Cats, Kids, and Caretakers’ Betrayals

Perhaps most enraging of all unethical conduct are blatant breaches of trust by a person who has accepted the significant responsibility of protecting and caring for a life in need, whether it is a child, an aged parent, someone who is sick or disabled, or an animal companion. It is  frightening to realize that so many weak and needy lives must rely for their survival on people devoid of basic ethical instincts and common sense. Yet every day, thousands upon thousands of caregivers betray that desperate trust, with only a small percentage of the resulting tragedies making the news. Here are three that ruined my morning:

How many children locked in a car?

In Missouri, police rescued ten children—that’s 10, X, T-E-N, 5 times 2—- whose mother had  locked them in her car, in the afternoon sun, for at least two hours outside a local bar, while she and a male companion patronized the establishment.  Mackisha B. Johnson and Christopher M. Jones were arrested outside the Alibi Lounge on Thursday and charged with misdemeanor child endangerment. The temperature outside was 99 degrees with a heat index of 101, police said.

I would rate such an incident as having signature significance,* proving beyond any reasonable doubt that Johnson is an unfit mother and that to leave any of the children in her care for another second is tantamount to aiding and abetting child abuse. Never mind though; motherhood advocates will be caterwauling that the children are better off with their biological parent, even though she tried to broil them while she was getting smashed with a boyfriend primed to father #11.

“I love you. I’d never do anything to harm you or our kids. And to prove it, I’M KILLING ONE OF OUR CATS EVERY HOUR UNTIL YOU COME BACK!!! 

In Nebraska City Eric Inman strangled two of his family’s cats with his bare hands and threatened to strangle the third unless his wife, who had fled the home with her children after a dispute, agreed to come home.  It was all right, though, he explained: the cats were old, and they were probably going to be euthanized anyway. Police arrested him, and he faces prison time for animal cruelty.

There are things more despicable than harming innocent and trusting pets to threaten a spouse, but I don’t want to think about them. Meanwhile, the odds say that the Mrs. Inman will probably come home at some point. A study by Utah State University found that about 75 percent of women in shelters reported that their abuser also threatened or harmed their pets. This is signature significance again. Here’s a tip: if the love of your life threatens or hurts a pet—even once, and even, as Eric claimed, to save on vet bills—he is scum. He cannot be trusted, he does not have a sound moral and ethical compass, and he is quite probably emotionally, mentally or spiritually ill. And anything bad that happens to you or your children after you rationalize away such horrible behavior is, at least in part, your own fault. You were warned.

“Oh,why won’t anyone adopt this dear, sweet kitten that reminds us of the Holocaust, the invasion of Poland, and the slaughter of millions?

On a lighter note, but still upsetting, is the self-created plight of the Wood Green animal shelter in

Uncanny?

Godmanchester, England, which has begun a publicity campaign to find a loving home for an abandoned kitten who is strangely unwanted. The shelter says that the cat has been shunned “because of her unusual markings.” No, you silly gits, the kitten has been shunned because some fool at the shelter decided that the kitten has “an uncanny resemblance to Adolf Hitler”—which is true, other than the fact that Hitler was 100 times bigger, spoke German, didn’t have fur, walked on two legs, didn’t have a tail (that we know of) and…hmmm, what else? Oh, right…HE WASN’T A CAT!!—and named the kitten “Kitler.” Gee, I wonder why nobody wants to be  known as the person who specifically adopted a kitten because it reminds them of Der Fuhrer? It’s a mystery! By all means, let’s make sure everyone knows that when you adopt this kitten, it is proof that you want your own, pocket-size, personal, fluffy Jew-killer.

The fact are that cats with little black markings under their noses and slanted black patches above one eye are far from rare, most people don’t identify them with Hitler, and they are adopted every day, as long as the shelters don’t advertise them as “Hitler cats.” After they are adopted, owners of such cats sometimes make light of the “resemblance”; there is even a website called “Cats That Look Like Hitler.” If poor “Kitler” ends up not being adopted and dying in his bunker, it will be the fault of the supposedly intelligent humans who had his life in their hands, and made him a kitten-pariah and feline Anti-Semite by their silliness.

___________

* Singular significance: A single example of conduct that is so extreme that it constitutes convincing evidence of an individual’s special ability, predilections, character or ethical flaws because someone without the special ability, predilection, character or ethical flaws literally never engages in such conduct.

6 thoughts on “Cats, Kids, and Caretakers’ Betrayals

  1. It is true that few things are, to me, more reprehensible than cruelty or lack of adequate care for pets; these animals are totally dependent upon their human caretakers, and I don’t thank you for this post because I try very hard not to think about it. I make a monthly contribution to the ASPCA, but change the channel every time they run their commercials. I can’t stand it emotionally.

    Which leads, of course, to a discussion of negligence, criminal negligence, abuse or murder of spouses, children and the elderly. Worse, most would say, than abuse of animals. But it’s a proven fact that most sociopathic abusers and murderers got their start with animals. Practice. Horrific. Makisha Johnson will lose her kids, of course, and is lucky they didn’t die; I’d iike to know the prison term she gets. (I once reported a mother who left three kids in her car in 100 degree heat while she shopped at the CVS. One was an infant in a car seat with a blanket covering it (!), was cryng and the older kids were teasing the baby. I was not the only customer who saw this happening, and two of us went quietly to the store manager and asked him to call the police. He did. The police came just as the mother was leaving the store, she was enraged (“My kids are fine, and I can do what I want if I need to make a quick trip to the store.”) The police called child services and the mother went off in the patrol car. So yes, we interfered, as did the store manager, but the correct result happened there (at least for the short term).

    Eric Inman, cat strangler, will probably do some brief time in jail, but then what? Aside from the murder of the cats, this also brings up a major conundrum in the area of spousal abuse. For centuries wives and children were chattel, and husbands and fathers could basically do what they wanted to. (In Brazil today, that socially and ethically backward country, husbands consistently abuse and even murder their wives and get away with it. “She embarrassed me,” was one successful murder defense I read about last year). But in the United States, we have evolved (for the most part) about abuse of women: there are shelters, safe houses, and literally thousands of support systems for abused wives. Nevertheless, the percentage of abused wives and girlfriends who stay with or go back to their abusers is astounding, and though I try to understand it, I just don’t. If Inman’s wife returns to him, she and the kids will be next, and if something happens to her I’ll have little sympathy. She’s been forewarned. In spades.

  2. Jack,
    Having absolutely nothing to do with the meat of your post, I nonetheless couldn’t get over the irony of being arrested in the “Alibi Lounge.” Sometimes I think there really is a God (or Santa).

    -Neil

  3. Having had several cats over the years, including two at present, I can say with some certainty that there’s nary a one of them who isn’t bent on world domination. After a nap, of course.

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