This posting is primarily for overseas readers as there can't be a single person (well maybe the odd contemplative monk) in the British Isles who doesn't know this story by now. The clip above shows a middle aged woman walking down the pavement in a residential street in Coventry. A cat approaches her and hops into the wall. She strokes it and then looks over her shoulder. An evil plot is being hatched in her mind. She lifts the bin lid and seizes the cat by the scruff of the neck and deposits her (name of Lola and aged 4) in the bin. The cat was trapped in the bin for 15 hours on a hot day and without food or drink until found by her owner, a Mr Mann, 'terrified and covered in her own mess'. Poor Lola is a rescue cat. In an attempt to find the miscreant, Mr and Mrs Mann put the above CCTV footage on YouTube (422,629 hits and rising).
A facebook group (5,000+ members) was set up to help identify the woman. She was duly identified and her address and home telephone number is on the internet. She has become a hate object of the type unseen since the expiry of the late Myra Hindley and is presently under police protection. She lives in Rugby and works in a bank. A virtual storm is working up in cyberspace. 'Boycott the bank this evil woman works in, hope she gets the sack' announces Jack from Ashford on the Daily Mail (what else) website (the rabbit is of the opinion that the bank she works in - the Royal Bank of Scotland - should be boycotted anyway as incompetent, greedy tossers). PhantomAct counters on YouTube 'Am a dog person. From my experience, people who like cats are most likely to betray you or stab you in the back. Most evil guys in movies had cats. See! So she did something good'.
The miscreant, named Mary Bale (45), has now spoken to her less than adoring public. 'I don't know what came over me, but I suddenly thought it would be funny to put it in the wheelie bin, which was right beside me' she helpfully explains. 'I did it as a joke...I never thought it would be trapped. I expected it to wriggle out of the bin' our non-heroine elaborated. These pronouncements seem to contravene the rule 'if you are in a hole (as opposed to bin) stop digging' as is her comment 'I don't know what the fuss is about, it's just a cat'. The police and RSPCA want to have a word, but this is the least of Ms Bale's problems as may be gathered from the following facebook comments:
'She should come clean and put her hands up, and APOLOGISE to the owners, then we can skin her'.
'I hope the evil cow tops herself '
'Iwant to put a vigilante mask on and beat the crap out of her and dump HER in a bin'
'If you see her go and punch her in the face!'
'God help them if the Stoke lynch mob get to them first'
I'm not sure who the 'them' referred to in the last quote are, but the Stoke lynch mob sounds an unattractive prospect.
Meanwhile the cartoonists have been busy (Hat Tip to Frank Davis for quotes and cartoon) ...
The rabbit will now sit back and duck. But two thoughts arise. One, Mary Bale's mistake (well she made a series but bear with me) was to perpetrate this misdeed in August when there is a dearth of proper news. The media were very quickly all over the story like a rash. Ms Bale has no doubt discovered that there are disadvantages to the Warhol fifteen minutes fame. Secondly, albeit that the rabbit (who is fond of cats and has lived with at least one most of his life) accepts that she did a cruel and stupid thing, there is something deeply unattractive about the baying lynch mob in Orwellian 'two minutes hate' mode. By way of reassurance, here is Lola, safely restored to the loving arms of Mr Mann.