dogcatcherThere is horrific news this evening of an attack on 16 cats in Bucharest - attacks by animals of the two-legged variety I hasten to add. For now, it all still remains rather vague, but here is what happened as I understand it:

Once upon a time, an elderly lady who lived in an apartment block at str. Arad nr. 49 in Bucharest looked after 16 pussycats. Some stayed with her indoors whilst others were fed in the courtyard. Unfortunately, the lady became very ill and is currently in hospital. Her nephew either moved into the flat or was going backwards and forwards in any case, and let the cats all out into the street. Apparently, he's not much of a cat fan.

It is not clear how long the cats were out there, but the neighbours started to complain. And SOMEONE contacted the dog-catchers. Dog-catchers? For cats? Or maybe the person simply didn't know the difference between the two. You'd think the dog-catcher would know. In any case, the dog-catchers showed up and... oh God... shot the cats with tranquilisers, threw poison (furadan) over them, chucked them all in a cage next to a bunch of dogs and took them off to a dog shelter.

Fourteen of the sixteen cats died, either from the tranquilisers, the poison or from shock.

The two little darlings that survived were rescued from the shelter by a lady after the story broke, and taken to the vets. One of them, a Burmese (a BURMESE!!!) was soaked in furadan.

Apart from the initial horror of such heinous brutality (both on the part of the neighbours AND on the part of the dog-catchers), this raises some VERY worrying questions:

1) Is it legal for dog-catchers to concern themselves with CATS?

2) Is it legal for CATS to be taken by dog-catchers to shelters for DOGS?!

3) The lady who rescued the cats from the dog shelter was apparently asked to sign an adoption paper. Whaaaat?!? They were cats NOT dogs. Since when did dog shelters have contracts for adopting cats?!

Law 258 /26-09-2013 stipulates management for homeless dogs. Nowhere does it mention cats.

Now, the director of the Politia Comunitara in sector 1, Andrei Mihail, is asking for the two surviving cats to be returned to the shelter for adoptions are not permitted until 7 days have passed. Mais...je rêve... ou quoi?! It's one irregularity after another resulting in one grotesque aberration.

This is not the first time such a story has shocked animal-lovers (and even those who aren't). Not that long ago, an elderly blind man in Bucharest was forced by 'authorities' to take his cats into a field on the outskirts of the city and LEAVE THEM THERE. He couldn't see, but he HEARD them being mauled apart by dogs.

What is happening in the city of my heart? What has caused individuals from such a warm and generous nation to do such evil things? Were they beaten as children? Denied dolls and teddybears? Forced to play soldiers? Or are they just weak, pathetic people who have no other way to get their kicks? Empty beer cans where their hearts should be? For the last few years, we have constantly read about the appalling abuse piled on the long-suffering street dogs. And as if that's not bad enough, now it's cats. Cats!

This is a story that needs distributing and more info is required. What happened to those 14 little souls certainly doesn't seem to have been legal, no matter which way you chew on it. Heads should roll. The nephew, the neighbours, the dog-catchers, the local police, City Hall - whoever has a gramme of responsibility should feel the pain of furadon splashed all over them and the powerless terror of a tranquiliser-overdose whilst lying in a cage left to die. It is too late for the 14 angels murdered today. The 2 who miraculously survived, I hope, will be allowed to remain with their kind rescuer for the rest of their days. And I hope to God that the poor old lady lying in hospital NEVER gets to know what an idiot she has for a nephew (if she hasn't already twigged), nor, above all, what happened to the cats she loved and fed.

Today I wanted to write a nostalgic blog about 1 Martie, the first day of spring. Instead, I end up writing a horror story. A shameful story. A story that shows a mentality so cruel, so warped, that it is beyond description.

I look at my own cats and thank the powers that be that they live in a civilised country...