, "Pack of One-Hundred Huskies Shot and Knifed to Death Before Being Tossed in a Mass Grave by Tour Operator Trying to Save Money" and "War Game Experts Exhume Bodies of One-Hundred Sled Dogs Killed by Tour Operator in Post Winter Olympics Massacre," plus The Globe and Mail of Toronto, November 22, 2012, "Fawcett Spared Jail Time in Sentencing Related to Sled Dog Killings.")

Canadians additionally gun down service dogs. For example, on September 18th of last year a hunter shot and killed a four-year-old Tamaskan named Kaoru just south of Squamish in British Columbia. Kaoru's killing was made all the more reprehensible in that she not only worked with autistic children but also adults going through emotional difficulties, such as bereavement.

Her killer never was either publicly identified or charged with any crime. That was in spite of the fact that the only animals that it was legal to hunt in that area and at that time of the year were black bears and mule deer which are easily distinguishable from dogs. (See the CBC, September 19, 2017, "Hunter Shoots and Kills Therapy Dog in Front of Owner.")

From all of that and more, it thus seems fair to conclude that the vast majority of Canadians are backward thinking, sticks-in-the-mud whose only interest in animals consists of their extirpation for both fun and profit. Moreover, that simply abhorrent attitude is best reflected in the inherent dishonesty of the country's media and its intellectual community. By contrast, the Daily Mail is forthright enough to recognize that there are at least two sides to every story.

"An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be," is how that Ambrose Bierce defined man in his 1906 seminal work, The Devil's Dictionary. "His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada."

That was true back then and it is even more so the case all these years later. Tomorrow is not soon enough for many individuals in that if they could they would have done with all the animals and Mother Earth to boot today and without so much as smidgen of remorse.

As things now stand, however, they are going to have to still their killing hands for just a little bit longer. That is because there are still beaucoup bucks for some of them to make off of the naked exploitation of animals, lies to be told by the eggheads, and countless thrills and ego trips to be had by the likes of Ecklund, Rock, Nugent, and Richards.

In this world, the beautiful and the noble most of the time serve as fodder for the ugly and base but that sobering reality cannot obliterate the eternal truth that the life of just one cougar is worth that of at least ten billion of their killers and those who so shamelessly defend them.

Photos: Facebook (Ecklund with the dead cougar and a piece of its flesh), The Mirror (Rock and Nugent with a dead cougar), and the LA Weekly (Richards with a dead cougar).

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Thomas Somehow Lives Through the Tubbs Fire in Spite of His Guardians Running Out on Him and Afterwards Being Incarcerated by an Employee of the Cat-Hating National Park Service

Thomas Has Had a Narrow Escape

"He just started clawing at me and slipped out of my arms."
-- Lea Stockham

At approximately 9:43 p.m. on Sunday, October 8th the Tubbs Fire broke out in Calistoga, twenty-seven kilometers northeast of Santa Rosa. The fast-moving blaze traveled nineteen kilometers in the next three hours and was rapidly closing in on Santa Rosa.

Evacuations began at 1:30 a.m. the following morning and on Skyfarm Drive, south of Mark West Spring Road, Dani and Boyd Stockham roused their teenage daughters, fifteen-year-old Lea and sixteen-year-old Grace, and prepared to join their fellow neighbors in fleeing the approaching holocaust. "Get up, get dressed. We got to go," Dani told the girls according to the November 29th edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. (See "Tubbs Fire Victims Thought Their Cat Was Dead and Buried. He Wasn't.") "There's a fire and it's close."

Corralling the girls was easily accomplished in that they did not require any persuading as to the danger that the fire posed to their continued existence. It was an entirely different matter, however, when it came to the family's thirteen-year-old, gray and white resident feline, Thomas. "He just started clawing at me and slipped out of my arms," Lea told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Neither she nor her parents even bothered to so much as go after him; instead, they left him to the mercy of the flames while they hightailed it out of Santa Rosa and to safety. They committed that unconscionable act of perfidy in spite of the fact that he had been an integral part of their family for more than a dozen years.

"I got him when I was two (years old) and he was like my first animal," Lea confessed to KTVU-TV of Oakland on November 29th. (See "Thomas the Cat Reunited with Family Seven Weeks after Going Missing in Santa Rosa Fires.") "Realizing that he was gone was terrible."

Three days later on October 12th, the Stockhams returned to the burned-out rubble that once had been their dwelling and in Thomas' diminutive house on a porch they found the remains of a cat. "It was gray and white and you could just see fur on the back of the head," Dani later related to The Sacramento Bee on November 30th. (See "Family Was Heartbroken over Cat's Apparent Death in Tubbs Fire. Then They Got an Email.") "There was no doubt that it was Thomas."

The family afterwards held a memorial service for him that included a printed program. It is unclear, however, what was done with the victim's remains. They could have been either buried, burned, or casually tossed out in the trash.

After offering up their obsequies, the Stockhams soon forgot all about Thomas, which was certainly easy enough to have done considering all the other pressing matters that they had on their plates. Then, out of the blue, on November 26th they received an email letter from Avid Microchip of Norco, south of Los Angeles, informing them that Thomas was in fact not dead at all but rather very much still alive.

"Initially we thought it was some kind of cruel scan," Dani later told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lea was every bit as incredulous as her mother. "When my parents said we got the email, I started crying because I was like, 'No way. This can't be happening'," she related to KTVU-TV.

In fact, she was not fully convinced that he was still alive until she, Grace, and her father went and collected him from an undisclosed location. "I didn't believe it till I saw him like meowing and purring. He knew it was me!" she added to KTVU-TV. "It was amazing. I was so happy."

Once she, too, had been convinced that Thomas was indeed still alive, Lea's mother was equally ecstatic. "Thomas is alive! I can't stop shaking!" she told The Sacramento Bee. "It's a miracle for our family with everything we have lost."

On that point, Lea wholeheartedly concurred. "It was honestly like the best day I had since the fire," she swore to The Sacramento Bee. "It was the greatest day ever."

As it later was revealed, Thomas had been found at around 2 a.m. on November 24th on Split Rail Court which is only 1.44 kilometers north of the Stockhams' old abode. Other than being emaciated and slightly injured, he was said to have been in remarkably good shape.

That was rather amazing in itself in that he not only had been forced to elude the flames but to provide for himself in their aftermath for forty-eight days. How that he was able to have pulled off all of that remains a mystery to this very day.

Thomas Is Reunited with Grace and Lea Stockham

It likewise is puzzling that he never returned home. Of course, it is always conceivable that he did so on numerous occasions but never was able to find any of the Stockhams on the premises. Press reports have not delved into the matter but more than likely they were living elsewhere by that time because their house had been rendered completely uninhabitable.

As it soon was learned, he had been found by fifty-three-year-old Shannon Jay of Forestville, eighteen kilometers northwest of Santa Rosa, who is employed as an officer of the United States Park Police (USPP), a division of the Interior Department's National Park Service (NPS). He currently is biding his time trapping cats while on sick leave after having had a benign tumor removed from his brain earlier in the year.

"The idea that they're (cats) out there and people are grieving and (have) lost everything...to just bring that little beacon back to them, to just see how happy they are, it's overwhelming," he gushed to KTVU-TV.

The positive identification of Thomas was made by, not surprisingly, an implanted microchip. The specifics have not been divulged but unless Jay has access to a universal scanner, that determination was made by either a veterinarian or, perhaps, Sonoma County Animal Services (SCAS) at 1247 Century Court in Santa Rosa which is serving as a de facto clearinghouse for animals lost in the Tubbs and other wildfires that broke out last summer and this autumn across both Sonoma and Napa counties.

"Thank God for the microchip. It's such a simple thing," Dani exulted to KTVU-TV. "You just don't think it's going to happen, but (if) he wouldn't have been chipped, they wouldn't have contacted us and I don't think we ever would have found him."

Best of all, Thomas apparently has come through his death-defying travails no worse for the wear. "Thomas is doing great," Lea exclaimed to The Sacramento Bee. "He is still recovering. Very tired and just wants to be beside us."

The news of Thomas' triumph soon was flashed all over both mainstream as well as social media. His is the kind of story that both readers and the capitalist media alike love to wallow in but upon reflection it also leaves much to be desired in the candor department.

Most importantly of all, it has not been adequately explained why that the Stockhams so cruelly and shamefully ran out on him. In particular, exactly where was he and Lea when he slipped out of her grasp?

If they were indoors, she and her family do not have a valid excuse for not collecting him. If, for instance, he had scampered underneath a bed, it should have been dismantled on the spot so as to facilitate his apprehension and caging.

That could not have taken very long and, besides, it and the entire house were destined to be consumed by the flames in any event. On the other hand, if he had run off somewhere outside there was not too much that the members of his family could have done for him. They nonetheless should have at the very least attempted to locate him.

Furthermore, since the entire West Coast stretching from the Mexican border throughout British Columbia has become a tinderbox in recent years, no one residing alongside it has a good excuse for not being prepared in advance for the sudden outbreak of a wildfire. For cat owners, that entails no less than rounding up their companions and confining them indoors at the first report of an approaching conflagration.

A sturdy homemade cage constructed of either wood or steel also is essential. The cheap plastic varieties that the capitalists fob off on the public are not worth so much as a rat's ass under normal circumstances, let alone during an emergency. (See Cat Defender post of March 7, 2008 entitled "Georgia Is Found Safe and Sound after Spending a Harrowing Twenty-Five Days Lost in the Bowels of the New York City Subway System.")

Under such circumstances, all that would be left for an owner to do is to grab the cat, put it in a cage, fire up the old jalopy, and then get out of harm's way. Those owners without automobiles are, unfortunately, pretty much dependent upon the benevolence of their neighbors and rescue personnel.

Accurate statistics are pretty much impossible to obtain, but as of November 3rd SCAS reported that ninety-five lost cats had been found but that one-hundred-fifty-six others were still missing. (See The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, November 7, 2017, "Amid Sonoma County Wildfires, One Group Uses Social Media to Reunite Pets and Their Families.")

In Sonoma County alone, hundreds more of them likely perished in the Tubbs Fire. Some of them either were homeless to begin with or belonged to TNR colonies but the vast majority of them, apparently, were abandoned by their owners. Even more repulsive, some of those owners still have not even so much as attempted to reclaim them.

Their callousness, including that of the Stockhams, gives a hollow ring to their declarations of undying love. "It's a miracle...it's life-changing," Dani caroled to KTVU-TV. "It really changed the whole dynamic of our recovery."

While it doubtlessly is a miracle that Thomas is still alive today, that is due solely to his own perseverance. Stockham and her family ran out on him in his hour of greatest need and therefore contributed absolutely nothing toward saving his life.

Moreover, they were so eager to believe that he had been burned to death that they grabbed the first dead cat that they came across upon returning home, declared him to be Thomas, disposed of his corpse, and then curtly dismissed the entire matter from their minds. The only thing that can be said in their favor is that they are not the first individuals to have made such a colossal mistake.

Shannon Jay Tinkering with One of His Traps

For example, in May of 2013 forty-eight-year-old Karen Jones of Mardol Road in Ashford, Kent, scooped up the lifeless body of a black cat that had been run down and killed by a hit-and-run motorist on Beecholme Drive in the Kennington section of Kent. Believing it to have been her two-year-old cat, Norman, she eulogized it and buried it in her garden. It therefore was not until the following morning when he turned up for breakfast that she finally realized her faux pas.

Since she thoughtlessly allows him to roam the perilous streets of Kent unescorted both day and night she sans doute had been expecting the worst and, like Stockham, simply buried the first dead black cat that she encountered. (See Cat Defender post of June 12, 2013 entitled "Pronounced Dead, Eulogized, and Then Relegated to the Underworld, Norman Astounds His Guardian by Turning Up Hungry and Grumpy for Breakfast the Very Next Morning.")

On January 25th of last year, thirty-five-year-old Matt Strong found a dead cat in the road outside his house on Barlow Moor Road in Manchester City that he mistook for his beloved three-year-old Gus. He accordingly took the cat's corpse home, buried it in his garden, and afterwards announced on Twitter that Gus was dead.

The local politician got the shock of his life, however, when Gus later turned up for lunch. He nevertheless did have the decency to exhume the dead cat and take it to Ashleigh Veterinary Centre so as to provide its owner with an opportunity to reclaim his remains.

Like Jones before him, Strong resides on a busy street and had been halfway expecting Gus to get mowed down by a motorist. In this case, however, he simply put one and one together and came up with three. (See Cat Defender post of October 7, 2016 entitled "Declared Dead and Prematurely Interred, Gus Gets the Last Laugh for Now but the Next Time Around He May Not Be Quite So Lucky, Especially If His Inattentive Owner Does Not Start Taking Better Care of Him.")

It is not always easy to know exactly what to think about such aberrant behavior. On the one hand, it certainly would have been easy enough for the cats' respective owners to have made such glaring mistakes, especially if the corpses had been either badly mangled or charred.

If that were not the case, their incorrect identifications likely can be attributed to either a lack of  attention to detail or callousness. Plus, the owners more than likely had been not only anticipating their cats' demise but hoping for such dénouements as well.

The more that the matter of inattentive and uncaring owners is delved into the uglier it gets. For in addition to burying the wrong cats, some owners actually have been guilty of burying those that were still very much alive. (See Cat Defender post of June 24, 2013 entitled "Buried Long Before Her Time, Muffin Is Freed from the Crypt by Her Devoted Six-Year-Old Snuggling Partner.")

Jay and his trapping initiative is another matter of grave concern. Far from being the unqualified good that the media in the Bay Area would have the public to believe, it never has been publicly disclosed what he does with the cats that he traps.

The most likely conclusion to be drawn from that simply deplorable situation is that he fobs them off on SCAS and other nearby shelters who, sooner or later, systematically liquidate them. That is how that all such hellhole institutions dispose of their excess "inventories."

If there is any truth in that assertion, he most definitely is not a hero and he certainly is not doing the vast majority of the cats that he traps any favors. In fact, they would be far better off if he simply vacated the playing field and left them to their own devices.

To incarcerate and kill such cats is not only morally indefensible but vividly demonstrates that they have far more to fear from mankind than natural disasters. The utter absurdity of trapping fire victims just to turn around and kill them leads to the suspicion that there could be an ulterior motive behind Jay's activities.

According to press reports, he has undertaken this trapping initiative of his own volition but considering the vast array of flashlights, trail cameras, thermal imaging scopes, night vision goggles, traps, and bait that he makes use of in his work that seems unlikely. Most damning of all, it is all but impossible to believe that anyone who works for the NPS could ever be on the side of cats.

For example on June 8, 2014, it gave the caretakers of a TNR colony comprised on thirty-three cats a scant five days in order to get out of Plum Beach in Brooklyn. If they had not complied with that outrageous edict, the NPS had vowed to not only destroy the cats' winterized shelters and feeding stations but to trap them and subsequently hand them over to Animal Care and Control to kill. (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.")

The NPS' sister agency within the Interior Department, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, not only has exterminated more than two-hundred cats on San Nicolas but trapped, stolen, injured, and killed an even greater number of them in the Florida Keys. (See Cat Defender posts of February 24, 2012 and June 23, 2011 entitled, respectively, "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" and "Wallowing in Welfare Dollars, Lies, and Prejudice, the Bloodthirsty United States Fish and Wildlife Service Is Again Killing Cats in the Florida Keys.")

Furthermore, it would be rather difficult to find so much as a solitary entity within the federal bureaucracy that is not actively involved in defaming and killing cats. (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.")

In light of its hideous mistreatment of cats, it is not the least bit surprising that both sexual abuse and gender discrimination are rampant at the NPS. (See the Government Executive of Washington, October 13, 2017, "Zinke Cracks Down on Sexual Harassment in National Park Service" and The Washington Post, June 14, 2016, "Lawmakers Charge Park Service Chief Oversees Culture of Sexual Harassment.")

At the Grand Canyon River District, male employees of the NPS even have gone so far as to attempt to starve their female colleagues to death after they shunned their sexual overtures. (See The New York Times, October 13, 2017, "Zinke Vows to End 'Virus' of Harassment in Park Service.")

Thomas Is Now Safe and Sound but for How Long?

Those types of wholesale abuse and discrimination are not by any stretch of the imagination confined to the NPS but rather they have engulfed the entire Interior Department as well. (See The New York Times, December 14, 2017, "Thousands of Interior Department Employees Report Harassment and Intimidation at Work.")

The rot even extends to the department's Office of Law Enforcement and Security (OLES), which oversees the activities of its various police forces, including Jay's own USPP. For example, OLES' head man, Tim K. Lynn, was forced to resign in April after six of his female employees accused him of sexual harassment. (See The Washington Post, May 31, 2017, "A Senior Interior Official Retires after Investigators Find He Sexually Harassed Multiple Women.")

Dani Stockham's profuse praise of implanted microchips is also way off base. Most importantly, they in no way afford cats so much as an iota of protection against either the myriad of dangers that plague their fragile existences or the dereliction of owners such as she. (See Cat Defender post of May 25, 2006 entitled "Plato's Misadventures Expose the Pitfalls of RFID Technology as Applied to Cats.")

They additionally have been shown to cause cancer and, sometimes, paralysis. (See Cat Defender posts of September 21, 2007, November 6, 2010, and April 28, 2016 entitled, respectively, "The FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs," "Bulkin Contracts Cancer from an Implanted Microchip and Now It Is Time for Digital Angel® and Merck to Answer for Their Crimes in a Court of Law," and "Sassie Is Left Paralyzed as the Result of Yet Still Another Horribly Botched Attempt to Implant a Thoroughly Worthless and Pernicious Microchip Between Her Shoulders.")

Even when it comes to reuniting lost cats with their owners microchips are virtually worthless unless the latter have studiously kept their contact data up to date and database administrators are willing to cooperate. (See Cat Defender post of January 24, 2017 entitled "Tigger Is Finally Reunited with His Family Despite the Best Efforts of the Administrators of a Microchip Database to Keep Them Apart.")

The subject is almost never so much as even broached in the United States but implanted microchips do not do either deceased cats or their grieving owners one whit of good. That is because those officials who collect the former's corpses from streets and crime scenes are too lazy and callous to scan them for microchips.

The same holds true for individuals. For instance, the Stockhams would not have buried the wrong cat if they had scanned the dead one that they had found on their porch.

As far as Norman and Gus are concerned, it never was disclosed one way or the other if they had been chipped. It likewise is assumed that the cats buried in their would-be graves were not scanned either.

Doing so would have required trips to either a veterinarian or a shelter and perhaps Jones, Strong, and the Stockhams were unwilling to have invested the time and money that such an exercise would have required. Also, the negative reports that they would have received would have placed them under a moral obligation to, at the very least, have inaugurated belated searches for their still missing cats.

It is an entirely different story in some parts of Angleterre where at least twenty local authorities have now begun to scan dead cats for chips. Afterwards, they then attempt to track down their owners. (See Your Local Guardian of Sutton in Surrey, September 4, 2017, "Croydon Council Says It Checks for Microchips on Dead Cats Following Concerns Owners Kept in Dark.")

To sum up, microchips are of rather limited utility in that for every successful reunification that they help to facilitate, thousands of other lost cats are never heard from again. At the end of the day there simply is not any substitute for conscientious owners who regard the lives of their cats as sacrosanct and accordingly endeavor to do everything in their power to preserve them.

Every once in a blue moon Good Samaritans and firefighters will go out of their way in order to save a cat that gets caught up in a wildfire but that is the exception rather than the rule. (See Cat Defender posts of November 20, 2017 and October 14, 2015 entitled, respectively, "Already Ten Years Overdue, the Indomitable Pilot Is Burned to Within an Inch of His Life by a Deadly California Wildfire but Nonetheless Is Still Able to Finally Make It Home in Time for This Thanksgiving" 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.")

Lastly, the severest criticism is reserved for the members of the Fourth Estate who once again have more than abundantly demonstrated that they care absolutely nothing about the welfare of cats. In this particular case, they have completely exonerated the Stockhams, shelters, and Jay of all wrongdoing by refusing to ask so much as one pertinent question about their behavior and activities.

Even worse, that is merely par for the course as far as they are concerned in that the only topics that ever seem to interest them are either good cat survival stories or the outrageous lies disseminated by ornithologists, wildlife biologists, and other ailurophobes. The capitalist media's news coverage is simply god-awful everywhere but in the United States it is the absolute pits.

Looking ahead, Thomas does not appear to be in any imminent danger. Even so, the Stockhams still reside in wildfire country and the outcome could be entirely different next summer if they do not endeavor to take better care of him by mending their callous and irresponsible guardianship of him.

As things now stand, he is still very much on his own just like he was when the roaring flames of the Tubbs Fire consumed his home and threatened to claim his life. Somehow it just seems that in any society that makes the least little pretense about being compassionate and civilized that a faithful and devoted thirteen-year-old cat would be entitled to far better treatment than that.

Photos: Dani Stockham (Thomas), Shannon Jay (Thomas in a cage), and Alvin Jordana of The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa (Jay).