Commentary: Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world (for birds)
Wow, these birds have quite a lobbying machine.
The Audubon Society is out to confine, if not kill cats, and has convinced the Carbondale Town Council to consider fines for people who let cats off their property. The early proposal even limits how many cats a person may have.
My species has been getting a horrible rap as indiscriminate killers. Just read the kind of propaganda Audubon is putting out against us:
“Cats’ bad reputation among bird-lovers may be well deserved. A new study estimates that domestic cats, considered a global invasive species, kill 1.4 to 3.7 billion birds in the lower 48 states each year.”
This is way over the top. Audubon and the American Bird Conservancy — Big Bird, if you will — have long lobbied to restrict cats’ freedom, and now use a study published by Nature in 2013, among others, to attack us.
The study abstract, though, says this: “Unowned cats, as opposed to owned pets, cause the majority of this mortality.”
So maybe, rather than going after companion cats as does the Carbondale ordinance, towns should hire cat catchers and Big Bird could raise the money to pay them to chase around my homeless brothers and sisters.
Where’s the compassion?
That said zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Oh. Oops. Dozed off on the “z” key for a bit there.
As Garfield said — you know, the cartoon cat for whom this county is named — “All I do is eat and sleep, eat and sleep, eat and sleep … there must be more to a cat’s life than that, but I hope not.” Nothing about killing in there.
OK, now back to this catastrophic Carbondale proposal.
To be clear, I’m no killer myself.
I hear that some of us enjoy hunting. I’ve heard that some people do, too, and with guns rather than claws and teeth. They shoot birds, don’t they?
Recently, the humans here at the Post Independent were talking about a mouse in the office. I didn’t see one — and even if it’s true, I’m not sure what they were expecting me to do about it. I. Am. Not. A. Killer. Or hunter. I’m far too busy curling up on random coats and following the every move of my favorite human, reporter John Stroud. I excel in letting the office staff know when John arrives, leaves or is in a closed-door meeting.
I’m strictly an indoor cat and have no use for the outdoor environs of downtown Glenwood Springs. Scary out there, what with the pigeons, rats, bears, not to mention those noisy cars and trucks, kids on skateboards and the parade of drunks in the alley at night.
By the way, would those of you who park in the Glenwood city garage prefer cats to pigeons? Maybe we could make it a feral cat homeless center and you could get rid of those goofy wires sticking up on the walls.
I overheard reporter Will Grandbois doing interviews about this ordinance.
While the folks around the PI are mostly OK, apparently as a group, people are awful.
There’s the hunting I mentioned. They use megatons of pesticides in the birdies’ environment. They keep cutting down trees. Wind turbines, power lines, windows, cars and other man-made stuff kills maybe a billion birds a year, according to various estimates.
News flash: Cats don’t use pesticides and deforest the world, though I suppose Big Bird would blame us for that if it could.
Frankly, we should be just as concerned about the fate of the bees as the birds.
I think the bird lobby is jealous. We’re just more popular — our plot to take over the Internet has paid off.
Still, there are an awfully lot of …
Sorry. Writing this is keeping me up. It’s almost 10 (a.m.), well past my morning nap time.
Do you know what the bird population of the United States is?
It’s estimated at 20-30 billion in the fall and half that in the spring.
That’s a lot of birds. Not to say some cats in some specific places don’t further threaten some endangered birds. Local remedies might be proper, just as spaying and neutering cats everywhere makes sense. More attention, food and love for me.
But — so I hear — it’s natural for us to kill birds, just as it’s natural for them to eat bugs and coyotes to eat us and dogs to kill chipmunks.
The world has a lot of cats, birds and people. Some bad things happen. Like the way people squish chickens together so tightly they can’t move so eggs and white meat can be cheap.
Now you want to lock up cats?
Sufferin’ succotash, Carbondale, have you come down with cat scratch fever?
Typo is the Post Independent office cat. This is her first column, and it wore her out. She’s resting on the couch in the loft. Follow her on Twitter — @newsroomcat.
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