“Climb down off that smokestack with your paws above your head!” cried the police.
“I’ll climb down when I’m purrrfectly good and ready!” purred Catwoman.
Holy cat-scratch-fever! Has Catwoman lost her pajamas? Is Catwoman headed for the pound? Staaay tuned to find out!
The following is an alleged interview with Catwoman from Mountain Gate, California:
Captain Ozone: Last January, you were arrested for protesting on top of the Knauf Fiber Glass Plant’s smokestack in Shasta Lake, CA. Why did you climb their smokestack? What exactly were you protesting?
Catwoman: There are far too many injustices to give in so short a piece. I believe the smokestack itself explains everything. It is 199 feet tall and 22 feet across at the base. You could theoretically drive a school bus through it. In fact, if they had built the smokestack a single foot higher, Knauf would have been required to put a flashing light on the top so that airplanes wouldn't hit it.
Captain Ozone: Why build the smokestack one foot shy of the flashing light requirement? If they could legally build it higher, why stop short?
Catwoman: The light would have illuminated Knauf's nightly toxic emissions. According to Knauf's own Environmental Impact Report (Final Draft), their smokestack will be emitting 3078 pounds a day of dangerous, toxic fiber glass manufacturing waste into a closed valley where over 100,000 people currently live.
More details are available at our No Knauf! website: www.shastalake.com/air
CO: Your lawyer, Eric Berg, reported to the media that, "the 'Cat Woman' risked her life to save the lives of others. The government and Knauf can call it what they want." He has also called your choice of attire "a mystery." Why did you choose him as your attorney?
CW: I was sitting on the floor of the booking room, leaning against a cement wall. All the phones were ringing off the hook, a madhouse, and everyone made a point to not look at me. I was tired and my bones were still cold. Finally, an officer came over to me and told me my lawyer wanted to talk with me. I said, "I have a lawyer?" He looked very unhappy about this and said, "legally, I have to inform you that you can talk with your lawyer if you wish." I thought, "Hot damn!" and that is how he became my attorney.
For information on upcoming Cat court dates and all the latest Cat in the pound gossip you may contact, Super-Hero Criminal Defense Attorney, Eric Berg, at:
530-223-5110 or firstname.lastname@example.org
CO: How long were you protesting on Knauf’s stack before the local authorities finally nabbed you?
CW: I was never nabbed. I voluntarily descended after seven hours. It was cold that day, well below freezing, and the wind chill cut somewhat fiercely. I relented when I could no longer withstand the elements.
CO: I heard Shasta Lake’s animal control showed up as well. Were you hauled away to the police station in a caged wagon?
CW: Always keep a feline fury caged if you can! Actually, the ride to the Shasta County Jail went fairly swell. The seats were made of hard plastic, and the handcuffs bit into my wrists, but the heater was on high. Sure, animal control was called, as were virtually every law enforcement officer and fire personnel in Shasta County. Between the protesters that spontaneously showed up to support me and the media swarming shark-like outside, Knauf had a hard time keeping their "Good Knauf" public image mask from slipping. It was all quite a sight from my catwalk perch. And for many people it was the first time they had ever bothered to LOOK at the smokestack.
CO: What sort of charge is Knauf pressing against you?
CW: There are both criminal and civil lawsuits I must face. I am being charged with trespass and delaying an officer by the Shasta County District Attorney. I would point out that I committed no acts of sabotage at their plant and the smokestack was not even turned on at the time. I hung a banner on the railing of the catwalk that stated the most obvious of things, "SAVE A CHILD YOU KNOW." Aside from the criminal charges, Knauf has also filed a civil lawsuit against me claiming ,528 in 'debugging' damages in addition to punitive damages and lawyers fees, stating in their complaint that my trespass on their smokestack was "willful, malicious, and oppressive."
CO: What are 'debugging' damages?
CW: You will have to ask Knauf Fiber Glass that one.
CO: Is there any chance you’ll have to spend time behind bars, and if so, how long?
CW: Yes, there is a real possibility that I may spend up to a year and a half. If I am convicted I plan to write at least one Great American Novel. I hear that prison life is excellent for fevered, lurid prose. Working titles are "The Kitty Who Kicked Ass" and "Citizens Are More Powerful Than Corporations."
CO: Do you suffer from a martyr complex? I assume you must have had an inkling to the consequences of trespassing and putting your life at risk.
CW: I try not to look too deeply into my motives. I do not really know what makes me do the things I am compelled by. Rather I am a wisp, an archetype, a player on the stage some call life. And is life not brief, a passing dream, fervent and delightful in the midnight air? Why be afraid when you can be alive?
CO: Is there anything you wish to say about Knauf’s top mucky mucks in Ipophen, Germany? I believe the company is run by two brothers who act as current managing partners.
CW: Kiss my Tail.
CO: Do you wear black kitty attire very often, or was Knauf’s smokestack your first time?
CW: Shhhh! A feline always keeps her secrets.
CO: I heard from a rather reliable source that you purchase 31 gallons of milk each week. What brand of milk do you buy in Mountain Gate?
CW: I have young milk maids who provide enough milk for all my requirements.
CO: Give us a meow! Or is it a roar?
CW: Purrrring is my favorite.
CO: I am able to only imagine the health hazards that fiberglass factory workers are exposed to, such as glass dust inhalation and other airborne chemicals, but what are the dangers of having fiberglass insulation in your home?
CW: It depends on whether or not the insulation was properly installed. There have been successful lawsuits won against incompetent installers. One of the benefits of cellulose insulation is that a person can even crawl through the stuff without harm. Anyone who has ever touched fiberglass bats knows how terribly irritating the material can be to the skin. Just think how prolonged exposure to your lungs from these tiny cork screw shaped glass shards (coated in phenol and formaldehyde resins) plays out over time.
For more information on fiberglass insulation health risks I refer you to the Fiberglass Information Network: www.sustainableenterprises.com/fin/
CO: What kind of green alternatives are available for insulation besides fiberglass?
CW: Most people might be surprised to learn that there are many green alternative insulations currently on the market. These alternative are comparable to fiberglass in price and do not cause cancer. Whereas, fiberglass is currently listed in the 9th Annual
Report on Carcinogens as a "probable human carcinogen," such things as cotton and cellulose are completely safe and are even fire resistant (unlike fiberglass which simply melts in a fire). More information on viable green insulation alternatives is available at: http://www.betterinsulation.com/Timeline.htm
(and no they are not giving me milk tabs for a plug)
CO: How can citizens in your community and elsewhere help change Knauf Fiber Glass for the better?
CW: Knauf fears more than anything, more than even my little pussycat self, the specter of public awareness. The problem we face in Shasta County is a problem faced throughout the world. It is essentially a question of personal responsibility, of standing up to organizations that would grind you into the dust for one extra penny of profit. In the end, Knauf must live in this world as surely as we. They must provide a legacy for their children and their children's children.
I understand the realities of commerce, and yet as a race we placed in 1969 a man upon the moon, in the very Sea of Tranquility. We can certainly solve the complexities of living in harmony with our natural habitat. We can do this and we can still profit. Moreover, we can thrive.
CO: Well said. We can also command great energies without harming the Earth. Any parting comments to all your cat fans?
CW: Why, Love and Meows to all!