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.

KEEP YOUR CAT IN YOUR HOUSE.
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.

36 comments:

Charlie said...

Go for it, Susan, go for it. One of the great mysteries of life is why some cat owners are so totally blind to the harm their cats are doing. Every argument they bring up is refutable, but any discussion is always ended with, "I don't care what you say. I love animals, you obviously don't". So you - someone who obviously DOES love animals - just go for it!

Anonymous said...

I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing

Balance said...

I have just read your letter and am somewhat surprised. Cats as are many other pets are part of the human household. They come with the terrority of mankind taking over wildlife. Where mankind has made their home, whether in city or township then the local wildlife population will be affected not only by the introduction of the cat but also the motor car, kids, pollution etc. etc. It is not a question of cats being a problem but mankind themselves. If you are going to hit out at cats then also hit out at your lifestyles unless you all want to go back to living in the cave!!!!

Susan Gets Native said...

"Balance":
Though you seem to have missed the entire point of the post, I appreciate the comment.

Balance said...

I think we have to accept that cats will be cats and where mankind settles there will be cats as pets. Cats do not enjoy being kept indoors any more than you or I and are accepted to have a free spirit in the same way as the wild critters have. People who express the view that they will kill a pet cat, run them down, eat them etc. etc. are no different to those who seem to enjoy going out and hunting down wild critters for the enjoyment.

Unfortunately there are too many people who hate cats, in the same way that some people hate bar b cues (especially if you are a vegetarians), noise from the neighbors, kids, cars etc. etc. We have to learn to live in harmony and accept that nature is sometimes not kind.

We have to realise that where mankind lives we should not encourage the wild critters into our environment - as nice as it is to feed the birdies etc. they do not belong in our backyards - this can also encourages rats etc.

I have owned cats all my life - 50+ years and they do not desimate the local wildlife, despite being free to come and go into the garden. Several reasons - potentially because the number of cats I have fit the house and garden - i.e. if you don't have space reduce the number. They are pets and are fussed and spoilt so they are not needing to go out and find entertainment. I also praise them when a kill is occassionally brought home and play with the kill to show that I, as the head of the household, know what to do and will be the 'tucker' supplier. This has the effect that I rarely have kill, only critters which are damaged, sick or weak. The wildlife have learnt to live with the cats and steer clear. I have never seen a flying cat so birds are safe if they keep in their space.

We are all living on a shrinking planet - or is it there are too many of us, pets, cars and all!!!!

Susan Gets Native said...

"Balance" (what an ironic name)
Once again, thank you for your comments. But you are still missing the point of the post. And you are grossly misinformed.

littleorangeguy said...

I saw my first ever American goldfinch, a female, on my front porch, laid there by a neighbourhood cat. I stepped out to get my paper and instead had to watch this beautiful girl breathe her last.

This morning, like so many other fine mornings, we had to chase cats out of our birdy backyard.

I suppose we could just stop putting out feed and water, and rip up all the woodland plants, grasses, and berry shrubs, and thereby deprive the poor tired birds (who've just crossed Lake Ontario) of a good resting spot on their migration North. Yes, that's the ticket. After all, it's the big city!

But that would piss off my two indoor cats, who really enjoy lying in the windows and watching all the birds. And who have every chance of living a long and healthy life.

Murr Brewster said...

Charitably, I'd guess that most of the cat owners who inflict their pets on the neighborhood believe their cats would be miserable inside, and the rest are just going to be damned if they will cope with a litter box. Without getting into the damage to the native bird population, about which Balance is misinformed, or my personal revulsion as a gardener with dealing with what comes out of the little darlings, I will gently suggest that everyone consider keeping their NEXT kitty indoors. My last cat and its current replacement have never been outdoors and are just intimidated enough not to rush the doors. Larry lived to be nearly eighteen and Tater is about as healthy as any animal I've laid eyes on, and both are/were the robust, ecstatic queens of all they surveyed.

Susan Gets Native said...

Thank you, littleorangeguy and Murr. For READING the post. And getting the POINT of it.

Balance said...

I guess that when people don't like hearing what might be true they find ways of being rude. Being 'balanced' is the best way forward in any aspect of life. What seems to be the problem is the 'balance' has been tipped in your environment if a cat or any predatory animal is affecting you all, to want to make lovers of cats have to confine their animals inside - may as well put them into prison.

I find your comments about scooping up peoples pets and tacking them to the pound very extreme and offensive.

Which goes back to the initial point I made - in that 'wildlife belong in the wild', humans belong in their own colonies and the cat was introduced hundreds of years ago to keep down the pests that human development brought. If you want wildlife then go back to the wild. If you have unsocialable behaviour in teenagers etc. get it policed and educate them.

The defaecation of wild animals, especialy bird droppings which is totally unregulated and could be almost anywhere you touch with your hands, is likely (if not all of it) to be carrying worms and other diseases, to include Salmonella. Being a gardener of a large plot I know how upsetting it is to find something unpleasant in the bushes but it is normally from a wild animal and not from a cat or dog.

If we want to live in peace with each other then we need to respect each other - which to a certain extent is the point you originally started with - in that you sound as though you are being overrun by cats - which I cannot believe - and you want to control this terrible situation you all feel you are in. However what you also seem to want is to bring wildlife into your lives and back yards which is not the place for such animals. Nature normally takes care of itself it seems when humans become involved that the balance is tipped and you get extreme situations.

Get rid of the cats in your area, and just wait until you are overrun with vermin and sick birds contaminating the fit and healthy flocks - then you will be singing another song.

Balance said...

Just to get the other side of the story - have a look at www.bird-x.com/birddiseases.html - we should not be encourageing wild birds into our human environments. It is also not just birds which carry nasty diseases but also the furry critters as well. Cats do an excellent job keeping the balance and potentially should be encouraged to do more.

More than 60 transmissible bird diseases (some of which are fatal) are associated with geese, pigeons, starlings and house sparrows. For example:

Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease that may be fatal. It results from a fungus growing in dried bird droppings.

Candidiasis is a yeast or fungus infection spread by pigeons. The disease affects the skin, the mouth, the respiratory system, the intestines and the urogenital tract, especially the vagina. It is a growing problem for women, causing itching, pain and discharge.

Cryptococcosis is caused by yeast found in the intestinal tract of pigeons and starlings. The illness often begins as a pulmonary disease and may later affect the central nervous system. Since attics, cupolas, ledges, schools, offices, warehouses, mills, barns, park buildings, signs, etc. are typical roosting and nesting sites, the fungus is apt to found in these areas.

St. Louis Encephalitis, an inflammation of the nervous system, usually causes drowsiness, headache and fever. It may even result in paralysis, coma or death. St. Louis encephalitis occurs in all age groups, but is especially fatal to persons over age 60. The disease is spread by mosquitoes which have fed on infected house sparrow, pigeons and house finches carrying the Group B virus responsible for St. Louis encephalitis.

Salmonellosis often occurs as "food poisoning" and can be traced to pigeons, starlings and sparrows. The disease bacteria are found in bird droppings; dust from droppings can be sucked through ventilators and air conditioners, contaminating food and cooking surfaces in restaurants, homes and food processing plants.

E.coli. Cattle carry E. coli 0157:H7. When birds peck on cow manure, the E. coli go right through the birds and the bird droppings can land on or in a food or water supply.

Besides being direct carriers of disease, nuisance birds are frequently associated with over 50 kinds of ectoparasites, which can work their way throughout structures to infest and bite humans. About two-thirds of these pests may be detrimental to the general health and well-being of humans and domestic animals. The rest are considered nuisance or incidental pests. A few examples of ectoparasites include:

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) may consume up to five times their own weight in blood drawn from hosts which include humans and some domestic animals. In any extreme condition, victims may become weak and anemic. Pigeons, starlings and house sparrows are known to carry bed bugs.

Chicken mites (Dermanyssus gallinae) are known carriers of encephalitis and may also cause fowl mite dermatitis and acariasis. While they subsist on blood drawn from a variety of birds, they may also attack humans. They have been found on pigeons, starlings and house sparrows.

Yellow mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), perhaps the most common beetle parasites of people in the United States, live in pigeon nests. It is found in grain or grain products, often winding up in breakfast cereals, and may cause intestinal canthariasis and hymenolespiasis.

West Nile Virus while West Nile is technically not transmitted to humans from birds, humans can get infected by the bite of a mosquito who has bitten an infected bird. The obvious lesson is that the fewer birds there are in any given area, the better. This translates into a smaller chance of an infected bird in that area, a smaller chance of a mosquito biting an infected bird and then biting a human.

Susan Gets Native said...

I've been as polite as I possibly could be to you, Balance. But since you are either not smart enough to understand the post, or are being deliberately obtuse, let me share:

LIKE I SAID IN THE POST, which you are seemingly unable to comprehend,
domestic cats need to stay inside. For their health. You say that you let all your cats roam outside...I would think that you would be ashamed of the fact that you subject your cat to danger every day but claim to "fuss and spoil" them.
Owning a pet entails making the promise to keep them safe. You aren't doing that.

As an educator for a bird of prey rescue, I have learned that you can't tell "cat people" how detrimental domestic cats are to wildlife. You know why? People who own "outdoor" cats don't CARE.
They fall under the category (no pun intended) of "Well, since I do something, it must be okay."

The day I wrote that post, I drove pass not one, not two, but EIGHT dead cats in the course of a few miles. Maybe some of them were strays, but I'll bet most of them were "fussed over, spoilt" pets.

It's very convenient for people who allow their cats outside to claim the "it's in their nature" and "they keep the pest population down" and other such nonsense.
It makes me sick to think that you praise your cats when they kill a native animal and bring it to you.

In one way you are right. Nature WILL take care of itself, if we let it. Do you not understand that domestic cats are not natural? Maybe read up on the history of domestic cats? Hence the name felis domesticus?

This will all go over your head, surely. You found a blog post that doesn't exactly jive with what you think to be true, and you are in a nice big snit and won't even READ the post or let any of it even TOUCH you.

I sincerely hope that your cats live long healthy lives. In spite of you.

Please go look up the definition of balance. You seem to be missing something.

Susan Gets Native said...

Well, look at you! Commenting over here while I am writing a response to you!

I don't know where you are getting your information, but you have done the Troll Turn...finding facts that seem to bear weight, but are actually laughable.
If you would like verifiable information on this subject, I suggest the library. You can't trust everything you read on the Internet, you know.
What really got me going about all of your facts: House sparrows, rock doves (pigeons) and starlings are also NOT NATIVE. Just like your CATS.
I do like it when people illustrate my point for me.

Murr Brewster said...

Goodness gracious, Balance, can we go outside without an umbrella? I was all on board right at the beginning with "mankind is the problem" but then we went off the deep end there.

Again: if your kitten never leaves the house, she will not feel cooped up. She will be Queen and she will hone her killer instincts on Laser Lights and moths, and live VERY happily ever after. And yes indeedy, that is cat shit in my garden, I'd know it anywhere. Please at least consider not foisting your cats on your neighbors. They are immensely destructive and live an average of two years as opposed to 15 inside.

If only humans HAD left any wild areas, I guess we could try to cram all of creation into them. But we are kudzu.

Balance said...

I did respond to Young Susan last snide remarks however the comment was lost in the ether.

I totally understand the point of her post but she, like the rest of those who seem intent on caging a free spirit into their homes, seem intent on foisting your ideals onto others.

This blog is part of a world wide net, remarks which are read by others must either be balanced to represent the rest of us living on the planet or restrained to only reach the local people the remark is aimed at.

Cats are not kept indoors across the rest of the world. You obviously have a problem in your areas - those problems should be addressed (not by caging and keeping prisioners of your beautiful pets)

I am a well experienced rescuer of unwanted and damaged cats, who come to my home, are treated with respect and taught to live normal, happy and long healthy lives.

All of my cats have lived past 18, except one who was poisoned by a surburbian mentality who saw a rat and panicked. I have just lost a loved pet at the age of 21.

My family, on many continents of the world, have had pets for generations to include many many cats who have all lived long lives, free to come in and out of the homes.

The problems you have ARE manmade. You are either living too closely together, have too many cranks who see killing and maiming cats as sport, or too many cat owners with too many pets or who are not giving enough time to their cats.

Birds are also free spirts, together with the other wildlife, however because mankind is over dominating parts of the world and using up the resources as though they are the only country on the planet, the wildlife is coming into our environs where they are not safe, from the influences of our lives, to include our pets.

Unfortunately birds, in their droppings and the mites that live in their feathers, do carry diseases and should not be encouraged into surburbs. Potentially many of those diseases they pick up from mankinds existence in their environs.

I note from young Susan's web site that she is involved with keeping capture Birds of Prey - wild and beautiful birds which should be free and not stared at by googled eye kids. There are programmes to rescue and rehabilitate wild creatures of all sorts and the sooner they are released with as little human inter reaction the better.

As a Politician representing thousands of people, I have the opportunity to see many sides of the argument. Balance has been my watchword and I try to live my life in Balance with the natural world. For the few of us who are trying to save the planet, unfortunately there are too many who are not. We should all try to live much simplier lives and learn to appreciate our home surroundings.

The post of Susan actively encourages a vigilante attitude which when read by some people may seem to be a route to follow which is illegal in many other parts of the world and I am sure this includes the USA. Unfortunately some may see taking the law into your own hands as a means to combat other dislikes and when expressed by a person who claims to be an educator may be seen as an OK way.

The cat in the UK is protected by law, and is free to roam into neighbours gardens - it is part of being neighbourly and living with each other in harmony. There are many things my neighbours do that I dislike and disagree with but I would not dream of taking the law into my own hands and taking action. I have to accept that the differences in us all is what makes the world an interesting place to live in.

I suggest you read up on the RSPB site, which gives useful information to protect birds from cats. http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/gardening/unwantedvisitors/cats/catsandthelaw.asp

I hope that all you 'Indoor Cat People' can see that althought this might be Ok for your pets and your lifestyles there are others who do not want to feel intimidated in keeping their pets indoors because some crank is going to scoop them up and take them to the pound.

Mike Fitts said...

To Balance,
I somehow doubt that the owner of "the neighborhood cat" in my neighborhood would appreciate me leaving my dog do its business in his yard and have to clean it up. Cats can be trained as well as dogs to use a specific spot to put their crap. Perhaps I should be scooping up the several dead birds in my backyard and taking them to my neighbor and thanking him for his cat killing these pest and disease-ridden animals and leaving them for me to dispose of. Cats do not "kill" to survive, they do it for fun. It is not "neighborly" of my neighbor to leave the trash he is responsible for in my yard. I don't bring the birds to my backyard. They have been coming there longer than we have been around whether we feed them or not. You say Susan is a crank, lol. Look in the mirror. The native animals were in your territory before you or anyone else was there. You said that nature will take care of itself. Why are you introducing something that is not native,i.e. your beloved outdoor cats, to disrupt something that is self-sufficient. You are the one that is disrupting the "balance". Cats are "DOMESTIC" pets. Look up the meaning of "DOMESTIC" and tell me that your "DOMESTIC" cat should inflict its will on nature. You're the crank. Go ahead and tell me that it's cruel to keep a cat indoors and I will call you a fool. That is where they belong. Oh and by the way I say that from experience. I have owned several cats. At first, I let them roam freely outdoors back and forth across roads. Nothing like being ten years old and going to the bus stop and finding my cat that I loved dearly smashed as flat as a pancake. Reason enough for me to keep my "DOMESTIC" pets domesticated.

Allison said...

Balance,

If you were to read more about raptor education programs in the U.S., you would know that the birds of prey she works with ARE non-releasable. The organization she works with does everything in their power to heal and release the injured birds brought to them. Only if that is not possible are they then used as educational animals to teach people about birds of prey and why they should be respected.
It is illegal in the United States to keep birds of prey without many permits, and then only if they are injured.
As to your idea that wildlife should stay in wild places, we've made that impossible. There are so few wild places left. Besides, can you really imagine a world where you didn't wake up and hear birds singing because they were all in some remote place?

Tricia said...

I have been reading the comments left here by Balance and up until now have been sitting on my hands to keep from commenting. I believe that we as humans have a responsibility to try and live in harmony with the natural world as much as we possibly can. Obviously our way of life has been very damaging to the habitat that normally supports native wildlife, but instead of looking at it as a fact of life, we should look for ways to reverse the damage and to do less damage in the future. We have thoughtlessly thrown the natural prey and predator ratio out of balance over and over. Adding pet cats to the predator list is one way we have accomplished this. It's such a simple thing to keep your cats contained, and I've yet to meet a cat that has committed suicide because it wasn't allowed to roam about killing song birds and other small animals for sport. It is selfish and irresponsible to let your pet cats or dogs run loose unsupervised. We humans do not have the right to simply crowd out native plants and animals. It is very shortsighted of us to think that the things we do today will not have a devastating impact on our future.

Susan Gets Native said...

Balance:
1. Calling me "young" isn't going to get you anywhere with me. It's sad, actually.
2. You don't have a clue. And I'm sorry for that.

I'm truly sorry that you can't see the beauty in Nature. That you are actually afraid of it. I wish your eyes could be opened to the wild and wonderful world that is right outside your door. You will never know it the way we do, the people who spend their lives trying to protect it. (And educate the public about it)

My sincere hope is that someday, somehow, you connect with the world in a way that opens your heart and your mind. Until then, I'm afraid, you will be in the dark. And you will also be part of the problem.

Murr Brewster said...

I would also add that if we were to try to engineer the world solely to keep diseases away, it would be way cheaper to do everything we could to encourage wild birds and bats. I'll take my chances with bird poop over mosquitoes.

And another part of the problem is that we do not all live close ENOUGH together. I'm as big a fan of personal space as the next person, but if we are to contend with the consequences of our profligate energy use, the best thing we can do is live densely in cities.

peaches56 said...

I have been reading this blog. Is the issue really about cats versus birds? Because if that is the case then any research would show that yes while cats do kill birds, humans have done way more to the destruction of the bird population:
urban sprawl, destruction of habitat, pesticide use, brightly lit mirrored high rise buildings that have birds flying into them on their migration paths, deforestation to name only a few. So while you are pointing the finger at cats, please remember that there are three fingers pointing back at us humans. We , not cats are responsible for the decimation of birds. So lets call it as it is this blog is about an excuse to keep cats indoors 24/7.
I do not condone the careless and indescriminant release of cats. Like children they need supervision and exercise. My cats are indoor/outdoor cats. They are in EVERY night and have access to the back deck where they sun themselves during the nice weather. Yes occassionally they catch things - usually mice and unfortunately the occassional bird. However as I mentioned before OUR life styles are far more detrimental to wildlife than cats so lets not blame them. Blame human kind for our desire for bigger better cheaper etc. The cup of joe that so many people enjoy in the morning results in deforestation of areas where these song birds spend their winters.

elizabird said...

A weed is a plant out of place.

A cat can be a weed. If It is in my yard continuously killing my birds I will pull it!

Cats--Felis domesticus--is an introduced species in the United States and should be included under leash laws and or kept indoors.

I do not want may neighbors cat in my yard eating my wild native creature friends.

I love balance but in moderation. All things in moderation even moderation.

Susan Gets Native said...

Why exactly are the "outdoor" cat people ignoring the dangers that their cats face?
Would you enjoy it if they were killed?

Catbird said...

As someone who adores cats, I fail to understand why anyone who loves them would think that outside is an appropriately safe and stimulating place for them to be.

I agree that are many causes for the decline of bird species, all of them human-directed. I'd like to see plate glass go the way of the Model A, excessive outdoor lighting extinguished, and development strictly limited. Those actions would all benefit birds. Yet acknowledging the many factors that cause wildlife decline by no means absolves us of our own responsibilities.

Inaction won't stop the needless killing of tens of thousands of birds by cats -- most of whom are well-fed pets who would get as much stimulation -- and far more safely -- if their owners actually took the time to interact and play with them. Instead, they're turned outside to roam freely, where they can "enjoy" nature -- and dodge more aggressive cats, dogs, cars, and that mean kid who thinks it's fun to do unspeakable things to a cat. "It's only a cat -- if cats were worth caring about, people wouldn't let them wander all over, and anyway, they kill things, so turnabout is fair play." Yeah, outside is a wonderful place for cats -- if you don't care what happens to them or the wildlife they hunt.

Lester Peyton said...

I hate cats and I hate people....so there

C Kern said...

Darn birds anyhow, their incessant cheeping and chirping wakes me up well before dawn every morning. They should be eliminated wherever civilized people live.

Susan Gets Native said...

Since some of you went around the bend there, I guess we can call this discussion closed.

I must say, I don't know if I have heard this caliber of ignorance before. It has been eye-opening. I had no idea some people hated Nature so much. But listen up, haters: You need that Nature you vilify.

End note:
There are beliefs and there are facts. Please don't let the first cloud your vision of the second.

Balance said...

Now I think some of you are beginning to understand.

AND to all the others of you following this blog:

Those of us who have cats because we love them: Do inter-react with them. Do spend loads of time with them. Do spend vacation at home as we don't want them to go to the cattery. Plus we do clear up for them and have appropriate size yards/gardens/plots for them so they are not a nuisance to neighbors.

Those who just have a cat for the sake of it and let it out and leave it out, ARE YOUR ISSUE and as I said in a previous comment you need to address the issue and not the cat. Also those who have cats without the space (inside and out)should not have them for fairness to the animal. In the same way as Susan would not dream of keeping a bird of prey in inappropriate conditions you should not keep a cat if they do not have their outside space.

The problem that you in USA seem to have and potentially in cities around the world is perhaps cats do not belong in cities and large population areas, close to freeways etc. etc. if they are just to roam loose all day and every day.

Bringing in stringent laws about the freedom of cats is evasive and draconian. As I have already mentioned, in the UK the law protects the cat - plus also nearly every living creature - the cat is seen to need to be able to roam. This is not because the law makers are stupid, cranks, or don't care about others but because they realise that cats have needs plus there is something called 'responsibility'. We need to be responsible for our pets - we don't need to be told what to do by people who have set agendas. Susan can tell me as many times as she wants that I am wrong - but is she going to say that generations of law makers in the UK are wrong and millions of cat owners across the Globe that there are wrong - or is she and her small group the only ones who are right!!!!

The point I have tried to make but have obviously failed - is that this blog is on the world wide net - not just USA but the WORLD - and that suggestions that cats should be retained indoors because it is a small group view is purely that. A small group view. I have also tried to make the point, but obviously not very clearly, is that I am distressed that one person feels that they can openly state that they will kidnap other peoples cats because their owners are not abiding by that persons ideals. It is dangerous and irresponsible to put such views, whether they relate to cats or any other situation, out to the world web as there are cranks out there who may think this is the way they can behave.

If we are going to stop one species from killing the birds then in fairness we should be looking at all the issue that kill the birds - that includes us. If you really care so much for your native birds then keep them to the wild and do not encourage them by feeding them, to environments which are dangerous to them. Not only cats, but small boys with slings(this may be an English term not understood by Americans), windows, disease from our waste, pollution, cars, etc.etc. So stop feeding them - they will still be there, passing through but not hanging around for food or being food.

I can only repeat that if you are so concerned about disease from cats mess then you should also be concerned about the disease from other defaecation - those commenting on my remarks have taken it all to an extreme - why - is it because they are defending their stance - keep cats indoors - when in reality they know this is as unfair as keeping kids indoors so they don't get hurt out there in the real world.

As much as we might like to hear the songbird when we wake - if you live in a urban conurbation then you may have to forego that pleasure - see it that at least by being densly crammed together at least you are not sprawled out into even more wild countryside depriving even more birds from their natural habitat.

Balance said...

At least this has got you all talking and thinking and hopefully may even get you thinking about the impact you in the USA have on the rest of the world - perhaps WE would like to see you ALL kept indoors too!!!!! Think of all that gas that wouldn't get used!!!!

Finally as disturbing as it is to me (and many others I have spoken with) about this strange view of keeping all cats confined, the view that birds seem to come above the pecking order and that there are those in the USA who feel that they want to encourage birds and other wild critter, most of whom are classed as vermin, into their confined back yards is as equally strange and disturbing.

From someone, brought up in the countryside, who has nursed many wild animals, to include birds, back to a full bill of health and released to the wild. Who owns and maintains large areas of land dedicated to wildlife to include native birds and protected species - I say FAREWELL America - Never judge a book by its cover young Susan and always keep an open mind and consider that there are others in this world besides you.

Sorry you don't like my name. As a gardener I have no adversion to yours.

Balance - meaning - Harmony
Susan - meaning - Lily

I am surprised you are allowing beliefs to cloud the facts.

Anonymous said...

This has been so much for us moronic Americans, reading how you do it on the Other Side of the Pond. Please...by all means continue. We are getting such a kick out of you (a phrase that you Brits may not understand).

Murr Brewster said...

I will just add that the Humane Society (not a small group) insists that all cats adopted out are kept indoors. And my cat, who has been indoors since kittenhood (that may be the key), couldn't be happier unless she wore tuna shorts.

peaches56 said...

If the issue is risk of injury, death or other terrible thing perhaps we should keep children inside 24/7 also incase any perverts or other dangers put them at risk. All life is a risk. When I cross the road I run a risk. You cannot remove risk entirely. My indoor outdoor cats are 16, 14, 12 and 10. Given that someone was claiming that the life span of an outdoor cat is about two - five years. I think my cats are doing pretty well. Just like latch key kids who get into trouble, unsupervised cats will too. A pity the cats themselves can't have their say here.

Anonymous said...

"peaches56":
Wow. That's some convoluted logic.
Of course risk is a part of life. But I also don't let my children run with scissors. I get them vaccinated from nasty diseases. I make them brush their teeth. Using your logic, we should all just say Hell with it and let the chips fall where they may.
Umm...how can you supervise your cat if it's running around outside? You can't.
You might want to rethink that logic. And come back when you are able to add to the conversation.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm. You have obviously not heard of behaviour modification. Cats like children can be trained. My cats have been trained not to as you put it "run around". They come when called and stay in the back yard. I bought my house with my cats safety in mind. Strange idea I guess. Perhaps you could say my yard is an extension of the house - so maybe my cats are house cats after all.
By the way in discussion of this issue with an ecologist he was totally amused by the whole issue. Ecosystems are dynamic and change - if they are healthy - new species and new food chains develop.New predators and prey alike. We as humans are after all not really a natural part of this ecosystem either. All have to learn to live and let live. BY the way we have in our area a completely new species appearing - a hybrid between dogs and coyotes!!! Now that is scary - they do not have the same natural fear of humans that wild coyotes do, being seen in broad daylight. The risk of them predating on a small child is quite frightening. I guess some irresponsible dog owner let his/her dog roam and it mated with a bitch coyote. chew on that one for a while. :)

peaches56 said...

that last post was me Peaches56 - don't know why it popped up as anon

Susan Gets Native said...

"peaches56":
Since we are all running under the assumption that you are a perfect pet owner and you own a perfect cat, then I guess my letter (you know, the one that this post was all about?) doesn't apply to you.
Interesting that you take it all so personally. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Thanks for the laugh about the "ecologist".