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.