Candlelit vigil led by pastor attended by many demand justice and remember the life of a cat cruelly taken from us

Almost 10,000 people have signed an online petition calling for police action after the brutal “murder” of a sweet cat in foster care. His name was Mittens. Apparently hours later the signatories to the petition got their wish and two people have been arrested and criminally charged.

Mittens remembered like a person. Photos: National Post.
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Channel-Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, Canada: This is a story in which a domestic cat is being remembered as if he were a person and to me it’s beautiful but to many others it is completely wrong.

Mittens was a black-and-white cat living with a foster carer. He was in good hands. He had been placed with a foster carer after the death of his human guardian who loved animals.

On September 14 the foster parent of Mittens telephoned an acquaintance who passed on the information to the police. A male acquaintance of the foster parent had killed Mittens with an axe in her bathroom because he had been annoyed by the bell around Mittens’ collar.

Mittens’ remains were allegedly thrown over a bridge in Grand Bay West, a stretch of sandy beaches west of Port aux Basques. His remains have not been found despite a volunteer diver searching for them.

The incident spread on social media and there’s been outrage. More than 200 people apparently gathered on the shores of Grand Bay West last Friday evening for a candlelit vigil (see photo above). It was live streamed on Facebook. The community is devastated.

“As everyone is aware, our small community is absolutely devastated beyond words. I had the honour of grooming Mittens and I will tell you all personally that he was one of the sweetest, gentlest souls I ever had the pleasure of meeting,” Shannon Delury, a groomer with a local volunteer-run animal rescue group.

Local pastor reverend Patricia Ritchie led the candlelit gathering for a moment of prayer. They want their voices to become louder until the animal cruelty laws are changed.

“We have gathered this night to remember a small creature of yours, Mittens, and to all animals everywhere who have been abused. Lord, we can only ask that as you are the judge that there will be a final judgement day for any and all abuse or hurt any animal.”

They sang John Lennon’s “Imagine”. And several people in the crowd began to shout “Justice for Mittens”. They gathered along the bridge where a memorial has been created in memory of Mittens.

Cpl Jolene Garland said that police had received a complaint on September 14 from a person who alleged that the cat had died a violent death. They have charged Peter Rossiter, 51, and Jodie Anderson, 38, Cape Ray under the Criminal code on animal cruelty charges.

Comment: the comments to the article on the National Post website are interesting. The demand for justice by the community and the candlelit vigil led by a priest looks as if they are remembering and fighting for a human being.

Many of the comments (see one below) indicate that people are upset with this. They don’t want to see animals regarded in the same light as people. They think it’s a waste of police resources. There is a barrier in the minds of some people to treating animals with the same respect and regard for the sanctity of life as if they are people.

But for me, this community’s outrage and the tender memorial combined with 10,000 participants signing a petition is the right attitude to take in our relationship with companion animals and indeed all animals. It strikes a chord with me. It is the way to go if we are to improve the planet. The alternative view is passé. These people are the enlightened ones. People who comment against it are the unenlightened. Times have moved on and it is time for better animal welfare across the planet.

Example of unenlightened comment:

“I believe in animal husbandry. I think living creatures deserve respect. Fact is most of them command respect. If you don’t respect a grizzly bear you put your life at risk. If you don’t respect a horse you could get a good swift kick that will kill you or make you a cripple for the rest of your life. If you don’t respect a dog you may get bit. The examples go on.

The problem I have with the animal stories that are more prevalent all the time is the elevation of animals into human like status. If this cat was decapitated that is an ugly and stupid thing to do. The person that did that had issues and may be a danger to other people and themselves and almost certainly other cats. I don’t think it is news worthy and I don’t think people should be elevating the cats life to that of a human.

Our post modern and progressive culture is denigrating human life and elevating animal life to the sacred. I am actually not surprised by this. I think this trend will continue to grow and intensify.
I like animals. I just don’t worship them or consider them on par with human beings. We should respect animal life but in its proper place.

Human beings are a morally bankrupt bunch and unfortunately in the west we can have unregulated abortion and champion that as a morally virtuous position and then pray for a cat at an all night vigil.
I have to go throw up now.” – Sheldon Beng

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