Yes, I too will no longer brake, or swerve, for inbound felines. Now, not that I’m keeping score, or that my objective is to taint your perspective on these furry and ferocious terrors: but a comprehensive study in 2013 estimated that feral cats, in the U.S., kill 2.4 billion of our avian friends and approximately 12.3 billion mammals, each year. Hell, the Audubon Society can’t quit griping about the supposed 150,000 to 350,000 birds that may or may not be killed by wind turbines annually, but that’s merely a drop in the bucket compared to the devastation that feral cats inflict, daily. Little side note, these vermin, invasive species, feral cats of course, on average, carry over 3-dozen deadly diseases. That’s more than the common sewer rat.
This, on the other hand, did brighten my spirits. An actually survey was conducted and their findings concluded that 10 million to 1 billion birds die, in America every year, from striking windows. Hot Damn! I imagine generating funds for that survey was a lot like pulling teeth. Eek. Back to feral cats, though. A single feral cat can poop out millions upon millions of cysts that are burgeoning with parasite cells that remain infectious for up to 18 months. That’s roughly 543 days, 3096 working hours and plenty of other crap in-between. Hence the wretched prompting from game officials for deer hunters in areas that are heavily inundated with feral cats to thoroughly cook their venison before ingesting it. Dear Lord, say it ain’t so. If the stakes weren’t so high I’d recommend a good waterboarding session for anyone that cooks wild game past a light medium. But, since I’m not too fond of dying, I guess I’ll just opt for cooking my meat to death, instead.
The cause. Now finger pointing isn’t something I regularly exercise, but I just can’t seem to let this one go. It’s Bob Barker fault, totally. From the inception of his glory days on The Price Is Right, Bob should have refrained from saying “Spayed or Neutered” and chosen a bit more precise approach, like “Full decapitation”. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. It’s believed that the problem stems from cat owners, who simply don’t want their cat or cats anymore, and they turn them loose in a rural setting because the thought of euthanizing sweet little Fluffy is too painful for them to bear. Now the TNR method (Trap-Neuter-Return) is being pushed by veterinarians and the likes of The Humane Society and PETA, but it’s costly and until they meet their own demise, they’ll still kill wildlife by the millions.
The Solution. The path to a feral cat free life is obscure at best and perhaps a viable solution isn’t viable at all. Sure, we could scout out feral cat sanctuaries and trap them by the dozens, have them vaccinated and sterilized, but that would run nearly $100 bucks per cat while a brick of Remington .22LR ammunition only costs $24.99. Perhaps, there’s a feral cat skin market to could explore? We could start turning feral cat pelts and take a brief hiatus from trapping all them other critters. Who knows, maybe then we'd see crafty little feral cat handbags, hats and gloves start popping up in Project Runway episodes and the Lucky Cat's Paw could replace the Rabbit's Foot.
Am I looking at it all wrong? Are feral cats a renewable resource worth looking into. One day will our children be dining on Feral Cat McNUGGETS at McDonald's? I hope not, but I also voted against Change and got Affordable Healthcare anyways. So with an open mind and an itchy trigger finger, I'll approach each feral cat as it's the wave of the future. And I'll wave goodbye, as I smile, and send lead its way.
Hugs Handshakes and Happy Feral Cat Hunting