By Love My Cats (a PoC visitor and contributor)
In August 2016 one of my dear cats was attacked by a known cat hater in our village. His femoral head (highest part of the thigh bone) was kicked out. It caused horrific soft tissue damage and my poor darling endured months of cage rest and rehabilitation, along with dread complications such as developing recurrent urinary inflammation and having to be catheterised several times, which led to a severe and life threatening enterococcus infection.
My cat had the habit of sitting on our gate post, he was well known amongst the dog walkers of our village, who regularly stopped to say hello to him with their dogs. He is a dog loving cat too.
The cat hater, fosters dogs for a well known UK dog charity. He has fostered a dog who is terrified of cats for years. He forces this dog to walk right next to any cat he sees whilst out walking. This is obviously the wrong thing to do and has compounded this poor dog’s terror of cats.
My dear cat often would jump down from the post, tail up, chirruping to greet his dog friends. He has never attacked a dog.
The day after I found my cat (5 minutes out of my sight) in the kitchen, circling backwards, screaming and hissing in agony, holding one dislocated back leg up, the man who attacked him caught me in my drive way, as I unloaded my cat from his daily trips to the vet with him.
He aggressively shouted at me, trying to poke me in the chest with his gnarly old finger, bellowing that my cat was savage and attacked him and his dog. I was petrified and only concerned with getting my cat in his carrier (still in shock from he previous days attack) inside. I did manage to tell him that my cat loves dogs, and has never attacked any living being apart from a few mice, but since yesterday, he is now seriously injured.
The cat hater laughed his head off, and shouted “YEP ISN’T HE HAR HAR HAR” and actually ran from my drive, whistling his off lead massive GSD cross foster dog after him. To me this was an admission of guilt. After this, I spoke with the vets, who as this cat kicker was a client, could not comment. This I found very distressing. They would not even produce a report for me of my cat’s injuries.
Next stop, the Dog Warden, who laughed. He relayed to me a story about a judge in our courts, who in the 1980s set a precedent that “dogs will always chase small furry animals”
I gave the name of the attacker to the Dog Warden who said he would speak to the man in person.
He didn’t, he went on holiday, sent a letter to the man, stating what I had alleged and asking what he had to say about it and also for the attacker to ring the Warden’s office with an explanation.
The attacker, eventually rang the Dog Warden with some nonsense about “seeing an altercation between his dog and “a cat” and suggested that the cat was hit by a car. My cat had no injury that would correlate to an RTA. I have owned cats all of my life, worked in rescue and seen many RTAs. My vets confirmed this was no RTA but most likely a kick from a human foot.
I had to ring the Dog Warden seven times to get him to write a letter to me containing his findings. He referred to this letter containing scant information, as being a full enquiry and investigation and deemed the matter closed. He believed the lies told by the hateful man who attacked and seriously injured my cat.
The attacker is well known in the village as a cat hater – alas, not to me, until my dear cat was so badly injured. The man (if I can refer to him as such, he doesn’t deserve the title) is a bitter widow, who has no visitors or friends, because the dogs he fosters are unsocialised and dangerous. He suffers from depression and spends most of his life writing angry letters about nothing to the local press. Many cat owners in the village are scared to challenge or report him as he knows many in local parish and local authority power. His wife used to be a village warden, hence the connections.
I was somewhat intimidated by this history of his and could not bring myself to name him to the charity that he fosters for. I did speak to them, but held back his name and my location as I feared reprisals. The chairty told me that they would curtail his fostering contract if they knew who he was as such a person would bring a bad name to the charity and its work.
The result is that I had to spend a total of £8,000 on a cat proof fence and veterinary care for my cat. His bladder remains delicate and he is prone to blockages due to the original tissue damage and the scarring it caused. The even damaged the burgeoning good relationship my cat had with his house brother – a recently adopted traumatised cat. They have never been the same together since. My poor cat has lost so much confidence since he was attacked.
During his rehab’ period, I walked him on a harness around quiet parts of the village. So many dog walkers recognised him and asked what happened? I told them, and every single one mentioned the attacker by name. I did not have to. I also heard rumours of cats being killed by him using poison such as anti-freeze.
It seems that the law accords cats little respect at all. Although I have never met him, I have been told that our Dog Warden is a grossly obese man with little regard for cats, who sits in his office all day eating. by all accounts doing very little, except ordering his assistants to go out and catch stray dogs. He is also known not to care about cats.
I didn’t bother reporting this to the RSPCA as I do not believe that the charity would have done anything as it was not reported in the press that my cat was attacked.
The attacker of my cat changed our lives forever. We live differently now. When we get into our cars, dog walkers ask how our cat is. None have met our other cat, who has never been out of our now fenced garden.
Our entire lives are concerned with the safety of our cats now. The attacker, has been seen by me twice in our road since the attack (during the week after he attacked my cat) and both times he ran off. He is elderly, very fit from all the dog walking. It has been fed back to me that he is scared to come into our road now.
I don’t believe that there would have been a different response from the Dog Warden if our darling, gentle sweet cat had been killed by this man or his poor terrified dog.
We aren’t really a nation of animal lovers at all.
My faith in human nature took a terminal dive after this event.
My sweet cat still loves all people who visit us and still loves any dogs they bring on visits.