Sunday, January 27, 2013

This May Not End Well...

So a dolt in New Zealand wants to phase house cats out of his little island. He says it's because they kill birds, and he apparently would rather have birds around than cats. Less intellectual competition, perhaps?

He figures people should spay or neuter their cats, then not get another one when the one they have dies. Undomesticated cats can be caught and euthanized, which should be done for free by city and town councils because veterinarians charge too much. People who adopt cats from shelters would be required to purchase a microchip inserted under the feline's skin, so the government can keep track of who owns what cats.

There are more problems with this plan than its originator has brain cells (I set the bar low). For one, there's no such thing as "free" euthanasia of animals. The supplies or equipment used must be purchased from someone, and the person performing the task is unlikely to do it for free (and if they volunteer to do so, then they should probably have a chip put under their skin so the local police know where they are). It's going to cost someone something, and by someone I mean, "the residents of the particular town or city who pay higher taxes or fees to fund the process."

Then there's the problem of human beings engineering the environment, which works something like never. Obviously removing predators will enhance bird populations. But will the birds then over-populate and require periodic mass killings? Will there be other potentially problematic side effects from an increase in the number of airborne digestive tracts? New Zealand's dry cleaners haven't stated their position on the matter yet, but I'm betting they're weighing it carefully.

Or the problem of an unelected dimwit trying to control a society. New Zealand is not the United States, but there's enough similarity to say that we have sufficient problems with elected dimwits doing this -- they don't need volunteer help.

And the final problem? There are 1.4 million domesticated cats in New Zealand, compared with 4.5 million human beings. I couldn't find data on how many undomesticated cats live there, but for grins let's say there's one feral feline for every two sedate little house cats. That makes just more than two million sneaky little furballs, whom even the dim mind behind this idea recognizes as "friendly little serial killers." Who see in the dark way better than we do.

Probably shouldn't have given up that tail and forgotten how to climb trees, primate.

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