Do We Need These Tags for Kids, Too?

So asks Matthew Laufenberg, the reader who sent in this photo from the wondrous Passive Aggressive Notes blog:

55 Responses

  1. First of all, kudos to you for noting the source. It seems like the Internet is getting worse at tracking back to the source of photos.

    And second of all, as an avid PAN reader, that is exactly what I thought.

  2. What I want to know is how a cat plays seriously! (Which is how it actually reads – LOL!)

  3. Um, I’m OK with kids being outside…but not cats. They tend to eat songbirds and crap under my porch. The kids rarely do either of those things.

  4. Greg, you need to put your songbirds in cages.

  5. I just bought the domain free-range-cats.com

    I think this could be really big.

  6. Free range cats do tend to grow plumper and taste juicier, I will admit.

  7. Hey, if you have a license and do your hunting in-season, I have no complaints.

  8. Correctly punctuated, one assumes 😉

    Actually I am seriously considering some kind of laminated bag-tag or keychain for DD, who will be making her own way home from school next year, that says something like “Yes, my parents know that I am wandering around unsupervised. But thanks for checking.”

  9. Actually, it’s not ok in many jurisdictions. Both the laws in my county and the bylaws of my condo community state that all pets (including cats) must be leashed outside.

    I know because I have a neighbor who has an honest to goodness phobia of cats. She has no problem with the gray one, the tiny female who goes off into the woods and would still be bringing home dead birds and small mammals if it weren’t for the bell I put on her collar. It is the black one, a big lazy tom who equates going outside with laying in front of the building and demanding to be petted by all the neighbors who terrifies her.

    She called the police on him a number of times, with the cops steadfastly refusing to issue a citation each time. At this point we have reached a compromise where I only let the black one out at night when she is unlikely to be coming in or out.

  10. “They tend to eat songbirds and crap under my porch.”

    I assume you’ll be rounding up the hawks and groundhogs and caging them, too?

    Yeah, cats do those things. They’re cats.

  11. I do know that the Audobon Society doesn’t like outdoor cats too much, which makes sense. Cats like to kill and not always just to feed themselves.

    Its also bad for the cats, as they tend not to live as long. Feline AIDS and street traffic seem to be the biggest reasons.

  12. Diseases from cat-crap also infect sea otters, and is a leading cause at the moment for their decline. However, it is most likely the feral cats, not the ones that people are taking to the vet and keeping up on the necessary vaccinations and such.

    Personally, I praise my cat every time he catches a mouse or gopher in my yard. I am not so happy if he gets a bird.

    When we lived in town, I did keep my cats inside to keep them from walking on other people’s cars and otherwise being annoying.

    I don’t let my dog pee or poop in other people’s yards either, something that people in town let their dogs do regularly until I became the crazy neighbor and made them clean it up! Yes, I chased a woman down the road at 7 am with a bag and had her clean the poop out of my front yard that my kids play in. The strange thing was, there was an orchard across the road, people wouldn’t walk the dog on that side, only on the side with yards. Maybe it was disgusting to them to have poop under the apple trees, but ok with someone’s yard where the toddler’s play?

  13. I like indoor/outdoor cats. They’ve mostly been the happiest cats… kind of like how I let my kids outside.

    Of course, if I put a bell on my kids the neighbors would think I was crazy.

  14. Just another holier than thou dumbass. Why is this world plagued with people like this. Just because they say so, that’s what it is?! I completely understand that the cat should have had a tag, but if the cat is able to remove somehow, what are you going to do? You can’t staple it on him, and you can’t tighten the collar than recommended. You’d think that his neighbors would already know who the cat belongs to. I already know the cats the free roam around my neighborhood, and who they belong too. They never go on my yard (they stay up on the fence), they don’t make noise, they don’t bother my dog, and they don’t make a mess. So I leave them alone. Cat’s don’t stray, at least the ones I’ve known, and they always go home. There are indoor cats and there are outdoor cats. You can’t choose which you have. So if you have an outdoor cat, you need to let be able to roam. How would that bad neighbor like it if he was confined to his apt. Oh…that’s right. It’s all about them. And whatever they feel doesn’t work for THEM, they get rid of. Selfish idiots.

    What I would suggest, is maybe the owner get his cat inked or chipped. That way, he never has to worry about a tag. And his neighbor can be charged for catnapping. lol

  15. I’d be fine with outdoor cats if they respected property lines. We have an indoor cat who does not like it when other cats invade what he considers his space, our yard. This causes problems for us with our cat.

  16. My kid is less likely to be eaten by a coyote or bobcat than my cat is.

  17. ::Blushes:: hope everyone got a laugh. And yes, I think I am going the literal route with a collar and all…

  18. I actually feel that it is safer for my kids to play outside, than it is for my cats!!

  19. It seems like people in many societies feel a need to have X number of problems of significant consequence in their lives. In some neighborhoods, it may be joblessness, crime, crooked leaders or police, air pollution, failing education, dismal economy, crippling traffic, contaminated drinking water, flooding, etc.

    The city I currently live in lists “traffic” as one of its top problems in a recent survey. I moved here from a moderately congested area (though I’d been to much worse), and the traffic here is FAR from problematic… delightful even. If anything, the lights could be timed a bit better. My old neighborhood would throw a spontaneous city-wide party if the traffic were as light and free-flowing as it is here.

    If “the neighbor’s cat is in my yard” or “that cat might not live as long because he’s outside” is a serious problem in your life, you should count your fucking blessings.

  20. Krolik is right. We lived in a town where outside cats were “illegal.” Crazy. We bought a huge cage for our cat (like one that would house several dozen in a shelter so that our cat could semi-free range.

  21. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lenore Skenazy, Gretel Meyer Odell, Gina D, deb milligan, momsblogging and others. momsblogging said: Free range kids: Do We Need These Tags for Kids, Too? http://bit.ly/gu1ZSY […]

  22. Check out the documentary “Secret Lives of Cats” on Snagfilms. You’ll see how deadly a single house cat can be.

  23. As a cat owner, though this makes some of my super animal-loving friends unhappy when I say this, “they don’t live as long when they’re outside” isn’t necessarily a downside in my book, provided they’re not spreading disease. Cats that get very old aren’t really happy. I have one in that state now — an indoor-raised cat that could not have survived outside, and is quite decrepit now. Cats that get outside are happier throughout their shorter lives. And cats would be outdoor predators anyway if we hadn’t domesticated them, and more abundant, probably, So I’ve never really understood why owners get blamed when they go outside and act according to their natures.

  24. Domesticated cats are not native species. Songbirds are. As are hawks, etc. The number of birds killed by cats is shocking. This is more of a problem now given the destruction of songbirds’ habitats. We are talking about endangering species.

  25. […] FreeRangeKids Related Posts:Outrage of the Day: Boy Suspended for Nerf GunExploding Truck Falling into Grand Canyon River Accidents: Preventable?The (Updated, Safer!) Cat in the HatChildren’s Bible Missing a Certain Key PointThe Boom in Baby Snatching (Hysteria) […]

  26. We have an outdoor cat. He has one job, to keep critters from coming in the house. We have one neighbor who has ever complained about it (in a passive aggressive sort of way). I’m really rather glad that particular neighbor lives in a warmer state November through April. 🙂

  27. Not sure how this spiraled into a debate about indoor/outdoor cats.

    You can make tags like that at Wal-mart. They have a little machine by the checkouts to make “dogtags”. They have the heart one, a bone one and ones that actually look like GI dogtags. You can put whatever you want on them I assume. I was thinking of getting a military one for my son then found an online site that will make real dogtags with whatever you want them to say and I’m going to get him a real set (he’s 9 and really into the military).

    As for the indoor/outdoor cat thing. We had cats most of my life growing up and our first one was always an inside/outside cat. Ever since we got him as a kitten. Know what…he lived to be like 18. And he was still kicking. We ended up taking him to a shelter because we couldn’t care for him any more. My mom (it was her cat) had died and I had 3 small kids in the house (2, 1 and a newborn) and he scratched the 2yo twice. My dad decided he had to go along with our neurotic female cat who was about 8 at the time.
    We had other cats come and go but he was still around from the very beginning and was always healthy. There was only once he came home with an injury. He was most likely bitten by a large dog. I found puncture wounds under his back and front legs. He healed on his own and never had any issues. Damn, he was a strong, stubborn cat. He was black colored, half Siamese/half barn cat and was just the best cat ever. We called him Magic. I hated seeing him go (the female was called Folly, she was a fluffy little black cat) but I was so stressed out with 3 kids under 3 and an elderly, demanding cat and another one that was just nuts, lol. They caused me more grief than the kids.

  28. Yeah, cats do those things. They’re cats.

    And they’re non-native in much of the world.

    Cats killing songbirds – in many cases, endangered species – is a big problem where cats were introduced by settlers.

    If all they were doing was knocking off the occasional starling, well, no great loss there. Starlings are bullies and (in America) invasive pests.

    But killing endangered species? We’re responsible for cats being here, and accordingly we have to be responsible for how much damage our own pets (and their offspring) do.

  29. As long as those of you who let your cats wander freely don’t aren’t confused when when they don’t come home. I have friends who, living in the middle of the city, still act surprised when another cat gets hit by a car. Since I often have to swerve around outdoor cats, I’m not surprised at all that they don’t live as long and only hope they don’t suffer, but as long as the people who let the cats roam are OK with that, I don’t worry about it.

    Now my sister who had a small hole in her garage wall when she bought her house and some stray or roaming cat came in nightly to spray her car… She really hates them and the owner that made it her responsibility to fix the garage first to control their cat.

  30. We adopted two feral kittens. They were actually climbing the walls when we tried our best to make them indoor pets. No go.
    Our vet said let them out, daytime only, and establish a routine. She didn’t want to have to declaw them (inhumane). They go out for a morning adventure (and perform neighborhood rodent control) and are home cat napping by lunch.

    I see the analogy. We keep our kids indoors, they climb the walls, and we look for solutions (like medication). It seems so obvious. Just let them outside so they can climb a tree (if there are any left). Problem solved.

  31. Sigh…I didn’t feel like joining the debate on PAN, considering the strong emotions of some cat owners, but here it goes. I strongly support Free Range parenting but do not apply it to my cat. My cat has never been outside in all of her 15 years. If you don’t open the door and let them out when they are kittens, it will not occur to them later on to go outside. Sorry if anyone thinks I’ve given my cat a lousy life because of this. I’ve already lost one cat to a car accident (she was an outside cat when we got her, and she could not be kept inside).

    So why do I let my children be Free Range but keep my cat inside because of safety reasons? I guess because I’m not raising my cat to be independent of me someday. And I selfishly am very happy for her long life.

  32. I love the tags, they crack me up, and I may get some for my grandson. But wait!!! Isn’t having things around a kid’s neck a danger?! Especially a kid that might climb up a tree?! Or climb over a fence?! The horror! LOL

    All our cats have always come in and gone out. We have one that is nearly 17 and still goes out daily. My sister’s cat saw 19… she’d been outside every day of her life, and, my mother being my mother, that cat’s only vet trip was to get spayed. They lived in a couple cities with that cat, including Seattle, as well as in rural areas. She was just a homebody that liked to hang in the sunshine and air on the porch, or in the yard, or on the car, whatever flat space a given home offered.

    I am definitely one of those people who think cats need to go out and climb stuff too. Also, I have a really good friend who has always had cats. As a kid, she lost several cats to car accidents, and so had never let her cats out as an adult. Her youngest cat, now nearly 9, started showing an interest in going outside just last year. We don’t know if it was seeing other cats out there, or the birds, or sniffing the breeze through the screen door just wasn’t doing for him anymore or what, but he got so obnoxious that, at 8, he went outside for the first time. So, some of them do notice, and get really really pushy to go out.

  33. This whole paranoia over pets is a major pet-peeve of mine (pun somewhat unintended LOL). Much like kids, we have an unparalleled paranoia over animal safety and awareness undoing thousands of years of conventional wisdom. If I hear Sarah McLaughlin’s damned Angel song while seeing sad pictures of dogs and cats in cages I’m going to scream! Look, I have nothing against pets but they shouldn’t cost as much to raise a pet as it does to raise a kid. Sorry, this just gets under my skin.

  34. I like the tag. I’m a cat owner in a large city, so I keep my kitty mostly inside for her safety. Yes, she would be happy if she could roam freely without the leash and harness, but she doesn’t understand English, so I can’t tell her how to safely cross the road, avoid predators, and avoid catnappers. *wry grin* If I had a kid, it’d be different, but…
    However, some people *do* let their cats run loose. And I have snatched one before and called the number on the tag because I was worried said cat had gotten out without permission. If she’d had a tag like that, it would have saved her owner a lot of phone calls…

  35. We live in the woods. I have 2 cats & I let them outside. In fact I kick them out at night because I don’t want them climbing onto cabinets & me be not around to kick them off. Besides they really enjoy climbing the trees outdoors and roaming the area–they don’t go so far as to bother other persons.

    And yes I let my kids go outside too.

    LRH
    Blackberry Bold 9000

  36. A note about how many songbirds cats kill: The estimate by the Audubon Society is based upon detailed observation of one (1) expert hunter cat who was very good at killing birds, then extrapolating that to all cats. I.e., *not* a scientific study, just more scare tactics like the scare tactics used against free range kids. Most of my cats have never been any good at killing birds, but quite adept at killing voles, mice, and other rodents I prefer to not have around my house.

  37. I live in an outdoor-cat-friendly neighborhood. When we were moving in several neighbors asked if our dogs were good with cats and they were reassured when we told them we have cats as well. Our cats were strictly indoor cats for about six years. Then when I was in the third trimester of my first pregnancy the cats started running out the door at every opportunity. One day they did it three times and I had *had it*! I decided they could just spend the night out there – I was NOT chasing them down AGAIN! Turns out they loved it and now they’re indoor-outdoor cats. They’re so much happier now and they’ve befriended the other neighborhood cats. They kill things, but so do my dogs. I’ve yet to find a dead songbird, for the record 😉 As for the shorter lifespan – fine. I’d rather they have a good fullfilling life than a long boring one. Plus, this was their decision. They want to be indoor-outdoor cats and it’s fine where I live, so why not?

  38. As long as your kids and/or cats don’t crap in my garden, scrounge in my garbage or howl/fight on my back porch let them wander as they please!

  39. oncefallendotcom: I concur, pet worship has gotten out of control.

    I have always had pets. Love them dearly. My cats are indoor cats because we live on an extremely busy road, and at least one of them is dumb as a rock, and would probably try to lick cars or something. But when I go to the vet, I am always warding off the upselling of vet care.

    One of my cats has a heart murmur. He has had that heart murmur for 10 years at least. Clearly, given that he is 17 years old, it is not affecting him. But every year they tried to convince me I should have an $800 heart ultrasound on him. Obviously, I am a bad cat parent – I said no. He’s a freaking CAT. I could sponsor a HUMAN child for 2 years in Guatemala so that said child could get an education with the money I would spend on a heart ultrasound. It is obscene to spend that kind of money on an animal. I make sure they get their shots, I feed them quality food, I rub their ears and buy them catnip. But in the end, they are animals. I am not paying $10000 to keep them alive for 6 months. If they are in pain and suffering, they will be put down. Otherwise, they’ll have to survive without spa treatments.

  40. I’m sure many cats enjoy the outdoors, and I’ll leave it up to individuals to decide if the risks outside are worth the benefits. However, while I let me kids roam outside, I do not let my cats out. The problem is that while I can educate my kids about their behavior outside, I can’t do the same with my cats. Neighborhood cats kill birds in my yard, poop in my window wells and garden, yowl at all hours of the night, and fight with my cats through the screens. I would support their right to be out in their own yards. However, I really dislike the problems they cause in mine. It seems to me that it is common courtesy to make sure your pets avoid bothering other people. If my kids were going into other people’s yards, making a mess, harassing their pets, yelling in the middle of the night, and shooting birds, they would lose their roaming privileges.

  41. I’ve never had an indoor cat that didn’t attempt to go outside whenever the opportunity arose. They clearly want to be out there and explore. They are hunters by nature not pillows to sit pretty on the bed so unless you have a house full of things for them to hunt, they are happier and truer to their nature being able to go outside.

    When we lived in Cali, the cats had to stay indoors – had been indoors since kittenhood. They were always trying to run out the door. Moved back to Georgia and let them go outside and they were happy as larks. One was hit by a car after a couple years. Sad but not tragic and taught my daughter her first lesson on death. The other is still kicking and healthy 5 years later. He is an expert hunter but has only killed one bird. He prefers chipmunks.

    My cat does wander into neighbors yards and probably occasionally poops there, although he mostly poops in our yard/litter box. And other cats occasionally poop in my yard. My cat may fight with other cats in their yard. I don’t know but I do know for a fact that other cats occasionally come into my yard and fight with my cat. Such is life in the city. If you want a life where nobody bothers you or is occasionally inconsiderate, move to where you have no neighbors.

  42. I can’t fathom a necessity of indoor cats in my area. Family cats growing up were indoor/outdoor, and great as the house was adjacent to a field. We needed semi-outdoor cats or suffer major mice problems. My current neighborhood is zoned for small farms and livestock; again, outdoor cats are needed. My cat is an indoor cat, only because I live on the third story apartment, though another tenant takes her cat out to roam while she watches. My fiancé’s family owns a ranch and rely on a population of seven to ten outdoor cats.

    Before you judge that cats should stay indoors, consider local variations and needs. They may be non-native, but for farmers and ranchers they can be vital.

  43. Seriously, Donna? You think your neighbours should have to deal with you cats waste products and be happy about it as the price they pay to live in a city? That is beyond inconsiderate.

    If your neighbour was pregnant would you be all right if she asked you to come over and clean up the mess? What if she wasn’t, but just didn’t want the hassle of handling your cat’s feces or smelling his urine? Would you do something about that?

  44. I agree with the statement that pet worship has gotten out of control, and I think it goes hand-in-hand with the tendency of many to not be considerate of neighbors where it regards nuisance behavior on the part of animals.

    My pet peeve (pardon the pun) is barking dogs. Why should I have to listen to “arf! arf! arf!” all the time because you think Fido walks on water? He’s a stupid DOG, for crying out loud. Maybe you think he’s precious–frankly, I don’t give a damn. My yard, my rules–and in my yard, I want peace & quiet, not to hear “arf! arf! arf!” constantly. (Every now & then for a minute or two, that’s no big deal.)

    But when you tell a person that they need to control their dog, they almost always respond along the lines of “my dog has as much right to be here as you do,” and then they go on to talk about how their dog has more brains than most people. Yes, really–the same animal that doesn’t have any more sense than to tip their food bowl over and gets tangled around their own shadow because they can’t figure out how to go the opposite direction from which their leash is wrapped around whatever–yeah, right!

    A typical response, when you complain about the noise from their dog barking is “that’s what dogs do,” as if that makes it okay. Well how about this–musicians play loud music. If I’m a musician and I play the drums at 3 a.m. outdoors on my patio, don’t come complaining to me about that, because loud drumming? That’s what musicians do.

    Heck, according to this Yahoo! link, in Italy you can now go to JAIL for having a nuisance barking dog & doing nothing about it. I think we need that law here.

    As for my 2 indoor-outdoor cats–no one has complained about nuisance behavior, and I am glad they haven’t, because I think it’s great they can go outdoors and climb the trees etc. But if they were to go into someone’s yard and trash it, then I’d have to own up to that and fix the problem, not complain “that’s what cats do–don’t like it, move.” Humans come first, not furballs whom we’ve elevated to a level of importance (equal to humans) which they don’t deserve.

    LRH

  45. Indeed, LRH. And I must add that this applies to kids too. I don’t want to hear that your little angel coming into my yard and trampling my flowers in my front yard is “just kids being kids”. What I want is for you and the little brat to come here and I show you where I do *not* want the little angel to be, and you in turn tell the little angel that if he does that again he’s going to be grounded in his room with no TV, no Nintendo, no nothing for a week.

    Sadly nobody wants to take responsibility for their pets (or kids), and thus we have all these laws and lawsuits around them nowadays (I could tell you some stories from my teaching days, such as when gangs infiltrated our schools and suddenly we had the Office of Civil Rights onto us because parents were complaining we were being mean to their poor little minority children because we sent them home if they came to school wearing gang colors, thereby requiring us to also send kids home who were *not* gang members who also were wearing non-gang-related garments that happened to be the same color, but you’d just get depressed).

    Regarding indoor/outdoor cats, my current cats are fat and happy and don’t want to go out, and given that I’ve had 5 or 6 cats killed by cars over the past 40 years, I’m glad of that. Cats don’t understand about “look both ways before you cross the street” and can get complacent about cars, with sad results if you live along a fairly busy city street. The only time I have let my (previous) cats roam is when I lived on a farm, where cars were rare and the local population of mice and voles was out of control even with the fat and happy kingsnake that lived under the barn.

    But that is, of course, cats. Kids are smarter than cats, and can be taught how to safely cross streets and so forth, despite the idiot parents who think their little Johnny is stupid and helpless and will get run over if he plays in the front yard. When I was a kid our little gang of kids ran the neighborhood like little savages, and other than a broken collarbone when my brother managed to crash his bike into a ditch and a broken arm when another kid in our group managed to fall off while swinging on a rope hung from a tree (actually, knowing him, he probably let go just for thrills), we all survived to adulthood. One didn’t survive adulthood, but that’s another story.

  46. I’m not a huge fan of cats crapping in our yard either but whatever. I’ve got so many kids that the cats are hard pressed to spend much time in our yard anyway.

    The funniest thing I ever heard of in this regard was from one of our neighbors. They had this device that looked like a remote control car control and were combing the neighborhood systematically waving it back and forth. The asked if they could go to our back yard. As I let them in I asked them what they were doing. As it turns out it is a device used in conjunction with a cat collar. You put the collar on the cat and it emits a signal so you will be able to locate said cat more easily. When I asked how long the cat had been missing they said it wasn’t, the cat had come back without the collar! The whole system cost them $175. Go figure!

  47. Ann:

    I have a neighbor who built an enclosed outdoor play area for his cats who have FIV. Both of these cats got it from an infected stray.

    In most suburban/urban settings, cats should remain indoors. I can understand if you have a farm and would like to keep a few cats in the barn to chase mice, that’s all well and good. But it is just irresponsible to let your cats roam freely in a neighborhood.

    Kids, kids you can let out all you want and I’ll thank you for it. They can be taught to poop appropriately and avoid cars. Raised properly kids won’t act like the neighborhood predator or screw loudly on your front lawn in the middle of the night.

  48. Cats are some of the most meticulously clean animals in the world. If a cat poops in your yard, I am sure said cat would go to every length possible to hide that fact from you. The argument a cat should remain indoors because neighbors don’t like cat poop is not a valid one.

    Just saying.

  49. I have never ever heard it be advised that a cat should only live indoors here (UK)

    I did read an letter in the local newspaper though that said that children should. There were proposals to build a skate park beside the playground in town, and one elderly lady suggested that now that children had televisions and games consoles, that skate parks and the like were no longer necessary and would only lead to attracting groups of youths who would spoil the lovely outdoors for the elderly people who lived there.

  50. Larry- there is nothing I hate more than barking dogs and the owners that say “well dogs bark”. Dogs that bark here and there, when someones near their yard or something is one thing, but the dogs that bark ALL DAY ALL NIGHT are something else. Those dogs are usually ignored or abused.

    When I was still in TX, we had an awful neighbor that thought it was funny to let his dog bark all night, 5feet from our living room window. we tried everything (even a boat horn in their window), but nothing helped for long. He got lots of tickets, but never did anything to shut up he dog. jail would have been a nice option, but since he was there often as is, who knows if it would have helped. people like that don’t know or care, how grating it is to have to hear the racket.

    Where I live now, extremely annoying dogs are killed. Yes, people take it into their own hands and poison or otherwise kill dogs that bark all day if their owners won’t stop them. (I don’t like this, just wanted to point out that dog worship is not universal.) Often the owners get asked, then threatened, then beat up, before killing the dog, but not always.

    I have indoor/outdoor cats. They are killers, but don’t get many birds. They do get all the rodents and such, I have even lent them out to a neighbor that had a rat in his house. If a neighbor told me they were shitting in their yard or otherwise unwelcome, I would do my best to keep them away from there. so far, haven’t had this problem.

    I tried to keep these cats inside, but they got fat and depressed. I know we will lose them sooner, and have lost several already over the years, but I don’t have the heart to keep them inside. I would rather live a shorter life that was happy, than a long life that is depressing. They get their shots and everything, so they aren’t a menace to other cats.

    Oncefallen- when I see that commercial it makes me SAD. Those animals are innocent victims of humanity, which is why we should be good to them.

  51. LRH- that makes me want to move to Italy. (Not until after I have my kids though, as they don’t “believe” in epidurals!)

  52. I’m not ok with cats being outside. Cats kill for the sake of it… they can’t help it. If you have a cat, please keep it inside!

  53. Somehow I knew this would devolve into a debate about indoor/outdoor cats. @KarenW I can see the arguments on both sides (depending where one lives), but I was amused by your comment that, “If you don’t open the door and let them out when they are kittens, it will not occur to them later on to go outside.” What an orderly life you must live if you only acquire animals as young creatures that have been cared for by other, responsible human beings. Our pets come from more exotic backgrounds (i.e. they’re rescued strays).

    As for poop and shrubbery, we live in a suburban area and it’s not unusual for me to see 5 deer in our yard, really. The impact an entire pride of marauding cats might cause would have would be trivial in comparison, so whatever arguments exist I can’t get excited about the idea that our neighborhood would be cleaner or more orderly absent outdoor cats.

  54. I regularly trap the cats that enter my yard in Austin. Now that it is illegal to kill a cat that is not your own in Texas, I have to save them up and transport them to Mexico, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas or Lousiana to have them killed.

    O do I wish I lived in Wisconsin where it is legal to hunt cats! Or that I had Chinese and Korean neighbors who eat them!

  55. Hattie, my dad got us one of those collars for our dog for Christmas. She kept digging out of the back yard (6 foot fence) into the front yard (3 foot fence), then jumping it and roaming the neighborhood. We took care of that problem with bricks along the base of all our fences, and now we plan to use the collar for Mountain Marco Polo.

    And again with the pet worship thing, we have a dog. She is cute and sweet and cleans up the food my toddler drops. I love her. But if she gets sick or hurt and requires surgery, she’ll be put down. We have a spending limit on any services for the dog, and the most we’re willing to spend is $200. My FIL had a cat. It got sick. MIL took it to the vet and was told they’d need $300 for treatments, plus meds. They put the cat down and got a new one from the shelter.

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