There are innumerable cases of animal abuse, and surely there are scores of them being enacted right at this very moment in various places around the globe. But some of them stand out for one reason or another---the locale, the time, the identity of the abuser, their relevance to a greater issue presently pressing upon the world, or the level of inhumanity. If you haven't heard of Tengteng, the month-old kitten stomped to death by a university student named Joseph Carlo Candare, you can read about her tragedy HERE. Since the petition went online, thousands of people from all walks of life have become familiar with her short life and death. She's become one of the standard bearers for defenseless and abused animals. I urge you to sign the petition and send your very own stinging email to the school authorities who have decided to act as Mr. Candare's defense team rather than the prosecution.
Janette Ramos, a self-declared neophyte digital artist, took Tengteng's photo and transformed it into an ethereal image that panders to our best wishes and heartfelt prayers for Tengteng in the afterlife. Ms. Ramos' effective portrayal of a murdered stray kitten turned angel soothes our pain and our collective sense of loss. With no humans to wait for at the rainbow bridge, Tengteng is seen under a heavenly glow, with angel wings and a cavernous ear turned towards the reader, as if waiting for the news that justice has finally been served. The painting is aptly named, Elysium. Tengteng is gone, but her month-long life on Earth has become emblematic of the hideous cruelty that humankind heaps on defenseless animals.