A question for newspaper vet Dr. Fox begins with an attack on the pet owner:
Dear Dr. Fox • My cat has developed a worrying habit. She is 12 years old and is very fit — she catches at least two animals a week. But recently, she has been panting heavily after any small amount of exercise. A friend suggested she might have diabetes. — R.E.O., Winston-Salem, N.C.
Dear R.E.O. • It disturbs me that you allow your cat outdoors to kill wild creatures on a regular basis. Cats like yours have a collective negative impact on wildlife in many areas, killing ground-nesting birds, fledgling songbirds and small mammals.
Forget your peace of mind and the health of your cat. Who will speak for the vermin?
Memo to Dr. Fox: Cats don’t have to go outside to catch prey. Our oldest cat, 15, lived for a year outside, but since he’s come back into the house, he’s caught lizards that somehow sneak in and even had a confrontation with a snake in the middle of our family room one evening.
Still, I like animals, but I seem to be the last animal liker who realizes that animals are just, you know, animals. They shouldn’t have the right to vote, and their potential liberators do not have the right to harangue. Jeez.