Tuesday, January 22, 2013


There is a small but significant move here to rid our country of cats. The suggestion has caused a wave of alarm from a lot of people who love their cats and can hardly imagine a life without them.

The thinking is that cats are killers, and what they kill most of is birds. Our precious native birds are under threat not just from wild and stray cats but the tame moggies that live with us, are well fed, but can't resist the flutter and cheep from any bush or tree within cooee. The suggestion is that everyone who now has a cat should view it as the last cat in their lives. When it dies, we shouldn't get another one. If everybody did that, there would be no more cats, and lots and lots of birds.

Whoever said that knows absolutely nothing about cats.

We bought our first last cat. It cost us five shillings. It was many years ago, we were new to things then and didn't know much about cats either. Somehow it survived – and that's fact #1 about cats. They are survivors. He lived for the requisite number of years and then died. We found the next last cat in an Auckland city street, said ah poor kitty, and brought her home to a flat where pets weren't allowed. We hid her for as long as possible but when she started to make calling noises we had to make the terrible decision to have her killed. That is fact #2 about cats – they force terrible decisions on you.

Since then we have had many last cats and every one of them has appeared out of nowhere and needed help. We have never set out to acquire them, not even for nothing. Fact #3 – cats know where the fools live, they can read the signs as they watch from roadsides and hedges. They make their move, they have a repertoire of mournful cries, and they turn on personalities that can melt hearts. Every one of ours has been cherished, but considered the last cat we'd have. Fact #4 – cats care nothing for such attitudes, they know how to manipulate.

Yes, they hunt occasionally, although I wish they didn't and I stop them if I can. They favour mice and birds, but mine have helped themselves to praying mantises, beetles and even a skink. One brought me a goldfish – readers who remember a post about Finnygan may be pleased to know that he has grown fat and happy in the neighbour's pond.

Currently I have two cats. They are of course the last. Enough is enough.

1 comment:

  1. The whole movement was started by finance guru Gareth Morgan, who has also taken a fatal interest in the Wellington soccer team. This led to a very funny letter in our paper from a man who said that he had noticed his cat was very good at dribbling a ball, so was cutting down his Phoenix shirt to fit, hoping to turn his moggie into a decent player instead of a serial killer.

    On a more serious note, I believe that a cat needs two bells on its collar. We had a serial killer cat who could silence one bell. Two bells was beyond its magic powers.