Thursday, 26 August 2010

Some thoughts on the woman who put a cat in the bin

The video and the story have gone viral, so I really shouldn't have to explain the story of the woman who put a cat into a wheelie bin in Coventry. The woman who did it has since been identified as one Mary Bale and questioned by the RSPCA.

I have two cats and, being a "big girls' blouse" as my other half puts it, I love them to bits. I'm extremely protective of them, and would be as justifiably furious as Lola's owners.

But, like them, I do think those who have taken to venting their spleen over this (and countless other issues) on Facebook verge on the bat shit crazy. Yes, this was at best an incomprehensible and thoughtless act. But calling for the woman to be "repeatedly head-butted" is hardly a rational response.

This is not to say that acts of animal cruelty should be excused or ignored.
The recent story of a dog which was tied to a rucksack and thrown in a canal moved me closer to mindless violence than the cat story. If I saw such a thing taking place, I doubt I could be held responsible for my actions.

But, even if it were justifiable, beating the living fuck out of everyone who was caught would not stop animal cruelty. Nor change the fact that, legally, the consequences are akin to those for graffiti.

What the solution to that is, I can't say. But, in working it out, our main point of reference must be our reason, not our sensitivities. Otherwise, we are no better than the angry mobs who - in a fury over paedophiles - harangue the innocent and in fact put children at greater risk.

Mary Bale has been questioned by the RSPCA and will be punished accordingly. Lola the cat, meanwhile, has fully recovered from her ordeal. There is no need for any repeated head-butting.

Enemies of Reason has some reflections on this of a more philosophical nature.