Red in Tooth and Claw

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Snow White-A Smile and a Song

It is really too bad that nature is not like this scene from Walt Disney’s Snow White. BTW Snow White remains my favorite Disney Princess because when I was a kid in the 1970s, she was the only brunette. I didn’t really care about her “happily ever after” with the prince who appeared at the end of the movie. I loved the thought of her living in the forest in harmony with all of the animals.

Then I grew up. Unfortunately, a lot of people did not.

I follow two related Twitter accounts: A woman farmer in Ireland, and an account for one of her cats. She posts pictures and short videos every day of her sheep, her farm, her cats, her spinning room. Usually they’re a diversion from the ugly reality in the U.S. Sometimes sad things happen, like a premature lamb dying. Sometimes upsetting things happen, like one of the farm cats getting into a tangle with a strange tom and having to have his ear glued back together (which I found fascinating as it healed up so much more quickly than stitches.)

A few days ago, she posted a picture of herself rescuing a wren nestling before one of the cats got ahold of it. All’s well that ends well, right?

Not on Twitter. She was verbally attacked by multiple anti-cat people who refused to understand that this is a farm cat, not a city cat, cats are needed on farms to control the rodent population, domestic cats aren’t evil. I blame the Audubon Society for spreading lies about outside cats and associating with people who advocate killing them for this sort of nonsense.

Life is not a Disney movie.

I’ve seen a blue jay kill a house sparrow. By the time I got outside with the broom to chase away the jay, the little bird was hopelessly injured. Another year, a bunch of grackles killed a family of house sparrows, parents and nestlings. Territoriality. Animal instinct. I didn’t kill the blue jay or the grackles. And anyone who thinks no cat should be allowed to roam or that cats are an “invasive species” (in Europe!) and spews that nonsense is going to get it thrown right back in their face by me.

The Audubon Society needs a good housecleaning, starting at the top. They are no longer pro-bird. They are anti-cat, and they are validating the absolutely false views of people who just hate cats. One person kept saying the cats “poison” wildlife.

I’ve never seen a cat putting out poisoned bird food, have you? This insane rhetoric has gone way too far. And not enough people are standing up to it, so if you love cats and understand that “nature is red in tooth and claw,” could you confront people spreading anti-cat lies? Could you confront online bullies in general when you see them? Those of us countering the lies and confronting the bullies could use some help. I don’t want to see good people who make the Internet better driven off social media because some blithering idiot can’t understand why domestic cats are so valuable.

If you are one of those blithering idiots: enjoy your bubonic plague.

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The First Anti-Cat Hysteric of Spring

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I haven’t seen a robin yet this year, but I’ve seen daffodils, violets, and I’ve read the ugly words of one of the anti-cat cult.

“…bird-murdering cat…” I got that far and stopped reading. That’s dumb. That’s wrong. That’s a lie. That’s hysterical language designed to bring out the people who hate cats so much they will shoot them in traps or put out poisoned food. It’s language designed to appeal to dangerously deranged people. Do I have to keep pointing out over and over and over that killing animals is one of the points of the triad of sociopathy? Do I have to keep saying that not only is killing a cat for being a cat wrong, it’s a sign that the person who does it is quite possibly dangerous to people too?

I guess I do, if people are going to persist in sharing this bullshit.

There is no such thing as a bird-murdering cat.

I repeat, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BIRD-MURDERING CAT. There is also no such thing as a worm-murdering robin. There are simply animals being animals. Neither one plots and plans to harm its prey. They act on instinct like every other wild animal. Humans who kill cats or dogs may have fabricated justifications, but really, anyone who kills a cat for killing a bird (even a beautiful songbird) has a fucking problem and should be stopped.

Like it or not, feral cats are becoming American wildlife. A feral cat is one that was born in the wild and is unused to human contact. A stray cat is one that slipped out of its home and got lost, or was abandoned or left behind by a “person.” Cats are frequently abandoned or “put out” by people who rent apartments and a) aren’t supposed to have pets/have too many pets or b) choose to move into a new place that doesn’t allow pets. These are human failings. Cats shouldn’t be punished for them.

Feral cat colonies are often monitored by people (like me) who feed starving cats. Why are the cats starving if they’re murdering and eating all those precious songbirds? ISN’T THAT A MYSTERY? The truth is that a feral cat’s diet consists primarily of voles, other small mammals (chipmunks) and frogs. Yes, frogs. If feral cats were “murdering” the silly astronomical numbers of songbirds claimed by the Audubon Society, there would be no birds at your feeder–or mine.

Feral cats are not spreading rabies. If they were, it would be on the news every day.

Feral cats are not spreading toxoplasmosis. If they were, it would be on the news every day.

People who hate cats lie. Even people at the top in “respectable” wildlife organizations. Some of those people have killed cats themselves.

I understand that there are people who dislike cats. I do not understand people who would callously and deliberately kill cats for being cats. I have two indoor cats. I also have a bird feeder and bird bath and spend a ridiculous amount of money every month on bird seed and sunflower seeds. I feed squirrels as well as birds. I don’t consider them vermin. Many birders do. I don’t like it when a neighborhood cat starts hanging around my bird feeder. I will chase it away. I will spray it with water. I will not harm it or call animal control even if it does kill a bird.

It is not a cat’s fault for being a cat. You want someone to blame for a dead songbird? Blame the person who moved to a “better” apartment and abandoned their cat. Blame the person who got a kitten and shoved it out the door when it grew up  into a cat. People are the problem.

A significant percentage of songbird death is due to loss of their environment so that people can have McMansions. Pesticides kill birds as well as bees.

It is not the fault of the cats. It is all our fault. Before you use stupid words like “bird-murdering cat,” take a long look at yourself, where you live, and your lifestyle. What have you done that has forced a cat into an outdoor life or contributed to the death of a songbird?

Grow the fuck up, stop blaming cats, and be a better fucking human being.

Single Lady with Cats, Part II

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So then I knew, without a doubt, how babies got out, and I don’t remember my mother’s explanation for her C-sections, but she must have been fast on her feet. My sister was born. More kittens were born. Another sister was born. More kittens were born.

My mom is one of those well-intentioned people rescued every stray cat and dog that found their way to our yard. I think that part of it was working at the police department, being good friends with an animal control officer, and knowing that the likelihood an animal coming out of the shelter was almost zero.

But, like so many people who want to help, my mom didn’t have the money to do more than feed them. We had a large property, a garden with a big field behind it, and two outbuildings. So I can’t say that our cats had a bad life. They had food, shelter, and love. It’s better than being “put to sleep.”

I, however, made the decision that when I grew up, I would never have an outside pet. I lost too many cats to the road. I decided that I would never get into my mother’s situation. And when I was a teenager and a friend brought me an older kitten (because his dad told him “get rid of that damn cat or I will”) I asked my mom if I could keep him inside, and I had him neutered. I was working. I paid for it. Poor Pyewackett made many trips to the vet for respiratory infections, and I paid all the bills.

pyewackett0001

(Pyewackett did all the damage to the bookcase.)

After Pyewackett came Zelda, my sister’s cat. She thought he was a girl. He wasn’t. I haven’t got a pic of him on this computer, but he was a big, handsome tuxedo cat. Then came Snuffy. Snuffy was another part-Siamese, but he was white and gray. There was a free-roaming tom cat in the neighborhood we called Mr. Smith. He looked just like Snuffy, and my mom still had outside cats, so we gave Snuffy his father’s name. And then next year, Snuffy’s half-sister Sugar.

They were our inside cats.

When I went to live in New York, I left Pyewackett to live with my mother, because he was getting to be an old man cat and had a cat crush on Sugar. I felt out of sorts in New York, not having a cat, so I went to the Little Shelter in Huntington (a no-kill shelter for cats and dogs so you should check it out if you’re in NY!) and adopted Mika.

mika_portrait

Mika was about five when I adopted her, and she had been at the shelter for seven months. The shelter workers told me that if I hadn’t taken her, she likely would never have been adopted because black cats are passed over for “pretty” cats and due to superstition. I had Mika for a year when I decided that she seemed lonely. We were living in an apartment complex with a large feral cat colony, and she spent all her time sitting on the window sill, watching the feral cats.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: FERAL CATS DO NOT SPREAD TOXOPLASMOSIS OR RABIES OR SALMONELLA OR WHATEVER OTHER NONSENSE THE AUDUBON SOCIETY WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE. I FED AND EVEN TOUCHED SOME OF THOSE FERAL CATS AND NEVER EVEN GOT SCRATCHED. FERAL CATS DO NOT HAVE A SOOPER SEEKRIT PLAN TO KILL ALL THE SONGBIRDS. THEY EAT MOSTLY VOLES AND FROGS. THEY KEEP DOWN THE VERMIN POPULATION IN THEIR AREA. DO NOT ARGUE WITH ME. I KNOW OF WHICH I SPEAK.*

I had in mind adopting a feral kitten, but my ex-husband came home from work one day and said HEY HERE’S A KITTEN GET ME A BEER, and that’s how I got Kumo.

kumo-box

Kumo is still with me. Mika passed away from stomach cancer on February 14, 2012.

Mika beat Kumo up until he learned his place. Then we moved to a large house and I wanted another kitten. And again I got HEY HERE’S A KITTEN, GET ME A BEER.

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Kumo didn’t have to beat up Justin. Neither did Mika. Kumo is a strong believer in quiet intimidation.

So I have these three cats, and then my marriage implodes, and I put them in their carriers in my SUV, and I drive them from New York to North Carolina alone. I had a friend from North Carolina driving a box truck with most of my belongings, but we got separated, and I ended up spending the night in a motel in Virginia with three cats and A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL.

I moved back in with my mother. Pyewackett and Zelda were gone. Snuffy was over 14, and Sugar had never recovered from Pyewackett’s death. When Snuffy got sick, and I determined he had no quality of life, I took him to the vet and had him euthanized. They did the procedure outside. The last things he saw were my face and the blue sky.

Sugar died soon after that. My mother still had two elderly outside cats, and they both eventually died in their sleep.

There will be a part three and probably four to this post, so I don’t want to end part two on a sad note. We have Kumo and Justin, they’re neutered, Kumo had major ear surgery a couple of years ago and it was a long recovery, and he’s not jumping onto the washing machine anymore BECAUSE HE’S A FURRY GRAY TUB O’LARD, but he’s doing well.

Justin is an odd cat who likes to spend his spare time staring into corners like the guy at the end of The Blair Witch Project.

In part three, I’ll get to Crazy Cat Ladies, Crazy Anti-Cat Hysterics, and possibly Crazy Cat Ladies Who Also Collect Dolls. That last may be a post in itself.

Another high-profile cat-hater

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And this one is being taken seriously by the Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/they-put-the-cat-in-catastrophe/2016/09/19/778207f2-785b-11e6-bd86-b7bbd53d2b5d_story.html

Please contact the Washington Post. I’m sure they have a Facebook page. I contacted them via @washingtonpost on Twitter. Please tell them why you know that Peter Marra is just plain wrong.

Justin’s Paws: “I am not a cuddly killer”

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Five out of six ends are pointy and we would like to remind “author” Peter Marra and Smithsonian employee (hopefully not for long) of this fact. We have not trusted the Smithsonian for years because they employee crazy cat haters like Peter Marra. According to the early info regarding Peter Marra’s new book Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer, Peter thinks every outside cat should be killed “by any means necessary.” That includes me if I dart out the door while my mommy is bringing in groceries, even though I’m wearing a collar with an ID tag and a rabies tag! We think that Peter Marra is crazy as a shithouse rat and we wonder why a formerly respectable organization like the Smithsonian would continue to employee him after the publication of this book. We encourage you to: Cancel your Smithsonian membership and donations, boycott any stores selling Peter Marra’s cat-killing book, share this post on Facebook, copy and paste it to Twitter and your own blog, and join Vox Felina. Vox Felina brought this crazy book by this crazy man to our attention. Vox Felina is always on the job! We also encourage you to join Alley Cat Allies and learn how to fight back against the lies spread by “people” like Peter Marra.

Sadly, because of the Peter Marras of the world, we think that it would be best if all cat owners kept their pet cats inside all the time and put extra patrols on feral cat colonies.

Please report any uptick in cat abuse cases to your local authorities and Vox Felina and Alley Cat Allies.

Justin is very sad because he wants to go outside so bad but his mommy can’t let him because of horrible people like Peter Marra. Protect your furbabies. https://www.facebook.com/Justins-Paws-366569196795559/

Contact Worcester Co. MD officials re: killing of Oliver, community cat

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Here is the link that I promised you yesterday. Please do take the time to personalize your message to the county government contacts. It looks better and encourages their staff to take time to read your message.

http://getinvolved.alleycat.org/site/PageServer;jsessionid=D102D4627013834A66524F63BA1E1A97.app359a?pagename=actionhome

Deliberate act of animal cruelty-by animal control

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Worcester County, MD animal control knowingly trapped and killed a neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped community cat despite tremendous outcry. I don’t accept that. I want everyone involved in trapping and killing Oliver fired. That means the officers who trapped him and the county officials who made the decision to kill him. I’ll find a link to Worcester County government offices and post it tomorrow so that you can contact them and let them know the country is looking at them, and we don’t like what we see.

http://news.alleycat.org/2016/07/11/speak-out-save-oliver-the-cat-in-worcester-maryland/

A gentle reminder: I do not offer a free platform to people who leave hostile comments. These will not be published. They will be reported as spam. Threats to harm cats or comments boasting about harming cats will be reported to the FBI. If you want to rant about killing feral cats, close this tab, and find a community that supports your sociopathic tendencies.