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back to article Dutch cat skinner publishes critics' personal details

The Dutch "artist" who in 2004 turned her pussy into a handbag under the performance art title "My dearest cat Pinkeltje (2004)" has published personal details of those who emailed her expressing their disgust. Tinkebell's My dearest cat Katinka Simonse, aka Tinkebell, copped a veritable shitstorm of e-abuse for the feline …

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Publicity

Artists tend to seek publicity and need approbation. There's no doubt she's just managed some more publicity based on the original act. And I can't really blame her for fighting back against hate mail.

I believe the strongest condemnation of her original act would have been to ignore it. Just like the worst job reference you can get from a former employer is a blank sheet of paper.

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Coat

@Those who had their details published.

That's really let the cat out of the bag now, hasn't it?

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Linux

Talking of Art..

I'm thinking of painting my house in such a way as to make an artistic statement - possibly by tossing penguins into a woodchipper.

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Here's the article from the Dutch paper NRC Handelsblad

http://www.nrc.nl/international/Features/article2243400.ece/Artist_publishes%20_hate_mail_received_after_killing_her_cat

"her most notorious project to date was 'My dearest cat Pinkeltje' in 2004: Tinkebell personally twisted her pet's neck and skinned it with her own hands to make it into a purse. "

As for where I stand on this whole debate- I think that the artist and those who are sending her hate mail are all arseholes.

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@Anonymous Coward

"No, my coat has nothing to do with cats..."

What... you mean it doesn't have any tails? :-D

What about a collar ... bone? :-)

Any more than this and I'm dredging the bottom!

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@Andrew Moore

Repeat after me:

A newspaper article is not a primary source.

It may well be that she killed the animal with her own hands. Her own website says she killed it because 'it was depressed'.

Agreed, it is a little distasteful but you have to remember that many countries outside of the UK do not have our near fanatical devotion to 'animal rights'.

For example, the RSPCA (the UK animal protection charity) was founded in 1824 and gained royal approval in 1840. The NSPCC (The UK child protection charity) was founded in 1884, a full sixty years later and has yet to gain royal status. This pretty much reflects the case that for some reason many British folk seem to think that animals outshine their human counterparts. I've heard the argument that 'animals can't defend themselves so we have to' . Put a cat and a human infant in a sack together and tell me which one comes off the better*.

I also fail to understand why we ascribe some soprt of special status to cats over other animals. These are vicious predators we are talking about. They are a non-native invasive species. I suspect that it is only because they are 'cute and fluffy' that people care. If someone had killed a rat and made a bag out of it I doubt the nutjobs would have come out of the woodwork to the same degree.

Anyway, my message to cat people is this: grow up, get some objectivity and every time you think about how much you love your cute fluffy cat, imagine what it would look like it it didn't have all that fur to cover its teeth and claws. Imagine it sat in a tree with a baby songbird in its mouth, or digging up some innocent neighbour's garden to take a dump.

*This is a thought experiment. No need to try it.

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Bagpuss

dear Bagpuss

Old Fat Furry Catpuss.

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NSFW Link? Far more than that!

Whoa - the link in the story that goes to her page shows more than content that's NSFW: The series of pictures she's headed "Amost 18+" is quite possibly highly illegal (at least in the UK).

She describes them as being legal because although they "depict girls aged 13-15", they're posed by models over the age of 18. In the UK, pictures that depict children are illegal and classed as kiddie porn, even if the "actresses" are aged over 18. Way to make all your readers criminals, El Reg!

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@ Sarah Bee

Thank you for your impressive over reaction to my devils advocate post. Perhaps you could explain to me, seeing as how my brain is disengaged, why killing a cat to make a handbag is different to killing a cow to make the same?

One is cute and fluffy the other is big and daft looking, but that alone isn't a good argument is it?

Is the reason said argument comes up so often, 4975967 times (or is it 4975968 now?), that there is some merit to it?

There are some interesting moral arguments to be had here. Although they have all been fought before, with no end in sight. Who ultimately says what is right or wrong? We have given that power to our law makers for better or worse. And as this woman is not in prison for what she has done we all have to stand by that.

Back to the original topic though. I don't know that I agree with her approach to dealing with the hate mail (naming and shaming). But the net getting the occasional kick up it's collective butt, that you are responsible for your actions from behind a keyboard as you are in person is no bad thing.

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@Jon

"I would happily bet a pint of beer that it was put down at a vets and then cured professionally."

That is one hell of a party trick. Who is this professional?

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re : John Savant

> In general, so is sending someone hate mail, but when it's someone who deserves it, > disclosing personal details of people without authorization is also a criminal offence.

So who defines who "deserves it" Mr Savant? You? I sincerely hope not.

IF the dutch feel she has commited a crime then fine, they will deal with her. If they decide she hasn't, STFU please. It is not for you to impose your poxy-assed morals on them.

> The Dutch should shut down her web site, and put her in jail. It's as simple as that.

Nope, you're simple, this is a wee bit more complex than "A is for Apple".

Frankly whilst I consider the "artistic" quality of turning a moggy into a bag to be a tad dubious, I wholly applaud her method of dealing with the lowlifes who feel it's fine to abuse and threaten because "hey, it's for the animals". This is the same Pro Animal/Anti human self indulgence that we're having issues here in the UK regarding "Animal Rights" people threatening, desecrating graves etc. Why on earth should they receive ANY protection?

Humans are Humans, Animals are Animals... get over it. You think a tiger gets into an agony of morals if it eats a human?

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To those who equate cats with cattle etc

You obviously never had a cat living in your house. Cats have individuality and personality and when you have one as a pet you will eventually and inevitably attach and relate to it as a person.

People who kill cats in such circumstances (this probably probably applies to many other pet animals as well) clearly do it because they want to hurt a person close to them, kill it and see how it feels but don't want to kill a human for fear of legal consequences.

This "artist" is obviously a psychotic individual, perhaps a drug addict, and the reason behind her killing her cat unlikely had anything to do with any "art" but was just a deranged act of cruelty in order to get the kick out of it.

She will live with the guilt till the end of her days, whatever brave face she may try to put on now. In this regard I almost pity her...

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Re: Re: @what's the problem?

'if you eat one animal then you shouldn't complain about any others being killed under any circumstances ever cos otherwise you're the worst kind of hypocrite'

That's not what he said and you know it - in fact we all know it as we can see what he wrote on this very page.

He's saying that if you are prepared to kill one type of animal for food/clothing, it's hypocritical to complain when someone does the exact same thing to another animal just because you consider one to be a pet and the other to be food. You're making that out to be "if you wear leather shoes, you might as well stamp on a spaniel". Can you see the difference?

Unless you just don't like the way she killed it - what's your preferred method for dispatching a cat?

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Hm... Difficult!

Being what I like to think of as liberal and pro freedoms this presents me with a problem. I don't think people should have a right to kill their pets, its not as if they're bought for consumption. Maybe she needs to look up pet in a dictionary and see happy families who aren't thinking 'Huh, this creatures skin would look good on me.'

I always say stuff like fight for your right to speak even if I disagree with you but this woman's actions are so distasteful I'd be more than a little tempted to give her a piece of my mind anyway.

Just sounds like a callous, fame-hungry sicko. I hope she has as many friends as she deserves.

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@John Savard @Sarah Bee

@John Savard "In civilized countries, cruelty to animals is a criminal offence."

there seems to be a big assumption that killing a cat is cruelty. surely it depends how she did it. if she tortured ti to death then there would be a case for prosecution under aforementioned animal cruelty laws, but it was her pet. one would imagine that she had at least a modicum of feeling for the thing. Just because she killed it with her own hands does not mean it was a cruel death. it may have been but I would think that it probably wasn't.

So then what's the differecen between getting the vet to do it, and doing it yourself?

and once the animal is dead, where is the issue making it into a handbag? some people may find it tasteless but that's not illegal, nor should it be.

@Sarah Bee "Oh for fucksakes it's more complicated than that"

is it? I can't say I particularly liked the handbag (but then I'm hardly a fashionista, my ownership of a mac aside) but as long as she wasn't cruel in her termination of the mog, I don't see that she has actually done anything wrong.

animals get killed all the time, either for our own benefit (leather, meat etc), for our convenience (eek, we've got mice, get the poison/mousetraps) or just because they are surplus (has that cat had kittens again? fetch the bucket!).

most people don't get confronted with this stuff day to day (neither do I thankfully) but it still happens and while I don't advocate anyone being cruel, I also appreciate some of the practicalities of life.

if her cat was already dieing and should have been quietly put out of it's misery, what does it matter if she took it to a vet or did it herself? once it was dead, why does it matter whether she buried it or made a handbag?

people might not like it but lots of things happen that I don't like, I don't send out hate mail.

dave

PS. I guess I ought to say I'm more a dog person than a cat person, but I would have the same opinion if she'd done it to a dog. of course, with a dog, she'd have scope for a much bigger bag!

PPS. did she use the cat's arsehole as a handy headphone cable port?

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Cats

I thought violin strings or something was made from cat guts?

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Boffin

It's really easy ...

... to find someone's details on the internet.

Nearly as easy as it is to fake your identity as someone else so that other person is the one who gets their details published.

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IT Angle

Meeting of Minds - Art vs Software Engineering..

"She kills her cat for profit, then releases the private information of people who criticise her, for profit.

How is she not in jail exactly?"

Because she's an artist.

In other news, Bush and Cheney claim Iraq war was 'Performance Art' and submit it for the Turner....

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@Vladimir Plouzhnikov

Cats are not people. Belief otherwise, IS, quite arguably, by definition of the word, a psychosis (look it up in any dictionary, or online cult-driven 'encyclopedia').

AC, because I have no intention of getting into a flame war with a psychotic.

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101 Uses for a dead cat

One down one hundred to go...

Maybe better warn Dutch pet suppliers that she may be looking for more raw material. On the other hand, it's a cat for Christ's sake, it's a fur covered flee bag with four legs that goes meow, there are millions of them, anybody would think she'd killed Garfield.

A question for all the cat lovers. If your cat chose to live elsewhere, say with a neighbour, would you be happy for your cat or try to get it back?

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Hmm now I'm even more conflicted!

I went to her website and - @ To Those who equate cats with cattle - I don't she can't be that guilty because it was hardly the only living animal killed to become a fashion accessory or toy...

What really bugs me is that the grotesque cuddly toys made with real fur look... well... appealing!

*Begins looking at my cats in a whole new way*

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Copyright Breaches?

It's almost certain that the authors are breaching copyright by publishing the pictures found on the Internet. I'd be very interested to know how that applies to the hate mail itself - is it considered a copyrightable work that belongs to the author?

"They want to show it all, and think that everybody is interested in everything they do". I would like to call to other the case of Miss Pot vs the Kettles. If Tinkebell wants to comment on society, how about debating how shock has replaced all other qualities as the primary value of an artwork and that such blunt and unimaginative creations as hers overshadow anything the least bit clever, insightful or interesting.

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Anonymous Coward

Hello Mr Burns!

As the oldest man in Springfield once said:

You see some men hunt for sport,

Others hunt for food.

The only thing I'm hunting for

Is an outfit that looks good.

See my vest, see my vest,

Made from real gorilla chest.

Feel this sweater, there's no better

Than authentic Irish Setter.

See this hat, 'twas my cat.

My evening wear, vampire bat.

These white slippers are albino

African endangered rhino.

Grizzly bear underwear,

Turtle necks I've got my share.

Beret of poodle on my noodle it shall rest

Try my red robin suit,

It comes one breast or two...

See my vest, See my vest.

Like my loafers, former gophers,

It was that or skin my chauffeurs,

But a greyhound fur tuxedo would be best...

So let's prepare these dogs,

Kill two for matching clogs!

See my vest!

See me vest!

Oh, please, won't you see my vessssst!

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Death Imitating Art

The key quote is "She became so depressed that I decided to kill her and made her into a purse". the cat was dying, it merely starved of attention and kept in inappropriate conditions by someone unfit to own any animal.

In the photo, the artist looks pretty depressed to me. My ex is an Amsterdam artist who'll know where to find her, maybe I should go cure her depression, accessorise and exhibit?

Oh yeah, feel free to pass her my email address.

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@ Vladimir Plouzhnikov

"You obviously never had a cat living in your house. Cats have individuality and personality and when you have one as a pet you will eventually and inevitably attach and relate to it as a person."

I relate my wife's cat to a mass murderer, in that all small furry things that go "squeak" or feathery things that go "cheep" MUST DIE

Cats are the most spiteful creatures it is possible to invite into your home. I swear to God that the wife's cat is able to vomit at will if I "look at it funny", It can teleport into the conservatory, I know for a fact that when I locked up last night it wasnt in there yet when I come down this morning there it is, sat next to a steaming turd with that look on it's face (you know the one, I know I shit where you didnt want me to but it was your fault so you cant shout at me!)

Did she really strangle her own cat or was it a stunt to publicise her works, I dont know. Were any of Damien hurst's animals humanley killed or did tthey suffer, I dont know. I do know it isn't my kind of "art" though (i ilke my paintings of things to look like the things they are paintings of)

My wife has another cat which cost us over £1800 to fix after it had its tail lopped off in an unfortunate accident (I'll just sit on the pavement next to the road and stick my tail into the road see what happens) When he is walking away from you you could see a new design for a novelty pen holder :-)

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mind games

Some people just get their kicks playing mind games... let's press here and see what happens.

It's more of a sociopathy than anything else ... wanting to be in the center of attention, being talked about, proof one exists. Huzar !!

And then think this does the world a favour, changes it , ... for the better ?!

But at best it briefly puts a mirror in front of us makes us refect upon ourselves (great excuse) but let it be clear that the lesson I've learned here is that I can and will from now on start wearing fur coats again and eat puppy-liver. Especially dutch puppy liver.

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All I can say:

Don't feed the trolls.

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@Andy O'Rourke

How do you feel about dogs - did you notice the 'artist' is photographed carrying a rather depressed looking dog / satchel ?

I am perfectly happy to give your wife and her cat a loving home, just put them in their cages and I will pick them up.

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A few more wild birds can live

Can't stand cats, they are a menace to the local wildlife population and should be treated as an introduced vermin species on par with the grey squirrel, if they come on my land I should be allowed to shoot the stone dead. The only use for a cat is for people who have a personality disorder that prevents them from connecting with people properly QED the cat handbag woman.

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Don't fuss everyone

It was cat. It's now art.

I wonder if there is a legal issue if you take information that's freely available, collate it by person and publish it. I don't think people would be happy if someone took their details from the telephone directory and published it along with a photograph of their house. It's technology that makes this so much easier than before and, as usual, I suspect the law is a little way behind.

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@AC at 13:15 & @Andy ORourke

@AC

How can you quote wikipedia if you can't read? (to think of it - how could you type your post when you obiously can't read?)

I never mentioned the word "people", I said "person", which does not necessarily refer to humans but to an object with certain legal or moral characteristics. Schmuck.

"AC, because I have no intention of getting into a flame war with a psychotic."

It was AC because you are an anonymous coward.

@Andy ORourke

Just wait till you get children: -fur +way more expensive...

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@ Les Matthew

That's a bad pun, that made me laugh out loud - thank you.

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Anonymous Coward

depressed cat

Was he an art critic?

To quote Brian O'Nolan (Best of Myles), "What is called art is so often simply a vocational malfunction."

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die die die

OMG I CARNT BELIVE SHES NOT BIN KILLED LREADY ID KILL HER MYSLEF IF I CUD AFFORD TO GO TO DAM DOES NT SHE NO THAT THE BIBLE SAYS WE HAV CHAGE OF THE ANIMALS BUT TO BE RESPONSBLE SHE MUST ASK FORGIVNESS FOR WHAT SHES DONE BUT I THINK SHE SHUD GO TO HELL NEWAY MY TWO CENTS

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Anonymous Coward

website says she killed it because 'it was depressed'.

Does that make it suicide then?

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@ Sarah Bee

Why is it more complicated than that? I have no issues with eating cat (no that's not a euphemism). If you can kill and eat a cow why not a cat, rat, raccoon, badger or goldfish? It seems pretty simple to me. Maybe that's why you have no basis to moderate this repeated discussion because the logic and morality is pretty binary.

Ask the Chinese and the French - they'll eat anything - and make handbags out of anything for that matter.

On the art front I think this does a brilliant job of holding a mirror up to the fashion industry, consumerism, exploitation of animals and inconsistent morals. It's quite brilliant.

I actually hope that she ate the cat after making the handbag out of respect.

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IT Angle

Where to even start ...

@phix8:

"I don't think people should have a right to kill their pets". Should I take my goldfish to a vet when it gets old and sickly? Wake up, by taking a pet you are responsible for causing the death of an animal. Since its death is inevitable, who better to do the last rites than the human that cared and provided for it?

Just because it's a pet and you project human qualities and emotions on it, does not mean it has any more intrinsic worth than the lamb or chicken you had for dinner. The farmer who reared that lamb was probably emotionally attached to it. It probably had a name, for Pete's sake.

How far removed are we from the realities of life? Our grandparents' generation slaughtered their livestock themselves, most people in the world still do. I myself had to do some soul searching when I felt upset about killing and eating a fish I caught. It got me thinking and I hope I have a better attitude towards animals and food for it.

For the record I love my cats and dog, and will be shattered when their time comes. However, making use of their fur coats once they have passed away would only be a tribute to those faithful companions.

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Anonymous Coward

Controversy...

well I have to say, although I wouldn't do it the way she has, I do agree with her point about pets being treated as childrens toys. you only have to watch a 5 year old with a hamster (youtube) to understand the point. at what age do children develop awareness of others (&pets) feelings?

And it is true that we do think of pets as being different to farm animals when in reality they are not.

As for publishing those who threatened and abused well they are worse than the person they abuse. They act on gut instinct without understanding, and mistreat a human which is worse than an animal, they deserve to be shamed, abuse and threats are wrong, there are proper ways to protest, people will always disagree.

so you disagree with me? I understand. thats ok. but dont abuse me for it.

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Who cares about a cat

I may not like your cat, but I will defend to the death your right to kill it.

If a squirrel is a slightly cuter rat, a cat is a slightly cuter squirrel. But potentially meaner.

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@Vlad

Nice to see I touched a nerve there.

Remaining AC as I still have no desire to engage in a tit-for-tat series of ad-hominem attacks with you.

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Heart

@Vladimir Plouzhnikov

I've kept both cats and steers (I grew up on a farm) and neither one had any more personality than the other. Cats are full of the hate and anger and general pissedness-at-the-world. I'd rather have anything else for a pet. And speaking as someone that recently had to put down his dog (prostate cancer) - I really don't find anything wrong with what she did.

And I must applaud her for turning the tables on Anon.

Of course naming two of my steers "Lunch" and "Dinner" was probably a little tasteless, but I did like being able to say "look, here comes Lunch!" -hahaha!

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Horses for courses

Has nobody out there seen any of Gunther van Hagen's work? - do a search and look at his horse for example. His work is quite controversial but the stink seems to have died down. Taxidermy is not an offence unless the victim is still alive. Hmm, now what should we do with the vociferous complainers? Maybe some nice leather suitcases perhaps, or big bags at least.

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typical cavewoman.

These people who still wear animal fur are cave people.

EVen wearing leather shoes is stretching but at least Nikes do not have cat fur on it.

I would not date any cave woman who walks around with bunny fur or cat fur or dog fur or bear or mink fur. It has nothing to do with animal rights for me.

For me it is so ... so like a tradition held over from over 4,000 years ago.

Pretty disgusting.

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Good art

I don't see a problem with it - I have a leather sofa, leather shoes etc. etc. so I can't really argue. I also don't really care if she killed it herself or not (I can't find anything saying either way).

Read about the same artist's 'Chicks Through A Shredder' experiment, where she was going to put 51 chicks through a shredder, until she was stopped and arrested. Terrible, you may think. How dare she.

But what about the 150,000 male chicks gassed or crushed to death every week? Who gives a shit about them? Ok, she's pretentious. She's probably a bit of a prick. But at least she's making people think.

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@The Dorset Rambler

The taxidermist :) I was referring to the pelt.

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Anonymous Coward

(untitled)

There is a massive difference between killing for food and killing for the sheer pleasure of doing so. But if some do not see this as self evident I'm unsure any amount of discussion will achieve anything.

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What a pussy.

She can't even troll the internet right. You see, darling, what you do is fly to each and every one of your antagonists' houses, beat the shit out of them on film, then upload it to youtube or tack it on to the end of your movie.

At any rate, if the cat was ill, maybe she just didn't want to hop off to Sorrento and come back to a dead cat? That'd be so anticlimactic.

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@Gene Cash

OK, let's imagine - she had a dog and one day she decides the dog looks a bit depressed and kills it.

Did you feel nothing when you were putting your dog down? Would you have killed your dog just for a bit of fun, to see how it feels to squeeze the life out of a living thing or because you thought that it would better fit your living room furniture stuffed?

The issue here is not whether it was a cat or a dog or a castrated ox - it was a pet, and she killed it just for kicks. She is sick and what she has done will come back to hunt her.

P.S. As for cats & dogs, well, you obviously prefer dogs, whereas for me dogs are too boring and lack the free will. I know people are split into two camps and neither you can persuade me nor I could ever convince you of the relative merits of one species versus the other.

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The real hypocrisy...

....is all the folks who claim this is "disgusting" yet pay no attention whatsoever to the hundreds of thousands of stray and unwanted cats that die every year all around us. Where's the shock and horror for them?

The issue here, seems to me, is that people hear about a pet being made into a handbag and emotionally respond as though their *own* pets were going to be killed. A cat can starve a slow, lingering death in the alleyway ten meters away from them, and the folks crying foul won't blink; I find that very interesting indeed.

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Re: Good art

"But what about the 150,000 male chicks gassed or crushed to death every week? Who gives a shit about them? Ok, she's pretentious. She's probably a bit of a prick. But at least she's making people think."

There was a Russian woman, Antonina Makarova, nicknamed Tonka-the-Machine-Gunner. She shot 1500 people, suspected partisans and their family members, in a Belorussian town when it was occupied by Germans during the WWII. She was recognised, arrested and tried in the 70's.

What's the big deal, 1500 people, when over 60 million were killed in WWII, right? So, she has done nothing wrong? It was OK wasn't it? Well, no it wasn't.

It's OK for combatants to kill each other at war. It's not OK to execute non-combatants without due process. In the former case the reason for the killing is to achieve a military objective, in the latter - to terrorise and collectively punish the occupied population.

Equally, it's OK to behead 150,000 chicks daily for food but it's not OK to shred 51 of them once but for some sort of perverted sexual gratification. There is no hypocrisy here.

P.S. According to the archives, Tonka was extremely surprised when she heard the judge sentencing her to death. She, apparently, expected to get 3 years on probation...

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