Saturday, July 24, 2010

Z, a free cat, not a clockwork soft toy.

This is Z and his friend. They are both outdoor cats who perform a useful role reducing the number of rodents around human settlement, as their ancestors have done for the last 4 thousand years They catch large numbers of house-mice and deer-mice. Deer-mice carry the deadly hantavirus which can be transmitted to humans.

Under Edmonton city bylaws any of my neighbours is entitled to trap Z and deliver him to the city pound where I may have to pay a $100 fine plus kennel fees to get him back.

The City of Edmonton would like to eradicate all cats from the outside and limit them to the inside of people's homes. As far as I know, the City has no plan to deal with the explosion in rodent population in the unlikely event that their policy is successful.

Z's sister is an indoor cat. In order to stop her scratching the soft furnishings her owners had her declawed. This is the equivalent of having the tips of all your fingers and toes removed to the first joint. It is regarded as cruel and is outlawed in the UK and 22 other countries, but not in Canada or the USA.


Anonymous said...

If that's how it is over there, then you really should accept the laws of the land. When in Rome...

Jane said...

"When in Rome..". There are a number of philosophical objections to that, but quoting Thoreau et al in defence of pussy-cats would really be asking for ridicule.

Jane said...

On second thoughts I think I should point out that I'm not actually breaking the law. I'm entitled to let my cat out provided I'm also prepared to pay the fine IF my neighbour traps it. That is a big if, have you ever tried trapping a well-fed domestic cat? Backyards in Edmonton are also visited by wild skunks and porcupines, both species that are attracted to catfood and likely to be hungrier than a moggy that turns its nose up at a tin of tuna opened more than 5 minutes ago.

It is a silly law. I may only be a temporary resident, but I am a homeowner and a city tax payer and I'm entitled to lobby to change it.