Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"Holoprosencephaly"

Yahoo and AOL are carrying it....blaring it, actually. CNN and Google News are not - at least not yet, anyhow.

I'm talking about the "one-eyed kitten" whose pictures are being spread all over the web. I won't link to them....if anyone wants them, they can go hunt them down on their own. Personally, I've been half-pissed and half-tearful ever since I saw one....and believe me, one picture and one viewing was one too many. I am disgusted with the picture-taker, I am disgusted with the news outlets which published the pictures and most of all, I am disgusted with myself for following the link that led me to it. I should have known better.

I don't understand how (or why) people can take pictures of such things. I realize, in the grand scheme called life, that there are lots worse "things" than a deformed kitten - what I don't understand, what I'll never understand, is the sick fascination that people harbor for such occurrences. Is it to reassure themselves that they are somehow blessed by nothing more than the absence of such tragedy in their own lives or is it something more sinister that makes them take a perverse pleasure in the misfortune and disfigurement of others?

And why - WHY in God's name, did the owner of the kitten (which she aptly, if cruelly, named "Cyclops") not only save this unfortunate kitten from a natural and immediate death at the hands/claws/teeth of its mother (which I am assuming would have happened. Most animals will not allow a deformed offspring to live. They will either kill it outright at birth or simply ignore it and allow it starve to death) but keep it alive throughout the night and well into the next day by feeding it with an eye-dropper, all the while taking pictures of it....which she then sent to various newsites scattered across the internet? Is there nothing left that humanity won't exploit?

Of course, eventually the infant kitten died....it had no nose, it had one eye.....outward deformities are often accompanied by inner anomalies which are simply not compatible with life. But even then - even then - the kitten was not put to rest. It was not buried, burnt, or even flushed.....No, that wasn't good enough....we aren't done yet. This kitten doesn't get tucked lovingly into a shoebox, covered with a dishcloth and planted under the apple tree in the back yard.....not this kitten....THIS kitten gets slid into the kitchen freezer and kept for posterity....just in case someone important wants to do research on it....or take more pictures.

I should be happy, I suppose, that unlike the owner of the still-alive two-headed albino snake, this dead-kitten owner did have the decency to report she would not sell the corpse on E-Bay.

Or so she's saying.

2 comments:

Michelle e o said...

I don't know, I wasn't so appauled by it as I felt compassion for it. I just felt this weird motherly instinct to hold it and keep it warm. I realize you were more upset with the media, and I agree there are better things to report.

However, as far as the picture taker. Well....how could you not take a picture of it? I found the photo sad, yet beautiful in a way I cannot describe with words. Yeah, I know.

Lo said...

"Take a picture of it" ummmmmmm yes, maybe, no, I don't know. Scatter the picture across the internet, no, maybe, yes, I don't know....oh wait, I DO know....no no no.
I found the kitten sad, I agree with that. But not the picture...the picture just seemed cruel. Nature was already cruel enough. To me, anyhow, the picture screamed "Look at the freak" - not "love the freak". Would I have kept it warm, yes, a thousand times yes, but would I have attempted to feed it and keep it alive...no and no and no again.
All I can think of was how uncomfortable that eye-dropper feeding must have been. Infant kittens only know how to suck...without a nose to breathe through, the very innocent act of sucking and swallowing would have instantly cut off all oxygen intake. I've nursed enough stuffy-nosed children to vouch for that fact.
Had it been my kitten, I would have prayed for either enough money to take it to the vet and have it euthanized or the courage to do it myself.
But what do I know...maybe I would have done the same thing (sans taking pictures and fast-freezing the corpse)...it's easy to be an armchair quarterback.
You're a good woman, Michelle, and a kind one. I felt better upon reading your response here just to know that there are people in the world whose first instinct is always compassion.