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May 10, 2005

For us cat lovers

From the Seattle Times:

[Paula] Roemer was in Israel visiting friends in 1992 when she came across a heap of matted fur covered with flies. Roemer stopped to offer the cat some water from a bottle cap.

"Here's this one cat that saw me as a savior and I couldn't walk away from her," she said.

She named the cat Yofi and finagled her way through customs and back into the United States, with the tiny white and black kitten in a pet carrier.

Back in Seattle, Yofi became a fixture in Roemer's house, she said, befriending other cats and dogs she adopted.

Then, Roemer said, one day in February 2004 she heard screeching coming from her back yard and saw a neighbor's dog, a chow, holding Yofi in its jaws and shaking the cat. Roemer said she tried to rescue Yofi but lost sight of the cat while trying to save another one of her cats and get the dog out of the yard. She found the cat dead in another neighbor's yard the next day....

Last week, Seattle District Court Judge Barbara Linde ordered the dog's owner to pay $45,480.12 to Roemer for the cat's death.

"Not too many [people] value a cat," said Roemer, a retired, 71-year-old former junior-high-school teacher, who lives alone except for her animals. "You know what I'm saying: 'It's just a cat.' And I'm very, very thankful we had a judge who knew that a cat had some value."

Judge Linde determined that Roemer should receive $30,000 in replacement value for the loss of her cat, $15,000 for emotional distress, $90 to recoup the cost of having Yofi cremated, $80 in medical expenses and $24.12 in interest.

Okay, maybe the reward is a bit excessive, especially given that the dog owner was away, and the “friend” he'd left to watch his dog is the one that let it out That same “friend” skipped town, leaving the dog owner to serve 21 days in jail and three months under house arrest for the animal-control violation. But then this would be the same guy that said,

"I'm sorry she lost her cat, but I had no control over it," [The defendant in the cat case, Wallace] Gray said.

Gray added that he thought the punishment was excessive considering that dogs and cats are natural enemies.

"Cats eat birds and dogs eat cats," he said.

Moron. Dogs don't eat cats. Unrestrained dogs slaughter cats for the fun of it. I have a dog and a cat, and while they bicker, there's hardly the kind of slaughter that he dismisses as expected. That same cat was best of friends with out previous dog, and they played together constantly.

Mrs. Roemer doesn't really expect to see a penny of the money, but she's glad that the message has been sent that cats do count. She says that if she does get anything, she'll donate it to an animal protection group.

Posted by Danny Carlton at May 10, 2005 11:16 AM

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