Lord have Mercy



You can't swing a dead cat in this town without hitting someone who's talking about the kitten who was flushed down a toilet, horribly abused and, as Keila Szpaller and Tristan Scott reported today, put down. Mercy, we hardly knew thee.

The outrage over the horrible incident — and, truly, it's a deplorable thing — has filled the Missoulian's website and made for fascinating reading. A sampling of the comments:

Immontana: "This is simply much to much. Montana has unprecedented high school drop out, teen pregnancy, and suicide rates. Do we want to also be the state that allows animal cruelty to go unchecked. Who will be Mercy's voice?"

Boone: "Okay, that's it. What I wrote the other day was nothing compared to how I really feel. Someone better watch out because now my anger and despair is out of control. If the perpetrator of this monstrous murder is NOT punished to my satisfaction, I will merely have to take it into my own hands and I will do so happily and in my own unique non-violent way."

PhiL: "Personally, I hope [the suspect] gets a horrible disease and dies a long painful death. I hope he experiences not one more minute of joy during his life. Really, he might as well kill himself, he is not worth anything and has nothing to offer this world."

PixelTwisted: "If you research online for cats and wheelchairs you'll see some videos in which cats seem to do okay in a wheelchair."

Rob Rez: "Wow! Over 50 outraged comments! Where were you people last year when The fellow Human being was beaten and stomped to death last year on the california st bridge?? That story didn't get NEARLY the public outcry!!! It's a CAT!"

Are we too outraged? Not outraged enough? Why does everyone care so much about a kitten? And not, as another commenter posted yesterday, similarly outraged about Haiti?


And what are we to do with suspect Gary Bassett, the person who adopted Mercy and allegedly shattered her spine? The president and founder of AniMeals, Karyn Moltzen, called for Bassett to be hanged. "You can quote me on that," she told the Missoulian. "Hurt him. Sorry." The Wilderness Sportsman named him "Tool of the Week." Daily Kos wants Keith Olbermann to name Bassett "Worst Person in the World." A Craigslist post included his address and suggested people organize to "talk" with "this great upstanding citizen." Bassett appears to be more hated in Missoula than any other alleged criminal, and while he certainly deserves punishment, if found guilty, something still seems misguided and out of balance with all of this outrage.


We get it. People love kittens. They're innocent and cute and harmless, and a tragedy like this makes us, as one friend said, "question the future of mankind, or something." Or something, indeed. So, we'll leave you with this video (viewed, by the way, nearly 9 million times), the possibility of happier thoughts and the hope that cooler heads may, eventually, prevail.


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