I was reading the paper to the cat last week. She tries to keep up on current events, particularly stories about Ivana Trump and alien landings. We got to a story where a few obscure animal rights groups were calling for the nation's 66 million pet cats to be kept indoors for life.
"Why?" asked Miss Kitty.
"Well," I answered, "this says that free-roaming cats kill from 8 million to 217 million birds a year in Wisconsin alone."
"My, I had no idea there were that many birds in Wisconsin."
"Yes, and one person was quoted as saying, "We don't want our house companions going out and killing other animals.""
"What about mice?" asked Miss Kitty, scratching behind her ear.
"They don't say, but they are also worried about you being eaten by coyotes."
" Then why don't they keep all the coyotes indoors for life? It's like making people bolt and bar their homes and stay inside during prime shopping hours. Why don't they just keep all the criminals indoors for life?"
"Good question, but they say cats are domesticated animals and coyotes are wild animals, and they don't want to appear anti-wildlife."
"Mice are wildlife, so are birds; it's all part of the food chain."
"They apparently want to remove cats from the food chain. For your own protection, of course."
"I thought it was to protect the birds," said Miss Kitty, ever vigilant to flaws in my logic. "And besides do they really enjoy that odoriferous cat box in the laundry room? It's bad enough to walk around in a Tupperware toilet if you're a cat. I've always envied camels. Sand as far as you can see. Go anytime you please."
"They suggested that humans who want their cats to spend time outdoors need to invest in an outdoor enclosure, or walk their cats on a harness."
Miss Kitty got indignant. "You ever tried to walk a cat in a harness! We are not dogs, you know! I've spent a lifetime keepin' your place free of rodents and vermin, and this is the thanks I get. So I eat a bird now and then. And another thing, I've lost more friends to car tires than coyotes. Why don't they have speed limits slow enough to let the cats get out of the way?"
"Wait a damn minute," I protested. "It isn't me, it just a story in the paper."
"Sure, she huffed, "but some self-appointed cat lover will weasel or badger you into makin' me a house cat. You'll fall for it and take me prisoner. Next thing I know, you'll be takin' me for walks in a cat harness. Not for me, buckaroo. I'm leavin'."
"Wait," I pleaded, "Where will you go?"
"Well," she said, "I've always wanted to see Wisconsin.
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