Forget about having a Stray Cat Patrol, we never really give a serious second thought to stray animals in India. It’s brilliant to see some people, some good-hearted organizations trying to do something for them here, but a clear majority of us clearly ignore their presence and have simply adapted to it.
Dog sleeping on the road? Walk around him.
At least this negligence is better than the ill-treatment these animals have to suffer at the hands of merciless pitiful people who have no empathy for the stray creatures. Remember the recent Chennai Dog incident?
People do see the superfluous numbers of stray animals as a nuisance, but this can be managed. Can they not be utilized better otherwise?
New York Has Come Up With The Most Brilliant Solution
It is not a first time on earth, but it definitely the first time I heard about it. According to recent news reports, a group of volunteers, under the privately funded Mayor’s Alliance for New York’s Animals have been training with the
“NYC Feral Cat Initiative traps wild cat colonies that have become a nuisance or been threatened by construction, then spays or neuters and vaccinates them.” (Salon, Oct 22nd)
They are then to be returned to their neighborhoods, or are even adopted by commercial spaces to keep rodents away. It has been found that no amount of exterminators can control the nuisance of an ever-multiplying rat population like a group of cats can.
Therefore, the practice of neutering and keeping neighborhood cats has seen a steady growth.
The Stray Cat Patrol serves the dual purpose of keeping the stray feral population of cats strutting around New York’s urban jungle in check, while also containing the nuisance of rodents breeding exponentially and infesting unwanted spaces.
Salon.com further reports: “Four cats roam the loading dock at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, where food deliveries and garbage have drawn rodents for years.
“We used to hire exterminators, but nature has a better solution,” said Rebecca Marshall, the sustainability manager at the 1.8-million-square-foot center. “And cats don’t cost anything.””
And, It’s Not Just New York…
Earlier This Year, Chicago made to the news with a famous brewery Empirical hired a quart of cats, now named Ghostbusters to keep their rodent menace in check.
Adopted from Tree House through their Cats At Work initiative, the four cats Venkman, Raymond, Egon and Gozer comprising their Stray Cat Patrol team, have proved to be more effective than any pest-control guy at keeping the tiny rats from gnawing holes in the grain sacks.
Their mini-fame brought into focus how cats are now being increasingly adopted and employed from rescue centers all over Chicago and her suburbs to keep growing rodent issues in check.
You see, sometimes nature knows best. Stray Cat Patrols are such win-win! Rat populations are naturally repelled by the presence of predators, while the rest are hunted. These stray animals are treated with affection instead of being euthanized. The city/state sponsored spaying programs maintain their populations in turn.
This whole circle is way more humane.
How much more long till we have something like this in India?
This is a piece of news that is not exactly a novelty. Every neighborhood has a cat or a group of dogs who move around within a block or two, and belongs there.
It happens everywhere and has been forever, maybe not in such an organized fashion.
I remember asking my friend how she manages to keep rodents away from her really large and open house in the suburbs and she just had one word to say, “Cats.” She went on to explain how they keep rescued cats at home, and allow them to move around freely without having to ever worry about rats.
And her family isn’t peculiar. There is, in fact, a Guinness world record of a cat named Towser, who caught the most number of rats in history for a brewery!
Therefore, we Indians could do a little more by being kinder to stray animals and utilizing their presence for everyone’s advantage. It costs almost nothing to maintain their services. It is a trend worth giving serious thought to and embracing.
What do you think?