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Horrible horrible idea shot down- thank heavens!!!

April 19th, 2005, 01:45 PM
I saw this in the Gazette editorials yesterday. I never saw the original story-- sorry it is so long but I didn't want to cut parts out (I don't like selective editing- you can edit the wrong things out)...
Bring back that lovin' feline
Pet cats; don't shoot them: Wisconsin debates idea of open season on feral cats to save songbirds

Hearst Newspapers

Monday, April 18, 2005

Wisconsin Governor James Doyle, who does not own a cat, promptly rode to the rescue of furry felines last week after an outdoorsmen's advisory group recommended that wild, free-roaming cats be hunted and shot.

In a nation full of millions of rational, normal people who adore their kitties, such a violent end would not be the American way. What would be next? Kitten fricassee?

Doyle declared the proposal dead on arrival. "I don't think Wisconsin should become known as a state where we shoot cats," he said firmly.

The cat-hunting movement got its start when bird lovers circulated alarming stories about lawns littered with dead songbirds killed by starving feral cats.

Proponents of murdering the felines claimed 2 million wild cats roam Wisconsin and kill 47 to 139 million songbirds a year.

The Humane Society, which denounced the proposal as cruel and archaic, wondered suspiciously how roaming wild cats had been stopped to be counted.

Anyway, phooey. One purr beats two tweet-tweets any day.

As the adoptive mother and servant of a long line of domesticated but originally stray cats, I am absolutely horrified by this anti-cat scare.

Thank goodness the governor still thinks the United States is a civilized country. Why can't we be more like the animal-loving British, who just banned fox hunting out of sympathy for the fox?

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress, which advises the state on natural-resources policy, held meetings across the state on the subject of the supposed cat nuisance.

A majority of the thousands who attended voted for legalizing the shooting of cats that had no collar and "appeared unfriendly."

It is, of course, in a cat's nature to appear unfriendly if scared, hurt, lost or otherwise inconvenienced. That's the nature of humans, too.

Most feral cats look no different from harmless pets out for an evening stroll. The hunters argued that cat owners should keep their animals under control and thus out of danger. Hah. This is hard to do, short of locking the animals in the house permanently. Even then, the adventurous ones have been known to escape loving homes just for the devil of it. Every neighbourhood has periodically sported posters tacked to trees seeking help in finding lost Fluffy or Ginger.

Cats cannot be controlled. They obey no one but themselves. It is not useful to confuse cats with dogs, which walk happily on a leash and usually come when called. Cats do neither. They cannot be trained for anything but a litter box. People say if you want a loyal friend, get a dog; nobody says get a cat.

When you own cats (I know, I know, nobody really owns a cat; it owns you) you understand how the ancients came to view them as royal beings. Journalist Georgie Anne Geyer has detailed the breed's remarkable history, living comfortably beside humans as long as 9,500 years ago.

In her fascinating book, When Cats Reigned Like Kings, Geyer notes that cats are alone of all the animals of the world to be worshiped as sacred in many cultures, particularly in ancient Egypt, Siam, Burma, Japan, Turkey, China and Persia.

She went to the ruins of the great cat temple at Bubastis in Egypt, a magnificent Buddhist monastery in Burma where cats leap endlessly through hoops and royal palaces in Thailand.

She learned that some of the world's great writers and poets loved cats but that most dictators, like Hitler and Stalin, hated them and their sense of freedom.

Multiple myths surround the cat. Biblical stories contend that the cat led the procession of animals out of Noah's ark when the rains finally stopped as a reward for ridding the boat of rats and mice. The Prophet Mohammed was supposedly so devoted to his pet cat Mezza that he once cut off the sleeve of his garment rather than disturb the cat, who was sleeping there.

By the second millennium B.C., Egypt fully worshipped cats, particularly the cat goddess Bastet, who was depicted in Egyptian paintings as a slim, beautiful woman in a long evening dress and earrings. In that era, whoever killed a cat in Egypt was condemned to death, whether he committed the crime deliberately or not.

If those hunters in Wisconsin knew that, they might have had second thoughts.

April 19th, 2005, 02:03 PM
i cannot tell you how proud i have been to live in Wisconsin lately :rolleyes:

April 19th, 2005, 02:13 PM
Was it really that serious or was it just an idea that got over publicized but never really had a chance?

April 19th, 2005, 02:21 PM
Well the rescue i volunteer with is a feral cat organization so they certainly thought it was a huge deal but everybody seemed to know it was never going to happen. It became a joke (albeit not a very funny one to me, anyway) and our malls started selling these ridiculous army green shirts that say "cat hunter" on them. The moron that proposed this idea is probably wishing he had not as he, and anyone involved in any step of the proposal, has been bombarded with all sorts of harassment/threats ever since. There was this man who wrote up a study on the effect of cats killing the birds, which was used by the cat hunting advocates even though this man had never once endorsed killing cats as a result, and he got this little old lady calling him up with death threats :)