Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Neighbours Noticing Nature

The Neighbour

"I’ve been creating a backyard habitat for the local wildlife for 30 years, I have quite a jungle now so possums frequent, Brush-tailed and ring-tailed, birds have regular stop overs, the King Parrots were feasting on my Lilly-pilly, the Kookaburra’s that wake me in the morning and announce night-time perch in my trees to cack their chorus. The wild animals are ‘my pets’ frequent visitors that I welcome.

One animal that is not welcome is a neighbour’s cat that now stalks in my yard, climbs on my veranda, and lays in wait. Whilst I have tried to discourage it with hissing and chasing, it erupts from my garden and skitters home…and now it has killed a kookaburra. The sanctuary that I have created has become a killing field for someone else’s ‘pet’."

The Research

Many cat owners don’t believe their cat kills, but research has shown “pet cats kill 30-50 times more animals per km2 around towns than feral cats do in the bush”.

A 2020 article from ‘The Conversation’ - ‘One cat, one year, 110 native animals: lock up your pet, it’s a killing machine’ elaborates on these findings, and what can be done to reduce the cat attack impact and concludes “Keeping your cat securely contained 24 hours a day is the only way to prevent it from killing wildlife.”

The Poem

Killer Kitties by Suzanne Pritchard

I have a killer kitty and it looks so very cute
It likes to kill most anything that moves or tweets or hoots
I saw it with a blue tongue just the other day
It patted and it petted it to try and make it play.

But the Bluey’s lungs were punctured, and its head was kind of mauled,
So off into the compost bin the lifeless lump was hauled.
Then kitty found a lorikeet, a tawny frogmouth too
But the birds no longer twittered, only feathers left, half chewed.

We haven’t lived here very long my killer cat and I,
And I wonder why the birds no longer chirp when I go by?
There used to be such wildlife, it’s why we got this place
But now the eerie silence is my killer cat’s disgrace.

Perhaps I’ll get a bell and keep kitty in at night,
We’ll cuddle up together and stop the murderous blight
It’s such a shame the birds have gone, not just for us, but all
I guess the time has come at last to be cat responsible.

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