We live in a suburb of Birmingham next to miles of undeveloped forest. Our neighborhood backs right up to the wild, and the hill in our yard is a rabbit warren. We keep it trim but mostly uncultivated for our cotton tail friends. We also have a great horned owl who lives in the woods. He uses our yard as hunting grounds. Our owl friend, like our rabbit friends, is a part of nature’s circle of life. Unless you want your cat (or dog) to be a part of this circle of life, keep them indoors! And this goes for babies too. (Stop leaving babies out on porches unsupervised to get “fresh air.”)
There has been much junk science and salacious soundbites regarding feral cats and outdoor cats. I address grossly incorrect statistics and slanderous pseudo “environmental” jargon on my page dedicated to felines, in my post, Defending Felines: False Statistics & Soundbites. The factual truth – the natural and man-made worlds are dangerous to domestic cats.
It is gruesome to think about the rabbits getting shredded and eaten. But the owls have to live as well. I have a unique relationship with owls. They always find me, and I’ve had an owl companion. Rabbits were my first favorite animal as a small child. My husband and I volunteered in domestic rabbit rescue for a couple years. I care for their wild cousins too. The rabbit carcass pictured is from this morning, as found in our own yard. The ripping of the neck and decapitation is the mark of talons. Great horned owl often sits on our roof at night. Yes, we hear him around the witching hour. Once, he even dropped a piece on our doorstep. There’s a reason the Cherokees called owls flying cats. If cats had wings, they’d move like liquid air – just like owls.
We have one neighbor who refuses to get her half-domesticated feral cat spayed. She created a small feral cat colony with her irresponsibility and willful ignorance. And guess who the neighborhood blamed? The cats. And guess who confronted and corrected the neighborhood, silenced the bored Boomers, and addressed the problem? I did. I trapped the one consistent tom cat. One of our veterinarians neutered him; we relocated the kitty to a farm where outside cats are very much needed.
I also purchased a gift certificate for my neighbor to get her cat spayed. Did she? No. Mama cat survives because she is half tame and the neighbor feeds her. (Domestic cats are hard-pressed to take down a rabbit in their same weight class.) Mama cat has kittens every spring. This is where the proof of my debunking false statistics gas-lighting the gullible public and scapegoating cats is bloody reality: The kittens don’t survive due to the red tail hawks. I love owls, but I am not fan of hawks. They are vicious creatures. And guess who’s eating the majority of your song birds? HAWKS. Hawks are abundant, and have few natural predators other than bigger birds of prey. Unlike a lot of birds of prey, they are very adaptable to mankind. Thus, the overpopulation of their numbers.
Just don’t spay/neuter – keep your cats inside. Please.