As a kid, we had a pet dog. Black Labrador, daft as a brush and the perfect four-legged companion for a young kid growing up in Liverpool. It was because of him I saw myself as a ‘dog person’.
That was until many years later when I was ruthlessly conned into adopting two rescue kittens from an animal shelter by an ex-girlfriend.
“We are just going to have a look, honest,” she lied.
An hour later, we were on the way home with two cats in tow.
From that moment, my whole perception of cats changed. I went from a ‘dog person’ to an ‘animal person’.
Cats are full of personality, and the two we adopted had it in abundance. Since then I’ve rescued quite a few cats, and adopted and fostered a couple of dogs.
All share one common denominator, and that is an overwhelming outpouring of gratefulness.
This week, West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma was videoed in his home kicking and hitting his pet cat.
Zouma was filmed in his kitchen picking up the cat before dropping it and booting it into the air like a football across the kitchen. The footage has prompted ‘urgent enquiries’ by Essex Police and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).
Sports manufacturers Adidas have also cut ties with the 27-year-old, issuing a statement saying he is “no longer an Adidas athlete”.
After the video was published, West Ham took the unusual decision to include the French international in their match against Watford.
Early on in the game, Zouma got kicked, prompting the Watford fans to sing to him: “That’s how your cat feels.”
His manager, David Moyes, after the match defended his decision to include Zouma in the team, citing purely football reasons.
I’ve no doubt of his ability and value to West Ham, he is a very good defender, but surely now his actions, which he has admitted and apologised for, must have serious consequences.
West Ham, the RSCPA, police and the English Football Association need to act fast and the punishments must be strong.
I hope he never plays again, and hope he will spend some time inside a prison cell to think about his dumb actions, however, I feel a slap on the wrist coming.
West Ham have fined him around $335,000, which of course is a vast sum of money. But really for a multi-millionaire footballer it’s a drop in the ocean.
I just don’t know what possessed him to think he could ever get away with it? In this modern age where everything is recorded, footballers need to be far more responsible for their actions.
But then again, that will be difficult for some, especially the overpaid dumb idiots who believe just because they are good at kicking a ball around means they have a God given right to behave like complete idiots all the time.
One saving grace from the whole Zouma fiasco, is that animal welfare officials have removed his two cats from his home.
Hopefully now, they will be rehomed into a house not occupied by a total numbskull. VNS