I’ve learned a bit more and clarified some things since my last post. First, only one of the surviving cats is in the clinic in Valdosta. Her name is Blackie; she’s the one pictured in the video I saw on the local news and she is doing very well, even though she had to have most of her ears amputated. She may even be able to go home soon, if her feet heal well enough.
Her brother, Little Jim, was transferred from the clinic in Valdosta to the University of Florida veterinary hospital. He is in much worse shape, with third degree burns over 40% of his body. They’re keeping him in a medically induced coma to control his pain. They apparently wake him up only to eat. It’s Little Jim whose treatment may cost up to $20,000 to save him. Both Blackie and Little Jim are only 8 months old. The neighbor cat who could not be saved was only 4 months old.
The new speculation is that not only were the cats “sodomized” (as tonight’s local ABC News put it) with fireworks of some kind, but they were also doused with something flammable like kerosene or lighter fluid so that the fireworks ignited the rest of their hair. What scares me is how UF knew this–I’m guessing this is not the first time this ever happened.
I continue to be impressed with the Brooks County Sheriff’s Department taking this seriously. They’ve offered a reward of $500 for the arrest and conviction of those responsible. That may seem like a small amount, but in a county with only 17,000 residents I suspect they don’t have a very large budget. That they offered a reward of any kind on their own, rather than waiting for an animal protection agency of some kind to do it, says a lot. And ABC News said they have some suspects, but aren’t releasing any information yet.
Now meanwhile, I have a comment about Little Jim’s care. I believe they should let him go. It isn’t just the money…although it’s always about the money also. What is the price of a life? When you’re talking about humans, you can get into some really dicey issues. Like rationing of health care. But in reality, we already do that. But in this case, as it often is with humans in my view, it’s about the animal, who, even if they can save him will be in agony while they’re going about it. He’s awfully young to die, but. The money, in my view, would be better spent increasing the reward to catch the soulless creatures who did this to him and his sister and his neighbor cat.