PHOENIX, ARIZONA, USA: The headline on the ABC15 website is, “Phoenix cat deaths: crime or coincidences?”
For me, my immediate response was, this is a crime. Is it just me and am I alone having this thought?
Kevin Ashton and his family have lost ten cats with the same symptoms which clearly indicate poisoning: vomiting, foaming at the mouth, stomach problems, rapid breathing, lethargic and unable to walk. There is only one conclusion: death by poison.
And if ten cats from the same family die like this it’s 90% sure that someone is laying down poison such as antifreeze.
The big issue here, without being critical, is that we have a nice guy (the video of him indicates that he’s a decent person) who owns a larger than normal number of cats. He lets them roam outside.
This state of affairs is going to upset some people. And among those potential people there might be one – it only takes one – who is immoral enough to consider putting down poison to kill them. If is not poison it’s death by bullet or arrow.
These are the divergent views of residents in any typical community anywhere in the world.
Cats are almost always allowed to roam freely but this freedom comes with a price: responsible cat ownership and tolerance from non-cat owners.
Ashton vaccinates, spays and neuters his cats so he’s not careless except for carrying on as normal while his cats are probably being poisoned.
At this late stage he is considering an autopsy on one of the cats to ascertain the cause of death.
It’s not just Ashton. Obviously, if it is deliberate poisoning there is a criminal out there too. It takes two to end up with this situation. I am convinced that a high percentage of readers would agree that Ashton should keep less cats and keep them inside until this matter was cleared up.
However, it is very difficult to catch a cat poisoner, if that’s what’s happening, because there are no witnesses and therefore very little or no evidence of a crime.
The troubles that society has with domestic cats often emanates from too many free-roaming cats. It’s a problem that is likely to get worse.