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Letters: Curtail the freedoms


As a longtime lover of birds, I would like to relate my experience.

We live in a neighbourhood with many free-range cats. They love to hang out in my backyard, lurking in the bushes beneath the feeder, killing birds. Along with that, they do their business in my gardens. Usually, we do not know where these cats live so complaint-driven maintenance is not a viable option. Once, we were able to follow a cat to his home with a bird in its mouth. My husband confronted the owner, rather aggressively I will acknowledge as he was very upset, and the response was “Well, that’s what cats do.” And “There is no law against it so get over it” and “It’s just nature and its cruel to confine cats.” There was no acceptance of any responsibility for the behaviour of their pet or any acknowledgement of my feelings.

The writer of last month’s letter “Start elsewhere, protecting nature” is correct that all the issues she brings up also threaten the bird population. All her suggestions are good ones but only if people share the values of protecting biodiversity. Every year in North America millions of birds are killed by cats. This should be an easy fix. Indoor cats thrive just fine. Catios are another option. 

Regarding her contention that cats kill rats and therefore do a service to us all: most cat owners keep their cats in the house at night when rats are out and about because this exposes cats to predators like coyotes and it wouldn’t do to have poor little Fluffy have to deal with that nature red of tooth and claw.

I welcome this bylaw that imposes some responsibilities on cat owners just as dog owners have had to curtail the behaviour of their charges.

Mudito Drope, Gibsons