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måndag 15 augusti 2011

Disappearing Cats - magic or murder?

Disappearing Cats - magic or murder?
Last year in May my youngest son's cat Eldarin went missing for four days. My son was out of himself of worry as he was used to always have his cat with him in the bed every night. When the cat returned he was so relieved and wished to keep his cat indoors from now on. We tried to but a few days later he snuck out between my legs when I was letting out another cat and I was too slow to react. When outside I never could catch the rascal - only my son could. But when he came home from school his cat was nowhere to be found. Since Eldarin had come home every time for over a year, and he had returned last time even after four days, I thought he surely would return. And if he'd had an accident, surely all our animal loving neighbours would tell? I was sorely mistaken. The cat was gone like the earth had opened up and swallowed him. Since he was neutered he wouldn't go far, so either someone has stolen him - or even worse - someone killed him and hid the body. It was highly unlikely any greater prey would be able to overcome him, as he was quite a big male cat, and the grandest prey we have is foxes.

We started working after the hypothesis he only got scared by the fearful thunderstorm that day and got lost. So we put up posters and handed out pampflets to everyone living within a circle of a couple of kilometers. In the evenings we searched everywhere we thought he'd liked to play. A neighbour said she'd seen him about the time of his disappearance walking over the field towards the Skye creek, so we looked alot around the creek. The man living on the old mill by the creek gave us permission to search the mill. The way he'd said it to my husband made it sound that he really cared about our missing cat and wanted to help out. One night by the mill when we were searching there, my son and I heard the voice of Eldarin as clear as he was really close up answering back as he always did when my son called him. This was within the first week of our search and we only heard him once and then nothing. That event was the main reason we centered our search around the mill so much. There was an eiree feeling he was somewhere there whenever we went there.

Perhaps Eldarin's sister Varda felt it too cause she started to hang out there more and more. Most likely she'd gone together with Eldarin to the mill before, as they liked to hang out together. Varda was my youngest daughter's cat and both were kitties to my oldest daughter's cat. At this time the owner said not one word of annoyment over cats hanging around his mill, that I'm aware of, which would in later light seem extremly odd. The summer went by and the search area had widened to atleast five kilometers in all directions, and then to ten. Aside from three friendly calls from folks that really wished to help out and hoped the cat they'd spotted might have been our Eldarin, which it never was, there were no progress. Everyone tried to give some hope to the boy, like the story of grandpa's sister's cat that she met in a park five years later. But I had a dark feeling something really terrible had happened and that the voice we had heard indeed was that of Eldarin's. My son swore it had been. If so, he might have answered from the other side as he always replied to my son that way before he ran up to him to be cuddled. He might even have come home with us that night, but we could not see him as he was out of body by then.

The Red Cat
One day the owner of the old mill drove up to our house and very abruptly stopped his car, threw himself out and started yelling. My husband went up to talk to him, since he concidered him as a friend he wanted to help out. After some loud noises and very angry sound bits, even to me down in the garden, my husband came back and asked a really weird question. It definitely sounded like we've been accused of having a red scaggy cat that was messing up his property. Or rather, I understood, he was taking refuge in one of his outhouses. My husband acted bewildered and in that state he had no idea whether we owned a red cat or not. So he had to come back and ask me, which to my annoyment left the rude and yelling man felling rightous with his appalling conduct. I informed my husband that our latest red cat had died after many years of illness, and that he never had left the home even when he was well. How could he not remember? Of course he was taken over by the overbearing attitude of his so called "friend" and felt totally intimidated, which made him feel guilty without having done anything. I now realize that this is the behaviour of a quilty party, to mirror one's own quilt on others and angrily accuse the very people that are the true victimes of one's own crimes. But at this time that thought never occured to us as neither of us really wanted to think anyone on purpose had hurt our baby.

Indeed, this act was so chocking to all of us, since he actually had been behaving quite friendly up until then. Last year he'd borrowed us some building ramps he'd had laying around, as he's a builder. And he had talked to me many times when out walking his dogs. My husband had helped him with his PC and he'd been grateful and given my husband beer bought abroad, and so on. All had seemed peaches and pies, but now the first sign of oddness appeared. I had alot of bad experiences with bully friends of my very kind husband. In our last hometown he'd had two friends, whom both were cat hating, weapon loving, criminal bullies. All those facts had of course not been obvious to begin with, but the truth dripped out as time went by. One of the friends was older then us and one was slightly younger. The older man had turned our to be a con-man, living on welfare while working all along and never paying his bills honestly. For years he used my skills as a webmaster to build him websites, webhosting and taking care of his site for nothing. He only gave promises, but never paid me anything. When we were moving away he first wrote us and wanted me to send him his webpage, as his son had offered to take care of it from now on. When I wrote back that I would if he'd send me a symbolic minor sum for all the work I'd put into it, as I made it clear when I made it I didn't make it for free. He replied by saying he would not and that he had no use of our friendship anymore. If the site had been made by a firm my sum could easily have had a couple of more zeros behind, which he knew very well. 

The younger friend had been a neighbour for a few years and had children a bit older then ours, and he seemed like a quite normal guy at that time. Working on the factory in town, married and kind of cute in a boyish way he was not standing out in anything more then as an obvious flirt. After he moved to another village he started to mess up his marriage with girlfriends. He also did some unlawful things in his weapon smithery, but nothing really terrible what I know of at that time. Now we've found out that he's lost his firm and all his weapons, been beating up girlfriends and almost cut off a girlfriends throat. Very terrible and he's obviously not mentally stable and a very dangerous person. Luckily these events took part long after we broke up our contact with him as we found out he was a manipulating, lying, womanizer, who had no back spine. Likely his wife found that out eventually too, as she divorced him three years after we moved away. These experiences I never wanted to have again, as loving and caring for people only to be used and treated as dirt is very heartbreaking. It is with sadness I realize neither of these friends of my husband is ripe for any evolution into fully humane humans. They are more like selfish predators ripe for living on the lower realms where everyone is ripping each others throats for crumbs. So to find out his very nice and friendly new neighbour friend might be one other cat hating, weapon loving, lying, law breaking, scumbag was not fun.

First time I met the mill owner was when his crazy dog was harrassing our rabbits and totally wreaked the new cage door, demolished two water bottles and barked like hell until his owner finally came and caught him. We phoned the police and they found the owner who was very appologetic, gave me flowers and two new water bottles, which broke within a couple of days, but it's the thought that counts so it was fine with me. No hard feelings. The poor dog I now think he had put down as he got tired of his constant bad behavior. He told us the dog liked to kill cats, so luckily he didn't kill any of ours at that time. Now I suspect the dog killed cats to please his owner, as dogs are good at sensing what their masters wish them to do. All dogs can learn to live in peace with cats unless the owner himself hate cats. So, now he was raging over a red cat and acucsing us of owning it. I didn't see him go and knock on the door two houses closer to his home before rushing up to our house. They too owned a few cats. And I never noticed him going over to our new neighbours across the road from us, even if I said I belived them to have a longhaired red cat. They were the only ones in the village I've noticed having a red cat at that time. When my husband had reported back to the man what I had said and talked to him for awhile he came back and told me the man with the mill had threatened to shoot the red cat if he saw the poor thing again on his property. Oddly enough neither me or my husband even once considered the possibility this guy was actually the one reponsible for the disapperance of Eldarin. Perhaps cause we still wasn't prepared to accept he might be dead.

The Cat Shooting Farmer
This very disturbing event stayed in my mind, just like the answering call sounding exactly like Eldarin down by that old mill did. Odd things had happened before, so a dead cat calling back to my son from the place where he found death would be a minor peculiarity. And eventually we stopped looking for Eldarin as active as we'd done all summer. Still, I stopped and looked at every tabby cat I saw for months. One day early this year my husband told me his friend with the old mill had said that the farmer with the biggest farm in the area, named like the creek, had the habit of shooting cats. This was very disturbing and as I've known these people a few years I looked back on everything to see what I knew about their values and morals. When I spoke to their youngest daughter she was obviously concerned that my son's cat was gone and she didn't mention her dad had shot any cats recently. I've known that girl since she was a toddler and she seemed to like me and always could talk to me freely, like most children here. And she seemed like an animal lover, who would not have liked anyones pet animal to be murdered. None of those emotions went thrue her eyes when I talked to her - just genuine concerne for the missing cat.

The only lawful reason for farmers to shoot cats on their own farms are generally to get rid of their own kitties, that have multiplied over the limit. When doing that they can be pretty sure the kitties are not any neighbours, since they know these kitties from the litters their own cats have produced. And kitties under the age of four months rarely walk very far from their homes, so it wouldn't be likely any kitties from another homestead would appear on a farm. If a farmer is to shoot grown up cats he'd have to make sure it's not a neighbour's cat first. That is, the cat must be known by the farmer as one of his own. If it's not he is obliged to first ask his neighbours about their cats and prewarn them before he does any shooting. To shoot a cat with a necklace or a neutered one would be plain stupid, as he'd most likely would be shooting someones pet. When shooting cats you hardly could spot a tattoo, and not even after catching a cat in a cage would you spot a chip. To be sure the farmer should catch the cats in cages and leave them to the police. Unfortunatly the police would break the law and shoot them, even if the cat are in their own database of missing cats and even it the cat has a collar, a chip or a tattoo. The police in my area sucks.

Inspite the law it would be very possible the farmer on Skye farm could shoot cats belonging to neighbours so this idea festered for awhile in our minds. I at first would not hear of such a terrible thing, but my husband believed it to be true. I thought about it for awhile and realized that the reason I had a hard time believing this idea was cause Eldarin was neutered long ago and would never walk up to a farm full of tom cats fighting for the females. It would had been suicide for him, and I've never ever seen a neutered cat do a thing like that. A hormone ridden male cat would of course do it and I now believe the man with the mill had no idea about the difference between a neutered male cat and an un-neutered one. He most likely thought all males would go up to the farm and fight for females, and perhaps he wished to implant the idea in our mind the cat was shot by mentioning the farmer's habit of shooting cats. But it made no sense that Eldarin would go up to the farm, when all he ever wanted was to play. He was the funniest cat who would climb our apple trees just to toss down the old wrinkled black apples in the winter. He was always playing and he was turning out to an excellent mouse catcher, which is worth gold here on the country side. Our last good hunter had been poisoned by the owner of the farm we live on a few years back, and after that she didn't like mice anymore. But Eldarin practiced catching mice all the time and the creek must have been a great place to train on, with the old mill full of tasty mice.

This accusation against the farmer was said many months after the disappearance, and I have no idea how come he even started to talk about this subject as I was not present when it happened. I'm sure it's correct that farmer do shoot cats occasionally, but today I don't have the slightest suspicion he shot Eldarin. Farmers shoot on their farm and only village idiots would go close to other people's houses to shoot fat house cats. Then my oldest daughter told me the very nasty and stupid cousin of the farm children had threatened to kill her cats earlier. By the time Eldarin went missing this boy had been in his early twenties and he's still around, driving his car like a madman thrue the village. According to rumours she'd heard this boy used to hunt down by the creek and on any other place, without any concern for peoples pets. When hearing that my main suspect became this very naughty young man, who obviously had no compassion for anything living. He was bragging about killing animals and he drives by children and babies in prams on narrow country roads without lifting his foot from the gas pedal one bit. Having this in mind he also became a huge suspect for the hit and run the summer of 2009, when my youngest daughter's cat Elerina was run over when walking on the side of the dirt road. She was all white and it happened on the middle of the day in bright sunlight. There were no reason to hit her, accept on purpose.

The mill owner had never mentioned hearing any shots by the creek at the time Eldarin disappeared, which there ought to been if someone was there hunting. As a hunter himself he surely would have reacted if he'd had. And then again, he had threatened to kill that beautiful red longhaired halfpersian who had taken refuge in his barn. That poor young lost cat had luckily listened to my mental call and came home to us before the man had the chance to shoot him. He then stuck around our home for several weeks and in the fall he suddenly was gone. I spotted him further away, where there are other farmers and I hope those were nicer people then those shooting cats. If no one took care of him and let him sleep in their barn he surely had no chance in the terrible freeze we had that winter.

Beware of False Gifts
Now we're nearing this years summers end and just like last summer the man with the mill gave my husband beers for helping out with his computer. Personally I'd prefer him NOT giving any beer. Beer is of absolutely no use whatsoever. The elderly farmers in the other direction up in Gemeslosa once had given us meat as thank you for computer help, which was very much appreciated as food is dead necessary. That farmers wife is so very nice and once she saved our best mouse cat Linda, when she was poisoned by Anticimex on the farm we live on. It was the owner of the main farmhouse that had payed Anticimex to put out the poison and ignored to warn us living in free bought houses on the farm. Otherwise Anticimex would tell the farmpeople what to do to avoid their cats to get poisoned, but as we didn't own the main farm they ignored us. To put a folder in our mailboxes was too much of a bother for Anticimex. So giving gifts after recieving aid that othervise could have cost dearly seems common here, which is nice and polite. What is less nice is when the cracks of peoples facades comes falling down. Some people manifest perfection, while they truly are nothing but perfect when you come to know the truth about them. Others try really hard to look like interesting unusual characters, while just being bored with their day-to-day lives and likes to put out some mystery around themselves. Yet others are what they seem and do as good as they can, with no perfection, but are mostly nice caring people with nothing to hide. Who's who is the tricky part to figure out, but perfection and weird behaviour is one thing that gets a red flag for me.

There is one lie I already as it unravelled saw thrue. It was less then a year since we'd moved to this house and a neighbour living just over a field behind the main farm was always driving by way too fast in his sporty little car. One evening I saw him drive towards the creek in a hurry, as usual. Not long after he came back and knocked at our door. He told a story about finding our longhaired halfpersian catgirl run over by the side of the road in the dark. But as soon as I sensed his body language and behaviour I knew he'd run her over when speeding passed our house that night. He'd unknowingly made a small movement away from me when I came up to him and then he hurried away in an oddly fashion towards where the cat was. He clearly didn't want to be close to me, while everyone else that ever has found a dead cat had shown sympathy by coming up closer to me. It's just one of those things you notice when you've been around for many years and seen many cats getting run over, either my own or some others. Later on I found out he's an ex officer in the military and I never met any such that would shy away from a pretty lady, and I was very pretty at that time. When I met him later on he sure enough never again avoided to be near like that, so I'm sure my gut was right on that one.

That was an accident and he actually stopped speeding after that. And even if he at that time didn't know us and had not the guts to tell us the truth I'm sure he felt really bad about it and that was why he did the decent thing and told us the cat was dead. It might have been cowardly doing it like this, but then I never ever met anyone who themself had run over a cat coming up and telling us the cat was dead. It has always been the car after stopping and telling or someone arriving later on. And I know that cause always have the one reporting the incident been really upset about people running over cats and sneaking off like thieves in the night without even trying to find the owners. If they'd been guilty themselves they'd not shown such obvious dislike for cat killers. They were typical cat lovers and one was even a police officer, though not on duty, and he said this is a hit-and-run crime and he was very appalled people did like this. At that time we lived by a 50 road, which people mostly drove above 90 on. The only one ever I've met admitting she'd hit a cat of ours was a lovely lady who stopped last summer after the incident. But since it was Linda with nine lives she'd run over the cat was fine. It was a very beautiful dark lady with an interesting foreign accent. She was obviously a mother and she was no coward. And I was very surprised and grateful she stopped and told me what had happened. What a rare moment!

The other day my husband helped the builder - the owner of the old mill - with his computer again. He came home and proclaimed that the poor man was almost going bankrupt cause our cat Varda had scratched on some isolation material he had in the mill. My husband knew it was Varda cause the cat described wore a necklace with a bell, like Varda does. He was feeling really guilty due to the terrible harm our cat had made to the material. It's just that the material is placed in the mill that has lots of broken windows at ground level, so any animal can get in there. Most likely there are lots of mice in winter and they love to use isolation material as building matter. So in my opinion that's what attracts the cats - all the mice. At the time of Eldarin's disappearing he hadn't said one word about the fact our cat might or might not hang around in his mill, but freely offered us entrance to it to search for him there. Then the rage over the red cat and the threats to shoot him on the spot. Now he demanded us to keep our cat indoors, or else. What?

Conclusion About the Killer
Will he shoot her too, just like he shot her brother Eldarin? Of course this is the very conclusion my mind came up with as I learnt about this. Now, more then a year after the tragic loss of Eldarin it all seems so obvious. Many people here in my country seem to believe they are in their rights to shoot other peoples pets if they wander off onto their property. This is not true, but a belief too many share. You are never in your rights to destroy another persons property and pets are counted as property. If you find another person's pet on your land you are in your rights to catch the animal and report it to the police, if you have reason to believe it's not a neighbours pet. If you've catched it you should ask around your neighbourhood who's pet it is first and only after that you should report the find to the police. Following these procedures you'll reduce the risk of hurting a neighbours pet or a runaway pet astronomically compared to shooting the animal after a few sigtings. Doing that is counted as a deliberate crime of damaging another persons property. You most likely wont get a very hard sentance, but you'll get a dot in the crime record as it is a crime. If you're lucky you'll just get a slap on your wrist, at worst you'll have to pay for the damage.

The same goes if it was true a pet had ruined something and you have to pay for it. Whenever I've been accused of having an animal ruin something I've always payed what I was asked to, which this owner of the mill should have asked us to do before he shot our youngest son's only friend. We'd be willing to pay him alot of money to just forget the little damage he might have done, even if he couldn't prove Eldarin was the cat doing whatever he claimed, we would have payed. Our son loved that cat more then the man owning the mill down by Skye creek can imagin, cause I'm sure he's never loved anyone that much in his whole life. The only thing I can imagin he'd have any deeper feelings for would be his wife and children, but most definitely his material possessions. Which is why I made a special curse for him during the last full moon, a curse of dematerialization kind of. Of loosing what he loves most and hurting tenfold of what our son was hurting, as children hurt so much more then grown ups. I sure hope Karma is still working, cause this man needs instant Karma and very fast before it's too late to learn compassion and care for our fellow living beings.

Ingis Erlingsdotter - Magnolia Lane