Being cruel to animals just to make a political point (or whatever point Mike Frerichs is actually trying to make here?) seems both wrong and slightly off-message of Mike's 'good guy' story he's been peddling.
How long and how many times did some low-level production assistant have to stuff this poor cat into this tree? Guessing he was wearing protective gear or he'll be easy to spot based on the claw marks?
Mike likes to likes to tout the endorsements he's received on this campaign from entrenched special interests like public sector union bosses, but based on this, he certainly isn't going to get the PETA team and the fine folks down at the Humane Society on board his ridiculous campaign.
There are plenty of ways to get a political point across in a commercial. Torturing a poor, innocent cat isn't one of them.