An apparent political hit on a family's cat in Arkansas has drawn national attention, and it's one of the most nauseating stories I've read in a long time. I only wish I could say it came as a surprise.
Since starting this blog in June 2007, I've written frequently about wrongdoing among conservative elites in Alabama and beyond. That has made me a fair number of enemies, enough that both my wife and I have been cheated out of our jobs. But the abuse has not stopped there. We learned a long time ago that conservative thugs enjoy using threats--and they don't mind targeting family pets.
The title of this blog hints that animals are held in high regard in our household. Our current pets, the Tonkinese kitty kat combo of Baxter and Chloe, mean the world to us and are treated in a fashion that Will and Kate would recognize. Our previous pet, a miniature schnauzer named Murphy (1993-2004), meant so much to us that this blog is devoted to her memory.
What form of scum would kill a family cat, scrawl the word "liberal" on the corpse, and leave it for a Democratic politico and his children to find? I probably don't possess the vocabulary to adequately describe such a lowlife, but I'm not surprised that someone who apparently identifies as a conservative would kill an animal in order to make a political threat.
That's because I've received numerous animal-related threats via e-mail or anonymous comments on this blog. Our cats are pretty low key, and the blog title does not refer to them, so they have remained out of the rhetorical fire (so far). But conservative dirt bags have made regular sport of leaving nasty comments about our dog. Here is a sampling from a post titled "Unmasking Right-Wing Sickos?"
To truly grasp the depravity of the right-wing fear mongers, you need to see the anonymous comments I have not let through. Following is a sampler of such comments divided up by subject:
ON OUR DOG MURPHY
* From: Anonymous Date: Jun 30, 2008 8:58 PM
are you sure your dog died a natural death? maybe, maybe not...you will never know will you?
* From: Anonymous Date: Jun 12, 2008 10:18 PM
you are a fool like your dead dog
* From: Anonymous Date: May 20, 2008 9:25 PM
You are such a little man...such the small person. You offer nothing to the world other than your pitiful rantings. How is your dog?
* From: Anonymous Date: May 19, 2008 7:27 PM
Your Schnauzer has no bite because he is dead. Why did you roll over and kill your dog? Possible animal cruelty charges to come.
The most chilling message, of course, is the first one, where someone actually hints that Murphy might have been murdered. Whoever left that message probably does not live around us or know us very well. That's because Murphy was an indoor dog, except when we took her for daily walks or let her out onto our screened deck. She never was outside without our supervision, so the only way her death could not be natural is if someone broke into our house and poisoned her. Our vet told us that Murphy's symptoms prior to her death did not suggest that she had ingested a harmful substance, so poisoning of any kind almost certainly was not a factor. Plus, we never saw any signs of a break-in.
Sicko No. 1, by saying "you'll never know" about the cause of Murphy's death, was trying to plant doubt in our minds--a weak attempt at psychological torture. But like many conservatives, No. 1 is not terribly bright. We know exactly the environment Murphy lived in, so we have no doubt that her death was from natural causes--and we know what the natural causes were.
In light of recent events, here is the key point: This individual, apparently a conservative, wanted us to think that someone might have killed our dog for political reasons--because I write what could be called a progressive blog.
Am I surprised that someone actually did kill a cat, all because it belonged to a Democratic household? No, I'm not. I've had direct communication with people who share that very mindset.