Monday, December 03, 2007

Cats vs. birds: the rest of the story emanating from the Galveston cat killer trial

The most notorious cat killer in America was profiled in The New York Times Magazine yesterday.

That would be the guy in Galveston who went to trial on animal cruelty charges for killing a feral cat that was stalking endangered birds out at the San Luis Pass Bridge, on the Galveston side. (The jury deadlocked, and a mistrial was declared; prosecutors won't pursue the case.)

Anyway, it came out in the lengthy mag piece that the defendant, Jim Stevenson, director of the Galveston Ornithological Society, didn't kill just one cat with his trusty .22. He killed a bunch of them. He was a cat killin machine -- "the Bernhard Goetz of birders," as the magazine writer put it.

And judging from the writer's careful analysis of the problem, there's no easy answer to the bloody mayhem that cats wreak on the bird population.

Cats procreate like crazy and even the ones that have owners typically won't keep them confined all the time, so they do what comes natural -- hunt birds.

Besides loss of habitat, cats are the second-leading cause of the rapidly dwindling bird population -- whether the birds in question are endangered or not.

And, in case you were wondering, birds usually succumb to infection after a cat attacks and don't die from the animal's puncture wounds in and or themselves.


1 comment:

Jose Morelos said...

Hola Amigos.

This feral cat problem represents the ultimate of irreponsibility on the part of so-called cat lovers and the City of Galveston.

The irresponsibility started by the feral cat feeders of San Luis Pass is spreading east on the Island subdivision by subdivision.

Like any abandoned animal they are diseased, preying on docile domestic cats responsibly cared for, feeding on spoiled garbage, killing songbirds and larger, stealing bait, and generally in a pitiful state. All the cause and responsibilty of irresponsibile so-called do-gooder cat lovers.

It is time for the City of Galveston to take charge of this problem, trap the poor beasts and euthanize them. Or start fining individuals who feed them. Or issue permits to residents to shoot them within the city limits.

One individual, but extreme alternative would be to issue trapping permits or license to harvest like other wild animals as a game animal for food purposes. The increasing Asian community in the area would present a potential market, similar to the Quebec residents and French for feral horses in a similar sad situation.