Kitty-Kitty Bang-Bang

“Minnesota defines a wild, or feral, cat as one with no collar that does not show friendly behavior, said Kevin Kyle with that state’s Department of Natural Resources.”

Okay. I was a little disturbed by the whole cat-hunting issue in Wisconsin (did you know it’s legal in South Dakota and Minnesota? I didn’t.), but the above quote has me especially rattled. If those are the criteria for open range kitty shooting, I have to say it’s a damn good thing my Chapin doesn’t A) dwell outdoors or B) live in Minnesota. If you are not me, my mother, or my house-sitter, or if you are a small child or a person carrying various noisy power equipment, like a carpet steamer or power drill (or a freakin’ gun!), my cat will growl loudly and run from the room. Hence the unfriendly behavior. Also, he does not wear a collar. He has one, mind you; it even has a little tag with his name on it. But he can remove it, and quite honestly I have no idea where it is at this time, as he can also hide it from me. Apparently the little bell gets on his nerves, and I tend to agree with him on that point.

And anyway, who ever heard of an especially friendly cat? Cat lovers and owners will back me up on this one. My beagle loves people he has never met. No, really, if you are a stranger reading this, Harry the Beagle loves you. If you are Charles Manson reading this, ditto. My other dog is older and a bit more reserved. It would take her five, maybe ten minutes to love you, although she sides with the cat on the noisy power equipment issue. I’m not sure the beagle is smart enough to recognize noisy power equipment. But a cat? My cat likes a handful of people; he even loves a few, and when he feels like it, he shows his adoration and affection in sweet and surprising ways. Cats are supposed to be uppity and aloof. It is not the cat’s job to exhibit kindness toward strangers. Cats were created to stalk and eye the world warily from afar, to move stealthily and mysteriously, and to attack at precisely the right moment a well-studied mouse, rabbit, toe, gnat, beagle tail, or piece of rogue sweater fuzz. And for this, (and, as I understand it, peeing in gardens and eating small innocent creatures), in Minnesota, they get the death penalty.

I’m sure Minnesotans, South Dakotans, and a number of Wisconsinites have their reasons for taking target practice on their respective cat populations. But if having an unfriendly attitude, making nasty messes for others to clean up, and killing innocents is grounds for such drastic punishment in the animal world, why are so many humans getting away with these same behaviors on a daily basis? Just something to think about.

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