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LETTER: Feral cat lovers don't use common sense

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 | 6:56 p.m. CDT

This is in reference to an earlier letter this week, "Cat ordinance out of line," (July 12).

Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies in Bethesda, Md., is speaking from a paid position; otherwise she might modify her statement that "scientific research shows feral cats to be just as healthy as pet cats."

As a dog owner, I know how healthy my pet dogs are. They get flea and tick bites, both have had excruciating ear infections, they are subject to worms, mange, rabies, tooth rot and loss, arthritis, cancer and accidents, and they suffer threats from larger animals.

Outside, in the extreme heat and cold, they would suffer miserably. However, my pet animals get medical attention, inoculations pain relievers, dental careand flea and tick preventatives.

They are protected by their fenced lawn and leashes and they spend their days on comfortable beds inside a temperature-controlled house.

Hmm. I guess that is just as healthy as a feral cat's experience. Hadn't thought of it that way before.

My suggestion to the community and to the Columbia City Council would be to round them up and humanely euthanize the entire lot. It would be the kindest thing to do, by far, if one really examined the alternatives.

People may get all excited about the suffering of cats, but they don't seem to use common sense. Which cats are they feeding? They are feeding the very ones who can already help themselves.

The weak, the injured, the old, the irretrievably anti-social and the kittens languish in the background — in misery.

Human up, people. These cats are not your children.

Julia Williams is a small business owner in Columbia.


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Comments

Woodsman One July 15, 2011 | 2:15 a.m.
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Woodsman One July 15, 2011 | 2:16 a.m.
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Ellis Smith July 15, 2011 | 4:40 a.m.

Woodsman One; also a post elsewhere from a "j mizzou." Has somebody "fallen off the wagon" when it comes to enforcing their rules?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking July 15, 2011 | 5:36 a.m.

Woodsman One, feral cats are mostly a problem in cities (where there's often lots of food to be found in refuse), where it is usually illegal to discharge firearms. I know the population has to be controlled, and shooting them may be an option in the country, but it's not a solution to most feral cat problems.

DK

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Ellis Smith July 16, 2011 | 4:50 a.m.

Woodsman One:

Don't know about the content of your posts, but you certainly have an unusual name. Some might not believe it's real. Have the Missourian's rules flown out the window? :)

(Report Comment)
sharon montooth September 4, 2011 | 11:51 p.m.

Ms. Williams, Your letter indicates a lack of understanding of the feral cat issue. First, trap and kill methods have not worked in the past; that's why we have so many feral cats. Few (okay, NO) communities have the time, money, resources to "round them all up". And do you really want to spend your taxes on that? Do you expect the city council members to do it? Do you understand what that would take? Second, it's impossible to "humanely euthanize them". The death of a feral cat in a shelter is anything but humane. They hold them, terrified, for days, so scared they often don't eat. I've seen it. It's not humane. Third, any female that has kittens (almost all of them in March and April) who is killed "humanely" at a shelter has kittens who die of starvation or the elements--hardly humane. Fourth, managed colonies are fed, vaccinated, and get medical care. They don't spread disease. Fifth, if the goal is to round up and kill any animal that leads a less than perfect life outdoors, why don't you advocate that for raccoons, opposums, virtually ALL wildlife? Cats can survive quite nicely. We have no shortage of feral cats. Please educate yourself. TNR is the humane method that works.

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Forest Smith September 25, 2011 | 1:22 a.m.
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Forest Smith September 25, 2011 | 1:25 a.m.
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Forest Smith September 25, 2011 | 1:45 a.m.
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Derrick Fogle September 25, 2011 | 1:51 a.m.

Looks like we have a schizophrenic cat hater here. And, why *hasn't* Woodsman One's posts been deleted for violation of the real name policy?

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Forest Smith September 25, 2011 | 2:03 a.m.
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Forest Smith September 25, 2011 | 2:08 a.m.
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Forest Smith September 25, 2011 | 2:15 a.m.

There's now a valid medical reason why the iconic "Crazy Cat-Lady" as portrayed in media such as "The Simpsons", et.al., truly does exist, Toxoplasma gondii cat-parasites that have infested a human mind. "Crazy Cat-Lady" is not just an urban caricature. This parasite actually controls human minds to ensure the survival of the parasite. (Not a joke.)

But "Crazy Cat-Lady" cat-hoarders don't just hoard them in their own homes anymore. Now they have the cover-story of TNR (trap, neuter, release) practices and programs to continue their mentally-ill cat-hoarding behavior on public and private lands with even less responsibility for the well-being of their cats than they had before. TNR = Win-win all around for the Crazy Cat-Lady Cat-Hoarder.

Get tested for Toxoplasma gondii infection if you are defending and assisting these highly destructive invasive-species cats. And contrary to first impressions, the more well-fed cats are the more they senselessly kill wildlife. The healthier they are the more they kill anything that moves. These cats, genetically engineered through selective breeding, have the largest prey-base of any predator on earth and breed 3X's faster than any native cat species in the world. If your local government honors invasive-species laws (as they should), it is your moral and civic duty to destroy them on-sight wherever they are found away from safe confinement and roaming freely out in nature.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 25, 2011 | 2:59 a.m.

Lots of claims and no links. It's like our very own local Coast to Coast.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking September 25, 2011 | 7:17 a.m.

"Forest Smith" wrote:

"Get tested for Toxoplasma gondii infection if you are defending and assisting these highly destructive invasive-species cats."

About 1 in 5 Americans is infected with Toxoplasma, but if they have a healthy immune system, it does not cause symptoms. Almost all of these cases come from domestic cats, not feral ones. It is spread by contact with feces, and since cats bury their feces, contact with feral cat poop is exceedingly rare.

DK

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle September 25, 2011 | 10:45 a.m.

Humans are the most invasive species on the planet, by quite a large margin.
Just sayin'...

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking September 25, 2011 | 1:01 p.m.

Tell me about it, Derrick...

:>)

DK

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle September 25, 2011 | 2:23 p.m.

OK, I will! Thanks for the invitation.

The juxtaposition of "hunt to extinction" - ecological destruction done primarily by humans - and crocodile tears over all the horrible maiming and killing and wildlife destruction that cats do, begs to be called out. I hope this guy doesn't have any non-native flora on his property.

For the record, the cats that like to poop in my garden (I have about a square meter in my front garden that *all* the neighborhood cats use) don't do a very good job covering that stuff up. Unfortunately, I have about a million other more pressing problems than a patch of cat poop to be upset about.
:-O

The hysteria over toxoplasmosis in my household has been limited to me having to do all the cat box cleaning while my wife was pregnant.

When I bought my house here 8 years ago, there were 5 stray cats in our neighborhood that people (not me) fed. They had all been fixed at some point though. Over the years, they died or moved on, and... we don't have strays anymore. One of the neighbor's well fed, fixed, and cared for pet cats has always been the most prolific hunter. I've saved a few baby birds and rabbits from her. OTOH, most of the strays were just lazy bums, perfectly willing to wait for their handout, rather than working for a meal.

But again, no strays for now. They were all fixed and didn't reproduce. When they passed on, that was it. I know my anecdotal evidence isn't statistically valid, but, it's my impression this result is the primary benefit of TNR.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 25, 2011 | 2:25 p.m.

Send them to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith September 26, 2011 | 8:24 a.m.

@ Derrick Fogle:

It's good to know that you don't regard those cats that relieve themselves in your garden as a CATastrophe, and that the traumatic experience hasn't rendered you CATaleptic. Consider yourself fortunate that the felines in question aren't CATamounts.

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Forest Smith September 27, 2011 | 2:42 a.m.
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Forest Smith September 27, 2011 | 2:45 a.m.
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Forest Smith September 27, 2011 | 2:52 a.m.

By the way, to correct more of these cat-advocate liars, about 10% of the population has T. gondii. About 70% of all cat-handlers have this parasite permanently lodged in their brains. And yes, humans also get it from undercooked meats not just cats (this is often their next slimy red-herring that spew). Unfortunately, it gets into all the meats that humans consume from feral and stray cats that roam stockyards and farmyards. Cats are this parasite's ONLY sexually reproductive host animal. Remove all cats from contact with the food-chain and this parasite disappears completely after one life-span of all animals that have been infected with this parasite from cats.

(Report Comment)
Forest Smith September 27, 2011 | 3:12 a.m.

Someone demanded links to read? Here you go! Knock yourself out.

I found some surprising things about all the diseases these mangey invasive vermin are now spreading throughout the USA.

The plague:
http://outbreaknews.com/2011/07/29/color...

Tularemia (rabbit-fever, transmissible to humans):
http://www.news-gazette.com/news/health/...

Flea-borne Typhus:
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/count...

Along with the usual parasites they all carry, like hookworm -- that shut down businesses in large parts of Miami:
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2010-11...

And perhaps the most insideous one of all, the common Toxoplasma gondii parasite that they spread through their feces into all other animals and even livestock. This is how it gets into meats and humans get it from undercooked meats, from cats roaming around stockyards and farms. This parasite not only changes the mind of the animal it invades,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmos...
http://wildlifeprofessional.org/blog/?p=...
http://www.economist.com/node/16271339
http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/18/cr...
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story...

but can even kill you at any time during your life once you've been infected by it. It becomes a permanent lifetime parasite in your mind, ready to strike at any time that your immune system becomes compromised. It's now being linked to the cause of autism, schizophrenia, and brain cancers. The weirdest part of all, its strange life cycle is meant to infect rodents. Any rodents infected with it lose their fear of cats and are actually attracted to cat urine.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/...
So even the often proclaimed use for cats to control rodents is now false. Cats actually attract rodents to your home, with their whole slew of flea-borne and other diseases.

Rabies in stray and feral cats is just one of the concerns. And even having your cat vaccinated against rabies doesn't prevent it from bringing in a mouthful or claws full of fresh rabies virus every day to you after you've let it out to go disembowel that rabid bat behind the garage or in the shrubs.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking September 27, 2011 | 7:48 a.m.

You know, Forest, there are many brands of decaf that are just as flavorful as the real thing...

(forget where I heard that one)

DK

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle September 27, 2011 | 8:18 a.m.

Crazy cat lady, meet insane cat hater guy. Surely, a match made in heaven.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 27, 2011 | 9:47 a.m.

What I learned from today's program...

People that feed stray cats should be thrown in jail!

If you go on that vacation to Hawaii you have been dreaming about and you see a cow outside of fences and don't kill it on site you are breaking the law!

(See according to officer forest smith you are breaking the law if you don't shoot an invasive species outside of confinement and it's natural habitat. In fact, cows have been selectively bred for years so now they don't have any natural habitat left and are an invasive species anywhere they go. Good thing we humans don't selectively breed (although clearly mom and pop smith failed to select wisely...) like choosing mates that look a certain way or have certain physical characteristics that we find desirable or else we would be invasive species anywhere we went as well...)

Good grief...

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 27, 2011 | 9:55 a.m.

Woodsman Gump?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 27, 2011 | 11:35 a.m.

My, some nice language there. Hey Forest, let us know how much you cry when the Missourian whacks your abusive comments. You might want to read the comment policy before opening your virtual mouth again if you want anyone to read your tripe. It's one of those underlined words right above the comment box.

(Report Comment)
Forest Smith September 29, 2011 | 9:16 p.m.
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John Schultz September 29, 2011 | 9:33 p.m.

I WONDER if there is a LAW of CONSERVATION of CAPITALIZATION?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking September 30, 2011 | 3:41 a.m.

"These highly destructive deadly-disease-spreading, genetically-engineered, invasive-species MUST BE DESTROYED ON-SIGHT IF FOUND ROAMING FREELY IN NATURE."

Translation:

I LOVE to shoot CATS!!! I LIVE for the day where I can sit on my back PORCH with a cooler full of BEER, and my varmint RIFLE, and plink AWAY all day LONG!!!!

PUR-R-R-R-R...

DK

(Report Comment)
Forest Smith October 3, 2011 | 7:07 p.m.

Why would you wrongly assume that? I detest shooting cats. I wish there weren't any to shoot. If you have to rid the USA of an invasive species like Brown Tree Snakes or Burmese Python, would you get some sort of sick joy in having to chop their heads off in order to protect and save all the native wildlife? Don't be so amazingly ignorant and stupid.

Methinks you are projecting your own mentally-ill perversities.

(Report Comment)

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