Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cats, A Love Hate Relationship

I love cats.  I hate cats. 

I've had eight or so of them over the course of my lifetime and each one was a delight for all of the reasons you cat lovers already know.  But now, I'm a dog person.  (Actually, I have always been a dog person as I have pretty much always had a dog.) 

Dogs adopt a family.  Cats adopt a place.  A dog will travel thousands of miles to find its family.  A cat will travel thousands of miles to find its home.   George Carlin concluded the reason people love dogs so much is because they have eyebrows and they express their emotions through them just like people.  I can see that.

I have always loved wildlife.  I have always had a bird feeder and bird bath and squirrel feeder and I feed the raccoons and any other stray thing that comes along.  My little piece of suburban property is home to a tree full of raccoons, an opossum, an armadillo and dozens of  lizards and geckos, flocks of birds, a couple of beautiful corn snakes and who knows how many squirrels.  I love that my yard is a beehive of wildlife activity.  I have no lawn per se, it's very natural, so there's plenty of refuge and food for them.

Herein lies the rub.  My neighbor's cat, Penguin, is constantly foraging in my yard.  He's a great cat, always ready for a belly rub or a stroke of the tail.  But, and this is a BIG but, he is constantly foraging in my yard and like all cats, he kills indiscriminately.  If he isn't attacking the birds and squirrels who come to feed, he's attacking anything else that moves, including the anoles and geckos.  I like my lizards and geckos.  I don't need any pest control because they eat all of the roaches.  Plus, they're beautiful and just fun to watch.

It's a known fact that feral and domestic cats kill millions of birds in this country alone, each year.  

I love the cat.  I hate the cat.

For the time being, my cat control is Skeeter, who is more than willing to clear the yard, and the entire neighborhood for that matter, of any wayward felines.  He isn't any larger than the average cat himself so he can do them no real harm and it sure is fun to watch.  Now, if I can only get the little knothead to come home when he's finished.


  1. Ask the owner of the cat to put a bell around his neck, that might help. I know it helps for birds.

  2. What Barbara said -- a bell for the cat. And maybe a bungee cord for Skeeter.

  3. A bell is a great idea. So is the bungee cord. LOL

  4. I adore animals, and currently have two very spoiled cats. (plus that collateral neighborhood cat who thinks he belongs here) But I cannot abide any cat killing other animals in our yard. I know it's "in the nature of the beast", blah, blah, blah, but I'll never own a cat who lives outdoors and kills the birds, etc. And I'm so jealous you have an armadillo that hangs out in your yard. I think they are so cool!

  5. The armadillo has dug himself a burrow under the front porch. He roots around in the yard for earthworms, of which there are thousands. The first time Skeeter encountered him it was hilarious. After finally running the armadillo down, he couldn't figure out what to do with him. You could see the confusion in his eyes. "What the hell? Which end am I supposed to attack?" When the armadillo figured out that he was in no real danger, he scrambled off to his hole, Skeeter following behind.

  6. Asking the neighbor to put a bell on the cat is the most reasonable thing to do, there is only one problem with that logic.

    While it may be very different for some people I have yet to meet a reasonable neighbor.

  7. Heck! Tie a whole chain of tin cans on the cat's tail! Keep them squirrels safe!

  8. In this case, I believe the neighbor will comply. We get along well and he appreciates the fact that I alert him to keep his cat safe indoors when my step-son visits with his pit bull.

  9. I suppose suggesting a 22 would be inappropriate but the bell wouldn't that trigger the dog to hunt as well?

    Can't hate a cat for being a cat anymore than you can hate the sky for being the sky.

  10. Time was when I would have used a Daisy pump BB gun, and what great sport it was, but no longer because, as you said, can't blame a cat for being a cat.

  11. I've heard the same thing about attaching a bell to a cat -- that it will alert dogs (or any other predators) that there's a tasty cat approaching.

  12. A cat bell triggering predators sounds a little far fetched to me. I suppose if the cat's in the wilderness or something but I can't see that being a factor in a residential neighborhood.

  13. Mr. C. I love you!

    I read a blog yesterday where the wife told of her husband's habit to rush outside, gun blazing, to kill everything that moves, particularly any stray armadillo.
    I mildly commented that the set up was a bit too blood-thirsty for me. I was a model of reticence.

    Live and let live is my motto. I adore my stupid, big old dog but I chase cats off the property, although I used to have them myself.

    Every day, especially in foul weather, I stand by the kitchen window and watch the birds and squirrels scrap over their positions at the feeding stations.

    PS: I don't write about religion or politics, but I comment and leave my opinion on both subjects on other people's blogs.

    However, I make no secret of the fact that I don't particularly like people.

  14. I love cats, but I hate it when they scratch me, beg for food, get fleas, wake me up by chewing on my toes, bring me squirming mice right on the bed, get all hissy, need to go to the vet, suddenly ignore me...

    But they sure are better than people.

  15. Geez! It seems that I'm a veritable magnet for people haters. Hey, wait a minute. Maybe that's my calling. A voice for people who hate people. Come to think of it, I'm too fond of people myself.

  16. The difference between cats and dogs can be summed up quite easily:

    Dogs have owners, cats have staff.

  17. I serve a dozen cats. Some want to be in, others out. About the time they start to decimate the wildlife, the bigger wildlife comes along to decimate them. They are mostly content to watch birds through the window. I am currently down to one dog, but with so many dog farmers (mushers) in the neighborhood there is no need for me to have many more.

  18. Pixel, you are so right.

    Jono... I imagine where you are there are owls and hawks that take cats (along with wolves, coyotes, and sundry other such things).

  19. Sadly, my cat was the best mouser in the world. Sad for my neighbors, great for me. As you say, cats don't respect fences and mine was the terror or moles, and birds. Bells didn't work. The cat finally died. I think my neighbors celebrated.

  20. i am a cat person, too... but have a partner who is allergic to everything so ixnay on the cat. loved the bell and bungee comment....
    the other comparison i have heard is that a dog has an owner and a cat has a slave. hmmm.

    also, how about ... you haven't been ignored until you've been ignored by a cat..
    but i digress.
    great post.


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