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I don’t mean to be an Ewen Callaway clipping service (though there are worse things to be), but today he has a piece up on ancient feline DNA and what it might imply for the distribution and spread of cats, How cats conquered the world (and a few Viking ships). My dissertation project is no longer on felines, but I spent several years doing analysis and thinking deeply on the issue of how cats emerged, and what might account for their contemporary distribution and phylogeographic relationships.

There are a few things I can divulge without scooping any future researchers who might work the data I’ve seen. First, ships and cats seem to be very closely connected. That is, maritime trade routes turn out to be highly suggestive of many of the patterns you see. This goes to the distinction between cats and dogs: the former are definitely creatures whose coexistence with humanity is conditional on complex civilization. The “finer things” in life, as it were.

The “domestication” of the cat is probably hard to disentangle from the emergence of urban centers, and the vermin which they attracted. What humans term vermin, the cats would naturally consider prey. The selective pressures are easy to imagine. Cats and humans are now companions, but initially their interests were simply concurrent.

And just as cities emerged independently in several locales (as well as agriculture), it is not implausible that domestic felines emerged from different wild populations, though at this point I’m modestly skeptical of most claims. Though it is not unlikely that there is introgression or admixture from diverged wild lineages into many domestic cat populations, the evidence of independent domestications is weak in my judgment. In contrast, cattle seem to be derived from two very distinct groups.

Rather, these research point to deep ancient structure among Middle Eastern feline groups, and parallel possibilities of human-cat coexistence as farming communities emerged rapidly during the early Holocene, with exigencies of historical events leading to later phylogeographic patterns we see around. I think the above research is on the right path. There is definitely a connection between most European domestic cat lineages and the indigenous populations for Egyptian cat (for example).

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Cats 
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  1. From my experience I can say that villagers are equally or more likely to keep cats than city-dwellers do. They primarily keep them at the yard of their homes to keep mice and other vermin away and rarely take them inside their homes.

    • Replies: @Miss Laura
    Cats will keep the snakes down around your house, too.
  2. O/T Razib: I am interested in your opinion:

    “Bioengineering: The Age of Designer Plagues” by Drew Miller
    The growing ease of genetically modifying bacteria and viruses presages real trouble ahead.

    http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/09/20/the-age-of-designer-plagues/

  3. This goes to the distinction between cats and dogs: the former are definitely creatures whose coexistence with humanity is conditional on complex civilization. The “finer things” in life, as it were.

    Is that another way of saying that cats are superfluous and dogs are not?

    A couple of anecdotes: When I was in Bali for the first time years ago, I commented on the varying treatment of cats and dogs by the locals. There were many semi-feral dogs about while cats seemed to be well cared for at homes. A local told me, “When you hit a cat with a motorbike by accident, you must make amends for it at the temple.” What about a dog? “Nobody cares.”

    And then I have a friend who loves his dogs. They hunt with him, keep him constant company. I think he may love his dogs more than he loves his children and possibly his wife. Cats? He goes around shooting feral cats in hunting season, because they kill the birds.

    I am a dog lover. I keep a few at any given time. I find them loyal and trustworthy. I have no doubt that they would all perish to defend my family and children if it ever came to that. Cats I find only useful for two things: rodent control and keeping snakes out of my barn. To me they seem tamed not domesticated.

    • Replies: @Mark F.
    He shoots kitty cats? Can't say I approve. How would he feel about people shooting stray dogs?
    , @notanon

    To me they seem tamed not domesticated.
     
    If anything I'd say they domesticated humans.
    , @dcite
    Cats do attempt to protect their people. Seen it and heard it, but their size does limit their heroism; there was a publication put out by a veterinary assoc. years ago that had collected verified reports of cats trying to protect people and they are gob-smacking. One cat knocked the pills out of the hand of a woman trying to commit suicide 3 times, yowling each time. I knew one big manx cat who paced back and forth the whole 2 hrs his owner was in a very dangerous situation on the highway, and actually pulled the door curtain back with his paw when the person finally got home. And no, it wasn't for food. He'd already had his dinner.

    If you want a recent celebrated case, to wit: https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/may/15/cat-saves-boy-from-dog-attack-video

    As for killing birds, not nice, but they don't get many. Bird catching is not the cat's hunting style which is to lie in wait or pounce, perfect for rodents. They get very few birds (although it does happen), and most of the ones they get are not well to start with.

    This has been extensively debated even in courts of law (yeah, I do live in one of those kinds of places.) So the hunters' excuse for killing them -- and the phrase is, "if the cat isn't wearing jewelry" meaning a collar, it can be shot. Friends at the local space flight center lost harmless feral cats through deliberate poisoning-- an especially nasty felineophobe, even snarled "I'm going to poison that cat." She was a federal government employee and they did investigate her but being heartless rarely impedes the progress of a fed. Maybe it was an illuminati ritual. A couple squirrels died too.

    There are organizations that do well in controlling the feral population by trap, neuter, return. This way no new cats get born, and none come into the territory until there's a spot. Killing cats does not solve the problem, they just increase. This has been true all over the world--except in places that practice trap, neuter, return.

    The most affectionate cat ever, is one I know. He gives lessons in how to win friends and influence people -- children especially, he loves, they can do anything to him, he'd never even bat at them -- was first seen in his cage at the shelter, shaved on one side of his body with Frankenstein stitches all over. Seems he'd been shot, and crawled to someone's house and just lay there patiently. He's now 15 and has never been bitter. He still has bird shot in his spine and gray hairs have grown over those areas, perhaps indicating where he was most stressed.

    So if any "hunter" has shot a cat because it eats birds, he or she had better keep well out of the presence of most people I know. Go forth after prey you eat, like deer, without that murderous warm up. They're just out enjoying day most of time, and sometimes people sort of own them and like them.

    What a piece of work is man.

  4. I would imagine the human-cat relationship developed with the first farms, not urban centers. Agriculture meant grain storage. Grain storage meant vermin. Vermin meant eating opportunities for cats.

    To this day its very common for farmers to have a bunch of semi-feral cats inhabiting their barn, to keep down the vermin. Sometimes a feral cat will elect to join on its own initiative. Sometimes the farmer feeds the cats, sometimes they’re left to subsist on whatever they can kill on their own.

    • Replies: @Tom Bri
    Exactly the situation on my dad's farm. In my youth there were up to a dozen cats at a time, but only a few lived more than a season or two. Cats came and went, sometimes reappearing months later, having huge messes of kittens, most of which died in the first winter. Dad is old now, mom is gone, and we no longer keep livestock, but there are a few cats still around the barn that dad religiously feeds scraps and cheap dry cat food. Racoons get a lot of the cat food.
    Dogs were there, one or two at a time, and tended to live many years. They were replaced with strays that wandered in on occasion, or neighbor's pups.
  5. Have seen that Razib?

    http://www.nature.com/news/human-skeleton-found-on-famed-antikythera-shipwreck-1.20632

    Schroeder agrees to go ahead with DNA extraction when permission is granted by the Greek authorities. It would take about a week to find out whether the sample contains any DNA, he says: then perhaps a couple of months to sequence it and analyse the results.

  6. @Twinkie

    This goes to the distinction between cats and dogs: the former are definitely creatures whose coexistence with humanity is conditional on complex civilization. The “finer things” in life, as it were.
     
    Is that another way of saying that cats are superfluous and dogs are not?

    A couple of anecdotes: When I was in Bali for the first time years ago, I commented on the varying treatment of cats and dogs by the locals. There were many semi-feral dogs about while cats seemed to be well cared for at homes. A local told me, "When you hit a cat with a motorbike by accident, you must make amends for it at the temple." What about a dog? "Nobody cares."

    And then I have a friend who loves his dogs. They hunt with him, keep him constant company. I think he may love his dogs more than he loves his children and possibly his wife. Cats? He goes around shooting feral cats in hunting season, because they kill the birds.

    I am a dog lover. I keep a few at any given time. I find them loyal and trustworthy. I have no doubt that they would all perish to defend my family and children if it ever came to that. Cats I find only useful for two things: rodent control and keeping snakes out of my barn. To me they seem tamed not domesticated.

    He shoots kitty cats? Can’t say I approve. How would he feel about people shooting stray dogs?

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    He shoots kitty cats? Can’t say I approve. How would he feel about people shooting stray dogs?
     
    Well, I don't "approve" either, but in his defense, 1) they are feral and 2) they do kill birds that he'd like to hunt.

    I don't know about shooting stray dogs, but most stray dogs that are captured by animal control are euthanized (supposedly something like 1.2 million dogs and puppies are euthanized each year).
    , @Karl Zimmerman
    As an aside, I do find it odd it's considered to be perfectly acceptable in the modern U.S. to say you dislike cats, or even children, but if you say you don't like dogs many people will conclude you are a sociopath.
  7. @Twinkie

    This goes to the distinction between cats and dogs: the former are definitely creatures whose coexistence with humanity is conditional on complex civilization. The “finer things” in life, as it were.
     
    Is that another way of saying that cats are superfluous and dogs are not?

    A couple of anecdotes: When I was in Bali for the first time years ago, I commented on the varying treatment of cats and dogs by the locals. There were many semi-feral dogs about while cats seemed to be well cared for at homes. A local told me, "When you hit a cat with a motorbike by accident, you must make amends for it at the temple." What about a dog? "Nobody cares."

    And then I have a friend who loves his dogs. They hunt with him, keep him constant company. I think he may love his dogs more than he loves his children and possibly his wife. Cats? He goes around shooting feral cats in hunting season, because they kill the birds.

    I am a dog lover. I keep a few at any given time. I find them loyal and trustworthy. I have no doubt that they would all perish to defend my family and children if it ever came to that. Cats I find only useful for two things: rodent control and keeping snakes out of my barn. To me they seem tamed not domesticated.

    To me they seem tamed not domesticated.

    If anything I’d say they domesticated humans.

    • LOL: Talha
    • Replies: @Talha
    But I know what Twinkie is talking about, they still seem to retain a certain 'edge' and instincts that we somehow bred out of certain dog breeds. I have a Siberian and he goes out and does his thing every few days and kills a bird or something - (he's huge!!) how the heck does he sneak up on a bird??!!

    I remember seeing a dog once running around on the street with a collar and a leash trailing behind it - obviously it had gotten loose and was wandering around - it was literally running down the middle of an open road just looking around. Could you see a cat doing something as preposterously dangerous as that?

    Peace.
  8. @notanon

    To me they seem tamed not domesticated.
     
    If anything I'd say they domesticated humans.

    But I know what Twinkie is talking about, they still seem to retain a certain ‘edge’ and instincts that we somehow bred out of certain dog breeds. I have a Siberian and he goes out and does his thing every few days and kills a bird or something – (he’s huge!!) how the heck does he sneak up on a bird??!!

    I remember seeing a dog once running around on the street with a collar and a leash trailing behind it – obviously it had gotten loose and was wandering around – it was literally running down the middle of an open road just looking around. Could you see a cat doing something as preposterously dangerous as that?

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Alec Leamas
    Dogs are developmentally retarded wolves. So they're essentially eternal puppies, which is why they accept the dominance of human pack members and continue play (puppy behavior) into adulthood.
    , @Twinkie

    I have a Siberian and he goes out and does his thing every few days and kills a bird or something – (he’s huge!!) how the heck does he sneak up on a bird??!!
     
    As dogs go, Siberians are pretty feline dogs - they groom themselves and keep their environment extremely clean, they don't like water, they are very strong willed, etc. I don't have one now, but I had them before. They are great at running, pulling sleds, and are wonderful with children, but are supreme escape artists (extremely high problem solving ability) and, unfortunately, not very trainable. I had a female once that would escape from any cage or kennel that was not locked down with multiple locks. She was a hoot.

    They are not supposed to be "huge." They are medium-size dogs, usually in the 45-55 lbs. range. The large ones are crossed with Malamutes or other large breeds. In fact, a lot of "Husky" sports team mascots are usually Malamutes (e.g. U. of Washington Huskies), because real Siberian Huskies usually look too small or slinky.
  9. I raise bobtails and also have quite a few rescue kittens that I give away. The first thing I ask rural people who want a cat is whether or not they have dogs. Because if they don’t have dogs, their cats will have no chance against the coyotes. Thus cats cannot colonize unless dogs are already there.

  10. @Talha
    But I know what Twinkie is talking about, they still seem to retain a certain 'edge' and instincts that we somehow bred out of certain dog breeds. I have a Siberian and he goes out and does his thing every few days and kills a bird or something - (he's huge!!) how the heck does he sneak up on a bird??!!

    I remember seeing a dog once running around on the street with a collar and a leash trailing behind it - obviously it had gotten loose and was wandering around - it was literally running down the middle of an open road just looking around. Could you see a cat doing something as preposterously dangerous as that?

    Peace.

    Dogs are developmentally retarded wolves. So they’re essentially eternal puppies, which is why they accept the dominance of human pack members and continue play (puppy behavior) into adulthood.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Dogs are developmentally retarded wolves. So they’re essentially eternal puppies, which is why they accept the dominance of human pack members and continue play (puppy behavior) into adulthood.
     
    There is much truth to this, but it is not the entire answer. Because dogs have co-evolved with humans, they - whether as puppies or adults - have an ability that wolves at any age lack - they can sense and understand human gestures and emotions without training.
  11. @Twinkie

    This goes to the distinction between cats and dogs: the former are definitely creatures whose coexistence with humanity is conditional on complex civilization. The “finer things” in life, as it were.
     
    Is that another way of saying that cats are superfluous and dogs are not?

    A couple of anecdotes: When I was in Bali for the first time years ago, I commented on the varying treatment of cats and dogs by the locals. There were many semi-feral dogs about while cats seemed to be well cared for at homes. A local told me, "When you hit a cat with a motorbike by accident, you must make amends for it at the temple." What about a dog? "Nobody cares."

    And then I have a friend who loves his dogs. They hunt with him, keep him constant company. I think he may love his dogs more than he loves his children and possibly his wife. Cats? He goes around shooting feral cats in hunting season, because they kill the birds.

    I am a dog lover. I keep a few at any given time. I find them loyal and trustworthy. I have no doubt that they would all perish to defend my family and children if it ever came to that. Cats I find only useful for two things: rodent control and keeping snakes out of my barn. To me they seem tamed not domesticated.

    Cats do attempt to protect their people. Seen it and heard it, but their size does limit their heroism; there was a publication put out by a veterinary assoc. years ago that had collected verified reports of cats trying to protect people and they are gob-smacking. One cat knocked the pills out of the hand of a woman trying to commit suicide 3 times, yowling each time. I knew one big manx cat who paced back and forth the whole 2 hrs his owner was in a very dangerous situation on the highway, and actually pulled the door curtain back with his paw when the person finally got home. And no, it wasn’t for food. He’d already had his dinner.

    If you want a recent celebrated case, to wit: https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/may/15/cat-saves-boy-from-dog-attack-video

    As for killing birds, not nice, but they don’t get many. Bird catching is not the cat’s hunting style which is to lie in wait or pounce, perfect for rodents. They get very few birds (although it does happen), and most of the ones they get are not well to start with.

    This has been extensively debated even in courts of law (yeah, I do live in one of those kinds of places.) So the hunters’ excuse for killing them — and the phrase is, “if the cat isn’t wearing jewelry” meaning a collar, it can be shot. Friends at the local space flight center lost harmless feral cats through deliberate poisoning– an especially nasty felineophobe, even snarled “I’m going to poison that cat.” She was a federal government employee and they did investigate her but being heartless rarely impedes the progress of a fed. Maybe it was an illuminati ritual. A couple squirrels died too.

    There are organizations that do well in controlling the feral population by trap, neuter, return. This way no new cats get born, and none come into the territory until there’s a spot. Killing cats does not solve the problem, they just increase. This has been true all over the world–except in places that practice trap, neuter, return.

    The most affectionate cat ever, is one I know. He gives lessons in how to win friends and influence people — children especially, he loves, they can do anything to him, he’d never even bat at them — was first seen in his cage at the shelter, shaved on one side of his body with Frankenstein stitches all over. Seems he’d been shot, and crawled to someone’s house and just lay there patiently. He’s now 15 and has never been bitter. He still has bird shot in his spine and gray hairs have grown over those areas, perhaps indicating where he was most stressed.

    So if any “hunter” has shot a cat because it eats birds, he or she had better keep well out of the presence of most people I know. Go forth after prey you eat, like deer, without that murderous warm up. They’re just out enjoying day most of time, and sometimes people sort of own them and like them.

    What a piece of work is man.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
    As for killing birds...they don’t get many. Bird catching is not the cat’s hunting style...They get very few birds...

    I beg to differ.

    Kittycams show that free-roaming pet cats catch a wide variety of prey, about 13% of which is birds, and which includes also rodents, rabbits, snakes, frogs, and lizards.

    Based on my own experience with pet cats, many if not most will catch and kill anything they can. Mobile, alert birds are the hardest prey for pet cats, as the stats show, but the cat's hunting assets include stealth, knowledge, great vision, excellent hearing, wicked claws, and powerful hind legs that allow Felis catus to leap many feet into the air to catch even flying birds.

    “If we extrapolate the results of this study across the country and include feral cats, we find that cats are likely killing more than 4 billion animals per year, including at least 500 million birds. Cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American bird species are in decline,” said Dr. George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy, the only organization exclusively conserving birds throughout the Americas.
     
    https://abcbirds.org/article/kittycam-reveals-high-levels-of-wildlife-being-killed-by-outdoor-cats/

    No word on any effect on the cat's hunting from the Kittycam.

    Understanding that the pet cat is only 10,000 years or so into domestication from its evolutionary forebear F. felis, we should not be surprised they are even more wild still than humans.

    At my grocery store, one whole aisle both sides is pet food. What goes in must come out, but at least the cat makes an attempt to cover up its dirty work. No such luck with the dog, which roams and craps far and wide. All in all, the dog is a rather disgusting creature, with some very repulsive habits.

    A big problem with keeping cats indoors all the time is the overwhelming stench created by their urine.

    I solve the dog poop and cat stink problems by keeping no pets. All that time, energy, and money are better spent on something else. Besides, if I have a need--I don't-- for a little cat or dog in my life, I can get all I want from pet food commercials on the TV.

    Isn't the Boob Tube great?

    most of the ones they get are not well to start with.
     
    Actually, birds are young to start with. They may not fly well at first, and although their instincts are good, their knowledge of the world is poor. They are easy prey for cats, and other predators like Cooper's and Sharp-shinned hawks.

    Cats also like to climb trees, and snatch nestlings. Mockingbirds are a favorite target for moggie's predation. When the cat leaves its kill on the rear steps, it is offering its catch for your consumption.

    Isn't that just the Cat's Meow?

    --sp--
  12. @Hans Olo
    I would imagine the human-cat relationship developed with the first farms, not urban centers. Agriculture meant grain storage. Grain storage meant vermin. Vermin meant eating opportunities for cats.

    To this day its very common for farmers to have a bunch of semi-feral cats inhabiting their barn, to keep down the vermin. Sometimes a feral cat will elect to join on its own initiative. Sometimes the farmer feeds the cats, sometimes they're left to subsist on whatever they can kill on their own.

    Exactly the situation on my dad’s farm. In my youth there were up to a dozen cats at a time, but only a few lived more than a season or two. Cats came and went, sometimes reappearing months later, having huge messes of kittens, most of which died in the first winter. Dad is old now, mom is gone, and we no longer keep livestock, but there are a few cats still around the barn that dad religiously feeds scraps and cheap dry cat food. Racoons get a lot of the cat food.
    Dogs were there, one or two at a time, and tended to live many years. They were replaced with strays that wandered in on occasion, or neighbor’s pups.

  13. @Mark F.
    He shoots kitty cats? Can't say I approve. How would he feel about people shooting stray dogs?

    He shoots kitty cats? Can’t say I approve. How would he feel about people shooting stray dogs?

    Well, I don’t “approve” either, but in his defense, 1) they are feral and 2) they do kill birds that he’d like to hunt.

    I don’t know about shooting stray dogs, but most stray dogs that are captured by animal control are euthanized (supposedly something like 1.2 million dogs and puppies are euthanized each year).

    • Replies: @Mark F.
    Euthanize is much more humane than "blast with a rifle."
  14. @Talha
    But I know what Twinkie is talking about, they still seem to retain a certain 'edge' and instincts that we somehow bred out of certain dog breeds. I have a Siberian and he goes out and does his thing every few days and kills a bird or something - (he's huge!!) how the heck does he sneak up on a bird??!!

    I remember seeing a dog once running around on the street with a collar and a leash trailing behind it - obviously it had gotten loose and was wandering around - it was literally running down the middle of an open road just looking around. Could you see a cat doing something as preposterously dangerous as that?

    Peace.

    I have a Siberian and he goes out and does his thing every few days and kills a bird or something – (he’s huge!!) how the heck does he sneak up on a bird??!!

    As dogs go, Siberians are pretty feline dogs – they groom themselves and keep their environment extremely clean, they don’t like water, they are very strong willed, etc. I don’t have one now, but I had them before. They are great at running, pulling sleds, and are wonderful with children, but are supreme escape artists (extremely high problem solving ability) and, unfortunately, not very trainable. I had a female once that would escape from any cage or kennel that was not locked down with multiple locks. She was a hoot.

    They are not supposed to be “huge.” They are medium-size dogs, usually in the 45-55 lbs. range. The large ones are crossed with Malamutes or other large breeds. In fact, a lot of “Husky” sports team mascots are usually Malamutes (e.g. U. of Washington Huskies), because real Siberian Huskies usually look too small or slinky.

    • Replies: @Talha
    Sorry Twinkie - I should have been clearer - my Siberian is a cat - as in:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cczgBaDccs

    Yes, he is pretty huge for a cat though - I've heard it is the second largest breed in the world. And yes - very few people that come to my house ever complain (even if they are normally allergic to cats).

    But, if I ever was to get a dog, the Siberian would be my pick - they are absolutely stunning!

    Peace.
  15. @Alec Leamas
    Dogs are developmentally retarded wolves. So they're essentially eternal puppies, which is why they accept the dominance of human pack members and continue play (puppy behavior) into adulthood.

    Dogs are developmentally retarded wolves. So they’re essentially eternal puppies, which is why they accept the dominance of human pack members and continue play (puppy behavior) into adulthood.

    There is much truth to this, but it is not the entire answer. Because dogs have co-evolved with humans, they – whether as puppies or adults – have an ability that wolves at any age lack – they can sense and understand human gestures and emotions without training.

  16. @Twinkie

    I have a Siberian and he goes out and does his thing every few days and kills a bird or something – (he’s huge!!) how the heck does he sneak up on a bird??!!
     
    As dogs go, Siberians are pretty feline dogs - they groom themselves and keep their environment extremely clean, they don't like water, they are very strong willed, etc. I don't have one now, but I had them before. They are great at running, pulling sleds, and are wonderful with children, but are supreme escape artists (extremely high problem solving ability) and, unfortunately, not very trainable. I had a female once that would escape from any cage or kennel that was not locked down with multiple locks. She was a hoot.

    They are not supposed to be "huge." They are medium-size dogs, usually in the 45-55 lbs. range. The large ones are crossed with Malamutes or other large breeds. In fact, a lot of "Husky" sports team mascots are usually Malamutes (e.g. U. of Washington Huskies), because real Siberian Huskies usually look too small or slinky.

    Sorry Twinkie – I should have been clearer – my Siberian is a cat – as in:

    Yes, he is pretty huge for a cat though – I’ve heard it is the second largest breed in the world. And yes – very few people that come to my house ever complain (even if they are normally allergic to cats).

    But, if I ever was to get a dog, the Siberian would be my pick – they are absolutely stunning!

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Sorry Twinkie – I should have been clearer – my Siberian is a cat
     
    Oh... thanks for the clarification.

    The funny thing is, the female Siberian Husky I had, the supreme escape artist, was an excellent bird killer. She, as is typical for the breed, had a very high prey drive, and her favorite preys were birds... to the chagrin of my bird watching-loving family members.

    But, if I ever was to get a dog, the Siberian would be my pick – they are absolutely stunning!
     
    They are wildly beautiful dogs, especially the ones with red/copper/white combos. A lot of people fall in love with them because of the looks, and live to regret their decisions when they come home and find the whole house wrecked by a bored Husky. Unless you run Huskies - EVERY DAY, RAIN OR SHINE - Huskies will find their own "projects" to do, including destroying your house if kept inside or digging giant holes underneath your fence if kept outside but inside a fence. And they will get out and go for unsanctioned trips, from which many never return.
  17. @Talha
    Sorry Twinkie - I should have been clearer - my Siberian is a cat - as in:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cczgBaDccs

    Yes, he is pretty huge for a cat though - I've heard it is the second largest breed in the world. And yes - very few people that come to my house ever complain (even if they are normally allergic to cats).

    But, if I ever was to get a dog, the Siberian would be my pick - they are absolutely stunning!

    Peace.

    Sorry Twinkie – I should have been clearer – my Siberian is a cat

    Oh… thanks for the clarification.

    The funny thing is, the female Siberian Husky I had, the supreme escape artist, was an excellent bird killer. She, as is typical for the breed, had a very high prey drive, and her favorite preys were birds… to the chagrin of my bird watching-loving family members.

    But, if I ever was to get a dog, the Siberian would be my pick – they are absolutely stunning!

    They are wildly beautiful dogs, especially the ones with red/copper/white combos. A lot of people fall in love with them because of the looks, and live to regret their decisions when they come home and find the whole house wrecked by a bored Husky. Unless you run Huskies – EVERY DAY, RAIN OR SHINE – Huskies will find their own “projects” to do, including destroying your house if kept inside or digging giant holes underneath your fence if kept outside but inside a fence. And they will get out and go for unsanctioned trips, from which many never return.

  18. @Onur
    From my experience I can say that villagers are equally or more likely to keep cats than city-dwellers do. They primarily keep them at the yard of their homes to keep mice and other vermin away and rarely take them inside their homes.

    Cats will keep the snakes down around your house, too.

  19. @Mark F.
    He shoots kitty cats? Can't say I approve. How would he feel about people shooting stray dogs?

    As an aside, I do find it odd it’s considered to be perfectly acceptable in the modern U.S. to say you dislike cats, or even children, but if you say you don’t like dogs many people will conclude you are a sociopath.

  20. Sparkon [AKA "SP"] says:
    @dcite
    Cats do attempt to protect their people. Seen it and heard it, but their size does limit their heroism; there was a publication put out by a veterinary assoc. years ago that had collected verified reports of cats trying to protect people and they are gob-smacking. One cat knocked the pills out of the hand of a woman trying to commit suicide 3 times, yowling each time. I knew one big manx cat who paced back and forth the whole 2 hrs his owner was in a very dangerous situation on the highway, and actually pulled the door curtain back with his paw when the person finally got home. And no, it wasn't for food. He'd already had his dinner.

    If you want a recent celebrated case, to wit: https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/may/15/cat-saves-boy-from-dog-attack-video

    As for killing birds, not nice, but they don't get many. Bird catching is not the cat's hunting style which is to lie in wait or pounce, perfect for rodents. They get very few birds (although it does happen), and most of the ones they get are not well to start with.

    This has been extensively debated even in courts of law (yeah, I do live in one of those kinds of places.) So the hunters' excuse for killing them -- and the phrase is, "if the cat isn't wearing jewelry" meaning a collar, it can be shot. Friends at the local space flight center lost harmless feral cats through deliberate poisoning-- an especially nasty felineophobe, even snarled "I'm going to poison that cat." She was a federal government employee and they did investigate her but being heartless rarely impedes the progress of a fed. Maybe it was an illuminati ritual. A couple squirrels died too.

    There are organizations that do well in controlling the feral population by trap, neuter, return. This way no new cats get born, and none come into the territory until there's a spot. Killing cats does not solve the problem, they just increase. This has been true all over the world--except in places that practice trap, neuter, return.

    The most affectionate cat ever, is one I know. He gives lessons in how to win friends and influence people -- children especially, he loves, they can do anything to him, he'd never even bat at them -- was first seen in his cage at the shelter, shaved on one side of his body with Frankenstein stitches all over. Seems he'd been shot, and crawled to someone's house and just lay there patiently. He's now 15 and has never been bitter. He still has bird shot in his spine and gray hairs have grown over those areas, perhaps indicating where he was most stressed.

    So if any "hunter" has shot a cat because it eats birds, he or she had better keep well out of the presence of most people I know. Go forth after prey you eat, like deer, without that murderous warm up. They're just out enjoying day most of time, and sometimes people sort of own them and like them.

    What a piece of work is man.

    As for killing birds…they don’t get many. Bird catching is not the cat’s hunting style…They get very few birds…

    I beg to differ.

    Kittycams show that free-roaming pet cats catch a wide variety of prey, about 13% of which is birds, and which includes also rodents, rabbits, snakes, frogs, and lizards.

    Based on my own experience with pet cats, many if not most will catch and kill anything they can. Mobile, alert birds are the hardest prey for pet cats, as the stats show, but the cat’s hunting assets include stealth, knowledge, great vision, excellent hearing, wicked claws, and powerful hind legs that allow Felis catus to leap many feet into the air to catch even flying birds.

    “If we extrapolate the results of this study across the country and include feral cats, we find that cats are likely killing more than 4 billion animals per year, including at least 500 million birds. Cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American bird species are in decline,” said Dr. George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy, the only organization exclusively conserving birds throughout the Americas.

    https://abcbirds.org/article/kittycam-reveals-high-levels-of-wildlife-being-killed-by-outdoor-cats/

    No word on any effect on the cat’s hunting from the Kittycam.

    Understanding that the pet cat is only 10,000 years or so into domestication from its evolutionary forebear F. felis, we should not be surprised they are even more wild still than humans.

    At my grocery store, one whole aisle both sides is pet food. What goes in must come out, but at least the cat makes an attempt to cover up its dirty work. No such luck with the dog, which roams and craps far and wide. All in all, the dog is a rather disgusting creature, with some very repulsive habits.

    A big problem with keeping cats indoors all the time is the overwhelming stench created by their urine.

    I solve the dog poop and cat stink problems by keeping no pets. All that time, energy, and money are better spent on something else. Besides, if I have a need–I don’t– for a little cat or dog in my life, I can get all I want from pet food commercials on the TV.

    Isn’t the Boob Tube great?

    most of the ones they get are not well to start with.

    Actually, birds are young to start with. They may not fly well at first, and although their instincts are good, their knowledge of the world is poor. They are easy prey for cats, and other predators like Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned hawks.

    Cats also like to climb trees, and snatch nestlings. Mockingbirds are a favorite target for moggie’s predation. When the cat leaves its kill on the rear steps, it is offering its catch for your consumption.

    Isn’t that just the Cat’s Meow?

    –sp–

    • Replies: @Miguel Madeira
    "Kittycams show that free-roaming pet cats catch a wide variety of prey, about 13% of which is birds, and which includes also rodents, rabbits, snakes, frogs, and lizards."

    Confirming that birds are not a much common prey of cats.
    , @Alec Leamas
    I agree with a policy of shooting feral cats, at least in rural/suburban areas. About a year ago I saw three Baltimore Orioles in the wild for the first time in my life - they're like little jewels. Imagine how many more Bluebirds, Cardinals, etc. we'd have but for feral cats and competition from European House Sparrows and Starlings.
    , @Twinkie

    All in all, the dog is a rather disgusting creature, with some very repulsive habits... I solve the dog poop and cat stink problems by keeping no pets. All that time, energy, and money are better spent on something else. Besides, if I have a need–I don’t– for a little cat or dog in my life, I can get all I want from pet food commercials on the TV.
     
    I don't think a pet food commercial will:

    1) Alert you and defend you (and better yet, your loved ones) against intruders;
    2) Guard your livestock from predators;
    3) Hunt/retrieve prey;
    4) Control rodents (some breeds of dogs make excellent "mousers");
    5) Play with your children;
    6) Serve as blankets on a cold night outdoors;
    7) Detect bombs;
    8) Guide blind people;
    9) Try to comfort you when you are sad;
    10) Give the biggest welcome when you come home from overseas (https://youtu.be/RKBcs9tNWg8);
    11) Wait for you even after you died (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hachik%C5%8D);
    Etc.

    But, hey, it's a free country. Don't own one, if you don't want.
  21. @Twinkie

    He shoots kitty cats? Can’t say I approve. How would he feel about people shooting stray dogs?
     
    Well, I don't "approve" either, but in his defense, 1) they are feral and 2) they do kill birds that he'd like to hunt.

    I don't know about shooting stray dogs, but most stray dogs that are captured by animal control are euthanized (supposedly something like 1.2 million dogs and puppies are euthanized each year).

    Euthanize is much more humane than “blast with a rifle.”

    • Replies: @Alec Leamas
    Why? A well-placed rifle shot is a very humane way to dispatch an animal - massive tissue shock and near immediate drop in blood pressure.

    I've seen video of a whitetail buck shot with a modern broadhead arrow which passed through the animal. The buck immediately returned to feeding, clearly not knowing that it had been shot. After a number of seconds the animal simply slowly listed to one side and tipped over dead from the painless internal hemorrhaging.
    , @Twinkie

    Euthanize is much more humane than “blast with a rifle.”
     
    Depends on the method of euthanization. Sometimes stray cats and dogs are mass euthanized by gassing: https://youtu.be/kp9L10A-FNg

    That's a pretty horrible way to go. Even at more "legit" kill shelters, the animals can feel or smell what's coming and shriek, soil themselves, tremble, fight, etc. before being put down.

    Euthanization of strays is frequently not (and some might argue, rarely) the gentle, sedative first, followed by lots of hugging and holding with the animal's favorite human-type that some companion animals receive.

    I think a well-placed rifle "blast" is far more humane. Thankfully I have access to a very kind vet who provides that gentle farewell for my dogs, but if I didn't, I'd - very tearfully, of course - dispatch my dying dogs with a gun.
  22. @Sparkon
    As for killing birds...they don’t get many. Bird catching is not the cat’s hunting style...They get very few birds...

    I beg to differ.

    Kittycams show that free-roaming pet cats catch a wide variety of prey, about 13% of which is birds, and which includes also rodents, rabbits, snakes, frogs, and lizards.

    Based on my own experience with pet cats, many if not most will catch and kill anything they can. Mobile, alert birds are the hardest prey for pet cats, as the stats show, but the cat's hunting assets include stealth, knowledge, great vision, excellent hearing, wicked claws, and powerful hind legs that allow Felis catus to leap many feet into the air to catch even flying birds.

    “If we extrapolate the results of this study across the country and include feral cats, we find that cats are likely killing more than 4 billion animals per year, including at least 500 million birds. Cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American bird species are in decline,” said Dr. George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy, the only organization exclusively conserving birds throughout the Americas.
     
    https://abcbirds.org/article/kittycam-reveals-high-levels-of-wildlife-being-killed-by-outdoor-cats/

    No word on any effect on the cat's hunting from the Kittycam.

    Understanding that the pet cat is only 10,000 years or so into domestication from its evolutionary forebear F. felis, we should not be surprised they are even more wild still than humans.

    At my grocery store, one whole aisle both sides is pet food. What goes in must come out, but at least the cat makes an attempt to cover up its dirty work. No such luck with the dog, which roams and craps far and wide. All in all, the dog is a rather disgusting creature, with some very repulsive habits.

    A big problem with keeping cats indoors all the time is the overwhelming stench created by their urine.

    I solve the dog poop and cat stink problems by keeping no pets. All that time, energy, and money are better spent on something else. Besides, if I have a need--I don't-- for a little cat or dog in my life, I can get all I want from pet food commercials on the TV.

    Isn't the Boob Tube great?

    most of the ones they get are not well to start with.
     
    Actually, birds are young to start with. They may not fly well at first, and although their instincts are good, their knowledge of the world is poor. They are easy prey for cats, and other predators like Cooper's and Sharp-shinned hawks.

    Cats also like to climb trees, and snatch nestlings. Mockingbirds are a favorite target for moggie's predation. When the cat leaves its kill on the rear steps, it is offering its catch for your consumption.

    Isn't that just the Cat's Meow?

    --sp--

    “Kittycams show that free-roaming pet cats catch a wide variety of prey, about 13% of which is birds, and which includes also rodents, rabbits, snakes, frogs, and lizards.”

    Confirming that birds are not a much common prey of cats.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
    Perhaps you overlooked this part:

    ...cats are likely killing...per year...at least 500 million birds.
     
    If you want to argue that 500,000,000 birds makes them "not..a common prey of cats," be my guest, but it is a familiar refrain among cat lovers that pet cats don't really kill that many birds.

    There are up to 100 million pet cats in the US, along with about 75 million dogs.

    The cat has plenty of things to hunt, including insects, voles, and lizards, all of which are much easier for the cat to catch than are birds.

    For example, a human can catch insects, lizards, frogs, even voles by hand, whereas for a person to catch a bird by hand is virtually impossible.

    But the cat can do it. The cat is a supreme predator, and a relentless hunter. You might as well ask a fish not to swim.

    Even the fierce bird-hunting hawks I mentioned above aren't successful on every hunt, because birds are difficult to catch, even for other birds.

    Finally, recall that the 13% figure came from a study on pet cats encumbered or discombobulated by the gadget hanging around their necks. There are an estimated 50-70 million feral cats in the US, but they were not included in the Kittycam study.

    It is the bird's ability to elude predators that accounts for its success in this world, and also for its relatively low ranking among the pet cat's common prey items.
  23. @Mark F.
    Euthanize is much more humane than "blast with a rifle."

    Why? A well-placed rifle shot is a very humane way to dispatch an animal – massive tissue shock and near immediate drop in blood pressure.

    I’ve seen video of a whitetail buck shot with a modern broadhead arrow which passed through the animal. The buck immediately returned to feeding, clearly not knowing that it had been shot. After a number of seconds the animal simply slowly listed to one side and tipped over dead from the painless internal hemorrhaging.

  24. @Sparkon
    As for killing birds...they don’t get many. Bird catching is not the cat’s hunting style...They get very few birds...

    I beg to differ.

    Kittycams show that free-roaming pet cats catch a wide variety of prey, about 13% of which is birds, and which includes also rodents, rabbits, snakes, frogs, and lizards.

    Based on my own experience with pet cats, many if not most will catch and kill anything they can. Mobile, alert birds are the hardest prey for pet cats, as the stats show, but the cat's hunting assets include stealth, knowledge, great vision, excellent hearing, wicked claws, and powerful hind legs that allow Felis catus to leap many feet into the air to catch even flying birds.

    “If we extrapolate the results of this study across the country and include feral cats, we find that cats are likely killing more than 4 billion animals per year, including at least 500 million birds. Cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American bird species are in decline,” said Dr. George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy, the only organization exclusively conserving birds throughout the Americas.
     
    https://abcbirds.org/article/kittycam-reveals-high-levels-of-wildlife-being-killed-by-outdoor-cats/

    No word on any effect on the cat's hunting from the Kittycam.

    Understanding that the pet cat is only 10,000 years or so into domestication from its evolutionary forebear F. felis, we should not be surprised they are even more wild still than humans.

    At my grocery store, one whole aisle both sides is pet food. What goes in must come out, but at least the cat makes an attempt to cover up its dirty work. No such luck with the dog, which roams and craps far and wide. All in all, the dog is a rather disgusting creature, with some very repulsive habits.

    A big problem with keeping cats indoors all the time is the overwhelming stench created by their urine.

    I solve the dog poop and cat stink problems by keeping no pets. All that time, energy, and money are better spent on something else. Besides, if I have a need--I don't-- for a little cat or dog in my life, I can get all I want from pet food commercials on the TV.

    Isn't the Boob Tube great?

    most of the ones they get are not well to start with.
     
    Actually, birds are young to start with. They may not fly well at first, and although their instincts are good, their knowledge of the world is poor. They are easy prey for cats, and other predators like Cooper's and Sharp-shinned hawks.

    Cats also like to climb trees, and snatch nestlings. Mockingbirds are a favorite target for moggie's predation. When the cat leaves its kill on the rear steps, it is offering its catch for your consumption.

    Isn't that just the Cat's Meow?

    --sp--

    I agree with a policy of shooting feral cats, at least in rural/suburban areas. About a year ago I saw three Baltimore Orioles in the wild for the first time in my life – they’re like little jewels. Imagine how many more Bluebirds, Cardinals, etc. we’d have but for feral cats and competition from European House Sparrows and Starlings.

  25. Sparkon [AKA "SP"] says:
    @Miguel Madeira
    "Kittycams show that free-roaming pet cats catch a wide variety of prey, about 13% of which is birds, and which includes also rodents, rabbits, snakes, frogs, and lizards."

    Confirming that birds are not a much common prey of cats.

    Perhaps you overlooked this part:

    …cats are likely killing…per year…at least 500 million birds.

    If you want to argue that 500,000,000 birds makes them “not..a common prey of cats,” be my guest, but it is a familiar refrain among cat lovers that pet cats don’t really kill that many birds.

    There are up to 100 million pet cats in the US, along with about 75 million dogs.

    The cat has plenty of things to hunt, including insects, voles, and lizards, all of which are much easier for the cat to catch than are birds.

    For example, a human can catch insects, lizards, frogs, even voles by hand, whereas for a person to catch a bird by hand is virtually impossible.

    But the cat can do it. The cat is a supreme predator, and a relentless hunter. You might as well ask a fish not to swim.

    Even the fierce bird-hunting hawks I mentioned above aren’t successful on every hunt, because birds are difficult to catch, even for other birds.

    Finally, recall that the 13% figure came from a study on pet cats encumbered or discombobulated by the gadget hanging around their necks. There are an estimated 50-70 million feral cats in the US, but they were not included in the Kittycam study.

    It is the bird’s ability to elude predators that accounts for its success in this world, and also for its relatively low ranking among the pet cat’s common prey items.

    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey SP,

    Of the kills I have personally witnessed; 80%+ from our house cat have been birds. Maybe this is peculiar to his breed, or maybe he is killing even more of other kinds of small animals and just being very sneaky about it.

    Peace.
  26. @Sparkon
    Perhaps you overlooked this part:

    ...cats are likely killing...per year...at least 500 million birds.
     
    If you want to argue that 500,000,000 birds makes them "not..a common prey of cats," be my guest, but it is a familiar refrain among cat lovers that pet cats don't really kill that many birds.

    There are up to 100 million pet cats in the US, along with about 75 million dogs.

    The cat has plenty of things to hunt, including insects, voles, and lizards, all of which are much easier for the cat to catch than are birds.

    For example, a human can catch insects, lizards, frogs, even voles by hand, whereas for a person to catch a bird by hand is virtually impossible.

    But the cat can do it. The cat is a supreme predator, and a relentless hunter. You might as well ask a fish not to swim.

    Even the fierce bird-hunting hawks I mentioned above aren't successful on every hunt, because birds are difficult to catch, even for other birds.

    Finally, recall that the 13% figure came from a study on pet cats encumbered or discombobulated by the gadget hanging around their necks. There are an estimated 50-70 million feral cats in the US, but they were not included in the Kittycam study.

    It is the bird's ability to elude predators that accounts for its success in this world, and also for its relatively low ranking among the pet cat's common prey items.

    Hey SP,

    Of the kills I have personally witnessed; 80%+ from our house cat have been birds. Maybe this is peculiar to his breed, or maybe he is killing even more of other kinds of small animals and just being very sneaky about it.

    Peace.

  27. …. I spent several years doing analysis and thinking deeply on the issue of how cats emerged, and what might account for their contemporary distribution and phylogeographic relationships.

    We were on the Greek island of Mykonos this summer, and I was struck by how visually different the (mostly feral, I think) cat population was from American cats. These Greek cats had more panther like faces, if that makes any sense, and that physical feature seemed to be a theme for most of the cats on the island. Being feral, they are, of course stand offish and don’t rub against your legs, but they do beg at restaurants. The only kitten we saw was very scrawny. (I gave it some shrimp.)

    The one reasonably healthy looking cat I saw was less panther like. Possibly somebody’s pet roaming around. A little more friendly.

  28. @Mark F.
    Euthanize is much more humane than "blast with a rifle."

    Euthanize is much more humane than “blast with a rifle.”

    Depends on the method of euthanization. Sometimes stray cats and dogs are mass euthanized by gassing:

    That’s a pretty horrible way to go. Even at more “legit” kill shelters, the animals can feel or smell what’s coming and shriek, soil themselves, tremble, fight, etc. before being put down.

    Euthanization of strays is frequently not (and some might argue, rarely) the gentle, sedative first, followed by lots of hugging and holding with the animal’s favorite human-type that some companion animals receive.

    I think a well-placed rifle “blast” is far more humane. Thankfully I have access to a very kind vet who provides that gentle farewell for my dogs, but if I didn’t, I’d – very tearfully, of course – dispatch my dying dogs with a gun.

  29. @Sparkon
    As for killing birds...they don’t get many. Bird catching is not the cat’s hunting style...They get very few birds...

    I beg to differ.

    Kittycams show that free-roaming pet cats catch a wide variety of prey, about 13% of which is birds, and which includes also rodents, rabbits, snakes, frogs, and lizards.

    Based on my own experience with pet cats, many if not most will catch and kill anything they can. Mobile, alert birds are the hardest prey for pet cats, as the stats show, but the cat's hunting assets include stealth, knowledge, great vision, excellent hearing, wicked claws, and powerful hind legs that allow Felis catus to leap many feet into the air to catch even flying birds.

    “If we extrapolate the results of this study across the country and include feral cats, we find that cats are likely killing more than 4 billion animals per year, including at least 500 million birds. Cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American bird species are in decline,” said Dr. George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy, the only organization exclusively conserving birds throughout the Americas.
     
    https://abcbirds.org/article/kittycam-reveals-high-levels-of-wildlife-being-killed-by-outdoor-cats/

    No word on any effect on the cat's hunting from the Kittycam.

    Understanding that the pet cat is only 10,000 years or so into domestication from its evolutionary forebear F. felis, we should not be surprised they are even more wild still than humans.

    At my grocery store, one whole aisle both sides is pet food. What goes in must come out, but at least the cat makes an attempt to cover up its dirty work. No such luck with the dog, which roams and craps far and wide. All in all, the dog is a rather disgusting creature, with some very repulsive habits.

    A big problem with keeping cats indoors all the time is the overwhelming stench created by their urine.

    I solve the dog poop and cat stink problems by keeping no pets. All that time, energy, and money are better spent on something else. Besides, if I have a need--I don't-- for a little cat or dog in my life, I can get all I want from pet food commercials on the TV.

    Isn't the Boob Tube great?

    most of the ones they get are not well to start with.
     
    Actually, birds are young to start with. They may not fly well at first, and although their instincts are good, their knowledge of the world is poor. They are easy prey for cats, and other predators like Cooper's and Sharp-shinned hawks.

    Cats also like to climb trees, and snatch nestlings. Mockingbirds are a favorite target for moggie's predation. When the cat leaves its kill on the rear steps, it is offering its catch for your consumption.

    Isn't that just the Cat's Meow?

    --sp--

    All in all, the dog is a rather disgusting creature, with some very repulsive habits… I solve the dog poop and cat stink problems by keeping no pets. All that time, energy, and money are better spent on something else. Besides, if I have a need–I don’t– for a little cat or dog in my life, I can get all I want from pet food commercials on the TV.

    I don’t think a pet food commercial will:

    1) Alert you and defend you (and better yet, your loved ones) against intruders;
    2) Guard your livestock from predators;
    3) Hunt/retrieve prey;
    4) Control rodents (some breeds of dogs make excellent “mousers”);
    5) Play with your children;
    6) Serve as blankets on a cold night outdoors;
    7) Detect bombs;
    8) Guide blind people;
    9) Try to comfort you when you are sad;
    10) Give the biggest welcome when you come home from overseas (https://youtu.be/RKBcs9tNWg8);
    11) Wait for you even after you died (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hachik%C5%8D);
    Etc.

    But, hey, it’s a free country. Don’t own one, if you don’t want.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
    You forgot the St. Bernard with the little keg of brandy on its collar bounding through snowdrifts to rescue unfortunate souls overcome by avalanches.

    With your great admiration for dogs, I wonder if you have any ideas about or solution for those irresponsible dog owners who don't clean up after their pets? Do the rest of us just put up with that crap?

    If there are 65 million dogs in the US, what percentage do you think are having their waste picked up by their owners? We humans have devised effective sanitary and waste disposal systems for ourselves, but the dog is seemingly free to take its dumps anywhere, especially on the neighbor's lawn.

    Of course, I recognize that following a dog around, and picking up its steaming heap with a bag, gloves, pooper scooper, or what have you, and then disposing of same is not pleasant work, or very dignified either.

    'Easier to just let it sit, and hope the Dog Poop Fairy takes care of it while everyone's sleeping.

    Beyond that, how would you educate those dog owners who feel that leash laws don't apply to their particular hound, and think it should be free to bound about, running hither and yon with tongue hanging out, and rushing up to any and all who happen to be nearby?

    In Boulder, Colorado, dog owners now have the right to be called--cue coronets--Dog Guardians. Libraries there, and in other municipalities, have also tried Reading to your Dog programs, although I think in Boulder at least that particular program was ridiculed into a quick termination.

    It was nevertheless gracious of you to recognize my right to go dogless.

    Do you also think I have the right to enjoy a meal in my favorite restaurant, or even junk food palace, without somebody walking in with a dog, perhaps sitting at the next table, and feeding it french fries?

    Well, man's association with dogs goes back a long way. When the Europeans arrived, they found the natives in N. America already had the dog, which was on the menu, along with Fried Enemy, but I don't think the indigenous peoples of the New World had the domesticated cat, F. catus.

    The dog is indefatigable when it comes to following humans, but the cat doesn't have that kind of endurance, or interest.

    --sp--
  30. Sparkon [AKA "SP"] says:
    @Twinkie

    All in all, the dog is a rather disgusting creature, with some very repulsive habits... I solve the dog poop and cat stink problems by keeping no pets. All that time, energy, and money are better spent on something else. Besides, if I have a need–I don’t– for a little cat or dog in my life, I can get all I want from pet food commercials on the TV.
     
    I don't think a pet food commercial will:

    1) Alert you and defend you (and better yet, your loved ones) against intruders;
    2) Guard your livestock from predators;
    3) Hunt/retrieve prey;
    4) Control rodents (some breeds of dogs make excellent "mousers");
    5) Play with your children;
    6) Serve as blankets on a cold night outdoors;
    7) Detect bombs;
    8) Guide blind people;
    9) Try to comfort you when you are sad;
    10) Give the biggest welcome when you come home from overseas (https://youtu.be/RKBcs9tNWg8);
    11) Wait for you even after you died (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hachik%C5%8D);
    Etc.

    But, hey, it's a free country. Don't own one, if you don't want.

    You forgot the St. Bernard with the little keg of brandy on its collar bounding through snowdrifts to rescue unfortunate souls overcome by avalanches.

    With your great admiration for dogs, I wonder if you have any ideas about or solution for those irresponsible dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets? Do the rest of us just put up with that crap?

    If there are 65 million dogs in the US, what percentage do you think are having their waste picked up by their owners? We humans have devised effective sanitary and waste disposal systems for ourselves, but the dog is seemingly free to take its dumps anywhere, especially on the neighbor’s lawn.

    Of course, I recognize that following a dog around, and picking up its steaming heap with a bag, gloves, pooper scooper, or what have you, and then disposing of same is not pleasant work, or very dignified either.

    ‘Easier to just let it sit, and hope the Dog Poop Fairy takes care of it while everyone’s sleeping.

    Beyond that, how would you educate those dog owners who feel that leash laws don’t apply to their particular hound, and think it should be free to bound about, running hither and yon with tongue hanging out, and rushing up to any and all who happen to be nearby?

    In Boulder, Colorado, dog owners now have the right to be called–cue coronets–Dog Guardians. Libraries there, and in other municipalities, have also tried Reading to your Dog programs, although I think in Boulder at least that particular program was ridiculed into a quick termination.

    It was nevertheless gracious of you to recognize my right to go dogless.

    Do you also think I have the right to enjoy a meal in my favorite restaurant, or even junk food palace, without somebody walking in with a dog, perhaps sitting at the next table, and feeding it french fries?

    Well, man’s association with dogs goes back a long way. When the Europeans arrived, they found the natives in N. America already had the dog, which was on the menu, along with Fried Enemy, but I don’t think the indigenous peoples of the New World had the domesticated cat, F. catus.

    The dog is indefatigable when it comes to following humans, but the cat doesn’t have that kind of endurance, or interest.

    –sp–

  31. With your great admiration for dogs, I wonder if you have any ideas about or solution for those irresponsible dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets? Do the rest of us just put up with that crap?

    I would estimate that about 2/3 of my neighbors keep dogs. I have never – I mean, not once in all this time – seen dog poop lying anywhere in the neighborhood. My neighbors are a friendly, responsible lot, and that is one of the reasons why I live in my neighborhood. I suppose it is self-segregation or “assortative” living.

    I am afraid I can’t speak for your neighborhood. If you found yourself a different sort than the rest of your neighbors, I would suggest relocation.

    If there are 65 million dogs in the US, what percentage do you think are having their waste picked up by their owners?

    My observation about dog ownership in this country is that the vast majority of dog owners keep their dogs indoors, in a fenced yard or tied somewhere on their property, so I would imagine that most are not defecating on someone else’s property. This is not healthy for the physical and mental wellbeing of dogs (they need to run and have constructive “projects” if you will), but it does keep the dogs away from other people and their properties.

    Of course, I recognize that following a dog around, and picking up its steaming heap with a bag, gloves, pooper scooper, or what have you, and then disposing of same is not pleasant work, or very dignified either.

    This is not an issue for parents who have experienced exploding diapers or people who keep horses. If you found the quantity or quality of dog feces objectionable, I advise you to stay away from horses (hint: they make more – a lot more).

    I will share a funny story here. Over the decades, I have kept many dogs. Not a single one has ever defecated inside my house. Not one (urination, yes, but never defecation). However, some years ago, one of my younger children, a toddler at the time, decided to make a run from the clutches of her mother without a diaper (or pants) and then had diarrhea – right on top of our living room-size antique Persian Bidjar rug. That family heirloom was appraised by an expert at substantial five figures.

    Now, that is the kind of destructive feat none of my animals – canine or otherwise – has ever achieved!

    And when I go riding a horse, I always wear knee-high riding boots unless it’s a quick jaunt, in which case I still wear ankle-high Jodhpur boots… which is advisable given that feces on boots are inevitable.

    Cranky people should keep away from children and horses… and dogs.

    Beyond that, how would you educate those dog owners

    How do you educate people to be good bike riders? Good drivers? Good gun owners? Good parents? Indeed, good citizens?

    In Boulder, Colorado

    Try Colorado Springs… where dogs are dogs (and people are Christians).

    Do you also think I have the right to enjoy a meal in my favorite restaurant, or even junk food palace, without somebody walking in with a dog, perhaps sitting at the next table, and feeding it french fries?

    You have no such right. The owner of the said private establishment determines who is or is not admitted to his property. Your right is choosing (or not choosing) to patronize a restaurant or a shop whose admittance policy is in conflict with yours.

    Even as little children, my kids knew to speak and eat quietly and in a civilized manner at public establishments. Even now, my wife and I get compliments from older patrons about the behaviors of our youngest children (we have a few – we are Catholics). Meanwhile, I have witnessed some astounding incidents of juvenile misbehavior and disturbance all around us perpetrated by other children. And when such incidents occur, we choose one of the following options: 1) we ask the restaurant manager to speak to the other parents to restrain their children; 2) we only do pick-up orders if we really enjoyed the food; 3) we leave and never return; or Heaven forbid 4) we buck up and put up with it and still come back.

    Co-existing with other people in a community means, at times, tolerating the foibles of others. Lord knows I am not perfect – far from it.

    Well, man’s association with dogs goes back a long way. When the Europeans arrived, they found the natives in N. America already had the dog, which was on the menu, along with Fried Enemy

    I would never eat another human being. But I would kill my dogs to feed my family in extremis. Thankfully, my entire family and the dogs are rather adept at hunting, so we would likely never reach that point.

    I considered at one point getting rid of such troublesome creatures these dogs are, and hiring other people to do their job, but no human worker seemed eager or able to jump into a freezing lake to fetch birds I shot or bay an angry wild boar while I attempt to kill it with a large knife… in return for a bowlful of kibbles and some bones daily. Pity.

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