Morgan's pussy riot: Why not arm the birds for a fair fight?

JANE BOWRON
Last updated 08:04 04/02/2013

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Jane Bowron

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OPINION: I was only out of the country five minutes when I received alarmist texts about economist Gareth Morgan's Cats to Go campaign, and immediately imagined deep-fried cats with chips wrapped up in newspapers as the next Kiwi takeaways trend.

What had Morgan done to invoke such a pussy riot I wondered, glad to know Benecio had a caregiver installed in my absence to watch over him should he be plucked from the property by opportunistic fast-food operators.

I have already decided that Benecio is my last pet and out of respect for the great soul that he is to not seek a replacement, but on my return was amused to read Chairman Morgan's one- feline-not-to-be-replaced- when-it-karks-it policy. Good luck with that flawed idea, I thought, knowing full well how hard it is to turn down a cat's purrsistent advances.

Humans can make their laws but a cat's will, will win out, and rue the day a council bylaw, or a DOC decree as a result of an economist's pet campaign, comes between a cat and its caregiver.

It would be a deal-breaker, a wrath incurring imposition, which could result in violent protest as it did back in 60BC when a Roman soldier mistakenly ran his chariot over a cat and was set upon by an outraged mob of Egyptians who, in spite of a plea for calm from Ptolemy XII, mercilessly did him in.

Back then it didn't matter if you killed a cat on purpose or by happenstance, and in the absence of CSI Egypt, with no questions asked, the offending human was immediately put to death. Cats were revered and treated as living gods for their skill at killing all manner of vermin, including mice and venomous snakes. So great was the esteem cats where held in that when an Egyptian household cat died the family collectively shaved their eyebrows off as a mark of respect.

Cats are the numero uno serial killer of wildlife, Morgan claimed on his personal choice of news media outlet, Campbell Live, where he accused the executive director of SPCA, Bob Kerridge, of running a pro-cat organisation at the expense of other animals i.e. wildlife.

While Morgan has chosen to spend his philanthropist dollars on overseas charities rather than at home, he has been sufficiently moved enough by the depletion of local wildlife to pledge $5 to the SPCA if Kerridge euthanises every feral cat.

Neutering is not enough, Morgan says, further encouraging those living next to a household with a cat, that if said cat crosses the boundary line of their property, to bundle it up and take it to the mayor's office. Then the mayor can examine the moggy and if it is registered and micro-chipped it should be granted one of its nine lives back and returned to its owner, or if it doesn't have the required credentials should forthwith be executed.

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So callous of felines and their need to prowl is Morgan that he has called for all cats to be kept inside or in a caged enclosure, and advised New Zealanders to stop donating money to the SPCA till it stops its cato-centric ways. Perhaps Morgan should put more money where his mouth, or his buttocks are in this case, and remove from the many motorcycles he burns up the planet on, all pussy seats.

If he is really intent on declaring war and exacting his odium on Kerridge and cats, then instead of donating $5 towards the destruction of felines, he might push that five bucks towards arming the birds to even up the odds. Morgan maintains that New Zealand's biggest asset is our "natural capital" and that we should "monetise" it, so imagine the comfort and joy of future touring Americans who vehemently believe in the second amendment and the right to bear arms to visit New Zealand and delight in seeing gun-toting wildlife, blazing bullets from their beaks at predatory cats.

Picking on cats is an easy mark. The real destroyers and predators are toxic humans who've had it too good for too long and seem unable to collectively work together to stop the rot.

Instead of championing breeders, surely community awards and monetary incentives should be given to those who've decided not to breed and put the planet further in peril and out of whack.

I'd be happy to donate to that.

- The Press

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