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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local September 28, 2016

10/19/2013 1:45:00 PM
Mayor Joens declares National Feral Cat Day

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD -- Cottonwood Mayor Diane Joens read a proclamation this week declaring Wednesday National Feral Cat Day. City Clerk Marianne Jiménez says the Alley Cat Allies established the special day, acknowledging the humane method to manage the feral cat population.

The proclamation reads in part: Whereas, Trap-Neuter-Return improves the lives of cats and stabilizes cat populations. The stresses and behaviors associated with mating, such as yowling and fighting, stop. Trap-Neuter-Return is recognized throughout the United States and other countries as the humane and responsible way to care for feral cats.

Alley Cat Allies was founded in 1990 by two women who recognized that stray and feral cats needs were not being met by the animal control pound and shelter system. They realized that when well-meaning citizens called pounds and shelters about feral cats, their only response was to kill them.

Jiménez says the Town of Jerome has been very successful in reducing its population of wild cats by faithful use of the program and by hiring a veterinarian to fix cats each week. Populations of thousands have now been reduced to less than 100 feral cats.

Recently, the Adopt for Life Shelter in Cottonwood put up a display table to recognize the humane treatment of feral cats.

The city clerk says, may times, people perpetuate the problem by feeding feral cats without taking the appropriate measures to make sure they don't reproduce and create more hungry mouths.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013
Article comment by: Verde Life

Catman dude. OK let me tell you. I have a fenced acre. I have a fenced controlled pet area with dog door for my pets to used as their dung room, I control where they GO. Now. I came home and a feral cat had followed my mostly indoor cat into my home to eat and attack my kitty. Additionally these cats prey on my cat in MY YARD night and day. My local feral ding dong woman has an acre in a residential area and packed full of cats, dogs, hogs, horses, chickens, goats and STINK. Most of these animals get in MY YARD. They have destroyed fencing, shrubs, organic garden, trees AND MY PEACE AND HAPPINESS. I will file complaints with city and county and have all removed if this woman does not keep her hobby ON HER LAND. PERIOD.. NO FERAL CATS

Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013
Article comment by: Nature Advocate

Read this discovery of mine (link below). It explains why native predators cannot, will not, and do not keep these cat-populations in check. Even Australia found this out recently when they discovered that extra Dingos did nothing to curtail cats' breeding rates. Native predators might pick off a few of the muted-coat-pattern cats, and then dying in the process from the diseases in cats, but in the end you will be left with nothing but bold-patterned cats annihilating the lands, cats destroying everything, from smallest of prey to the top predators that are starved-out or displaced. Precisely what happened on my own lands.

This explains why this perfectly natural anomaly happens:

After I found out about Australia's failure to stop cats by employing larger predators, I alerted them to why it happened, what I had discovered over a decade before. A cat with the right coat pattern can even scare off a bear (proof in that link above).

The ONLY predator on earth that can balance the equation of this MAN MADE CAT and MAN MADE ecological disaster today is a human with a discerning eye who can perceive which species must be destroyed with hunted-to-extinction methods (more correctly: extirpation of all outdoor cats in this case). It is the ONLY method that is faster than their breeding rates and cats' ability to out-adapt to any trapping methods. And also faster than criminally irresponsible morons let more cats be born and dumped outdoors.

Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013
Article comment by: Cottonwood Life

Does the mayor have anything better to do than declare a feral day? For gosh sake.

Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013
Article comment by: Catman Dude

Thanks to Verde Life for putting focus back on the news article and away from the no-risk warrior who counts coup with cat collars.

Though I wonder how the feral cats could fight with your "indoor cat" without breaking into your house, you highlight the potential problem with this 'managed' program.

We live in the midst of a wild area dominated by coyotes. Stupid cats that go prowling in coyote territory get eaten. Smart cats learn to stay within residential areas. Assuming natural selection produces colonies of smart cats, those colonies may be resented by residents who then resort to non-selective means of killing them. This puts resident pets at risk of becoming collateral damage.

A WELL-MANAGED colony would be kept well-fed and watered on a large property.

Some interesting statistics from a Rhode Island study of feral cat colonies:
1. Original 'expert' estimates of feral cats in RI were 100,000-200,000. The study found the actual number to be closer to 3,700.
2. The study found 263 colonies of 4 or more cats, with 83% in URBAN areas.
3. Average colony size was 9 cats

BTW, declaring a National Feral Cat Day does not seem like the best way to promote TNR. (Would a National Republican Party Day cause Democrats to switch sides?)

Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013
Article comment by: @ Catman Dude

You mistakenly quoted a statistic, it should read "how many of us have been exposed and are therefore harboring one form of Toxoplasma range as high as 70% of the CAT OWNING population."

Catlady, and apparently Catman, Disease is quite real. Who hasn't encountered these people before? There is a show about hoarders on one of the cable networks, and almost invariably the hoarder of possessions is also a CAT HOARDER. Never a dog hoarder, always a CAT HOARDER!

Feral cats are varmints and have to be eliminated for the health and welfare of humans and native animals. If you can't understand this concept or if you respond emotionally, you should get checked for the Toxoplasmosis virus.

To do anything other than eradicating these environmental pests is irresponsible and endangers all. Cat traps used to be available for rent at the humane society. The cost, I believe, was $10.00 per cat to have them euthanized. Truly, money well spent if you can't do the job yourself.

Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013
Article comment by: Catman Dude


Do cats eliminate rodent populations? Of course not. Neither do any other predators, including man. Europeans are still working to eliminate Asian black rats, even though most of those have been aced out by the larger Norway rat. (As you note, adult Norway rats, unlike the smaller black rat, are not cat prey.) But contrary to your claim and demonstrated by my first comment, cats do keep smaller rodent populations down. Midwest farmers don't keep barn cats because they haven't gotten the 'facts' from a pathological cat hater.

Of course, some of those barn-living farm cats get eaten by barn owls and hawks and other predators, but that's nature. Killing for food, not pleasure.

As for your Pacific Island fantasy, look up "New Zealand Little Barrier Island." Cats had been introduced in the 1800s to control the rat population, but were eradicated in the 1980s in the belief both cats and rats were killing off the native Cook's petrel by eating its eggs and chicks. The cat extermination was done in the course of a study by the University of Auckland, which had found in the 1970s that that only 1 in 3 petrel chicks survived to adulthood. After the cat extermination only 1 in 10 survived, and the petrel population plummeted. The cats were controlling the black rat population, which, as I pointed out in my previous comment, was much more efficient at eating bird eggs and newborn chicks. The cat is apparently less of an environmental disaster than the more common method of rat control on cat-free Pacific islands: massive air drops of poison bait that provide only temporary relief.

Snakes probably kill more domestic cats than vice versa. To save the snakes, kill coyotes.

Dogs, coyotes, bobcats, cougars, foxes, owls, and hawks all eat domestic cats/kittens. They do it for food. By killing cats for kicks, YOU reduce a natural food source.

Cats that roam are healthier, mentally and physically. My neighbor, who also kept chickens and horses, had a free-roaming cat that lived almost 20 years.

As for your fabled 'cat litter disease', cats only have infected poop for two weeks after their initial infection, after that they can only spread the parasite by getting eaten raw. During that two weeks, the poop doesn't turn infectious for 1-4 days after defecation, so cleaning a cat box daily eliminates what little risk the infection actually poses. In any case, uncooked meat and raw fruits and vegetables are the primary source of human infection, with pork particularly susceptible. 93% of pigs tested on one Massachusetts farm had been exposed. Did they all get it from cat poop?

The reality is that toxoplasmosis is not fully understood. It is hard to discern in feces because the organism resembles many others that occur naturally. There are supposedly many different varieties of this organism. It does not cause mice to be ATTRACTED to cat urine, it simply stifles the fear mechanism--which could make them more susceptible to getting eaten by any rodent predator. And the behavior change apparently occurs only in the mice that get notably sick from the initial infection.

The creepy effects on humans are predicated with SUGGESTS or COULD BE. Red flags for scare-mongering journalism and bad science research grants.

If you believe that this one-celled organism is some evil from hell, consider this: estimates of how many of us have been exposed and are therefore harboring one form of Toxoplasma range as high as 70% of the population. Have you ever eaten meat, fruit, vegetables? YOU could be infected! THAT could explain your psychotic behavior toward cats.

Only one way to find out:

Give an infected mouse a tiny rifle and teach it how to use it.

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Verde Life

Well now this sounds nice and humane. BUT. Anyone know what it is like to put your hands in cat dung? Or how about those feral cats fighting with your own sweet little house cat that is an indoor cat. I do not want my kitty to mingle with feral cats? I find this outrageous. How terrible and disgusting. These women think it is ok to flood a neighborhood with feral cats and expect EVERYONE to put up with it. WHAT ABOUT THE PROPERTY OWNERS AND THEIR RIGHT TO PEACE AND CLEAN YARD without cat dung in their organic garden. Must we build an enclosed garden and put guard dogs in the yard so that the local feral girls can have a warm heart? How Totally inconsiderate. Keep your animals in your own yard thank you very much.

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Nature Advocate

Catman Dude,

I have a box full of collars without tags on them (still legal to shoot them on your own land, collared or not), and not ONE of those came from a cat that was sterilized, I checked each one before disposing of the useless carcasses safely to protect all wildlife from cats' diseases. Let the parents explain to their children why their criminally irresponsible behavior caused their cat to die from becoming road-kill, animal attacks, environmental poisons, diseases caught from other cats, or being shot to death. No matter how it dies, the end result is the same. The cause is the same -- the criminally irresponsible pet-owner that let that invasive-species pet roam free. Make no mistake about that, it's nobody's fault but their own. Just because they didn't really care enough about their pet to keep it safe from harm like all sane and responsible pet-owners do. Maybe the parents will grow up into responsible adults too with that lesson. Luckily for them, those that died at my hands did so humanely, dying before they even knew they were shot. To this day, not even one of them had enough time to make a sound either. That's how quickly they all died. They didn't become maimed road-kill, die of starvation, diseases, suffer animal or other-cat attacks, or any other slow and cruel methods that irresponsible cat-lickers and ALL TNR-ADVOCATES cause to their "beloved" cats by letting them roam free. Self-victimizing manipulative hypocrites of the worst kind, one and all.

AND cats are actually one of the poorest methods of rodent control of all (contrary to centuries of idiots proposing the same and also failing for centuries). Not only are cats a highly destructive invasive species that directly destroys many valuable native species and also transmit many deadly zoonotic diseases to both humans and all other animals, further exacerbating the death-rate of your native predators, but there are hundreds (if not thousands) of native species on every continent that are much better suited for the purpose. On top of that, most cats run from larger rodent species.

What happens is that cats destroy all your valuable native rodent predators (rat snakes, shews, etc.), or displace them (read: starve them to death, species like owls, hawks, fox, etc.), and then the cats destroy only the rodents that they can find (key point). Guess what? Rodents don't reproduce in places where cats can get to them. They reproduce in burrows and places too small for ANY cat to get to them. So what you end up with is a happy predator/prey balance of nothing but cats and rodents infesting your lands and homes.

The rodents reproduce in burrows and holes where they are happy to reproduce forever to entertain your cats the rest of their lives, and make your own lives miserable, on into infinity. On top of that, when cats infect rodents with cat's Toxoplasma gondii parasite, this hijacks the minds of rodents to make the rodents attracted to where cats urinate. (Google for: Parasite Hijacks the Mind of Its Host) Cats actually attract disease-carrying rodents to where cats are (and the cats then contract these diseases on contact with, or being in proximity to, these rodents). Further increasing the cat/rodent/disease density of this happy predator/prey balance. It has been documented many many times. The more cats you have, the more rodents you get. I suggest you Google for those studies.

(I experienced this phenomenon myself as hundreds of cats started to overtake my lands. For the first time ever rodents started invading my homes. I had no idea why that could be. Then I was forced to shoot and bury hundreds of these invasive-species vermin cats to stop them from annihilating the last bit of native wildlife on my lands. Surprisingly, the rodent problem completely went away after every last cat was finally shot-dead and buried. Then hawks, owls, fox, etc. luckily moved back in to take care of any rodents -- THE RIGHT WAY. Without attracting MORE rodents to where they were. I've not seen a rodent in my homes since.)

No cat population anywhere has EVER been able to eradicate rodents. Look at the results on any island that had all its native wildlife destroyed by cats and rodents. The only thing left are cats and rodents. Is this what you wish for every continent too? But native predators can eradicate rodents -- easily. Many reptiles and the more voracious smaller mammals can destroy rodents at their very source. Even the tiny little 1.75-inch Masked Shrew (not a rodent) in N. America, a David and Goliath story, can wipe out rodents. They are the only mammal in N. America with a poisonous bite, specifically designed to prey on rodents in places where rodents safely hide from your proposed (and insane) cat-mouser solution. Your cats destroy these valuable shrews when your cats spot them, or valuable snakes -- your cats ALWAYS destroying even better rodent predators. Nice plan. So smart!

See how that works? No? Didn't think so. You'd need at least a high-school freshman level of education in biology to know this. Even children in elementary-school are aware of these things today.

Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Article comment by: Catman Dude

Nature Advocate…(gosh, that seems so inappropriate. Do you mind if I call you Willard?)

You seem to have completely missed the point I was making, Willard. Feral cats were an integral part of my local ecosystem, helping to ensure that my family and neighbors had healthy additions to our diet at no great expense. They were performing a service. Pampered indoor pussies on perpetual welfare would have been of no use to me at all.

Odd that such a champion of Rodentia seems to have had no personal interaction with real rats or squirrels. You see, Willard, unlike the fastidious cat, rodents crap wherever they happen to be. You can track a rat by a trail of feces, just as we might imagine tracking you by a trail of fish oil.

Speculation regarding the Black Plague is just that: speculation. There are different species of flea with preferences for specific mammals, and viruses mutate. It's quite possible the Asian black rat did the initial spreading of a particularly-virulent strain of Bubonic Plague that was then transmitted person-to-person.

Bottom line regarding your bluster: If an unwarranted shot from your .22 left a distraught kid crying for a loved pet that followed a fish oil trail, I doubt you'd be doing your dirty deed for long.

Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Article comment by: Nature Advocate

Bottom Line:

If you don't want to take care of your cat in the manner that YOU see fit, then I WILL take care of your cat in the manner that I see fit -- ONE TIME. And it only takes one time. See one, shoot one, A.S.A.P. Simple as that.

Your choice!

Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Article comment by: Nature Advocate

Catman Dude,

Please explain to the class how an animal, the domesticated cat in this case, which is perfectly capable of carrying and transmitting the plague all on its own could have prevented the plague in Europe.

Google for: Cat-Transmitted Fatal Pneumonic Plague, for a fun one.

Yes, the plague is alive and well today, and BEING SPREAD BY CATS. People have already died from cat-transmitted plague in the USA.

Or Google for: Oregon man suffering plague

Or: Taos cat has plague

Or: (hundreds of others).

Totally disproving that oft-spewed LIE cat-lickers, just like you, tell about having more cats in Europe could have prevented the plague. No rats nor fleas even required if you have cats around. Cats themselves carry and transmit the plague all on their own. Now add in the fact that cats attract rodents right to them if the cats infect the rodents with their Toxoplasma gondii parasite (Google for: Parasite Hijacks the Mind of Its Host), and you'll see a plague the likes of which have never existed before. Especially when you breed super-strains of plague with your overuse and irresponsible use of antibiotics. Cats, after centuries of being selectively-bred by humans, are also now even genetically predisposed to seek-out human habitation. They will contract the plague from animals away from human habitation and then bring it RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR.

Cats also congregate in colonies. If a cat contracts the plague from any flea or other animal, it then spreads it to all other cats in its colony, other animals that come in contact with them, or any humans that come in contact with them. Hence: no fleas nor rats required after the initial infection. The very act of a cat killing a plague carrying rat will actually cause the cat to contract the plague from the rat or its fleas and spread it to those that come in contact with it.

The plague in Europe was actually spread the most by human to human transmission. The distance and speed with which it spread cannot be accounted for by fleas, rats, nor cats. But they ALL played the part in transmitting it to humans initially.

This doesn't give ignorant, manipulative, and deceptive cat-lickers any kind of license whatsoever to run around screaming their scare-mongering tactic of, "IF WE DON'T LET CATS ROAM FREE WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE OF THE PLAGUE!" When, IN FACT, the absolute reverse of that could come to pass.

Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Article comment by: Nature Advocate

I don't see anyone dumping these highly destructive invasive-species vermin cats where I live anymore. Not seen even ONE for FOUR YEARS now! They don't even adopt more than can be kept under lock & key 24/7. When driving through the area I don't see even one cat on anyone's doorsteps anymore. I always keep an eye out to see if there are more cats that will have to be shot one day. And if I'll have to leave fish-oil trails on all the roadsides again for miles around, leading right to my IR surveillance system and laser-sighted rifle. (Got more than 70% of the hundreds of them in the area this way VERY effective if you have criminally-negligent and criminally-irresponsible cat-licking problem-neighbors where you live too.)

Invasive species cats that are allowed to hunt then in turn get hunted! No excuses, no alibis, no delay -- NO EXCEPTIONS.


Everyone in my area has learned that if they leave their cat unsupervised, it means certain death for their cat -- the further length of their cats' lives often counted in hours from the time they were allowed to roam free.

Everyone should learn from this simple lesson. The quickest way to solve an unwanted animal and irresponsible pet-owner problem is to let everyone know that you will quickly and humanely destroy every last one of their unwanted, uncared-for, or unsupervised invasive-species animals for them. They either grow up fast or, far more plausible, dump their animals elsewhere to become someone else's problem.

They've already proved that their cat is 100% expendable by letting it roam free. And any cat that roams free WILL die an inhumane death eventually. Do them a favor. Destroy their expendable cat for them as humanely as possible before it WILL meet an inhumane death. A well-aimed bullet is the MOST humane death that any free-roaming cat will ever meet. Every other death that their expendable cat will eventually face is all inhumanely downhill from there.

You just can't be an enabler of criminally irresponsible spineless and heartless idiots or they remain that way. (At least where you live, anyway.)

Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Article comment by: X. Posalooney

'Nature Advocate' sounds like he's been bitten by that cat-hating British doctor that Drudge linked to a while ago. He's now infected with a mad compulsion to fling bull feces in a vain attempt to justify the perverse pleasure he derives from killing cats.

Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Article comment by: Catman Dude

Actually, the squirrels and rats ate "all of our plums, nectarines, and persimmons," which was much worse than eating the pomegranates twice.

Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Article comment by: Catman Dude

Once upon a time I lived in a house with an orchard for a back yard. For many years we had crops of grapes, oranges, lemons, plums, nectarines, pomegranates, and so many juicy persimmons that--even after making loads of persimmon pudding and cookies--we gave bagfuls to a local church that served a lot of Korean parishioners.

Our neighbors had a pride of feral cats living on their roof and up in an old Siberian elm tree. The lady of the house had the cats spayed and neutered and occasionally put bowls of food and water on the roof. The tree full of lounging cats was an amusing sight.

When the neighbors moved, they either took the cats with them or to a shelter, and that was the end of our fruity bounty. With the cats gone, squirrels proliferated and tree rats occupied the palms. The squirrels and rats ate most of our pomegranates and all of our plums, nectarines, and pomegranates, long before they were ripe enough to pick.

Some folks who just don't like cats claim that cats threaten bird populations. I saw a different side of that issue. I once watched a rat climb to a bird's nest a cat could not possibly reach and merrily chomp all the eggs in the nest.

In 1232, Pope Gregory IX declared that cats were diabolical. Hundreds of thousands of cats were slaughtered, and cat owners were executed as witches.

With its most efficient predator decimated by superstitious fools, black rats proliferated. And so did the Black Death that killed off the fools, for it was the rats that carried Bubonic Plague.

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