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$45,000 Awarded to Woman in Death of her Cat

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
This was broadcast here in Seattle today:


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...1_yofi09m.html

While it is quite high, I do applaud the judge for making such definitive statements about cat rescue and the value of our kitties!
post #2 of 16

"I think there tends to be a culture that says dogs are more of man's best friends and cats are aloof and can't bond," Karp said. "But if anyone has ever shared their bonds with a cat, they know that's utter nonsense. I think our society tends to devalue cats, and I think the judgment recognizes that cats, too, can mean the world to people."



WOW. I'd love to meet this lady. We here know how much cats really do bond with humans. Lord knows I'm bonded to mine.
post #3 of 16
It will never ever ease the tragedy of her losing Yofi, but it does make a wonderful statement to all those who feel that a cat's life is worth very little. GREAT judge!!!!
post #4 of 16
I would be interested to read how the judge came to the $30,000 figure for replacement value. Before reading the article I would have thought that the bulk of the figure would have been for emotional distress instead of replacement value. From the one or two cases I read on pets replacement value is often calculated by examination of the breed of the animal to see what it costs to purchase another one of a similar breed and thus it is often quite low, although perhaps I could be wrong. As for the unique emotional bond, that loss is usually calculated as emotional distress.

PS: Not to say I disagree with the cost and judgment, just the way it is arrived at.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpy
I would be interested to read how the judge came to the $30,000 figure for replacement value. Before reading the article I would have thought that the bulk of the figure would have been for emotional distress instead of replacement value. From the one or two cases I read on pets replacement value is often calculated by examination of the breed of the animal to see what it costs to purchase another one of a similar breed and thus it is often quite low, although perhaps I could be wrong. As for the unique emotional bond, that loss is usually calculated as emotional distress.

PS: Not to say I disagree with the cost and judgment, just the way it is arrived at.

No I agree too - for me -? NO amount of money would have been enough!!
post #6 of 16
From reading the article it sounds like she might not see any of this money. Which is too bad but it does show the value of a family pet.
post #7 of 16
This story also made the German press, I assume because of the amount in question. The $30,000 replacement value does seem a bit odd - it would seem more appropriate for pain and suffering.

P.S. The story also made the BBC site: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4533275.stm
post #8 of 16
I value my cats SO much, that I won't let them outside to be killed or maimed in the first place. I think the money awarded was excessive. A true cat lover keeps their cats (with the exception of farm cats) indoors. There are far, far too many dangers. If I were the judge I would have explained to the lady, "Sorry for your loss, but you had no business letting you cat roam outside to begin with!"
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlover67
I value my cats SO much, that I won't let them outside to be killed or maimed in the first place. I think the money awarded was excessive. A true cat lover keeps their cats (with the exception of farm cats) indoors. There are far, far too many dangers. If I were the judge I would have explained to the lady, "Sorry for your loss, but you had no business letting you cat roam outside to begin with!"
That could really be argued either way.
There are some cat lovers who really believe that cats (or their cats) are happier (albeit, not safer) OUTside. I don't agree or disagree... I think it comes down to the cat.

My guy Comere (RB) lived to nearly 18 and was an indoor-outdoor cat for a good part of his life. He was SO happy going out, I couldn't bare to force him to stay in.

On the flipside, my Cosmo is exclusively indoors and seems just as happy as could be with that arrangement.

As for the amount... I'm not sure what I think. Her pain and suffering is hard to calculate in dollars and no amount of money will replace her beloved pet. I also think you are correct that is COULD be argued that she let her cat out irresponsibly and he let his dog out equally irresponsibly. I don't think he had malicious intent. It's really a tough one...
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy-DHH
That could really be argued either way.
There are some cat lovers who really believe that cats (or their cats) are happier (albeit, not safer) OUTside. I don't agree or disagree... I think it comes down to the cat.

My guy Comere (RB) lived to nearly 18 and was an indoor-outdoor cat for a good part of his life. He was SO happy going out, I couldn't bare to force him to stay in.

On the flipside, my Cosmo is exclusively indoors and seems just as happy as could be with that arrangement.

...
That's how it is with us, too. Sasha is 13 and is SO happy to be outside, it really is his entire livelihood - he has a girlfriend and other friends that truly seek him out on our porch when he's inside.

And Saba is very happy inside, showing no real zeal to get out.
post #11 of 16
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlover67
"Sorry for your loss, but you had no business letting you cat roam outside to begin with!"
thats a horrible thing to say!

its an individual choice as to whether you let your cat out. just because her cat was in her garden rather than in her house doesnt mean she deserves any less compassion.

it was her garden, her property. as far as i'd be concerned i'd consider my pets safe on my property.

until theres a law to dissallow free roaming cats people are going to allow their cats outside.

would you have said the same thing to a tcs member if they had posted a similar story on the site?
post #13 of 16
it may not be so horrible. What if someone lets their dog into the yard without making sure the dog can't get out, and the dog gets out and gets hit by a car? isn't part of the blame on the owner for the dog's death?

We are very casual about an "outside" cat, but basically what that means is a free-roaming cat unless your property is surrounded by a mesh netting. With any other pet this would be considered irresponsible. What would you think if your neighbor told you "I tried to keep Husky inside, but he's just so happy outside I can't do it. He sure is good at climbing over fences I tell you what..."

(yes, I realize the cat was in her back yard at the time. I was just discussing the idea that there's no issue letting a cat outside the house unsupervised.)
post #14 of 16
i'm not saying i agree with outside cats, i am undecided one way or another. my cats are only allowed out supervised.

in all fairness we have not seen this womans backyard. she might have considered it perfectly safe*, the cat might not have ever wandered from the garden before, she might have only turned her back for a minute etc. etc.

as for
Quote:
What if someone lets their dog into the yard without making sure the dog can't get out, and the dog gets out and gets hit by a car? isn't part of the blame on the owner for the dog's death?
i very much believe it would have been the owners fault partly. but whether this is right or wrong cat ownership is viewed very differently to dog ownership. people have accepted that free roaming dogs are wrong but not free roaming cats.

all i know is she cared enough to rescue and ship the poor cat into the country and raise it with love and care and was looking after it the best way she believed she could.


*i know the dog had got out before but let me tell you a story. my neighbour two doors down had two terriers. the dogs kept escaping into our garden to terrorise our rabbit. we mended holes in fences, secured the rabbit hutch, told out neighbours, basically did everything we could to keep the dogs out. in the end the dogs dug under the fence one night (this would have taken them a long time as our fence was partially underground. they must have been unsupervised or not missed most of the night) and smashed through the rabbit hutch to get to my rabbit. even though we caught them as soon as they had got the hutch open their shaking of the rabbit put it in shock and it died. like the woman i had the choice of which pet to save, one dog went one way for our guinea pigs, the other for the rabbit. this is why i have such sympathy for her. no matter how safe you think your garden is these things happen.
post #15 of 16
Semiotics notwithstanding, the point can be easily settled by each individual's answer to the question: "Would you willingly hand over your pet for that amount of money ?"

I know I would NOT NOT NOT ! ! !

Leonard
post #16 of 16
This is definitely a step in the right direction. Good for that judge!
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