On Cat Killers and Mental Competency
People in South Florida are still in an uproar over the mutilation and slaughter of 19 house cats (allegedly) by 18-year old Tyler Weinman, who was declared mentally competent and not a danger to himself or others (!). There have been inquiries as to the possible relationship between his dissection of cats in school and the 19 counts of cruelty he is being charged with. (Felony animal cruelty is the cruel killing of an animal, and he is also being charges with 19 counts of improperly disposing of an animal body.) The four counts of burglary he is being charged with carry a heftier sentence than the animal killing. Weinman had participated in cat dissection in school, and that is being discussed as a possible trigger for his behavior.
The outrage I've been seeing and hearing is typical, as we like cats. We humans have decided that, for a combination of reasons that are important to us, cats are worthy of our respect. I do find it interesting that there is a subculture we've all seen via vicious bumperstickers that attest to the existence of people who hate–and I mean hate–cats and want to see them dead or dying. I also find it interesting that I've never heard of a woman among their ranks. I don't trust people who hate cats because there's something else going on there. Cats represent something: independence. Cats are slaves to no one, at least according to their reputation, which in my experience holds true. And people who want to kill those they cannot control scare me.
I can't think of another animal so hated by humans that they have actually created an industry to publicize their hatred and their wish to hurt and kill them. We don't say we hate cows. In fact we say we love them. Grilled. We don't say we hate pigs and want to see them writhing in pain and slaughtered. Pigs definitely don't get much respect from humans, but the evil (and I can't think of a better word and I don't mean it in a religious sense) I see around cat-haters is different. There's sadism there, and that's not good.
I don't know if dissecting a cat corpse can lead to the desire to steal and mutilate 19 live cats; that seems like a stretch. If someone had it in him to kill cats and cut them open and toss out their entrails, I'm fairly certain that cutting open a dead cat isn't the reason. At some point, he was going to kill cats and cut them open. What is most surprising is that he was declared mentally competent, as mentally competent people don't go around killing cats.
Or maybe that's not so surprising.
Mentally competent people, oddly enough, go around mutilating and killing deer and ducks and cougars, though, when doing so either is in season or some governmental body has decided their numbers need trimming. And mentally competent people slice the throats of flailing cows hanging by one leg. And mentally competent people chain calves to crates. And mentally competent people shovel hundreds of day-old male chicks at a time into what is basically a giant blender to be macerated. And mentally competent people tear babies away from their mothers, as both wail in distress and agony. And mentally competent people anally electrocute mink or skin them alive.
And some mentally competent people know that all of this occurs and they still eat and wear animals.