I ’m sorry Finn the cat is missing. Is he an ambassador for outdoor cats because he’s friendly and appealing? That’s not good enough for me. I’d be devastated to lose my cat, but she doesn’t go outside.
Many of us love cats and birds both, but we have come to understand our responsibility to prevent cats from killing native wildlife. Finn’s person, Nic, does not want to believe the science on this issue, but their casual dismissal of it cannot go unchallenged.
Yes, of course the billions of birds that are estimated to be killed by cats each year is an extrapolation; it’s based on conservative estimates of cat populations and numbers of birds killed per cat per year, from data that have been well studied.
Here are a few more facts:
Domestic cats are not native to this continent. We brought them in, and not all that long ago. Our wildlife did not evolve with this super-predator, and are no match for it.
Whereas cats are naturally excellent hunters – the bird slaughter is not their fault – what’s not natural is their place in the ecosystem. Especially not in the concentrations we see here in the city, where we subsidize them with food and medical care and then send them outside for their entertainment.
At one time I would have done that too, but my position on this has evolved. Letting your cat out to roam is like dropping your pet python in the Everglades.
When I was a kid, everyone let their dogs run free and nobody picked up poop. So I haven’t lost hope that someday free-roaming cats might be unacceptable.
The neighbor cat that took one of my chickadees last spring also doomed her nest of seven hatchlings. I had been monitoring them outside my window for weeks.
Perhaps I take that loss too personally, but if we are going to be picking and choosing which species to care about, I’ll opt for the ones that belong here, every time.
If you can’t bring yourself to keep your cat indoors, there are a few products that, unlike bells, do help cut down on the predation. The CatBib and the Birdsbesafe collar are two. Check them out online, and if you would like to try a CatBib, I’ve bought several, and I’d be happy to deliver one to you, free.
– Murr Brewster, firstname.lastname@example.org