Categories: cat haters

Words of a Cat Hater 1921

Cat Hater Rockwell Sayre

Abolition of cats, as a sanitary and health protecting measure is now imperative. Cats have no place in the world than cockroaches, mosquitoes or flies.

The present movement to be done with cats, is gaining popularity all over the world – cats are now being exterminated everywhere rapidly. Why? No other animal has as many diseases as the cat.

The cat will push its nose far down into the throat of an infant and suck its breath until the baby dies. The cat will jump upon a corpse and tear the face of the dead!

A cat will return in the morning from sneaking around old houses, sheds and garbage, and vomit maggots on the dining room floor.

Cats are given more credit from catching mice than they deserve. Keeping a cat is toadying to depravity, as the snake charmer to her snakes and Indian and monkey to their vermin.

Cats make night hideous with their screams, and frighten sick people and children.

The greatest destroyer of songbirds is the cat. Upon test it has been found that cats kill songbirds at the rate of 55 birds a cat every year.

Killing cats is the most popular movement ever started and the jolliest. Everybody smiles and kills cats and then smiles. Smiles come first and smiles, last, and cats pass out between. Songbirds, success and character remain.

Rockwell Sayre was, as can be seen through his words, was a rabid, ranting cat hater (and a racist it seems: reference to “Indians”). His illogical, violent and superstitious attitude towards cats can clearly be seen which are published verbatim above. There was something wrong with him just as there is something wrong with Woody, today’s modern version of Rockwell Sayre. You don’t really have to comment about Sayre’s writings because they speak loudly for themselves.

The year was 1921 and he lived in or near Bisbee Arizona, USA. His rant was published in The Bisbee Daily Review. The headline was “Shall We Kill Every Cat in US? Bitter War is Being Waged over Felines.”

In this instance the war was being waged between this disturbed man and a lady, Mrs George Kessler, who at the time was the National Secretary of the American Association.

She wrote in response:

“Cats are the most gentle of creatures. They are embellishments to a household and the most model of pets.

What can equal the grace and poise of a cat as it marches with the step of an aristocrat? What other animal is so clean in habits?

The services of cats cannot be overestimated. They rid home, granary and store of rats and other rodents. They are comforts to the spinster. They are untiring friends to those who love and care for them.

There is something about a cat that arouses instincts of gentleness and kindness in those who are fond of them.

Cats do not suck the breath from infants. Nor do they maraud the nesting places of birds as much as has been represented. The person who dislikes cats has something harsh in his nature. For cats are the essence of refinement.

One seldom sees a pedigree cat despoiling or ravaging. It is the common alley variety that does most of the harm.

Instead of killing cats, let us bring laws into being that will make responsible persons care for them.

There is no need in butchering these helpless things. Instead let us all lend a hand to see that cats generally suffer less and thereby make them more useful.

No well cared for cat kills birds. It is the eternally hungry variety that does the mischief. And when a cat kills a bird its instincts are commanding it to do so in the preservation of its own life.”

When you read the words of Mr Sayre and in great contrast the words of Mrs Kessler it takes little imagination to decide which person is sane, humane and logical and which person is a ranting bigot. The words speak for themselves as mentioned.

Cat haters have something wrong with them. They are plainly illogical and the bile inside their brain spills out onto the page whenever they write about their cat hating thoughts and exploits. This compares quite starkly with the gentleness and humanity emanating from the words of Mrs Kessler and today’s cat lovers. Although, I don’t agree with every word she rights. For example, she supports the purebred pedigree cat which she would do because she was running a cat association and she is less favourable towards the stray and feral cat. This is wrong in my view.

But overall her words are just as applicable today as they were in 1921 – in the same way that the ranting inaccuracies of the words of Mr Sayre are also just as applicable in 2015. We can notice the same tone and tenor, the same language and the same illogicality in the words of our very own modern troll and cat hater Woody.

It is interesting too that nothing has really changed in the war on the cat. I have written about it before (one example). The cat does in some way provoke these strongly polarised viewpoints. There is a body of people in America who have ingrained, highly negative thoughts and attitudes about the domestic, stray and feral cat. This attitude is handed down through generations which is why there are still many Rockwell Sayre types in America today.

Associated: Cat Hater 1914!

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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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  • Interesting article. I'd never heard of Rockwell Sayre. It may have been a different era, but attitudes haven't changed.

    It seems there will always be a small section of society who view cats as vermin who should be exterminated. I can't think of another animal who has been singled out for such venom and hatred, as the cat.

  • I've always believed that people who hate cats have something mentally wrong with themselves...i feel that cats are one of gods greatest gifts to earth..they have helped me through some very hard times..

    • Kevin, I so agree!! Mine have ALWAYS been there for me as well -- through everything!! ♥♥♥

    • I completely agree. Being as objective as I can, there is no doubt in my mind that cat haters have something wrong with them mentally. There is no need to hate cats. There just isn't.

      • Michael and Kevin. . . I agree as well. . . God put the anipals on this earth to be our companions and to show us what His unconditional love is all about. . . Cats are the VERY BEST at showing this!! ♥♥♥

        • Well said, Diane. Mrs Kessler made a good point when she said that people who dislike cats have something harsh in their nature. She was being polite. I could use stronger language but I will not this time except to say that they are slightly mad!

  • Good morning, Michael!

    Thanks for reminding us that crazy has always been out there. Since Sayre advocated killing cats I think it's totally ironic and very fitting that in 1930 he was shot to death by his own son. Just like today's trolls Sayre talked tough but he couldn't handle anything bigger than a cat. Good for the son. No great loss.

    • I should have mentioned that he was killed by his son. Thanks for reminding me. Thank you too for pointing out this article to me. I found it interesting. Interesting in that there is the same small segment of the population who have an natural distaste and hatred for the domestic cat today as existed in the early part of the 20th century.

      • No problem, Michael! You're welcome!

        I found that interesting too. That small segment of the population is probably inbred to each other and will never go away.

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