I had a reply to my missive on cats last week by Marcus who wrote:
As to the cat issue- it is long overdue to have owners take responsibility or suffer the consequences. Living in Little River at the old bird sanctuary, we have an obligation to protect the bird life – and being a BP Conservation Covenant with resident tui – there’s one in our kowhai tree now, is a joy. Even in rural areas, with such great bird life families have cats and get really upset if you mention you are trapping them.
One way around this is to loan a live cat trap so you have caught the problem and can warn the owners it may not be so lucky next time. Scare tactics may work. Some people out here catch and kill. We do this for feral cats, and I have caught 5 in the past year coming out of the DOC reserve in Okuti Valley next door to our place. It’s not a nice job but when you calculate how many birds they kill, it’s a necessity
We have a trap library, where locals can loan traps to catch rats to cats. We also have The Okuti River Project, a 5 year plan to reintroduce river edge native planting on an old council strip. There’s also a community lead native plant nursery, which grows trees for the public and projects.
We’re living in paradise and are privileged but it comes with responsibilities too.
Remember that last message cat owners. I caught the tabby cat in our garden chasing birds today. It is living on borrowed time.