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I always said domestic cats were only good for target practice!

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Darkwolf, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Being an enthusiastic cat lover (and my and foreign cats never bite and scratch me :p ) and so it'll come as no surprise that I agree with Tal and Rhetorical Question? on this.

    Our cat, that is my cat, does us and our neighbours good service by keeping the vermin at bay, that is rats and mice and pigeons or rabbits. That's, because we have a cat I don't need to buy a gun to shoot rabbits or pigeons.
    We have a garden but the cat unavoidably strolls around in the neighbourhood, too. Worst deed ever is some buried dropping in a bed of flowers, in fact cats are very clean animals.

    Darkie, I smell another NRA plot to justify gun ownership :p
     
  2. ArtEChoke Gems: 17/31
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    This illustrates my point, instead of a cat owner being responsible for the pet, other property owners are expected to put time, material and expense into preventing the animals from getting on their property or causing damage.

    Why shouldn't the cat owner be required to put a fence to keep their cat in?

    Both are warm blooded mammals, both can exist perfectly well without the intervention of people, both are kept as pets, why is it they can't be compared?
     
  3. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Of course they have to be taken out once and a while in which case they should be on leash, the same thing can be done with cats if you get them used to it from birth.

    Perhaps, but properly taking care of cats does not involve letting them free outside. In fact I think that properly taking care of any pets involves making sure that they do not run off or get killed by the traffic, meaning that they should not be free outside.

    Never ever use human examples when dealing with animals it just does not work that way. Humans are a complete different thing, by that same logic I could say that fish live happily in an aquarium their entire lives.

    [ April 15, 2005, 02:16: Message edited by: Morgoroth ]
     
  4. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Hehe. Yep. I always lough animal rights activists down when they speak about treatment of animals as "inhumane". We did skip that part on semantics in school, did we?

    Arte, cats are a useful species, they are a beniefit to a household and help keeping the vermin at bay. Unlike rats which are vermin as a rule of thumb.

    While rats and cats may be kept as pets cats are more than just that, if you leave out the degenerated indoor sub-species that's even afraid of mice. They hardly count as cats IMO, and they certainly cannot exist perfectly well without the intervention of people.
     
  5. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    If we wish to create a system by which utility is the measure reagrding our respect for life, then how useful are humans? By your standard, which is not mine, btw, how useful are humans in the ecological system?

    Sorry, Chokie, I misunderstood your sarcasm. But by that measure, I have trouble following if you agree with the premise that it's fine to shoot at whatever annoys you in your day-to-day life - in this instance cats - or if you are arguing for a reasonable solution, and that we all share this space and that we can attempt a reasonable and civil approach to solving our differences.

    This question goes to the heart of the notion that we are breaking down as a community and becoming more and more isolated from each other. IMO, it is a real problem for modern American society, and perhaps elsewhere. Let's look at the issue:

    "I'll just shoot at it because it's on my property."

    To be sure, property rights are important, and even in nature, territory is something that is defended by different creatures. Territory may be a certain creature's until something faster and stronger comes along and takes it away from it, or whichever type of creature you wish to use an example here (even human). Other than the former situation, we as people, and to a lesser extent other creatures, form working systems in which there is an interdependence upon which most creatures are able to exist together, at least to some extent. Laws, customs, mutual concern for those around us, helps to keep a civilization from exploding apart and fragmenting into primal pieces. We give respect and consideration, thus we expect the same in return for ourselves and our families.

    We have a system of laws and codes upon which we can settle disagreements on matters that we can't resolve through more civil solutions. It doesn't work perfectly, but it does help keep us togehter. Reasonable men can always find a reasonable solution.

    :rolleyes: Of course, for the less reasonable and considerate, it might appear much easier to just "shoot something." :rolleyes:

    [ April 15, 2005, 05:04: Message edited by: Chandos the Red ]
     
  6. Istolil Gems: 5/31
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    The whole bird feeder thing kills me, you take the mesures to keep other animals like squirrels away so they don't eat the seeds on the birds but knowing full well the area has cats you won't take the extra few minutes to cat proof your feeder too?

    If that's the case get a law that says you can shoot the squirrels too. By eating the seeds they're taking food away from the birds and may cause some to starve, thus endangering the bird population. See what a slippery slope this can be?

    Who's responsible for the "normal" wild animals around. I used to have raccoons get into my trash in an old place of mine. Rather than shoot them I simply put locks on the trash cans. Once they realised there was nothing more to be had they left of their own accord. If the guy was so worried about the birds, why not just move the feeder to a place on his property where the cats couldn't get to it and where the birds would be safer?

    It sounds too much like an excuse to play with guns rather than protecting birds and defending children and property.

    [ April 15, 2005, 05:39: Message edited by: Blackthorne TA ]
     
  7. Arifirh Gems: 10/31
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    @ Morgoroth/Ragusa
    Okay, I got a bit carried away with the box-baby thing. The nature of cats *can* be changed so they'll put up with living in an enclosed space, I just don't think we should. Matter of opinion.


    I think the biggest problem with letting this law go through is the fact that it'll be a gateway law - 'feral' would have to include stray cats. And then it's just going to be cats on an evening stroll. And then the neighbour's cats. It's not a case of everyone happily executing everyone else's pets, all it needs is one or two in a single area with a grudge against cats. They would be too easily defended by this law.

    And then there'd be requests for laws allowing squirrel hunts, foxes, anything else. If they become popular, or the media gets hold of them when some kid gets nibbled by a squirrel in the park. The cat law probably wouldn't get repealed when the numbers are down - what would be the point? It's just more paperwork - so in the end guns would rule.
     
  8. Sticker Gems: 9/31
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    [​IMG] The "it's in their nature to roam freely"-argument is quite funny. Have you ever wondered why it's in their nature to roam freely? It's because they are looking for something to kill. Feral cats spread death and disease, the're not the cute and cuddly kittens some obviously think they are. They are evil! Evil, I tell you! :evil:

    To illustrale my point. On the island of St. Helens (iirc, the one in the middle of the atlantic) the lighthousekeeper had a cat which he let roam freely on the island. In a matter of years the cat had almost killed the entire population of birds on the island and that was a domestic not feral cat. In New Zealand cats have brought many species of flightless birds to the brink of extinction.

    From here

    If you can't control your pet, you shouldn't have one. And I don't think it would led to neighbours killing each others cats. The ones who would, would probably do it no matter what the law says.
     
  9. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    [​IMG]
    If we're specifically talking about various birds coming to a feeder (which seems to be the only argument anyone has), they are no more the property of the owner of the bird feeder than of anyone else. So cats can claim ownership of those lives same as anyone else. People can and do shoot birds at will. Why do you think cats, natural predators of bids, shouldn't be allowed to do that? It's not like cats damage the feeder, which would be someone's actual property.

    Because, for starters, the number of people keeping rats as pets is insignificant compared to the number of people who keep cats as pets. Second, because rats by nature are not clean and can carry many more diseases dangerous to humans than cats. Because cats will keep themselves clean even outside, whereas the only way to keep a rat clean would be to have it locked inside. Because rats can actually cause damage far worse than pooping. Because most people fear rats. Because there is no practical reason why you'd want to keep rats around a house, etc. Did I really have to explain this to you?

    No, the vast majority of dogs need to be outside and free much more than just "once in a while". Dogs need to be on a leash because they can be dangerous to other people. Cats, on the other hand, won't go around biting and scratching people unless people prod them first.

    That's your opinion. Considering it's natural for animals to be free, especially cats, you're advocating a completely unnatural approach. Spayed cats stick very close to the house so unless you live by the road, there's very little chance of them getting run over. And even if they are, that's hardly your problem, so I'm not sure what your point is. Cats are one of the few animal species that will always come back home if they are let out, which is definitely an advantage, not something to be considered a flaw. By your logic, falconers should keep their birds inside all the time, because there's a serious chance they'd kill someone's pet pigeons, for example.

    Oh, and Sticker, again, put a law like that into effect and no cat would be safe, feral or not. If it was easy (or if anyone would actually bother) to distinguish between a feral or a domestic cat, I'd be more or less ok with it. But people who already have no problems killing cats for fun definitely wouldn't all of a sudden start making thorough checks what they're shooting at. If it'd look like a cat, it'd be ok to shoot it. This most important point has been repeated several times in the this thread already but some people just don't seem to want to understand it. I realize that if the value of a cat's life to you is already 0 now, it'd be worth even less with a law like this in effect.

    Imagine you're a cat owner and accidentally let a cat outside after having it inside for, say, 10 years. And just because it's ok to shoot cats outside, your trigger-happy neighbour blows its head off before you can even catch it. Fun, huh?

    Another point that makes the arguments in favour of such a law even more pointless. Trigger-happy people already kill or have cats killed. So why do they need a law like this? Basically just so that no matter what, they could never be guilty of animal cruelty over killing or maiming someone else's pet, because there'd always be a handy excuse at hand. Any cat without a collar would be considered feral. And once you kill a cat, it could hardly protest having the collar removed and be proclaimed feral by the person who killed it. Or rather, just dumped in a dumpster without the owner ever finding out who killed their pet.

    [ April 15, 2005, 12:04: Message edited by: Taluntain ]
     
  10. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I have to say that I disagree with both sides in this issue, I think Darkwolf is a triggerhappy lunatic and I think Tal and the others are blind catloving hippies. ;) Why not compare cats to rats? What is the difference? I have had friends who have kept rats as pets and they have loved them as much as any cat owner loves their cat.

    What we should keep in mind though is that the eco-systems of Europe and the US are quite different. We dont have any, so the cats dont really have much to wreck and they pretty much are a natural part of our eco system. Anything the cats could be a problem to have already been wiped out a long tmie ago in Europe and the things that are left have learnt to cope with cats. In the US the cats seems to be a foreign element that wreaks havoc on an unprepared eco-system. Where I live I see no problem in letting wild cats run around unneutered and wild, many many of them starve or freeze to death in the winter and an untold amount get run over by a car. Here it is the cat lovers who want to deal with the feral cats to save them from such fates.

    Oh and DW, do you really prefer to kill/torture animals before scooping up a bit of poo now and then?
     
  11. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    ...You mean it isn't unnatural to have a cat as a pet? ;)
     
  12. Cúchulainn Gems: 28/31
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    Keeping a pet cat is not cruel as they can be let outside and they will come back out of love and choice not because they have to.

    As for bird owners, the best defense against cats is to get a cat of your own.
     
  13. Arifirh Gems: 10/31
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    Rats are not considered mainstream pets. They are widely considered vermin, for the reasons Tal listed above. I'm sure some people have bacterium cultures in the fridge that they dearly love... Fleming, say... but that does not make them sensible.

    The eco-system in question tends to be people's gardens. Which shouldn't be more of a hassle to cat-proof than to squirrel-proof. Actually getting their numbers down should be dealt with by the government if it's causing a serious problem - they shouldn't dump the responsibility on anyone with a gun.

    I wouldn't call the cats a foreign element (I'm not American, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) but rather the sheer numbers of feral cats is causing problems. I'm sure people can put up with one or two strays if the government keeps to its responsibilities.

    I appreciate the attempt to keep neutrality, but I think that sooner or later, us catloving hippies have it.

    Back to the main argument: is there one actual problem besides poo in the sand box or paying for a bit of chickenwire around the bird feeder that necessitates *killing* as opposed to just scaring the cats off?
     
  14. ArtEChoke Gems: 17/31
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    Ah... well, no they are mainstream pets. They are in every pet store I've ever been to. Now what you're saying is, in their natural state, they are vermin and are often extermintated because of they way they interact in the environment.

    Now lets go back to cats, mainstream pets, who are out of control when they go feral (i.e. their natural state) and reproduce like crazy. Actually cats and rats have a LOT in common. It appears that this is what some people in Wisconsin are seeing.

    Why not? That's how we take care of the overgrowth of deer populations here.

    This is wrong on so many levels... I keep them in my sock drawer, not the fridge, that would be cruel.
     
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Perhaps I'm misreading the law entirely, but to me, it's not like it's going to be legal to drive around your neighborhood looking for cats to kill. It's usually illegal to discharge any type of firearm in a residential setting - you get charged with reckless endangerment. There are very strict hunting laws in the US, and even if such a law passes, you're only going to be able to go after cats in specific, designated areas, most notably areas that are wild, unihabited, with the only other people around being other hunters.

    Look, it's OK to hunt deer in probably about every state in the U.S. that has deer. That does not mean if a deer wanders into my backyard I can simply shoot it. It's illegal to fire any type of gun for any purpose other than self-defense in most residential communities. That's why I don't think such a law is going to turn into a cat killing-fest.
     
  16. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    I am so tired of having to defend myself from personal attack on this issue (that are really nothing more than red herrings) rather than addressing the issue. I do not hunt, I do go to the local shooting range to regularly practice, but as a citizen who is legally authorized to carry a concealed weapon, that is my responsibility. I am not trigger-happy. Gun ownership is responsibility. My heart doesn't race and I don't get all excited about a cat being in my yard. I trudge off to the gun safe, pull out a single shot 22 LR RF, take a single bullet out of the box, walk out, 3/4 of the time the cat sees me coming and takes off, in which case I wipe down the rifle and put it away, or if it doesn't run off, I load the rifle, take the safety off, make sure that there in nothing behind the cat that would be damaged if I were to miss, aim, press the trigger, cat jumps a little, and then flops down in its tracks. I then go pick up the cat and haul it off to the woods for the coyotes, and go back home to clean the rifle. I just created 20 minutes of work field stripping my rifle for one shot, plus the 20 minutes it takes me to haul the cat to the woods and walk back. I waste almost an hour of my day on a deal like this.

    Wow, doesn't that just sound like fun! NOT! :too far:

    It is a matter of practicality. It is not a matter of picking up a little waste. Cats bury their excrement, and I do not have the time to go out and sift the sandbox every time my kids go outside. I like seeing squirrels and birds in my yard, and cats kill them off, and I mean they will kill off the entire population of them.

    I spray my yard for insects; I put up a fence to keep dogs out of my back yard. Some of my neighbors put up electric fences on top of their privacy fences to either keep their cats in or keep the cats out, but there is a liability to that, plus I don't want my kids getting hurt. I do not pull the wings off flies, or torture any animal. Death from a headshot is instantaneous, and as far as death by coyote, well, it is nature’s way, and the cat dies very quickly as well. I have never gone back the next day to see what is left of the cat. It is not like I am drenching them in petrol and lighting them on fire (which one of my neighbors has done, and he was rightfully arrested for it).

    Again, someone explain to me why it is my responsibility to provide my property to my neighbor for his pets use? What compensation do I receive for the use of my property?
     
  17. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
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    I was gonna say... which sounds worse to you, battling a predator then going off to freeze to death in your makeshift den, or a quick bullet to the head? :rolleyes:

    First, have you ever seen little kids play in a sandbox? The first place the stuff goes is into their mouths. Simply scooping out the poo doesn't make the rest of the sand sanitary enough for THAT. If I had to replace the complete contents of my kids' sandbox every time they wanted to play in it, I'd be looking to take some more active measures to keep the cats away.

    And it isn't just a one-time problem, either. Most animals - even feral ones - are creatures of habit. Once they learn that there's a quiet place to take a poo in reasonable peace, that's a habit that won't get broken easily.

    Remember, we're not talking about pets here, or animals that could ever become pets. Feral cats are wild animals and need to be treated as such.
     
  18. Arifirh Gems: 10/31
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    All right - I'm coming round to the fact that these cats are a real nuisance, which I didn't properly appreciate before. I've got a bit more sympathy for the hassle they cause, but I still don't see a reason to kill them rather than get them out of the garden. You say they're creatures of habit - but they'll quickly learn once they start causing a problem that you're going to deal with it.

    If it's just one cat, you could shoot it and be done with it - but there are plenty. From what I can gather the plastic bottle trick works, and is a common solution; there are these sprays Cesard mentioned on page 1; or you could get a dog; install sprinklers; you could even go to the lengths Darkwolf mentioned and get an electric fence if you've got a serious cat infestation.

    My main objection to the law isn't the morality of its legitimate uses - it's the loopholes it'll create. Anyone with a decent lawyer could shoot any cat with little fear of reprisal.
     
  19. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I very much doubt that. The law in question is simply to make cats an "unprotected species" for purposes of hunting, which means you have to have a small game hunting license to legally shoot the cats, just like you need a fishing license to catch fish. Licenses cost money and must be purchased every year, so it's not like everyone with a gun is going to go out and purchase a hunting license because cats are now fair game.

    Now, I don't know the legalities of what Darkwolf does; I suppose since it's on his own property it's OK for him to shoot cats, but I'm not a lawyer.
     
  20. Arifirh Gems: 10/31
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    Ah - I thought it made them unprotected as in 'pests' to be exterminated rather than game, so long as they were feral. I had another look at the site - the criticisms still stand that there would be innocent cat deaths (and I still think it's excessive force, but that's the other half of the debate.) As for the legality, I don't really know enough about gun/hunting licences to argue on firm ground about this. So I'll bow out of this side of the argument and carry on with the hippy morality debate :)


    I missed this earlier - we call treatment of animals inhumane because it's us that should be more humane. We don't call fighting cats/dogs inhumane - if anything, 'humane' means we ought to be superior to the animals, treat them better than they do each other.

    And now we can include the euthanasia debate! :)
    (For the record I'd rather live, even for a day longer.)
     
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