Originally Posted by jenniferd
Did you actually read what the guy is accused of doing?
He is accused of smashing cat's head into the bookcase about 12 times, and then throwing the dead animal onto the front porch.
And you are surprised that people are upset?
And why did these people had 10 cats in a trailer in a first place?
Agreed - and he also stated that he `considered choking one, but that it would take too long'. I don't see his act as a final act of desperate frustration.
Originally Posted by jcat
Yes, I'm aware of what he's accused of, and am not surprised that people who haven't been in a similar situation are upset. I've been in such a situation a number of times, between my parents and parents-in-law, and can't picture myself taking out my frustrations on an innocent pet.
Nevertheless, the lack of insight into (potential) problems among the posters here bothers me. Have they no empathy, or do they really believe they'll have complete control of their emotions in extreme situations? If they do believe that, they're probably kidding themselves, which would explain their lack of empathy.
This thinking in "absolutes" bothers me; such thinking is far too polarized. Maybe I've been a moderator/teacher for far too long, but the insistence on "absolutes" frightens me. Where's the human side? Wow, selfishness really reigns, doesn't it?
I would usually agree with you entirely, Trish, and usually be the bleeding heart for the perpertrator and not the victim. But people handle things differently - usually referenced by the sort of person they actually are. This man's response was inappropriate no matter what his stress levels. It was violent, premeditated and random - he didn't even know which kitten or cat had chewed through the tubes, he just wanted to kill one of them - any of them.
People can respond to stress with violence, yes. But only a select few people respond to stress with the amount of violence and cruelty seen here, and the amount of planning - it wasn't a knee-jerk, instant response, as he has admitted himself.
The stress he was under I'm sure is a contributing factor, but certainly not a mitigating one, not in this case. People are exposed to extreme stress every day and don't respond as this man did. It is clear at least from the reports that there was a difficult and tense situation in this house - whether or not he is the cause remains to be seen.
But his actions are unforgivable and, to my mind, not adequately explained by stress - even extreme stress. Had he booted the kitten out the door, or thrown something at it or even thrown it outside that could possibly be justified using a stress defence. But he didn't - he thought about it, he planned it, and he violently beat the kitten with the full intent on killing it.
Those kinds of actions would not exonerate him if this were a murder charge, no matter what kind of stress he was under. It doesn't matter if the victim were a kitten or a human - the motivation, actions and planning remain the same.