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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Should we take a shot at cat hunts?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Alas, they won't be shooting cats in Wisconsin. That's the way it looks now that top state officials have all but nixed a plan to open hunting season on wild cats in that state despite a vote in favor of the plan by state residents.

Officials say as many as two million wild cats roam Wisconsin. They kill as many as 139 million songbirds in the state and generally create havoc in some areas. So some state residents decided to join South Dakota and Minnesota where cat hunting is legal. But then the cat lovers of the state reared their ugly heads.

The cat hunting plan's author received death threats. Opponents of the plan dressed in full cat attire to voice their disdain for the plan. And the good Governor of Wisconsin said he feared the proposal would make the state a laughing stock.

So the score stands at Cats 1, Common Sense 0.

Please don't call Speakout and send me hate mail but I thought the plan was a grand idea. These abandoned creatures roam wild and must forage for food on their own. If the cat lovers are sincere they would round up a million or so of the wild cats and take them home. Feed the darned things. Buy them cutesy toys to play with. Help the economy and buy litter boxes by the millions.

Cat lovers - even more than dog lovers - are a focused group. They are passionate about their feline friends. They hold some special kinship with cats that escapes those of us who are somewhat less than friendly toward the moody animals.

People often hoard cats. How many stories have you heard about some sick old lady who keeps a gazillion cats in her house? The homes are filled with feline feces and the smell can kill the neighborhood. That's my image of many cat lovers - odd to the point of obsession.

I have no interest in killing a cat personally. Mice, bugs and things that sting are all on my hit list. But not cats. But I'm also not a cat lover. My daughter has three. That's her business. She would oppose the Wisconsin plan. Which only proves you can raise your children only so far and at some point, darned if they don't make their own decisions!

I never really gave the Wisconsin plan much of a chance anyway. The image of some harmless kitten frolicking with a plastic mouse is just too much for the public to abandon. We don't want to see the image of millions of wild cats running amuck and wreaking havoc in the neighborhood. But I have a sneaky suspicion that someday that image will change.

And by the way - where are the rabbit lovers? Those wild creatures are much cuter than a cat but we shoot them by the hundreds. Some societies even shoot cats and turn them into food, for what that's worth.

At the current rate, wild cats with increase in population fairly rapidly. And at some point, the furry lovable little creatures will be such a nuisance that common sense with prevail. I won't apply for a license to join the hunt. But I won't condemn those who do.



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