More suggestions needed! (how humans destroy biodiversity)

A reader has written in to share how some neighbours in her neighbourhood have been complaining about cats. It is much worse than what I’m experiencing.

Here it is:

Over 3 weeks, a handful of neighbours have been very vocal in the group chat about stray and/or pet cats.

One lady complained about a cat with a collar, just sitting on her house roof, claiming this caused her significant distress as she could not open her doors or windows at all for fear that the cat would enter and mess up her entire house. Another neighbour offered a solution, which was to place a cat cage on her roof to catch the cat, then post the photo in the group to identify the owner and teach them a lesson. Upon reading this solution, I was puzzled, wondering which cat (or any other animal) would enter the cage and wait to be caught.

One person simply issued a stern warning, mentioning that for the next cat(s) that urinates on his/her shoe cupboard, just wait and see what he/she is going to do the cat(s), followed by a ‘good luck’ wish.

The third case is a lady who types in capital letters all the time. She voiced her concerns about cats urinating, defecating, and vomiting in her house compound. She claimed that the cats were the cause for various inconveniences to her and her family, including but not limited to:
1. Her son having to be confined indoors all the time, because she did not want her son to step on the animal excrements outside.
2. Her whole family somehow stepping on the excrements one by one (I was puzzled reading this, wondering why people, the “whole family” would continue to step on this when other people in the same house have already stepped on it and complained about it)
3. Having a bad start to her days, followed by being shouted at in the train on the way to work, then bursting into tears at her office.

In all her complaints, she scolded cat owners for not keeping track of where their cats go, not using their brains properly, being inconsiderate to her and her family, not having an ounce of common sense. She then demanded the cat owners to come to her house after 6.30pm when she has returned home, to apologise to her, and to clean her house compound. When no one answered, she again lashed out saying no one is being responsible or caring about how she feels.

A few neighbours empathized and acknowledged all three neighbours’ frustrations, and tried to highlight that perhaps the cat owner(s) are not in the group chat, and that if they could see which house(s) have those cats, they could approach the owners and talk to them about it. Other solutions offered were to spray water to chase the cats away, and/or to spray diluted vinegar on places which they notice cats urinate/defecate/vomit, to catch the cats and release them far away, or post photos in the group to ask the owners to claim the cats.

The first lady who complained about the cat sitting on her roof asked if anyone would get her a cage and put it on her roof. The second neighbour did not respond. The third lady reacted by scolding everyone who offered solutions, questioning why she should have to make all this effort, when it’s clearly other people’s fault for making her life so difficult. As for catching the cats in cages and waiting for their owners, she said she should not have to go to the trouble of providing them food and water before the owners come, or if no one claims them, as it is already extremely stressful for her to simply chase cats away from her house. She also added that cat owners should not have the audacity to ask for neighbours’ help to keep an eye out for their cats who have gotten lost.

Another neighbour asked whether it could be squirrels, rats, or other animals. This lady claimed that any other animals’ excrement is totally odourless (Another claim besides placing a cage on the roof to “catch” cats, which I found very difficult to believe, as I have not encountered any such totally odourless body excrement to date, even humans’).

During these 3 weeks, upon seeing how angry one of these neighbours was (throughout the whole 3 weeks), and how the empathy and solutions offered by other neighbours fell on deaf ears, I decided instead to try to reach out to the pet owners in general, saying that it would be much better for pet owners to keep their pets indoors, please keep your pets indoors. Unfortunately, this also fell on deaf ears. As for suggesting neutering, I was also very sure this would fall on deaf ears, because from reading how the three neighbours responded to complaints, they did not want to participate at all to solve the issue. It was as if they wanted the solution to magically appear with like, snapping your fingers and clicking your heels three times. Please enlighten me on which part of life is this easy. Even if anything were that easy, they would want other people to do it for them. Such entitlement and selfishness.

The last part of the group conversation about stray/pet cats was very disheartening, and honestly depressing. One neighbour jokingly “reminded” the group (with many laughing emojis) that killing or maiming animals is a crime.

As much as we are a part of life on this earth, animals are too. Animals have no intention to dirty your house compound. Without technology and development, humans (like all other living beings) would also be excreting urine, faeces, and whatnot anywhere. Humans decided to claim ownership over pieces of land. Did humans intend to cause harm to nature and animals’ habitat, and kill animals for fun, as a sport, and for food, and use them for our own purposes? Yes, we did. We intended to cause them harm. The ugliness of human nature is a very real, root problem of literally every human complaint, including but not limited to animal excrement on house compounds.


Food for thought:

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