Shanghai kitty torturer

As the proud owner of two incredibly beautiful and loving cats, I can’t help but feel a sense of indescribable revulsion and outrage when I read this.

It seems that a sick, twisted Fudan University student adopted and tortured more than 20 kittens since September, according to an online bulletin board (in Chinese). The student, who went by the online monicker “YuhZLL,” had been trolling the animal section of the Fudan University BBS looking for kittens to adopt. YuhZLL — real name Zhang Liangliang — eventually, somehow, managed to adopt more than 20 kittens from university animal rescuers, mostly small kittens aged 3-4 months old. He later claimed that he freed these kittens from captivity (fang sheng or 放生 ).

Realizing that the same person had been adopting all of these kittens, students became suspicious. On November 29, three students from animal section visited Zhang’s dorm room and discovered an eight-month old white cat (pictured) — minus one eye — bleeding in a cage. They immediately suspected the worst for the other cats, which were nowhere to be found.

There’s more, plus a photo, at the original post. I’m glad to see that so many Chinese people were outraged by this. I just want to know where these people come from and how they came to be so sick. Anyone who could ever torture an animal (let alone a human being)….well, I don’t know what to say.

The Discussion: 18 Comments

Someone sell this man a kitten!

December 8, 2005 @ 1:55 am | Comment

i would like to have a few hours alone with that boy. i would solve his problem permanently.

sick, sick bastard!

December 8, 2005 @ 2:54 am | Comment

ALL…cat-abusers…deserve…the… death-penalty.

(Same goes for all rapists. Rape used to be a capital offense, and ought to be one again.)

And actually, there IS some psychological similarity between rapists and animal-torturers. (Let’s leave aside vegan issues – we’re talking about animal torture for its own sake here.) Or sadists of any kind. Rape and torture (well, torture for sadistic enjoyment) are both very carnal crimes – not really sexual, but very carnal – involving some kind of disgust with the flesh, and a twisted desire to transcend the limitations of your OWN flesh by inflicting shame and degradation onto the flesh of others.

The psychologist/philosopher Erich Fromm called it the “syndrome of decay”, which in its lesser forms is symptomised by a technocratic attitude towards life, and in its most perverted forms leads to taking actual pleasure in the degradation of living creatures.

But I don’t buy any shit about how it’s a “mental illness.” Sure it’s sick, but it’s an evil sickness, a willful one.

Anyway, my last cat-friend, back in America – who has gone to the Great Spraying Ground In The Sky, full of bird’s nests and trees to scratch and piss on, and no fleas or veterinarians – God, he actually used to talk to me. Of course all he ever said was “meow”, but still….and he could tell whenever I was ill….and he even had a sense of humor, in his own way….

…(Lord Bryon said he doesn’t care what Heaven is like, as long as he can live with his cats there)….

…and of course when I was a boy I had a crush on Catwoman (Julie Newmar subspecies, the REAL Catwoman…. 🙂 “Oh, Bat-Ivan, you know we belong together!” “Yes, Catwoman, I admit, you tempt me. But Bat-Ivan is dedicated to FIGHTING CRIME!”
🙂 (Bat-Ivan begins to dance the Batusi, to the tune of the Soviet National Anthem, surrounded by 1960s Go-Go-Girls in white boots and the dancing ghosts of Nixon and Brezhnev….)

God, I’m starting to write like James Joyce.

December 8, 2005 @ 3:27 am | Comment

Interesting points, about sadists and rapists and animal abusers, Ivan.

I was always somewhat perplexed about rape being a capital offense, and (at the risk of veering us way off topic) would be interested in hearing why you think it should be. I don’t necessarily disagree, except insofar as I don’t think anything should be a capital offense.

December 8, 2005 @ 3:41 am | Comment

And more about how Cats are divine:

The reason why the ancient Egyptians revered cats as gods, and even mummified them and gave them sanctified burials, was because the Cats protected the grain supplies from mice and rats. No grain, no civilization. Ergo, the Cats were the defenders of civilization.

Of course my own cats didn’t need to defend me, although one of them really was a great mouse catcher, and I’ll never forget how he would proudly give me LIVE mice – because, the way cat-logic goes, a LIVE mouse is a special gift, because the cat wanted ME to have the pleasure of playing with it and then killing it.

Oh that cat, that friend of mine, was always SO proud whenever he brought me a live mouse. He would drop it in front of me (sometimes on my bed late at night) and I would thank him, and toss it back to him for him to kill. A very courteous, chivalrous cat, he was.

December 8, 2005 @ 3:42 am | Comment

Cats are gods. Everything else is insignficant next to cats.

December 8, 2005 @ 3:51 am | Comment


A good, fair question. Personally I don’t like the WAY the death penalty is administered in America, because too many mistakes are made and its application tends to be skewed according to economic class (and sometimes race.)

AND, I am ALMOST convinced by what Andrei Sakharov said: “After you execute someone you can’t punish him anymore.”

But I have thought a lot about this, and in the end, for the sake of consistency I must say I approve of the death penalty IF it is carefully applied, because:

…because I approve of how we hanged the Nazi bastards after the Nuremberg Trials. And if anything, execution was too good for them.

That’s just my own reason. I cannot say I’m categorically against the death penalty (even though I have reservations about it), because I DO approve, passionately, of hanging the Nazi criminals, and I approve of it PRINCIPALLY as a symbol for the World to see.

And, about why rape used to be a capital offense: The reasoning behind it (with which I agree) was that rape violates the ESSENTIAL dignity of a Human Being, just as much as murder does. The consequence is not identical – of course, a rape victim continues to live – but the focus is on the violation of some essential core of Human Dignity, something which absolutely cannot be violated. Murder violates it, and so does rape.

A corollary on that: Another part of the reasoning, is that rape involves a person’s sexuality (even though it is not an erotic crime, still, the VICTIM’s sexuality is violated) – and a person’s freedom to choose his own sexual behaviors (always in mutual consent with others of course) concerns the ONE aspect of a person’s body which is POTENTIALLY a vehicle of creating new life. (This applies for homosexuals too. Homosexuals have the same Somatic Human Nature which POTENTIALLY can create new life, and there is NOTHING more personal than that.
Which is, of course, logically, why the freedom of homosexuals NOT to create new life, but to use their sexuality in OTHER peaceful ways, must ALSO be protected and respected.)

So the basic idea is that Sex is the source of all Human Life, and to violate a person’s freedom to make his own choices about sex (as long as he doesn’t violate anone else), violates the essence of the Human Person, equivalently to how murder does.

December 8, 2005 @ 3:54 am | Comment

Also – not to veer to far off of the original topic (but now I’m thinking, in my Jesuitical way – and Richard you know I could have been a great Jesuit if I didn’t love women so much :-)….


…about the death penalty and abortion. I wish more Americans would be more logically consistent in their attitudes toward the death penalty and abortion:

The late, great Pope John Paul II (whom I really admired, even though I did not always agree with him) WAS CONSISTENT in his teachings about the “sanctity of life.” He was against abortion AND he was against the death penalty. Quite unlike most American Fundamentalists, who “love” unborn babies but who also love to execute criminals and bomb newborn babies in Baghdad.

(AND the American Fundamentalist “Christians” love the unborn, but they don’t give a shit about BORN children in poverty….as Scrooge said, “If they’re going to die, then let them do it, and reduce the surplus population!” Yeah, typical Republican, Scrooge wants the babies to be born and THEN he says they can die….

…BUT ALSO, mutatis mutandis, IF you want to allow some abortions of Human fetuses, then you should ALSO be open to the death penalty….unless you want to make some sophistic distinction between fetuses and babies, but there is no clear line between them, and if you say fetuses are “not Human” then you are opening the door to legalised infanticide….and then that opens the door to Auschwitz, where ANY “inconvenient” Human was killed…..and that’s why I admire John Paul II, because at least he was consistent and logical when he thought about the definition of “Human Life” and how eroding the definition of “Human Life” leads to Auschwitz…….

….anyway: MY opinion is the OPPOSITE of Pope John Paul’s. (That’s why I’m not a “good” Catholic.) I am in favor of the death penalty in SOME instances, and I would be inconsistent if I were not ALSO in favor of abortion in some instances. So I support the death penalty AND abortion. And mutatis mutandis, same thing in reverse.

I mean, if you SAY that you have STRICT respect for the “sanctity of human life”, then please be consitent about it, like Pope John Paul was. He was against ALL abortions AND against all executions. I disagree with him, but at least he was no hypocrite.

My take on the legality AND morality of abortion, is similar to my take on the death penalty, and in BOTH cases, I consider the (American) legal definition of Murder. (ie, to say “Abortion is murder” glosses over the legal definition of murder, which is):

1. An UNLAWFUL killing of
2. A Human who has been born (as distinguished from an abortion – yes this IS part of the American definition of murder)
3. With malice (with specific intention to kill or to do grievous bodily harm.

NOW: You see, under our laws – and this law goes back for hundreds of years, to England – “killing a Human” is NOT murder. No, the legal definition of murder is an UNLAWFUL killing, of a Human who has been born.

And the law DOES allow for some killings of Humans who have been born. Three examples:
1. Killing in self-defense
2. Execution of a criminal
3. Killing in combat

Ah. So, our laws DO allow for SOME kinds of intentional homicides. AND, our law specifies that murder is the unlawful killing of a Human who HAS BEEN BORN. Thus, our law does NOT say that an unborn fetus is not Human!

So, my unorthodox suggestion on how to redefine America’s abortion laws, is to define – very literally – abortion as the LAWFUL killing of a Human.

Acknowledge that the fetus IS HUMAN, and then say that abortion is a LAWFUL killing of a Human. Just be honest about what abortion really is, and THEN we can argue about whether it should be lawful, and under what circumstances. Just like we make SOME exceptions for killing ADULT people – and we explain why we make those exceptions – we should be honest and say, “We will allow the lawful killings of unborn Humans, for the following reasons.”

That’s my approach to abortion. And yes, it raises some deadly serious questions about WHY ANY Human should be killed. BUT, SO DOES THE DEATH PENALTY! And vice versa. If you support the death penalty, then you should consider some legalization of abortion under the same reasoning.

And vice versa, IF you support SOME abortions, IF you support killing SOME Human fetuses, then you should also consider why it might be right to give the death penalty to an adult Nazi torturer…..because after all, it’s hard to argue that a fetus is “not Human”, but it’s VERY hard to argue that a mass murderer has more right to life than a fetus.

At any rate, I just wish BOTH sides of the debates on abortion and the death penalty, would be more consistent in their thinking. Again, as for me, I APPROVE of some abortions AND some executions – but I consider both abortion AND the death penalty to be “lawful killings of Humans.” And yes it’s nasty to think about, but at least let’s be honest about what we’re really doing when we kill ANY Human, including murderers and fetuses.

Ivan the Latent Jesuit 🙂

December 8, 2005 @ 5:00 am | Comment

Sounds like he’s qualified to be Republican Majority Leader in the Senate.

December 8, 2005 @ 7:12 am | Comment

Have you guys seen pictures of the “Cat Man“? If you watch to the end of this video clip, you can see him wearing his whiskers! There have GOT to be some psychological problems there…

December 8, 2005 @ 7:27 am | Comment

Amen, Ivan.

I don’t think that I need to add anything to your comments, but then again, I agree with your idea that 1) there should be flexibility of thought that should allow abortions and capital punishment depending on the situation and 2) just be consistent in your beliefs about killing human beings.

If you think that killing a fetus is wrong, then try to think that killing ‘Tookie’ Williams is wrong too–he is the founding leader of the ‘Crips’, an American urban gang, for people who may not know who he is.

December 8, 2005 @ 8:08 am | Comment

A clear, logical and honest description of the conflicting views of the value of human life, Ivan. I 100% agree with you and couldn’t have said it better myself.

As for the cat torturer, I seriously wonder if someone that depraved can be rehabilitated. Life imprisonment is probably not an option for a cat killer, but the authorities better watch him 24/7, lest he try to upgrade to human victims.

December 8, 2005 @ 8:27 am | Comment


Thanks, right on! And about what you said about “Tookie” of the Crips gang going to the death chamber, well,

1. As I said, I DO support the death penalty in some cases, but

2. As I said, I DON’T always think killing a fetus is wrong. (In my opinion, cases of a fetus conceived through rape should be one exception. I think children of rape SHOULD be aborted, because they were NOT conceived through mutual free will, and free will is the essence of Humanity. Not to mention that I think it’s disgusting to force any woman to give birth to the child of a man who raped her.)

3. Honestly I don’t know anything about “Tookie”, and I’ve never had any encounters with the Crips. Although, back when I lived in a major American city, I DID live close by a lot of gang members of various kinds, for a while. And some of them were actually good guys, and one of them saved me from being violently robbed once. (Literally, his friends were going to rob me, and my friend said, “No, that’s my man “Ivan”, he’s cool, he a cool white boy, let him go!” 🙂

4. I am FOR aborting SOME fetuses, and I would be FOR executing “Tookie” IF his crimes involved extraordinary cruelty toward weaker people. But if Tookie just killed another gangster, then I would probably want to let him live.

ALSO, in reply to “ckrisz” who said, right after my comment (PRESUMABLY about me):

“Sounds like he’s qualified to be a Republican Majority leader in the Senate.”

Ah, IF that was directed at me, then you are really an ass. Because….

…because in this thread I have been SUPPORTING some abortions, AND supporting some death penalties. AND, oh God if you only knew, how big my FBI file is. I was being harassed for protesting against Ronald Reagan’s wars in Nicaragua, and I was being pushed around by police at anti-nuke demonstrations, probably before you were even born, “crkisz”…… 🙂

My anti-Republican FBI file goes back for more than 20 years. So just shut the f— up and read my comments more carefully, before you turn me into one of your sophomoric categories of “Republican versus Democrat”.

And I voted for Walter Mondale in 1984, probably before you were even born.

December 8, 2005 @ 8:40 am | Comment


You mentioned, “the conflicting views of the value of Human life.” Thank you for that!

And now I have thought of a GREAT example of this, from the Old Testament of the Bible, and the Jewish holiday of Passover. (I am not Jewish, but my mother’s Grandfather was, so yes I am a BIT biased in favor of Jews. AND I understand Judaism pretty well. So let me go on):

….the Jewish ritual of Passover (which the Christian Holy Communion, the Last Supper of Jesus, is based on), is a remembrance of when God killed the firstborn children of all Egyptians, around 1,300 years ago when the Jews were slaves in Egypt.

The story (which IS based on historical facts, although the facts are a bit fuzzy now) says, that around 1,300 years ago, the Jews were slaves in Egypt.

(There IS some historical evidence for this. And it was PROBABLY around the time of the Pharaoh named Tutankhamen, King Tut – who lived during the VERY SHORT time when Egypt worshipped ONE god like the Jews do…..)

…..ah, well, we cannot QUITE determine the date, but the records suggest that AROUND the time of King Tut, the “Habiru”, the Hebrews, were slaves in Egypt, and then an Egyptian Nobleman who is remembered inaccurately as “Moses”…

…. the name “Moses” is Egyptian for “Sonny-boy”, “Moses” means “son of….”, in ancient Egyptian, it’s an Egyptian suffix-name)…..

….around that time, SOMEBODY who is now called “Moses” led the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, on a long pilgrimage to freedom in what is now Israel…(to start his own Monotheistic colony after his Monotheistic religion was outlawed in Egypt….and the Jewish slaves in Egypt were a good source of colonists for him, especially as they had SOME kind of vague belief in “One God”, and they wanted to escape from their poverty in Egypt….)

….and that is what the Jews celebrate on Passover, to this day. The old Jewish legend says, that on the night before Moses led the Jews out of Egypt, God KILLED ALL of the firstborn sons of the Egyptians, as a collective punishment.

(This legend is PROBABLY based on a true story of the ancient Jews taking revenge murders in some Egyptian households, just before the Jews fled from Egypt…)

And so, the Jewish holiday of Passover, even today, is a celebration of a MASS KILLING of EGYPTIAN BABIES!

AH, BUT: there was a legal, moral reason for it. The old legend says, that God killed all of the Egyptian babies, as payback, as punishment for how the Egyptians killed so many Jewish babies.

(It would be kind of like – hypothetically – if God killed all of the German babies born in 1944 when the Holocaust was going on, as payback for the dead Jewish babies of Auschwitz, just to teach the Germans a lesson they would never forget.)

Ah, now, YES, in our times, over 3,000 years later, yes, NOW we have evolved beyond believing in “collective punishment.” (At least, all civilized people do, today.) But this was thousands of years ago, when people thought differently and their ethics were NOT highly developed.

So, NOW, my MAIN point about the dead Egyptian babies on Passover – my MAIN point is, to say:

…that to this day, on every Passover, the Jews say a prayer for all of the Egyptian babies who died on the first Passover, of 3,300 years ago.

Today, on every Passover, all Jews say a prayer in remembrance of the innocent Egyptian babies who died on the first Passover. And those dead Egyptian babies are considered Saints, and Martyrs, in Judaism. The Egyptian babies who died on the first Passover, are called Saints by the Jews today, because they died as innocent martyrs. Good Orthodox Jews today (like the Hasids) say that the dead Egyptian babies of the first Passover of 3,300 years ago, are in the HIGHEST place in Heaven, because they died in perfect holiness, as martyrs for God.

Which, dare I say, suggests that Judaism is one of the most highly evolved ethical systems in the world, to this day. Christianity is the other one. And Islam, at its best, is another, but I say that with reservations.

But at any rate, if you want to find the best ancient wisdom about the complexities of the “value of Human Life”, your best bet is to look at the history of the Jews and the Christians in equal measure, with some extra bits from Islam. And then you can also consider the Western Humanists of the 1700s, like America’s founding Fathers….

…and do NOT consider the Communist Party at all, because the Communist Party is AVOWEDLY, OFFICIALLY opposed to every transcendent conception of Human Life, such as the best Jews and Christians, and even most Muslims, have believed in.

(My favorite line in the Muslim Koran, is when God says: “Muhammed, if it were not for you, I would not have created all of the stars!” Meaning (as SOME Muslims, especially my Sufi brothers, say): “God created the entire universe FOR HUMANS!” 🙂

(Ah, I think Richard knows I belong to a Sufi community. Which is NOT to say that I’m a good one. I am just a pathetic Dervish fool, under the influence of too much wine….)

You can find ancient and true conceptions of Human Dignity in Judaism and in Christianity, and in most kinds of Islam. And some – in foggy ways – in the Hindus and Buddhists.

But NONE in Communism!

The Communist Party is the sworn, openly declared enemy of everything Moses and Jesus and Muhammed and Buddha and Gandhi and Nelson Mandela ever taught, about the transcendent Dignity of Man.

Mao never said anything in remembrance of the Chinese babies he killed. But even today, over three thousand years after “Moses” led the Jews out of Egypt, the Jews STILL remember the dignity of the dead Egyptian babies of Passover Night.

QED. You want REAL Humanist ethics? Look at the BEST teachings of the Jews and their offspring religions, the Christians and Muslims.
(And I love Buddhism, but even the Buddhists are NOT essentially Humanist like the Jews and Christians and Muslims are.)

And look for the OPPOSITE of such Humanist ethics, in the Communist Party, who say all Humans are just animals who eat and fuck and work on the GDP.

Communism is the OPPOSITE of all of the three great Western religions, and there can never be any reconcilation between Atheistic Communism and the Theistic Humanism of all of the Spiritual Children of Abraham. 🙂

(And there is an old Jewish story about a Father who gave three identical rings to his three sons – meaning, the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims – and it’s a long story, but at the END of the story, the Father tells his three sons:

“Ah, you want to know who has the TRUE ring? Any of my sons who loves his brother, has a true ring with my blessing, and ALL THREE of your rings are merely copies of MY ring….and you can see, I have written on all three of your rings, my command: Love one another. Whoever follows that command, is my true son, and his ring is a true copy of mine.” 🙂

From Ivan the latent Rabbi. 🙂
(Not to mention, an even more latent Dervish-Sufi. I am just a fool among foolish Dervishes.)

December 8, 2005 @ 9:58 am | Comment

Ummm…. there’s a sight difference between killing a conscious, reflective and self-aware adult human being and something gestating in a womb….
Have you guys lost so much of your humanity that you can’t differentiate between the two?

December 8, 2005 @ 10:12 pm | Comment

Keir, that leads us to all kinds of messy issues. All I’ll say is I fully agree with you, although I’m aware others see the issue very differently. I learned the hard way never to argue about abortion or guns.

December 8, 2005 @ 10:22 pm | Comment

there’s a sight difference between killing a conscious, reflective and self-aware adult human being and something gestating in a womb

And some would say there’s a difference between a convicted murderer heinous enough to warrat the death penalty, and an innocent child guilty of nothing more than original sin.

December 9, 2005 @ 9:23 am | Comment

Let’s get back to the cat story for a moment … Richard, you may be happy to see that so many Chinese people were outraged by this, and to a certain extent we should be, but let’s be fair: things like this are by no means mainstream in Chinese society, nor are phenomenons like these confined to within the Chinese borders. I bet the world’s newspapers must abund with such stories. You are asking the single one question that is relevant here: how did this guy came to be so sick ? And I’d like to add another one: how many more of them is out there ? Anybody here cared to follow that Chinese thread that was linked to in one of the comments on this article on “Shanghaiist”. We actually have a guy raving there about that criminal that is killing those kittens, while applying for access to a foreign university, so the conclusion is: he had better killed off some foreigners, that would have been justice ! The poster is repeating the same three chinese sentences I think about 10 to 15 times over, (making his post very difficult to overlook if only by virtue of the typography) and I haven’t seen any single reaction to that. That is where a society makes me scared, not by that one sicko that kills off some cats to release some steam.

Reading all these comments on the western and Chinese forums, I also wonder whether we are not losing the perspective here. I have the feeling that more than just one guy is unloading cropped up frustration on this convenient culprit, bad as he may be (but essentially sick in his mind and in civilized countries the sick are entitled to receive a cure, be it in confinement in psychiatric institutions, instead of a lethal injection).

December 9, 2005 @ 3:31 pm | Comment

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