Monday, October 30, 2006

Overheard At Work...

An anonymous coworker has a thing about feral cats on his property. Once or twice, they've come to a bad end. As a cat owner, I have sparred with him verbally about this before (my cats, of course, are indoor kitties and decidedly non-feral.)

Me: "What is it you have against the cats, anyway?"

Him: "Well, for one thing, they kill songbirds..."

M: "Songbirds are ghey. All they ever do is crap on my car and wake me up when I'm trying to sleep in. Good for the cats, if you ask me."

H: "Suppose a feral cat crapped on your car?"

M: "Well, that'd depend. How recently have I had it detailed?"

H: "Look, suppose there was a dog that started running cattle?"

M: "I'd shoot it. But that's different; cows taste good."

H: "Well, Italians cook and eat songbirds."

M: "Right, and if you have a pack of feral Italians running loose on your property, you should load up the ol' shotgun and do what you gotta do."

24 comments:

Kevin said...

Logic: What would we do without it? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Enter politics and run as a democrat...

cleanhead said...

Feral cats kill a lot of quail, too. That's why I blast them on sight. A .218 Bee does a good job on them.

Rhubarby said...

I like cats a lot, but I think he has a point. Feral cats are part of the decline in quail populations. They are a non-native predator.

BobG said...

I like cats and dogs, but there is a point at which said creatures change from quaint to vermin.
As far as songbirds are concerned, that's the purpose of evolution; being able to get away or fend off predators. If a cat can support itself without leaving messes in my way, I could care less if it comes around my yard.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Feral cats are bad, mostly because they exert an environmental pressure against other natural predators, which are better suited to other creatures that cats can't get, which rise in population, etc. etc.

Back at ye olde homestead in Friendsville the feral cat problem was a PROBLEM, mostly because I think of crossbreeding with native cats... there was one aroudn the house that was fearless and was colored partly like a bobcat and partly like a grey tab. That sucker was STOUT, and would constantly spray stuff around the property and claw lines in the cedar siding of the house where it had sprayed before.

I watched my brother nail a perfect tip-of-shoulder shot on it with a .22 velocitor from the kitchen window while it was bowed up against a youngster kitten from somewhere around. It made it about 6 feet. That was a celebratory moment.

Ferals eat anything they can catch... voles, moles, squirrels, chipmunks, songbirds, other cats' kittens, lizards, snakes, rabbits, birds... they'll totally blow away an ecosystem to where you've got nothing left but angry starving ferals and lots and lots of bugs.

If you want your birds gone, let the hawks and owls do it. Of course, they can't... if the ferals have eaten them*.

*that gets reversed with age and bigger hawks. Ferals climb and will eat out of any nest they can reach. It's amazing how destructive they can be... hellishly worse than feral dogs.

shooter said...

I have a friend who shoots them from his garage with .22 subsonic rounds. Neighbors never hear anything. Nearly shot a stray looking cat on my lease last year. Turns out it was an ocelot. Never knew they got that far up into Texas. Under pain of death, I am not allowed to share that info with the game warden.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like feral cats, ...


tame them! All it takes is some food, and some patience.

I've done it many times. After 2-3 weeks, they'll let you pet them. At that point, you can scoop them up and take them to the doctor to get shots and "fixed." Many pet stores offer walk-in clinics for $10 several times a year.

Fix 'em and turn 'em loose again. If you have cats, you won't have nearly as many poisonous snakes. ;)

seanmiller said...

We have several ferral cats that run around the property near my apartment complex. I watched my girlfriend try and catch ne for half an hour. Her plan was to throw a towel over it and wrap it up, then put it in a big tub and take it to a friend's house who oved cats (in nashville). I thought she was nuts.

First off, the little bugger was doing just fine as he had been there wince we moved in in may. Secondly, is it more crule to let the animal run arount wild, or scare it to death for half an our, capture it, throw it in a tub and drive it three hours away, only to let it og on a farm already half over-run with other cats?

As they say, the road to hell...

Anonymous said...

Feral cats are second only to feral hogs in ecosystem damage. People seem to think they're great for mice but birds, lizards, amphibians and the squirrel tree farmers all go down to them. That's a lot of food to take off the plate of critters that have a natural right to be there (hawks, owls, foxes, snakes and such). Plus they spread disease like a rabid leper on crank. You wouldn't have to pay for some of the vaccinations your cats need if it weren't for ferals.

"Fix 'em and turn 'em loose again."

Yeah, because being irresponsible in the name of animal rights is cool!


M: "Right, and if you have a pack of feral Italians running loose on your property, you should load up the ol' shotgun and do what you gotta do."

Speaking as someone who's half Italian, that's the most sound advice you could give on the subject. Southern Italians, anyway. Family reunions are tough enough, I can only imagine if they were feral.

Yuri Orlov said...

Speaking of feral animals. The whole middle east is filled with them. Something needs to be done before they over run the entire world.

Anonymous said...

I love feral cats! They're great practice for the ol' .22 Hornet! Songbirds too. And feral Italians, if they're hanging around my property.

Tracy

Billy Beck said...

Of course, she has about five acres to run around on down here in the bottom of the valley (I don't think she goes up on the hill much), but there's a feral cat who's been hanging around my place for nearly three years, now. She patrols the tall grass at the side of the road for eats. She won't let me get anywhere near her and we just watch each other go by. It's curious to me to watch her survive from year to year, especially in these brutal winters, and I'm generally pulling for her, although I do nothing to help. She's on her own. She seems to like it that way, and the whole thing is fine by me.

Matt G said...

FERAL cats are the problem, Tam. Your cats are, as you note, not feral. They are in no danger.

Feral cats are an introduced predator that are a danger to the environment, and to your cats. They regularly carry disease, and will fight housecats for housecat food. They breed at furious rates and give your good housecats a bad name. When picked up, they are routinely euthanized by local animal control departments. Why does the animal control authority have more moral standing than your co-worker?

The Student Shooter said...

I absolutly hate cats. That said, I hate shooting a cat. People dump cats and dogs around here all of the time, and I am the one that ends up taking care of business. I would rather shoot the person that dumped them out. It would be a whole lot more fun.

Anonymous said...

I loved my old dogs, and I love my little cat, "Pinky". I grew up always having dogs and cat around.

But I've also shot several dogs out in the woods. Some chasing chasing deer and one that attacked me after some bastard had dumped it at a boat ramp.

I've also shot several feral cats. Including one climbing a tree after a squirrel and one with a dead squirrel.

They completely screw up the local ecosystem and don't belong in the wild.

Personnaly, I'd like to publicly horsewhip the assholes that dump them in the woods in the first place!

Tokarev

TD said...

Hey,

Just wanted to say "hi" and let you know I blogrolled you. Blame it on pdb. It's his fault.

TD

Art Eatman said...

I've always thought house cats that stay at home are really neat.

Feral cats make good targets. I like songbirds and quail a helluva lot more than feral cats.

A study up in Wisconsin, with the Wildlife Agency hiring a bunch of wildlife-biology grad students, concluded that a feral cat will kill some 100 songbirds a year. Sounds probable, given what I've seen at home as a neighbor loaded up on "take-up" kitties. They went on to estimate as many as a million feral cats in the state of Wisconsin.

Yeah, tame the feral critter. Then take it to the pound, 'cause you already have as many as you can deal with at home. Since few want to adopt a grown cat, the folks at the pound wind up killing the "gift". Duh?

Art

bjbarron said...

First wife was a wealthy southern Belle, DAR and Daughter of the Confederacy. I didn't realize how inbred that particular sub-species was until I started shooting some feral cats that were killing pets in our neighborhood. Apparently she thought the R and the C didn't involve any shooting.

Shortly after I enlisted (horrors - what will my friends think), she found reason to leave.

The real wife met me while I was in and waited for me until I came back...married 35 years now. She won't let me shoot cats either, but for her I'll abstain. Those pesky Presbyterians tho, that's another story.

Lizard said...

Lizard says: If the damn songbirds can't fly faster, they become cat food. It's called "Evolution", and it's how we all got here.

Tennessee Budd said...

Well, mine started life as a feral cat. Mom abandoned her, & I wound up rescuing a palm-sized, very dirty, very flea-ridden kitten. She's better now, growing like a weed, & very loyal. I still sting her relatives with pellets & BBs. I won't use the serious weapons unless they start causing me problems. I hate birds, so they're safe on that front.

Anonymous said...

I pretty much like most strays. The only ferals that bother me are the human kind.

cleanhead said...

To say nothing of the cat which made tinkle in my beautiful 1954 Chevrolet, which is another very good reason to slay feral cats at every opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Putrid, disgusting people. They're just trying to survive. If you're so worried about them killing other animals -- try feeding them! Get them fixed and re-release them. In a couple of years the feral population will diminish, and you won't have been a total piece of shit.