Tagged: Garfield

Don’t fear your domesticated feline

By Margaret Waterman, Associate Campus Editor
@mw_journalist

Vindicating dog-lovers and cat-haters all over the world, the BBC World Service dropped this bombshell Tuesday Jan. 29:

Free-ranging cats on islands have caused or contributed to 14% of the modern bird, mammal, and reptile extinctions, according to a study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. PHOTO BY Lilliam Adan

Free-ranging cats on islands have caused or contributed to 14% of the modern bird, mammal, and reptile extinctions, according to a study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. PHOTO BY Lilliam Adan of domestic cat Onyx

Cats are responsible for between 1.4 and 3.7 billion bird and between 6.9 and 20.7 billion mammal deaths annually.

The BBC article went on to claim that our furry feline friends are not only vicious killers, but cumulatively are responsible for more animal deaths than road related accidents, animals’ collisions with buildings or animal poisonings.

Don’t worry, though–the article, while harshly critical of kitties, offered deeply insightful solutions to this furry flurry. An expert from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute suggested keeping domesticated cats indoors as opposed to letting them roam free out in the wild. A spokeswoman from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said putting a bell on your cat’s collar would decrease its chance of success while hunting by at least 33%.

However, the article also said feral and stray cats were by far the leading cause of mammal and bird deaths. The American Robin, in particular, is most at risk of all birds, while mice, shrews, voles, rabbits and squirrels were most likely to be kitty-killed.

After some (probably too much) thought, I suddenly had an epiphany and, amazingly, the answer to the problem.

Which leads me to believe there is only one solution, and it does not involve the disownment of your little Garfield, Crookshanks or Sylvester: instead of giving up our pets, we must get MORE cats.

It only makes sense that, if feral or stray cats are the leading perpetrator in bird and small mammal murders nationwide, that we domesticate them all and stick bells on their collars.

This solution, while stunningly brilliant, only caused me to demand answers to other questions. Why a study about the negative impacts of cats? More specifically and more importantly, what’s so wrong with your cat protecting you from rodents?

Either way, we should all take a minute to reflect upon the needless, tragic deaths of billions and billions of bird and small mammal deaths across the country by bowing our heads in a moment of silence.