Jason Lewis is sorry for shooting at the stray cats in his yard

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Jason Lewis is an actor. As far as I can tell, he is best known for his role as Samantha’s boyfriend on Sex in the City. I didn’t watch that series, so I am unfamiliar with him, although his IMDb also lists him on Brothers & Sisters and I liked that show. I don’t remember him in it, though. Fortunately, I don’t need to jog my memory anymore because I am striking this dude from it henceforth. Jason got his name back in the news over the weekend for shooting cats with rice and then saying he didn’t, he just shot the dirt near them. Because he’s an animal lover. Apparently, some poor kitties’ owner passed away and no one else took them in so they were left to fend for themselves. Opel Barnes, a local good Samaritan, began leaving food out for the cats, in an attempt to rescue them. However, Jason disliked the cats’ proximity to his home and began shooting at them with his pellet gun to shoo them away. When Opel confronted him, Jason defended himself by saying he’d loaded the gun with rice instead of pellets. The video is just of the two talking, there are no cats present and no shots fired so it is not triggering:

In the video, Jason told Opel she wasn’t getting anywhere because the way she’s talking to him is “unreasonable”. That’s when she accused him of shooting at the cats for no reason and he said “unreasonable” would be to shoot with pellets, not rice, like he was. Opel asked if he really thought rice wouldn’t hurt. My gawd, anything shot from a gun can cause lethal harm. People have been killed by blanks. Plus these are feral cats so once the rice hit any of them, they would not have access to medical attention and any ensuing infection could kill them. And while we’re at it, as a former Girl Scout, I feel compelled to mention that the founder, Juliette Low, went deaf in one ear from ceremonial rice tossed on her wedding day puncturing her eardrum – so yes, rice shot from a gun is harmful. Obviously, people were outraged by this video and Jason’s admission that he was, in fact, shooting cats. So he went to TMZ, of all places, to attempt an apology:

Everyone who knows me knows my love of animals. I’ve tried for months to work with a person who is coming into the neighborhood and feeding a large group of feral cats in an effort to relocate them as they have been filling the yards with fleas and waste. I made the wrong choice in shooting rice into the dirt (not toward the cats) to spook with the noise and scare them away. To fellow animal lovers that I disappointed, I’m sorry.

[From TMZ via DListed]

*Buzzer sound* I’m sorry, but that answer failed our b*llsh*t detector. I am absolutely certain that actor Jason Lewis is not some rice sharpshooter who can guarantee where those shots were landing. Especially since a pellet gun filled with rice would result in a scatter shot, impossible to accurately train on any target. Even if the rice hit the ground it could ricochet, so this SOB could have killed birds, cats and all kinds of wildlife. If he thought the noise would scare the cats, why didn’t he just find some dogs barking on YouTube and blast that through his speakers? Bang some pots and pans. If he had to shoot something, why not a spray bottle with water, like a sane person? Or, I don’t know – let the poor women get the cats in crates and into a rescue situation.

I remember some of our fosters at the ASPCA would patiently work with stays for months to get their trust enough to bring them in to foster. I doubt Jason did anything to help Opel. There are so many ways he could have aided this situation and instead, like Opel said in the IG above, he negated all her work while endangering those cats with his recklessness. I had a sand area for my kids when they were growing up. It had no cover. I had a neighbor a few houses down who left cat food out for any strays. So our little stretch was like the Miracle Mile for the feral cats in our neighborhood. My backyard hosted them every night and it wasn’t half the size of Jason’s. But I cleaned the damn sand and surrounding areas. I sprayed for fleas and ticks and I let them be. Somehow, we all survived without guns or rice.

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Photo credit: Avalon

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38 Responses to “Jason Lewis is sorry for shooting at the stray cats in his yard”

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  1. It’sJustBlanche says:

    What a piece of garbage.

    • Joan Rivers says:

      I doubt rice would be that painful. PROOF? It’s at a distance and probably just getting their attention. But let’s have the autopsies if you got ‘em.

      Not that it wasn’t a dumb thing to do.

      He was Samantha’s hunk “Smith” so how times have changed.

  2. sa says:

    While I can’t claim to have thought of him often, whenever I’m reminded of his existence I’ve always kind of like him, but anyone who would shoot at cats with anything more solid than water is a monster. There is no apology that can redeem him.

  3. Christina says:

    Those poor cats. Imagine spending a life on a cozy couch, getting snuggles and food and then being thrown out in the street. Just horrible. As for this asshat, I would shoot his ass with rice, see how he likes it. Animal abusers are pure trash, period.

  4. Mac says:

    What a creep. All he had to do was call a local rescue and they would have trapped the cats and rehomed them. They aren’t feral cats, their owner died which means they were seeking out a human for help.

  5. Ariel says:

    Well that decade + old crush is gone.
    A man who hurts things smaller than him- not much of a “man”.

  6. Snuffles says:

    Same. There was a neighbor’s dog who shit in everyone’s yard and literally destroyed the grass. It annoyed everyone. People complained to the HOA but never attacked that dog once.

    And my back deck is practically a condominium complex for feral cats. We leave each other alone and they dip whenever they see a human anyways.

  7. Kate says:

    Yeah they’re called “scaredy cats” for a reason – you don’t really need a gun to scare away a cat if you don’t want them in your yard. But I guess banging a pot doesn’t feel as manly as shooting a gun off your back porch, shirtless.

  8. FHMom says:

    Omg. He’s creeping into serial killer territory. WTF?

  9. Leah says:

    He’s a POS and he needs to stay on his side of the fence line. I guess he doesn’t know that cats are pretty good at keeping pests to a minimum….except for a human pest like him.

    My friend also has some feral cats in her backyard brought there in bunches a decade ago after a friend who she paid to water her back garden and feed two backyard cats she had been feeding left about a week’s food out (laziness) while my friend was on vacation. These cats were/are wild, they are not former house pets. That led to generations of meows (my two are from that bunch, adopted from the colony as kittens). At one point she did try to stop the flow of kibble, but kept water out hoping the cats would hunt on their own or move on. Didn’t work. She’s accepted the fact that the (current) colony of 10-15 meows that she acquired is how it’s going to be and gives them kibble in the morning. The dog next door doesn’t even bother them or the occasional gunshot from a few blocks over. Cats are pretty adaptable and my friend has absolutely no problem with mice.

  10. lucy2 says:

    Nope. No “animal lover” would even think of doing such a thing.
    You contact a rescue and try to trap and rehome, or if they are feral, you TNR so they stop reproducing.

  11. Teresa says:

    Unpopular opinion. No do not shoot cats with rice, dirt, or whatever else period. But cats should not get free reign over yards. It’s disrespectful for dogs to do their business in yards, it’s the same for cats. Cats are ALSO AWFUL for the environment. They kill song birds and endemic species. Probably not the case here but an out and about cat is not a good thing. Places like Australia do shoot cats because they are killing off the native animals to extinction. Again I am not for killing or hurting cats ever in any way shape or form, but I also don’t think they should be allowed outside unsupervised.

    • Margot says:

      I feel strongly about this. We don’t have any pets, but a few local cats all seem to use my garden as a latrine. It’s infuriating! I tried spraying essential oils around, put up these little plastic (not sharp) spiky tracks, nothing seems to deter them. Pet cats should not be allowed to roam freely. They could get hit by a car, eaten by a coyote, and spread disease through their poop. Not to mention the damage they can do to birds.

      • Willow says:

        Margot they make motion sensor sprinklers. Cat walks by, gets sprayed by water. Maybe you could try that. We had to do that one place we lived because my cats would get so upset when the neighbor cat came up to the window they would start fighting each other. Cat got sprayed twice, never came back.

    • Leskat says:

      Yes! While I don’t think shooting at cats with rice is the answer, cats shouldn’t be left to roam wherever. Their waste absolutely obliterates flowerbeds, shrubs and trees. They kill birds. They can bring around other cats, producing kittens who are then born feral. Male cats can spray all over if not neutered. I’m a farm girl and our wild cats often caused all of these issues and more. The most humane thing to do, if someone really cared about their well-being, would be to try to capture the cats and turn them in to a rescue society and find them actual homes with actual food and actual care.

    • Willow says:

      75% of birds killed by cats are killed by pet cats, not strays. It turns out if cats have a warm place to sleep at night and regular meals, they still love to hunt and have a higher success rate. Indoor only cats live 3-4 years longer. The one problem is boredom but that is easily solved with a little effort from their human. So save birds, be nice neighbors, and give your cat another 4 years of life – it should be a popular opinion to keep cats indoors.

    • SomeChick says:

      the cats in this story were thrown out after the death of their owner. the neighbor is trying to get them off the street. this has nothing to do with ferals in Australia. more like irrelevant opinion.
      jeeze Louise.

      • Nana says:

        Disagree – the point is the damage cats, whether feral or domestic, do to native wildlife everywhere, including Australia and also the US.
        To quote National Geographic, ‘domestic cats kill one billion to four billion birds a year in the lower 48 states, as well as 6.3 billion to 22.3 billion small mammals and hundreds of millions of reptiles and amphibians.’
        Lovely of the neighbour to try and get them off the street, and Lewis needs to find a humane way to help if he’s really genuine, which is highly doubtful. I have a rescue dog who was badly abused in the past, so I’ve fantasised about doing to his old owners, what they did to him…
        But this is also very much part of a bigger issue. And that’s what this whole site is about – a story gets posted and it sparks discussion about a whole range of issues, in this case cat predation. Teresa’s is not an irrelevant opinion.

    • Lyn O'Callaghan says:

      No, we do not.

  12. Guest with Cat says:

    Thank you, Hecate, for your kindness to strays and ferals. It sounds like these poor cats are terrorized strays. They depended on human care and that human died and they’re suddenly having to make their way without having been raised up to cope with their environment.

    Real ferals likely would not even be seen by this piece of shit. It took me five years to finally gain the trust of my colony. They even come in during the cold and hang out with my strictly indoor cats. Then they go when they wish. They don’t wish to live with me permanently so I let them go.

    But in the beginning with the first cat, I had to leave the food a good distance away and watch her with binoculars. The first day she ever let me pet her was right up there with the birth of my child and my wedding and my graduation as one of the happiest milestones of my life. Lol I’m such a crazy cat lady.

    I’m incredibly lucky my neighbors support the colony and feed and look after them, too. My husband and I get them caught and vetted. They don’t have fleas but they do pee and poop and the neighbors have been very kind about that. We have foxes and other animals so nature ensures the neighborhood isn’t going to be pristine anyway.

    My parents have a similar situation but their cats aren’t caught and vetted, but one. My dad is trying to get more of them but it’s hard because he has to take care of my mom.

    We can’t go help due to the pandemic and the logistics of getting cats to a vet who is set up to work on ferals and willing to do so at reduced rates is challenging at the best of times. In our case, that vet is over an hour drive away and has a pandemic setup that’s backed up. Think about transporting terrified animals for over an hour anywhere. We have used our regular vets for kittens of strays we fostered during the pandemic, but the cost was astronomical and unsustainable if we want to get all of them. And our regular vet has been backed up, too.

    There’s definitely a flea problem there at my parents place. I’m not unsympathetic to people who don’t want this on their doorstep. But if you have someone trying to rectify the problem, please be patient and supportive so the cats can be caught and removed humanely.

  13. Darla says:

    He also played a movie star in 90210. For a few minutes he was cast as the movie star in high profile shows. He looked the part. I always thought it was ironic he never became one in real life.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      yeah, this is where I remember him from.

      his character was a movie star dude who got his big break but decided to leave hollywood because people were so mean. he went back to his “carpentry” business in Iowa or wherever the F he was supposed to be from.

      too bad Jason Lewis didn’t do the same.

      • Kyla says:

        Yes! I remember that 90210 storyline very well. It was pretty much the true story of what happened with the actor Michael Schoeffling who played Jake Ryan (*swoon*) in Sixteen Candles. Schoeffling made 3 films (give or take) and then left Hollywood to become a furniture maker in Pennsylvania.

  14. CariBean says:

    I agree with everyone upthread. I’ve got a friend who works tirelessly TNRing cats in the Ft. Lauderdale area. She’s done it for years. If she discovered that someone was intentionally harming these feral kitties, well God help that a**hole. Someone should shoot rice at him and see how he likes it.

  15. ChloeCat says:

    What a POS! If I saw him shooting a cat I’d be likely to shoot at him. He’s lying. No wonder he never got any roles after SATC. I never thought he was good looking even then & he looks like sh*t now, talk about karma.

  16. Christin says:

    This quote comes to mind – “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

    Abusing animals in any way is inexcusable.

  17. Lauren says:

    What a piece of garbage. I have a cat colony and it has been hell dealing with the neighbours. I have had several cats abandoned in my garden and people complaining about the cats. I had to go to the mayor of my town to look for a solution because I kept being harassed. He signed of my home as a cat sanctuary and colony so the police isn’t being called anymore. If anyone were to try to shoot at my cats they can be sure that I will try to shoot on them.

  18. Mimi says:

    Upon meeting a new neighbor for the first time, he bragged to me about the animals he killed that came in his yard, including cats, birds, raccoons and possums. I was horrified. I think he took pleasure in it and in my reaction. 2 weeks after moving in, my son and I found a dead cat between our property. I placed it in a box outside and tried to find its owner and to ultimately see if it had been shot, which is what I suspected. I asked if he had ever seen the cat. He said no but he’d be happy to dispose of it. I declined but he came and took it from our property that night or early the next morning. I couldn’t prove he killed it but who does something like that?! We had a lot of other issues with him and were fortunate we could move away for our safety and peace of mind.

  19. Vera says:

    My husband used to squirt water on the neighbourhood cats. They quickly learned to run fast when he appeared in the garden. it got a bit suspicious when he popped over to a neighbour and the cat jumped and run…

  20. original_kellybean says:

    Fuck him. Anyone who shoots anything at any animal can not consider themselves an “animal lover”.

    Just yesterday, I discovered a cat in the little shelter I have on my porch that I made for a stray cat that hung around a few years ago, who sadly disappeared over a year ago. I was so happy to see a cat using it and when I went back out to put a bowl of food out for him, he ran away and hasn’t returned. I didn’t mean to scare him and I am hoping he comes back to get some food and shelter. Poor thing.

  21. Willow says:

    I really wish there was a law about spay/neuter for cats. That’s the only way the stray and feral cat problem is going to get solved. If you need information about how to help strays, Alley Cat Allies has a great website.

  22. yasmean says:

    What a POS. I hope this is will be at the top of his public search results forever!

  23. Wetcoastbestcoast says:

    my theory of “never trust a man with blue eyes” holds firm. Those are some serial killer eyes my friend, and harming animals is the ONE KNOWN GATEWAY into that behaviour.

    Just literally leave and never return, dude.

  24. Anne Blair says:

    @willow your comment is so true. Alley Cats does great work and needs funding. Our cats are indoor cats. They aren’t allowed outside. If we see cats outside that seem hungry, we do put out food and water for them. If they come back often, we try to trap them to see if they have been spayed or neutered and if not then take them to have it done and check for microchipping.

    • Nana says:

      @Anne – so great that you’re such a responsible owner… so many people don’t think of these issues and what they can do to protect wildlife (and cats for that matter).

  25. Sigmund says:

    Honestly, I’m a huge cat lover and can’t even read what this POS has to say. There’s no reason to terrorize or harm a defenseless animal. F—k this guy.

  26. BnLurkN4eva says:

    I thought he was chill until he stepped into the Sex and the City drama against Kim Cattrall, which wasn’t necessary. He could have stayed out of it, but I guess he needed to pile on because her (Kim) return would likely have resurrected his character for a small role in a 3rd movie even though they had broken up in the previous movie.