Herald photo was ‘biased’ and ‘misleading’ on cat issue

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To the Editor,

A lot has been said lately about the feral cat/domestic cat situation in Tecumseh. If you haven't had the pleasure of experiencing a Cat Colony in your neighborhood then this may not be of concern to you. But for those of us who have we ask that you please reconsider the problem. Because if not dealt with this colony may end up on your block and the health and safety implications for you and your family and pets are important.

Semantics are everything. What is tame? What is domesticated? What is Feral? What is a Cat Colony? Who are the irresponsible cat owners creating a negative cat situation in our community? This is all up for interpretation. Of course. And of course nobody really wants to make a stand for fear of offending someone. But here is a stand. And I am not fearful nor trying to offend.

By continuing to harbor and feed stray cats, even neutered cats, the situation will not be controlled. This has been proven since the adoption of the Cat Coalition years ago (which is now pretty much defunct) and despite the fact, which has recently been noted in a letter to the editor, that certain vets are continuing to spay and neuter at a reduced cost. The situation has grown. It affects wildlife, there are health implications (feces in sandboxes and vegetable gardens and so on), spread of diseases, and very alarming right now is the influx of the very unpredictable and possibly dangerous coyotes in our community (who come to where a food source is like cats). I live in town and I have talked to neighbors less than a quarter mile away who say they hear and see the coyotes and are concerned about their children and their pets (both cats and dogs).

This situation will never be completely remedied as there will always be irresponsible pet owners who are instrumental in creating this problem. But TNR (Trap Neuter Release) has not/does not work as a fixed cat will drive out a non-fixed cat into your neighborhood as noted in last week’s letter to the editor. And it does nothing for stopping the diseases and illnesses (ticks, fleas, ringworm, feline distemper, and toxoplasmosis), being run over by cars, shortened life expectancy, etc. that occur by cats being left outside unsupervised.

So here is a possible solution. It’s called cats indoors. Or cats in outdoor enclosures. If people or vets (don't know for sure but heard a vet from Ann Arbor was supplying money to run Cat Colony behind Burger King) are going to invest money into helping these cats then help by having controlled outdoor enclosures (the cats can enjoy the outdoors without being allowed to stray or become prey) or adopt and bring cats inside when possible. They can then be given proper vaccinations and be properly taken care of and not be a threat or a victim. Please stop spending your money to encourage cats to continue breeding in an unsupervised cat colony. Please help reduce risks to all living creatures not just the cats. Please help these cats live a better and longer life and help reduce the risks they are subjected to. And please do not assume that people wanting to see a solution for a reduction of the feral cat population in Tecumseh or other communities are not compassionate towards cats.

A quick response to the picture Mr. Alvarado posted on page 3B of last week’s newspaper. The picture comes off as biased and misleading. There are people who would like to see a healthy solution for controlling these Cat Colonies. Your picture of an angelic contented looking cat with a tent for shelter and some food only shows your one-sidedness to this situation and encourages the continuance of an out of control cat scenario (I can show you pictures of some very diseased cats from a cat colony in our neighborhood). And quoting Einstein? And assuming that people who would like to find a solution to Cat Colonies are not compassionate? These are the implications. Probably not the finest moment in your journalistic career.

A healthy solution for a cat reduction is possible.

Paul Koniarz
Tecumseh




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