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- Animal Rights & Welfare
Dumping a cat in a bin, was it a bad joke or animal cruelty?
I was shocked and appalled to see the CCTV images and an article in yesterday's Metro about the pedestrian, Mary Bale, who stopped to stroke a cat on a wall and then grabbed it by the scruff of it’s neck and dumped it in a nearby wheelie bin
Thankfully the 4 year old tabby cat, Lola, has emerged unscathed although it is my bet she will have a fear of dark enclosed spaces for a while and wont be revisiting her spot on the wall for some time.
After 15 hours of incarceration Lola was found when her owner heard her mewing and the CCTV footage checked to find out what happened. How lucky for the cat that it’s owners live in an area where they find it necessary to have CCTV at the front of their property and Lola didn't meet her demise in a rubbish truck crusher.
The owner put the footage on Facebook in order to identify the culprit and now the nation is up in arms, online hate groups post threats to Ms. Bale and Community Police officers guard her home. The cat dumper told journalists that she binned the cat as a joke and she said: "I really don't see what everyone is getting so excited about - it's just a cat. I was playing with it, stroking it and listening to it purr as it stood on a wall. It was very friendly. I don’t know what came over me, but I suddenly thought it would be funny. I never thought it would be trapped. Cats are good climbers and I assumed it would just scramble out. People are reading too much into things. I’ve no feelings about cats one way or anotherr" However Ms. Bales’ mother is reported as saying “she absolutely adores cats, she is an animal lover ”. Hmmmmm just watch the You Tube video and see her display of love for this cat, it will make you all warm and fuzzy inside. She looks around furtively several times and then lures the very trusting cat closer to the bin, grabs it by the scruff of its neck, slams the lid shut and makes a quick getaway - hilarious.
Apparently Ms. Bales father is seriously ill following an accident last week and the family have been under a lot of strain. Lola’s owner is reported as saying “I am very sorry that her father is ill, but that’s not my cats problem ”. And she is right, it’s not Lola’s problem. Many of us are under stress, some more so than others and for varying reasons, and people do react in different ways. However I do not understand how putting a cat in a bin might relieve that stress, or how it is related to the stress of a family members illness. I suppose we can all act in strange and cruel ways from time to time and only a psychiatrist will be able to answer that question.
The police will not arrest Mary Bale as she hasn’t committed a criminal offence, but had the cat been crushed to death would she then be prosecuted? She shows clear intent to harm the animal, how on earth did she think a cat could wriggle free from the bottom of a wheelie bin? From personal experience I know that cats do remember and do form phobias. My cat went missing for 4 weeks and was eventually found in a building being renovated next door under the floorboards, it was remarkable that she had survived. Before the incident she was a very curious cat and eager to wriggle into the smallest of spaces and for a long time after she was borderline claustrophobic.
The owner of Lola has urged the public to let the RSPA and Police deal with Ms. Bale but unfortunately the people want blood. Thousands of people have joined the owners Facebook group 'Help Find The Woman Who Put My Cat In The Bin' . Other groups include 'Mary Bale should be locked up for putting Lola the cat in a bin ', 'Mary Bale Hate Group ', 'Mary Bale is a Cruel Bitch ', 'Death to Mary Bale' and 'Cats Unite Against Mary Bale '. One link on facebook to another site is titled 'I hope somebody puts Mary Bale (woman who dumped cat in a bin) into a horrible sanitary bin and leaves her trapped there for a week. The evil, overweight, obnoxious excuse for a human being '. In my opinion what Mary Bale did was very very wrong and she should be prosecuted for animal cruelty, but this has turned into a witch hunt. I don't doubt that some of these groups were set up in genuine protest and the administrators of these groups care greatly about the welfare of animals but this has escalated far beyond reason in a very short time.
The authorities are in a very tricky situation, the cat was not actually harmed physically and how do you prove mental trauma in an animal incapable of speech? Ms. Bale has apologized – kind of. If she is not dealt with in some capacity by the RSPCA for animal cruelty there will be uproar and the Police would be well advised to maintain a guard outside Ms. Bale’s home. People hate animal cruelty and regardless of Ms. Bale’s metal state, her family circumstances and vague apologies she will be hounded, at least until the next big Internet sensation grips the nation and there is someone new to hound.