It’s pretty clear that someone out there, maybe just down the street from you, put a noose around a cat’s neck and dunked it in diesel oil.
Healthy people have difficulty imagining that, so the logical continuation of that horrific act becomes almost incomprehensible. Yet here it is: If someone went to all the trouble of grabbing the cat, slinging a noose around its neck and submerging it in oil, why would the person then simply let the cat go? We don’t think they would. We think the cat escaped before someone could light a match.
The story of the severe animal abuse has rocked our community, as letters to the editor today attest. And as much empathy as people have for the poor beast that suffered before being put out of its misery, they seemingly have more anxiety about the perpetrator or perpetrators running free.
“I appreciate anything you can do to help the animals,” one woman caller told The Press editor. “And when they catch whoever did this, send them to prison or hang them.”
No question, a very troubled and potentially dangerous human being, maybe young and maybe not so young, walks among us. Research is very clear in showing the direct relationship between young animal abusers and the likelihood that they grow into human abusers, even killers.
Our community is outraged, which is good. People are putting up cold, hard cash to encourage the capture of whoever did this. They’re demanding justice — not just for one poor cat, but so other animals and maybe humans will be spared in the future.
If you or someone you know has an unwanted pet, please, please be responsible. Contact the Kootenai County Humane Society. If a neighborhood cat is making you miserable, contact animal control in your community. But cruelty is never the answer.
We’d like to believe the reward money will eventually be collected, the abuser will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and people in that eastside Coeur d’Alene neighborhood, especially those with pets, can rest easy again. But we think the chance of justice prevailing isn’t very likely.
So we hope someone reading this editorial knows the person or people who did this and is in a position to help them get counseling. We’re dealing with a miserable, tormented, emotionally ill person who really does need help; someone who is probably the victim of serious abuse. If that person doesn’t get help, one dead cat is going to be the least of our problems.