February 4, 2012

"The cat is a living human animal and doesn't deserve to be basically murdered...."

So said Circuit Judge David Hansher, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The cat is a living human animal!?

Anyway, the judge sent a man to jail for 6 months for killing a stray cat who was damaging his property. When people kill feral animals on their property, it's inflammatory to call it "murder." The method of killing the cat sound horrible — swinging it by the tail and cracking its head — but the man discovered the cat living in his vacant rental property, where it had been "urinating and defecating all over and tearing up furniture":
He told Hansher that he opened the doors and windows and tried to chase the animal outside, but that it instead hid under the kitchen sink. He said he tried to grab it by the neck but could only reach the tail, and once he pulled it out, the cat began viciously clawing and biting at him.
The judge said: "It's abhorrent and repulsive what you did... I'd rather have an armed robber in front of me than someone like you."

Crazy!

196 comments:

Class factotum said...

No the cat isn't human, but it takes a particularly cruel person to kill an animal that way.

Joe said...

Isn't this why the writ of habeas corpus was invented?

(And what about mice; do they deserve to me murdered? At my last place, I was killing a half dozen a year.)

chickenlittle said...

Such judgmental justice!

JAL said...

Is this an elected or appointed judge?

I ♥ Willard said...

"It's abhorrent and repulsive what you did"

Amen!

JAL said...

A no kill trap would have been cheaper.


Not to mention -- more (I hesitate here) -- humane.

phx said...

I'm not a pacifist or a vegetarian. But it's stupid and cruel to kill an animal without a good reason and in a vicious, thoughtless manner.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I agree with the Judge. The language he used was inaccurate but teh sentence was correct.

Any person who would torture an animal (especially in the presence of a child) is a danger to society.

SunnyJ said...

On our farm by Grampa always called them "sail cats"...he'd drive over them with some piece of machinery and pick them up, flat as a pancake and throw them, sailing off into the ditch. Tough life for cats out in the country. He did not turn out to be a serial killer like many animal toruturers do, he turned out to be a farmer busy doing his job and a cat got in the way.

Get a grip here...."human animals"...does that make serial killers "animal humans"? Just asking.

On another note, have you watched the tape of SCJ Ruthie G recommending S Africa or Canada's constitution over the US? It's chilling to think these people judge us, supposedly pledging to using the constitution and rule of law, while secretly holding these beliefs. After listening to her, it's not a stretch to read about this local yocal judge and his "human animal".

Ann Althouse said...

Did you miss the part about the cat hiding under the sink and then biting at him as he tried to get it out.

Exactly what should he have done in that situation? Endured the biting and scratching, retreated from his apartment, hired some professional cat control person....

Are you the same commenters who are celebrating the man in the store who shot a robber in the head and spread 5 or 6 bullets around?

Really what are the rules of self-defense in the presence of vicious cat humans and human humans?

Class factotum said...

Exactly what should he have done in that situation?

There is a difference between tossing the cat outside and making sure your property is secure against strays and bashing its brains out.

Carol_Herman said...

GOOD!

This man had other options! Including calling ANIMAL CONTROL.

You know, every time I go to Petsmart, I see older cats for adoption. And, sometimes, dog rescues, too.

Here you have a good judge. And, I'd even bet there are laws on the books that cover this judge!

Oh, by the way. How, exactly, did the cat get inside? Here, I'll make a bet. This landlord had a tenant who left the cat behind.

Again, this is a good time to contact ANIMAL CONTROL. Or drop by your local Petsmart ... and ask them to give you contacts to those people who rescue strays.

EDH said...

Watch in the background, on the stairs.

Roger Sweeny said...

"This [appeals] court takes judidical notice that a cat is not a human. Judgment reversed."

I ♥ Willard said...

Did you miss the part about the cat hiding under the sink and then biting at him as he tried to get it out.

Are you really surprised to find that this is how a feral cat behaves? Do you understand that the cat felt threatened and was acting in self-defense?

Joe said...

This is such bullshit; you don't put someone in jail for killing a cat, no matter how they did it.

Aren't some of those celebrating this overreach of law for smaller, less intrusive, constitutionally minded government? Or are you one of those small government types who want public flogging, warrantless searches and no reading of Miranda rights?

Ann Althouse said...

"There is a difference between tossing the cat outside and making sure your property is secure against strays and bashing its brains out."

How do you get it outside in that situation?

Also, the cat would go back in, wouldn't it? But he was reacting in an emergency, not planning carefully. Still, if he was planning carefully, he'd have to capture that cat and take it to animal control to be killed. Otherwise, the cat would return to the place it had made its home.

chickenlittle said...

Are you the same commenters who are celebrating the man in the store who shot a robber in the head and spread 5 or 6 bullets around?

I plead not guilty your honor. Much like Atticus Finch did, I would have just shot the animal.

chickenlittle said...

Plus I agree that humanizing animals is a slippery slope. There is however, common law decency regarding the treatment of animals.

JAL said...

"It's abhorrent and repulsive what you did... I'd rather have an armed robber in front of me than someone like you."

Bit of overkill that, if I must say so myself.

Wonder what he would have said to the Aldi guy.

Ann Althouse said...

I think jail would be appropriate if he had been cruel to the cat for the sake of cruelty.

I've killed a bat in my house, for example. I used the quickest method I could come up with at the time, and once you begin such an enterprise, you need to finish it.

I can picture what that would look like in a Wisconsin state court: "The bat is a living human animal!!!"

Writ Small said...

Exactly what should he have done in that situation? Endured the biting and scratching, retreated from his apartment, hired some professional cat control person....

Since the judge ruled the cat was a "living human animal," clearly the man should have used the judicial system and the sherrif's office to lawfully evict the feline human. Also, since the cat assaulted the man, he might have also gotten a restraining order to keep the human at no more than 100 feet from the man. If the cat violated the terms of the restraining order, once again the man could have gotten law enforcement involved. After the cat spent 30 days in jail, he's certainly think twice about scratching anyone again.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Ann, the two situations are not the same. The robbery was an immediate threat to the lives of the people in the store. He was shot only after he turned and pointed a weapon at a man who was armed.

The cat was not a threat to the man's life put to his property. He had many options available to him. He could have called animal control. He could have used non-lethal force. Nothing required him to pick the cat up by the tail and to repeatedly smash the cat onto concrete. That was cruel and unnecessary. And to make things much worse, he did it in front of a child!

A much more interesting scenario would be if the man had shot the cat. Then an argument could have been made he acted appropriately and humanely by not torturing the animal.

~N. said...

I'm not sure he had other options in the moment. When you're being clawed and bitten by a feral cat, it's like being clawed and bitten by a bobcat. He reacted instinctively, just like the cat reacted instinctively.

If this cat had successfully bitten this man's jugular, would he haul this "human" cat before him and throw it in jail?

The natural trajectory for idiots like this judge who anthropomorphisize animals is Timothy Treadwell.

We can only hope this judge has an obsessive thing for, say, grizzlies, great whites, or venomous snakes. That sort of thing tends to resolve itself quite naturally.

Ann Althouse said...

"Are you really surprised to find that this is how a feral cat behaves? Do you understand that the cat felt threatened and was acting in self-defense?"

Yes. And so what?

chickenlittle said...

I once beheaded a gopher on my property with a spade for the simple crime of burrowing in my yard.

Was I supposed to capture it and put it in the freezer, live? :)

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Maybe if the man was not such a slumlord the cat would not get back into his house? Why is his property open to wild animals?

YoungHegelian said...

There is no greater cat lover on this forum than me. We've got 3 now, I've had one all my life.

But, for those of you who have never been mauled by an animal, let me tell you, a very primitive part of the brain kicks in during the process. It instantly devolves into a "you or it".

I was mauled by a neighbor's insane cat after I kept it from getting into my insurance agent's BMW. It bit the webbing between my right thumb and forefinger and used its teeth to pivot its back legs onto my arm where it used the back-legs shred technique on my right arm.

I jerked the cat up into the air by its scruff with my left arm, and it after it took its teeth out of my hand, I threw it across the yard as far as I could.

The cat walked away (not ran, walked).The owner had it put down after I showed them the battle damage.

When teeth enter muscle, rationality leaves the house.

traditionalguy said...

Another modern case of pretending Courts have authority that can contradict scripture that declares humans have dominion over all animals to kill and eat them.

He killed the stray cat. No torture was involved...not even water boarding.

Once the truth of scripture is thrown away, we are soon trapped by nutty delusions.

Sebastian said...

"Exactly what should he have done in that situation? Endured the biting and scratching, retreated from his apartment, hired some professional cat control person...."

I'm quite appalled at your whole reaction to this, Mrs. Meade.

I found a cat this past fall that someone had left in a box and abandoned by the trash cash in front of my house. I took her in. She was so frightened that she hid in my bathroom...wait for it...under the sink. While trying to get her out...wait for it...she bit me.

Guess what I did? I didn't kill her.

She is still in my bathroom, four months later. She comes out to play in the kitchen some times, but she likes to stay in the bathroom. I let her. I feed her and empty her box and give her love and eventually she will come out more often.

I ♥ Willard said...

Yes. And so what?

It's called thinking ahead, Professor.

If you realize in advance that grabbing a feral cat by the tail to pull it from under the sink will likely cause the frightened animal to bite and scratch, you can't claim that you needed to smash the cat's skull against a wall repeatedly as a matter of self-defense.

robinintn said...

He was really supposed to take the time, while being attacked by a feral animal that was in the process of destroying the guy's property and livelihood, to try to understand its feelings and the reasons for its behavior?

How about that guy who killed the grizzly that was attacking his children? Was he under some sort of obligation to understand its feelings and motivations too? Maybe get on the horn to a couple of social workers to work out an equitable solution?

What's going on here at Althouse?

David said...

Looks like a case of crappy lawyering to me.

Bridget Boyle, his lawyer, has recently been suspended from practice in the Federal 7th Circuit for repeated failure to respond to a order of show cause involving a case where she apparently missed deadlines for and supposedly abandoned her representation of a criminal client.

Sounds like Bridget is not firing on all cylinders these days.

A cat that is biting and scratching your hand is inflicting severe pain and potentially dangerous wounds. Looks like a case of self defense.

The Judge, by the way, is Deputy Chief Judge of his circuit and apparently a former member of the Wisconsin Judicial Commission.

Nice job, Bridget.

EDH said...

I just visited the new Harbor Freight store and found this electric fly swatter for like $4.00.

Unfortunately, it's winter so I haven't found any bugs yet to test it out.

But those little flying bugs that get inside the house and drive you crazy are so toast.

I Callahan said...

If you realize in advance that grabbing a feral cat by the tail to pull it from under the sink will likely cause the frightened animal to bite and scratch, you can't claim that you needed to smash the cat's skull against a wall repeatedly as a matter of self-defense.

Bingo.

The professor's reaction to this is quite a bit different than the reaction she had when taking in the scared dog the other day. I can only guess one of two things to be true:

1. The professor doesn't like cats, but likes dogs.

2. The professor didn't write this post, some bearded Spock version of her wrote it.

It doesn't seem logical that one person could react in such polar opposite ways to these situations.

I Callahan said...

while being attacked by a feral animal

Right. A little cat. Destroying someone's property.

Overreact much?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

OK stop with the ferrel cat! This cat was not ferral. The cat belong to the upstairs tenant. The landlord told her she could not keep the cat in the house. She let it live outside.

It appears the landlord himself admitted that he committed the crime of cruelty. So why are you defending him? Why make up facts that are not true? What does that say about you?

Sebastian said...

Let me add that she bit me and used her hind paw claws to tear up my wrists, similarly as described by another commenter. I had to go to the doctor to get an antibiotic because I got an infection, and the doctor insisted that I get a rabies shot as well. I don't have insurance, so the hospital sent me a $4,000 bill. All this is worth it, because my beautiful new cat, Henrietta, is alive and will now have a good life in my home.

I really, really don't like that Mrs. Meade thinks it's acceptable to bash a cat to death for acting like a cat under stress.

(The cat in my profile picture is one of my two other cats.)

I Callahan said...

It appears the landlord himself admitted that he committed the crime of cruelty. So why are you defending him? Why make up facts that are not true? What does that say about you?

It seems the professor didn't even read the article she linked. And it seems some of the commenters are also guilty of that. I guess it doesn't fit into peoples' narratives.

Paco Wové said...

"Guess what I did? I didn't kill her."

Well, that's nice, since you deliberately took the cat in and all. But what should a normal person - someone not inclined to cede their bathroom to a stray cat, for instance - do?

Sebastian said...

"Are you really surprised to find that this is how a feral cat behaves? Do you understand that the cat felt threatened and was acting in self-defense?"

Yes. And so what?

----

So you have a complete lack of compassion in this particular case. As someone else pointed out, you didn't kill that dog you found. Would you kill a cat that you found?

Carnifex said...

I love my pets. I had one I spent $1800 on in one visit to the vet, only to have it develop the malady again and was faced with having to pay $1800 every 2 weeks. I cried like a baby(great wracking sobs) but I had it put down.

If it had been my child, or any child for that matter, I would still be paying. And that's the difference between being a human and an animal.

If you think this guy was cruel to the cat, go outside and take a look at what nature does to itself. I'm sorry it offended some peoples sensibilities, but really, if you're that offended I would hope you're a vegan.

My wife harangues me for hunting and fishing. I tell her to spit the hamburger out of her mouth, cause I can't understand her.(She doesn't appreciate my humor sometimes)

Anga2010 said...

Obviously, we are NOT the same commentors!
I had to take my dog for a long walk and am only now back to see this rediculous judge post.
In Texas, we call it vermin and we kill it. That's the law.
It would be better to kill it in such a way that it did not claw or bite you first.

I Callahan said...

But what should a normal person - someone not inclined to cede their bathroom to a stray cat, for instance - do?

How about call animal control, or hire a professional pest control outfit? That would have been the humane thing to do. At least not bash the cats head in. In front of a child.

The cruelty of the human race never ceases to amaze me. The fact that otherwise smart, logical human beings can possibly defend this practice is even more amazing.

People wonder why some people are cat or dog people? Dogs and cats don't bash each other's heads in over some ruined carpet, or for a percentage of the action.

I have completely lost all hope for the human race.

Sebastian said...

"But what should a normal person - someone not inclined to cede their bathroom to a stray cat, for instance - do?"

Oh, well, obviously grab the cat by the tail and bash it to death in front of a child. Clearly, that's what normal people do.

Paco Wové said...

"As someone else pointed out, you didn't kill that dog you found."

The dog bit her? I missed that.

Ann Althouse said...

"The cat was not a threat to the man's life put to his property. He had many options available to him. He could have called animal control. He could have used non-lethal force. Nothing required him to pick the cat up by the tail and to repeatedly smash the cat onto concrete. That was cruel and unnecessary. And to make things much worse, he did it in front of a child!"

So the cat could have bitten the child! There was defense of self and defense of others.

He grabbed it by the tail in attempting to get it out from under the sink.

When I had the bat in my house, should I have called "animal control"? Do taxpayers pay for ridding buildings of feral/wild creatures?

Can the government come over and help me with my bat?

When the possibly rabid bat is flying around at night in my child's bedroom, am I supposed to call the authorities?

raf said...

An urban-rural attitude difference? Where I grew up, a nuisance animal was just a nuisance, disposal means was entirely at the discretion of the disposer.

Paddy O said...

Well, there goes hunting.

I'm not sure how putting a bullet into the head of a deer can be justified just because it has a nice rack. That sounds like premeditated murder. Indeed worse as you're going into the deer's home.

Or to eat?! Cannibals!

The Farmer said...

The cat was "viciously clawing and biting him." Of course he smashed its head against the wall. It sounds like a natural reaction to an animal attack: get the animal subdued and off of you by any means necessary. Even a "living human animal," whatever that means.

Paddy O said...

Or are cats more precious than deer? Why?

And can we hang cats that kills birds. Why should a human animal freely molest another human animal simply because the latter has wings?

Paco Wové said...

"Dogs and cats don't bash each other's heads in over some ruined carpet, or for a percentage of the action."

It is clear you have no idea what the natural world is like.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Again the cat was not ferral. Come on Althouse up your game!

Ann Althouse said...

Literary reference:

Sobs, snuffles, a fist taken from a blubbered face...

'There, tell me what's the matter, tell me!' said Connie, putting the coin into the child's chubby hand, which closed over it.

'It's the...it's the...pussy!'

Shudders of subsiding sobs.

'What pussy, dear?'

After a silence the shy fist, clenching on sixpence, pointed into the bramble brake.

'There!'

Connie looked, and there, sure enough, was a big black cat, stretched out grimly, with a bit of blood on it.

'Oh!' she said in repulsion.

'A poacher, your Ladyship,' said the man satirically.

She glanced at him angrily. 'No wonder the child cried,' she said, 'if you shot it when she was there. No wonder she cried!'

I ♥ Willard said...

He was really supposed to take the time, while being attacked by a feral animal...

No. He should have thought carefully about what he was planning to do BEFORE grabbing the frightened feral cat by the tail. Only an idiot would be surprised when the cat bit and scratched in response.

robinintn said...

"overreact much"

Check out YoungHegelian, above, on what it's really like to have a cat attack you. And a house is a pretty substantial property investment. From my experience selling residential real estate, I can testify that you can, mostly, get rid of all sorts of dog stench, if you put enough money/time into it. Cat stench, though, is a whole new level of irredeemable. You have to get your clients used to the idea that it's pretty much going to be a tear-down and rebuild situation.

I Callahan said...

Do taxpayers pay for ridding buildings of feral/wild creatures?

Yes, it's called your city or county animal control. My wife works for one; I happen to know this is true. Try again.

Roger Zimmerman said...

The law should have nothing to say about this, unless the cat was someone else's property. Perhaps the man is emotionally unstable and needs psychological treatment. Social shunning might also be appropriate. But, he violated noone's rights and should be left alone by government.

Canuck said...

"Exactly what should he have done in that situation? Endured the biting and scratching, retreated from his apartment, hired some professional cat control person...."

Get a trap. Put food in the trap. They give them out for free at local shelters to trap feral cats.

Stupid to go after a feral animal like that by yourself. Most animals will bite if they feel trapped. Was he even wearing gloves? Idiot.

Think about that stray doggie you saved.

If some idiot had cornered the dog, scared her, and then reached into get her...who would you blame if she nipped or bit or growled?

Then would it be justified to bash in her head? How do you think people would react to you if you had done that?

Paco Wové said...

He was stupid for not realizing the cat would probably bite and scratch the shit out of him, though.

raf said...

Dogs and cats don't bash each other's heads in over some ruined carpet, or for a percentage of the action.

No, they just maul each other, maiming, laming, bleeding out. People who think animals are civilized don't understand civilization. I suspect your exposure to animals is limited to domesticated pets.

rcocean said...

What kind of moron reaches in a cabinet to grab a frightened, strange cat, with their bare hands?!

And how do you get him out? Hey, what about a thick blanket?

Talk about stuck on stupid. He deserves to go to jail just for being a moron. Probably an Obama supporter.

raf said...

There is also a big difference between cats and dogs. Think about it. Would you really trust a cat as big as a Great Dane?

I ♥ Willard said...

He grabbed it by the tail in attempting to get it out from under the sink.

You'd have to be an idiot to think a cat's tail is a handle.

In instances where we found wild animals had invaded our cabin, my father was always able to lure them out with food. Most animals avoid confrontations with humans. Generally they can be convinced to relocate by applying intelligence and patience.

Anga2010 said...

You know... the pussy reference was too much for me.
I suppose I'm more Edwardian than Victorian.
I'm going to leave this thred now.
*waves*

Paco Wové said...

"...if she nipped or bit or growled?

Then would it be justified to bash in her head?"


Do you simply not see the extent to which you are minimizing the cat's attack? The cat was not just 'nipping and growling'.

The Farmer said...

""Exactly what should he have done in that situation? Endured the biting and scratching, retreated from his apartment, hired some professional cat control person...."

Get a trap. Put food in the trap. They give them out for free at local shelters to trap feral cats.


Yes. He should have driven to the shelter, picked up the trap, then headed over to the supermarket for some tuna, then gone back to the house to set a trap, all with a screaming, hissing, biting, clawing cat attached to his arm.

I ♥ Willard said...

And a house is a pretty substantial property investment.

Relevance? His property was already damaged by the cat. If he had waited an extra hour or two for Animal Control to remove the cat, would his property have suffered significantly more damage?

I ♥ Willard said...

Do you simply not see the extent to which you are minimizing the cat's attack?

The landlord initiated the attack. Only an idiot would be surprised that the cat fought back in self-defense.

The Farmer said...

The landlord initiated the attack. Only an idiot would be surprised that the cat fought back in self-defense.

So what should he have done when the cat started "fighting back"?

I ♥ Willard said...

He should have driven to the shelter, picked up the trap, then headed over to the supermarket for some tuna, then gone back to the house to set a trap, all with a screaming, hissing, biting, clawing cat attached to his arm.

Dear God, who knew people could be so stupid.

Canuck said...

"Yes. He should have driven to the shelter, picked up the trap, then headed over to the supermarket for some tuna, then gone back to the house to set a trap, all with a screaming, hissing, biting, clawing cat attached to his arm."

um. This doesn't take too many brain cells to figure out.

You get a trap, bring it to the house, put in the food...and Don't Grab a Animal You Don't Know By the Tail.

Neighbors had racoons in their house. If they had decided to grab them?

Idiots. What sort of brain dead idiot corners and animal and grabs it?

I saw a coyote walking down the street the other day. If I had grabbed it's tail? Or a stray dog?

I think it's called the Darwin Award.

edutcher said...

The issue is, if that judge can't tell the difference between human and feline, he should not be on the bench.

Typical Lefty - don't think, just go by the talking points.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I ♥ Willard said...

So what should he have done when the cat started "fighting back"?

He shouldn't have grabbed the tail of the cat in the first place. Instead of concentrating on how to abort an idiotic plan of action, why not focus on starting with an intelligent plan instead?

BTW, if a cat objects to being pulled by the tail, it's best to release the cat's tail. Even small children are capable of learning this simple lesson.

Evan said...

Six months in jail for killing a cat is ethical and legal idiocy. The words the judge used ("murder" "worse than an armed robber") prove he's a fool. A cat is not a person! If this one was feral and ruining his property, then it was vermin. Since when does a property owner not have the right to exterminate vermin?

Canuck said...

"So what should he have done when the cat started "fighting back"?"

Do you people do this? Corner and try to pick up strange animals?

Animal control has tools and gloves. Do you at least use those?

Generally I expect to be bitten if I grab at a animal that doesn't know me.

Mr Evilwrench said...

I'm a cat guy; I'll say that up front. I've done rescues, including ferals. I have a few ferals that are keeping my squirrel problem under control currently, and I feed them in the hope of keeping them at least somewhat healthy.

It doesn't really matter if it's a feral, grabbing a cat by the tail is likely to get you some trouble. The only way to restrain one is by scruffing it, and in a few cases, even that doesn't work. Note, you shouldn't pick an adult up that way.

I've had raccoons, squirrels, and possums invite themselves in. The humane approach I take to those is a hollowpoint to the brain. I would do that to a cat if it proved itself intractable.

We may have a person here who didn't know what he was getting in to, and reacted inappropriately, but it's a big stretch to say he was maliciously cruel, child present or not. We treat our children like children sometimes, and they grow up without perspective.

The Farmer said...

"um. This doesn't take too many brain cells to figure out.

You get a trap, bring it to the house, put in the food...and Don't Grab a Animal You Don't Know By the Tail."


That's what you do when an an animal is attacking you? I hope that works out for you.

sydney said...

The judge must have been a member of Alley Cat Allies, but the defendant must have been with the bird group.

Canuck said...

It's a suspended sentence - he's not doing jail time.

His renter adopted the cat, named him (Sarge) and fed him. He wouldn't allow his renter to keep the cat in her place, so she kept him outside.

The cat moved into the vacant unit.

Paco Wové said...

Look, it was stupid of Mr. Landlord to corner and grab the cat -- but he did, and the once the cat started biting and clawing him, as far as I'm concerned he was justified in using whatever force was necessary to get the cat to stop.

Mutnodjmet said...

You have to own a cat to completely understand.

chickenlittle said...

I'm not sure how putting a bullet into the head of a deer can be justified just because it has a nice rack.

Ixnay on the head shot Paddy-O. Best is a clean shot through the thorax (heart/lungs) so that it won't run far.

Canuck said...

"That's what you do when an an animal is attacking you? I hope that works out for you."

I have never been stupid enough to trap an animal, reach for it, and pull it out by its tail.

Hey - why didn't Althouse and Meade do that with the nice doggie they found?

Maybe because they aren't idiots?

Paco Wové said...

"Maybe because they aren't idiots?"

The fact that the dog wasn't destroying their house probably helped, too.

Canuck said...

Animal attacks can be vicious.

Don't poke the bear.

If you poke the bear and get eaten, guess who I blame?

If I have to kill the bear after you poke it, guess who I blame?

The cat was acting like a cat.

The suspended sentence is justified for the stupid.

edutcher said...

Paddy O said...

Well, there goes hunting.

I'm not sure how putting a bullet into the head of a deer can be justified just because it has a nice rack.


If it has a nice rack, for God's sake, take it alive!!!!

Paddy O said...

"Ixnay on the head shot Paddy-O."

Ah, I betray my lack of hunting knowledge or experience or... anything.

Though, I know a nice rack when I see one.

bgates said...

I'd rather have an armed robber in front of me than someone like you

I'd rather have an armed robber in front of the judge than this guy, too. On account of the fact that an armed robber is a criminal, and ought to face a judge in court.

This guy should try to find evidence that the cat had previously murdered several area birds and mice, without due process or anything.

Paddy O said...

"If it has a nice rack, for God's sake, take it alive!!!!"

Words to live by.

bgates said...

I think it's called the Darwin Award.

I think the Darwin Award winner here was the cat.

mariner said...

I wonder if that judge would be willing to characterize an unborn baby as "a living human animal", and impose the same sentence on an abortionist.

Somehow I doubt it.

Sorin said...

“His renter adopted the cat, named him (Sarge) and fed him. He wouldn't allow his renter to keep the cat in her place, so she kept him outside.”

The responsibility clearly falls on the renter. She lured the cat home with a promise of a warm bed and food. Then she tossed the cat out into the wild. Cats being cats found a way into the vacant apartment and the destiny of this cat was fulfilled.

If the landlord is guilty of murder then the tenant is an accessory to murder and she should be sentenced to cleaning 1000 dirty litter pans.

Paddy O said...

"This guy should try to find evidence that the cat had previously murdered several area birds and mice, without due process or anything."

Or been involved in some kind of devilry. Cats, after all, are among the most suspicious evil doers in the animal kingdom, and have long been liable to human justice.

Still are for a lot of unconventional crimes. Those humane societies regularly execute cats for the crime of being unwanted.

Fortunately that's not a capital crime among humans, otherwise many blog comment sections would be emptied of participants.

Canuck said...

"The responsibility clearly falls on the renter. She lured the cat home with a promise of a warm bed and food. Then she tossed the cat out into the wild."

yeah - I blame the renter for not taking the cat to the shelter.

The cat was friendly - followed her home. That kind of cat was already domesticated, not some sort of feral animal.

I blame him for animal cruelty and unbelievable stupidity.

btw- it sounds like this guy already was already a convicted felon.

iowan2 said...

The judge should be disbarred. isn't there some legal doctrine that restricts judges actions to, law, and facts? This guy killed a cat that was a danger to the community. His property, his responsibility.

Next, its an animal. That's all. I have killed dozens of animals by a quick flick of the wrist. It is clean simple and effective. I am not a serial killer, and all but a few of my closest friends would be shocked that I am capable of doing what needs to be done. I have had dogs and cats as house pets. The important distinction is that I understand they are animals. Growing up on a farm a person grows to understand the true order of life. To think this incident could even make it into the court room speaks to a govt that is much to large with too much time and assets to waste on things that wouldn't occupy a thinking persons mind for any time longer than seconds.

Carol_Herman said...

"The cat hiding under the sink" ... was left in the apartment by a previous tenant. And, was scared shit-less by this landlord.

The "human animal" is both this man, and the previous tenant.

Walking into an empty apartment, and then PURPOSELY TRYING TO CATCH THE CAT ... who was hiding ...

Means the landlord did the WRONG thing!

A friend of mine tried to rescue a dog she saw hit by a car. She went over with her hands outstretched. And, got bitten. She doesn't blame the dog!

You know, if you want to catch a stray animal ... you should call Animal Control.

In out day and age ... IF you have a cell phone ... You can reach Animal Control ... PRONTO TONTO.

n.n said...

People should just submit to the human animals and Gaia. There is no reasonable cause for self-defense or mitigating factors to consider when a human animal or Gaia is the other party. People are judged with the presumption of guilt. Actually, that has been a selective and progressive characteristic in recent years.

Would that people enjoyed such extraordinary empathy.

Incidentally, just yesterday, I murdered the itsy bitsy spider which climbed down the waterspout. It was supposed to climb up and refused my gentle coaxing.

Marshal said...

"... I'd rather have an armed robber in front of me than someone like you."

As a condition of his probation, Puerling is not allowed to have a pet or be around other families' domestic pets."

The judge should be sanctioned and barred from hearing any case involving animals. Emotionally driven overreactions should be absolutely disqualifying behavior for any judge.

Just Lurking said...

"To think this incident could even make it into the court room speaks to a govt that is much to large with too much time and assets to waste on things that wouldn't occupy a thinking persons mind for any time longer than seconds."

I dunno... I think if it makes even one stupid person rethink grabbing at a frightened, cornered animal, it was worth it.

John said...

Only problem I see is... after smashing the human cats skull, he should have skinned, gutted and roasted the cat. Then serve in a cream sauce, broccoli and a nice white wine.

Sorin said...

What is really going on here? Once we stopped eating cats we uplifted them to sentimentally hold them as “lesser” equals. Nonsense. There are millions of “Human” humans starving in the world. Let them eat cat. Southern Chinese still eat cats as do Lao and other Asians. The worst part of this fiasco is the wasted food. Out here on the coast, you can still buy cat and dog that will be butchered and dressed as you wish. It’s all underground, of course.

Ah Pooh said...

I suspect Meade is more an animal lover than Althouse, and found the actions of the cat killer more disgusting.

Martha said...

Exactly what should he have done in that situation?

Send in a drone.

We have cat killing drones, don't we?

Barack O

LilEvie said...

Ok, the guy never should have grabbed the cat by the tail. But once he did, he had no choice - the cat wasn't going to stop biting and scratching.

Call animal control? Yeah, and be prepared to wait a month for their arrival. Then they haul the cat out of there and it ends up gassed anyway.

Animal rights - it's on its way to a community near you. Couple more years and that cat would have its own lawyer.

And on the subject of govt overreach: Ann, if you called animal control about that bat and you owned a dog or cat with no proof of rabies vaccination they could have been forcibly removed and euthanized. This has happened.

rcocean said...

Yeah, he had no alternative other than letting the Cat go.

Judas Priest, what an idiot.

Judging by some people on this thread, its a good thing he was sentenced to prison. Maybe it will deter some equally stupid morons.

I ♥ Willard said...

This guy killed a cat that was a danger to the community.

A danger to the community?

The stupidity of some people truly astonishes me.

I ♥ Willard said...

Ok, the guy never should have grabbed the cat by the tail. But once he did, he had no choice

Well, he could have let the cat go, but given the fact that the guy had already demonstrated a complete lack of common sense, the ONLY choice remaining after disregarding all the sensible options was to smash the cat's skull against a wall repeatedly, right?

Canuck said...

"Call animal control? Yeah, and be prepared to wait a month for their arrival. Then they haul the cat out of there and it ends up gassed anyway."

You go to the shelter/animal control and you get a free trap.

In both the US and in Canada, local shelters give these out for free.

In the last town I lived, in the states, animal control came out in less then 12 hours to pick up a stray who was pooping in the garden.

This is what you Don't Do when a stray is pooping in your garden or in a building:

Chase it under something, reach in Without Wearing Protective Clothing, grab it by the tail....and when the cat reacts defensively (Surprised?!?) you apparently decide to swing the cat by the tail into a wall FIVE times.

Oh, and bennies!!!! don't do all of this in front of a neighbor kid who was watching and probably a little upset watching blood and brain splatter everywhere.

DADvocate said...

Always kill cats in private, or take them to the pound (and they'll kill it in private).

DADvocate said...

Cats, after all, are among the most suspicious evil doers in the animal kingdom,

Watch Eye of the Cat and you'll see the truth in those words.

DADvocate said...

I believe this is him:

Are you trying to instigate a harassment/terror campaign?

Canuck said...

This cat was terrified and trying to hide. It wasn't a clean death. and this guy was probably angry.

And the kid watching was probably friends with the cat.

This case ended up in court because people complained.

I do not find their complaints odd or unreasonable.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carnifex said...

W're gonna have to lay off the all the talk of pussies, and nice racks. My wife won't let me visit anymore if she sees it.

#1) grabbing any animal that does not know you is asking to be bitten, mauled, pecked, clawed, etc.(I've been all of them and quit blaming the animals decades ago)

#2) the former tenant loved that cat so much they left it behind to fend for itself.(real compassion there)

#3) In front of a child.(What's your point, farm kids see death every day of the week and twice on Sunday)

#4) the cat could be carrying disease/s into the rental property.

#5) A cat thing? We have 12 in and around our house that we take care of, feeding, vet visits, litter boxes, etc., and I ain't gonna try to count the dogs, all rescues, and that statement makes no sense what so ever.(I've finally had to put my foot down, no more stray's period. We go through 40 lbs of pet food a week)

Ps. all my animals, our kids animals, and the grandkids animals are all fixed.(except for the one goldfish) And Angus, the bull.

chuckR said...

The guy deserves to wear a dunce cap and a signboard announcing that he is an evil imbecile, while parading around downtown for a few weekends. The judge, on the other hand, deserves recall for his overwrought and non-too-closely reasoned remarks. He has the potential to do far more damage than the landlord.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think jail would be appropriate if he had been cruel to the cat for the sake of cruelty

Swinging the cat's head FIVE TIMES into a concrete block IS deliberatly cruel and he deserves to jail.

The cat was not doing anything maliciously on purpose and only following its instincts.

The solutions are numerous and he didn't try any of them.

1.Call animal control.

2.Put out a live trap and very easily catch the cat. When we are trapping for foxes we always catch cats in a two to three ratio. We take them to the local animal rescue center.

3. Entice the cat outside with some food and then seal up his crappy rental, which is obviously in need of repair when feral cats can live in it.

There was NO need to batter the cat to death, other than his lack of compasion and no respect for life.

Sam Hall said...

Look, what the guy should have done was tell his kid to get her .22, he had a live target for her.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

The landlord initiated the attack. Only an idiot would be surprised that the cat fought back in self-defense.

So what should he have done when the cat started "fighting back"?


He should have thought about THAT first. Before attacking a wild animal. OR....even a domesticated animal which will also fight back when attacked.

How about....let go of the cat's tail. It would have run off and hid. The cat would not have continued to attack.

Just. Let go of the tail. DOH!

Cats don't understand the concept of tresspassing.

iowan2 said...

This guy killed a cat that was a danger to the community.

A danger to the community?

The stupidity of some people truly astonishes me

My intelligence is not in question.
You are quick to project into areas you have no knowledge of. What would have happened if the boy that was there would have tried to befriend this wild animal? Or maybe the child is as irrational as you and thinks anything with four legs and a tail needs attention? Like a 50 lb mother raccoon and her young that takes up cozy residence under a sink? The adults need to do the right thing for the safety of others. This guy is less of a danger to the community than you.

PackerBronco said...

A feral cat has as much right to be on my property and live as a rat.

Which is to say: none.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'm not sure how putting a bullet into the head of a deer can be justified just because it has a nice rack.


It won't have a nice rack if you put a bullet through it's head.

The justification is that we are going to eat the deer.

We are not going to torture it to death (unless you are a really crappy shot and so lazy that don't go after your wounded deer and finish it) We also are not going to beat it to death with clubs.

PackerBronco said...

I think jail would be appropriate if he had been cruel to the cat for the sake of cruelty

Swinging the cat's head FIVE TIMES into a concrete block IS deliberatly cruel and he deserves to jail.


Ever set a trap for a mouse? Maybe a nice spring-loaded trap that crushes the mouse's back or head? Or maybe used that glue kind so that the mouse would rip itself to pieces trying to escape. You might be the poison kind. You known feed the mouse some poison so that it's inards would burst and it would die in agony.

It was a feral cat. It was just a big pest. It was like a rat but with a better PR agent.

Good riddance.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@iowan2

My intelligence is not in question.


No it isn't. We have it pretty well pegged and this statement nails it.

What would have happened if the boy that was there would have tried to befriend this wild animal?

/facepalm

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ever set a trap for a mouse?

My cat eats the mice.

PackerBronco said...

My cat eats the mice.

2/4/12 4:49 PM


Human animal on human animal violence!!!

That cat needs to be put down.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

I don't understand why there's a law against what he did. His act was despicable and repugnant, for sure. But whose liberty was harmed? Based on the story the only party whose liberty was harmed was his own - by the stray cat that damaged his property.

I know almost nobody will agree with me. But I don't understand why society should use taxpayer resources and authorize government to use its monopoly on force to deprive the man of his liberty - just because he engaged in an act the everybody is disturbed by BUT HARMED NOBODY.

I can understand it if the local community shuns him after they learned what he did. Or ostracized him. But I don't understand using taxpayer resources to throw the guy in jail because he did something that offends our collective morality.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Human animal on human animal violence!!!

That cat needs to be put down.


The foxes and coyotes are doing their best.

:-D

Maguro said...

It may seem irrational that our society places so much more value on the life of a stray cat than it would on the life of a mouse or a bat, but in general, that's a value judgment that's widely accepted in this country. If you're a good dude, you don't go around smashing cat's heads into concrete walls. Or staging dog fights to the death like Michael Vick.

Once you cross that line (which is admittedly somewhat arbitrary), you're not only harming the animal, you're saying that you won't be constrained by society's mores and values - or even the law. Which is really why this guy is in jail.

phx said...

My intelligence is not in question.

It's a cat. Even a feral cat is not really much of a danger to the community. Given you're standing by your guns and justified this twice by saying the cat is a danger, I'd say it is in question.

Carol_Herman said...

It wasn't a feral cat!

It was a cat the last tenant left in the apartment. And, there were lots of ways to get it out of it's "home."

To the cat?

NOT FERAL! But a house cat that got left behind.

Glad the judge did what he did.

Six months in the hooz-gow also means the landlord still has an empty apartment. So, he's "sans rent" from that apartment for awhile.

Feral cats DO NOT run indoors!

Pastafarian said...

There are quite a few ordinarily sane commenters here exhibiting surprising levels of irrationality.

Cats aren't human. This guy didn't torture this animal, he killed it when it bit him. Anyone here who thinks this guy should do a day in jail is fucking nuts.

And you've apparently never gone rabbit hunting. Do you know what happens to little fuzzy bunny humans who are only wounded by the number six shot? I'll spare you shrinking violets the details, but there are two accepted methods of dispatching the animal. Neither involve an emergency trip to the vet.

This cat died well, compared to the death of most cats. I've killed a couple of cats (mercy killings of fatally wounded animals). They're unbelievably tough and can hang on and suffer way beyond what you can imagine, and they're damned hard to kill quickly by hand.

There are a lot of commenters here who have never been bitten by an animal, never killed anything, and confuse their own squeamishness with moral outrage.

Brad said...

A lot of folks missing THE POINT!!!!!!!!!!

The Judge's treatment of the defendant isn't the story. The Judge ascribing "humanity" to the cat is.

A pig IS NOT a dog IS NOT a human ....

Petunia said...

I'm a vet with years of experience working with feral cats. And people who think this guy deserves jail time certainly are not "fucking nuts". What a patronizingly stupid thing to say.

First, a cat's not human. What an idiotic thing to say. But the guy deserved this sentence, and the fact that it was longer than sentences some perps of worse crimes get simply means that the other sentences aren't severe enough.

Second, this cat was not feral. It was cornered and threatened and acted out. What kind of IDIOT thinks grabbing an animal, especially a scared, trapped, unfamiliar animal, by the tail is a good idea?

Third, of course the guy had a choice once the cat started biting and scratching. He could have let go of the cat, and it would have run away, probably out of the apartment if he had in fact left doors and windows open.

Fourth, swinging a cat around by its tail and repeatedly bashing its head against a wall IS cruelty for the sake of cruelty. It is NOT a humane way to dispatch a cat.

Fifth, cats, even truly feral cats, don't attack people unless they're threatened. The idea that the cat would have gone after the child is laughable.

Sixth, "The moon and stars aligned to set him off"? Stupid comment, Ms. Boyle.

Seventh, no shelters in Wisconsin gas animals to death.

Eighth, this situation isn't remotely equivalent to the Treadwell situation from an animal standpoint. They ARE somewhat equivalent from a human standpoint since both men acted idiotically in the presence of animals. But Treadwell wasn't cruel.

Kirby Olson said...

The case should be tossed. This judge should be impeached. Stilll, this is how the people on Animal Planet talk. They're on a planet of their own.

Meanwhile, Lyme disease spreads because refuse to hunt deer from helicopter gunships. What's the matter with people? We're supposed to be animals. Let's act like them!

Freeman Hunt said...

He probably thought the cat would give up the ghost on the first swing.

But it didn't.

Cripes.

Then he figured he'd better finish it off, and each time he swung thought it would be the last.

Tough kit.

Pastafarian said...

Petunia, I must have missed the part where you explain WHY a human being should be deprived of liberty and should miss 6 months of his children's lives because he killed an animal that was biting him.

It seems as though you simply asserted this with " But the guy deserved this sentence...", but that would be "patronizingly stupid" way to make your argument, so I'm sure I've missed something.

Should he have just let go of the cat when it bit him? Well, then it would have run out of the house, only to get in later and piss and shit all over the man's property. We kill rats that do this, and the cuteness of cats shouldn't spare them.

It's a damned good thing that the generations of people who came before this one and domesticated animals understood that an animal that bites has no value. That's why dogs and cats don't bite often. Had they been bred by a hundred generations of Dr. Petunias, we'd have daily reports of small children having their faces ripped off by the family cat, as if we had millions of bobcats living in people's homes.

~N. said...

The Treadwell reference was meant for the judge in this case. In referring to the cat as a "human animal", he committed the same act of idiocy that got Treadwell eaten by the same bears he claimed were his "friends".

The man who killed the cat reacted in the moment to the situation he found himself in. Sure, in retrospect, he should have called a pest control company, but in _that_ moment, he was being attacked by a feral animal and he reacted by whacking it against something hard. This wasn't a case of premeditated animal cruelty.

The judge is clearly wrong, and he's wrong because he called the cat "human".

Had he not made that statement, and had he fined the offender, he'd be right. Instead, he handed down an extreme sentence based on biologically incorrect information.

Anyone who is supposedly educated enough to be a judge but actually thinks cats are human beings is obviously mentally ill, and it's the same mental illness that Treadwell suffered from, or that any of the idiots you see on Fatal Attractions suffers from.

Freeman Hunt said...

An orange ribbon can be worn to signify Awareness for feral cats.

No, I'm not joking.

Rusty said...

Willard is the go to guy for animal control.
Willard, post your name and phone number so we can contact you if we have a feral pest problem.


I was fortunate enough to spend time in the province of Newfoundland Canada for the baby harp seal harvest.
MMmmmm, Seal flipper pie.

dbp said...

I don't care if the guy drilled holes in the cat's teeth and repeatedly asked it, "Is it safe?"

Six months in prison is crazy.

Kirk Parker said...

Marshal,

"The judge should be sanctioned and barred from hearing any case involving animals. Emotionally driven overreactions should be absolutely disqualifying behavior for any judge."

Not nearly enough. He should be removed from office and (I assume he's a lawyer) disbarred.

DBQ,

So self-reliance completely evaporates when an unwanted cat appears, and only Trained Professional(tm) can deal with it? Sheesh.....

chuck b. said...

Catching a feral cat, with your hands? Preposterous.

If you think a feral cat will let you catch it--with your hands--you don't know what a feral cat is.

The feral angle is fishy. I'm inclined to think he got the right sentence.

rcocean said...

Dpb,

People like you are why the judge sentenced him to 6 months. Because "drilling holes" in cat's skull isn't OK.

No matter what YOU think.

Kirk Parker said...

But enough about the judge--how about some well-deserved vilification for the %$*#&! prosecutor who actually brought this case?

I ♥ Willard said...

So self-reliance completely evaporates when an unwanted cat appears, and only Trained Professional(tm) can deal with it?

No, and to be accurate, DBQ didn't say that Animal Control was the sole reasonable solution.

Self-reliance and common sense aren't mutually exclusive. Don't suggest they are.

rcocean said...

DBQ is completely correct in her post.

I ♥ Willard said...

But enough about the judge--how about some well-deserved vilification for the %$*#&! prosecutor who actually brought this case?

If you don't like Wisconsin's cruelty to animal statutes, complain about the law rather than the enforcement of the law.

Methadras said...

This is what inbred batshit crazy leftardism looksl like. A human cat and when declared human, is now capable of being murdered. What fucking planet are we on that someone can belief this horseshit?

KenK said...

sheesh. Wisconsin is becoming just as nutty as California.

caseym54 said...

This is such bullshit; you don't put someone in jail for killing a cat, no matter how they did it.

Killing a cat as a matter of convenience ought to be at least a misdemeanor. Too many people like you kill cats out of fun or malice for it to be otherwise. I've had a pet die that way and jail was not my first thought as to punishment.

Yes, this was a case of anger and extreme stupidity rather than malice, but jail time isn't unreasonable.

JAL said...

I hate to Godwin this discussion, but anyone wonder why babies in utero aren't human and the cat was?

Harold said...

If you're holding it, and it is scratching you, you need to keep it and not let it go. If that means bashing its head, so be it. Because, if you let it go and it escapes- RABIES SHOTS! A dead cat can be tested, an escaped live cat cannot be.


Impeach the damn judge who values cat lives over human lives- he's establishing judicial tyranny by fiat.

I've killed bats in the house. It is tough to catch them alive, but a tennis racket works nicely against them.

David said...

"Seventh, no shelters in Wisconsin gas animals to death."

True. They inject them with lethal chemicals instead.

David said...

There are a lot of people here who have never seen what a cat can do to a human hand or arm, and how quickly. Your sweet rationality would evaporate amid the fear and pain.

Simon said...

It's not crazy, and the only shame is that the guy didn't get longer.

Simon said...

Joe said...
"This is such bullshit; you don't put someone in jail for killing a cat, no matter how they did it."

If I could, I would. I'm glad that this judge did, and I would support a law that put more people in jail. Wanton infliction of cruelty on animals, especially but not exclusively cats, is contemptible. If this judge is elected, he just won himself a hefty contribution.

PJHJD said...

It is not clear from the article exactly what the sentence is. The headline says 6 months, the story nine months as well as work-release. He may very well be serving 6 months.

People are certainly free to disagree with the man's decision on how to remove the cat. However, once he made the choice, the killing of the cat in no way justifies either the judge's comments or the sentence imposed. The man did not torture the cat for the sake of torture.

A cat is a cat, not a human. This is the Disneyfication of the animal world run wild. Which leads people who otherwise seem to be mature adults lose their minds and characterize this man as a sociopath!

Animal Planet delenda est!

Simon said...

PJHJD said...
"He may very well be serving 6 months."

It should be six years. It should be longer. People who wantonly inflict cruelty on animals are scum (cf. my post on US v. Stevens here.

"However, once he made the choice, the killing of the cat in no way justifies either the judge's comments or the sentence imposed. The man did not torture the cat for the sake of torture."

Tell you what: We'll have someone a dozen times larger than you grab you by the balls and swing your head repeatedly into the concrete. Now, people are certainly free to disagree with the iron giant's decision to kill you, but what no one can gainsay is the chosen method of execution.

*eyeroll*

The judge's comments were spot on. Quibbling over the "human" line is for people who've never had cats.

"A cat is a cat, not a human."

Right. A human, you can talk to, reason with. Killing a human when they continue to act out despite warnings is one thing; killing an animal that has no idea what's going on is something else. Sometimes it becomes necessary; I've killed animals. But when I have, it's been in the most humane possible manner. Grabbing you by your balls and smashing your head repeatedly into the concrete isn't a humane manner of killing you.

Simon said...

I mean, if a human being approaches you and you say "you take another step towards me and you're getting a .38 in the face," and they keep advancing, they've had fair notice and their fate's in the own hands. Take a step back, good, stay still, okay, take a step forward, bad news. But cats don't speak English. You can't hold them to the same scienter standard.

Alan said...

Wait'll this story makes it to the Kzinti homeworld.

Tarzan said...

I worked at a pet shop years ago and we killed feeder mice the exact same way. Why should a cat be so different? It's not like he stole it from someone's home for the pleasure of killing it.

Were his actions ugly and ungraceful? Yes. Calling animal control would have been a better move, but so damn what? There is nothing 'human' about a cat. It's a @#$ing cat, no less no more.

Killing an animal in a clumsy fashion is not the same as torturing an animal for pleasure.

The pious attitudes people take towards the treatment of animals, coupled with the pleasure they take in the suffering of people they don't like...really gets my dander up!

Gary said...

Cats aren't human. I have cats, and I love them. But they aren't human. I wouldn't kill a cat wantonly or cruelly, but killing one can't be murder.

Tarzan said...

He probably thought the cat would give up the ghost on the first swing.

But it didn't.

Cripes.

Then he figured he'd better finish it off, and each time he swung thought it would be the last.

Tough kit.


We all know that is EXACTLY what happened, but we have to populate our imaginary world with demons so that we can thump our chests and rail on about how wise and noble WE are.

That this guy received anything beyond a, "Look, fellah, you know and I know that things got out of hand and you went a little overboard. People are upset. Next time something like this begins, you give US a call, okay?"

But no, we'd have to live in a grownup world of rational adults in order for something like that to happen.

Instead there is just 'us' in our brilliance and 'the idiots' out there.

6 mos in jail over a @#$@#ing cat. Unbelievable.

Oh yes. This dastardly man was willing to CROSS A LINE that 'society' won't tolerate. A society of pussies, maybe.

I think what bothers people here the most is the fact that he's a LANDLORD.

Is there a paypal link for his defense fund? I'd like to contribute. And I love cats! But this crap burns me up. Only thing worse than these sorts of cat people are the @#$#ing pitbull afficianados. Don't even get me started.

MrEddy said...

If anyone hasn't noticed, never expect stories about killing a pet type animal to be reacted to unemotionally. Frankly, many people are more upset about killing a "human animal" like a cat than about "terminating" a human fetus. Can't really reason with the fetus either, but what the heck. Not taking a position as to the cat situation here, just amazed that the professor didn't seem to expect the extreme reactions to destruction of pet animals by someone other than the humane society. As opposed to the animals that most of us eat. (Sorry, Wilbur, maybe not you.) Although I hope my family and I never get hungry enough to blur that line. Got to think that this discussion would have been a bit different 70 years ago.

Tarzan said...


Tell you what: We'll have someone a dozen times larger than you grab you by the balls and swing your head repeatedly into the concrete. Now, people are certainly free to disagree with the iron giant's decision to kill you, but what no one can gainsay is the chosen method of execution.


Serious issues here. Just saying.

Zac said...

This blog, for me, is a daily destination. I enjoy Ms. Althouse's view's and share many of them. However, I'm a bit distressed the Ms. Althouse possesses more outrage at the judge than the man who cracked the cat's skull.

Admittedly, I'm a cat person. I do find the judges comments to be a bit overwrought. However, self-defense or not, I find the way the man dispensed the cat to be rather depressing and disturbing.

A cat bite is harmless and, while a scratch can draw blood, it's not fatal. I've never seen anybody grab a cat by it's tail and slam it in the manner describe here. Kicked, yes. But who grabs a cat by it's tail, even reflexively, and slams its skull into a wall?

As for the self-defense charge, it's not a puma or a tiger. It's a small cat. Perhaps it may have been diseased but it did not warrant the fate it got by that individual.

Tarzan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brakewater said...

Feral cats are mean motherfuckers. I would react the same. I just adopted a cat from Petsmart, too. If he attacked me unprovoked, I would have him put down.

This wasn't a mouse. This was a viscous creature.

I would like to put the judge in a room with a feral cat and a robber with a shotgun, and see what he would do.

How did he come to court? Who called the cops?

Quaestor said...

Anyone who would concatenate
1) living
2) human
3) animal
in reference to a cat is clearly insane.

The poor guy has excellent grounds for appeal. Unfortunately he probably lacks the funds so he'll likely have to do the time and endure the shame of a conviction for animal cruelty.

PackerBronco said...

Tell you what: We'll have someone a dozen times larger than you grab you by the balls and swing your head repeatedly into the concrete.

Wow that's impressive reasoning there Ace.

After that's done, can we spade and neuter you, just to make things even?

I ♥ Willard said...

People are certainly free to disagree with the man's decision on how to remove the cat. However, once he made the choice, the killing of the cat in no way justifies either the judge's comments or the sentence imposed.

It's amazing that so many people leaving comments here seem to be completely unaware of Wisconsin's animal cruelty statute. Why should the landlord be excused from being held responsible for his actions when the law is quite clear about animal cruelty?

Speaking of people guilty of animal abuse, here's another story where Wisconsin's animal cruelty statute was applied to culprits who tried to claim they were "hunting."

Col Mustard said...

I wonder when's the last time one of these 'human' cats was charged with murdering a 'human' rodent or such.

Way back when, I moved-in to a little house in the country. The previous occupant had a huge walk-in cage with, maybe, 100 doves. They were fascinating. I fed them, watered them and turned a sprinkler on by the cage each day so they could 'bathe'. At some point, I took a chair into the cage to see if the birds would get used to me. They did! Eventually, many of them would greet me by landing on any available body perch. If i put a tiny piece of bread, or something, on my tongue some of them would stick their heads completely in my mouth to fetch it. Weird, maybe, but cool.

After a while, I decided to just open the door to the cage and let the doves decide where they wanted to be. Some flew off immediately, some not. In the evening, nearly all came back to stay in the cage or the tree by the front porch. In the mornings, I'd read the paper at the table on the porch. A bunch of the birds would join me and walk around (and crap) on the paper of my shoulders or my head.

A coup;e of times a week a hawk would dispatch a dove. Nature, right? Then, one day, my idiot neighbor got a kitten. Within a week, the little cat offed about 8 or ten doves while they were sleeping.

Definitely a danger to the community.

Goodbye Kitty.

Revenant said...

The judge should be shot.

It would make for a useful life lesson in the difference between "hurting a person" and "hurting a non-person".

davis,br said...

Actually, this judge needs removed from office, as being unfit. Done.

SGT Ted said...

I would have shot it with a pellet rifle in ther head and bagged it for the trash.

The judge needs to get a grip. He should quit running his court room like a teenaged girl.

If he is that emotionally involved for a feral cat, he should have recused himself. Feral cats are nasty.



Talk about over the top.

SGT Ted said...

This is the difference between gfrowing up rural vs urban.

Cats are animals, not people.

SGT Ted said...

Too many people like you kill cats out of fun or malice for it to be otherwise.

Yea, theres a government worker in a Union for that. Call the Animal COntrol Hit Man, he'll do it indoors away from prying eyes.

Timeforchange said...

I don’t know that I would call animal control.

When I lived in Illinois the neighbors 2 dogs came into my barn and killed about 10 chickens. My roommate called animal control. After animal control heard what happened, he went to the neighbor’s property, shot and killed the two dogs, threw them in the back of his truck and gave the owner’s the finger.

Two week’s earlier the neighbor’s were in court charged with not leasing or fencing the dogs after they attacked a cyclist. The neighbor’s both attorney’s, must have been friend’s of the judge. The judge threatened the animal control officer with contempt of court and dismissed the charge’s.

I guess animal control just followed the law in his decision to destroy the dogs. The sad part is it was the fault of the owner’s not the dog’s.

In Illinois the law reads if a dog attack’s your fowl, or other live stock you have the right to pursue and destroy said dog. Animal control was only following the law.

I wonder if a cat killed your bird, would the same law apply?

Bob_R said...

If the judge doesn't know the difference between a human animal and a nonhuman animal he should not be allow to be a judge in a case involving either.

The level of delusion and magical thinking involving animals in our society is amazing. Too many people walking around thinking they are living in some sort of Disney cartoon.

Rusty said...

I wonder if a cat killed your bird, would the same law apply?


Funny you should bring this up. Other than disease, the next major cause of death of songbirds in the US is house cats.

Simon said...

SGT Ted said...
"This is the difference between gfrowing up rural vs urban."

How so? I grew up rural. Are you saying that urbanites are abnormally vicious towards animals?

PackerBronco said...
"After that's done, can we spade and neuter you, just to make things even?"

We'll talk about it after you learn the difference between a spade and spaying.

Ambrose said...

(TLDR...) Obviously, the slumlord is no country music listener.

Last year I was tapped for jury duty, and was sent to Judge Hamster's branch, where he told the panel that "voir dire" means "to tell the truth."
Moronic, mendacious, or both?

I ♥ Willard said...

The judge should be shot.

Advocating violence against a judge because you disagree with one of his decisions is both classless and idiotic.

Simon said...

Ambrose said...
"Last year I was tapped for jury duty, and was sent to Judge Hamster's branch, where he told the panel that 'voir dire' means 'to tell the truth.' Moronic, mendacious, or both?"

Neither. That is what it means--see, e.g., 2 John Bouvier, Institutes of American Law 260 s. 3302 (Gleason, ed. 1882) ("Voir dire is a phrase in old French which signifies to speak truly"), or pull out any reputable law dictionary. I am optimistic enough to hope that you are simply confusing the literal definition of the term with its procedural function, but before you publicly attack a judge's basic legal vocabulary, you might want to be sure that you're right.

J.R. said...

I find the judges attitude sickening. Where are we going as a society when animals are referred to as humans? To sentence a real human to six months jail time for defending himself against an animal is outrageous.

I blame the lack of contact with animals in general for this. Most people who have grown up in the country, on a farm or a ranch, would consider this the height of stupidity.

Animals should not be treated cruelly, but this man was not cruel to the animal. He simply dispatched it in a way that was unorthodox. It seems the cat would have died quickly from this method.

I feel sorry for this man for living in an area where there is such a stupid, that is the only word for it, judge.

Just Lurking said...

I guess it is totally outside the realm of possibility that the judge misspoke, and had meant to say something like "living breathing animal". Yes, it's much more likely that he really thinks cats are humans. He probably allows them to testify at trials.

Erik Robert Nelson said...

"There are quite a few ordinarily sane commenters here exhibiting surprising levels of irrationality.

Cats aren't human. This guy didn't torture this animal, he killed it when it bit him. Anyone here who thinks this guy should do a day in jail is fucking nuts."

Amen. I'm an animal lover by nature, and I don't see anything wrong with what this guy did.

I had a squirrel in my attic a few years back. Animal control wouldn't even come out for it because they didn't consider it dangerous enough. Traps didn't work. Meanwhile, it did serious damage to my roof.

Truth is, unwanted animals that aren't known neighborhood pets are nothing more than pests: cats included. Wasn't long ago the preferred method of cat killing on farms was putting them in a bag and drowning them. They're not human. We might not like what happened, but a six month sentence? Even suspended? It's bullshit.

Robin said...

The judge is a moron. Its a feral animal, the guy was dealing with it in an improvised manner and the judge is acting like it was the judge's child.

Fen said...

He grabbed it by the tail in attempting to get it out from under the sink.

Grab a tiger by the tail...

Please stop pretending the man had no expectation of violence from the cat after trying to drag it from its hiding place by it's tail.

If he was injured, the fault was his own stupdity, not the cat's.

Fen said...

If you're holding it, and it is scratching you, you need to keep it and not let it go. If that means bashing its head, so be it. Because, if you let it go and it escapes- RABIES SHOTS! A dead cat can be tested, an escaped live cat cannot be.

Hmmm. Lets think this through... feral cat... risk of rabies... and you're going to grab it by the tail?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Please stop pretending the man had no expectation of violence from the cat after trying to drag it from its hiding place by it's tail.

Seriously.

My beef with this moron and why he should be punished is that he had a lot of other choices to solve his problem and yet he CHOSE to use the one that would inflict the most pain on the cat, horror on the bystanders and sure to cause injury to himself.

1. Problem: feral cat in your rental.

1.a. Source of problem is that he failed to secure his rental property. Sloppy landlord.

2. Possible solutions that a sane person would choose.

2.a. Call animal control and have them remove the cat and pretend that nothing is happening to the cat after animal control get it.

2.b. Buy a live trap and set it up inside the building. Bait said trap with tuna. Catch cat and take to animal shelter

2.c. Same as 2.b. but instead you drive out to the woods somewhere and release cat.

2.d. Same as 2.b except you have the cat neutered and released to avoid procreation.

2.e. Same as 2.b. except you use a 22 short round to the head of the cat and quickly and efficiently and without prolonged pain dispatch said cat.

(we generally choose option 2.d or 2.e. Some people actually want the feral cats on their ranch properties to control mice, rats, ground squirrels and other vermin and we take them there. The foxes that we have trapped, we give to a licensed trapper whose traps we are using.)


OR as this sub moron did.

3. Genius solution......grab said cat by the tail and beat it to death by using its tail as a handle getting yourself scratched and clawed by desperate cat trying to escape from being killed.

The fact that this sub-moron chose option 3 tells us that 1. he isn't all that smart. 2. hasn't got any respect for life. 3. makes some really bad choices. 4. needs some time out from society to reflect on why he didn't choose from among the sane choices.

He is an idiot and could have made many other choices. He didn't. Tuff.

Ambrose said...

@Simon, thanks for the correction. I am now in "repent at leisure" mode:

The word voir (or voire), in this combination, comes from Old French and derives from Latin verum, "that which is true". It is not related to the modern French word voir, which derives from Latin vidēre ("to see"), though the expression is now often interpreted by false etymology to mean "to see [them] say."
http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/voir+dire

I wish he had taken the 12 seconds needed to make that clear to us non-lawyer types.

Steve Koch said...

I just did a trap and release on a rat that was in our garage. It is easy to do but time consuming. When I dumped the rat out of the cage (which took a bunch of shaking because he did not want to leave just then), he took off in a hippity, hoppity, happity way. My wife said he stopped and looked back in amazement that we did not harm him.

One time when I was maybe 5 or 6 we had an apparently rabid animal (maybe a possum or raccoon) in a tiny mud (maybe 16 square feet)room at the back of our house. My dad did not shoot it because the bullet might ricochet so he grabbed the animal by the tail and swung him around his head to keep the animal from biting him until he got to a fence post (which he bashed the animal's head against). I was always amazed at his bravery but, knowing what I know now, I would not handle it the same way.

The six month sentence is absurd. The landlord got himself into a bad situation, but once in, he did what he had to do to keep the cat from shredding him.

Calling animal control was not practical or even useful. It would have taken far too much of the landlord's time to wait for animal control. No telling when animal control would show up but it could easily be days. Animal control would still end up killing the cat anyway (after the cat was stuck in a cage for a few weeks).

The cat was not tortured. The first blow to the head likely knocked it out or killed it. The incident was unfortunate but was not reason to imprison the landlord.