The Dim-Post

July 8, 2016

A missing cats conspiracy and a surprisingly throught-provoking dream about Wham!

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 8:19 am

The Guardian reports:

When Ashleigh Hicks’s cat Moses went missing, she was concerned because it was unusual, but assumed he would soon return home.

However, it appears Moses is not the only one to have disappeared in odd circumstances. He is vanished cat No 50 this year alone in the city of Timaru, in New Zealand’s South Island.

“A common factor I have noticed in the majority of these stories is that the cats simply disappeared for no particular reason, cats that don’t tend to wander far,” Hicks said. “We all thought this is too much of a coincidence and suspected foul play.”

After Hicks set up a Facebook closed group called #freethefurbabies, she realised just how many of the animals had gone missing in similar circumstances. The group now has more than 100 members.

Members have begun pooling information; including times and dates of the disappearances, photographs of the missing pets and witness accounts.

One member said that last year all three of her cats disappeared in the space of three months

There are many missing cat posters in my neighborhood, which is near the Otari Wilton bush reserve. What if, I have recently wondered, someone working at the reserve – someone with strong environmental convictions – was trapping and killing these cats to stop them from killing native birds? It wouldn’t be difficult. A baited trap, hidden in some remote corner of the bush where no one but the killer and the cats would go. Or simple poison. A perfect crime.

This Guardian story makes me wonder if it is bigger than just one person? What if there was a covert nationwide network of cat killers? It wouldn’t be hard to organise such a thing, but the founder would need to be very well resourced, and obviously insane.

On a slightly unrelated note: I dreamed about Wham! again last night. Someone in the dream pointed out how my attitude towards Wham! had changed over the years. When Fantastic was released in July of 1983 I was nine years old, and I liked all of their songs, especially Bad Boys although they weren’t my favorite band. But by the time they broke up in mid-1986 they were regarded with contempt by everyone in my school, including me, and I genuinely hated them and felt rage when I heard their music. Years went by, and by the late 1990s it became acceptable to like Wham! but only on an ironic level, so I did this. Now I like some of their songs purely as songs, without any social influence.

Or do I? As the unknown person in my dream pointed out, I once thought that I genuinely hated, and then ironically appreciated Wham! But I was just doing what was culturally appropriate. Who knows the true factors governing my current attitude towards them? And what will I think about Wham! in twenty or even forty years time? I might have ideas about them, shaped by powerful but invisible social and historical factors that are literally incomprehensible to me now.


  1. I have always been at war with Wham!

    Comment by robhosking — July 8, 2016 @ 8:22 am

  2. On topic one: See Gareth Morgan
    On topic two: See Gareth Morgan.

    Comment by Richard Williams — July 8, 2016 @ 8:32 am

  3. @Wham! — i heartily recommend you see “Keanu” when it comes available.

    Comment by petronious — July 8, 2016 @ 8:39 am

  4. saw an old wham video a year or two back – the consensus in the room at the time was “how on earth did we not spot the rainbow hot pants?!” – its a dead give away to us now

    Comment by framu — July 8, 2016 @ 8:41 am

  5. Also, why no one figured out why there were no girls at Club Tropicana

    Comment by danylmc — July 8, 2016 @ 8:44 am

  6. This seems to be working fine so far, but I may need to raise my level of vigilance.

    Comment by Joe W — July 8, 2016 @ 9:09 am

  7. People who think their cats don’t wander far don’t know much about cats.

    Comment by MeToo — July 8, 2016 @ 9:36 am

  8. GM doesn’t strike me as someone who’d bother to do anything covertly when his main aim seems to be to try and stir up debate and get large numbers of people talking about and doing stuff without actually doing it himself. I also can’t see how covert cat snaffling would be in the best interests of the campaign he’s trying to run, or how he might even see it as being so. Take the cat of someone who’s let it roam, and I’d expect they’re most likely to simply get another cat and let it roam.

    I’d believe there could be other random people out there who’d think that way, though.

    Comment by izogi — July 8, 2016 @ 9:42 am

  9. #missingpussy

    Comment by Neil — July 8, 2016 @ 9:56 am

  10. When Fantastic was released in July of 1983 I was nine years old…

    I was 21 years old, so regarded Wham! as a loathsome and gratuitous insult to the musical progress of the previous seven years, and possibly a loathsome and gratuitous insult to music itself. Further age and experience demonstrated that “musical progress” was a chimera and the worst you could say about Wham! was that gay people are pretty funny.

    Also: one of my cats would bring me great pleasure if it went away and never came back, but the insidious cat-nappers don’t seem to be operating in my neighbourhood.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 8, 2016 @ 10:52 am

  11. Psycho Milt , could it be your cat has a reciprocal idea and cant work out why it hasnt happened allready ?

    Comment by ghostwhowalksnz — July 8, 2016 @ 11:07 am

  12. Danyl – I’d be interested in reading a similar discussion/reflection about your feelings towards John Key over the years and if so could the spinners pushing KDS go back to kiwiblog for a while

    Comment by rodaigh — July 8, 2016 @ 11:55 am

  13. You probably didn’t watch Neighbours at War last night, that featured Piha village, where they know who the perpetrator is, drowns them, freezes them, then puts them out in the rubbish.

    Comment by Michael — July 8, 2016 @ 11:58 am

  14. Re: Wham it has to be said that those boys perfected the art of orange faces long before The Donald tried out the look. Also, awesome that you have caught up with the rest of the internet on this cats thing.

    Comment by McNulty — July 8, 2016 @ 12:18 pm

  15. While I agree that cat murder is a loathsome crime, I do think the good villagers of Piha may have acted a little disproportionately by drowning, freezing and disposing of the perpetrator.

    Comment by Conrad — July 8, 2016 @ 12:19 pm

  16. I’m confused. Are you saying George Michael is killing cats in Timaru, and that you don’t know how or why you feel about this?

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 8, 2016 @ 1:31 pm

  17. (1) Feline: The obvious answer: killed by a roaming dog.

    That’s what happened to our cat – and a series of others in the neighbourhood – 4 years ago. Bloody dog and its remarkably useless, lazy owner. (I have a theory that most dog owners are inherently self-centred and anti-social)

    (2) On Wham !, dogs, vivid dreams and John Key (rodaigh 12.):

    Being precisely (almost to the day) 10 years older than you, Danyl, I can’t say I ever took the trouble to care a tinker’s cuss about Wham ! I mean, obviously they were shit – that goes without saying – complete and utter shit – but actively HATING them would have ascribed a degree of importance that they quite simply didn’t possess. Their music was banal crap but then that’s pretty much what you expect of bands aimed at 12 year olds. Ultimately inconsequential in the scheme of things.

    But let me just briefly tell you about the most vivid dream I’ve had in recent years (and one of the very few that I could remember after waking up) . Occurred about 5 years ago. I won’t go too much into the details but you’ll get the gist if I mention that it involved John Key and a local Council official glumly setting fire to someone’s pet dog down on Onepoto Park off Titahi Bay’s Main Road, alongside Porirua Harbour. A few minutes earlier, they’d told a gathering of our neighbour’s that this was the most humane way to put the dog down – which they assured us was suffering from a terminal disease.

    After they left, we all began to question the logic of those assurances – was it really all that humane ? So it was agreed that I would go and try to stop them. As I approach Onepoto Park, I see purple smoke wafting up from the dog’s burning body, Key and the council official standing there with the matches and kerosene can still in their hands – and I suddenly feel very angry, with more than a touch of self-righteous fervour. He’d just inflicted intolerable suffering on a defenceless animal. By a remarkable stroke of luck, I see a large silver ball-baring on the ground at my feet, pick it up and immediately lob it with full force in the direction of the Prime Minister’s skull. He’s a couple of hundred metres away but the remarkably accurate shot hits him straight between the eyes and he instantly keels backwards.

    To my great surprise (and this may be symbolic of the man’s polling history), he sat up within a few seconds and, although dazed, started to get up on his feet, a little shakily at first, and look around for who might have attacked him in this outrageous way. By yet another remarkable stroke of luck, I suddenly find that a number of my closest friends have turned up and so I start engaging in deep conversation with them as a way of pretending the whole incident has absolutely nothing to do with me. Tragically, Key’s too astute to fall for that one and places his large policeman-like hand on my shoulder and declares a citizen’s arrest. (something along the lines of The Life of Brian scene where John Cleese’s Roman Legionnaire tells Brian: “You are fucking nicked, me old son”.)

    Won’t go through the whole dream, but basically I get escorted through the centre of some city I’m unfamiliar with by Key and a group of soldiers and police to a waiting train. Then the whole thing turns into quite a different genre of dream altogether when they sit me in the train carriage next to an extremely attractive young woman who is also being transported for trial after throwing something at the PM. To my great delight, she’s not only an ardent Liverpool fan (like my good self) but enthusiastically agrees with me when I suggest that Ron Atkinson’s Manchester United team of the mid-1980s may have looked good on paper but simply didn’t gel as a team. Big names, Wasted talent. And a diabolical start to the 1986-87 season.

    Comment by swordfish — July 8, 2016 @ 1:44 pm

  18. This is obviously the work of the Chinese.

    Comment by leeharmanclark — July 8, 2016 @ 2:23 pm

  19. ” Feline: The obvious answer: killed by a roaming dog.”

    while not disputing your own experience – i would guess that more often than not the cat wins – ive seen plenty of dog/cat throw downs, the dog always runs yelping or the cat performs some death and gravity defying acrobatics out of there

    Comment by framu — July 8, 2016 @ 2:40 pm

  20. This is obviously the work of the Chinese.

    Or some other people with funny sounding surnames.
    Swordfish – your dream was clearly related to anxiety surrounding a real-estate purchase.

    Comment by Gregor W — July 8, 2016 @ 3:24 pm

  21. #Schrödinger’scottage

    Comment by Neil — July 8, 2016 @ 6:54 pm

  22. In 1990 I was waiting for my boarding call at Tokyo’s Narita airport. My seat in a vaguely Chinese-themed beer establishment afforded a view of a My First Sony display, where children were able to poke at bright plastic kiddie versions of Walkmen and suchlike. A caucasian boy about 9 years old sprang up onto a small stage and struck up Wham!’s Wake Me Up Before Yo Go-Go on some kind of Sony keyboard set on a tiny version of the kind of stand favoured by stage performers. There was something breathtakingly horrible about his look-at-me high 80s rock star posturing, evoking some ghastly homunculus version of Gary Glitter, but what the hell, the little creep could play. Months later I came across the same gadget at a friend’s place, where I discovered that Wake Me Up Before Yo Go-Go was one of a number of built-in tunes.

    Comment by Joe W — July 8, 2016 @ 7:40 pm

  23. If Wham wasn’t your favourite band back then what was?

    Comment by Cliff Clavin — July 8, 2016 @ 10:20 pm

  24. I might have ideas about them, shaped by powerful but invisible social and historical factors that are literally incomprehensible to me now.

    Oedipuss Rex

    Comment by NeilM — July 9, 2016 @ 12:28 am

  25. I liked all of their songs….I genuinely hated them and felt rage when I heard their music
    As a wise person once said, it’s a fine line between pleasure and pain.

    Comment by McNulty — July 9, 2016 @ 9:17 am

  26. FWIW, caging the cat and ringing the council is a waste of time for all concerned. I know this from painful experience. The cat will be back within a couple of days, slaughtering whatever you were trying to protect by using the cage. I can imagine someone getting very sick of the process and deciding that killing stray pests is no big deal and … not so long later there’s a big pile of them. I suspect cat meat even works as bait for the next one.

    The fundamental problem is, as Izogi points out, that irresponsible cat owners are unlikely to get any message from losing a cat, they’ll just replace it and repeat the process. As one of our neighbours said when I complained “it likes to go out at night and kill things, so I let it” in a very “what is your problem” tone of voice. They genuinely didn’t see why anyone would care. It made me think that going out at night and killing things was something our neighbours would support… especially since the “things” in this case were explicitly other people’s pets.

    Comment by Moz likes little furry creatures — July 12, 2016 @ 12:03 pm

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