This week’s Samantha Brick is a Dutch artist who goes by the name of Tinkebell. She tells her story in The Guardian’s Comment Is Free (CiF) section under the headline: Online anonymity: you want me dead, but who are you anyway?
Doesn’t sound too Brick-ish does it? But this woman is even more provocative, because her victim status doesn’t come from a mis-placed Titanic sized ego (well, actually it does, in a different way), she is a victim because (get the violins out) lots of people hate her because she killed her cat and had it turned into a handbag for an art project.
Please let me repeat that: She killed her cat and had it turned into a handbag for an art project.
No, actually, the opening words of her article say it better: When I broke the neck of my sick cat and then made a handbag of her skin, I honestly had no idea of what I had got myself into.
The reason that this lovely vision of humanity has popped up in The Guardian is because she has used her artistic ingenuity to create another art project based on her experiences following the catricide, namely a book compiling the death threats she received when she publicised the fate of her “dearest cat Pinkeltje”.
Let’s get one thing out of the way – death threats are wrong mmm’kay. I don’t condone the behaviour of idiots who hide behind online anonymity, as I’ve written before on social media and blogging.
What has really got my blood pressure rising (good work CiF, I guess that was the intention), is the even more idiotic and blasé way some commenters are acting like breaking the cat’s neck was actually not that big a deal and maybe even better than taking it to the vet for a lethal injection. Some people are insisting that a woman killing a cat by following some instructions in a manual could be a more “humane” option than visiting a vet who has had many years of training in the treatment of animals.
Right, how many of you have actually tried to wring a cat’s neck? (Oh dear, some really weird Comment spam is going to come out of this…).
I find it difficult enough to give a cat tablets. The cat would have experienced pain, fear and extreme discomfort. This wouldn’t have been clean, swift or over in a matter of minutes.
Furthermore Tinkebell describes the cat’s condition as “depressed”, but there are no other details given on the cat’s prognosis or physical state. There’s not enough justification for this supposed “Euthanasia” based on what we know.
If you don’t know me, you would have gathered by now that I am a cat lover, those of you who do know me in real life already know that and that I am a vegetarian (-ish, I say that as shorthand to avoid getting served stuff I can’t eat. I do eat fish – don’t call me a hypocrite, I don’t tell other people what they should or shouldn’t eat).
This may form a picture of some kind of soppy, fluffy oooh look at the wuvvly kitty cats type. Well, I can be a bit sentimental about animals and see pet cats as individuals with personalities, deserving to be treated with respect.
This was not respect. An amateur blundering in having read some instructions in a book is not going to implement a peaceful demise.
Maybe it’s all made up, part of the conceptual art – a fantasy dreamt up to illustrate something “clever” about our online behaviour and over-the-top feelings about animals. I really hope so.
If the story is true, well Tinkebell – you’ve got more attention.
Please note that I am not writing this anonymously – you should be prosecuted for what you did and I hope that you are never allowed to own an animal again.
CiF, you’ve also got some attention, now please can you publish a response to Tinkebell’s article from an animal welfare perspective and provide a proper report on what actually happened.