Predatory Instincts

Ada the Bird Catcher


I take my cats for a "walk" once or twice a day, weather permitting. I do not let them run free without human escort. I tell myself the lie that by supervising them I control the risk to both the cats and wildlife. Predictably, this doesn't always work.

Within just a few seconds I noticed Ada was stalking something, and just about the time I realized it was a small bird, she had it. The poor thing cried terribly. Ada evaded me when I tried to rescue it and it was probably in her mouth for at least 10 seconds before I got there. I grabbed her by the skin on the back of her neck and she let it go. The bird flew normally up into a tree with the rest of its flock. I know it is probably at least slightly injured but hopefully it will recover.

A few months ago my youngest cat Shadow caught a small lizard in his mouth. I was able to free it as well and later saw a slightly larger lizard in the same place, so I think it was saved. Of course, the cats also kill numerous insects and spiders. I admit to feeling guilty about these events.

This is why you shouldn't let your cats run free. I love my cats but they are hard on wildlife. Cats are often referred to as Felis domesticus, but they aren't really a species, but a subspecies of African wildcats (correct name Felis catus domesticus). Basically, they are an invasive species from another continent that can damage endemic ecosystems. Get them "fixed" and keep them in the house.


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