The Dim-Post

January 23, 2013

On cats

Filed under: science — danylmc @ 2:09 pm

Towards the end of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, the main character establishes a bird sanctuary on the edge of the suburbs. Cats from the local houses come and kill the birds, so the hero takes photographs of the mutilated bird bodies and distributes them to the cat’s owners, and then goes a step further and kidnaps a cat (Bobby), which he drives to an animal shelter in another city. I love this interview with Franzen – a bird watcher – in which a reporter asks him if he has anything to confess about his own behavior towards cats:

“Let’s say that I was peripherally involved with some conspirators,” he said. “Never mind where. There was a problematic neighbor with a problematic cat. I like cats – indoors. Some, like this particular cat, are killing machines.

“Over time, I was gradually becoming less than peripherally involved. It occurred to me that maybe we should stop, because if we got caught, it would be pretty bad press. Also, my partner, Kathy – the Californian—feels strongly about people’s connection to their pets. So I thought, ‘Why don’t I write about this instead?”

Let’s just agree that Gareth Morgan – like Franzen and his co-conspirators – is  crazy (And if you haven’t already, check out Morgan’s AMAZING anti-cat infographic.) If you want to stop having fun with the issue and read something informative, I’ve found this article by David Winter and this interview with Mark Farnworth useful.

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101 Comments »

  1. Isn’t our current (mostly successful) national conservation strategy that it’s nice to try on the main islands, but that the offshore islands are our only real hope of protecting all our birds, bats, lizards, wetas etc….? Domestic cats are low hanging (and low value) fruit, in that it’s an easy way to spark a debate, “raise awareness” and all that, but really, you burn more people than you encourage, and the big issues (i.e. what happens in the forests, rather than our urban areas) get pushed way too far back.

    Comment by Nathaniel — January 23, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

  2. There’s a pattern if self-made men thinking outside their area of expertise and winding up sounding authoritarian.

    Comment by NeilM — January 23, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

  3. I always thought cats were a bit of an also-ran in the bigger picture? We trap and poison them outside of cities, but in urban areas they pretty much have free reign?

    IME DOC pest control doesn’t target them specifically outside of sanctuaries, but they’re definitely not on the protected list so if poisoning or whatever is taking place nothing will be done to stop stray/uncontrolled cats getting killed. With dogs they do go out of their way because dog owners go completely batshit (and to be fair, few dog owners let their dogs roam the neighbourhood killing things).

    I’d love to see a repeat of the US study that put cameras on cats. Ideally coercively, so you don’t have the same problem of people withdrawing from the study the first time they see the photos. But that showed pretty clearly that outdoor cats are killer cats.

    Comment by Moz in Oz — January 23, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

  4. @NeilM I blame Bob Jones.

    Comment by Nathaniel — January 23, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

  5. I’d love a camera on my cat. He wanders far and wide and has gone missing for days at a time – locked in other people’s sheds, in some cases. He brings home skinks, birds and rodents, and attacks anything that moves. Mostly he doesn’t kill things, just brings them home and lets them go. I have become expert in using a spade to kill rodents. And several times a day we have to catch a copper skink and put it outside (always physically unharmed and usually still with tail intact). A few years ago we stopped planting swan plants because the cats would attack and shred the monarch butterflies in the garden, and torture the newly emerged butterflies as they dried off their wings.

    I have no sympathy for anyone who claims their young cat does not hunt or play sadistic games with small moving things. They are deluded. And yet I still keep cats. Why? They make great companion pets. They get rid of the nesting sparrows in the roof. They keep the starlings off the tomatoes. They rid the neighbourhood of rodents. Mostly they fail to catch native birds; the piwakawaka and tui tease them mercilessly. And unlike dogs you can go to work during the day and leave them to it. Morgan has a lot of resistance on a lot of fronts to overcome in his campaign.

    Comment by Me Too — January 23, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

  6. “Morgan has a lot of resistance on a lot of fronts to overcome in his campaign”

    I would love it if 4Chan caught wind of his plan…hell hath no fury like a cat derided to those people.

    Comment by David C — January 23, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

  7. Isn’t our current (mostly successful) national conservation strategy that it’s nice to try on the main islands, but that the offshore islands are our only real hope of protecting all our birds, bats, lizards, wetas etc….?

    I think our current strategy is based on the idea that protecting Kakapo, Kiwi etc from complete extinction can only be done on offshore islands and in fenced sanctuaries, but some of the hardier species such as Bellbirds, Kereru and Blue Penguins can do fine on the mainland with a little help. we already have a lot of pest control outside of sanctuaries for that reason (though my Forest and Bird friends will tell you that this pest control is still over a very small area in comparison to the size of the forests where there are still Kiwi, Ruru etc.

    Comment by kahikatea — January 23, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

  8. “I’d love a camera on my cat”

    ive seen some web sites that document exactly that – lots of pictures of the undersides of cars and a few houses where the cat owner had no idea of the location

    weve got a cat who adopted himself into the house – hes aging, fat and lazy – but sometimes his inner sadist shines right through and gives you a good swipe – so im under no illusions. When he was younger the area around the washing line looked like the killing fields

    Comment by framu — January 23, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

  9. “When he was younger the area around the washing line looked like the killing fields”
    I’m surprised Morgan claims only 65 kills per cat per year given how many things my cats catch but then you average that out over older/lazier cats and indoor cats and maybe he’s closer to the mark. My old cat doesn’t hunt or wander anymore but she does enjoy eating the crickets the young cats deliver up. She got quite fat by the end of last summer.

    Comment by Me Too — January 23, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

  10. When he was younger the area around the washing line looked like the killing fields.

    I’m going through a phase now where telling my 2-year old that the cat is ‘just playing’ with the sparrows isn’t cutting it anymore.

    Though a lot of the time I suspect it’s chiefly the stiff northerly that coats the lawn beneath the Pohutakawa in dead fledglings which the cat takes advantage of, it’s now a routine reconnoiter of the backyard (trowel in hand) before breakfast lest I get the dreaded “Can we put the baby bird back in the tree with its Mummy?”

    Comment by Gregor W — January 23, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

  11. “There’s a pattern if self-made men thinking outside their area of expertise and winding up sounding authoritarian.”

    He sounds pretty authoritarian even within it, frankly.

    I think we need to remember that the only reason Gareth Morgan has any prominence is because of what his son did.

    Comment by Hugh — January 23, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

  12. I haven’t checked Morgan’s sources – are they inaccurate?

    Comment by Hugh — January 23, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

  13. Our lifestyle block is right on the city edge, and you wouldn’t believe the number of cats we get. At first we cleared out the ferrals by calling the RSPCA, but there is a constant parade of cats – dumped, wandering, wild and with collars. They cause untold damage amongst our chicks and duckings, we’ve got so sick of them we just trap and shoot on sight now. If they wear a collar, to bad for Tiddles. Now, that is the city edge – but I’ve seen the damage they do to soft targets like birds. So I am in no doubt of the damage cats – domesticc and ferral – do,

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 23, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

  14. Oh one other thing. Since we’ve cleared out the cats we’ve had a boom in bird numbers. Not just natives like a few Tui and plenty of riflemen and fantails, but also thrushes, fantails, sparrows, Myna birds, doves, pigeons – we’ve even got a couple of Pheasants living in the long grass down the back.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 23, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

  15. Heaven forbid you should fence your lifestyle block.
    So no high density, low energy, living for you then?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — January 23, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

  16. I have to admit Sanc, of all the commenters here, you’re the last I expected to own a lifestyle block.

    Comment by Hugh — January 23, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

  17. I can see where Morgan is coming from and agree with his proposed sinking-lid cat policy.

    But if you callously shot my domesticated cat (which I only have due to it effectively being abandoned) in the manner you describe I’d come and slaughter all of your precious birds in front of you and burn your goddamn house down.

    Comment by Rob — January 23, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

  18. Morgan’s qualifications show that he has intellectual fire-power…. never mind that some don’t like where/how he uses it. Its a cheap shot to leverage him off his son. Cats, and other introduced predators, endanger this land’s original species. We should aim to clean out opossums, weasels (and their extended relatives) and cats if we want to restore our habitat to anything approaching its pre-European nature… though its probably unrealistic in a “commercial” world to achieve this. Humans (and bloggers, eh!) seem to prefer finger-pointing, and side-tracking issues…. so perhaps don’t really care too much about the habitat. (We let DOC have offshore islands to “museum” (dead, historic, of zero economic relevance) the interesting bits of our “clean. green” image but otherwise rarely get involved.) It seems, equally, that we also know climate change (getting wilder whichever way you look at it) is a problem … but, again, for someone else. Double-Huh!

    Comment by Doug McNeill — January 23, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

  19. I’d be keen on getting cats registered like dogs, compulsory collars etc. Any unregistered cat could be exterminated on sight, and once we’ve got the feral population down, we can review the actual damage done by domestic moggies. I would be comfortable with having cat-free zones around wildlife-supporting zones (which would include Sanctuary’s lifestyle block), but I want better data before I support a cat-free Aotearoa all together.

    Also, remember that Morgan is an economist. Ever had a conversation with one ? They are *all* authoritarians !

    Comment by mikaerecurtis — January 23, 2013 @ 6:46 pm

  20. Don’t have a problem with ours bringing in the odd blackbird, thrush or sparrow but get well sick of the motherfuckers dumping gimped wetas in the house. I put the wetas back in the garden, but you have to figure a weta with four and a half legs and one antenna isn’t looking at an extended life expectancy.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — January 23, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

  21. “Morgan’s qualifications show that he has intellectual fire-power…”

    @Doug: No, they don’t.

    Comment by Hugh — January 23, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

  22. Intuitively I struggled with the idea that cats, on balance, aren’t a net positive because of their control of rats, weasels, stoats, mice, rabbits and other pests, and now after viewing an item on Living Channel which had one guy itemising his findings over a couple of decades. He listed every animal the cat killed and found a strongly positive effect between pests killed and say.. birds both native and exotic.

    I’m satisfied that accords with my intuition that cats are a net positive.. certainly we’ve got more tuis around now than 30 years ago despite half a dozen cats resident within 30 metres of our house. Sure, these are local effects and maybe specific to my 1/4 acre and a lifestyle block.. but I bet thats the case with several hundred thousand other sections and blocks.
    My takeaway is if you have introduced pests all round you a cat is a suitable antidote and certainly better than an assault rifle, air pistol, traps, poison or DoC contractors tromping the tulips.

    JC

    Comment by JC — January 23, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

  23. My takeaway is if you have introduced pests all round you a cat is a suitable antidote and certainly better than an assault rifle, air pistol, traps…

    Not if your introduced pests are Afrikaaner immigrants.

    Comment by Gregor W — January 23, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

  24. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/cats_actually_kill

    Comment by GB — January 23, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

  25. If you want birds then plant trees

    Comment by Adrian — January 23, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

  26. The major killer of (adult) kiwi is dogs, any dog will do. Cats kill baby kiwi. No cats or dogs in kiwi habitats.

    Cats in New Zealand kill rodents at night, and native birds and lizards in the day. It is arguably safer to keep cats in by day and let them out at night.

    Areas where native birds are recovering well are areas where there is ongoing pest control of a range of pests including possums, feral cat, and stoats.

    Comment by Andrew R — January 23, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

  27. Targeting a single species is useless. Introduced pests have their own ecosystem going – get rid of one species, and another one shoots right up. Feral cats are not good, but mustelids and rats and possums are worse. And a dog can kill a lot more in one rampage. If he really wants to save New Zealand’s birdlife, a far more effective strategy would be to advocate increasing the DOC funding. If he really dislikes feral cats, the SPCA are already doing their best to stay on top of that… So supporting them would work better and face far less resistance.

    @ David C, comment 6: it’s already on Lolcats http://cheezburger.com/6994288640

    Comment by Flynn — January 23, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

  28. The Greater Wellington Council had a pretty clever awareness campaign a few years back:

    [audio src="http://web.archive.org/web/20070704121758/http://www.bethedifference.gw.govt.nz/story_images/3475_Nativebirdsarent_s7032.mp3" /]

    Comment by deepred — January 23, 2013 @ 11:55 pm

  29. @27 Andrew “Cats in New Zealand kill rodents at night, and native birds and lizards in the day. It is arguably safer to keep cats in by day and let them out at night.”

    Erroneous generalisation. Cat incursions into fenced sanctuaries occur almost exclusively at night (cats being nocturnal after all). Once inside; widespread indiscriminate slaughter. Shorebirds in particular are some of the most vulnerable (ground nesting); NZ dotterel, VOC, NZ fairy tern (our rarest bird).

    I am struck by the shear volume of poorly informed comment this debate; even for MSM usual piss poor effort. Cheers Danyl for airing some qualified opinion. Wonderful to see almost universal appreciation for the importance of protecting out unique and beautiful native fauna; especially from those anti the Morgan campaign.

    A predator free NZ is a truly inspiring and worthy dream.

    Comment by Luke. — January 24, 2013 @ 9:42 am

  30. If they wear a collar, to bad for Tiddles.

    I don’t have an issue with people in the countryside shooting cats if it’s a clean kill.

    However, our two cats went missing – they were from the SPCA, were neutered, chipped and had collars with bells and contact details. We’ve never heared anything of them.

    If you happen to kill someones pet maybe try and contact the owners.

    Where I grew up in West Auckland we had a constant supply of abandoned cats who knew instinctively to navigate to my mother’s place. They still do.

    Comment by NeilM — January 24, 2013 @ 10:01 am

  31. “A predator free NZ is a truly inspiring and worthy dream.”

    Not if you value such creatures as Harriers, Falcons, and Moreporks.

    Comment by Quoth the Raven — January 24, 2013 @ 11:47 am

  32. Our cat is a useless hunter. In nine years she has brought in two birds (one practically unharmed but pretty pissed off – and another a young one that was mildly injured), she also brought in a live mouse once and she once brought in a rat (but it looked like it had drowned and she was just trying to claim the kill as her own). The Tui, Kereru and Piwakawaka around our area just mock her from a distance.

    She is however an effective insect and lizard catcher – we find tail-less bronze skinks wandering around inside all the time, she also brings in wetas (generally pissed off and with a randon number of legs – once I had one hide from her in the bottom of my slippers – not a good morning). Possibly the worst was when she went through her phase of bringing in Cicada’s and then playing with them in the lounge noisily at 2am.

    Agree with Mikaere that cats are here to stay but that chipping, collars and bells is not an undue burden for responsible owners and exclusion zones around reserves makes sense.

    Comment by Richard 29 — January 24, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

  33. Compare

    “…If you happen to kill someones pet maybe try and contact the owners…”

    with

    “…But if you callously shot my domesticated cat (which I only have due to it effectively being abandoned) in the manner you describe I’d come and slaughter all of your precious birds in front of you and burn your goddamn house down…”

    And discuss the prudence of informing the owner you’ve killed Tiddles.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 24, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

  34. “Felines, nothing more than felines,
    Trying to forget my felines of love….”

    I’ve never understood the point of domestic cats. I never thought ours was a killer either until the day I found him on the back lawn, lazily batting a broken but still alive and terrified goldfinch from one paw to another. He hissed at me when I took it away to kill. Evil bastards, all of them. If you think otherwise you are deluded.

    Comment by PPCM — January 24, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

  35. “Cheers Danyl for airing some qualified opinion. ”

    You do realise that Danyl called Morgan “crazy”, right?

    Comment by Hugh — January 24, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

  36. #22 by Hugh misses (deliberately ?) the point I was making. To repeat: “Morgan’s qualifications show that he has intellectual fire-power…. never mind that some don’t like where/how he uses it. Its a cheap shot to leverage him off his son…..”
    Hugh might want to argue that Morgan has not used his intellectual firepower in this instance … or even, that economists don’t qualify as thinkers… but it remains a cheap shot to leverage him off his son.
    Morgan has succeeded in starting a debate; it may not go far but surely every little helps. Consciousness-raising is an important activity.

    Comment by Doug McNeill — January 24, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

  37. “Evil bastards, all of them. If you think otherwise you are deluded”.

    Would one be deluded for thinking that lions or tigers or even hornets are not evil? I think one who wants to apply the concept of evil to a cat is deluded. Just as David Winter thinks Morgan’s anthropomorphism of cats in calling them sadists is strange.

    Comment by Quoth the Raven — January 24, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

  38. Saying cats are ‘catty’ just doesn’t have the same ring about it though.

    Cats – thinking of nothing but murder all day since ages ago.

    Comment by Gregor W — January 24, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

  39. @Doug: By saying that somebody has done well because they have “started a debate” you are setting the bar for rhetorical success about as far as it’s possible to go.

    Comment by Hugh — January 24, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

  40. Cats – thinking of nothing but murder all day since ages ago.

    And they somehow manage it despite having empty space between their ears.

    Comment by Joe W — January 24, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

  41. *about as low, pardon me

    Comment by Hugh — January 24, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

  42. “Saying cats are ‘catty’ just doesn’t have the same ring about it though”.

    The ring of bizarre anthropomorphising?

    “Cats – thinking of nothing but murder all day since ages ago”.

    Again, applying the human concept of murder to a cat. Do all predatory animals commit murder when they kill?

    Comment by Quoth the Raven — January 24, 2013 @ 7:39 pm

  43. Of course predators are not murderers. Cats aren’t murderers….but they seem to “enjoy” playing with their prey and dragging out the killing. Perhaps there is a biological explanation for this…..meat tenderizing maybe :-) It certainly looks like “enjoyment” but please don’t accuse me of anthropomorphisisng again!

    The point is there is a natural habitat for each predator. Lions belong in Africa. Tigers in Asia. The NZ Falcon in NZ. Do cats belong in New Zealand?

    Not in my book. Nor do dogs, rabbits, possums, ship rats etc etc. Too late now but limiting future damage is still possible surely? Or do we just give up and admit that predator control will only ever be possible on Kapitii, Codfish, Little Barrier etc?

    Comment by PPCM — January 24, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

  44. Both doctors uttered a vague dry noise in the throat and stirred slightly. Preobrazhensky was the first to collect his wits. Stretching out his hand he said: ‘Papers.’
    The typewritten sheet read: ‘It is hereby certified that the bearer, comrade Poligraph Poligraphovich Sharikov, is appointed in charge of the sub-department of the Moscow Cleansing Department responsible for eliminating vagrant quadrupeds (cats, etc.)’
    ‘I see,’ said Philip Philipovich gravely. ‘Who fixed this for you? No, don’t tell me – I can guess.’
    ‘Yes, well, it was Shvonder.’
    ‘Forgive my asking, but why are you giving off such a revolting smell?’
    Sharikov anxiously sniffed at his tunic.
    ‘Well, it may smell a bit – that’s because of my job. I spent all yesterday strangling cats…’

    ‘What do you do with them … the dead cats, I mean?’ ‘They go to a laboratory,’ replied Sharikov, ‘where they make them into protein for the workers.’

    Mikhail Bulgakov, The Heart of a Dog

    Comment by Joe W — January 24, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

  45. @PPCM: No mammals “belong” in New Zealand, including humans.

    Comment by Hugh — January 24, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

  46. @hugh. Agree. Apart from a couple of species of bat. But as humans we can at least learn from our mistakes and try to rectify them….by working out how to save a black robin for example. Ask a cat to do the same and after two or three thousand years he’s still going to look at the robin and say “yummy”.

    Comment by PPCM — January 24, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

  47. @PPCM: Even the bats are relatively recent migrants from Australia. They don’t have the history here that the various species of birdlife do.

    Comment by Hugh — January 24, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

  48. @hugh. Cats don’t care which came first. They eat native bats as well…

    Comment by PPCM — January 24, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

  49. @PPCM – no they don’t. But, so? I thought you were saying that humans should inform their decisions based on which animals do and don’t “belong”.

    Comment by Hugh — January 24, 2013 @ 11:41 pm

  50. @QtR 43 – are you really as much of a literalist bore as you come across?

    Comment by Gregor W — January 25, 2013 @ 12:15 am

  51. Of course predators are not murderers. Cats aren’t murderers….but they seem to “enjoy” playing with their prey and dragging out the killing. Perhaps there is a biological explanation for this

    There is. It’s to make sure they don’t get bitten/attacked by whatever they’ve jumped on, and to wear it out (and while that’s mostly laughable in New Zealand, they evolved in a country where they were revered for killing snakes and rats).

    Comment by Flynn — January 25, 2013 @ 12:51 am

  52. How many native birds does Morgan want?? The dawn chorus round these suburban parts is like a million-piece orchestra. I can’t imagine any more birdlife could be squeezed in. And the neighbourhood is crawling with cats. Every house has one.

    Do people really want the avian utopia Morgan dreams of, where tuis smother your lawn, where flocks of kaka block out the sun for hours on end, where kea come down from the hills in winter to tear out the eyes of your children, where koreru empty any fruit tree of its fruit and later dump hundreds of mils of plum shit on your drying white sheets.

    Predator-free NZ is just a gormless dream given the volumes of cargo we have coming in and the kinds of cretins who live here. Wildlife refuges are the way to go, like Zelandia and Orokonui. We need more and more around our cities and towns

    How about Gareth fund a refuge? He could name it after himself. The Gareth Morgan Bird Sanctuary. 5000 hectares in the Rimutakas enclosed by $50 million worth of predator proof fence. That would be a legacy worthy of one of the world’s greatest New Zealanders. And could take his mind off the flightless Gareth Morgan Wellington Phoenix.

    Comment by Aztec — January 25, 2013 @ 4:43 am

  53. @hugh. When I was volunteering for the then “wildlife service” on Little Barrier in 1978-79, as part of the cat eradication programme, their prey included everything that moved…including bats. Again, humans fuck up, and I guess if you want to be absurdly literal, “do not belong in new Zealand”, but we…uniquely among predators…can aim to rectify some of those fuck ups.

    Comment by PPCM — January 25, 2013 @ 7:05 am

  54. Plimmerton has a fantastic opportunity to become a haven for birds leaving Mana and Kapiti Islands (predator free and teaming with birds). It would be great if we could confine our cats for a year just to see and hear if there is a difference.

    Comment by Plimmerton — January 25, 2013 @ 9:59 am

  55. I know: let’s ban all motor vehicles. Those damned cars and trucks bowl thousands of birds and other assorted lifeforms, even cats. Save our wandering wildlife!!

    Comment by Scintilla — January 25, 2013 @ 11:12 am

  56. My neighbours have a live cat trap which we share around. When a cat is caught the locals are informed and if no-one claims it – it’s a goner. I caught four ferals in it last year, including one which was coming into the house to find food. This year the local kereru have finally raised a chick to fledging stage – over the last few years the cats have waited until the chick was almost ready to fly and then turned it into a bunch of feathers. It irritates me no end to hear people claim cats have some sort of right to kill the way they do or that it’s “natural.” This country’s ONLY claim to uniqueness is the fact that birds occupied every single ecological niche here until people arrived. We have a responsibility to do what we can to protect what remains of that legacy, since we are the ones who stuffed it up.

    Comment by Neil — January 25, 2013 @ 11:44 am

  57. Aztec #53: I just came up with the perfect idea, and it’s nicely in keeping with the Social Darwinist outlook of those among us.

    How about making areas like Takapuna or Whitby or Ilam free roaming zones for big cats?

    Comment by deepred — January 25, 2013 @ 10:20 pm

  58. Bloody hell Danyl, you have a very high proportion of regular contributors who are either kill animals or harbour an unhealthy animal harming fetish. Stability minus.

    Comment by timmy — January 26, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

  59. >unhealthy animal harming fetish

    Nothing unhealthy about it, it’s all good fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY6DxWFgnJc

    Personally, I like cats. That’s mostly what this debate’s come down to. I just presumed Morgan was being silly on purpose, for holiday fun.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — January 27, 2013 @ 10:26 am

  60. Dear Sanctuary,

    It’s too bad you’re such a gutless loser that you don’t feel you can take responsibility for killing people’s “loved family members” (as I so often see them described on missing posters).

    Has it ever occurred to you that the reason you don’t feel comfortable informing people that you murdered their pet is because your behavior is deeply, deeply shameful?

    As both species are imported to New Zealand, cats have as much right to be here as your precious ducks, which are routinely culled each year by the local council (where I live at least) due to the polluting impact their shit has on the waterways – undoubtedly upsetting the native ecosystems in our streams and rivers.

    I’d like to think you feel guilty when you see those missing cat posters, but the blasé way in which you brought up gunning down domestic cats with collars makes me think you’re probably incapable of even this rudimentary emotional response.

    Funny thing is up until this thread I thought you were a reasonable chap. Now I realise you’re just a self-righteous sadist jerk who simply happens to share similar political views to myself.

    Comment by Rob — January 30, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

  61. “…Has it ever occurred to you that the reason you don’t feel comfortable informing people that you murdered their pet is because your behavior is deeply, deeply shameful..?”

    No. I am uncomfortable with telling people because in my long experience they react like you, and I can’t be bothered anymore with the palaver. Of course, they (and you) have not had to deal with the results. Like the gore of eleven sheep dead or crawling about with their insides ripped out by a pair of “lovable” family labradors, complete with collars. One was so crazed by gore and blood it attacked my father, who promptly shot them both. That made for a charming morning. Or not. And for the cherry on top of our cake that day, I’ll tell you what happened when we took the dead dogs back to the owners – she went hysterical and called her husband who came home from work and he threatened to kill (more of) our livestock in retaliation. So it turns out they were not particularly reasonable about their pets, then. We didn’t bother askingthem for compensation for our sheep, or help in burying them. They were too busy mourning. This is despite the council dog control officer being there as well. Officialdom was on our side. Still, I expect you’ll demand a Nuremburg trial for that.

    But I suppose there is a real difference in that I don’t really “get” the obsessive pet thing. The hypocrisy is rank. Let’s face it, we slaughter babe the pig and lamikins and bambi and daisy the cow in the numberless millions every year without batting an eyelid. People who profess to love cats obsessively often treat what is at the end of the day an animal with appallingly casual cruelty, but they can’t see that – oh no, they are too busy being self-righteous about Gareth Morgan or something. I just find the whole emotional carry-on around pets a bit odd when we industrially farm and kill so many animals, when loving cat owners still buy battery eggs and don’t care if their pork comes from a crated pig who was never been allowed to express him or herself as a pig. That in my opinion is where the real selfishness and sadism is to be found. My pigs snuffle about happily and I delight at the way my chickens cluck and scratch, and my ducks and geese do what ducks and geese do. Like animals should. I find it puzzling that we live in a world where so many children die of hunger and disease every day, and yet the thing which really gets the loathing going is cats. So you see, my emotional priorities lie elsewhere. I was sad when my pet dog of ten years got run over, and I shed a tear when I carefully buried him and put a nice fruit tree on top of him, but at the end of the day he was just a dog and I can always get another, something denied a mother who has lost her child for the want of clean water and $5.00 worth rehydration salts. Perspective is a bitch.

    Finally, I have no doubt that at cats have as much right to be here as my ducks, just not on my property. If the cats stayed at home I’d be hunky dory down with the rights of the cute little fur-children. But as your response indicates, I have learnt that if you take someone’s pet back after trapping it you get nothing but abuse, or a hollow promise they’ll keep the cat inside in future only for it to turn up again in the trap a fortnight later. So you see, people surely do love their cats and they surely do look for them. But most don’t really care enough to actually make sure they keep them inside – after all, that is why they have cat doors, so that their admirably independent feline beast of the night can roam at will. Roam at will to be free to visit my place and kill the birds I have spent fifteen years carefully planting trees to nest in and who reward me with their chirping and their songs and free to maul my happy hens and pick off my duckings, who so cutely followed mum down the stream jut that morning. Cats are efficient and pitiless killers of them all.

    So there you have it. A genuine difference of opinion. It’s a free country, you know.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 31, 2013 @ 12:01 am

  62. . . . your precious ducks, which are routinely culled each year by the local council (where I live at least) due to the polluting impact their shit has on the waterways – undoubtedly upsetting the native ecosystems in our streams and rivers.

    Not quite true. There was certainly no pristine duck-free ecosystem prior to human and cat settlement. There’s only one common introduced species of duck, the mallard (I know, I know), which has widely interbred with the native parera or grey duck. While they, along with introduced Canada geese and Australian black swans, are regularly culled, native species such as paradise and grey ducks and the kuruwhengi or shoveller are shot as game birds. Four native duck species have been driven to extinction since the arrival of humans, along with two species of geese and the native swan.

    Comment by Joe W — January 31, 2013 @ 12:32 am

  63. Last time I checked a cat wasn’t a labrador capable of ripping into sheep and you were talking about trapping and shooting collar-wearing cats “on sight”. This article isn’t about dogs, despite the fact they always appear feature in stories of kiwi’s being mauled.

    Implying I care nothing for people or “the children” (the cheapest of the cheap shots) while I “obsess” over cats is simply you being lazy and framing my position in such a way that it is easier for you to dismiss. Nowhere have I said anything resembling what you are implying. Are you trying to justify your killing of people’s (some of them children, GASP!) pets because the world is full of horrors inflicted upon people? How is killing some kids cat enabling a child access to clean water?

    I’m not sure where I stated my support for factory farming or cage eggs… it’s odd I would do such a thing when I go out of my way to avoid food produced by such methods.

    Basically all I see here is a big load of emotive twaddle that you’ve barfed up onto this forum in an attempt to hide the fact you’re a coward who isn’t much better than a spotty teenage shit with an air rifle.

    Comment by Rob — January 31, 2013 @ 8:18 am

  64. Oh well, can’t please everyone.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 31, 2013 @ 8:33 am

  65. That comment is especially true if you knowingly kill peoples pets which just for the record I find abhorrent.

    Comment by TransportationDevice A7-98.1 — January 31, 2013 @ 8:39 am

  66. Nah seriously, fuck you Sanctuary.

    Your haphazard blather where you paint me as a supporter of factory farming, poverty and dog attacks in order to justify your blasting of people’s pet cats and NOT EVEN HAVING THE GUTS TO TELL THEM is really PISSWEAK.

    Despite being an obsessive cat-owning, child-hating, factory-farming hypocrite I actually broadly support what Morgan has suggested. Keeping cats inside and a phase-out of their role as pets in New Zealand is just fine by me – amazingly I too am actually concerned about the effect they have on native species.

    What I do object to however is sadass egotist c*nts like yourself using a grab-bag of societal woes to justify your vile antisocial behavior. Do you savor the post-shooting afterglow that I assume you smugly derive from your heroic defense of NZ’s wildlife?

    Yes you can’t please everyone, but a wordy asshole like yourself should at least give it one last try. I take it the poorly assembled nature of your brainshit at #62 means you’ve pretty much run out of excuses?

    Comment by Rob — January 31, 2013 @ 9:13 am

  67. I’d say Sanctuary has a right to kill animals that damage his stock. I’d even extend that to saying he can cull feral cats with impunity. But a cat with a collar is someone else’s property, and it’s not automatically OK to damage it when the SPCA is only a phone call away. Also, I have to wonder, if the baby birds are copping a thrashing from the cats, and these birds are his stock, why he doesn’t cage them at night. The idea that you can kill every cat to make your birds safe is clearly not working, that just makes a nice little eco-hole for the next cat. If you have set up something that is a breeding ground full of tasty treats for cats, then small wonder that you would have a lot of cats coming back.

    Also, a trapped cat is not necessarily killing the birds. There’s no proof of that, it’s just guilt by association. There are other predators, particularly on stock that is not protected from predation. Indeed, quite a lot of those are prey of the cats. They could even be what is attracting the cats.

    But it’s pretty hard not to think, from Sanctuary’s tone, that he kills the cats for revenge against middle class values, since that’s his personal obsession, and bragging about it on the internet is most of the fun. That would explain the ridiculous equivocation that enables connecting dying African children with his right to destroy other people’s property. His own little Godwin, that comes up in every conversation. Which is odd, considering just how middle class having a lifestyle block actually is. It’s every hippy’s dream.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — January 31, 2013 @ 9:54 am

  68. “… Also, I have to wonder, if the baby birds are copping a thrashing from the cats, and these birds are his stock, why he doesn’t cage them at night….”

    Do you apply the same logic to women in short skirts vs rapists?

    All I can say is some of you are drawing some pretty long bows. Sure I am a little flippant, but this the internet, not the floor of the U.N. General Assembly.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 31, 2013 @ 10:15 am

  69. Oh cool, so cats are rapists too now?

    Killing rapists on sight – as we all know – is a totally legitimate activity. Who cares if sometimes you don’t actually have any proof? THEIR KIND are all efficient and pitiless killers.

    Do you plan on clearing up that mess you made at #62 any time soon?

    Comment by Rob — January 31, 2013 @ 10:31 am

  70. >Do you apply the same logic to women in short skirts vs rapists?

    No, because women are humans with rights, and birds are animals, your stock that you are trying to protect. Badly, it would seem, from your own descriptions. More false equivocation.

    >All I can say is some of you are drawing some pretty long bows. Sure I am a little flippant, but this the internet, not the floor of the U.N. General Assembly.

    Is it Equivocation Week? Did someone call for you to be tried for war crimes? I think it’s more that you’re being called for being a dick. Call the fucking SPCA if you must trap domestic cats, or build a safe roost for your birds, like a sensible person would. Or wander around killing cats…and getting called a dick, and quite possibly getting bashed up by someone one day. It’s all the same to me.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — January 31, 2013 @ 11:48 am

  71. God you are a dickhead Sancy. Do you get a self righteous eco-activist sticking-it-to-the-middle-class-righty chubby when you kill some-ones loved pet? Wanker.

    Comment by Tim — January 31, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

  72. I’m a (lower?) middle-class “lefty” who is concerned about “eco” issues, among other things.

    I’m quite willing to admit that cats are responsible for the killing of native species, hence my agreement with Gareth Morgan that cats should be kept inside and consideration given as to whether getting a cat for a pet is really a wise choice in New Zealand. I own a cat now because it was abandoned and I’m not enough of a heartless piece of shit to have it put down out of convenience.

    But not killing people’s pets whose crime was potentially only finding themselves on your property, as Sanctuary has admitted to, has nothing to do with the left/right political argument – it is a matter of basic decency and part of belonging to a society.

    His justifications for this shitty behavior which he proudly (anonymously) declares to the internet have thus far been no less than absolutely pathetic.

    He offers the outrage of bereaved pet owners as the reason for why he hasn’t got the testicular fortitude to actually come out publicly in his community as the miserable bastard who kills the local moggies and presents this community outrage as irrational and unjustified.

    Frankly I think that’s worthless cop-out from a despicable coward, I’m sure he understands that if word got around he was responsible for the missing pets in his community he would be totally ostracised, and rightly so.

    His claim of empathy for children in Africa dying of thirst doesn’t really hold much weight if he is incapable of feeling empathy for the child who lives three properties down, who’s beloved cat was killed by Sanctuary just because he thought it might be a threat to his precious fucking pheasants.

    Also, I hate to be bashing on someone for being successful (tall poppy chopper? hahaha), but how does this self-appointed People’s Martyr justify his bloody lifestyle block when children in Africa are dying of AIDS, pigs are being farmed in crates, etc, etc?

    I hate to break it to him, but coming from someone who owns no property and at the current rate of thing is unlikely to ever be able to, he’s just another rich prick.

    Comment by Rob — January 31, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

  73. Hmmm, a friend of mine just noted that it seems cats are to NZ as gun control is to the US.

    Or maybe there are just idiots everywhere on the internet.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 31, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

  74. Still waiting bro…

    Comment by Rob — January 31, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

  75. Also that trite observation that supposedly came from your “friend” looks a bit silly when I am entirely pro-cat control.

    I’m just anti pet-killers.

    Comment by Rob — January 31, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

  76. Still waiting for what? I didn’t actually read any of your posts today.

    I have a bet though that you are working yourself up into such a state that by this time next week you’ll be out campaigning for the mandatory carrying of concealed kittens.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 31, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

  77. Oh cool, so you make a point of not concerning yourself with people who criticise your behavior do you?

    Fair enough I guess when they’re bbviously all just raving nutjobs who haven’t reached your state of enlightenment.

    If only I could be so fucking perfect, can you teach me?

    Comment by Rob — January 31, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

  78. “…If only I could be so fucking perfect, can you teach me..?”

    For that, you will have go to the Dagobah system.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 31, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

  79. Ok cool so I take your retarded forumspeak to mean you’re aware that what you do is pretty much indefensible and you have given up trying to defend it. To me it looks like you have proceeded to take a big smelly shit in your pants here but then I am biased.

    Comment by Rob — January 31, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

  80. Such is the quality of the debate that I’ve been reduced to trolling you for fun to stop myself dying of boredom. Timmy ought to be taking notes. Anyway, I am outta here. This is rubbish.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 31, 2013 @ 9:45 pm

  81. Yea mate you are rubbish. This has been quite an informative exchange.

    Comment by Rob — January 31, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

  82. Hey let’s have a contest to see who is most disinvested in this argument

    Comment by Hugh — January 31, 2013 @ 10:05 pm

  83. >> Apologies in advance, please don’t read on if you don’t care, I know Sanctuary will though because he’s a self-obsessed wanker. I found his behavior pretty disgusting so I re-read his earlier post where he tried to justify it in case I missed something important.

    “No. I am uncomfortable with telling people because in my long experience they react like you, and I can’t be bothered anymore with the palaver. Of course, they (and you) have not had to deal with the results. Like the gore of eleven sheep dead or crawling about with their insides ripped out by a pair of “lovable” family labradors, complete with collars. One was so crazed by gore and blood it attacked my father, who promptly shot them both. That made for a charming morning. Or not. And for the cherry on top of our cake that day, I’ll tell you what happened when we took the dead dogs back to the owners – she went hysterical and called her husband who came home from work and he threatened to kill (more of) our livestock in retaliation. So it turns out they were not particularly reasonable about their pets, then. We didn’t bother askingthem for compensation for our sheep, or help in burying them. They were too busy mourning. This is despite the council dog control officer being there as well. Officialdom was on our side. Still, I expect you’ll demand a Nuremburg trial for that.”

    >> Despite our exchange never mentioning dogs up until this point, and the fact the subject under discussion is cats, the first thing that you come up with to justify shooting pet cats is a one-off random event where some DOGS attacked your sheep and your Dad and he had to shoot them. Oh and the owners weren’t very nice people.

    >> I think it’s pretty well-understood in New Zealand society that shooting dogs (even pet dogs) that are attacking stock is acceptable. Honestly if you shot my cat because it was attacking a wood pigeon in your garden I wouldn’t be all that happy but it is at least understandable.. I would react similarly if a dog was attacking my cat. HOWEVER, preventing the dog from killing my cat would be the aim, I would not seek to kill the dog unless it appeared to be absolutely necessary, such as it appears it was in the situation you describe with your father.

    >> I’ve got to admit I don’t get the reference to a nazi trial here, am I the nazis or am I the allies? Do you consider Nuremburg to be a show trial or are you a supporter of the decision handed down? I’m not sure what you are trying to achieve, we’re talking about you shooting collar-wearing pet cats on sight.

    “But I suppose there is a real difference in that I don’t really “get” the obsessive pet thing. The hypocrisy is rank. Let’s face it, we slaughter babe the pig and lamikins and bambi and daisy the cow in the numberless millions every year without batting an eyelid.”

    >> Ok yes, we all know that society eats meat. Generally most people (including all the vegetarians I have ever met) are Ok with this and understand the difference between animals-as-food and animals-as-pets. You might not agree that there is any difference, but you must be aware that is something of a fringe viewpoint and not one usually held by people who kill animals with little provocation.

    “People who profess to love cats obsessively often treat what is at the end of the day an animal with appallingly casual cruelty, but they can’t see that – oh no, they are too busy being self-righteous about Gareth Morgan or something.”

    >> I’m sorry but this is some pretty weak crap. I actually support the general gist of Morgan’s proposals, although he definitely could have utilised a little more tact in the presentation of his message.

    “I just find the whole emotional carry-on around pets a bit odd when we industrially farm and kill so many animals, when loving cat owners still buy battery eggs and don’t care if their pork comes from a crated pig who was never been allowed to express him or herself as a pig. That in my opinion is where the real selfishness and sadism is to be found.”

    >> The reason people are talking about cats is because Gareth Morgan launched a website with a somewhat aggressive message about cats in New Zealand and he went to the newspapers about it. I have seen plenty of public discussion, including some quite emotional opinions around factory farming when the issue is raised in the media. How is this any different?

    >> I think most people (including most cat owners) would agree that factory farming is bad and would avoid it if they were more aware of where their food is sourced from. Many people already do take steps to ensure the animals that wind up in their bellys were farmed and slaughtered ethically. Unfortunately there are some people who are unable to make a moral choice about where their meat comes from because they can’t afford to, something that you of all people should understand.

    >> This issue with how some of our food producers treat livestock vs providing affordable food for people is something that society needs to work on but I don’t understand why you are raising it when we are discussing your reasons for killing pet cats.

    >> At any rate, using the massive-scale sadism of factory farming to as justification for your small-scale sadism isn’t a valid argument for killing domestic cats that stray onto your property.

    “My pigs snuffle about happily and I delight at the way my chickens cluck and scratch, and my ducks and geese do what ducks and geese do. Like animals should.”

    >> Oh ok my mistake you’re actually a total good-guy who is all at one with nature n shit. Cat owners however hate all animals with a passion.

    “I find it puzzling that we live in a world where so many children die of hunger and disease every day, and yet the thing which really gets the loathing going is cats.”

    >> I think if you were to talk to most pet owners you’d find that they aren’t all that happy about poverty either. Some people mistreat animals, which I believe research shows can lead to a tendency to mistreat humans, but I think it’s a bit of a stretch to insinuate pet owners are all heartless human-haters.

    >> Once again people are talking about cats at the moment because it’s been raised in the media, prior to this I don’t think I’ve actually seen any public discussion around cat ownership in New Zealand. It seems pretty apparent that getting the public talking was what Morgan wanted to achieve and this is the reason for the in-your-face nature of his campaign.

    “So you see, my emotional priorities lie elsewhere.”

    >> This is something a psychopath would say.

    “I was sad when my pet dog of ten years got run over, and I shed a tear when I carefully buried him and put a nice fruit tree on top of him, but at the end of the day he was just a dog and I can always get another, something denied a mother who has lost her child for the want of clean water and $5.00 worth rehydration salts.”

    >> Oh I do have you totally wrong! You’re actually one of us “pet owners” after all.

    >> You shed a tear when your dog got run over by a car, that’s tough man it hurts and it’s something a lot of people including myself have had happen to them. Do you think your memory of this event would be at all changed if your dog had instead been shot by the mean old fucker down the road just because it strayed into his yard for a minute?

    >> It’s not a very polite thing to say but this mother you speak of can actually get another child. I’m not saying that losing a child isn’t a truly horrible thing to happen to someone, but it does happen to people all over the world for all sorts of reasons and these people do sometimes go on to have more children. In this sense humans are just like your dog, we don’t seem to be having any trouble sourcing more of them.

    “Perspective is a bitch”.

    >> Oh Lord Sanctuary, thou art so very wise. No one is so selfless and genuine as to care about poverty in Africa except for you!

    “Finally, I have no doubt that at cats have as much right to be here as my ducks, just not on my property. If the cats stayed at home I’d be hunky dory down with the rights of the cute little fur-children.”

    >> So you’re OK for the birds that nest in your trees to be shot on sight if they fly over or dare to land on a neighbors property? Something tells me this would upset you.

    >> It looks like I was wrong about ducks in New Zealand, it’s interesting to know that the imports have thoroughly interbred with the native ones (cheers Joe W). It upsets me to learn that native ducks are hunted for sport, but then I was also surprised to find that eels are are an endangered species! I think something needs to change here.

    “But as your response indicates, I have learnt that if you take someone’s pet back after trapping it you get nothing but abuse, or a hollow promise they’ll keep the cat inside in future only for it to turn up again in the trap a fortnight later.”

    >> As Ben Wilson stated above you could always choose to involve the SPCA in your cat-trapping activities. If the owner has the cat microchipped they will be contacted and I’m sure the SPCA would be able to start warning cat owners about you so they knew to keep their cats inside otherwise you’re liable to shoot them.

    >> At the moment it would appear very few people in your area know about what you do so they are possibly blindly buying a series of cats to replace the ones you kill and never tell anyone about. Wouldn’t a better solution be for you to be open about what you do so more cats don’t have to be killed, less people have to suffer the gutting feeling of a pet disappearing without a trace and you still get the reduction in roaming cats which is supposedly your motivation for shooting them in the first place. You can always satisfy your urge to kill pets on the repeat offenders, its still not what you’d call noble but at least their owners were warned.

    “So you see, people surely do love their cats and they surely do look for them. But most don’t really care enough to actually make sure they keep them inside – after all, that is why they have cat doors, so that their admirably independent feline beast of the night can roam at will.”

    >> This is quite possibly because they aren’t aware that a cat-obsessed murderous sicko lives in their neighborhood. Again if you let people know that you are a killer of cats they could take proactive steps to keep them away from you.

    “Roam at will to be free to visit my place and kill the birds I have spent fifteen years carefully planting trees to nest in and who reward me with their chirping and their songs and free to maul my happy hens and pick off my duckings, who so cutely followed mum down the stream jut that morning. Cats are efficient and pitiless killers of them all.”

    >> Ok look I’m sorry cats kill your birds. I like cats, you like birds – fair enough. But plenty of farms have been able operate for at least the past 100 years complete with cute ducklings, happy hens, and those pitiless, efficient killer cats. It would appear there is a way to allow for these animals to co-exist, are you sure that your shooting pet cats on sight is really all about saving the birds?

    “So there you have it. A genuine difference of opinion. It’s a free country, you know.”

    >> You post was not so much an opinion as it is a half-arsed sloppy effort to backpedal after you accidentally admitted to doing something that is actually really nasty. Yes I’m pretty sure in our free country we don’t lock up your specific brand of animal abuser and on the balance of things I think it should probably stay this way. This free country also gives me the freedom to call you out on your shit, you know.

    P.S.
    Once again sorry to all the people who’ve had to see all of this, I’d be totally over this whole thing too if it weren’t for Sanctuary’s behavior deeply upsetting me.

    Comment by Rob — February 1, 2013 @ 1:05 am

  84. Is Sanc even sure it’s cats killing his foul? My sister loses hers to Pukeko. Is she justiflied in shooting Pukeko on her property..? Or does she just need to improve the netting over her chick nursery..?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — February 1, 2013 @ 7:40 am

  85. If I may, the Science Media Centre has some good information on cats and their probable effects on the environment:

    http://www.sciencemediacentre.co.nz/2013/01/23/cats-impact-on-native-wildlife-experts-respond/

    Comment by Ataahua — February 1, 2013 @ 9:56 am

  86. Hey! Ataahua … cut it out!!

    This is no place for your “facts” and “evidence”. We’re talking about cute, fluffy cats. And pretty, sonorous birds. How can your “science” tell us anything about them?

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — February 1, 2013 @ 11:14 am

  87. Andrew I think that’s unfair, apart from my initial inflammatory post where I said I’d kill Sanctuary’s birds and burn down his house (hey this isn’t the floor of the U.N. General Assembly after all!) I’ve tried to be objective and aware of the facts in this cats vs birds debate.

    I’ve never denied cats have an impact on New Zealand’s wildlife and have gone out of my way to state this a number of times here. I agree that society is capable of doing things better in this area and support changes in attitudes (and legislation) around cat ownership.

    My issue is Sanctuary’s cowardly killing of people’s pets, I don’t think he’s being very reasonable and think this activity derives more from some sort of personality flaw than a real desire to protect wildlife.

    Comment by Rob — February 1, 2013 @ 11:42 am

  88. Rob,

    I wasn’t having a pop at anyone in particular. Rather, it was intended to be a general, wry observation on the fact that this post has attracted 88-and-climbing comments, while other worthy topics fail to struggle into double figures. That, and the fact I hate science.

    Oh … and you DID say you’d “kill Sanctuary’s birds and burn down his house”. So, y’know … there’s that, too.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — February 1, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

  89. It was a regrettable comment for sure but I haven’t done it and was never actually serious about slaughtering animals and committing arson to prove a point.

    However Sanctuary does kill people’s pets with little-to-no justification and reading the link provided by Ataahua it would appear that the role of cats in the decline of bird numbers isn’t entirely clear-cut. I still think a sinking-lid pet cat policy and mitigating their predatory tendencies by keeping them inside is probably a good thing.

    I’ve tried my best but words cannot express how fucking rank and antisocial I think his behaviour is, and seeing as he’s too gutless to tell his neighbours that he murders their pets it would appear this is one of the few opportunities to try and really hammer home to him that what he does makes him a seriously a contemptible piece of shit.

    Comment by Rob — February 1, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

  90. >what he does makes him a seriously a contemptible piece of shit.

    Well, it’s not an admirable behaviour in itself, anyway. I don’t think Sanctuary is a “contemptible piece of shit”. He just has the wrong idea about what to do about cats, and is callous towards neighbors in this regard. I wouldn’t know, but I’d guess that he probably a nice enough person, like most people are, who just likes trolling some types of people.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — February 1, 2013 @ 8:47 pm

  91. Yeah, it wasn’t that he just had nothing, he was “bored” and “trolling”.

    I find it pretty hilarious that this self-loathing middleclass socialist Jesus is incapable of acting appropriately towards his neighbors.

    I’ve come to the conclusion his internet persona – which at times resembles a caricature of a socialist from some right-wing newspaper – is just something that he finds gives his life a little bit of definition as he kills cats and posts on blogs from his mother’s garage.

    Comment by Rob — February 1, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

  92. Don’t know. Trolling is a trap a lot of people fall into, if they like robust debate. I don’t think you can deduce much more than that they have certain obsessions, which might not have any particularly deep seated psychological reasons. We’re kind of socially trained to obsess in a specialist society, and it’s seductive because you get a stronger and stronger command over your material. Sanctuary sometimes makes good points. To me he’s mostly a victim of the “People’s Liberation Front of Judea” problem, deliberately making enemies of people that have mostly aligned views.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — February 1, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

  93. I’m sorry bro but can you point out where in all of this mess Sanctuary’s debate has been robust? His post attempting to justify his killing of pet cats was a meandering hash of logical fallacies.

    Comment by Rob — February 1, 2013 @ 10:03 pm

  94. And I do agree he sometimes makes good points, in fact up until this debacle I’d generally enjoyed his contributions and thought they added value.

    Unfortunately my respect for him went totally out the window when I saw the way he was totally unable to deal with being called out for his bad behavior.

    Comment by Rob — February 1, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

  95. >I’m sorry bro but can you point out where in all of this mess Sanctuary’s debate has been robust

    Not in this debate, but I’ve read a small book of what he thinks about things over the years, and it’s my opinion that he often debates in good faith. Descent into trolling is also often a tit-for-tat thing beyond a certain point, hence the old adage about feeding it. I don’t think people would have been so instantly bitter on his strange cat killing thing (which does have a reason, albeit IMHO a bad one) if they didn’t generally want to have a go at him for bloodying the odd nose. I can’t say I’m not guilty of this.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — February 2, 2013 @ 10:30 am

  96. Oh ffs, offing peoples family pets with righteous glee isn’t ‘bloodying a few noses’ it is bad boy bubby behaviour and many view gleeful animal harming as a pretty good indicator of sociopathic inclination.

    Comment by timothy j tims — February 2, 2013 @ 10:56 am

  97. I’ve always had cats, but gave the last two away when they clashed with the late wifes German Shepherd – we couldn’t convince her they weren’t self-propelled chew toys. But shit did they slaughter some wildlife. Feral/stray cats should definitely be executed (anthropomorphic enough?), the chipping plan seems OK to me (hell, I’d like animal control to assassinate stray (unchipped/collared) dogs, preferrably with CO on the trip back to the pound). any future cats (as soon as the dog dies) will be besignalled & kept inside at night.

    Sanctuary has the right idea – I’ve killed a few feral cats in my time, too (best not to talk about the 3 days in hospital….). Congratulations Rob, you win “fuckwitted comment of the year” for your piss-poor impulse control. I sincerely hope you dont have access to firearms….

    Ben, how do you discern Sanctuarys motive using only recycled bits? thats a good trick.

    BTW I’ve eaten cat. a bit gamey. dog was better, but nowhere near as nice as horse. mmm, mammals.

    Comment by terryg — February 3, 2013 @ 5:32 am

  98. I love it how people talk about chipping cats as if it was some radical new idea that has the potential to transform the situation, not something that has been overwhelmingly common practice for almost ten years.

    Comment by Hugh — February 3, 2013 @ 7:07 am

  99. methinks Gareth Morgan envisages a different form of chipping. petrol-powered.

    Comment by terryg — February 3, 2013 @ 9:29 am


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