Last week someone shot my cat Kato with a pellet gun. When we couldn’t figure out why he seemed half-dead, the vet did an X-ray which revealed a gun pellet lodged deep in his chest wall. He had been shot at point-blank range, right between the shoulder blades, so the shooter had to be standing directly over him, probably when Kato was trustfully rubbing against their leg.
I’m not anti-gun. (How could I be, with my taste for wild game?) And if I had to choose between living as a wild deer or as a battery-farm hen, I’d take the life of a deer without a second’s hesitation.
But no hunter I know thinks that shooting a beloved pet at point-blank range is either manly or sporting. I still wonder why they did it.
There’s nothing about cruelty to animals in the Ten Commandments. But God gave us a conscience, and over the years we’ve gradually banned bear-baiting, cock-fighting and some fairly bizarre animal sacrifices. Spaniards are even re-thinking bullfighting(!)
If an adult shot Kato, they had to know what they were doing, but a child might not realize they were doing much harm. If it were my kid, I’d want to have a gentle but firm talk on the subject of the heartache that comes from seeing your kitty in great pain.
For anyone who wants to dismiss it as a kid’s prank, I wouldn’t. Children who are allowed to mistreat animals have a distressing way of developing other anti-social habits. No family, no town needs more of that. To keep our humanity we have to remember to be humane.
Kato is on the mend, but he isn’t back to his active, friendly self yet. My heartfelt thanks to the friends who have expressed their sympathy.