Riot of Perfume's Editor-in-Chief Eugenie Dalland gives us a closer look at the publications that may have gone under the radar. This week is a radical zine collective whose focus is based on the abuse of power in authority.
One glance at the small, pocket-sized zine entitled, "Cats Hate Cops" — featuring a collaged image of a cat gnawing on a patrol car — was enough to pique my interest. The 62-page unauthored publication is filled with photocopied newspaper articles (chronicled from 1805 until 2013) that recount a surprisingly large number of incidents of cats attacking, or fleeing, the authorities.
The titles and subject headings are almost farcical: "Ferocious Feline Assault - A Policeman Attacked By a Cat and Seriously Hurt (1865)," "Jumps On Policeman's Shoulders, Scratches His Face, and Pussy Lands In Jail (1902),” "Cat, Rescued From Tree, Resents Police Cell, Flees (1935),” "Large Cat Suspected in Pig Attack (1988)," "Pet Peeved: Attacks Owner, smashes window to escape cops, finally collared (2012)."
“Meet your future executioners.”
I'd never thought of cats as being miscreants hell-bent on attacking cops, but here was evidence of their sustained anarchist tendencies (ostensibly unintentional). The last page of the zine features a short essay written about the vilification of the domestic cat because of its seeming refusal to “acknowledge human dominion.” The zine was published by Research & Destroy, a radical zine collective based in NYC whose titles shed a necessary light on past and present instances of the abuse of power by various authorities and institutions.
Further inquiry lead me to their rather anonymous website that lists recent zines, posters, and other material, including a tote printed with anarchist Lucy Parson's famous dictum, “Meet your future executioners.”
"Cats Hate Cops" is considerably less sober than other zines published by Research & Destroy (indeed it provides a kind of comic relief compared with, for example, the powerful "Communique from an Ex-Cop," by Christopher Jordan Dorner), but it's a worthy and meticulously researched collection that manages to convey an important point: mainstream media has never failed to villainize attacks on authority, even when the assailant is a cat.