Somebody hold me back.


Never am I more tempted to get medieval than when I see helpless children and animals getting hurt. I wouldn’t do that unless I was directly intervening to stop abuse, but I am tempted.

Today in the news I was horrified to see pictures of an 8 week-old kitten whose face had been doused in chemicals and then used as a baseball. Her name is Raisin, and she sits at death’s door in an Idaho shelter.

Someone saw three juveniles tossing the baby animal around and took her there. At last check she could not open her eyes or eat, it’s hard for her to breathe, and goodness only knows what internal injuries she has suffered.

This helpless, precious ball of fur may never recover and is in such bad shape that it may be more merciful to relieve her of her suffering than to attempt rehabilitation.

If she lives, there are already people willing to adopt her. She will be permanently scarred and possibly disabled, but she didn’t choose that. Some miscreants with no empathy chose that for her.

Please do not let your kids look at this photo and video; many adults will want to cry when they see what happened.

Realizing that there are those out there who might say, “it’s just an animal”, I’m going to ask you to step outside your comfort zone for a moment on her behalf.

Imagine that you are practically newborn, helpless, and completely dependent upon other people to survive. You have no concept of evil and instinctively trust the humans you meet.

Then three kids burn your face up with acid and smash you against flesh and bone as if you are an inanimate object that exists for their entertainment.

The pain is horrific, so not only does it hurt this kitty as much as it would a human, but she understands it less. In fact, she doesn’t understand it at all.

Raisin’s story hits two of my hot buttons: animal abuse and spaying and neutering your pets.

Animal abuse is as unacceptable. These are God’s creatures, each one a testament to His creativity and love. They are individuals with unique personalities and an amazing capacity for learning. People who hurt animals are usually also the jerks who hurt people. Serial killers typically practice on animals before they move on to slaughter their own kind.

Spaying and neutering your pets is something many people don’t do. They also don’t take proper care of their pets or follow the laws requiring them to stay on their own property. Six to eight MILLION cats and dogs wind up in shelters every year according to the Humane Society. Up to four MILLION of them are euthanized.

Many of the cats and dogs that are sent to a shelter’s gas chambers or lethal injection table are perfectly adoptable. It’s just that no one ever came for them. Maybe their owner died, or they got out of the yard, or their family surrendered them. They could have been left behind when their people moved, or they’re a third generation stray.

They are captured by a stranger, put into a cage in a cold truck, then caged again in a loud, scary place. After sitting in a cell for days, weeks, or even months, they find themselves choking to death in a bare room with other terrified unwanted pets.

What did they do to deserve that? And how would you feel if no one wanted you, and you were locked up and died because of it?

This grim picture illustrates how important the work of the no-kill shelters out there are. While some animals may have to be euthanized because their owners abused or trained them into being aggressive, many pets’ issues can be accommodated or worked through.

It also shows how important it is to spay and neuter pets. While some people like to let their cat have “just one litter” so their kids will experience the birth of its offspring, they cannot guarantee that the babies they’re giving away will have any quality of life. Animals aren’t supposed to be handed out like balloons at a parade.

This is preventable. If people would socialize their animals and prevent them from producing offspring, there wouldn’t be so many bright, innocent spirits sitting in jail cells awaiting adoption or death. It’s better that they’re in a cell than out starving in an alley, but it’s still a frightening and uncertain existence.

Who knows what circumstances this kitten was born into, or how she got outside. Someone’s negligence allowed her to be tortured, possibly to death, by three teens that obviously lack compassion and the ability to stand in someone else’s shoes.

Hopefully these three will be identified and held responsible before some animal lover does go medieval on them. Obviously no one should be going through with the eye-for-an-eye mentality; this needs to be handled properly through the legal system. But it is admittedly difficult not to feel ill will towards these punks when they just took Raisin’s eyes.

Gandhi said that the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. That makes me feel that many in our country are still in the Dark Ages when it comes to the ethical treatment of animals. No, animals are not people, and I disagree with the political views of some animal rights groups. But animals are our responsibility.

Various subcultures practice cockfighting, dog fighting, breeding for no reason other than profit, beating their animals, neglecting their animals, and on top of it all, there’s the perverted freaks who force themselves on animals sexually. Seriously– why do we allow this to exist in a civilized culture?

Consider adopting a rescue pet, who may very well be a victim of such human darkness. I’ve always believed that rescues are more loving and loyal than expensive, direct-from-the-kennel purebreds.

While some will disagree, the latter don’t know what it’s like to be abandoned or neglected, so they don’t experience the thrill of being rescued. Rescue pets are eternally grateful for getting to share your life with you after what they’ve been through.

Because of the economy, I know that some people have had to surrender their pets, and I don’t want to disparage anyone who’s had to make that heart-rending choice. I am, however, addressing the pet owners who allow their furry ones to roam freely and breed indiscriminately at others’ expense.

That might be how this beautiful baby kitty found its way into hell. Put yourself in her soft, dark, tiny skin for a moment, and tell me how you’d hurt any less than if you were still in your own.


Raisin is being cared for by Northwest Animal Companions near Boise, Idaho.

Other pet rescue sites—even if you’re not an animal lover, shelters can always use supplies and donations:

Old Dog Haven
Camano Animal Shelter Association
Purrfect Pals
Seattle Humane Society
King County Animal Services
Washington Ferret Rescue
Homeward Pet Adoption Center


With their qualities of cleanliness, discretion, affection, patience, dignity, and courage, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats? -Fernand Mery

©2010 H. Hiatt/wildninja.wordpress.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninja.wordpress.com.

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