Saturday, 30 May 2009

There was a hint of frost

this morning. We are two days out from the official start of winter and it is beginning to feel colder. Dad needed the heater for a short while last night.
This morning my fingers felt a bit numb as I hung the first load of washing out. Pluto padded in silently and, while my back was turned, jumped into the clothes basket to explore the damp clothes. He did not stay long.
Our back garden is probably akin to cat heaven. We have grass, we have trees, we have the compost bins. Currently there is a resident fruit rat. He or she is shy. They are outdoor animals so s/he does not worry us too much although we would prefer s/he returned next door to the fallen fruit. Pluto is interested in the rat. So is little "Miss Puss" from across the road. The two cats treat one another with a sort of wary respect. They have not fought - yet.
I have not seen either of them catch a bird or a lizard. They watch them but, so far, they have not bothered to chase them. They will wait for the rat. So far, the rat seems to be too smart.
All this leads me to wonder if the local government authority ('the council') is right in trying to introduce some rather draconian cat control laws. They claim that cats damage the environment. They claim that cats chase and kill wildlife and dirty other people's backyards. I am more inclined to agree with the local retired vet. Peg is nearly 90. Mentally she is more like 29 or 39. A lifetime of observation of animal behaviour has led her to believe that cats will chase mice and rats. They will bring down vulnerable wildlife - old or ill or not watched over by a parent. Peg says this is natural. She says that cats should be kept in at night just as they should be well fed, cared for and played with. She also says that cats do not spend their days chasing magpies, kookaburras, honey eaters, parrots of any variety or the swallows. Peg wishes they would chase the blackbirds. They don't.
So, what is the council concerned about? Why isn't it concerned about the dogs which foul the footpaths, bark and generally make a far greater nuisance of themselves because owners do not train them?


Katy said...

Cat, you might like this article from today's paper - quite amusing :-)

catdownunder said...

Thanks Katy! I'll take a look!