THE FERAL CAT PROBLEM AND CORPORATE AMERICA
By Jill Cohen Walker, J.D.
When I heard the news that feral cats were no longer an endangered species in Wisconsin, I decided to find out what was going on because I’ve had lots of experience with feral, semi-feral, and stray cats. I quickly learned that multitudes of abandoned and/or born-in-the-wild cats can now be shot on sight. Of course the reason they’re out there is because they weren’t kept inside by their “owners.” Little Fluffy wasn’t meant to stay indoors where she could be safe, and spaying and neutering was just so unnatural. Those were the “hippie-isms” that caused this problem in the first place. (Mostly, people are too cheap, lazy, or busy to get it done.)
Here’s a little info on those wild creatures. Feral cats have had almost no experience with humans and see us as predators. Wisconsin’s new law proves them right. They’re born in the wild and prefer to stay there unless they can scarf some food from i.e., my deck. Strays, however, are someone’s discarded or lost pets. Eventually, they join up with a feral community or create one, but they’re not as afraid of humans. If they’re not neutered or spayed, they’ll produce litters of feral kittens. The only way to tame the kittens is to catch them before they’re ten weeks old and socialize them with people (other than leftover or new and improved hippies). Some strays will seek a new owner or beg for a warm place to sleep and eat. Those cats make the best companions.
As a supporter of Spay/Neuter and Release Programs, I was a little miffed that the rational behind the new law was, in part, the number of songbirds “murdered” annually in Wisconsin by feline vagabonds. Obviously, a hungry cat will find a way to eat something on the food chain, and songbirds must be a tasty delicacy to feral cats. Of course, there are natural and mechanized predators of cats, i.e., the fisher cat, and the coyote, to name just two, and the automobile or assault rifle . . . but I guess there’s a shortage of the natural kind in Wisconsin.
Not to worry. When it comes to various life forms, Americans have adopted the abortion and death-with-dignity mantras of “disposability.” In fact, it started with animals. If it’s too plentiful, annoying, inconvenient, too much trouble to deal with, or sickly, it gets killed. (Next year, the residents of Wisconsin will complain about the over-population of songbirds, bird droppings on cars, the diseases birds carry, or the noise pollution they produce.)
It was Wisconsin’s hunters who demanded the demise of feral cats because they’re doing what comes naturally—hunting for their food. Evidently, they cut into the hunters’ prey—the stuff that can’t be bought at the local Piggly Wiggly, A & P, or Wal-Mart. Please don’t get me wrong. Hunting is a sport that’s good outdoor fun, keeps us well armed as citizens, and preserves specific groups of animals in the wild (except feral cats who no one wants to preserve). By the same token, cats control the rodent and bug populations.
The cat haters were also in on passage of the new law. Cats carry horrible diseases, they claimed. It’s true. Cats can transmit cat fever, which is no laughing matter, and cat scratches and bites can be quite serious if not treated immediately. Of course, anyone who goes near a feral cat without an updated tetanus shot, protective gloves, and a large towel for wrapping the animal so it feels secure is either nuts or ignorant. A wild animal will not love you instantly, dine at your dinner table, and become your best friend within minutes of eating.
Truth be known, feral cats are a problem across this nation, but only because man hasn’t controlled their populations through spaying and neutering. Now, those critters have strayed—no pun intended—into the domain of corporate America, allegedly causing “undue harm and hardship” to i.e., multi-family living environments, among others. Let me tell you my feral cat story . . .
I live in a decent (somewhat overpriced) apartment in Tennessee that’s situated on a short mountain ridge. The complex is owned and managed by Stephen D. Bell & Company based in Greensboro, North Carolina. They maintain their properties quite well, but (probably unwittingly) are a good example of the Communist takeover of American corporations and the loss of individualism for renters.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Local complexes in my neck of the woods used to offer reasonably priced units. Unfortunately, we were targeted by the “close to Atlanta” crowd, which has led to skyrocketing rents. The city has also opted into the UN’s Agenda 21, making it UN-compliant (and a good reason to relocate). It speaks volumes about who’s controlling what around these parts, why the rents are so high, and why housing is a huge problem for minimum-wage workers or those earning lower salaries. Most people, however, don’t know what’s happening to them, their towns and cities, or their nation.
As an informative e-mailer wrote the other day: “This is a nation of jet propelled, air conditioned, steak eating slaves who are abused, amused, confused, defused, diseased, divided and conquered as well as indoctrinated, intimidated, interrogated, regulated, dominated, irritated, chlorinated, fluoridated, intoxicated, incarcerated, lacerated, vaccinated and decimated.”
I guess most folks don’t have the energy, time, or resources to do what it takes to reverse the process. We’re stuck with high gas prices, wages that aren’t increasing fast enough to keep up with housing and other living costs, while politicians work overtime to drag us into a New World Order.
This method of “governing” has trickled down to corporate America, which includes the rental-housing segment. Landlords have resumed the role of master of the estate and renters are the servants who pay their salaries (and bonuses). While their promotional materials insist they will serve us in our new “apartment homes,” reality proves we’re serving them as we succumb to their increasingly oppressive and intrusive rules. Add to that the takeover of multiple properties by mega corporations and we have the housing needs of the newly defined proletariat owned and managed by a few powerful landowners and management corporations—exactly what the UN had in mind with Agenda 21.
Before you start screaming about what your last tenant’s cat or dog did to your rental property, let me say that property owners have a right to protect their investments, both large and small. There’s no denying that pets do damage, especially if the “owners” are slackers who don’t have a clue about proper animal care. However, after living in apartment complexes off and on for two decades, I believe that such living is not for those who value individual freedoms. It is, however, quite suitable for those who are willing to tow the corporate line or who like living in hermetically sealed containers whereby reality never touches them.
I belong to the first group, but my income forces me into the second group—kind of like being a round peg in a square hole. I want to obey the rules, respect authority, and conform when it’s not ungodly, but something always crops up that sends me into the presence of management. Rarely am I there for anything positive, no matter what I do. I could poop-scoop every lawn in this complex, and they’d still find fault with me.
Before I rented this apartment with my two college-age children, I drove around it to see how it looked at different times of the day. It was impossible to miss the cats that were loitering around what would be my outside deck. I guess they were hoping the bird feeders the departing tenant had outside would remain so they could continue dining on songbirds, mice, and chipmunks. Someone had been feeding those furry critters.
I asked the leasing agent about the cats and she mumbled something about people letting their cats out; but she never told me they had a major feral and stray cat problem. (She also didn’t tell me about the raccoons and ‘possums.) I found out on my own . . . and it didn’t take long. They were here long before I moved in and they’ll be here long after I move out . . . but I’m jumping ahead of myself . . .
Two summers ago, I bought a large piece of lattice and had it cut to fit the opening on my deck, which is almost totally enclosed. The lattice was up for about 30 minutes before management wrote a letter ordering its removal. I had it cut a bit shorter per their request, and explained it would only be up when I was out there with my two cats and one dog. No one would escape and we’d all get some fresh air. Management finally said it was okay.
Enter the feral and stray cats that saw mine from a distance and knew a good meal might in the offing. I talked with management about rescuing them and finding them homes. They set up a trap or two for the critters, but nothing was ever trapped (though the food was eaten). Over the next two years, with occasional support from management, I fed, nurtured, and “captured” 12 cats and made sure they got good homes. It wasn’t my plan to get involved in this effort, but I was tired of taking my trash out at night and finding raccoons, cats, or ‘possums loitering around or ransacking the contents of the dumpster. I also couldn’t use my deck without them coming around.
I called various cat rescue agencies, spoke with the Board of Health, the Humane Society about their Spay/Neuter and Release Program, got spay/neuter donations from one group and vouchers from another. One excellent group, Adoption Option, gave food donations. I finally had my rescue efforts down to a science and my tetanus shot updated. At last count, only five cats came to my deck to eat the food I provided, two of which were about to be placed with a no-kill agency for adoption. Cats that had little or no positive experience with human beings were gradually becoming good companions. It was almost miraculous to watch them change from frightened, feral cats to beautiful, loving animals. All it took was patience, some love, and a willingness to let them set the pace at which it would happen. I thought management was pleased . . . but I was wrong.
Last week, two letters were tacked to my door. The first stated that my lease will not be renewed because I was feeding strays. I have until June 7th at midnight to vacate the premises. The second came after I talked with the complex manager. It stated that she’d read the literature on feral cats I’d provided and didn’t agree. She also said that although I’d removed all the cat food from my deck (which forces me to starve the critters), the continued presence of three small boxes I was using to create a prototype of a cat playground and water dish (really a food container) indicated I was not sincere about stopping my cat rescue program. Poppycock!
You’re probably thinking, “What’s the big deal? She’ll have to move and they can have their cat problem back.” Well, you’re right about the latter, but wrong about the rest. I’m angry. After a long job search and some short-term or temporary positions, my finances are just starting to improve, but still need a major facelift. I don’t earn enough to buy a house; and rentals plus mandatory pet fees are sky high. I’m ripped that my compassion and concern, along with the seriousness of their problem, has cost me a place to live. Remind me not to meddle in the future.
By the same token, welcome to the new corporate America. When 11 kittens showed up at one of the dumpsters, I asked permission to rescue them. I had a no-kill agency willing to find them homes. Two weeks into the process of finding their hiding spots and rounding them up, management stopped me. Now they’re grown cats who will have more kittens. The animals couldn’t win for losing with this on-again, off-again system . . . and neither could I. Like the kittens that were found in a box in one of the dumpsters on the property last year (they were rescued by a caring tenant), I’m sure another crop of disposables will show up this season.
There was a time when management would have been thrilled if a tenant took in a stray or tamed one that was wild and helped find it a home. Not today. Again, with fewer corporations owning the land, the rules have changed; and if you’re not one of their favorites, you’ll never be treated with dignity. Their desire to control far outweighs their commitment to serve, and they’ll smile in your face while they turn you out on the street. Oppression has become sport to those who hold all the power and their numbers are decreasing as power becomes more and more consolidated into the hands of the few.
I don’t know where we’re going to move. Notwithstanding my deep faith, I have humorous images of finding a really good refrigerator box and occupying it with a couple of cats who have no idea what living on the street is all about. It may take such a move for me to acquire enough funding to get a new place to live. What I do know is that I’ll never rent from a corporation that wants to run my life, threaten me, or inspect my “apartment home” to see if I’m obeying their rules.
Corporate America is now part of the SuperSnoop machinery we thought was reserved only for government. From dwelling places to almost all other aspects of our lives, they track us, monitor our spending habits, keep records of the things we buy, size up the balance of our checking and savings accounts, document what we own, what we rent, and rate us socially and politically. Now they even monitor the cats we feed or rescue. Enough is enough.
I’ll move, and if the feral cats, raccoons, and ‘possums return to the dumpsters and decks of this complex and cause problems, it won’t be my fault. I just hope they have good insurance. When the shooting of feral cats begins in this and other states, it may not be just a wild animal that’s killed on this or surrounding private property; it may be a child, someone’s pet, or a tenant. It’s a great way to keep mankind on the road to pandemic and prophesied lawlessness. Keep this in mind: death of any living creature, especially humans, means nothing to those who don’t know the One who is the Creator of all living things, who breathes life into us, and who even sees a sparrow fall.
© 2005 - Jill Cohen Walker - All Rights Reserved
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Jill Cohen Walker earned a BA from Goddard College in 1977, a JD from Franklin Pierce Law Center in 1980, and an MS in journalism at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1999. A freelance writer for fifteen years, she has written numerous articles for tech magazines and newspapers, and co-authored a book on hiring practices in the printing industry.
She taught Social Studies for one year in a northern middle school, and medical-legal and bio-medical courses in the Allied Health division of a local community college for four years. A student of legal history and the US Constitution, she began to study current events and Bible prophecies in March 1985. Her deep interest in and awareness of American politics started during the 2000 elections when she realized the prophetic time clock was ticking fast. She is the co-author of the novel "The Call to Prayer". (www.thecalltoprayer.net).
America is now part of the SuperSnoop machinery we thought was reserved
only for government.