It’s fatuous to outlaw an emotion – especially hate

A man in Austria has been sentenced to three months in prison for posting a picture of his cat on the internet. The photograph showed the cat, which has not been named, raising its right paw in the air in what appears to be a Nazi salute. It also had a side parting in the fur on its head and what we might describe as a distinctive moustache. Clearly the benighted creature was a fan of the controversial politician Adolf Hitler, and equally clearly the Austrians feel a little bit sensitive about all that business. Outrageously, there was no punishment whatsoever for the cat itself, which surely knew what it was getting itself into and cheerfully connived in the whole sordid episode. I’d have had it shot, bang, just like that. There is no place in decent society for animals which venerate Hitler — or Goebbels, Hess or any of those others.