My daughter, Jennifer, the tough child abuse detective, called me the other evening in tears. One of her kittens, Baby Norris, was in a freak accident; a board fell on it causing a bad concussion. She had arrived home from work and found the kitten lying under the board, unconscious, blood coming out of its nose. She took it to the emergency animal hospital where she forked out hundreds of dollars for medicine she hoped would prevent brain swelling and save the cat's life. The doctors didn't seem all that hopeful that the medicine would work, but Jennifer felt she had to do all she could to help the kitten survive. After two treatments she took the still near comatose cat home. She put Baby Norris in bed with her and stayed awake most of the night watching him. He was still alive but weak in the morning and so she called for her brother to come over and stay with him while she was at work. She called home regularly for updates on Baby Norris's condition.
What makes Jennifer's concern doubly touching is that Baby Norris wasn't even a kitten she was keeping; it was one of the five she was giving away. And she didn't ask Daddy Norris, the future owner, to help with the bill. She felt responsible for the accident and so she forked out the money herself on a cat that, if it lived, wasn't even going to be her cat.
The story has a happy ending. Baby Norris made a complete recovery and went off to his new home.
A little Bronx kitty didn't fare so well. Tiger Lily, an adorable orange and brown kitten with big pointed ears, was tortured and murdered by 17-year-old Cheyenne Cherry. Cherry tossed Tiger Lily into a kitchen oven, closed the door, turned up the heat, and roasted the poor creature to death. Apparently, Cherry thought it was pretty funny and no big deal as she "doesn't like cats" anyway. Besides, she wanted to get back at her roommate and I am sure she got a big giggle thinking about her ex-friend's face when she opened the oven door and found the charred body of her beloved pet inside.
A week after that despicable story came out, we hear that a Florida teenager has been arrested in string of brutal cat slayings, charged with torturing, mutilating, and murdering at least nineteen of his neighbor's cats. Eighteen-year-old Tyler Hayes Weinman is accused not only of horrific abuse of animals, but also of displaying their mutilated bodies in grotesque positions on the lawns of their owners. Weinman, the serial cat killer, like the coldblooded Cheyenne Cherry above, has no empathy for either animals or humans and gets his kicks out of causing extreme suffering, both physical and emotional, to other living creatures.
These two disgusting so-called human beings join a long list of violent psychopaths who enjoyed torturing and murdering animals in their youth. Serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer liked to stick heads of animals on sticks in his yard. Serial killer Edward Kemper decapitated his pet cat and stuffed it down the disposal just like he did his mother sometime later. Child murderer Earl Shriner stuck firecrackers into dog's rectums and spree killer Andrew Cunanan liked to stick lit matches into the eye's of crabs and then watch them stagger around blindly. And let's not forget the Columbine mass murderers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who bragged to their friends that they got a kick out of mutilating animals.
Violent offenders don't need a break; innocent people do.