Despite having a cat door, every night, my cat wakes me up wanting to be let in and out or vice versa. My sleep is being severely disturbed. Is it illegal to kill a cat?
H.M. Dublin, Eire
Cats do not have nine lives. This old adage is a reference to failed assassination attempts by their owners, so you are not alone. My own cat has a permanent scowl.
Your cat is your property and you can kill it, provided it is not done in a cruel manner. For instance, drowning in a bucket although quick, may be prohibited as an extreme form of water boarding. Even a pillow placed gently over the face after it has dozed for 20 hours straight in its favourite chair may be considered cruel in the cold light of the court room.
Therefore, it is best left to your Vet. But, most Vets, not all, are animal lovers and treat requests for execution of a healthy albeit malevolent animal as motivated by cruel intent and therefore illegal.
This is why many regimes, when dealing with subversives, use “trumped up” charges. As the Vet’s determination is behind closed doors with no witnesses, no investigation and no appeal, accusations of attacks on pregnant mothers, babies, widows or, as a last resort, puppies should work fairly well. As many cats have a night life that Hannibal Lechter would be proud of, the Vet should be easily convinced that he is dealing with an enemy of the state and any delay on his part may result in a law suit against him by one of the victims.
But, your cat’s untimely death may not improve your sleep. Guilt may weigh upon you as it did with Lady Macbeth. Alternatively, your small triumph may result in you turning on other members of your family who are even more irritating.
If you have reached an age where you find that your only nemesis is your cat it probably means that you should get out more. At least, that is my plan.
(c)Paul Brennan 2009.
John Fytit is the name of the central cartoon charter in Law & Disorder cartoons which started in Hong Kong in 1992. He is from the fictitious Hong Kong firm Fytit & Loos (pronounced “Fight it and Lose”). A very unsuccessful name as people read “Fytit” as “Fit it”. The International Problem Page started in 2005 and was merged into Paul Brennan’s blog. But, not before John Fytit started to receive real legal questions from various parts of the world.
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