Who’s the Victim?

I started out the day doing a BART/Bay Bridge update, but it wasn’t going anywhere interesting.

OK, so BART had a major derailment, and they’ve also been taking flack over malfunctioning heating and cooling systems in their cars, but so what? Nobody was killed, or even injured in the accident, and most people forgot about it as soon as service was restored. As for the temperature issues, people have been shivering and sweating–and complaining about it–during their commutes for decades. Nothing new there for anyone to get worked up about.

Meanwhile, the big news about the Bay Bridge is that it leaks. Yeah, I was astonished to hear that too. Wasn’t there someone doing QA on the waterproofing? Oh, never mind. Sure, there’s some other stuff going on: the lead contractors got millions of dollars for “completing” the bridge “on time”, and Governor Brown apparently thinks it’s unlikely that anyone will be prosecuted over any of the bridge’s problems. Business as usual, in other words.

So there’s your update for the month. Unless something major happens in the near future, we’ll give the Bs a pass until April.

Instead, let’s talk about something more interesting.

By now many of you have probably heard that a cat in Oregon attacked a baby, then trapped the whole family–including the dog–in their bedroom. When I first heard about it, I thought we might have another feline criminal mastermind breaking cover. Turns out that’s not what’s going on here.

Here’s the sequence of events as recounted in the news stories:

1) The baby pulled the cat’s tail.

2) The cat took a single swipe at the baby, scratching his face.

3) The baby’s father kicked the cat.

4) The cat started yowling and may have charged the man (the reports I’ve seen are ambiguous).

5) The man panicked, herded the entire family into the bedroom, and called 911.

6) Police, apparently treating the call as a domestic violence situation, showed up and herded the cat into a carrier.

In short, poor Lux was attacked, first by the baby, and then by the man. As a result, Lux is now being referred to animal psychologists for anger management therapy.

How’s that again? I’m willing to give the baby a pass. Seven month old children do pull tails, but what was the man doing at the time? If he saw his kid assaulting the cat, why didn’t he separate them? And then he joined in the abuse, kicked Lux “to protect his child”. Why is the cat the one who needs anger management therapy?

The answer, apparently, is that the situation must be Lux’ failure because the dog never attacks when the baby pulls its tail. So the dog is a masochist and the humans do nothing to prevent what are apparently repeated assaults. Lux is trapped in a hostile environment and told that the injuries he suffers are hiss own fault–a tale told by abusers for centuries.

The family has received hundreds of offers to help place the cat in a safer environment, and all of the offers have been declined.

Lux, it’s not your fault. I strongly urge you to get out of the house and contact a domestic violence support organization before the violence escalates further.