Back when Asterix was a 4 month old kitten, she caught this rat. The picture doesn't really do it justice as to how big the thing was, especially when it was sitting upright in my kitchen hissing at everyone.After I had finished panicking, my son and I drove it outside with brooms, with Asterix helping it along by giving it a number of whacks on the head every once in a while. How she managed to get it inside, I don't know.
The rat probably survived, however, as it ran down the side of the house and escaped down the drain. I talked to a rodent exterminator a few weeks later about it, and he said drains were a good method of travel for rats, and here I'd been thinking it had gone to it's death and drowned.
Since growing up to being an almost 4 year old cat, Asterix over the years has caught and killed a number of rats. Some, she has part eaten. In Autumn, she catches a lot of mice and hardly comes in for food, because she'll eat the mice she catches. Before we got cats, I could hear all sort of scurrying sounds in our roof and walls, and now it's silent, because anything that moves in the house is caught by Asterix, or Minx, the older cat. My neighbours have also told me that since we got cats, they no longer have problems with scurrying in their house as well.
Minx, at nearly 10 years old, does not catch birds. When she was younger, she caught a few, but she doesn't have the patience or the agility for doing so now. Asterix does catch birds, and if I get to them early enough, I can normally look after them for half an hour or so and then let them go, because Asterix hardly damages them on the initial catch anymore. Late Spring is always the worst because of all of the young, inexperienced birds around.
Most of the birds that Asterix catches are non-natives, however, she does have a special liking for Silvereyes, and will eat the entire bird if she catches one, feathers and all.
Which leads me to Garth Morgan and his public call for the eradication of domestic cats.
Top New Zealand economist Gareth Morgan is launching a campaign to eradicate domestic cats.
Dr Morgan has set up a website called Cats to Go, where he calls the animals sadists and natural-born killers that destroy native wildlife.
SPCA chief executive Bob Kerridge called the scheme "hare-brained" and offensive.
He understood Dr Morgan wanted people to stop buying new cats and to not replace pets when they die.
"People consider cats to be a member of the family. So he's trying to, quite frankly, take away the civil liberties we all have to choose who we want in our home."
On the Cats To Go website, there's a photoshopped image of a kitten with red eyes and devil's horns.
And on the homepage the words "That little ball of fluff you own is a natural-born killer" are scrawled across a video which says: "Cats are the only true sadists of the animal world" and calls cats serial killers.
Well, that's the animal kingdom for you. That serial killer nature that cats have means that they won't take a mouse running across the kitchen floor lying down. If they only killed when they were hungry, then we'd be overrun with rodents. I'm listening to the radio right now and have just heard that when you remove cats from an area, you allow the rodents free reign and then the bird population goes down because the rats get into the eggs and kill far more birds than any cat does. Makes sense to me, why doesn't it to people like Gareth Morgan?
Cats make damn good pets as well.
|Asterix asleep on the couch in one of her active sleeping positions|
Related link: Morgan calls for cats to be wiped out ~ NZ Herald