Dead Kitties Tell No Tales: Recollection From an Abusive Childhood

A violent episode from childhood ricochets today for this writer... There are many lessons learned from a kitty, and not all of them are pretty.

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I recently received an e-mail about two teenagers microwaving a kitten to death. Once such an idea or ugly picture is engrained in your mind, it is hard to shake it. I spent several hours researching this story, in an attempt to understand what would cause two teenagers to do such a thing. I would rather believe it to be some sick case of abuse, leaving the poor teenagers so disturbed that they could not help themselves. Anything but believe that a fifteen and thirteen year old could do something so cruel on the own accord.

All my searching produced no results, it turns out the story might be a fake. However, don’t get too happy, there are dozens of such cases from all over the world.

In the UK, there is a woman who was recently jailed for 168 days for microwaving a neighbor’s cat to death. Why did she do it? Because the neighbor reported her boyfriend for physically abusing her, some people don’t deserve help. The judge helped her a little, at least he won’t be beating her for 168 days.

There are several cases of small children who are probably too young to know the difference doing it, children under the age of five or so. It seems to be a pattern that burglars are sometimes microwaving cats while burglarizing homes. Maybe reports of such things being perpetrated by deprived individuals are spurring such copy cat stupidity by teenagers. Who can argue that teenagers are inclined to do stupid things?

A lawyer in Maryland recently microwaved a kitten to death and is using alcoholism and depression as his defense. I say a little jail time might at least cure his alcoholism and the severe case of horse’s butt he’s suffering from. How big are prison microwaves? I’m just asking, don’t take it too serious.

Then you have the closest thing to reality that I could find. A fifteen and sixteen year old in Pennsylvania, placed a kitten in the microwave recently and apparently too stupid to grasp the concept of such complicated technology, threw the microwave and the kitten out a three story window. Being cruel is horrible; being cruel and stupid is simply tragic.

All this brings back one of the horrors of my childhood and one of the most horrible episodes in my book, "Informally Educated," which was released as an audio book yesterday, September, 23rd and is the true story of my growing up in an abusive household.

When I was eight, I had a kitten; I also had three younger siblings who were like stair steps. My step father Jack, had named the kitten the N word, because he was solid black and Jack was solid prejudice. The kitten had gotten into the habit of eating food left on the table overnight, biscuits covered with a rag; that sort of thing. Jack had soaked some left over hamburger patties in hot sauce, the night before. They were left on the table, to teach the kitten a lesson.

We all arrived in the kitchen together that morning, there was the kitten eating a hamburger patty. He would take a bite, and shake his head as he chewed it. Then he would bat the rest around, trying to figure out why it was burning him. He would then go for another bite. We watched for a time and soon started to giggle. It was cute, and we had not yet learned that giggling was tempting or possibly defying fate.

 Suddenly, in one bound Jack was at the table. He scooped up the kitten, wound up like a pitcher and threw him against the wall, which was only the width of the table away. We watched in horror as the kitten literally exploded and fell to the table in a pile of intestines and blood, squirming only briefly before it died.

The poor kitten died on the same plate that contained the hamburger patties. We spent the rest of a nightmarish childhood, eating at that table and never knowing with any certainty, which of us were eating off of the plate the kitten had squirmed to death on. To this day I rarely eat at the dinner table. In our home, the table, our bedrooms and Christmas mornings were the main ingredients of our lifelong nightmares.

There are many lessons learned from a kitty, and not all of them are pretty.

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Lynda September 25, 2012 at 10:01 PM
I wish your story of kitten abuse was unique, Kennesaw-- and unconnected to child abuse. I have been involved with animal welfare for many years and the horrors of abuse of vulnerable animals and the children with whom they live rarely leave my heart. If there are children in homes with abused animals they are very likely to be both abused and abusers. We humans can be cruel as adults, cruel and unthinking as children. You write with strength which comes out of soul-searing experiences.
Cherlene Willis September 25, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Kennesaw, Thank you for showing your strength by sharing your personal experience with child abuse and animal abuse. This is a very sad story, but by simply writing it down and sharing it with us, you are touching lives. Thank you.
Kennesaw Taylor September 26, 2012 at 09:06 AM
I wish it were unique as well. It is sad, but many abused children go on to abuse their children and they start by abusing those younger than them or the poor animals under their control. It is an attempt to control any small part of their lives. Many others go on to abuse drugs and any person who is unlucky enough to fall into their small spear of control. The world must figure out how to break this cycle. The next person who comments will say that child abuse is just an excuse, which is their excuse to sit by and watch it happen. Remember that five kids are beaten to death each day in America by those they love. That is not an excuse, it is a fact. At least those poor kids will not spend the rest of their lives doing things that are horrible and needing an excuse for doing them. The average person who says child abuse is an excuse, would kill anyone who toughed one of their children, but they have no compassion for the abused or any interest in putting a stop to it. Sooner or later we must understand that social issues affect us all.
Kennesaw Taylor September 26, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Thanks for the kind words. I must keep fighting wherever the fight takes me. Those of us who can must fight for those of us who can't.
Mark S. Hankins September 26, 2012 at 05:15 PM
The Bible says sins (and abusiveness is certainly sinful) echo through seven generations. Being able to talk about it is the beginning of freeing yourself from it.


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