Last week, we told you that not much seemed to happen during the administration of the New York bar exam. In truth, in New York (and New Jersey), shenanigans usually don’t start until after the state boards of law examiners get their hands on the exams.

Still, things did seem quiet in the tri-state area this bar season. They were more dead than the proverbial curious cat.

But if we move upstate to Albany, there was an actual dead cat. Or perhaps we should say “horrifically murdered” cat? Try not to eat lunch (or take a bar exam) directly after reading this story…

Albany is already a giant pit of despair. As many of you know, Albany is where they make you take the bar if you are not living in New York when you register for the exam. It’s also the seat of the New York State government. There’s little reason to be in Albany unless you are taking the bar or working for the state, which means most people in the city are depressed, anxious and potentially corrupt.

For people who got out of the morning session of the MBE a little bit early, the day went from depressing to horrific. From a tipster:

People taking the NY Bar exam at the Albany Times Union Center were treated to a truly grisly sight. Those who left the MBE’s morning session a bit early (around 12:10) and were sitting on the steps saw a man holding a cat by its tail and slamming it onto the curb/sidewalk several times before casually tossing its body into a garbage can. It was unclear to us, at the time, whether the cat was already dead… A minor uproar ensued. The cops showed up and arrested the guy.

Come on. Surely the grisly murder of house cat was just a bar-induced hallucination. Right?

Well, not only did the cat death actually happen, there’s a chance that the cat might have even belonged to one of the people taking the bar exam. At the very least, the cat-slamming guy “belonged” to a bar taker. From the Wall Street Journal:

Authorities have charged a 44-year-old man with killing a cat by swinging it by its tail and slamming it several times onto a sidewalk in downtown Albany…

Police say 44-year-old James Backus of Cohoes (kuh-HOHZ’) was sitting on the arena steps when witnesses told officers posted there about the incident. [Police spokesperson] Smith says Backus’ girlfriend was taking the state bar exam inside the arena.

Backus was charged with aggravated animal cruelty and released.

Backus claims that the cat had been hit by a car. But slamming a cat into the pavement sure seems like an evil way to euthanize an injured animal.

But it was just another day of taking the bar in Albany. Says our tipster:

All I can say is, WTF. As someone who saw this go down, I will say that it was impossible to eat lunch and pretty difficult to focus on the afternoon MBE. Luckily, not too many people were outside….

I’m sure some test takers feel like they’ve been repeatedly slammed onto the sidewalk.

Cops: NY man kills cat by slamming it onto ground [Wall Street Journal]

Earlier: Congratulations to All Bar Exam Finishers!


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