To the editor:
Chickadees, sparrows, finches, titmice, juncos, cardinals, and wrens. For decades I have periodically removed their tiny bodies from my yard. The holly and laurel shrubbery my wife planted, partly to create habitat for them, are used as blinds by my neighbor’s multiple cats, to stealthily prey on these lovely songbirds which bring so much joy to our family. For many years now we have only used them in winter to mitigate the impact of these predatory cats on the songbirds. No less infuriating is the loathsome task of removing the disgusting defecation of the same cats. Our mulched beds (her cat litter) a perennial minefield as we plant annuals each and every spring, not to mention the potential health hazard of such feces, host too any number of parasites and pathogens. This is our experience with cats and “the things they love to do.”
On several occasions we have had to remove another neighbor’s cat from our basement and workshop as I leave the ground level doors open in nice weather while working around the property. Twice this cat was politely returned to its owner while politely expressing the wish that the cat’s wandering could be controlled. I still see this cat several times a week, stalking my garden beds and walking across the property.
Thankfully, we are seeing more fox, coyote, and hawks, rare when I was a child, and osprey; I have no recollection of ever seeing these now ubiquitous sea hawks until I was an adult. This remarkably robust natural recovery is a good thing. However, in this lovely estuarine ecosystem where we live and upon which we exert increasing pressure, if anything has “over-populated our little neighborhood,” it is the proliferation of both feral cats and the increasing presence of feline house pets left to roam at large around the neighborhood. Many cat owners decline to even acknowledge, much less take responsibility for, the nuisance their animals represent.
The Warren Town Council, Warren police, and RI Department of Environmental Management certainly have more pressing concerns. Please stop distracting such public agencies, as well as print and television media with misguided pleas for retaliation against coyotes, at taxpayer expense, no less. “What am I supposed to do?” asks Ms. Forshee. How about, like so many other pet owners already routinely do, take responsibility for your animals.
5 Bay Road