Friday 28 October 2011

Set a Cat on Fire

Cats are resilient and forgiving. They don't hold grudges even when a person or persons set a cat on fire. This is not that unusual. What I mean is that cruelty to cats and animals generally is not that unusual. It is often young people who do it. The horrible thing is that the person or persons who did this (see video below) wanted to be cruel to an animal and chose to set it on fire! Or did they actually realise that they were being cruel? Did they feel the pain or have empathy with the cat. What I mean is could they relate to the pain and distress that they were causing? I don't think they did.

In short, I don't think the people who did this really appreciated the significance of what they were doing. I think it is worth looking at the kind of person who would do this. The profile of the cat is totally predicable. We know what the cat is like - accepting of what happened, asking no questions but feeling acute discomfort with the possibility of succumbing to the injury. I am not sure at the time of writing this how the cat progressed. There was the possibility of infections despite the fact that he looks pretty calm about it all.

My thoughts are that the people who did this could be sociopaths. Sociopaths are people who are not able to empathize with the pain of their victims. If they are teenagers, then it will probably be a fixed trait. They will probably go on to do more of the same and the victim could be a person. Not that a person is any more or less important, for me, than a cat.
Sociopaths can also be called psychopaths. Of many antisocial traits they, suffer from, "early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency. Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc." - (this linked page provides a full profile - opens in new window)
What else is of note about this incidence? Two things, it seems. The owners let the cat be an outdoors cat and they had to give the cat up to an human society as they could not afford the $2,000 vets bill. I wonder if either the vet or the human society could have done something about that?

As to being an outdoor cat, Puppy, as the cat was called, was a wanderer. Should people let their cats wander? It looks like it is a bad idea. We have created a world that is potentially hostile to the cat as the domestic cat is very vulnerable particularly when it has suffered declawing as it cannot defend itself when outside. See for example: Serval Cat Escapes.

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