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LETTER: Humans are the cause of cat over-population

Feral cats are unfairly judged, says writer

To the Editor,

Re: “Herby the cat seeks a fur-ever home,” Alberni Valley News, Jan.25

I grew up around feral cats, which developed into an appreciation and affection for these beautiful animals. I now realize that only when their over-populations are greatly reduced in number by responsible owners consistently spaying/neutering their felines, might these beautiful animals’ presence be truly appreciated rather than taken for granted. Especially for the symbiotic-like healthy relationships they offer their loving owners.

Until then, cats will remain beautiful yet often misunderstood, prejudged and unjustly despised animals. Along with individual people, society collectively can also be quite cruel towards cats, especially the “unwanted,” if not despised, felines.

For example, it was reported a few years ago that Surrey, B.C. had an estimated 36,000 feral cats, many of which suffer severe malnourishment, debilitating injury and/or infection. Yet the municipal government, as well as aware yet uncaring residents, did little or nothing to help with the local non-profit trap/neuter/release program, regardless of its (and others’) documented success in reducing the needlessly great suffering.

(That TNR program is the only charity to which I’ve ever donated, in no small part because of the plentiful human callousness towards the plight of those cats and the countless others elsewhere.)

Apparently, there is a subconscious yet tragic human-nature propensity to perceive the value of animal life (sometimes even human life in regularly war-torn or overpopulated famine-stricken global regions) in relation to the conditions enjoyed or suffered by that life. With the mindset of feline disposability, it might be: ‘Oh, there’s a lot more whence they came’. Their suffering is that much disregarded.

Frank Sterle Jr.,

White Rock, B.C.