Has anyone seen Gareth?

A number of cat stories are popping up at the moment…it is leaving me with a suspicious feeling.

Firstly an editorial in the Dompost:

Well done, Gareth Morgan.

Now there’s four words the reader is?probably a little surprised to see, given the TOP leader’s penchant for the provocative and sometimes the petty.

But Morgan, who is fronting the party until a new leader can be found, deserves praise for provoking what has now become a more productive conversation around what to do with?beloved pets that are also hard-wired serial killers.

It’s doubtful that would have been possible without Morgan’s admittedly blunt tool of provocation, which he has used to bash down barriers and lay the foundations of new conversations and understanding.

And what have we learnt? Well his methods were sometimes at best questionable but basically he was right: cats kill a lot of birds, including natives, and it makes sense to ask?if we are managing them and their owners as well as we can.

The numbers are compelling: A study in United States found that cats killed between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds each year, including a large number of endangered species.

Closer to home, research at Charles Darwin University put the Australian figure at one million ??a day. And in New Zealand, a Dunedin study suggested that our 1.4 million domestic cats kill close to 20 million animals a year, including more than a million native birds. That excluded feral cats and included only the kills brought home to their owners, so the true figure is sure to be much higher.

Those numbers have helped to reinforce a growing awareness that our pets’ predations deserve a response. Maybe not as extreme as Morgan’s final solution but something along the lines of what is proposed in Lower Hutt, where those wishing to live in a new 14-hectare subdivision will need to abide by a covenant limiting their cat cache to one that is desexed and microchipped.

Feral cats should just be shot. That is why Simon Lusk and I launched The Morgan Score at our new website The Wild.

Then there is the mysterious case of cats going missing then turning up deceased at Wellington Zoo:

A week ago, Kobe the cat took a short walk from his home in Melrose Crescent into nearby Wellington Zoo.

Now, all that remains of him is his collar.

Kobe is one of two Melrose?Crescent?cats who have gone missing in the past year, only to turn up dead days later at Wellington Zoo.

Exactly how the pair of moggies died doesn’t bear thinking about, but it is heartbreaking nonetheless, both owners said.

Wellington Zoo chief executive Karen Fifield?confirmed the two cats were found dead on the zoo’s site, and empathised with their owners.

Anyone know where Gareth was at the time? Does he have an alibi?

 

-Fairfax

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