Humans somehow have this ingrained idea that they can best manage the natural environment that Mother Nature created and evolved over billions of years before mankind was ever thought up in anyone’s philosophy. The calico cats for sale has been an unmitigated and ever ongoing environmental disaster. The latest in a long, long, long line of ‘humans know best’ has been a proposal to eliminate the domestic pussycat.
In early January 2013, the idea was floated in New Zealand that the domestic moggy, the dear old and much loved companion animal the pussycat, be phased out. All cats should be de-sexed and no further cats be obtained upon the natural death of existing moggies. Therefore, within 15 to 20 years, New Zealand would be pussycat free, and native wildlife, especially flightless birds, would be eternally grateful, because pussy cats like to eat little native flightless birds and other native wildlife too. Needless to say, the claws are out and fur is flying over the issue.
From the various online debates and commentaries I’ve seen, there seem to be three equally divided points of view. Point One: kill them all – the cats that is – or more humanely let them go extinct through natural attrition by neutering them all. Point Two, sharp and to the point, all jaws, paws and claws out and firing, touch my cats and you die. Companion animals are good for human well being, and besides cats catch mice and rats and other undesirable vermin*. Point Three is probably the most relevant – it’s a variation on the pot calling the kettle black; the all too frequent human double standard.
If you take the argument to its logical conclusion, perhaps one should exterminate spiders because they kill native flies; exterminate birds that eat pretty native butterflies; kill the lions that eat native zebras; or for that matter eliminate anything that kills and feeds off of anything else native. Sorry, the fundamental principle in nature, tooth and claw, is the relationship between prey and predator; eat or be eaten. Cats are just one of millions of species that kill to eat. It’s hardwired into their brains. If they kill and eat a native flightless bird, it’s not their fault. Puppy dogs hunt and kill too, but I don’t hear any equivalent about killing them off humanely or otherwise despite the fact that some dogs, pet dogs, have maimed and killed humans; the same cannot be said about the domestic moggy. And no doubt some native species hunt and kill for food other native species. Where do you draw the line in this quest to save native species? And just who self-anointed human beings to be judge, jury and executioner?
Prey animals, flightless birds or otherwise, have presumably over millions of years evolved natural abilities to avoid most predators most of the time; otherwise they wouldn’t be around for us to talk about them. That’s the natural way of things – a natural evolutionary arms race. Prey evolves ways and means to avoid predators; predators evolve better ways and means of catching prey. Failure results in extinction, and that too is nature’s way. Most species that have ever existed are now extinct.
While we don’t wish to see native wildlife hunted down and killed, the hardcore truth of the matter is that this is nature’s way, and if you have a problem with that, take it up with God – it’s His master plan. If you don’t accept a deity, blame Mother Nature. In any event, that’s the way it is and you can’t do anything to change that fundamental fact of life. Cats kill; dogs kill; spiders kill; lions kill; birds kill; sharks kill; and guess what – humans kill too. That’s part of the pot and kettle side of things. But humans don’t kill animals just for the need to put food on the table. Humans kill for the pure pleasure of killing things, just for fun, from hunting as a so-called ‘sport’, often with a semi-automatic rifle, and often in enclosed wildlife parks for that purpose where the animals can’t escape, to squashing ants who are outside in their own natural environment and bothering no one.
As for that other common reason given to cull the moggie – the neighbour’s cat uses my garden as a litter box. If that’s the most pressing problem this person has, well I’d like to be that person! Seriously, you get free fertilizer that’s 100% biodegradable and while the cat is around, it’s helping to keep your property free of mice and rats. I’ve been on the receiving end of both gifts and that doesn’t bother me at all. In any event, as a problem, personal or environmental, cat poo in the garden pales compared to doggie poo on the sidewalk.