Monday, September 28, 2009

A letter I am seriously considering putting into distribution in our neighborhood

Dear Neighbor,

This is an open letter to everyone in the neighborhood. Specifically, cat owners.
If you don't own a cat, you are free to recycle this.
And if you have kids who are selling chocolate for fund raising, please send them our way.

Cat Owners:
If you own an indoor cat, then bless you.

If you let your cat roam freely outside, please consider this not a warning, but a declaration.
When you own a pet, there comes a set of responsibilities.
This includes feeding it, loving it, giving it veterinary care and keeping it out of danger. You are promising to keep this animal happy and healthy.
IF YOU LET YOUR CAT ROAM FREE, you are blatantly ignoring your DUTY as a pet owner.
Cats are non-native, predatory animals who kill our native wildlife such as birds, mice, lizards, amphibians, etc. Studies have shown that bird populations and diversity drop dramatically in areas where cats are allowed to roam free. And it's not THEIR FAULT.

If you are about to start explaining to me that "cats are just acting on their instincts", or "My cat won't stay indoors!" or "My cat is happy when he's outside!", please think on this:

Imagine your cat. Better yet, go find your cat and look into his or her eyes.
Now, imagine your cat, just having been hit by a car. Your cat is laying in a ditch, maybe already dead.
Or maybe the blow wasn't quite enough to kill him. Your cat is mangled and in excruciating pain, dragging himself into the weeds. Your cat will spend the next few hours, or maybe a day or two, either bleeding to death or slowly succumbing to starvation, because he is paralyzed and can't get back to the house. Your cat has died a horrible death.

Or maybe a stray dog has gotten hold of your cat. The dog is savagely shaking the life out of your cat. Your cat has died a horrible death.

Or maybe your cat has been caught by a great horned owl, or red-tailed hawk. He has been lifted off the ground and taken to a tree where he is being squeezed by hundreds of pounds of pressure so that he will stop struggling so the bird can eat him. Your cat has died a horrible death.

Or maybe your cat has been captured by sick teenagers who set him on fire. Just for fun.
He is left to lay wherever they throw him. Your cat has died a horrible death.

Sick to your stomach yet? You should be.
Ready to wipe these scenarios from your mind? There is one, and only one thing you need to do.

That's it.

And here comes the declaration:
If I find your cat roaming the neighborhood, I will be taking him off the streets to our local shelter where he will have the safety you neglected to provide.
If you didn't have him micro-chipped, then you will probably never see him again.
I will be giving him the chance you never did. Because I care more about him than you do.

If you want to come down and yell at me, feel free.
I'm the Freak Down the Street with all the birds in her yard, and her cats in the HOUSE.