Here we go again, cats versus gardeners; anger instead of understanding.
Dogs have been kept on leashes to prevent dog fights and “packing.” In short, to stop their “wild” side from getting out of control around people; but they still need to run and they still want to be part of a pack. It’s hard-wired into them.
Cats need to hunt. It’s hard-wired into them. This city is next to the ocean and rats flourish. Between cats and raccoons, they keep the vermin from flourishing. If you don’t have anything scratching or chewing wood in your walls or hear them running on pipes in your crawl-space, say “thank-you” to the cat sniffing around your yards.
There are hard-working people in our community trying to improve the lot of feral (wild) cats. These cats have a horrid life trying to stay alive by hunting. These wonderful people catch and release these cats after they have been vaccinated and neutered. Food is also provided at certain stations. The cats are healthier and there is no increase in the population.
You can’t lock them up and you can’t stop them from hunting past a man-made boundary. Who are you going to fine? What are you going to do, kill them?
As for the destruction of the birds, I would recommend you take to time to study the eagle-cams set up to watch eagles feed their young. The diet seems to be bunny or songbird and the parent eagle can de-feather a little song bird faster than tearing the paper off a Dilly Bar (it’s quite gruesome).
We have counted up to 60 eagles on our beach alone every May. How many songbirds does it take to feed two eaglets? You may say: “that’s different, they are wild.” Well, so are a lot of the cats.
I know a large number of folks think locking their cats up is the only way to love them and keep them safe. Fine. Others put little harnesses on cats and take them for walks. That’s fine. Those are choices. Other folks believe cats have a job to do and allow they to do it, so won’t you respect their choices?
Responsibility comes with love, respect, feeding, housing and neutering our beloved pets. There are people who love their gardens. There are people who love their dogs and there are people who love their cats. I understand. I really do. But I read these letters and think to myself: with all the warfare in the world, do we really have to start a war in our own neighborhoods?”
Nothing but bad feelings are going to come from this proposed bylaw. I believe folks need to talk to their neighbors to sort out the issues and come up with a compromise. There has to be a compromise, otherwise there is no neighborhood, only a war zone.