ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

The national economy, if you believe the government, is on Struggle Street at the moment and our federal purse strings have been tightened. To fix the myriad of problems facing the country, we must first fix the issue of inflation. According to Treasurer Jim Chalmers, we must get inflation under control, lest it sodomise our way of life for generations to come.

So why aren’t we destroying every roaming cat on the continent?

A roaming cat is simply one existing outside enclosure. Feral cats and ones that belong to selfish urbanites that see no harm in a dead corella here and there. Unfortunately for our budget bottom line and the billions of native animals that live around us, the problem goes much deeper.

How do cats cost the economy billions of dollars? They carry disease. Many of which wouldn’t exist if cats were not allowed to roam. Feline-borne diseases cause upwards of 500 ‘human’ deaths a year and over 8,000 hospitalisations. In terms of direct deaths caused by animals, horses, cows and doggos were the most frequent culprits, accounting for 137 deaths. It’s important to note that these animals don’t tend to roam in urban environments in the way that cats often do.

As for our wildlife, it goes without saying that cats prey on native animals. From birds to small mammals like possums, bandicoots and even small wallabies.

Betoota Heights cat owner Ashley Frisbee does not confine their pet, choosing to instead let the animal have the run of the neighbourhood all day and all night.

“My cat doesn’t kill anything, look at him,” they explained to The Advocate, thumbing through pictures of ‘Mr Peanut’ on their phone.

Mr Peanut is a portly cat with an unrushed existence.

“Mr Peanut isn’t bringing home possums or black cockatoos. He might bring back the odd mouse or rat but isn’t that a good thing? I think confining young cats and controlling feral cats is a good idea but stopping Mr Peanut going for a walk to the shops to perhaps get a special treat of mince for lunch from the butcher is not the answer. The answer is certainly not letting council rangers shoot him as he suns himself on the footpath. They do that and I’m hiring a 12-tonne truck, filling it with diesel-soaked fertiliser and parking it under the council chambers.”

The Advocate spoke to a number of proponents of removing roaming cats from society but none of them were willing to speak on the record, stating their lives would be put in danger for merely speaking out.

More to come.


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