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New Zealand to be 100 percent cat free
January 24, 2013 9:45 AM   Subscribe

It might strike you as a sick Internet joke, but Gareth Morgan isn't kidding. The prominent New Zealand economist and environmentalist wants his country 100 percent cat-free and he's willing to go extraordinary lengths to make it a reality.
posted by lungtaworld (108 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Tomorrow's headline will read: New Zealand's Infrastructure Suffers Catastrophic Crash! Anonymous Claims Credit
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:47 AM on January 24, 2013


THESE TERRIBLE THINGS WOULDN'T HAPPEN IF EVERY TEACHER HAD A CAT! CATS IN ALL THE SCHOOLS!
posted by louche mustachio at 9:49 AM on January 24, 2013 [44 favorites]


I need these cats to defend my freedom.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:50 AM on January 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


I like cats, and own two of them, but there's no denying they're adorable little killing machines. We keep them inside, but any time a mouse or large insect gets into the house they immediately switch over into Hunt Mode and do not rest until the intruder is dead.

Years ago I saw a BBC program where they put a tiny collar camera on some sweet old English lady's outdoor cat, and she was distraught when she found out her fluffy little bundle of joy had over the course of a few days wiped out a couple dozen small mammals and birds.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:51 AM on January 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


He's got some good points but he is also trolling. He admits it:

Have you been surprised at the groups that have come out in support/or against your cat elimination plan? Not really, the idea was to galvanize a public reaction, that has been achieved. Stage II will be released in the next month and will wind up the ante
posted by vacapinta at 9:51 AM on January 24, 2013


Good for them. Invasive species shouldn't be more tolerable when they're cute.
They're clearly not actually going to ban cats, but placing some restrictions on owners will be a good start.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:51 AM on January 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


I HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO DEFEND MY FREEDOM! WITH CATS!
posted by louche mustachio at 9:51 AM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


FINE SEND THEM HERE. I will take them.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:51 AM on January 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


sits in its own nest.

I'll lay odds that that was "shits in its own nest."

He's right, of course, that cats take a terrible, terrible toll on NZ's bird population. One could, perhaps, address the problem by demanding that all cats be indoor cats, but enforcement of such a requirement would be difficult.

The headline of this post is kinda silly, though--"One man wants New Zealand to be 100 percent cat free; has no chance in hell of succeeding" would be far closer to the truth.
posted by yoink at 9:52 AM on January 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Because our natural environment is arguably our greatest asset. And because the economic value of [our environment] has hardly been capitalized on, and it is continuing to rise at an exponential rate, as the rest of the world cursed by high population density sits in its own nest.

I'm currently in Shanghai where wildlife is at a minimum because of callous disregard -- actually I think they eat cats over here. The environment here is not very pleasant at all, as pollution is horrible.
Don't look now, Atlantic, but I think you have conducted an interview with either a fairly clever Markov generator fronting a bored 14-year-old on /b/, or a contestant for Miss Universe.
posted by Mayor West at 9:52 AM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's about time.

Do sheep next.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:53 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


What do you call one country without cats?

A good start.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:56 AM on January 24, 2013 [16 favorites]


I agree with him in principle and have often wished that such a thing could also be done on Kauai, where the unparalleled native bird population is being swiftly eradicated, mostly by feral cats.

Unfortunately the balance of nature is way more complicated than that, and a successful cat eradication at this point would probably just cause the equally non-native rat population to explode, with possibly even worse results.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:57 AM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


So bring in coyotes to kill the feral cats. The US has plenty of 'em we'll be delighted to send. PROBLEM SOLVED YOU'RE WELCOME NEW ZEALAND
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:57 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I guess Gareth Morgan has a new book coming out or some other thing he will soon be shilling.

What's next? Melt the ice caps so we can fill eco-friendly, biodegradable water bottles that will fund t-shirt sales with all proceeds going to end starvation in Africa and promote world peace?

Or is his bank account a tad barren?
posted by lampshade at 9:57 AM on January 24, 2013


I like cats, but he's absolutely right. Or at least outdoor kitties should be 100% banned in NZ, with big fines for anyone who lets one escape.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:00 AM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Apparently this guy is a significant philanthropist and all-round dogooder.
Of course, in the eyes of the Internet, all that has been wiped out in a single blow
posted by Bwithh at 10:00 AM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Humans only arrived in New Zealand sometime between 700 and 2000 years ago. So arguably the humans should go, too. But the real problem is that humans brought rats, which are a serious threat to native species as well. If you eliminate the cats, the rats will run rampant.
posted by beagle at 10:01 AM on January 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'm expecting the NZ govt to come out with a statement condemning Gareth pretty soon, and announcing that they're adding Kitties to the portfolio for their Minister for Hobbits, and minting a whole series of coins and banknotes with 3D holographic animated gifs of Internet Kitties on them
posted by Bwithh at 10:02 AM on January 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


What's next? Melt the ice caps so we can fill eco-friendly, biodegradable water bottles that will fund t-shirt sales with all proceeds going to end starvation in Africa and promote world peace?

Er...how is that remotely parallel to the proposal to eradicate an introduced pest from an environment where it is doing a great deal of ecological damage?

I mean, NZ is already actively engaged in trying to eradicate the (equally destructive and also non-native) Australian possum, and there's scarcely a New Zealander alive who wouldn't happily push a button that would kill every last rabbit in New Zealand. Rabbits and possums are small, furry and cute--why should everyone be happy to see them eradicated but horrified at the thought of eradicating cats?
posted by yoink at 10:03 AM on January 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am also anticipating a Kim Dotcom comment and possible pro-Internet Kitty campaign about this any moment now
posted by Bwithh at 10:04 AM on January 24, 2013


It has always struck me as egregiously irresponsible for people to have outdoor cats, especially in areas of the world where the ecology is very fragile and there are endangered bird/lizard/small mammal species living.

But I suppose most of those outdoor cat owners' Toxoplasma-riddled brains don't allow for the possibility that their loveable little ball of fur, dander, and spite could ever gleefully slaughter a Lesser White-Toothed Shrew for mere sport, pushing yet another species to the brink of extinction.

Don't cane toads prey on rodents? Maybe we could counterbalance the surge in rodent populations after cats have been played off this mortal coil (to the treacly notes of a keyboard, naturally) by introducing cane toads to New Zealand. What could possibly go wrong?
posted by Alonzo T. Calm at 10:04 AM on January 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


New Zealand scientists are tasked to develop anti-Mammal ray.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:05 AM on January 24, 2013


A cat given the choice between hunting rats and hunting baby birds will go after the baby birds every single time.
posted by localroger at 10:06 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cats prepare a military response by land and air.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:07 AM on January 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


If you eliminate the cats, the rats will run rampant.

Hmmmm, perhaps. I'd be interested to see a good study on that. I suspect that cats+rats does more damage to NZ's birdlife than rats by themselves would do in the absence of cats, but one would have to do some careful analysis to be sure.
posted by yoink at 10:09 AM on January 24, 2013


The prominent New Zealand economist and environmentalist wants his country 100 percent cat-free

My toxoplasma disagrees forcefully, and (consequently) so do I.
posted by Skeptic at 10:10 AM on January 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


Apparently this guy is a significant philanthropist and all-round dogooder.

Clearly you mean "dog gooder" ...
posted by macadamiaranch at 10:13 AM on January 24, 2013


Do they have fifty foot spiders in NZ as they do in Austrailia? Because if so, I would want an army of cats about me at all times.
posted by angrycat at 10:14 AM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


It seems to me that the "seriousness" of his promotion of this cause is to raise awareness and find a workable solution to a real problem.

I would honestly doubt he has any expectation of actual success in bringing this plan to fruition. Guerrilla Politicking is what this seems to be, though I can appreciate the novel approach in getting people to discuss this issue.
posted by Debaser626 at 10:14 AM on January 24, 2013


Do they have fifty foot spiders in NZ as they do in Austrailia?

Yes but they are disguised as expat Australians.
posted by elizardbits at 10:15 AM on January 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


I like cats quite a lot.. but hate outdoor cats.
posted by edgeways at 10:15 AM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


The headline is also misleading in the extreme. Look at the numbered list and you'll see he wants microchipping of cats for licensed cat owners. Item #3 says that chipped cats will be returned to their owner, who is then fined. Feral and unlicensed cats are what he's talking about.
posted by jbickers at 10:16 AM on January 24, 2013


I think the clear answer here is not to get rid of outdoor cats, it's to have a larger sort of outdoor cat. I think it's high time we introduced a few breeding pairs of Siberian tigers to NZ. There's a lot of uninhabited space, right? And tigers are super cool and awesome.
posted by elizardbits at 10:17 AM on January 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


jbickers: The headline is also misleading in the extreme. Look at the numbered list and you'll see he wants microchipping of cats for licensed cat owners. Item #3 says that chipped cats will be returned to their owner, who is then fined. Feral and unlicensed cats are what he's talking about

It's not misleading. He wants to neuter/spay every cat in NZ, and presumably not allow the import of more. This plan would get rid of them over time without requiring pet owners to turn their specific cats over, which you'd never get people to do.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:20 AM on January 24, 2013


"Agree totally, and the cat lobby here is just as feral, self-centered and as balmy as your gun lobby is."

Yes, the equivalence is clear and we should definitely swap.

"The headline of this post is kinda silly, though--"One man wants New Zealand to be 100 percent cat free; has no chance in hell of succeeding" would be far closer to the truth."

I think you meant "One man wants New Zealand to be 100 percent cat free; has no chance in"
posted by iamkimiam at 10:20 AM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Alonzo T. Calm: "Don't cane toads prey on rodents? Maybe we could counterbalance the surge in rodent populations after cats have been played off this mortal coil (to the treacly notes of a keyboard, naturally) by introducing cane toads to New Zealand. What could possibly go wrong?"
SKINNER
Well, I was wrong. The lizards are a godsend.

LISA
But isn't that a bit short-sighted? What happens when we're overrun by lizards?

SKINNER
No problem. We simply unleash wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They'll wipe out the lizards.

LISA
But aren't the snakes even worse?

SKINNER
Yes, but we're prepared for that. We've lined up a fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.

LISA
But then we're stuck with gorillas!

SKINNER
No, that's the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.
Been itchin' to post that but just needed the setup
posted by wcfields at 10:21 AM on January 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


As a general rule I would be happy to hear any country that fined cat owners who did not spay/neuter their cats. (Also dogs.)

but any time a mouse or large insect gets into the house they immediately switch over into Hunt Mode and do not rest until the intruder is dead.

I used to have a squirrel who would come into my house, wander all the way down the hall and eat the cat food. My cat -- 4 at the time -- would sit there, not even watching the squirrel, totally indifferent to the stranger.

Then I got a foster cat who had just given birth to 5 kittens. A hungry foster cat. (Luckily still slowed enough that the squirrel escaped without leaving a bloody mess in my house and never ever returned.)

Sometimes the cats will eat a few bugs, and they'd be happy to kill the laser pointer, but living things are way too much effort for them.
posted by jeather at 10:21 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


No Stop Blaming Cats For Everything:
We are usually too quick and eager to rely on simple solutions to remedy negative impacts of complicated phenomena. Domesticated cats and their feral cousins are often blamed for otherwise unexplained population declines of birds and small mammals. Likewise, overpopulations of deer have been blamed for various troubles our forests are facing, including the supposed declines in snail populations even when there is no reliable scientific support for such claims. We need to realize that complex phenomena usually have complex causes that cannot be explained away by creating scapegoats. Perhaps, a paraphrase of Leslie Orgel's dictum is needed: ecological processes are cleverer than you are.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:26 AM on January 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


The real answer is to give the birds military-style assault weapons with large ammo clips; if every bird has a gun, no cat would dare cause trouble.
posted by briank at 10:26 AM on January 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


the cat lobby here is just as feral, self-centered and as balmy as your gun lobby is

If we outlaw cats, only outlaws will own cats. Is that a risk we're prepared to accept?

The deaths caused by cats are tragic, but we need to remember that there are no bad cats; only bad cat-owners.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 10:28 AM on January 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


If birds have cats this not happen
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:29 AM on January 24, 2013


Do pythons prey on feral housecats? Florida has a few hundred thousand pythons it's trying to unload.
posted by bukvich at 10:30 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


From my cold dead hands...
posted by Pudhoho at 10:32 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


After we're finished with cats, can we do something about the dog owners who let their animals crap in my yard?

Seriously though, while 100 per cent cat-free might be unattainable, surely a suitably large fine could be imposed on those who let their cats roam free.
posted by madajb at 10:36 AM on January 24, 2013


Do sheep next.

And before and after.

(Seriously, did you just try to tell New Zealand how to do sheep?)
posted by loquacious at 10:45 AM on January 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


I work with a group here in Hawaii that focuses on feral cat management. They spay and neuter hundreds of cats every week. Yet, the feral population doesn't decline.

There are two reasons for this:

1) Cats have big litters and you have to trap and spay/neuter every kitten (and the mom) if you want to make any impact.

2) An astonishing number of people abandon their pets at known colonies.

You always know the abandoned cats because they are friendly with the human colony manager in a way that the ferals aren't.

Anyhow, most feral cats are descended from abandoned house cats. Apparently, some owners think they are being kinder to their cats by releasing them into the wild, thus exposing them to starvation, FLV, feral cat attacks, cars, and certain sadistic humans than by turning them over the the humane society. Yes, the Humane Society will probably euthanize your cat. Yes, that will be less painful for your cat than suddenly living "in the wild."

(and, of course, it doesn't take too much work to find a no-kill shelter or, with some foresight, finding a home for your kitty)

This is a human problem not a cat problem. If you want to own a cat responsibly, spay or neuter it (or make sure it is when you adopt it) and keep it inside (both for its own safety and to protect your local environment). And, for Bast's sake, don't abandon it if you have to move.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:50 AM on January 24, 2013 [18 favorites]


Seriously, cats are a problem according to the Audubon Society.

Love of cats may be socially constructed, and there are probably cultures in which cats are not as cherished as they are in others.
posted by mareli at 10:52 AM on January 24, 2013


Joey Michaels: 2) An astonishing number of people abandon their pets at known colonies.

That's gotta be argument #1 for the mandatory chipping of pets on these islands.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:56 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


New Zealand to be 100 percent cat free

And its cats say NZ needs to be 100% Gareth Morgan free.
posted by fuse theorem at 10:57 AM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


New Zealand joke:

What do you call a bus full of cats going over a cliff?
posted by Splunge at 11:01 AM on January 24, 2013


there are probably cultures in which cats are not as cherished as they are in others.

My South Asian mother refused to visit me when I had cats. This was a great source of amusement. Dogs, no problem, but don't I know cats are going to eat my face off while I sleep?
posted by mayurasana at 11:02 AM on January 24, 2013


Love of cats may be socially constructed caused by Toxoplasma gondii, and there are probably cultures in which cats are not as cherished as they are in others fewer people are infected.
posted by jeather at 11:05 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]



I have three cats. Although I grew up with cats that regularly went outside, this current bunch are firmly indoor cats for two reasons. One there are several beasties (like coyotes) that are plentiful here that love to feast on kitties and two I live in a major bird migration zone and area where quite a few endangered birds live during the summer. My cats would feast on them. I figure the songbirds are having a tough enough time as it is.

It's an old house though, so they still get to flex their hunting instinct. Mice never last long, which is find by me and they are first responders when a bat or bird gets in through some mysterious holes I have yet to find. They haven't managed to catch a bat or bird inside yet but at least they have fun chasing it around while I'm chasing it around to get the thing back outside.
posted by Jalliah at 11:25 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Although I grew up with cats that regularly went outside, this current bunch are firmly indoor cats for two reasons.

I have friends who have converted their previously outdoor cats to indoor-only cats and what surprised me was how quickly and happily the cats adjusted to it. For a while they would still sit and mew at the door and try to bolt out of it when it opened, but in just a few weeks they'd basically forgotten that there was an "outside" to go to.
posted by yoink at 11:32 AM on January 24, 2013


"What do you call a bus full of cats going over a cliff?"


A bus splunge?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:35 AM on January 24, 2013


I CAN HAS CHEESEBURGER WITH BEETROOT, PINEAPPLE AND EGG?

Yes. And Anti-freeze. To, umm, keep your coat warm.
posted by Sparx at 11:35 AM on January 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am a cat person, but I laughed pretty hard at that, Sparx.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:44 AM on January 24, 2013


Couldn't the problem be solved with less controversy by requiring that all cats be declawed?
posted by Killick at 11:44 AM on January 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


DO NOT WANT
posted by caryatid at 11:47 AM on January 24, 2013


My indoor cat thinks he's an outdoor cat. At least when it comes to the front door. He also thinks he's a basement cat, a bathroom cat, a pantry cat, and closet cat when it comes to those doors. Basically, he's a door cat who likes to be locked [in|out] and then act all aggrieved that you had the temerity to shut the door on him.

For about seven seconds.

And then he wants you to pick him up and give him a ride around the house while he drapes himself artfully across your shoulders.

More topically: best of luck with that, mate. You'd probably get further without the histrionics.
posted by Fezboy! at 11:52 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Couldn't the problem be solved with less controversy by requiring that all cats be declawed?

No.
posted by TheRedArmy at 11:52 AM on January 24, 2013


Ah...come on. We should use all the breeding/genetic knowledge we have and produce cats that either

a) Cannot climb trees
b) Be made to not see birds/insects as things to be killed...

Science can let us keep our kittens, right?
posted by asra at 11:56 AM on January 24, 2013


Sign. Me. Up.
posted by readyfreddy at 11:57 AM on January 24, 2013


Killick: Couldn't the problem be solved with less controversy by requiring that all cats be declawed?

I'm not sure you'd see less controversy. Many people (of which I am one) see declawing cats as barbaric and unacceptable under pretty much any and all circumstances. However, I don't see anything wrong with neutering all of the cats in NZ and letting them die off via not reproducing. Neutering cats is not inhumane, and the importance of ecological conservation trumps pet ownership by a factor of about a billion.

Also, I think you could have cats surviving in the wild for a while declawed, where they could potentially have litters and introduce non-declawed cats into the feral population. Eradication is safer.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:57 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Couldn't the problem be solved with less controversy by requiring that all cats be declawed?

I love that people are responding to this sincerely.
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:02 PM on January 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


What do you call a bus full of cats going over a cliff?

the purrfect crime
posted by elizardbits at 12:06 PM on January 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Someone's never read The Cats of Ulthar.
posted by polywomp at 12:30 PM on January 24, 2013


2) An astonishing number of people abandon their pets at known colonies.

That's gotta be argument #1 for the mandatory chipping of pets on these islands.


Absolutely. Another thing that the group I work with takes pains to do is to chip every single cat they spay or neuter. They also remove kittens who are young enough to be domesticated from the colonies and adopt them out. Part of the adoption agreement is that the cat will be an inside cat.

I estimate we probably adopt out 20-30 a months, so about 240-360 a year and, of those, only about 10-15 are returned to us (either by the adopters or by the Humane Society when they find the cat abandoned). When an abandoned cat is returned to us, you can be sure we let the (former) owners hear it. We won't adopt to them again and let other groups know about problem owners.

Chipping both allows a lost cat to be returned to their owner and forces some level of accountability on cat owners who abandon their kitties.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:32 PM on January 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


From "A Short History of Nearly Everything":

In 1894, when a lighthouse was built on a lonely rock called Stephens Island, in the tempestuous strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand, the lighthouse keeper’s cat kept bringing him strange little birds that it had caught. The keeper dutifully sent some specimens to the museum in Wellington. There a curator grew very excited because the bird was a relic species of flightless wrens—the only example of a flightless perching bird ever found anywhere. He set off at once for the island, but by the time he got there the cat had killed them all.
posted by martinrebas at 12:37 PM on January 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


It's a pretty weird campaign because the real threat to our native birds are stoats and ferrets. Cats are right down the list.

My wife and I both love cats, but we don't own one, because the sparrows and silvereyes around the (urban) house thrive without them. Personally I'm all for mandatory cat owner registration.
posted by xiw at 12:37 PM on January 24, 2013


Couldn't the problem be solved with less controversy by requiring that all cats be declawed?

I know you're probably just goofing, but when I was a kid, I had a cat that managed to murder the shit out of all manner of critters despite being declawed.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:06 PM on January 24, 2013


>One could, perhaps, address the problem by demanding that all cats be indoor cats, but enforcement of such a requirement would be difficult.

Yeah, I heard about this the other day, and immediately thought, what an anti-kittyist schmuck. You can insist that cats should be kept indoors. That makes sense, and most cat experts would agree with you. (Cats actually live a whole lot longer, that way.) But to declare some anti-cat pogrom is just freaking stupid.

He's really a big mean dog in an economist suit, isn't he?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:06 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


But to declare some anti-cat pogrom is just freaking stupid.

May the anti-bird pogrom continue!
posted by Sys Rq at 1:11 PM on January 24, 2013


Here's the solution: the guided cat bomb.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:12 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Couldn't the problem be solved with less controversy by requiring that all cats be declawed?

... I had a cat that managed to murder the shit out of all manner of critters despite being declawed.


And when I was a kid I had a cat that my mother had declawed, and the one time she managed to get outdoors she was torn apart by a pack of dogs because she couldn't climb a tree.

Don't. Declaw. Cats.
posted by caryatid at 1:28 PM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


"May the anti-bird pogrom continue!"

How are the cats supposed to kill birds when they're indoors? Are they going to hire hit-men?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:30 PM on January 24, 2013


How are the cats supposed to kill birds when they're indoors? Are they going to hire hit-men?

How do you propose to enforce your indoors-only rule?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:33 PM on January 24, 2013


the one time she managed to get outdoors she was torn apart by a pack of dogs because she couldn't climb a tree.

Sorry your cat got killed, but it may be some kind of comfort to know that it wasn't the decision to declaw the cat that killed it; declawed cats can climb trees perfectly well. Sadly they can also kill birds perfectly well, so the whole declawing thing (which was only raised as a joke in any case) is really irrelevant to this discussion.
posted by yoink at 2:00 PM on January 24, 2013


From the article: "He has called for the neutering of all living cats in New Zealand to ensure that this is the country's last kitty generation and has gone as far as to encourage citizens to set up cage-traps on their properties to snatch wanderers."

I'm not saying the indoors-only policy is flawless. But if this guy was saying, for instance, that any cat found outdoors will be taken to the cat-pound and if not claimed within a certain period it will be euthanized, that would would make a lot more sense than what he is saying, which is basically that all cats must die.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:03 PM on January 24, 2013


I support this so much. All cats must die.
posted by yonega at 2:26 PM on January 24, 2013


If only we could breed a kudzu that could eat cats.
posted by klangklangston at 2:47 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


need.
more.
raptors.
posted by edgeways at 3:14 PM on January 24, 2013


But if this guy was saying, for instance, that any cat found outdoors will be taken to the cat-pound and if not claimed within a certain period it will be euthanized, that would would make a lot more sense...

Actually that is pretty much exactly what he is proposing. That, and that all those indoor cats also be spayed and neutered so they won't create a new generation to worry about. Knowing how the whole "negotiation" thing goes I suspect he is staking out a position from which he is willing to meet at a more reasonable middle.
posted by localroger at 3:28 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


From the NYT article on this: “A cat-free anywhere is not a good area,” said Bob Kerridge, executive director of the Auckland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who added that we should “leave it to nature to take care of things.”

To quote the great Jacques Cousteau: In ze ocean there iz no cruelty, there iz only the struggle to survive. Because ze ocean, she haz no cats".
posted by Bwithh at 3:56 PM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


If we're going to eradicate invasive animal species that wreak havoc on the ecosystems to which they're introduced, I vote that we start with the most destructive one of all.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:31 PM on January 24, 2013


OK, so I should've finished R-ing TFA. In my defense, I'll point out that the intro to the article says the guy "wants his country 100 percent cat-free (...) He has called for the neutering of all living cats in New Zealand to ensure that this is the country's last kitty generation." The HEADLINE says he "wants to eliminate all kitties". So, it's not like I didn't have plenty of reason to assume that the guy wants to, you know, eliminate all kitties.

He doesn't say in the actual interview that he wants this to be the last generation of cats in NZ. Is that indeed a part of his plans? Because if so, F that guy. F him blue. And some of the stuff he DOES say, about trapping cats and councils offering free disposal of cats, is pretty damn chilling. And screw that "friendly neighborhood serial killer" noise. Yes, cats kill. Dogs kill. Birds kill. WE kill. Everybody kills.

It's depressing how every article about something bad happening to cats inevitably brings out the nasty folk with their gags about how they want to roast cats on a spit and all that. Go and grow a soul, guys.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:24 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Coming soon to a theater near you: Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Cats
posted by lukemeister at 6:23 PM on January 24, 2013


It's depressing how every article about something bad happening to cats inevitably brings out the nasty folk with their gags about how they want to roast cats on a spit and all that.

My wife is a Very Serious Birder. She does not want to roast cats on a spit. She just wants them to quietly and painlessly disappear because they don't belong where they are and they are making the birds extinct. If you could figure out a way to make the cats stop making the birds extinct -- I'm sure that would take a hell of a not yet invented bell -- then people would stop raving about roasting cats on a spit for the most part.
posted by localroger at 7:29 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


cats kill. Dogs kill. Birds kill. WE kill

"cats" are a species of mostly murderous carnivores. "birds" are a class which includes herbivores, nectivores, and the by comparison occasional raptor.

Humans are in a class by ourselves. Dogs are our proxies. The only natural thing in that list is "birds" and that is so broadly vague as to be meaningless.
posted by localroger at 8:13 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


So I guess Gareth Morgan has a new book coming out or some other thing he will soon be shilling.... Or is his bank account a tad barren?

He may have a book coming out soon, since he used to work as a journalist, but he's not hurting for cash. The guy made a fortune when his son sold the NZ version of eBay, and he's been on a philanthropic binge ever since. Publishing socially-minded reports, setting up awards, matching donation drives... the guy's a straight-out do-gooder.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 5:37 AM on January 25, 2013


Saying declawed cats can climb trees "perfectly well" is like saying you can run a marathon "perfectly well" without your feet. Yes, it CAN be done, and there are thousands of inspiring stories of people doing just that, but declawing a cat is a serious handicap to its ability to climb and defend itself.

Letting a declawed cat outdoors is not recommended.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:28 AM on January 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


No one has seriously and non jokily recommended declawing cats as an actual and legitimate solution in this thread.

And anyway declawed cats could easily climb all manner of things if we gave them tiny crampons.
posted by elizardbits at 7:03 AM on January 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am in no way a paid shill for Big Crampon.
posted by elizardbits at 7:03 AM on January 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's depressing how every article about something bad happening to cats inevitably brings out the nasty folk with their gags about how they want to roast cats on a spit and all that. Go and grow a soul, guys.

Not everyone thinks cats are as valuable as you do. Some people see them as little more than vermin. There is nothing wrong with these people's souls for not sharing your obsession with this pet species.
posted by yonega at 3:13 PM on January 25, 2013


So in your world, anything you see as vermin should be roasted on a spit? Okie dokie, you sound sane.
posted by elizardbits at 4:03 PM on January 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's depressing how every article about something bad happening to cats inevitably brings out the nasty folk with their gags about how they want to roast cats on a spit and all that. Go and grow a soul, guys.

I think you mean "go and get toxoplasmosis, guys."

So in your world, anything you see as vermin should be roasted on a spit? Okie dokie, you sound sane.


No anti-cat person in this thread has said anything remotely close to "Hey, let's roast cats on spits!" None. Zero.

I like cats just fine, but there is no denying that they're absolutely terrible for native species. If you defend cat ownership, you are effectively fighting for the further endangerment of already threatened species. Maybe give that some thought before kneejerking with the OH NO THE MEAN PEOPLE WANT TO KILL THE KITTIES strawmen.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:59 PM on January 25, 2013


>"No anti-cat person in this thread has said anything remotely close to "Hey, let's roast cats on spits!" None. Zero."

"What do you call one country without cats? A good start." "So bring in coyotes to kill the feral cats. The US has plenty of 'em we'll be delighted to send." "Do pythons prey on feral housecats? Florida has a few hundred thousand pythons it's trying to unload." "I CAN HAS CHEESEBURGER WITH BEETROOT, PINEAPPLE AND EGG? Yes. And Anti-freeze. To, umm, keep your coat warm." "Sign. Me. Up." "I support this so much. All cats must die." "If only we could breed a kudzu that could eat cats." "need. more. raptors."

Yeah, you're right. The whole roasting on a spit thing is pretty weak sauce compared to the cat-killing hilarity some of these jokers have devised.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:29 PM on January 25, 2013


READS CAT-EATING KUDZU JOKE

CRIES SINGLE TEAR
posted by klangklangston at 10:14 PM on January 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yo haven't i seen you on eharmony?
posted by klangklangston at 10:15 PM on January 25, 2013


Of course, there are important lessons on taste and propriety to be learned from pretty much any Hitler.
posted by klangklangston at 10:16 PM on January 25, 2013


You know, I've never heard the "what you're saying doesn't matter because your last name is Hitler" gag before. Ever!

I'll freely admit my name is silly. Cat-haters can still bite it.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:57 PM on January 25, 2013


He may have killed six million Jews but he loved cats so it's a wash I guess
posted by klangklangston at 12:06 AM on January 26, 2013


I'm invoking my own personal version of Godwin's law: as soon as a thread has gotten tired enough that somebody brings up my name, I'm out. My name has nothing to do with what we were talking about.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:26 AM on January 26, 2013


My name has nothing to do with what we were talking about.

Read Maus.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:39 AM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have. Read why I picked my name.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:15 PM on January 26, 2013


I have.

Good. Now replace the mice with endangered birds and you'll understand what I'm getting at.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:33 PM on January 26, 2013


So I guess this thread is dead, but the NYT just published a really eye-opening article on a new study that shows the shocking toll being taken by cats in the US. They turn out to be far more destructive than anyone had realized.
posted by yoink at 2:50 PM on January 29, 2013


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