Momentum in the media is a curious thing. When you monitor the world's media like we do at Cage & Aviary Birds, it's intriguing to watch the way stories travel around the globe, carried by the internet and social media. It can be exhilarating when you see one small, but interesting story get picked up, first by one news medium and then rapidly fly around the world, being translated not only into other languages but being interpreted into different cultures. Even though we may not travel to the depths of China or the wilds of the Middle of the East, we can experience stories of conservation triumph and disaster or struggles between those who care and those who just wish to profit. If you look back to previous ages, life was oh, so much smaller for humans. News was local, occasionally national and could take days, weeks, even months to arrive. So when we got to read it, it was already ancient history. No doubt people often felt powerless to affect the world, except maybe within their own communities, or maybe were just not interested!
So, in the past two weeks, it's with excitement that I've read (and we've covered) the news concerning the domestic cat. Let me put my cards on the table to begin with: I'm not a huge fan of the domestic cat. While some people see fluffiness and fun, I see a self-centred predator. And what the world is now starting to see is an awful lot of self-centred predators. Last week a New Zealand conservationist said the cats in his country need to go, particularly as their national bird, the kiwi, is flightless. This week research done in the US reeled out horrendous figures for the cataclysmic effect of cats on bird life in that country.
It's plain to see there are too many cats. The problem conservationists have is what I call the RSPCA mentality: in other words, pet owners who are as selfish as the cats they harbour and who see the animals as harmless, furry friends. As an aside, the selfishness of cat owners is epitomised by those who keep what they call ‘house cats’. And while these cats obviously don't kill birds, it has always seemed to me the height of cruelty to make a cat totally neurotic about going out, just to satisfy some human predilection. But anyway, let's watch this story about cats build. I hope it does. Maybe this is the year of a major cat correction, when humans finally wake up to yet another detrimental impact we're having on the planet and its other residents. Here's hoping.
Hasta la vista...