Friday, 18 September 2009


Yonks ago, John B. Bogart, the New York Sun editor, famously said: “When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.” Hmm, but what if a man kills a cat? Sure, it's not exactly biting, but the Isle of Thanet Gazette have opted to grant a front page spread to the RSPCA's announcement that it's launching a hunt for a suspected 'serial cat poisoner' in the local area, so I'm guessing 'man bites cat' stories must be equally newsworthy.

According to their report, six pets have died from anti-freeze poisoning, so it looks like our poor little kitties will have to be on their guard for a sadistic Dr. Crippen wannabe leering outside their cat flaps. Needless to say, I'm blowing this slightly out of proportion. There is scope for this being an unfortunate freak accident (i.e. a motorist carelessly spilling his anti-freeze in the road), but RPSCA Inspector Charlotte Eyde did add in the report that “if we have the evidence against anyone deliberately poisoning cats we will prosecute” and that the rise in dead cats in the area is, for want of a better word, “worrying.”

Hmm, worrying indeed, but who are the prime suspects? It's worth mentioning that our lovely town mayor Ted Watt-Ruffell was allegedly investigated by the RSPCA for causing unecessary harm to kittens. But somehow I can't quite imagine him prowling the streets with anti-freeze in the dead of night, all hooded and cloaked, like The Phantom Raspberry Blower from the famous Two Ronnies sketch. That sounds positively absurd, I know, but there's no escaping the fact that a handful of dead cats as front page news is ridiculous enough, let alone the RSPCA's suggestion that there's a lone psychotic prowling the streets trying to kill our cats. Let's just hope it's not the Chinese – after all, they could be abducting cats and eating them in the canteen at the China Gateway Business Park. Well, on that culturally ignorant note, I think I'll leave it at that.

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