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Doing the only thing they're good at -- murdering wildlife

Doing the only thing it’s good at — murdering wildlife

No less an authority than the New York Times has finally gotten behind the #fluffybunnyfund and pointed out the bleeding (as the Brits say) obvious: that the domestic cat is a public menace of epic proportions. There’s too much good stuff in this piece — “The Evil of the Outdoor Cat” — by Richard Conniff to fully quote, so be sure to read the whole thing and savor every paragraph as if you were the killer cat in the photo above, enjoying the entrails of some hapless tweety bird. Here’s a taste:

Using deliberately conservative assumptions, federal researchers recently estimated that free-ranging cats killed about 2.4 billion birds annually in the Lower 48 states, a substantial bite out of the total bird population. Outdoor cats also kill about 12.3 billion small mammals a year — not just the proverbial rats and mice but also chipmunks, rabbits and squirrels — and about 650 million reptiles and amphibians. In some cases, they are pushing endangered species toward extinction… If you have ever seen a cat toy with its victim, you know these are not quick, or pretty, or painless deaths. So you might expect animal welfare groups to be ardently campaigning against outdoor cats, and particularly against the care and feeding of feral or stray cats, which do most of the killing…

As the author points out, the bleeding-heart “solution” of trap, neuter and return (TNR) doesn’t really solve the problem, since the newly sprung killers quickly turn recidivist. Even worse, of course, is the cat’s effect on humans — the little beasts bring with them all manners of disease:

Cats are three to four times more likely than dogs to carry rabies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also share many other parasites or infectious microbes with humans, including roundworms, hookworms, giardia and campylobacter. When cats live outdoors it is almost impossible to predict what they will bring home next. In Massachusetts and New York, for instance, cats recently turned up infected with a worm normally found in raccoons. One owner pulled four of them, about six inches long, through her cat’s skin, “which isn’t the best idea,” says one of the Cornell University scientists who reported the cases. Most insidiously, outdoor cats are the primary hosts of toxoplasmosis, which is estimated to infect almost 30 percent of all humans worldwide. Toxoplasmosis produces lifelong parasitic cysts in the brain, and though it is generally asymptomatic it has been linked to neurological impairments, depression, blindness and birth defects. Even in asymptomatic individuals, the infection is associated with significant loss of memory in later life, according to a study last month in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

The #fluffybunnyfund is dedicated to stopping this massacre in our streets, byways and back yards. If you don’t know what it is, please join me on Facebook (“David Kahane”) or follow me on Twitter @dkahanerules, especially if you have absolutely no sense of humor and wish to vent your outrage at my flagrant contempt for our murderous feline “friends.” And don’t forget that the White House is now using cat pictures to try and sell the abomination of Obamacare. Evil in the service of evil: I rest my case.

UPDATE: The AP is reporting that two people in Britain have contracted tuberculosis from their pet cat:

England’s public health agency says two people have caught tuberculosis from a pet cat, the first time the bacterial disease has been documented to spread from cat to human. In a report published Thursday, Public Health England said it concluded TB samples taken from the cat and from two people in contact with the animal were “indistinguishable” and that the cat was considered to be “the likely source of infection.”

Between December 2012 and last April, veterinarians identified TB in nine pet cats in Berkshire and Hampshire, west of London. Public Health England said the two people who caught TB were recovering and said the risk of further spread from cats to humans is very low. TB is a bacterial disease that kills more than 1 million people annually worldwide.

Color me unsurprised. In other outrages:

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Top Rated Comments   
Cats are now a criminal organization? They don't like the leash, but I don't think that makes them a criminal organization. Tea Partiers don't like the leash either so are they also a criminal organization? Well, maybe, I suppose, could be, I guess, Dear Leader thinks so anyway. Forward!
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
By anyone who actually has to use it. You think Thatcher subjected herself to the nightmare? Not bloody likely, mate.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
...the strange phenomenon of Anglophilia that seems to infect so many Americans.

You needn't be Anglophilic to appreciate the political ancestry.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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This just in. Check my update on page two of this post:
http://time.com/40107/britain-2-people-catch-tuberculosis-from-pet-cat/
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's several David Kahanes on fb. which one are you?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look for the cover of RULES FOR RADICAL CONSERVATIVES.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Transfixus sed non mortuus.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cats have never maimed and killed kids. Cats do not crap on other peoples lawn. Cats don't end to be walked twice a day. Cats don't bark their heads off at odd hours of the night. Cats clean themselves. Cats are excellent at keeping vermin out. This is why farmers and horse owners keep them around. Cats helped improve sanitation and spread of the plague by killing rats. They are impressive animals. Nature needs predators to keep a balance between species.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow, 19, too?

I don't care if you're a woman, black, or 18 years old, so long as you pay taxes I think you should get to have a say in how they're spent.

Yes, I'm most concerned with the Progressive Era amendments, but 14 should go, too. I get that 14 was a response to the culturally ingrained racism of the day, but it clearly subverts States Rights, and Individual Rights. The 14th amendment is the impetus for the Constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act.

All of that garbage needs to be repealed.

Edit: Oops! This was supposed to be a reply to Michael Walsh's reply to me farther down the thread.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
States don't have rights.
States have powers.
People have rights; and powers.
Where States have rights, people don't.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was wrong. You are correct, BronxZionist. I apologize for chewing you out over this comment.

Thanks for setting straight.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
It was clear from your first stupid response to me that you've never read the U.S. Constitution, and that you have no concept of why it was written, or the thought process behind the "why".

Now, you've underscored your ignorance with this comment. God help us.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just figured I'd throw 19 in there too, to see if anybody would notice. But it is the case that women tend to vote for the Mommy Party, which is what gave us Barack Obama.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
So people should only be allowed to vote if they are inclined to vote the "right" way.

Why not just skip all the pretense and have only one legal political party?
For that matter, just cut to the chase and have only one legal candidate?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
He literally opened his comment with the fact that he was joking. You then attack the straw man you fashioned from the twisted remains of the original context.

You are arguing the wrong thing with the wrong people. Michael Walsh has not seriously advocated for tyranny. He regularly rails against tyranny.

I'd call you a troll, but I know you post here regularly. I guess that makes you a home-grown domestic troll. PJ Media's very own man-caused disaster.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's clear to me that BronxZionist has no sense of humor, or understanding of deliberate exaggeration. It must be awful to be so literal-minded.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
And remember when the current occupant joked about having the IRS audit his opponents?
Deliberate exaggeration!
Sense of humor!
Literal-minded awfulness!

What kind of horrible person takes the Constitution more seriously than that?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, because being literal-minded with the Constitution is so two centuries ago.
I mean really, all the cool kids know it is a living document . . .
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow. Just wow. And "huh?"
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, he opened by saying it was a joke . . .
Then continued by saying it really is true anyway.

That is the kind of disingenuous absurdity you expect from a comedian.
In politics it gives us Leviathan and The Social Contract.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, to be honest I was just thinking about this the other day. That is, whether or not a married "stay at home mom" (or even a situation where the husband is a "stay at home dad") should have the right to vote. Technically, it's her husband who's paying taxes, but if she weren't staying home to raise the kids he wouldn't be as free to work the hours to pay their way.

I know that many single women voted for President Santa Claus, but most of them are college-aged morons who's full-time job is being a student. Again, these idiots would be covered under the concept of "no pay taxes, no vote".

Only working women or married women of working men would have the franchise.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ah, so I am right - you do wish to tyrannically prohibit people from voting on the basis of sex.
Inevitably that will turn to equally selective and subjective denials based on race and age.

The joys of tyranny!
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stupid is as stupid does, mamma always says.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
And mamma is right, you are quite stupid.

It is "interesting" that above you take me to task for taking the comment seriously when he was "obviously" joking, yet here you treat it seriously and declare outright that support restricting voting on the basis of sex.
It is not so much you are trying to speak out both sides of your mouth with this, but that you are spewing out both cheeks of your seat.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
What about serving soldiers or veterans of the armed forces who don't pay taxes? Should they be allowed to vote? I'm inclined to think that anyone who puts their life on their line for their country has some skin in the game and should be able to vote. I expect other groups would also suggest plausible reasons why they should be able to vote, even if they don't pay (income) tax....
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know, to address your thought process, might I just ask -

If I happen to be walking past your house and notice it's on fire, and I run in and carry you out - thus saving your life - am I now entitled to tell you how to spend your money on your home?

I mean, when I risked my life to save yours, by your reasoning I now have some skin in the game. Based on your reasoning, had you not poorly spent your own money on your home; 1.) it either wouldn't have caught fire, 2.) the fire would have been suppressed, 3.) or you would have been alerted and I wouldn't have had to risk my life to save you.

So, don't I now get to decide with you how you will spend your money on your home?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who peed in your Cheerios this morning?

Perhaps you've never encountered the concept of devil's advocate or the idea of posing a hypothetical question but that's what I was trying to do. Someone - I don't even recall who at this point - suggested that only (income) tax payers should be able to vote. However worthy that idea might be - I'm trying to keep an open mind on that point - it occurred to me that others may have some claim to making a sufficient contribution to society, even if they weren't taxpayers, to merit getting a vote too. I put that forward to see whether people might agree. That's all.

I was not using it to demolish the idea of having only income tax payers get the vote, just to determine whether reasonable people might disagree. I did not introduce the "skin in the game" metaphor, someone else did. I was just using it because it seemed apt.

And that's all I'm going to say in this thread. I have no interest in starting a flame war, however unjustly you chose to attack me.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hi, Sparky.

Based on your history of replies, I doubt you'll come to any kind of logical conclusion, so I'll do you a favor and answer my own question.

No, I don't get to tell you how to spend money on your home, because I don't actually have any skin in the game, which is a nonsense phrase in this case. Financial responsibility is what we're really talking about.

Just as I freely risked my life to save yours - a noble deed in any respect worthy of high praise - I still don't have any financial obligations in your home. If a man freely joins the military to avoid paying taxes, he's no more financially responsible while fighting Iraqis than the day he joined.

So, no, serving soldiers who don't pay taxes and veterans who don't pay taxes should not have the right to vote. This is the same kind of stupidity that informs us that all veterans and soldiers (and cops and firefighters and EMTs) are "heroes". They aren't.

Heroes put themselves at risk to help others. I submit there are plenty of soldiers, cops, etc, who never in their careers perform a single heroic act. So, what's your point?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, go ahead, create your own inane strawmen to try and justify your program of tyranny.
Like all such drivel, all your reveal is just how obscene your ideology actually is.
You should however do something about that extreme inferiority complex you have in respect to people in the military and veterans.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
But you haven't identified a single straw man. You've only offered your own idiotic non-sequitur.

Thanks for participating!
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your strawmen is the absurdity of conflating having a voice in government with having a say in a household budget, compounded by your use then rejection of the term "skin in the game" when, by your chosen example, life is very much on the line.

You really need to stop participating.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Further, those who are paid in tax dollars should not pay taxes (why give them something just to take a little bit right back?), AND they should not get to vote. This would put an end to the self-licking ice cream cone that is most government bureaucracy.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sparky, you probably haven't read my original thread below where I address this situation. I'm not talking about income taxes, which were unconstitutional prior to the 16th amendment.

Below, I list several amendments that need to be repealed. With that context, this part of the argument should make more sense to you, assuming you have much of a background or understanding of the U.S. Constitution.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you're ever in County Wicklow, go to the Wicklow Gaol and listen to the tales of British oppression. The most feared punishment of the time was transportation to Australia which could be had for as minor an offense as petty theft.

I'm a quarter English so I'm genetically disposed to Anglophilia. I'm also descended from the Scots-Irish who helped settle the new world and finally rebelled against the British yoke. Personally, I'm grateful to all my ancestors, but seem to have a particular affinity for those responsible for British common law and the Magna Carta.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
To be fair, I'm 1/16 Missouri Blackfoot. I'm also partially English and Irish. Mostly, I'm German and French. In none of those cases and I predisposed to be a lover of some lesser culture.

Your final points are great ones, though. Some good things did come out of Great Britain. America, for one. British common law and the Magna Carta were definitely important influences on our country and our culture.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Love your handle -- everybody needs to know Pepusch and Gay's "The Beggar's Opera."
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Most people probably associate this moniker of hers with the double hit song 'Mack the Knife', once by Louie Armstrong, again by Bobby Darin.

From Wiki:
"The Threepenny Opera (German: Die Dreigroschenoper) is a musical by German dramatist Bertolt Brecht [BF: a filthy communist BTW] and composer Kurt Weill, in collaboration with translator Elisabeth Hauptmann and set designer Caspar Neher.[1] It was adapted from an 18th-century English ballad opera, John Gay's The Beggar's Opera,[2] and offers a Socialist critique of the capitalist world. It opened on 31 August 1928 at Berlin's Theater am Schiffbauerdamm."

But of course noted anglo- and Germanophile Michael Walsh is a classicist. /s
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not sure why the sarcasm. I was a classical music critic for 25 years, the last 16 of them at Time Magazine. And I am a Germanophile, having spent many years in that country and raised my children there.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe I should have used /k. I was kidding you, or thought I was.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Lovely folks, then and now; why the English are heroes to anybody but themselves is beyond me, since I am entirely immune to the strange phenomenon of Anglophilia that seems to infect so many Americans."

I no more hold the actions of Cromwell and his army against the English, than I do the massacre of Magdeburg against Catholics. You shouldn't either, but then you may well be quite the hypocrite.

I have no trouble, RE cats, with laws being passed generally recognizing the legality of carrying silenced .22s, and with the hunting and trapping of on non-urban public property, all feral or loose housecats--with strict liability for the same accruing to the hunters. I have no issue with people who have a problem countenancing the existence of feral, un-housed cats taking up a collection to provide bounties for the same.

What I do and should object to is the use of public funds to accomplish the same end.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
'Course, I have no problem with laws being passed which explicitly make legal the general public to be generally armed, either.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anglophilia may be bad, but Anglophobia and Misangliapy are profoundly worse.
Certainly "progressives" are gleeful to wallow in both, using such as a base to deny the bases of the best and greatest of the ancient rights that we have advanced to such heights in the United States.

But when one starts as an ailurophobe or misailurogist, such additional defects and anti-social attitudes are only to be expected.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
So if a cat was devouring a rat, you'd denounce the cat for "murdering" a rat?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
the only difference between a cat and a rat is the first letter of their names.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
God bless you. That's precisely why I'm a dog person.

Cats and rats are both filthy, disease-carrying pests.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
And if we take offense at that sort of remark, we lack a sense of humor, or so it appears from your remarks. Tell me, just what is funny about hating cats and, apparently, wishing them all dead?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think the Times piece lays out the brief against cats very nicely, no? They're dangerous, they carry diseases and they upset the ecological order. Do you have something to say in their defense, other than, "I like cats"? Just wondering.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
They're dangerous, they carry diseases and they upset the ecological order.

People are dangerous, they carry diseases and they upset the ecological order. Should they all be euthanized too?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you can't tell the difference between a human being and a cat, there's not much anyone can do for you.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's a huge moral difference between a person and a cat, which is why I began this post with the news of the fetus burnings. People who confuse or equate animals with people -- people who say their dogs and cats are their "babies" -- I find utterly alien.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I love when cat owners try to tell me that cats "really are very clean animals." Ick. They poo and pee IN THE HOUSE and then jump out of the litter box and walk all over the kitchen counters. They lick themselves and spew dander all over everything, rendering them lethal to allergy sufferers like me. And they barf up mysterious crap and leave it in the hallways and on the stairs. Ewwwww...
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where do you poo and pee - on the sidewalk?

Where do you go after you get off the toilet - directly into the shower?

Dogs also lick themselves and spew dander all over everything - shall we exterminate them as well for the sake of dander sufferers like yourself?

Indeed smokers spew chemicals hither and yon - shall we also prohibit them for the sake of allergy sufferers?

For that matter, plants spew pollen with abandon - shall we defoliate the entire planet?

Dogs likewise barf, and when they do not immediately consume it they also leave it where they will - are they on the hit list twice?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
And, one might add that some vicious dogs also kill people -- how many children, not to mention adults, have been mauled to death by dogs?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Indeed.

With the absurd justifications he gives for his feline pogrom, pretty much anything and everything not only can, but must be prohibited for the "greater good".
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yep, while a dog tears apart a child, a certain individual will be screaming about a bird being "murdered! Murdered, I tell you!" by a cat...
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Won't someone think of the birdies!
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's a huge moral difference between a person and a cat....

Indeed there is. Cats operate on instinct and aren't expected to have moral sensibilities like "thou shalt not kill"; predation is their imperative and is how they stay alive in the wild. Yet you apparently want all outdoor cats to be killed for doing what their natural drives make them do to survive. I expect you're capable of far more nuance with respect to humans and their crimes and would not call for blanket euthanasia against whole classes of humans as you seem to be advocating for the entire class of cats known as "outdoor cats".

And no, I don't refer to my cats - which are strictly indoor cats - as my "babies" and find it an unsettling practice even in friends that do. They are "my cats" and I am their "human" and, of course we are very fond of one another. But I don't claim to be their parents since I certainly didn't mate with their mothers.

I'm surprised you simply take it at face value that bird and small animal populations have declined as much as claimed and particularly that you just accept that cats are the major culprits. I have to believe you'd have a much higher standard in prosecuting a criminal case. Have necroscopies, the animal equivalent of an autopsy, been done on all those dead birds and rodents and have cats been positively identified as the culprits? Otherwise, how can we be sure they haven't died of other causes, like famine, disease, harsh weather and so forth?

Even if outdoor cats can be proven to be responsible for these deaths simply killing them all seems harsh. Why not take measures to stop the release of so many cats into the wild to reduce the numbers of outdoor/feral cats?

It's humans that are largely responsible for the problem, having discarded so many cats into the wild. For one reason or another, they let those cats go and fend for themselves, and the cats have just done what they could to stay alive after being abandoned. And done a fair bit of breeding along the way. Punishing the cats for being abandoned by their humans seems misguided at best.

Cats have always struck me as very pragmatic so I don't suppose they really feel particularly abandoned by their humans but I know I would feel truly horrible if I abandoned my cats, who've never had to hunt for their supper, to the dangers of life outdoors where they have to hunt for every meal and are at the mercy of everything nature can throw at the them, including humans who will hunt and torture or kill them. (We've recently had two incidents in this area where a cat has been shot repeatedly with a pellet gun by strangers; one cat lost an eye and the other is apparently going to lose a leg.)
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I want feral cats controlled exactly because the do what their natural drives make them do to survive. The most expedient way to do that is to kill them.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Conniff sources his statistics on cat damage to the federal government; I didn't just make this up. And the idea of autopsies on dead birds is just too ridiculous for words.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sure you didn't make up whatever you quote Conniff as saying; I'm just trying to make the point that we don't know how reputable Conniff is or what the margin of error is for his numbers.

I suspect you're being deliberately obtuse in not understanding my point but just in case I was not sufficiently clear, a reasonable person should ask themselves something along these lines: out of the hundreds of millions (or more) birds and small animals that have mysteriously vanished, how can Conniff possibly know how many of them were killed by cats. Many things can kill a bird, rat or squirrel including disease, accident, weather, and other predators. In the absence of an actual necroscopy, how did Conniff determine that a certain percentage of them were the results of predation specifically by cats? And how much margin for error was there in his methodology?

He obviously didn't view every dead bird, rat or squirrel in the country and do a post mortem so how did he determine the number killed and the number of those deaths that were the result of predation by cats? The only thing I can imagine is that he took a very tiny sample of all the birds and small animals who died in one or two very small areas and made rough guesses as to the cause of death. For instance, in one farmer's field in Bucks County PA, 37 dead birds were found and 10 of them appeared to have died as the result of predation, 8 of those by cats. Then, those numbers were extrapolated to the much larger national population. That MIGHT be a reasonable method but I'm not a statistician; I'm not sure a tiny sample can reasonably be scaled up from dozens to billions with a simple extrapolation. And even if that is valid, just think of how wildly the numbers at the national level will change if a few of those bird deaths turned out to be misattributed to cats. Slaughtering millions of cats on the strength of these statistics seems absurd unless the science and math is absolutely ironclad. What if Conniff goofed up and most of those cases of cat predation were really birds dying of whatever diseases those birds get or some other non-cat cause?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
What? If you actually believe there is a "moral difference" between people and animals, why do you use the term "murder" in reference to a cat killing a bird? You (whether you are aware of it or not) appear to believe that somehow an animal (a cat acting out of instinct) needs to be "condemned" for its "moral failings" (naughty cats picking on a poor little bird, etc). Good grief. What's next burning cats at the stake?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...why the English are heroes to anybody but themselves is beyond me, since I am entirely immune to the strange phenomenon of Anglophilia that seems to infect so many Americans."

Racist.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
'English' isn't a race.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, that mick Walsh probably uses the terribly hurtful term 'limey' all the time too.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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