cat – astrophe


CAT-ASTROPHE

When our migrating family arrived in Fernvale nine years ago, there were still drought conditions. Our hectare of land was mainly dust, but over time we built a dam and Roy started planting his rainforest of cabinet timbers. We were optimistic!Now for the first time the dam is full, the yabbies and silver perch are growing fat, the birds are increasing in number and variety and the snakes stay out of our way….when the religious come to the gate we can say we already are in Paradise. The grass is lush and the indigenous flora and fauna are in abundance. However there is one creature, in fact, there are several who roam up to our ‘greenie’ creation who if they had their way would play and hunt with our protected native species – the neighbours cats.

Those cute moggies might live a kilometre or two away but when they are hunting they travel far and wide, no matter how well fed they are at home. It is a fact that pet cats are an environmental hazard. Cats kill for fun! They kill millions of birds and 1000’s of native animals annually.

I’m not talking about feral cats as they are in another category, although lack of responsibility for our furry friends is contributing to this nations mass extinction of native wildlife. The cats that have trespassed into our forest give birth to three kittens and as they begin to source the bounteous lizards and birds around our place they go off further afield. They don’t need water as they get sufficient moisture from their prey so can survive well in all conditions.

A female cat produces two litters per year averaging 4 kittens. In her life she and her female progeny will produce over 100 cats. Each cat eats 300g of meat each day. A male blue wren weighs 8.9g. A male brown antechinus is 35g so a feral cat surviving on blue wrens and brown antechinus would need to kill approximately seven a day.

ESK SHIRE has cat traps available at Lowood Library for a refundable deposit of $44.00. You can call Stuart Johnson at Esk and he’ll pick them up or you can take them to Esk yourself. It costs $75.00 to get your cat back, or they will go to kitty heaven.

Whilst we must eradicate feral cats, we all must control and confine our domestic pets. If you want to be ‘true blue’ yea ha and love of this nation, there’s a way to prevent extinction of our amazing Australian threatened species: Not to put the cat out – but keep the cat in!

(c)copyrightJ.P.McNeill 2004

 

 

 

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