Wednesday, September 27, 2023

In the world of cats there are two main categories of human

I'm simplifying things but it is true. In the cat world - the domestic cat world to be more accurate - you can divide humans into two groups or categories.

  1. Those that don't see sentience in the domestic cat and have the potential for cruelty towards their cat; not blatant or obvious cruelty but sometimes insidious slow-motion cruelty.
  2. Those that are sensitive or very sensitive to the fact that the domestic cat is a sentient being with the capacity to feel pain and to suffer. These people pick up the pieces left by the other group. To put it another way they rescue cats and the other group throw them away.

Here is a story told by a woman which illustrates the categorisation:

She says that a cat "tried to come into my house at the end of June of this year while we were in the middle of a heat wave in WA". So, this is the US and it must have been damnably hot. The pic below is of the tabby cat concerned before and after rescue.

Rescued cat adopted so respectfully and with kindness. Image: Kitten LaRue (

I have just written an article about whether feral cats come into homes. Well, this story answers the question. They do if they are strays and not true ferals. This tired, old cat had been dumped by their owner because - I guess - they were old and tired and also sick. 

The woman: "discovered the cat was very old, she has been declawed, so there was no way for her to catch any food for herself. The cat was horribly dehydrated, had 104 temperature, she was skin and bones and yet she was so sweet and loving!"

She took the cat to a vet immediately. She was x-rayed and found to have bad arthritis in her back. This may have come about due in part to being outside for a long time. She had survived despite being declawed.

The first category I mention above declaw cats while the second category do not. A profound difference in attitude.

The woman concluded her story with these words:

"Poor kitty could barely walk! So, this is quite a success story, I named her Ladybug and she is so much happier now! You can tell she feels like someone’s pet again. She loves to cuddle and gives back so much love, she didn’t deserve to be abandoned and left for dead."

You'll agree that far too many people throw away their cat companion when it is convenient to do so; when the cat becomes a bother or a nuisance. When they get ill because they are old. This is not treating cats as sentience creatures but as 'objects' to possess to decorate the home.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Retired accountant kept three turkeys in her front yard which disturbed the neighbours

Note: within this bizarre story you will find reference to vegan cats which qualifies the story to be published on this website! It is a story about bad neighbours. Crazy neighbours and we have a lot of them.

NEWS AND COMMENT: A retired accountant likes to keep three pet turkeys in her front yard of a townhouse. The lady is Noelle Obcarskas, 64. Her neighbours criticised her for keeping the turkeys in her front yard because of the smell that came from the yard and the noise. News media says that in response she verbally abused her neighbours.

Obcarskas in her yard. Image as per credit.

She posted a series of videos on YouTube of her argument with her neighbours in the village of Pulford, Cheshire, UK.

News media hint or state that she had a tendency to make irrational statements and criticisms of neighbours on her videos and in one video she is shown rambling about "vegan cats" while touring her garden. That's the connection to cats in this article!

She also had a tendency to insult one of our neighbours, John McKimmie, 40, and called him a "little fat bully with a skivvy wife".

She had a tendency to argue with her neighbours both left and right apparently. On one occasion one of her neighbours argued with her because he accused her of deliberately blocking his driveway with large pieces of foam.

My understanding of this dispute (and yours, now, I guess!) is that neighbours on both sides of this lady's home were arguing with her frequently and the root cause of the arguments was the fact that she was keeping three turkeys on her front yard. They disturbed the neighbours.

In other apparent videos she paraded her turkeys down the street while chatting to them. She goaded one neighbour Gareth Lloyd and videoed it at the same time. And on another occasion, she rowed with a neighbour about litter and called him a bully.

We are told that Obcarskas is a vegan which is perhaps why she was talking about vegan cats. Comment: my guess is that she was trying to insult the neighbours by claiming that they fed their cats a vegan diet.

On one occasion she called Mr McKimmie and Gareth Lloyd who had complained about her turkeys, 't***s', 'd***heads', and 'c***s' and added: 'They have left their irrelevant a*** wiping skivvy fishwives out of having anything to say being mere females... In their ego little d*** minds, they are not even ladies.'

Obcarskas walks with a walking stick. At the end of the day after many more examples like the above which I won't bother to repeat here, she was found guilty at the Magistrates Court of harassing her neighbours.

Obcarskas is university educated and she has a partner who lives in Germany apparently. She claimed that she was being targeted by her neighbours because of her Lithuanian heritage and she described her neighbours as "lying Brexiteers with possible pre-senile dementia".

She didn't bother to attend the trial claiming that she had Covid and couldn't. She remarked about that by saying: "It's all about toadyism and Brexit and a couple of people who are very unpleasant. I wish I had gone to the court with Covid because at least I would have had my chance to have my say. I no longer trust anybody. I had never had any issues with any neighbours until Brexit and that's when two little people who are very puffed up wanted a lot of attention.

Sources: Daily Mail and The Times.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Female, moggie rescue cat grew up to be as big as a big Maine Coon

This female, grey tabby, rescue cat looks a little like a big Maine Coon both in their strong, square muzzle and overall size at 17 pounds. She is a random-bred rescue cat. She was found in poor health but flourished in a great home where she is loved to become a monster!

Female rescue cat. A moggie who is loved and who weighs a reported 17 pounds but it looks more! Image:

She was trapped in July 2021 in the US with her three siblings. She's named Florence. They were living under a trailer in Fletcher. They had the usual URIs and were generally ill. They never thought she'd grow up to be so huge. She is adored.

There are some really large moggies out there. But it is rare to see a female this large. Very rare I'd say. I think she is the largest female moggie I have seen.

This is her when she was found:


Saturday, September 23, 2023

Donors to animal charities vulnerable to illegal demands for money because of a hack into a database

NEWS and COMMENT: The Mail Online reports on a disturbing development which affects good people and high-profile people who donate to animal welfare charities. These people are now vulnerable to being conned by criminals making demands for money.

Hackers attacked a survey company which works with more than 40 charities. They stole surnames, home addresses, emails and the amount they donated to charities. The charities concerned include the RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. It is said that the information regarding hundreds of thousands of donors has been stolen.

For example, Friends of the Earth said that data from 93,000 of their supporters had been taken. They are taking the matter very seriously.

Battersea Dogs and Cats said that they had contacted those affected "to offer support and advice".

The RSPCA which is half a million supporters has also contacted them in emails about the hack.

There are concerns that as the hack took place six weeks ago that there may have been subsequent demands on these people since then who might have unwittingly paid up. If they are regular contributors to animal welfare charities and if they have the funds to make regular donations, they might fall foul to these cons.

The hackers got into the computers of a subcontractor, Kokoro, of a Surrey-based company called About Loyalty on August 9, which carries out surveys on the charities' supporters.

It is believed that many hundreds of thousands of donors have been affected. A spokesperson for Kokoro said: 'We are confident the incident has now been contained and there is no ongoing risk to our systems. We have notified those whose data has been impacted.'

The breach is being investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office which has the power to issue fines of up to 17.5 million or 4% of a company's annual turnover if a company or business fails to keep people's data safe.

Potentially and perhaps actually, some high-profile people are involved. For example, Sir Elton John is an ambassador for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Sir Brian May is another individual who is very closely involved with animal welfare charities. He's a wealthy man and it seems plausible that they may be targeted with phishing emails trying to con them out of money.

Phishing: the fraudulent practice of sending emails or other messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Claims made by trap-neuter-release (TNR) volunteers are not always true but TNR is effective and humane

TNR volunteer
TNR volunteer. Great people as far as I am concerned. Image in public domain.

There is a study online dated 2009 (Critical Assessment of Claims Regarding Management of Feral Cats by Trap–Neuter–Return) so it's quite old. I can't read the entire study but I can read the summary which states that the claims that TNR volunteers make are all untrue. These are some of them:

  • Feral cats only harm wildlife on islands and not on continents
  • Feral cats fill a natural niche and don't contribute to the decline of native species
  • Feral cats don't spread disease or they don't act as a reservoir for disease
  • TNR eventually reduces the number of feral cats to zero
  • TNR managed feral cat colonies "resist invasion by other cats".

Harming wildlife

We know that feral cats harm wildlife. It is common sense. They need to eat and in order to eat they need to kill small mammals, marsupials, insects, birds and reptiles. It depends where they live but there is quite a lot of killing. People who dislike feral cats - and there are many scientists who dislike feral cats - exaggerate the amount of killing by this type of cat. 

They take small sample sizes and work out how many animals the cats kill and then they extrapolate that figure and argue that an entire nation of feral cats kill so many billions of animals. This is liable to produce inaccuracies. 

We can't rely on the numbers disseminated by experts as published in studies on websites such as Google Scholar. We certainly can't rely on the numbers stated by Australian conservationists when arguing that they should exterminate all feral cats on that continent.

But feral cats certainly do not only kill small animals on islands. The reference to islands is there because it is known that on several notorious occasions it is argued that feral cats have made extinct certain small species on islands because those animals had nowhere to escape to. The feral cat dominated the island as a top predator and wiped-out small animal species.

Don't contribute to the decline of native species

This is a big argument. I remember, years ago, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds saying that there was no evidence at that time (about 12 years ago) that feral cats endangered the survival of a species of bird. Yes, feral cats killed birds but not in sufficient numbers to put a particular bird species on the brink of extinction. And I should add that a lot of the birds that feral cats eat are old, dying or dead birds.

It may interest you to think about dead birds. How many dead birds do you see? When you walk in the park or anywhere else, you never see dead birds do you? And yet millions and millions of birds are dying every day. That's because while animals like foxes and feral cats are eating them.

In short, there is no hard evidence as yet that feral cats, preying on birds, jeopardises the survival of a species. And the same applies to any other animal species. Except, as mentioned about island wildlife where there are differences.

I don't want to defend the feral cat unjustifiably. They do kill a lot of animals and this is of great concern to conservationists. But my argument has consistently been that humans kill a lot more animals than feral cats and are doing so as I dictate this because global warming, an indirect consequence of human behaviour, is killing millions of animals every day. 

An example of that would be the massive floods in Australia coupled with the massive wildfires on that continent. It is said that the latter killed over a billion animals often small mammals, marsupials and reptiles, the kind of prey killed by feral cats. That's the point I'm making.

To global warming you can add herbicides and insecticides used by humans in intensive farming which kills many animals. You can add tall buildings and windfarms which kill many birds. All human commercial activity kills animals because it might lead to deforestation for example. There are numerous ways that humans indirectly kill billions of animals. Humankind should stop being hypocritical about wildlife conservation and look to themselves first is the primary destroyer of nature.

Feral cats don't spread disease

Often you hear spokespersons for local authorities saying that feral cats have to be eliminated because they have a negative impact upon the health of residents. There is no hard evidence to prove this. None whatsoever. I've never seen it. If you can refer to an example then please comment. There is exaggeration about feral cats acting as reservoirs of diseases.

It is notable that the Covid-19 pandemic was caused by humans misbehaving in killing wild animals in a wet market in China in an unregulated way. Nothing to do with feral cats. Or the pandemic was caused by the escape of pathogens from a bio lab in Wuhan, China. Once again, a human-created massive problem. Let's look to humans for the cause of the spread of disease first before we criticise the feral cat which is the victim of human carelessness.

TNR reduces a colony of feral cats to zero

If a volunteer says that TNR reduces a feral cat colony to a population of zero, they are wrong. It might happen from time to time but in general TNR doesn't produce a zero population. It stabilises the population and it means that the cats are looked after to a certain extent and therefore it is a humane practice. Sometimes people dump cats and they add to the colony. Numbers are often significantly reduced and the resulting colony size is manageable.

The volunteers are happy in caring for the cats and the residents of the area are usually happy that the feral cats are being managed. Sometimes people argue with volunteers and they hate TNR volunteers and there can be some nasty altercations but by and large the management of feral cat colonies works out well.

Resisting invasion by other cats

I don't think that this is correct. If TNR volunteers are saying that their work helps to resist the invasion of the colony by other cats it is wrong to say that in my opinion. As mentioned above sometimes people see a feral cat colony as an opportunity to get rid of their cat because they know that somebody else will look after him or her. That's immoral and it doesn't help the TNR volunteers.

One last point, if you kill all the feral cats rather than look after them and neuter them, you end up with this well-known condition where you create a vacuum and other feral cats come into that vacuum. Killing feral cats is arguably less effective than gradually reducing their numbers through TNR programs. #

The problem for a lot of authorities is that the processes too gradual. Politicians need to see instant results to satisfy the electorate. That is one reason why the authorities criticise TNR programs sometimes. More enlightened local authorities support TNR programs and praise the work of these wonderful volunteers.

Differentiating between wildcat, stray cat and domestic cat in New Zealand

The British Ecological Society says in an article that there have been long-standing conservation efforts to restore the native wildcat in Britain and New Zealand. They've got that wrong completely because there has never been a wildcat presence in New Zealand. And the same applies to Australia. Both these countries have never had a wildcat.

You can't go around shooting feral cats in New Zealand because you don't know for sure if they are feral cats and unowned. This image is by Michael.

The only cats that they have are domestic cats, stray cats and feral cats. And the feral cat cannot be described as a wildcat. They are two different creatures/species. That's because the feral cat ultimately is a domestic cat that is unsocialised. Feral cats can be socialised to become domestic cats with patience. And feral kittens can quite easily be socialised to be domestic cats.

But the true wildcat, a wild cat species cannot be socialised. They might be tamed to a certain extent but they will never be a good pet.

But the title to this article hints at one problem namely this: New Zealand wants to cull i.e. kill all the feral cats in their country because they prey on native species. This is the same attitude as that of the Australian authorities. They have the same problem and they have the same solution: mass killing of feral cats.

But here is the rub on that project. You can't distinguish between domestic, stray and feral cats at a distance. They all look very similar. You can't shoot at a feral cat to cull the animal inhumanely because you might be shooting someone's pet cat. You might be shooting a stray cat which is in between a feral cat than a domestic cat in terms of socialisation.

Although some stray cats are fully socialised. They might have been someone's pet until the day before. So, the shooter might shoot a domestic cat or a stray cat but not a feral cat. You see the problem.

If you want to go around taking pot shots of feral cats which I find disgusting you have to make sure that all the domestic cats are, by law, full-time indoor cats. And that situation would have to be in place for a reasonable time so that you can declare to the world that every cat you see on the streets or in the countryside is not owned and are feral cats. 

You can then be safe to shoot them without being prosecuted for a crime under the nation's animal welfare laws. Or being sued by the cat's owner.

This problem and the solution is exactly the same in Australia. And the same would apply to poisoning cats with a device which chucks poison gel over the animal when it walks passed the device.

The conclusion is you can't go around willy-nilly killing feral cats unless you know that you are actually killing a feral cat and you can't do that currently in New Zealand.

And of course, it is immoral, inhumane, cruel and entirely wrong to shoot feral cats because you don't like them and because they kill native species for the simple reason that humankind put the feral cat there in the first place. They are the victims of human carelessness. To shoot them is to add to the problem. It compounds the problem and makes the human doubly wrong.

Monday, September 11, 2023

American landlords are 10 times more likely to let to cat owners than British landlords

Around 7% of UK landlords allow pets while 78% of landlords in Dallas, Texas allow pets. I'm not making a straight comparison but it is one which works for me and is accurate enough. My research indicates that in the UK around 7-10% of landlords allow pets into their flats. To be clear, this means that a very low percentage of UK landlords allow cat owners and their pets to rent flats. And this is as at September 2023.

American landlords are 10 times more likely to let to cat owners than British landlords
American landlords are 10 times more likely to let to cat owners than British landlords. Image: MikeB

Also, as at September 2023, I'm told in a Daily Mail article that around 78% and 77.2% of landlords in Dallas and Fort Worth Texas respectively have a tolerance for renting out their properties to people with pets. That figure is around 10 times better from the perspective of a cat and dog owner then the UK.

In fact, 80.8% of landlords in Austin, Texas, USA allow people with pets to rent their properties. It is a pet-friendly rental housing stock in America in comparison to the UK which is, on the face of it, the opposite with landlords very reluctant to rent to people with cats and dogs.

How do American landlords do it?

And it is pretty clear to me why landlords in America allow people with their pets to rent their properties. It's because the landlords charge them more in rental! The landlords are covering any added costs that might be incurred if the cat or dog damages their property. They cover this extra cost by putting up the rental. They found that renters with animals pay nearly $2000 more a year than those without animals.

It would seem to me that landlords in America are much smarter than landlords in the UK. They realised that there are a lot of people with pets who want to rent properties and they are prepared to pay $2000 per year extra for the property of their choice. They are paying a premium to rent with a pet but they are prepared to do it. The landlord therefore gets his way. He has $2000 extra in his pocket every year to cover any damage to his property. It's a kind of premium or insurance policy.

The fact of the matter is that American landlords have seen that there are many more people wishing to rent than there were before Covid-19 and there are many more cat and dog owners then there were before Covid-19. And therefore, they have tapped into this extra marketplace. The same sort of increase in cat and dog ownership has taken place in the UK. In short, there are far more cat and dog owners in both America and in the UK than in the past.

In the UK property prices have gone up as usual and mortgages are harder to obtain and when you get a mortgage, they're more expensive so there are more renters with cats and dogs finding it difficult to find a property to rent. Landlords in Britain should let them rent and put up the rental prices for cat and dog owners to make them pay a premium. They will pay it. In this way they will be opening up the marketplace and making more money.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

So many domestic cats so close together saddens me

I have mixed emotions about this video. We don't know where this is or in fact what this is but it must be some kind of shelter somewhere. And some people say that the domestic cat is solitary!! I think that you can see that the domestic cat is no longer essentially solitary because they put up with or adapt to this kind of forced social behaviour where they are crammed together in a small space. But they appear to be safe and cared for which is an improvement on being street cats.

They seem to be getting on pretty well but I would expect there to be some stresses and some fights. They are probably fairly content to be there because the alternative is to be on the street where they wouldn't be looked after. 

Domestic and feral cats accept this kind of unnatural situation if there is a food source. The benefit of the food source outweighs or masks the unnaturalness and unpleasantness (at least potentially) of being so close together. Crammed together actually. It saddens me. It is a symptom of human failure in their relationship with the domestic cat.

So many domestic cats so close together saddens me

They have nowhere to go for a bit of peace and quiet and to claim their own territory. Domestic cats are essentially territorial and, in this situation, they have to put that territorial attitude aside completely despite the fact that it is deeply embedded in their psyche.