Felis catus) was introduced into New Zealand by European settlers in the mid 19th century .
Cats can and are used to control rodent populations in many countries and places, they are efficient hunters.
Cats have been used for centuries to keep grain stores safe from rodents that is what we humans have required.
Cats can also be loyal and loving pets, there is always something of the wild about them, which adds to their beauty and intrigue,unless they have been bred to be docile by humans.
Yet cats are vilified for killing wild life,, rodents are wildlife just as much as birds are, some cats in New Zealand and other places are now also wild .
Its a matter of balance and perspective no one wants to see bird populations wiped out neither do we want to see cats harmed or destroyed needlessly.
We have to remember that we humans unfortunately can be a most destructive force,we tend to meddle and up set ecosystems by our ignorance and then we blame the animals Gaia ‘s children for the cause and effect of human error .
Many people and organizations work humanely to redress this issue, helping where they can.
Basic things like having your cat neutered at the vets, caring for it for life ,
looking after its needs as a worthy member of your household.
Not abandoning it but finding a loving home for it if circumstances present that you really feel unable to continue to care for it properly.
To care for the earth and Gaia’s children is not to harm and not to plunder,
Here is what Christine from New Zealand says
I have been aware at times of stray feral cats and it always occurred to me that although people feel disdain towards them they must have originated from human irresponsibility, such as abandoning unneutered cats so I always had an empathy for them.
I felt that like all wild creatures they should be left alone to experience their evolution.
They rarely cause problems as they mistrust humans.
Six years ago I became aware of a tribe of wild tabbies in our community. They came daily to our property to eat the seeds and fruit put out for the birds, it was beautiful to watch as in the main visiting group there were two senior members as well as two older and two younger kittens, all very healthy to look at.
While we were happy to leave them alone other people took it upon themselves to kill them.
Certain cats no longer turned up and around ten were killed. When it was obvious that the beautiful large mother of the kittens had been killed I felt that that it might help the tribe
if they could be caught in a humane trap, neutered and re-released.
The people responsible for killing them eventually agreed that if I paid to have them neutered they would leave them alone.
As we live near to 800 hectares of land I felt there would be plentiful food for them to catch and so survive quite well.
One by one I caught them in a humane trap, took them to the vet and then released them once neutered. I let our neighbours know, some showed compassion but one neighbour continued to kill a few more and eventually there were only five left.
Two of the larger females chose themselves a home with neighbours who were happy to have them as outside pets.
Then something interesting happened….it was as if the three remaining ~ an older male and a male and female kitten decided that I was a safe human and they began to seek me out.
They were persistent and behaved out of character for wild cats.
They chose the smallest female member to come forward as a sort of feline spokesperson in the hope that her sweetness would entice me to befriend them all. I was happy to do so but also wanted to encourage their natural ways as they were so obviously a close family group reminding me of a lion tribe in their interactions. They were always together or within sight of each other.
Each time I set foot outdoors the boy members stayed slightly back while the little female came up close, sat, and then she would hold out a paw. It touched my heart to see this huge effort from a group of cats that had been so terrified of humans.
I tentatively reached out to her paw and made contact. That contact was like information calling them in.
Six years on they are beautiful affectionate members of our family. They are extremely gentle and soft in their interaction with me and never show claws.
They each have their own personality. The father Striker is bold but lovingly bossy towards the kittens often pinning them down to give them a wash. Milly the female has a sweet nature and just loves her life. She’s always busy watching birds or playing games .Her long haired brother Scout chose to live his first year in a tree keeping watch over his family but has since joined the rest of the ground crew.
They are happiest outside and luckily we have a completely covered in deck area with a cat door which allows them to come and go or sleep in the beds provided. They definitely know that this is their safe home and they love being loved, cared for and well fed.
It has taken a lot of sensitivity, quiet, time and effort to ensure they have a peaceful life as they are not like regular cats and still retain a patina of wildness which I encourage and they still eat fruit persimmons top of the list!
In an ideal world they could have stayed together as a large cat tribe, but urban humans don’t often make allowances for wild animals.
If there are stray or wild cats near where you live maybe you could hold a kind and loving place in your heart for these forgotten feline fringe dwellers of society. Remember that they too are evolutionary beings with feelings.
Written by Christine- New Zealand
Posted by Wendy Datta
On 7th December 2015
copyright Wendy Datta All rights reserved