This is not hot off the press news (11th March 2020) but it is interesting and sad from a number of perspectives. The story comes from Singapore. In very general terms, a couple owned a ginger tabby cat1. It appears that the cat had been urinating in their apartment, probably out of anxiety. The man in the relationship was filmed by his apparent female partner holding the ginger cat by the scruff of their neck and shouting at the cat. In Mandarin, the man shouted, “If you urinate, I will hit you”.
The ginger cat promptly urinates because he is completely terrified. Bearing in mind this couple’s behaviour it is quite likely that the cat has been constantly terrified for quite a long time. The woman filming his behaviour laughed when the cat peed on the floor. She excitedly zoomed in on the action. I’m sure that she wanted to boost the number of visits to her Instagram page. We don’t know what happened next because the video stops there apparently which I find very strange.
There are two consequences. Firstly the SPCA got involved because it seems that the incident was made known to them via social media that this couple were abusing a ginger tabby cat in their home. Secondly, there was a predictable backlash on social media from people with more common sense and decency than the couple. They wanted some action to take place. Perhaps for the couple to be punished and the cat to be taken from them. Personally I hope that both happened but we don’t know regrettably.
The moral aspect of the story is that punishing a domestic cat can never work and it makes things worse. The relationship deteriorates to the point, as is illustrated here, where the cat is simply constantly anxious and the relationship is totally broken.
There is no doubt in my mind that this would be a crime if the prosecution services took the trouble to do their job. I doubt very much whether it happened.
Finally, you have to comment on the ignorance of this couple who were applying completely inappropriate behaviour towards their cat. Patently ignorant, the couple have no right to own a domestic cat or in any way be associated with companion animals.
Note 1: I have presumed the cat has been taken from them. The report comes from AsiaOne.