"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Friday, May 26, 2006

Lewis update

Taking seriously this blog's mission to keep the entire nation (well, at least the five or six people who read this) updated on the status of Lewis The Crazy Cat, here's the latest CatBlogging Friday news:

As you may recall, owner Ruth Cisero (with Lewis, left) recently withdrew her bid for accelerated rehabilitation on the charge of reckless endangerment and opted for trial, because she would have had to agree to have Lewis euthanized. At her appearance this week in Bridgeport Superior Court, a hearing was set for June 20 to determine whether she could get the special terms and also have her cat's life spared. Essentially, she was asking for the same conditions of being placed on probation (which would eventually lead to the charges being dismissed), without the stipulation of having Lewis put down -- the reason she had rejected the earlier plea bargain offer. Her attorney Eugene Riccio said, "She's on pins and needles. The animal is important to her. It's a member of her family."

The media frenzy surrounding the fate of Lewis, who allegedly attacked several people in Cisero's Sunset Circle neighborhood of Fairfield, Connecticut, has only intensified since the previous court date. Not only does Lewis have his own MySpace page, but national coverage has included articles in the New York Times, as well as segments on major TV networks including CNN, Fox and CBS News. At Tuesday's hearing, a throng of reporters and several satellite trucks gathered outside the courthouse. Numerous supporters, protesters, and animal rights activists, some sporting "Save Lewis" T-shirts, were also present to observe the proceedings. "There are killers out there that don't get put to death," said one. Another added, "He should be free to run around and be a cat."

In all fairness, and as much as I think the clamor to have Lewis put to death is absurd, I must disagree with that last statement. As a number of comments to my last post on Lewis pointed out, there are many dangers to cats who are allowed to roam, especially in urban environments. Had Cisero kept Lewis indoors, he would not be in the predicament he finds himself today. And most certainly, for Cisero to allow Lewis outdoors after receiving the court order to keep him indoors, and knowing that he had injured someone, was irresponsible and foolish.

Interestingly, there is a new judge hearing the case, and it's possible that this very blog may have played some small part in that development. One of the comments to my earlier post came from the son-in-law of previous judge Susan Reynolds, who was upset about the publicity generated by the case and wrote:
It's a wild animal - if it were a raccoon or a possum, it would have been shot on-site (sic). But it looks cute and cuddly so everyone is standing up to defend it. Unbelievable.

A reporter called my mother in law to get her opinion on the case, and she said to him, "on the same day as this case, I heard one about a man who killed his girlfriend, and an arson case where the whole house burned down and killed three people, and you want to talk about this cat."
If Reynold's son-in-law made these same comments in other forums besides this blog where they were more widely disseminated, that fact could easily be perceived to indicate prejudice on the part of Judge Reynolds. However, this is merely speculation on my part, as the reason Reynolds turned the proceedings over to new judge Patrick Carroll has not been publicly disclosed; perhaps if my commenter returns he can clarify this for us. In any event, Judge Carroll will consider the probation request when the case reconvenes on June 20th.

Meanwhile, there's some new designs over at the Save Lewis store. Drop by if you'd like to show your support by purchasing a T-shirt, mouse pad, coffee mug, or other tchatchke. Be part of a movement!


  • At 6/06/2006 07:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have been following the story of Lewis every time something new comes
    up. I must say I am concerned! I come from a family who has belonged to
    felines for decades. My mother still to this day has 24 cats. Fourteen
    in side and 10 out side. Each one is cared for in there own unique way.
    Cats,Dogs,People even fish all have different requirements and
    personalities. Like different things,have a fovorite food a favorite
    person! I belong to Six moody felines myself. And they keep me on my

    How ever my concern is potential punnishment for Lewis. And a true fair
    Trial. I am a married 28year old voting, concerned American Citicen! The
    concistancy of our judicial system is falling apart. Example: When an
    Animal becomes terminally Ill. The owner can choose to have the animal
    put to sleep to end Suffering! At no point has the animal been asked his
    or her oppinion on the situation. I have no problem with this for I have
    had to do it myself. On the other hand a Terminally Ill Human being who
    Can speak for his or her own self does not have this option when they
    are suffering. I Understand the Religious Price that is told to be payed
    for such an act for one to take ones own life. That is a sin! But is not
    Murder a Sin? And we all know there is no sin greater than another.
    Point made!

    In this day and Age for a Human being to be sentenced to death they must
    first be guilty of causing death. A habitual Bar fighter gets Probation
    and takes Anger Management and goes to A.A. meetings! In hopes to
    conquer this problem.

    As against it as I am, from experiance of being a cat owner. I feel that
    a suitable punnishment for Lewis would be to have him Declawed! This is
    a cats defence but it is also thear weapon. Lewis could still go out
    side to hunt without neighbors living in fear. But for safety of Lewis,
    his Owner would have to monitor his where abouts to protect him from
    possible harm, for he would no longer have a means of self defence.

    Out of Human Compassion I Pray to the God in wich the morals of our
    United States Constitution was based apon, that Lewis is granted the
    opprotunity to live out the remainder of his 9 lives, until God himself
    decides it is time for Lewis to pass on!

    I have written this letter in my own opinion to ALL who care or may even
    take these words into concideration.
    I hope that this letter makes it into the Connecticut Post and even into
    the hands of the individuals who will be responsible for the verdict of
    the case against Lewis the cat and his Owner.

    My Name is Emily Brudney and I am from Indiana for any questions or
    comments or information on how I may help, feel free to e-mail me at

    I am forwording this letter on to all who I know and for them to pass it
    on the same. and if they agree? sign the bottom and pass it on.

    Thank You All For Taking The Time To Read My Letter


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