Categories: poison

Sinister cat deaths highlight the divergent views of residents on wandering cats

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.

Ten cats from same family poisoned? Photo: Screenshot from ABC15 Arizona video.

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.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • This is only ONE of many reasons why I never allowed Mitzy to be an outdoor cat. As a previous feral, she was used to living outside for the first year of her life. She lived in a fairly safe cul-de-sac, so there were only a few cars from people who lived there.

    But one day a neighbor was walking his two pitpulls, off leash, although this is illegal. My next door neighbor had a sweet indoor/outdoor cat, who happened to be in the front yard at the time. I didn't witness what happened, but she relayed the horrific and tragic scene that followed. Her cat saw the dogs and started running. The dogs attacked her, and ripped her to shreds. What a traumatic thing to see. I don't know if any charges were made, since the dog's owner was a stranger to her.

    Not long after that, my friend came over with his normally docile lab, which he let out of the truck to relieve himself. My landlord had two indoor/outdoor cats, and one was in the front yard at the time. She spotted the dog, and started to run. The dog gave chase, but luckily, she bounded up and over the fence just in time.

    Very shortly after that, my landlord built an enclosure on his back porch, so his cats could be safely outdoors.

    I wish more cat guardians would actually "guard" their precious felines from the many hidden dangers that are part of being allowed outdoors without protection or supervision.

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