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YouTube Cat Lady has been identified.
August 24, 2010 10:11 AM   Subscribe

This past Saturday evening a woman dumped a rescue cat into a garbage bin on the side of a residential street in Coventry, U.K. Fifteen hours later owner Darryl Mann: "I came down to feed Lola on Sunday morning but couldn’t find her anywhere. It was really hot day outside and I searched nearby alleyways but suddenly heard a tiny meowing coming from the bin. I looked inside and I found her in the bin, she was terrified and covered in her own mess....At first I thought she’d somehow climbed inside the bin herself but when I checked the CCTV I was gobsmacked to see some a woman had done it deliberately." Mann posted the video to YouTube and Facebook in an effort to find the perpetrator. As a result, the woman was identified by this morning.

The RSPCA is investigating.
"In a statement, Coventry police said they were supporting the investigation and 'urge the public to leave the matter to be dealt with correctly by the authorities.'

The woman had not been arrested 'because she has not committed a criminal offence.' the force said. 'The woman is not being given police protection but Coventry police are making sure that the woman is OK, as they would any other member of their community.'"*
posted by ericb (249 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
With the average individual having access to digital cameras (still and motion) and the ability to broadcast to a worldwide audience with minimal effort, it becomes increasingly clear the benefits, as well as the risks, of our networked world.
posted by ericb at 10:14 AM on August 24, 2010


I bet I can find a garbage bin to throw that lady in... I'll coax her in with some cheese and pork rinds.
posted by matty at 10:17 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I see a lot of criminal cases and it is amazing how many include moving pictures of the culprits, not to mention detailed cell phone records on who called who, from where, how often.

This particular genie is out of the bottle.
posted by bearwife at 10:17 AM on August 24, 2010


Wow, she must really hate cats. I feel ill.
posted by jnrussell at 10:18 AM on August 24, 2010


Another link to the YouTube footage (which doesn't require sign-in).

Another Facebook page. This one to raise money for the RSPCA of Coventry.
posted by ericb at 10:19 AM on August 24, 2010


I think the cops have probably got it right -- "everybody stay out of this." As bad as it is to have a cat thrown in a garbage bin, ushering the mentally disturbed further down the road to self-destruction via Internet amplification is much, much worse.
posted by circular at 10:20 AM on August 24, 2010 [19 favorites]


When I heard about this, I thought she was disposing of her own cat. But no...she just saw a cat, she saw a can and she dumped it in. After petting it, even! That's some seriously psychotic behavior.
posted by DU at 10:20 AM on August 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Animal abuse on one side. Panoptical mob justice on the other.

I've got no one to root for here.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:21 AM on August 24, 2010 [79 favorites]


Man, I'm not a pet person, but this is the second thread today where I'm just going to say -- fuck.
posted by cavalier at 10:21 AM on August 24, 2010


"Coventry police are making sure the woman is OK"
One wonders how they'll go about that. Someone who first strokes and then dumps cats in trash cans doesn't seem OK to me.
posted by Namlit at 10:21 AM on August 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


Wow, she must really hate cats. I feel ill.
"Debate is raging, centring on speculation about the woman's motives and intentions. Does she have a particular grudge against this cat, or cats in general? Are those gloves she's wearing – and does that mean that this was premeditated behaviour? Does she have some reason to want to eliminate this cat? Do the neighbourhood cats pee in her garden and kill the birds? Does she, in other words, have some warped but rational reason for hating cats that would explain, if not excuse her behaviour?

Or is there a more sinister motive?*
posted by ericb at 10:22 AM on August 24, 2010


It sounds clichéd, but on the evidence of that video I'd be looking quite closely at her past interactions with adults and children.

It's the quiet ones you've got to watch for.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:22 AM on August 24, 2010 [13 favorites]


Yes, quite a wretched act, but why was there a CCTV attached to the side of a residence, pointed at the rubbish bins? I understand CCTV is prevalent in public spaces, but this seems odd to me (coming from the US in a relatively rural community).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:24 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


One wonders how they'll go about that.
"Police denied that the woman had been offered 'official police protection' but said police community support officers had been stationed outside her home as a 'sensible precaution.'"*

posted by ericb at 10:25 AM on August 24, 2010


"Your Honor, my client put the cat in the trash bin because she was confused by the phrase, 'kitty litter.'"
posted by mattdidthat at 10:25 AM on August 24, 2010 [30 favorites]


It's amazing that what she did isn't illegal. Animal welfare issues aside, a cat is an expensive item of property, and you would think that taking and concealing someone's private possessions in this way – particularly when there is such a high risk of permanent loss – would fall under some law or other.
posted by mattn at 10:25 AM on August 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Do the neighbourhood cats pee in her garden and kill the birds? Does she, in other words, have some warped but rational reason for hating cats that would explain, if not excuse her behaviour?

I've heard the bird killing aspect brought up with regard to outdoor cats in the UK before. Is it particularly controversial to let cats wander around outside over there?
posted by burnmp3s at 10:27 AM on August 24, 2010


I guess I'm on the side of panoptical mob justice for this one. She was out in a public place, she wasn't under any duress and glanced around to make sure nobody was watching- she happened to be wrong this time.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:28 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


why was there a CCTV attached to the side of a residence

I read in an earlier article that the family put up the CCTV camera because their car, parked on the street in front of their home, had been damaged several times.
posted by thewittyname at 10:28 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, quite a wretched act, but why was there a CCTV attached to the side of a residence, pointed at the rubbish bins?

Er. It wasn't. It was pointing at part of his front garden his front gate and the street outside his house.
posted by Brockles at 10:28 AM on August 24, 2010


Isn't it quite possible that the woman is mentally ill?
posted by vincele at 10:29 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


mattn, I agree, and think that the spokesman simply hadn't considered that angle yet.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:31 AM on August 24, 2010


Is it particularly controversial to let cats wander around outside over there?

A lot of people take pleasure in feeding birds and watching them from within their own garden. Weirdly, they seem to think it is bizarre and unfair that attracting a lot of prey animals to an area will also attract predators of these prey animals and decide to get all vigilante on these animals as a result.

Its never made sense to me - if you encourage a natural behaviour (food attracting those that eat it) don't be surprised if it encourages the exact same behaviour in animals that you didn't necessarily intend it to.
posted by Brockles at 10:31 AM on August 24, 2010 [19 favorites]


This has gotten way more attention than it deserves. She didn't kill the cat. If it wasn't for the video, no one would be talking about it or even care. Worse stuff happens to animals (and people) every day.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:32 AM on August 24, 2010 [11 favorites]


...but why was there a CCTV attached to the side of a residence, pointed at the rubbish bins?

You can see from stills (showing a different angle) in the Daily Mail article (the first hyperlink in the FPP) that the family has more than one CCTV camera outside their house.
posted by ericb at 10:32 AM on August 24, 2010


I'm pretty sure this was illegal. Putting a cat in an enclosed space, in summer, for fifteen hours would be similar to leaving it in a car.

RSPCA press release with relevant information.
Under the Animal Welfare Act it is illegal to cause an animal unnecessary suffering. Penalties for doing so are a fine of up to £20,000 and/or a six month custodial sentence.
The act itself [pdf].
posted by stavrogin at 10:33 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


why was there a CCTV attached to the side of a residence, pointed at the rubbish bins?

Aside from the specific reason there was one there in this case, I can think of other reasons a camera could be aimed at a trash bin. In plenty of cases bodies, guns, and/or clothing evidence go into bins.
posted by bearwife at 10:33 AM on August 24, 2010


Add me to the list of folks who are skeptical that there isn't some violation of some criminal statute there.

Whatever this woman's situation, her life is not going to get better because of this thoughtless act.
posted by DWRoelands at 10:35 AM on August 24, 2010


I saw this video on Facebook yesterday and dismissed it as a hoax - it looked too casually cruel to be real. That sucks that it's true.
posted by ukdanae at 10:37 AM on August 24, 2010


Cruel cat woman named and shamed

"Mary said she just didn't know what possessed her, or what came over her, it's just very strange because she cannot explain her actions at all.

"She absolutely adores cats, she's an animal lover, it just doesn't make sense."

posted by mattn at 10:38 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


why was there a CCTV attached to the side of a residence

There're a few million CCTV cameras in the UK. The US isn't doing so great either; I remember when I moved to Chicago, the paper had a front-page story about a guy arrested for smoking a joint in a parked car, caught on camera.
posted by jtron at 10:38 AM on August 24, 2010


The cat's out of the bag.

'Cruel Cat Lady Names and Shamed.'
posted by ericb at 10:39 AM on August 24, 2010


*Named*
posted by ericb at 10:39 AM on August 24, 2010


What mattn said!
posted by ericb at 10:40 AM on August 24, 2010


Bitch better stay out of Ulthar, is all I'm sayin'.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:42 AM on August 24, 2010 [12 favorites]


Worse stuff happens to animals (and people) every day.

luckily, compassion isn't a zero-sum game
posted by jammy at 10:42 AM on August 24, 2010 [43 favorites]


a cat is an expensive item of property

Well, not really, unless it is a pure bred.
posted by smackfu at 10:42 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maru does not approve.
posted by homunculus at 10:42 AM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Isn't it quite possible that the woman is mentally ill?

According to the article linked above, her dad is currently in hospital, so that could certainly be a factor in behaving irrationally.
posted by ukdanae at 10:43 AM on August 24, 2010


The woman had not been arrested 'because she has not committed a criminal offence.' the force said.

If true, can we get on that?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:44 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


This has gotten way more attention than it deserves. She didn't kill the cat. If it wasn't for the video, no one would be talking about it or even care. Worse stuff happens to animals (and people) every day.

what. is there some kind of chart for how much attention people should pay to horrific acts? or is it that almost killing a cat for no reason isn't that bad?
posted by shmegegge at 10:46 AM on August 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


Sometimes I just can't argue with mob justice. Anyone willing to do this to an animal deserves whatever they get.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:46 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


mattn: "It's amazing that what she did isn't illegal. Animal welfare issues aside, a cat is an expensive item of property, and you would think that taking and concealing someone's private possessions in this way – particularly when there is such a high risk of permanent loss – would fall under some law or other."

This is something I was stunned by when about 10 years ago or so the son of the UW-Madison Football coach put his roommates pet parrot in a microwave and cooked it alive.

Wretched and awful I thought. But here were some of my so-called "godly" coworkers ("how can you be an atheist?" they'd ask me) laughing "HAW HAW! THAT PARROT DONE GOT COOKED!" (Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating the colloquialisms a bit).

I tried my damnedest to get sympathy from them from the parrot, and absolutely not. So then I tried the "Private Property" angle (assuredly, these people were good god-fearing capitalist americans, no?) And STILL they didn't care. I'm like you seriously don't think he did anything wrong, even from a private property perspective...

How fucking sick. And I bet they'd think if he stole a hundred bucks and lit it on fire that would be an AWFUL thing.
posted by symbioid at 10:47 AM on August 24, 2010 [25 favorites]


Oops, wrong website.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:51 AM on August 24, 2010


It's the quiet ones you've got to watch for.

True.
Clues to a Dark Nurturing Ground for One Serial Killer.

Animal Cruelty, Serial Killers and Violence.

Childhood cruelty to animals is a strong warning of future violence to humans.
posted by ericb at 10:51 AM on August 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


I was hoping her statement would be something like, "Did you see how close his yard was to the road? Did you see how fast those cars were going? The cat was far safer in the can."
posted by mittens at 10:51 AM on August 24, 2010


'urge the public to leave the matter to be dealt with correctly by the authorities.'

The woman had not been arrested 'because she has not committed a criminal offence.'


Does not compute. If I were The Guardian and I weren't trying to encourage mob justice, I'd have put those two sentences farther apart in the article.
posted by gurple at 10:53 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyone who has lived in Coventry for any length of time is apt to do some fucked-up shit.
posted by tigrefacile at 10:53 AM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'd really like to know what was going on inside that woman's head. Watching the video, it happened so fast, a matter of seconds as if there was absolutely no thought behind it. Like she was acting purely on instinct.

Frightening.
posted by cazoo at 10:55 AM on August 24, 2010


She looked around before she did it, so she knew it was wrong, yet the rest of her manner is so incredibly casual. It's just bizarre.

I don't understand why people let their cats outdoors in the first place, though. Assuming this one wasn't an escapee.
posted by desjardins at 10:55 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone willing to do this to an animal deserves whatever they get.

Really? So if she's torn apart by a mob, that would be OK with you? Something happened in this woman's brain, something bad, and it would be prudent to find out what it was that went on. Mob mentality punishes for an act without trying to understand why the act was committed. And I'm of the opinion that determining cause is just as important as determining guilt. I also believe that truly civilized society will not condone the punishment of sickness with violence.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 10:58 AM on August 24, 2010 [23 favorites]


Maybe the police spokesperson just meant it's not a felony or whatever they might call that in the UK.
posted by snofoam at 10:58 AM on August 24, 2010


It's the quiet ones you've got to watch out for.

And, if you notice, I ain't said shit for a couple minutes now.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:59 AM on August 24, 2010 [13 favorites]


Mary said she just didn't know what possessed her, or what came over her, it's just very strange because she cannot explain her actions at all.

This woman needs some medical attention, stat. Seriously.
posted by DU at 10:59 AM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's like throwing a baby in a trash bin. Humans have a size and weight advantage on most cats, and doing this to an animal who cannot adequately defend itself in this situation is vile.

Good thing 4chan didn't get a hold of this. Things could have gotten a lot worse for this piece of trash.
posted by reenum at 11:00 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why people let their cats outdoors in the first place, though.

It's worse than that. I let my kids outdoors and they don't even have claws.
posted by DU at 11:01 AM on August 24, 2010 [14 favorites]


I let my kids outdoors and they don't even have claws.

Hell, sometimes I lock the kids indoors and lock myself out.
posted by nomadicink at 11:02 AM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't understand why people let their cats outdoors in the first place, though.

Oh my, let's not go down that road.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:04 AM on August 24, 2010 [13 favorites]


I'm not religious; I don't believe in God, karma, or any of the other trappings. However, when I read about things like this, I find myself understanding the desire to create concepts like karma and a vengeful god.

I mean, it just sucks that people can cause others to suffer and... nothing happens. I wish, sometimes, that I was credulous enough to believe in a natural law that returned the suffering in kind.
posted by Mooski at 11:05 AM on August 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Good thing 4chan didn't get a hold of this. Things could have gotten a lot worse for this piece of trash

Apparently, they've been on it since before it went viral. The chance that they're not the source for the Daily Mail story is almost zero.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:08 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm of the opinion that determining cause is just as important as determining guilt. I also believe that truly civilized society will not condone the punishment of sickness with violence.

Now now, there's no "I" in Mob Rule.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:10 AM on August 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


I sometimes wonder if constant parental monitoring is preparing today's kids for tomorrow's privacy-free world.

I'm a meat eater, and I've raised, loved, butchered and eaten my animal friends. I think it bears noting here that this woman's actions are far milder than any factory farm. This action is personal and therefore psychotic, but that doesn't remove the responsibility we all share for the poor treatment of animals by our society in general.

In other news, it is 95 in SF today, making my top floor apartment 110. My wife stayed home to put cold cloths on the 16 year old, one ear, one fang cat. I hope he is OK.
posted by poe at 11:11 AM on August 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


I wish there had been a camera INSIDE the bin. I bet the cat's face would have been hysterical. I mean, "Mrrowr?" Well, I can't really do it but you know what I mean. It would have made for some sick captions. We came this close to achieving the next level in lolcats.
posted by Eideteker at 11:12 AM on August 24, 2010


She obviously has no sense of compassion.
Good thing the angry mob does.
posted by rocket88 at 11:13 AM on August 24, 2010


You know who else liked to... Oh wait! He loved animals. This woman is clearly worse than Hitler.
posted by ob at 11:16 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Little Eyes Cams Upon You

There are little cams upon you
and they're watching night and day.
There are little mics that quickly
take in every word you say.
There are little blogs all eager
to snark on jerks like you;
And a little meme who's dreaming
it'll be born of what you do.

You're the internet's new viral,
you're the latest to be linked.
The Google results spiral
and the tubes are all a-kinked.
It believes you're quite for real,
or an ad agency whore;
You inspire YouTube rebuttals
and lame remixes galore.

There's a jaded online audience
that thinks you're way past done;
and its eyes are always narrowed,
as it streams vids one by one.
You made quite an impression
as your 15 minutes flew;
but the internet has moved on
to what came right after you.
posted by cog_nate at 11:16 AM on August 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


Man, what a stupid way to spend a lunch break.
posted by cog_nate at 11:17 AM on August 24, 2010



Maybe the police spokesperson just meant it's not a felony or whatever they might call that in the UK.


I believe this is called a feliney...
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:18 AM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


She obviously has something wrong with her, perhaps on a chemical level inside of her brain.

I don't like mob justice. I don't like human-flesh search engines, as the Chinese phrasing goes. For every time it catches a sociopath (who should be dealt with by authorities, not by an angry mob), it's doing something sociopathic in and of itself (NWS). Individuals may not have antisocial tendancies, but when you get enough of them in the same virtual space, and get a certain feeling of self-righteous anger behind them, then the results can be ugly.
posted by codacorolla at 11:18 AM on August 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


I don't understand why people let their cats outdoors in the first place

Yeah, seeing what I saw for a couple of years working at the local animal shelter put me firmly in the "do not approve of outside cats" camp. I don't lecture people about it -- quite a few of my neighbors let their cats roam despite local ordinances against it -- but when the subject comes up, people always say, "Oh, cats can take care of themselves." Sure, cats can fight. They can get in fights with each other, and they can fight off small predators, but they can't fight disease (rabies, FIV, and FELV, to name just a few) and they can't fight cars, large predators like alligators (which are all over the place in my neck of the woods), and sicko humans. There are people who trap cats and use them to train fighting dogs. There are people who leave poisoned cat food out to get rid of neighborhood nuisances. There are even still people who dump newborn kittens and puppies in dumpsters. And people like this woman, who God only knows what was going through her head.
posted by Gator at 11:19 AM on August 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


I couldn't watch the video, but I am very pleased that that article followed the cardinal rule of cat posts, supplying us with an adorable picture of kitty and owner.

*Notice the stage upon which kitty is posing for photograph. Bin conquered!
posted by iamkimiam at 11:19 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


And yet most of those horrified by the treatment of the cat will be - this evening - tucking into meat products harvested from animals treated in much much worse conditions.

So I ask who is psychotic here; her, us or the farming system we tacitly endorse?

(vegetarians are such bores. you notice this kind of behaviour is the norm when you stop eating meat.)
posted by davemee at 11:22 AM on August 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


Yes, quite a wretched act, but why was there a CCTV attached to the side of a residence


People use CCTV because the world is full of people who throw cats in trashcans.


posted by WebMonkey at 11:23 AM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


burnmp3s, contrary to what Brockles suggests, feral and pet cats are a significant source of avian mortality as well as having 'sub-lethal' effects that decrease breeding success without actually killing more birds. Feeding or not feeding the birds isn't the problem in this case; it's the cats (because their effects on small mammals and herps are just as bad).

In the UK, this predation has been linked to sharp population declines in many once common species, including (ironically, for someone in the US) the House Sparrow (see Churcher & Lawton 1987; Crick et al. 2002; Woods et al. 2003).

In the US, they estimate that cats kill many (like 100) million song-birds every year and there are many bird-focused conservation organizations (American Bird Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Audubon Society, and I'm sure others) suggest indoor-only cats.

That said, this woman probably was not doing this because she was concerned about birds or other little critters. You take the cat inside, you don't torture it.
posted by hydrobatidae at 11:26 AM on August 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


Something happened in this woman's brain, something bad, and it would be prudent to find out what it was that went on.

So you find out what's wrong. Whatever the equation is. Let's say chemical X + chemical Y + childhood abuse = cat torturer. What then? This whole, "Now wait a second, that person could be fucked up!" angle is confusing to me. Of course they're fucked up. Look what she did! But let's say we establish through the marvels of medical science to really understand this crazy fuck. What then?

Stop being so half-assed about social responsibility. At some point our culture has to draw a line and say sick fucks like this aren't permitted to run free because they're bringing the rest of humanity down like a boat anchor.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:26 AM on August 24, 2010 [11 favorites]


Seriously? We're going to derail this with factory farming stories? That's just bullshit. If you want to talk about that, make a FPP and we'll all dig in. In the meantime, this is about casual cruelty by a random stranger (now named) to someone's pet.

Take your horror over our treatment of cows and chickens to a more appropriate thread.
posted by hippybear at 11:28 AM on August 24, 2010 [17 favorites]


Yeah, but I'd be almost as upset if I watched someone throw a defenceless pork loin in a wheelie bin.
posted by tigrefacile at 11:29 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone willing to do this to an animal deserves whatever they get.

Really? So if she's torn apart by a mob, that would be OK with you?


No, I support an eye for an eye - she should be locked into a small bin long enough to starve a little and shit herself.

Also, the police have already said that no crime has been committed (which is code for: any "investigating" we're doing is a sham to quell public outcry), so the rest of your post in pointless. When the police don't offer justice, there are only 2 alternatives: Do nothing, or do something.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:30 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


If she's mentally ill, then what is shaming going to accomplish? She doesn't even remember doing it.
posted by desjardins at 11:32 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


TO: President
FROM: Leon E. Panetta, Director, CIA
SUBJECT: Idea for Finding Osama

Dear Mr. President,

In a news story you may have seen on MetaFilter, an English woman was seen on CCTV, placing a cat in trash bin. Within 48 hours, the footage was uploaded to YouTube, and the Internet found her.

In addition to terrorists, perverts, and music-stealing bandits, the Internet is also apparently filled with people who like cats, hate evildoers, and have a great deal of free time. Therefore, I recommend using these resources to our advantage in our ongoing hunt for Osama bin Laden.

For a nominal cost, we can deploy trash bins and cats to the Afghanistan/Pakistan region, monitor both with our unmanned drones, and provide video links to Internet. When Osama places one of the cats in one of the trash bins, we alert the Internet, and they will find him for us. Let me know what you think.

Regards, Leon

posted by mattdidthat at 11:32 AM on August 24, 2010 [21 favorites]


I always thought cats liked being in bins. Like this one.
posted by bokeh at 11:33 AM on August 24, 2010


So I ask who is psychotic here; her, us or the farming system we tacitly endorse?

You know what else? I bet that woman totally hates the idea that we're building a mosque directly where Ground Zero happened because Obama is a crypto-Muslim. And also circumcises teenagers when she's not dumping cats in dumpsters (after declawing them, of course.)
posted by griphus at 11:34 AM on August 24, 2010


When the police don't offer justice, there are only 2 alternatives: Do nothing, or do something.

As it so happens, "something" can include working within to bounds of the law to make this sort of behavior illegal. Funny how that works.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:35 AM on August 24, 2010


Panoptical mob justice on the other.

Until she's actually torn apart by a mob, the justice, at this moment, seems to be that she has been identified to the public. Which might have happened via a police investigation or via the newspapers. Everybody you see on the news every single night is being exposed to mob justice. And that justice seems mostly to consist of tsking.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:35 AM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hmmm...this story has been bobbing around all day here in the UK. I know the road & the area and could probably add some background but there's only one thing I can really say:

THIS STORY IS ALL OVER EVERY FUCKING UK NEWS SOURCE AND YOU LINKED TO THE FUCKING DAILY MAIL THE MOST TWISTED, SNIDE, BULLSHIT 'NEWS'PAPER IN THE WHOLE FUCKING COUNTRY!1!! WTF?!!!!!1!*

The local BBC news has a report.
posted by i_cola at 11:36 AM on August 24, 2010 [19 favorites]


And yet most of those horrified by the treatment of the cat will be - this evening - tucking into meat products harvested from animals treated in much much worse conditions.

What slaughter house kills animals via heat exhaustion?

On preview, what hippybear said.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:36 AM on August 24, 2010


In the US, they estimate that cats kill many (like 100) million song-birds every year and there are many bird-focused conservation organizations (American Bird Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Audubon Society, and I'm sure others) suggest indoor-only cats.

To people (like me, for the most part) that argue that "cats can take care of themselves" I don't think an argument from "birds can't take care of themselves" is going to carry much weight.
posted by DU at 11:38 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The press in the UK loves to find essentially powerless hate figures for everyone to safely loathe at spit at for a few days until everyone (apart from the new-minted pariah) forgets about this and routine cruelty to animals, children and adults can cheerily continue. This fact is a far greater and more offensive symptom of a deep sickness in our society than this woman's reprehensible behaviour.
posted by WPW at 11:38 AM on August 24, 2010 [17 favorites]


I mean, it just sucks that people can cause others to suffer and... nothing happens

That's why practicing kindness and compassion in a world where this is the case will always be the most radical thing a human being can aspire to.
posted by hermitosis at 11:39 AM on August 24, 2010 [29 favorites]


According to the article linked above, her dad is currently in hospital, so that could certainly be a factor in behaving irrationally.

My 7-year-old daughter is in the hospital right now and the docs are talking about moving her to intensive care. When I came home this afternoon to shower, eat and get a small break I saw my neighbor's cat chilling in the shade next to my trash bins. It did not occur to me to put the cat in the trash bin.

Having a relative in the hospital sucks, but it's not enough to drive a normal person to do something so weird.
posted by jeoc at 11:40 AM on August 24, 2010 [13 favorites]


What slaughter house kills animals via heat exhaustion?

I was going to make the same point until I realized it was a non-sequitur. The commenter is talking about factor farms and animal treatment BEFORE the slaughterhouse.

It does kind of seem ridiculous that we'd be so worked up about animal treatment for a single instance of Fuzzy Cute Animal X but not millions of examples of Fuzzy Cute Animal Y.
posted by DU at 11:41 AM on August 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


She obviously has something wrong with her, perhaps on a chemical level inside of her brain.

There are a lot of people who do shitty things that never make it onto CCTV. I'm not convinced all of them have misfunctioning brains. Some of them are shitty people.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:41 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Civil_Disobedient: "At some point our culture has to draw a line and say sick fucks like this aren't permitted to run free because they're bringing the rest of humanity down like a boat anchor."

I never said there should not be penalization, just not the mob-type, rage-based punishment as suggested by OverlappingElvis.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 11:43 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is sickening, vile, cruel, inhuman behaviour.
posted by fullerine at 11:44 AM on August 24, 2010


Let's say chemical X + chemical Y + childhood abuse = cat torturer. What then? This whole, "Now wait a second, that person could be fucked up!" angle is confusing to me. Of course they're fucked up. Look what she did! But let's say we establish through the marvels of medical science to really understand this crazy fuck. What then?

We do what we can to help them.

Stop being so half-assed about social responsibility. At some point our culture has to draw a line and say sick fucks like this aren't permitted to run free because they're bringing the rest of humanity down like a boat anchor.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:26 PM on August 24 [+] [!]


Still in favor of addressing causes rather than symptoms.
posted by jtron at 11:47 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think throwing the lady in a garbage bin with lots and lots of hungry rats would be a fitting punishment. I'd be delighted to push her in. Pointless cruelty to animals is the sign of sick and evil human being. All my liberalism goes out the door when it comes to those who abuse children or animals.
posted by mermayd at 11:48 AM on August 24, 2010


And yet most of those horrified by the treatment of the cat will be - this evening - tucking into meat products harvested from animals treated in much much worse conditions.

So I ask who is psychotic here; her, us or the farming system we tacitly endorse?


It's a bad world for animals. And all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

This is true for all values of "animals", yet somehow no one ever interrupts a thread about child abuse to complain about the treatment of the homeless we "tacitly endorse".
posted by vorfeed at 11:48 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]



Mary said she just didn't know what possessed her, or what came over her, it's just very strange because she cannot explain her actions at all.


Can't explain, or doesn't want to? There are no criminal charges, probably no lawsuit (from what I read), IOW no consequences whatsoever to her acts except some fleeting public shame.

She obviously doesn't feel guilt - notice she did not say "sorry," she said "Really, I love cats - but my dad is in the hospital." Oh, okay then. Really, I'm not an alcoholic, I just need three or four martinis to get to sleep every night.

It reminds me of the story on here about the journalist who got knocked off his bike, forgave the attacker, and then was shocked to find the guy felt no guilt or shame at all; and even tried to get paid for the story (which was SHOCKING!!!). See also symbioid's parrot story upthread if you skipped it.

The world is filled with people who would just as soon step on your neck, or a cat's neck, as give you the time of day. Normally shame or fear of legal consequences keeps them in check, but if nobody's looking...
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 11:50 AM on August 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm not convinced all of them have misfunctioning brains. Some of them are shitty people.

The odds are that some of them also have malfunctioning brains.
posted by blucevalo at 11:50 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Casual cruelty like this is kind of terrifying, because it's so totally random and low key that you sort of begin to speculate that it happens all the time, but it's not captured on film.

And then you start wondering who around you is a dog kicker or the kind of person who throws rocks at squirrels. Not as a defining character trait or anything, just something they do if the opportunity were to present itself.
posted by quin at 11:51 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


And then you start wondering who around you is a dog kicker or the kind of person who throws rocks at squirrels. Not as a defining character trait or anything, just something they do if the opportunity were to present itself.

Yep.
posted by blucevalo at 11:54 AM on August 24, 2010


The world is filled with people who...

I keep seeing this phrase in this thread. No, it isn't.
posted by DU at 11:56 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Debate is raging, centring on speculation about the woman's motives and intentions. Does she have a particular grudge against this cat, or cats in general? Are those gloves she's wearing – and does that mean that this was premeditated behaviour? Does she have some reason to want to eliminate this cat? Do the neighbourhood cats pee in her garden and kill the birds? Does she, in other words, have some warped but rational reason for hating cats that would explain, if not excuse her behaviour?

Basically, they have no idea how that cat got wedged in the wheeled trash bin, or why.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:57 AM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's unreasonable that people immediately assume she's mentally ill. One crazy act does not a psycho make. Perhaps if she ripped the head off the cat with her teeth then I'd be more likely to agree with the armchair psycho-analysts. However, she's more likely a straight-up evil biatch who hates cats. Fuck her.
posted by weezy at 11:58 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm just going to go ahead and have to sort of disagree with you there.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 11:58 AM on August 24, 2010


Until she's actually torn apart by a mob, the justice, at this moment, seems to be that she has been identified to the public. Which might have happened via a police investigation or via the newspapers.

The public identification of someone as a malefactor can have enormous, irreversible consequences. Which is why the law and the media have made reasoned decisions about when to do it - and make a big deal about it if it's done outside of those circumstances.

The mob has not thought about what it's doing. And there is no way to hold it accountable.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:58 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


TubeDubber to the rescue
posted by randomination at 11:59 AM on August 24, 2010


Old British Lady meets American Psycho!

"Today I went for a walk and put my NOVA "GetGo" walker in the trunk of my '98 white Buick and put in Tommy Dorsey's Girl Crazy. I've been a big Tommy Dorsey fan since the release of his 1943 album, Ship Ahoy. Before that I didn't really understand any of his earlier work, the concept laden, Las Vegas Nights (a reference to fellow performer Frank Sinatra, who later left the band to start a lame solo career) seemed too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Girl Crazy where his music got more modern, more jazzy.

"I had just taken a Celebrex which began kicking in when I came across the cat I had seen last week, sitting next to the dumpster. I lean over, and in one swift motion put the cat in the dumpster. When I closed the lid, I noticed that on the side it said: This Is Not A Dumpster."
posted by geoff. at 12:04 PM on August 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


The world is filled with people who...

I keep seeing this phrase in this thread. No, it isn't.


I'm sorry, but there are how many billions of humans on this planet?

The world is filled with people like that. Even if they're just one percent of the world population, that's sixty-seven million people -- given population density, that's more than enough to "fill" the world amongst all the rest of us.
posted by vorfeed at 12:04 PM on August 24, 2010


In defense of this comment: making an interjection about the horrible treatment and killing of animals for meat etc is not a non-sequitur or a derail. It's absolutely germane to the ongoing conversation about what punishment this woman deserves for abusing an animal. It's a call for perspective, which is necessary especially when most of us are so viscerally disgusted by the video and despairing about the lack of justice.

But meting out justice shouldn't be *just* about making ourselves feel better after having seen a disturbing video. Remembering that this kind of thing, and worse things, are done to animals all the time and are not only unpunished but financially supported by us might not make us all vegetarians, but asking for a little less sanctimony and outraged self-righteousness and a little more self-reflection is a very valid contribution to the thread, in my view.

Maybe people who're calling for an angry mob have never actually seen one in action.
posted by mondaygreens at 12:07 PM on August 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


Take your horror over our treatment of cows and chickens to a more appropriate thread.

I think, even as a meat eater, it's a valid point. On the other hand if this was someone's prime quality piglet they'd be in trouble too. and she didn't exactly take the cat home and make herself a fun fur and some soup, so it remains mindless cruelty.
posted by Phalene at 12:10 PM on August 24, 2010


The police seriously need to throw the Animal Welfare Act at her. A couple thousand pound fine or a week in the slammer are appropriate in this case. I'd imagine the larger fines and jail sentences are for multiple animals under worse conditions.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:16 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I saw a comment earlier 'May be she's just a big fan of Top Cat' - I felt a bit guilty laughing.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:17 PM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I let my kids outdoors and they don't even have claws.

Man...Metafilter has a problem with declawing cats, and here you are telling the world you declawed your children???
posted by inigo2 at 12:19 PM on August 24, 2010


If it's anything like this angry mob, they'll just end up yelling at a random black lady in a Hello Kitty t-shirt.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:20 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


What the media isn't telling us is that this cat was a BNP member, and was on its way to hiss at a group of persians.
posted by clockzero at 12:22 PM on August 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


It does kind of seem ridiculous that we'd be so worked up about animal treatment for a single instance of Fuzzy Cute Animal X but not millions of examples of Fuzzy Cute Animal Y.

That's why I only eat bugs, all crunch, no cute.
posted by nomisxid at 12:23 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


they're good and good for you!
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 12:24 PM on August 24, 2010


People love to get worked up about single instances of animal cruelty. Yeah it makes no sense when thinking about the larger picture of mainstream agribusiness (and I guarantee you most of these people aren't vegetarians) but you're never going to convince them of that. So it goes. Seen a lot of MeFi threads go down this path. Now let's talk about fatness and bicyclists.
posted by jcruelty at 12:26 PM on August 24, 2010


It seems the RSPCA's (Wikipedia entry) behaviour varies, somewhat. Their competence has also been called into doubt.
posted by StephenB at 12:27 PM on August 24, 2010


At last, England has their Ground Zero mosque "distract the country from more serious shit" story for August.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:30 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


(and if somebody did this to one of my [indoor] cats, I would punch them in the throat)
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:31 PM on August 24, 2010


At last, England has their Ground Zero mosque "distract the country from more serious shit" story for August.

Sure, Cameron says he loves cats, but I totally heard that he had a puppy when he was a kid. Once a dog lover always a dog lover.
posted by wildcrdj at 12:34 PM on August 24, 2010


Just remember that we punish bad people in advance as children. If her response is tied to her father, one could probably assume to find some crazy up in that relationship.
posted by Back to you, Jim. at 12:35 PM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


That is paraphrased from some tweet I read earlier this week.
posted by Back to you, Jim. at 12:36 PM on August 24, 2010


...mob-type, rage-based punishment as suggested by OverlappingElvis.

I'm not suggesting anything, but que sera sera.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:40 PM on August 24, 2010


As it so happens, "something" can include working within to bounds of the law to make this sort of behavior illegal. Funny how that works.

In what way is that funny? That would be exactly what I -- and most here -- would recommend (just not what I would prefer).
posted by coolguymichael at 12:41 PM on August 24, 2010


Prolefeed organ Daily Fail's Two Minutes Hate Working Doubleplusgood.
posted by meehawl at 12:43 PM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


My parents don't let any of their three cats, all rescued as kittens*, out even though they do have a large yard because several cats (not theirs) have been found, some poisoned, and one left to die by the side of the road with a freaking metal spike through its body (no, not an accident).

They live in a tiny country village.

Some people are assholes.

I don't care one whit if that's because "their brains don't work right" - that doesn't absolve them from their wrongdoings.

Neither does the fact that there are worse wrongs in the world.

And I'm not even a cat fancier.

* one left with a broken paw in a cardboard box by the side of the road, one abandoned in the nearby wetland natural preserve at the time people leave for summer vacations, one left to die eaten alive by maggots after idiots caused her mother to abandon her when she was only a few weeks old... they have all since recovered from their respective ordeals
posted by Fruny at 12:48 PM on August 24, 2010


I will revoke my usually calm demeanor in favour of this post.

Fuck you lady. I'd like to stick you in a trash compactor for fifteen hours and secretly hope someone will not come looking for you. And if I get caught out I'll just say "I don;t know what came over me. I really do love people. I'm a people person!"

And people ask me why I love my cats more than most people.
posted by New England Cultist at 12:52 PM on August 24, 2010


Yeah, sorry to beat this drum again, but there's no reason at all to leave cats outside. Not blaming the victim here, but there is just too much risk for absolutely no benefit. My cats infinitely prefer burrowing under the down comforter of my bed to exploring the vast outdoors. The aforementioned neighbor cats try to sneak into the house at every opportunity (they do have water, food and shade readily available to them outside; they just seem to prefer the company of people).
posted by desjardins at 12:55 PM on August 24, 2010


I think that lady deserves whatever 4chan in store for her. Something tells me that this isn't the first time she's done something terrible to a cat, just the first time she's been caught.
posted by mullingitover at 12:56 PM on August 24, 2010


But here were some of my so-called "godly" coworkers [laughing about microwaved parrot]

I don't mean this to vilify all Christians, but I've heard religious (rural American Protestant) cousins express two connected sentiments: God didn't give animals souls (and therefore animals presumably cannot suffer the way humans do), and God gave us nature, including all the animals, to do with as we please (which I think is a pretty loose interpretation of what Old Testament says, but as I say, I've actually heard people say these things).
posted by aught at 12:58 PM on August 24, 2010


(and if somebody did this to one of my [indoor] cats, I would punch them in the throat)

Talk about blaming the victim.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:09 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


In the US, they estimate that cats kill many (like 100) million song-birds every year and there are many bird-focused conservation organizations (American Bird Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Audubon Society, and I'm sure others) suggest indoor-only cats.

I'm the owner of a (very content) indoor-only cat, and no future cats of mine will go outside either, in part because I don't want them to pointlessly slaughter birds, mice, squirrels, etc. Nonetheless, I think before we get all moralistic on the goings-on among the small creatures living and dying in our backyards, it's worth noting that the nest-mates of song-bird chicks probably "kill" (by stealing food and pushing out of nests) more of their own siblings than roving house cats do. Shall we prosecute the birds who survive to maturity for succeeding in natural selection by triumphing over their less fit fellow creatures as well? (It sometimes gets weird when we try to apply human morality to wild animals, doesn't it?)
posted by aught at 1:12 PM on August 24, 2010


Count me among those who can't believe that her actions are not illegal. I agree that she probably is suffering from some sort of mental illness or psychosis, but that doesn't abdicate her responsibility. Unless she is legally determined incompetent to stand trial by authorized psychiatrists after a period of treatment. (At least in the US. I assume UK law is similar, but really have no knowledge of it.)

One thing I was told by a forensic psychiatrist when I worked with the severely mentally ill was: "Just because you're mentally ill doesn't give you an excuse for breaking the law. There's lots and lots of people with the same disorder living their whole lives without breaking any laws." Now, obviously, it may offer an explanation, but doesn't excuse someone from bearing the consequences of their actions.

This woman needs to be arrested, taken to jail, and put on trial. She also needs psychiatric treatment.

Much less seriously, does this make anyone but me think of the scene in American Psycho where the ATM reads "FEED ME A KITTEN?" Cause as much as I'm a cat lover, thinking about that never fails to make me laugh.
posted by threeturtles at 1:17 PM on August 24, 2010


Are some of you really so shocked that people tend to get more worked up about a cold-blooded, individual act of animal abuse caught on tape than they do about an abstract concept like factory farming or the inherent cruelty of carnivore culture?

What's the Stalin quote—a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic? I think that also holds true in this case.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:21 PM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]



luckily, compassion isn't a zero-sum game


Unfortunately, neither is the ability to make a mountain out of a mole hill.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:21 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


And having said all that, there's a reason why my two cats are indoor-only. It has more to do with my fears of the bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, and other critters than my meth-head neighbors, but still. I've had a cat come home covered in blood. And then he became an inside cat and is very happy and most importantly safe.
posted by threeturtles at 1:21 PM on August 24, 2010


I bet this woman will claim to have no idea how these people got their cat wedged into their trash bin, or why.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:23 PM on August 24, 2010


Dammit.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:24 PM on August 24, 2010


This is all very charming.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:26 PM on August 24, 2010


@threeturtles guilty as charged.

I can barely even think about this without wanting to go home and verify the bodily integrity of my cats.
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:26 PM on August 24, 2010


I love animals, cats particularly. But seriously, people should get a sense of proportion. If 10% of this indignation were applied to the killers of Arabs (I'm looking at YOU, Republicans!) we'd have stopped the war years ago.

I'll now close preemptively with some cute pictures of kittens.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:26 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy crap are we still talking about the cat in the bin? And not one single image macro of bincat yet? You all claim to be disturbed, but yet not one of you is dealing with your grief through the healing power of laughter?

GUYS THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS A CAT POOED ON ITSELF LET'S MAKE WITH THE HEALING ALREADY
posted by Eideteker at 1:34 PM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


"I love animals, cats particularly. But seriously, people should get a sense of proportion. If 10% of this indignation were applied to the killers of Arabs (I'm looking at YOU, Republicans!) we'd have stopped the war years ago."

lupus, what you don't get is this is a cat. In a bin. And we got the culprit on tape. No one would be talking about this if not for the chance for some good ol' mob justice, which is what people really want here. So let's get photoshopping, people. Why has no one hacked this woman's online accounts and found her pictures so we can show that secretly in her personal time she likes to dress up in a fursuit and go by the name Kitty Galore? I'm not paying you people for impotent outrage here, I want entertainment!
posted by Eideteker at 1:37 PM on August 24, 2010


Shall we prosecute the birds who survive to maturity for succeeding in natural selection by triumphing over their less fit fellow creatures as well? (It sometimes gets weird when we try to apply human morality to wild animals, doesn't it?)

I don't apply human morality to wild animals. Cats are an introduced non-native predator. I think that birds should lead as natural a life as possible, including siblicide, nest parasitism, whatever circle-of-life-ness - I just don't think cats belong in this system.
posted by hydrobatidae at 1:39 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The chance of employing the HPOL in this thread is negligible when you consider:
Chilean miners trapped alive half a mile underground - 80 comments

Cat thrown in trash can, but easily extricated - 145+ comments
posted by umberto at 1:40 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's amazing that what she did isn't illegal.

I'm pretty sure it would be illegal in most US states. California. I'm pretty sure that most juries would call it animal torture.

it looked too casually cruel to be real.

Protip: that's what cruelty looks like. The most evil deeds are done with nary a sneer or demented laugh.

Worse stuff happens to animals (and people) every day.

Amen.

"Mary said she just didn't know what possessed her, or what came over her, it's just very strange because she cannot explain her actions at all.

To be fair, as a compulsive person, I can sympathize. She needs help.

or is it that almost killing a cat for no reason isn't that bad?

Uh, yep. Would anyone have been offended if it were a rat?

Aside from the specific reason there was one there in this case, I can think of other reasons a camera could be aimed at a trash bin. In plenty of cases bodies, guns, and/or clothing evidence go into bins.

You could make the same argument about private residences.

If she's mentally ill, then what is shaming going to accomplish?

Oh, no one cares about accomplishing anything or making the world any better. They all just want to make this woman they don't know at all SUFFER.

See: Rene Girard and the "scapegoat mechanism". After all, if we can lock this woman in a box and make her "shit herself," we can fool ourselves into thinking we've accomplished something.

Or what WPW said.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:40 PM on August 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


I wrote earlier this:
"Coventry police are making sure the woman is OK"
One wonders how they'll go about that. Someone who first strokes and then dumps cats in trash cans doesn't seem OK to me.


Apart from my not-very-witty wordplay with various meanings of "OK" (that some nevertheless seem to have missed) I was only half joking. I can see every reason to ask some sharp questions to that lady, and to try make some professional assessments about what made her do this nasty thing with that cat. One may hope that someone is on track there.

But I can find no excuse for the international virtual mob rearing its old ugly medieval head to utterly condemn someone who doubtless had the stupidest moment of her life while she was secretly being filmed. Indeed: there are much worse things going on in the world, public blood-thirsty discrimination of wrongdoers being one of them.
posted by Namlit at 1:52 PM on August 24, 2010


While this was undoubtedly a horribly cruel thing to do, and I hope the full force of law is brought to bear here (note that the police merely said she hasn't committed a criminal offence - good chance she can still be prosecuted by the cat's owners under civil law), I find it fascinating how animal stories bring out such vitriolic responses, far more so than almost anything else.

Consider what would have happened if the news broke that this lady had, out of the blue, locked her own daughter in a cupboard for 15 hours one day. Yeah, there'd be outrage - but would the police have had to appeal to the public not to carry out vigilante justice? Personally, I'm not convinced.
posted by ZsigE at 1:57 PM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Okay guys. I think I have a solution. Let's start a Metatalk thread where we figure out the most appalling problem on the planet. After we have made that determination, it will be the only non-whimsical subject permitted on the blue. Posts not conforming to this metric will be flagged as lackofperspectivefilter.
posted by mreleganza at 2:02 PM on August 24, 2010 [10 favorites]


"But I can find no excuse for the international virtual mob rearing its old ugly medieval head to utterly condemn someone who doubtless had the stupidest moment of her life while she was secretly being filmed."

She's a bad person! Only bad people do bad things! Ever! This makes me feel better about myself and the bad things I've done—because I'm clearly a good person—as long as I don't think about the logic of that too closely!
posted by Eideteker at 2:03 PM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Okay guys. I think I have a solution. Let's start a Metatalk thread where we figure out the most appalling problem on the planet. After we have made that determination, it will be the only non-whimsical subject permitted on the blue. Posts not conforming to this metric will be flagged as lackofperspectivefilter.

Good idea. Somebody beat you to the punch though.

Vigilantes, mount up! You're needed in the Congo!
posted by mrgrimm at 2:28 PM on August 24, 2010


"Vigilantes, mount up!"

Poor choice of words. =\
posted by Eideteker at 2:49 PM on August 24, 2010


Christ, what a goddamned goatfucking pustular asshole.
posted by tzikeh at 2:52 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't think you could call this a "stupid moment," unless you're referring to not thinking about cameras. She seems to have been doing something truly shitty just for the hell of it, with no empathy for another sentient, feeling creature, and with nothing at all to gain from that action. THAT is a sociopathic act, and I hope she regrets it and tries to understand why she did it, with an eye toward healing her psyche. She's got rage kicking around in there.
posted by longsleeves at 3:03 PM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


While this was undoubtedly a horribly cruel thing to do, and I hope the full force of law is brought to bear here

No good will come of this if the bears become involved. Trust me.
posted by futz at 3:05 PM on August 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


So many opinions about so many issues in this thread! And what do you know, so many helpful individuals to tell us that they're all wrong
posted by tehloki at 3:21 PM on August 24, 2010


Perhaps the mob (MeFi included) should let the police do their job? What we know of the woman is a video of a woman acting strangely and some statements from The Sun, a tabloid not known for its fair and balanced reporting of events. The police will undoubtedly investigate, especially with the intensity focused on the event. They have far more information than we do.

If she has a habit of abusing animals, chances are there's some evidence of it. If you think someone can't just suddenly do something like this, consider whether you know anyone who's had a brain tumor, a stroke, or other brain disease. They can cause random and often unpleasant behavior that are completely out of character.

I'd say she might need an MRI far more than a lynching. But again, why not leave that to the people who have all the facts?
posted by Candleman at 3:33 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]



Imagine if this act had been committed by some 17 year old skinhead.
posted by notreally at 3:48 PM on August 24, 2010


hippybear: Seriously? We're going to derail this with factory farming stories? That's just bullshit. If you want to talk about that, make a FPP and we'll all dig in. In the meantime, this is about casual cruelty by a random stranger (now named) to someone's pet. Take your horror over our treatment of cows and chickens to a more appropriate thread.

I've been a hippybear fan from wayback, but in this case, seriously, STFU.

This page now has >150 comments. Many on here are obviously deeply emotionally affected by what they see as an example of intense, unfathomable, "psychotic" human cruelty. Some are calling for gruesome and ornate punishments. It's clearly touched a nerve.

Amid all the hand-wringing, a vegetarian steps in to point out tersely (in just a couple of lines) that meat-eaters routinely cause worse suffering than this to be carried out on similar mammals, but on an unthinkably more massive scale -- several billion farm animals each year.

You and many others feel differently -- I don't know why -- well I take that back, I do know why, it's called speciesism, and it irrationally places human suffering above pet suffering, and pet suffering above all other animal suffering. That's fine, you have a right to your bigoted and irrational views, but you don't have a right to shut down the only couple of people in the thread who are trying to point them out.
posted by dontjumplarry at 3:51 PM on August 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Who would have guessed that a cat thread would end badly?
posted by smackfu at 3:57 PM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


dontjumplarry: and I welcome your upcoming FPP about speciesism so we can discuss that in depth in an appropriate thread. I'll be watching for it.

(Seriously, that was my only comment in this thread, was made nearly 5 hours before your STFU comment, and had at least a few people that agreed with it. I'm sorry that you don't agree, but I do hold that moving from "hey, this woman threw a cat in a bin" to "wow, we torture animals daily in the name of our food" is as much as derail as was the comment in the James Patterson thread about how the publishing industry needs to just diefuckingdie because it uses up all the trees.)
posted by hippybear at 4:35 PM on August 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


In related news:
July 9, 2010: Colorado woman who taped dog to refrigerator receives 30-day jail sentence, probation.

August 11, 2010: Cat found 'marinating' in New York man's trunk has a new home; former owner charged with cruelty.
posted by ericb at 4:55 PM on August 24, 2010


Imagine if this act had been committed by some 17 year old skinhead.

Ok, now imagine it was committed by a guy dressed like a clown, with one of those umbrella hats. Yeah.
posted by odinsdream at 4:56 PM on August 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


dontjumplarry: In defense of those saying that a discussion of factory farming is not germane to this thread: What's being discussed is the treatment of a family pet, not animals in general. Nobody is suggesting that this is bad because she tried to throw away an animal. Specifically that she threw away a cat. As a culture, we place certain categories of animals into categories, right or wrong, so to suggest that the reaction to this incident is hypocritical if you do not also hate meat-eating is incorrect. If this were the family's pet pig, it would merit the same reaction.
posted by odinsdream at 4:59 PM on August 24, 2010


"I've been up all night, burying the cat."

"All night???"

"It kept struggling."

Wrong thread?
posted by spock at 5:01 PM on August 24, 2010


New York Times: Web Used to Track Woman Who Binned Cat.

USA Today: Cat Thrown in Trash Bin Sparks Fury on Internet; Woman Nabbed.

CBS News: Woman Who Tossed Cat into Trash Gets Police Protection.
posted by ericb at 5:01 PM on August 24, 2010


This whole 'My God, how dare anyone let their cat outside!' is really confusing me. I thought the general consensus is that it's cruel to constantly keep them inside. Perhaps that's just a British thing, or I'm just behind the times.

I've only ever known one person who didn't let their cat outside, and that cat always acted agitated and depressed. We've had several cats, and they fight when they're outside but never to the point of serious injury.

Is this primarily and American thing, like declawing by default and giving the cats a constant supply of dry cat food, leading to massive obesity? Both these things seemed very common when I was in the States and I consider both pretty bloody cruel.

I'm not trying to start an argument, but the level of vitriol on this has me doubting my own beliefs and assumptions.
posted by Quantum's Deadly Fist at 5:13 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


THIS STORY IS ALL OVER EVERY FUCKING UK NEWS SOURCE AND YOU LINKED TO THE FUCKING DAILY MAIL THE MOST TWISTED, SNIDE, BULLSHIT 'NEWS'PAPER IN THE WHOLE FUCKING COUNTRY!1!! WTF?!!!!!1!

Um, well many (including myself) have no idea about how you Brits view the FUCKING DAILY MAIL. As a matter of fact, that online newspaper was one of the first and earliest sources for this story for those of us on the "other side of the pond."

Is there anything in their reporting of this story with which you take offense (err ... offence)?
posted by ericb at 5:14 PM on August 24, 2010


FWIW -- the FPP also referenced SkyNews. Kosher or not, by your standards?
posted by ericb at 5:15 PM on August 24, 2010


Imagine if this act had been committed by some 17 year old skinhead.

That was my initial thought, actually. Curly-haired mature woman: must have some sort of chemical imbalance! (people like that do not do things like this) Unappealing young man: miserable asshole; no excuses.

Unless there's some new trend to call out the unfortunate brain chemistry imbalances responsible for everyone who does terrible things and I've missed it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:16 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let's see what other publications in the U.S. sourced this news story via the FUCKING DAILY MAIL: Los Angeles Times, Boston Herald, CBS News, etc.

Fuck us "Colonials" for not citing the "proper" and "acceptable" U.K. sources.
posted by ericb at 5:27 PM on August 24, 2010


Quantum's Deadly Fist: I don't fully get it either. I'm American and have two cats. In my conversations with other cat owners, the general thing is, "don't let them outside if you've had them declawed." Which makes some sense because you don't want them outside and unable to defend themselves, but to me just doubles the cruelty of declawing them in the first place. (My furniture is torn to shreds, to be honest, but I've never considered declawing.)

Thankfully, I choose apartments with balconies, so that my cats can get outdoor time without wandering until they're lost or running into other trouble. But even getting lost isn't so much of a thing for me. One of my cats got loose out the front door of my massive and homogenous complex a few months back. An hour or so later it was back, scratching at the front door to be let back in. Cats have excellent senses of direction and memory of where they've been.

As for the dry food, I was erroneously told by a roommate years ago that wet-food is mostly water and byproduct, and that only dry food was good for cats. The opposite is in fact true, as I found out in May when one of my cats (at three years old) nearly died of kidney shock because of dry food. They eat only wet food now, and adore it.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:29 PM on August 24, 2010


What vitriol?
posted by Gator at 5:33 PM on August 24, 2010


ericb: don't worry too much about it, but in the future, the Daily Mail is to them basically what FOXNews or World Net Daily is to us. No problem with the reporting in this particular article, but the source does suck in general.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:33 PM on August 24, 2010


You know who else liked to... Oh wait! He loved animals. This woman is clearly worse than Hitler.

Forgive me, but I couldn't resist...

Cats That Look Like Hitler!
posted by ericb at 5:36 PM on August 24, 2010


Thanks for the insight, Navelgazer. I've also never heard of anyone here feeding their cat solely on dry food, but more as a supplement/treat kind of thing.

I'm also glad you're someone else who considers their cat more important than their furniture!

Oh, and ericb, don't worry about it, you did nothing wrong. I think i_cola was mostly having a laugh, but it really didn't come across that way.
posted by Quantum's Deadly Fist at 5:37 PM on August 24, 2010


Gator, perhaps vitriol was too strong a word. Or I'm just overreacting. Again.
posted by Quantum's Deadly Fist at 5:41 PM on August 24, 2010


...the Daily Mail is to them basically what FOXNews or World Net Daily is to us.

Yeah ... having read the Wikipedia entry on the Daily Mail I see that it is the "second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun." Both are considered tabloids aimed at a "lower-middle class market" with a conservative bent and an editorial stance critical of the BBC which it says is biased to the left.
posted by ericb at 5:46 PM on August 24, 2010


smackfu : Well, not really, unless it is a pure bred.

Yes, you can have a cat and pay for nothing but food - In which case, please don't get a cat.

I have a pair of non-purebreds, just under a year old, and have already sunk $800 into them, not including food. Between "fixing", vaccinations, one moderately serious illness (but nothing that required surgery or overnight vet care), it adds up fast, especially if you start with a kitten.

If you don't mind starting with an adult cat, you can probably limit your costs to $100 or so per year (again, not counting food) - But even that requires resigning them to "the shot" if anything seriously bad happens to them.


Joe Beese : Animal abuse on one side. Panoptical mob justice on the other. I've got no one to root for here.

I do. Gimme an "M"! Gimme an "O"! Gimme a "B"! What does it spell? "Justice!"


Cat Pie Hurts : Really? So if she's torn apart by a mob, that would be OK with you?

Yup. Although, in fairness, I'd settle for only having her thrown in a locked dumpster out in the hot sun for 14 hours, not knowing if someone would eventually come to let her out - No need to get carried away, after all.

Something happened in this woman's brain, something bad, and it would be prudent to find out what it was that went on.

Sounds nice, but moot point. In 150 years, when we have the tech to do that (rather than the barely-above-voodoo we helplessly accept as a "science" today), this might make an excellent case study. Until then, we can use it to set an example for all the other whackjobs who might otherwise toss living creatures into a garbage can. When rationality doesn't prevent this, raw brute fear of the consequences might.
posted by pla at 5:49 PM on August 24, 2010


As bad as it is to have a cat thrown in a garbage bin, ushering the mentally disturbed further down the road to self-destruction via Internet amplification is much, much worse.

Sorry, but says you.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:21 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The chance of employing the HPOL in this thread is negligible when you consider:
Chilean miners trapped alive half a mile underground - 80 comments
Cat thrown in trash can, but easily extricated - 145+ comments


1. I hate when people use cryptic acronyms/slang or whatever and expect everyone to know what it means.
2. Miners get trapped underground not infrequently -- it comes with the job. Cats are not often tossed into the garbage with panache and the act caught on camera. Naturally, this stimulates more interest and speculation.
posted by binturong at 6:54 PM on August 24, 2010


I find it fascinating how animal stories bring out such vitriolic responses, far more so than almost anything else.

I always get upset about animal abuse stories, and I think some of it has to do with a lack of real consequences for some often heinous acts. Even though this one ended well, it's still kind of ridiculous that there will be no charges filed against someone who was ready to let a cat die pretty horribly. And even when people are prosecuted, they often don't do much time; animal abuse is a crime that still isn't taken very seriously by most people.

There was an incident here in L.A. a couple of weeks ago in which a starving mare was driven into a random neighborhood in the middle of the night and dumped in the gutter. She lay there, too weak to get up, until she was found the next morning. The residents who found her fed her apples and hay until the police and a vet came and euthanized her; they couldn't get her on her feet and the vet felt she was too far gone to save. I wish I hadn't seen the pictures of her; I can't describe how horrific this poor little thing looked.

The person who dumped her is still unknown. And yeah, I would never really do it, but my first reaction to this story had something to do with a baseball bat.
posted by OolooKitty at 7:10 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


THIS STORY IS ALL OVER EVERY FUCKING UK NEWS SOURCE AND YOU LINKED TO THE FUCKING DAILY MAIL THE MOST TWISTED, SNIDE, BULLSHIT 'NEWS'PAPER IN THE WHOLE FUCKING COUNTRY!1!! WTF?!!!!!1!*

To be sure, this is their beat.
posted by dhartung at 7:24 PM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Animal Control Investigate Severely Emaciated Horse Abandoned on Los Angeles Street.

Reward Offered for Information In Case of Abandoned Horse.
posted by ericb at 7:24 PM on August 24, 2010


1. I hate when people use cryptic acronyms/slang or whatever and expect everyone to know what it means.


HPOL isn't really an official acronym. Since the comment immediately above mine I was referencing talked of the 'Healing Power of Laughter', I didn't actually expect anyone to know it:

I expected them to figure it out. Pretty easily.
posted by umberto at 7:28 PM on August 24, 2010


OolooKitty: "There was an incident here in L.A. a couple of weeks ago in which a starving mare was driven into a random neighborhood in the middle of the night and dumped in the gutter ... my first reaction to this story had something to do with a baseball bat."

Better, worse or the same as bum dumping on Skid Row? The identity of the hospital administrators who authorised dumping these homeless, ill human beings is a matter of public record. Should we go hit them with baseball bats?
posted by meehawl at 7:34 PM on August 24, 2010



Better, worse or the same as bum dumping on Skid Row? The identity of the hospital administrators who authorised dumping these homeless, ill human beings is a matter of public record. Should we go hit them with baseball bats?


Gosh, you're right. My outrage over the torture of a helpless animal is completely misplaced, because I didn't mention being outraged about every other bad thing that has ever happened in the world.

Anyway, my point still stands. The people who dumped the patients found themselves at the center of a criminal investigation and faced criminal and civil charges. The person who dumped the horse will, if found, likely have to pay a minimal fine and do no jail time. And that horse suffered for a long, long time before it was dumped on that road to die.
posted by OolooKitty at 8:12 PM on August 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


OolooKitty: "that horse suffered for a long, long time before it was dumped on that road to die."

So did many of those homeless. I am not saying that anger against people who do cruelty to animals is invalid. Like some others upthread, I am interested in why so many people react so viscerally to it and suggest vigilantism, violence and even murder as a punitive solution to it. In this forum, I rarely see people calling down the wrath of the Furies on people who mistreat other people, either directly or through inaction or deliberate neglect.

Your two-minute hate may now continue.
posted by meehawl at 8:40 PM on August 24, 2010


This whole 'My God, how dare anyone let their cat outside!' is really confusing me. I thought the general consensus is that it's cruel to constantly keep them inside.

I dunno, I'm not a cat owner and can see why some might not want to keep cats indoors always. But it seems both potentially cruel to the cat and to small animals to allow cats outdoors with, generally, no restrictions. Sure I guess some people don't care that cats kill birds and animals and sometimes get hurt/killed themselves, but it seems a bit odd to have such a laissez-faire attitude about what amounts to introducing unnatural predators into the environment. Especially when most people would be up in arms if it was anything except a cat. People that allow their dogs to run loose are widely considered irresponsible and if a dog was out killing smaller animals it would be considered a menace and possibly impounded and put down. Why do cats get a pass because they're "just being cats"?
posted by 6550 at 8:47 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


thousands of little organisms DIE every time we BREATHE!!

stop it, just stop it, all of you
posted by pyramid termite at 8:49 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


OH, THE PNUEMANITY!!
posted by pyramid termite at 8:51 PM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Animal Control Investigate Severely Emaciated Horse Abandoned on Los Angeles Street.

Oh why the hell did I click on that fuck every single one of us.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:30 PM on August 24, 2010


In this forum, I rarely see people calling down the wrath of the Furies on people who mistreat other people, either directly or through inaction or deliberate neglect.

My answer for that, at this exact moment, is we deserve it.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:32 PM on August 24, 2010


I guess my days of pissing on the side of banks and other financial institutions whilst drunk are finally over.
posted by philip-random at 9:49 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


People that allow their dogs to run loose are widely considered irresponsible and if a dog was out killing smaller animals it would be considered a menace and possibly impounded and put down. Why do cats get a pass because they're "just being cats"?

Because the primary reason why human beings have kept cats is so that they'll run around the neighborhood "killing smaller animals". Some of us may have forgotten this, but the cats haven't... and frankly, neither have the mice.
posted by vorfeed at 10:40 PM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


> Some of us may have forgotten this, but the cats haven't... and frankly, neither have the mice.

Nor have the hundreds of millions of birds, but this is pretty much a different discussion.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:44 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


(And, horror of horrors, that link mentions that the cat in a Wichita, KS study that killed the most birds was....declawed!)
posted by Burhanistan at 10:46 PM on August 24, 2010


Hundreds of millions of birds do not make for a pleasant picture, not without predators to go with them... and we've long since killed off most of their natural predators. The idea that we can single out cats as an "unnatural" element of the ecosystem ignores the fact that the ecosystems in human-settled areas are already unnatural, in ways that go far deeper than the introduction of a single foreign species; a certain expression about cats and bags comes to mind.

If there were no outdoor cats, I think we'd very shortly wish there were... which means there'd be outdoor cats again.
posted by vorfeed at 11:02 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The identity of the hospital administrators who authorised dumping these homeless, ill human beings is a matter of public record. Should we go hit them with baseball bats?

Sounds like a plan to me....
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:54 PM on August 24, 2010


I wish compassion wasn't a zero sum game, but it's pretty obvious that stories like this garner more attention than more necessary stories.

The reason this story is so big is because the attacker is an old lady. If it was a 17 year old skinhead did this, then the newspapers wouldn't have touched the story. Even if they had, people would have been "meh" about it. The reason this is big news is because old ladies are nice. But... this old lady wasn't nice. It's a great talking point, animals are involved and there's a twist at the end. It's Man Bites Dog not Dog bites Man and *this* is the only reason we're outraged.

Hippybear was correct. Worse shit happens every day. But he misses why we're so outraged by this. We're outraged because the story doesn't sit easily with our prejudices.

If you feel aggrieved by this comment, and you're getting ready to explain to me how wrong I am, I suggest you just bash out "you're wrong", and spend a couple of minutes in self examination.

BTW. I think the reason charges can't be bought here is because legally cats are classified as wild animals. Because of this they don't get the same protections (or carry the same responsibilities) as dogs.
posted by seanyboy at 12:52 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


If you're the type of person who favors mob justice and torture whenever your pet (ahem) sensibilities are offended, then perhaps you should reconsider your priorities. As callous as it sounds, human society is going to be ticking along a lot longer than a single house pet, or a single horse. The people who abuse that cat or that horse should be punished within the realms of the law, but once you normalize internet harrassment and mob justice it's a long, dark road. Consider the fact that, despite how things stand now, your family member, friend, or self might one day do something that goes against the mob (or, worse yet, be mistaken as going against the mob on incomplete or trumped up information).

I think that in many ways modern judicial systems are flawed, but I definitely prefer them to stoning in the public square.
posted by codacorolla at 1:21 AM on August 25, 2010


the Daily Mail is to them basically what FOXNews or World Net Daily is to us

We had a MeTa thread on the daily mail last year.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:19 AM on August 25, 2010


I think it's unproductive for people here to tell each other what, and how much of it, to feel.

That said, mob justice (as in "angry mob stuffs woman down garbage chute" or whatever sounds most satisfying) is a dangerous thing. It might feel justified here, but how are people going to stop it when it goes horrifically out of control? You can't, and it often will, because the mob fuels itself.
posted by Omnomnom at 3:25 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


First off, I'd like to take issue with 45 being considered old. She isn't some little old lady. 45 isn't quite yet "old" ... unless the definition of "old" has changed recently.

With that said, the only other thing I have to say is that the vociferous demands for all manner of ugly "justice" being called for by some here is, well, really ugly. I'm pretty sure I have read any number of threads in the past where people calling for "justice" of some sort on blogs or whatnot due to some outrage were called out as being wrong for doing so, and even right here on Metafilter, just posting someone's name and email address or phone number is frowned upon, even if there's no demands for physical "justice" and only emails and phone calls.

But do something crazy like dump a cat in a trash bin, and it's break out the baseball bats and take the lady down! I mean, I love my cats. Spoil them rotten in every way imaginable and would be irate if someone did this to one of mine, but I'd go after them with the law or work to get the laws changed if they were inadequate. I wouldn't be demanding people beat her to death or some-such, and I certainly wouldn't want to do it myself. Just seems ugly, irrational, and a little psychotic to me.
posted by Orb at 4:35 AM on August 25, 2010


Should we go hit them with baseball bats?

Just like the lady in this story got attacked by a mob and hit by baseball bats!

Wait, what? That never happened?
posted by inigo2 at 4:48 AM on August 25, 2010


legally cats are classified as wild animals. Because of this they don't get the same protections (or carry the same responsibilities) as dogs.

Wait, what? Cats aren't classified as domestic in the UK and are literally considered less worthy of protection than dogs? That's odd! I'm googling and can't find anything that confirms this, so I'm hoping you're mistaken.

First off, I'd like to take issue with 45 being considered old. She isn't some little old lady. 45 isn't quite yet "old" ... unless the definition of "old" has changed recently.

I think a lot of people are judging her from her appearance, because she looks more like 65 than she does 45.
posted by zarah at 5:38 AM on August 25, 2010


I was a bit wrong about the legal status of cats.
Looks like they *are* classified as Domestic Animals, and the "Protection of Animals Act 1911" applies here. (IANAL)
posted by seanyboy at 6:41 AM on August 25, 2010


Cat-tossing lady: I didn't mean to cause 'distress' -- "U.K. woman says 'it's just a cat' in response to uproar; she later apologizes."
posted by ericb at 7:50 AM on August 25, 2010


The reason this story is so big is because the attacker is an old lady.
"Bale, an unmarried 45-year-old banker, was reportedly walking home on Saturday when she saw the cat and began stroking it. She “suddenly thought it would be funny” to throw the four-year-old feline named Lola in the trash." *
Your definition of "old" differs from that of mine.
posted by ericb at 8:08 AM on August 25, 2010


AND YOU LINKED TO THE FUCKING DAILY MAIL THE MOST TWISTED, SNIDE, BULLSHIT 'NEWS'PAPER IN THE WHOLE FUCKING COUNTRY!1!! WTF?!!!!!1

I know a few people who might argue with that. Liverpool, for example.
posted by mippy at 8:12 AM on August 25, 2010


She's a banker. Huh.
posted by Omnomnom at 8:12 AM on August 25, 2010


Mary Bale:
“I want to take this opportunity to apologise profusely for the upset and distress that my actions have caused. I cannot explain why I did this, it is completely out of character and I certainly did not intend to cause any distress to Lola or her owners.

”It was a split second of misjudgement that has got completely out of control. I am due to meet with the RSPCA and police to discuss this matter further and will co-operate fully with their investigations.

“I wish to reiterate that I am profoundly sorry for my actions and wish to resolve this matter to everyone's satisfaction as soon as possible.”
posted by ericb at 8:13 AM on August 25, 2010


'Death to Mary Bale' Facebook page removed -- "A Facebook group calling for the death of a woman who dumped a cat in a wheelie bin has been removed by moderators as police say they are 'closely monitoring' online threats towards Mary Bale."
posted by ericb at 8:14 AM on August 25, 2010


It was a split second of misjudgement that has got completely out of control.

Later, the mob will offer this same apology.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:18 AM on August 25, 2010


Prior to her apology:
"People are reading too much into things. I've no feelings about cats one way or the other. I don't keep pets myself, but I have no problem with people who do.

"To think this video is being seen around the world is unbelievable. I'm a very private person and don't want to upset any members of my family. I don't know what my relatives will think, but to be honest I think everyone's overreacting a bit.

"OK, I shouldn't have done it, but it's just a cat at the end of the day. I don't think I deserve to be hated by people all over the world, it was just a split second of madness."
posted by ericb at 8:27 AM on August 25, 2010


why was there a CCTV attached to the side of a residence

I read in an earlier article that the family put up the CCTV camera because their car, parked on the street in front of their home, had been damaged several times.


Yep.
"The cat's owner, Darryl Mann, had installed security cameras outside his house after vandals damaged his car so he consulted the CCTV footage after his tabby Lola went missing for 15 hours and was finally found crying for help inside the bin."
posted by ericb at 8:36 AM on August 25, 2010


She's 45? Wow.
posted by seanyboy at 9:02 AM on August 25, 2010


Also, facebook's as classy as ever.
posted by seanyboy at 9:06 AM on August 25, 2010


If it was just a split second of madness, she would have thought it over later and gone and gotten the cat out of the bin. But she didn't, so I'm not buying that excuse for a second.

I'm trying really hard to be understanding of her circumstances and outraged that a mob is maybe out to get her. But I'm just not managing it. She needs to be punished by the law, preferably with jail time, in order for justice to be done her.
posted by hazyjane at 11:11 AM on August 25, 2010


> If it was just a split second of madness, she would have thought it over later and gone and gotten the cat out of the bin. But she didn't, so I'm not buying that excuse for a second.

What if she didn't remember doing it?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:15 AM on August 25, 2010


As a finite being, I only have so much outrage to spend before I'm coathangers and tissue paper. There's no shortage of people, cats, or cows and pigs. As a misanthropic omnivorous cat loving guy, I'm picking the torture of cats to spend my rage on. I understand my reasons as well as the reasons of many of you for where you place your outrage. But the sad fact is, there won't be any lasting justice (or injustice) here. Give it a few weeks and see if anyone remembers the name Mary Bales
posted by Redhush at 11:29 AM on August 25, 2010


"OK, I shouldn't have done it, but it's just a cat at the end of the day."

What if she didn't remember doing it?

At the end of the day, this will have been a very interesting glimpse into just how incredibly freaking far some people will go to excuse the behaviour of people who do not conform to stereotypes about cruelty. I feel sorry for those who do. This person, not so much.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:40 AM on August 25, 2010


BB says mobbing started by 4Chan
posted by warbaby at 11:44 AM on August 25, 2010


> At the end of the day, this will have been a very interesting glimpse into just how incredibly freaking far some people will go to excuse the behaviour of people who do not conform to stereotypes about cruelty.

You're going incredibly freaking far to say that someone is excusing it. In context, I was asking a question to clarify someone's theory that she could've come back. I don't excuse her behavior nor this silly mob.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:54 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you can point me to where she says she doesn't remember this, then ok. It would still be a terribly convenient "explanation" but at least it would be consistent.

Barring that, the myriad attempts to find some explanation for her behaviour are extremely telling. Here's an explanation: she's a douchebag, and by her quote, a remorseless one.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:04 PM on August 25, 2010


I don't need to have her behavior explained to have sympathy for her.

Give her X hours of service at a local animal shelter and call it a day.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:20 PM on August 25, 2010


Reporters try to confront Bale about her actions.
posted by ericb at 2:24 PM on August 25, 2010


New Facebook page: Mary Bale should be locked up for putting Lola the cat in a bin.
posted by ericb at 2:27 PM on August 25, 2010


Give it a few weeks and see if anyone remembers the name Mary Bales

I'm hoping Astro Zombie and cortex will write another song.
posted by hippybear at 2:33 PM on August 25, 2010


> Reporters try to confront Bale about her actions

There's a rather choice moment there where she's surrounded on all sides by either bins or reporters.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:43 PM on August 25, 2010


Wow! In that reporter footage, she acts just like a member of the Bush administration.
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:46 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


At least she didn't do this.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 3:31 PM on August 25, 2010


Sadly, this is a case where Ceiling Cat could not have been watching, since the bin was outdoors.
posted by WalterMitty at 5:47 PM on August 25, 2010


The thing that pisses me off is not that she put the cat in the bin, but that she put the cat in the wrong bin. Cats go in the Brown Bin. Black bin is for plastics and general non-organic rubbish.
posted by seanyboy at 11:59 PM on August 25, 2010


Lola's revenge.
posted by ericb at 9:21 AM on August 26, 2010


Lola's revenge

I know some furries who would delight in doing that to all the "mundanes" they meet.
posted by hippybear at 10:54 AM on August 26, 2010


Give her X hours of service at a local animal shelter and call it a day.

Ugh. It would have to be extremely supervised service.
posted by lwb at 2:52 AM on August 27, 2010


"The bank where cat dumper Mary Bale works was last night facing mounting pressure to sack her.

Outraged customers said they would desert the Royal Bank of Scotland if bosses allow the 45-year-old Bale to keep her job."*
posted by ericb at 6:36 AM on August 27, 2010


The Whack-Cat-Woman Game.
posted by ericb at 6:38 AM on August 27, 2010


'Cat bin lady' Mary Bale is lampooned in video, online game, fake Twitter account.
posted by ericb at 6:39 AM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Someone should make her listen to 30 hours of "There are 100 ways to love a cat".
posted by Omnomnom at 10:41 AM on August 27, 2010


In other news: Cat saves 97-year old from pit bulls
posted by homunculus at 12:25 PM on August 30, 2010


In related news: Girl In Puppy Throwing Video Found By Bosnian Police.
posted by ericb at 11:00 AM on September 3, 2010


Our conflicted relationship with animals: Why do we get so angry with animal abusers, but eat more animals than ever before? An expert provides some clues
posted by homunculus at 1:20 PM on September 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Coventry woman charged over cat bin dumping. Good!
posted by ericb at 10:07 AM on September 20, 2010


ericb - Thanks for the updates on both stories!
posted by zarah at 2:10 PM on September 21, 2010


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