History 101

American history comes alive at the 12th Annual Great American History Weekend featuring everything from a black smith to an organ grinder and his monkey. See military working dogs perform, antique fire trucks, and a variety of military history displays. Albemarle County Office Building at 401 McIntire Rd. 296-5874.


George Seymour shot a family pet out of malice and spite and deserves all he gets. As for a witch hunt, what drugs are you on? Any person responsible for such a vicious act needs to be taken to task and shown that society will not tolerate such actions, to not do so would make us all responsible for these actions. Wold you like such aperson living next door to you? I wonder if you are one of those cat haters? Very sad if you are.

Cannot see why you would suggest that this compares to the Salem witch trials, but to eaches own. From what I read the Judge was not sure himself that Seymore did not shoot the cat purposely. For one thing, those expensive cars were from his dealership. If he knew that area cats were scratching his cars maybe he should up put them into the garage that he has attached to his house. Leave the dealership cars at the dealership and drive your personal car instead.


I grew up in very rural Montana (in fact, I lived at the southernmost point of the Flathead Indian Reservation in Arlee, with a population of 880 people).

I learned early on of the wild nature of animals, even those we otherwise deem "domesticated".

It was nothing for us to "let the cat out" at night, or "let the dog out" to do his business. They would return when they wanted to. They knew where home was. And if they had gotten on in years, they also knew when it was their time to die and would find a place to lie down and do just that. Yes, there were tears when this occurred. They were, after all, members of the family...but they are also short-lived in comparison to human beings so even keeping them indoors ensures only around 15-20 years at most before they cross the rainbow bridge into the Land of Summer.

There are many people today who still keep their dogs outside. They may have doghouses or they may not. Cats roam outside...this is their way, for the most part. When I lived in California, my cat would sometimes stay gone for a day or two, but he would return home when he wanted. It was his way...he was a stray that I had rescued. One day he didn't. And I mourned, but I knew that it was his time. He was old.

I have come home to find a beloved pet dead on the living room floor. Trust me when I say that it is far better to not have a pet found in that way. To have them simply gone brings tears, but there is also the hope that they have found a new family. Coming home to find them cold and rigid on the floor is far more heart-wrenching.

Animals, regardless of our "domestication" of them, are forever wild. When I lived in Arlee, the cat hunted mice and birds in the stables, the dog kept predators (if there were any) at bay...this is their way - the way of the wild.

There are many people, even within the urban areas, who still have the overall mindset that an animal should be outside when they wish. This is the animal's domain. Yes, they could get hit by a car, and yes, they could be killed by some callous jerk with no compassion toward living things...but it is still their domain.

I live now with an agorophobic cat and a dog that only goes outside with me to relieve herself, yet even when I lived in a large town in Pennsylvania, my cat would go outside...but in the fenced-in yard. This, to her, was just another room to the house...one that had no ceiling. She would hunt mice and birds. She never wandered from this yard.

When I moved to Alaska, she once went outside and spent an awful night alone in the Ketchikan rains...I felt terrible when she ran inside after I noticed her outside the glass doors of my deck overlooking the bay. She never ventured that way again, but I still felt bad about it. She could've been killed by the many eagles that hunted in that area.

It matters not whether we have indoor or outdoor pets. They are still our children, but we understand, for the most part, that they are wild.

What this jerk did was unconscienable and without remorse. The killing of the cat aside, he still discharged a firearm within city limits and that in itself merits at the very least a fine. But what he did was with malicious intent, and that is why he was jailed.

There are many ways to keep feral and stray cats off your property. Killing them shows only a marked lack of compassion toward life and he deserves more than simply a short jail sentence.