Pet lovers in China are in mourning after a 77-year-old woman in Guizhou Province allegedly killed her cat with a butcher knife because she believed the animal had brought bad luck to her family by spreading the AIDS virus, according to a report in The New York Times. The animal is reported to have been raped and mutilated before its still-life was posted online. The human victim was known as Jia Jia, the Times wrote, and is suffering from AIDS-related complications as a result of being infected in her early 20s. “She used to take care of the cat,” the family’s lawyer, Wang Qiming, told the Times. “They were good friends, and after Jia Jia passed away in 2016, the cat used to stay at her place.” Despite Jia Jia’s expressed fear that her cat would put her at risk, this was the second time her pet had been killed.
In July of 2017, Jia Jia said the same cat had attacked and raped her, and the same day that the state media covered the story, several friends and family members discovered the animal, according to the Times. “This cat brutally attacked Jia Jia on her home land in 2017, and she was so sad but could not do anything about it because she couldn’t bring herself to kill it,” Wang told the Times. “The same thing happened again today.” The state news outlet Xinhua reports that an investigation is underway, but that no charges have been filed as of Wednesday.
“This is the worst thing I’ve seen,” said Feng Qiaojian, who sells animal food in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province. “We can kill all kinds of animals here. If we don’t kill them all, those who want to hurt us will do it anyway. Totally brutal.”
On Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter, users responded with anger to the story. Users exchanged hundreds of comments and hashtags — including #RapePets and #BlastChrist — and hundreds of pictures. In response to Jia Jia’s outpouring of grief and anger on the social media site, numerous celebrities and public figures pleaded with her to show remorse and refrain from making public comments. Linguist Xiao Shen reportedly posted that she should “let the poor dog rest in peace.” Others posted about cases of similar abuse against cats. “So how did this situation come about? Why? And how can someone who thinks cats are evil let their guard down to rape this poor animal?” asked netizen Li Ningyi. Another user argued that Jia Jia should be held accountable for her crime and called for donations to help fund the vet bills that would cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair her criminal actions.
In an attempt to make some sense of the bloody incident, commentators on social media suggested that the cat could have been trying to warn her, via its torture, of impending trouble. “Jia Jia is almost 77 years old,” one user said, “how strange that this cat didn’t smell the trouble in her life.” Others said that Jia Jia was of good character, according to previous news coverage, and that her alleged actions would be judged harshly by the public in response to that demeanor.
Given its sheer size and future as a burgeoning field of biomedical research, China is constantly looking for new ways to eradicate the spread of AIDS. In addition to mass campaigns designed to eradicate the disease through public education, many people living with HIV are ostracized for being open about their diagnosis, and some are sent to labor camps or poor treatment camps for alleged efforts to spread the virus.
Read the full story at The New York Times.
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