Tag: Merica

Reason #53 To Keep Your Cats Indoors: Vigilantes

One bad thing about having Google News alerts for cat-related stories is the sheer, sickening volume of articles about cats who are maimed, tortured, killed by vigilante lunatics, dispatched by overzealous birders, shot with BB guns or arrows, poisoned with antifreeze, murdered as proxies in domestic violence incidents, kicked like soccer balls by juvenile psychopaths, or tragically killed by someone’s epic stupidity.

The amount of violence directed at felines is mind-boggling, and it doesn’t reflect well on the US: For example in Istanbul, a city of more than 15 million people, there are some 130,000 cats living on the streets, not including pets. While many ‘Mericans see an animal and think “Let’s shoot it!” the people of Turkey are overwhelmingly compassionate, going to incredible lengths to make sure street cats are fed, watered, sheltered and have access to veterinary care.

Today’s story fits in the “vigilante lunatics” category.

It’s not clear if the person in question simply hates cats or is acting out of some misguided campaign to “protect” small wildlife, but we do know that a would-be cat killer is threatening to kill outdoor kitties in Joplin, Missouri, a city about 230 miles east of Oklahoma City.

photo of british shorthair cat sitting on grass field
Credit: Kirsten Bu00fchne/Pexels

The suspect slapped warning letters and posters on the front doors of homes along four separate streets between 2:40 and 5 a.m. on Monday, local police said.

Cops haven’t released the full text of the letters, but said the letter-writer threatened to kill any stray or feral cats he or she comes across in the neighborhood. Likewise, while police did say images of the letter-writer were captured on doorbell cameras, they’re holding the identifying details close to the vest right now, which they may do for any number of reasons.

One of the homeowner who received the letter said he fears his two missing cats are now dead. Another neighbor said the letters follow similar threats by a woman wearing a red jacket, who told some people in the neighborhood to keep their cats inside or else.

“The lady, she was walking up and down the streets going door to door telling everybody that they better watch out for our cats because they were going to start being euthanized,” the neighbor told WKSN, the local NBC affiliate.

Joplin police are offering $2,500 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest of the letter-writer.

Is This Cat Really Wearing A Mask In A Historical Photo From 1920?

Because we never miss an opportunity to do spectacularly stupid things here in good old ‘Merica, we’ve politicized the act of wearing a mask, the simplest and most effective way to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

Since mask-wearing has become a meme as well, a historical photo that apparently shows a cat wearing a mask has been making the rounds. It shows a California family — mom, dad, two boys, two girls and a cat — standing together for a group photo, with each of them wearing a facial covering.

It’s become something of a go-to on social media, used in response to those who believe the virus is a hoax, a minor threat overblown by the US media, or an invention of evil Big Pharma who infected the world — while cackling evilly, presumably — in order to rake in enormous profits from selling the vaccine. (How “Big Pharma” is making billions off a vaccine that doesn’t exist is never explained by the conspiracy theorists.)

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A cat in a medical mask. (Source)

The photo was archived by the Dublin (CA) Heritage Park and Museum, and it’s dated from 1920, the third and last year the Spanish Flu spread to every corner of the globe. Between 50 and 100 million people lost their lives to that virus, historians estimate, and it wasn’t until several decades later that scientists understood what they were dealing with.

Snopes spoke to Tyler Phillips, who coordinates the archival material for the Dublin Heritage Park and Museum. Unfortunately, Phillips said, not much is known about the photograph other than that it was taken around 1920.

“The fun thing about this photo is that it does appear that even the cat is wearing a mask, but unfortunately we cannot prove that. The staff here at our museum go back and forth on that same question,” Phillips said. “My personal belief is that it is an optical illusion. I cant imagine any cat staying that calm with a tight fitting mask on their face. Also if you zoom in real close you can start to see the faint features of the cats face (nose and mouth). Since the original photo is pretty small and very old its not much easier to tell looking at it.”

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So Snopes says the claim that the cat is wearing a mask is “unproven,” and Phillips thinks it’s an optical illusion.

We here at PITB think it’s a legit mask: We don’t see whiskers or even visual artifacts that would result from pixelated or blurred whiskers at the low resolution of the photo. In addition, it’s perfectly normal for a mask to follow the contours of a face, so that doesn’t rule out a mask. A coat pattern that happens to look exactly like a cloth mask, however, isn’t common.

Lastly, cats are individuals. Some will tolerate masks, some won’t. Buddy would probably try to claw me to death if I made him wear a mask, but your average Maine Coon would probably think, “Yeah whatever is cool, bro!”

One thing’s for sure, though: You won’t see any cats confusing the small inconvenience of wearing a mask with “tyranny” or “oppression,” and you won’t see Kitty Karens pulling the snowflake card in grocery stores, insisting the rules don’t apply to them. Those are uniquely human behaviors.

 

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