Catblogging: Lewis update
Owner Ruth Cisero, who is facing charges of reckless endangerment in connection with the incidents, appeared in Bridgeport Superior Court on May 2nd before Judge Susan Reynolds. The judge made Cisero an offer of probation on the endangerment charge -- but only on the condition that she would agree to put Lewis to death. This stipulation was demanded by neighbor Maureen Bachtig, one of the alleged victims.
Cisero refused, saying said she would rather leave Fairfield than have Lewis killed. The judge continued the case until May 23rd. Following Tuesday's hearing, Cisero's attorney Eugene Riccio told reporters, "I'm going to do everything I can to keep my client from having a criminal record and to preserve her cat's life."
Lewis's plight has received international attention. There have been reports that some of the alleged victims may have provoked Lewis by pelting him with eggs or by squirting a water hose on him, which has outraged cat lovers everywhere. Supporters of the feisty feline have created a Wiki page for Lewis as well as his own site on MySpace, and he has even spawned this funny bit of fake news on Phat Phree.
Most importantly, more than 500 "Save Lewis" T-shirts have been sold to raise money for a defense fund for Cisero. I've already ordered one, and I urge CotC visitors to check out the site and consider helping out as well.
One reason I am sympathetic to Lewis is that he bears an amazing resemblance to our new cat, Fuzzy. See if you agree:
That's Lewis on the left, and Fuzzy on the right. I realize many Tuxedo cats look similar, but the likeness really is uncanny.
I also think Cisero's devotion to Lewis (even at her own peril) is admirable, particularly in our culture that so often treats animals as disposable. I'm always amazed to hear stories of people who turn their cats over to shelters for what seem like trivial excuses: they shed, they claw the furniture, they're too much trouble, they got new drapes and the fur color doesn't match, or whatever. Many times they're just abandoned for no reason whatsoever. Any true cat lover reading this blog knows that our "furbabies" are a real part of our families, and we could no more easily give them up to be killed than if they were our actual children. I could understand those who want to destroy Lewis had he been a pit bull who had mauled someone to death, but whatever damage he may have inflicted has been merely superficial -- just a few bites and scratches. He doesn't deserve to die for that, especially if he was provoked in the first place as Cisero alleges.
I'll post additional updates on Lewis as they become available, but in the meantime please consider buying a T-Shirt to help support him and his owner. Thanks.
For those new to CatBlogging, Carnival of the Cats is a weekly roundup of cat-related posts and pictures. The Carnival is hosted this week by Pages Turned beginning Sunday evening.