“Beneath Your Feet”

Beneath my feet is the place where…

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two more are added to an already staggering  mortality statistic-

Free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4–3.7 billion birds annually.

Source:  The impact of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife of the United States

In the morning-

This juvenile Black-headed Grosbeak pair went about their lives as young birds newly out of the nest will do…

They sought perching spots to put under their feet as they flitted about between branches, feeders, and the ground in search of food.

The youngsters were unaware of the danger that lurked

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until it was too late…

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In the afternoon-

They were returned to the earth beneath our feet…

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Need for awareness and change-

…findings suggest that free-ranging cats cause substantially greater wildlife mortality than previously thought and are likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic mortality for US birds and mammals. Scientifically sound conservation and policy intervention is needed to reduce this impact.

Source: The impact of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife of the United States

I too, was unaware of the danger that lurked until it was too late. The cat in the photo is one of two that have been spotted roaming, without welcome, in our Nature Habitat Preserve. This particular cat is feral, the other belongs to a neighbor.

Sadly, and maddeningly… there are no provisions in my county’s animal control policies for assistance with free-ranging domestic cats. Nor are there rules to hold cat owners responsible for their animals through licensing requirements or providing education about the benefits of keeping cats indoors.

Advice from the Animal Control Officer was limited. The recommendations were:

  • trap the feral cat, transport it to the animal shelter, pay a $10.00 fee;
  • talk to the neighbor;
  • trap the neighbor’s cat, transport it to the animal shelter, pay a $10.oo fee.

Of the three choices, I have talked with the neighbor and shared information about the benefits of keeping the cat indoors. Feral cats are not easily trapped, nor do I look forward to the concept of paying a fee to solve a problem that was not created by my choice. We have, instead, purchased fencing and placed it strategically in our preserve as a way to block places where cats can lurk.

What are your thoughts?

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Beneath Your Feet.”

10 comments

  1. I love cats. That is wild, indigenous cats in their natural environment. I absolutely loathe having other people’s pet cats inviting themselves into my house and yard, leaving their “calling cards” in my flower beds and catching the birds I work so hard to attract to the garden…

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  2. So sad. And sad for cats, too, who are dumped by ‘owners’ who expect them to look after themselves in what are often disturbing circumstances, starving in the winter, subject to diseases like Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (aka cat AIDS) … We have a lot of trouble with this in our rural area where farmers often keep unneutered barn cats. Our cat Splash, whose story is here: https://willowhousechronicles.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/bright-eyes/ could be a poster kitten for abandoned cats.

    Like

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