A Note To Parents: We make every effort for Roxanne's blog to be a SAFE site for children. Whenever possible, activities are in pdf format or link to safe sites for children. Please feel free to use the information in these posts for homeschool studies! All rights reserved by author and nature photographer, Virginia Parker Staat.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Problem with Cats

My cat friend, Red.
We heard a big THUMP against the kitchen window today.  We rushed to see what had happened.  A little American goldfinch had crashed into the window.  He was on lying on his back.  His body quivered, and then it went still.  We thought that he was dead.

His little mate hopped near him.  It was such a sad scene!

Then, we saw the culprit.  A black and white cat was in our yard!  He had frightened the poor little birds.  They had both flown into the window.  Now the cat was stalking the birds.  He was ready to pounce!

Mom flung the door open and snatched the little bird up into her hand.  Dad and I chased the cat.  He hopped over the fence and into our neighbor's yard.

THAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH CATS!  They are hunters.  Researchers believe that cats kill at least 4.4 MILLION songbirds in the U.S. EVERY YEAR!  They also kill lizards and other reptiles and rabbits, squirrels, other small mammals.

I am happy to tell you that our little bird lived.  Mom put him high in a roosting box so that the cat couldn't reach him.  We watched and waited.  His little mate sat in a nearby tree.  She watched and waited, too.

It took several minutes for him to wake up.  It took nearly 30 minutes before he was able to fly again.  We felt lucky that we were home to help save his life!

Now we are working hard to keep the black and white cat out of our yard.  Dad put out our electric fence.  If the cat touches it, he will be zapped by electricity.  (Don't worry, it won't kill the cat, it will just shock him.)

Mom also ordered a new product that is suppose to keep cats away.  It has fox and coyote urine in it!  Cats hate fox and coyote.  Once the cat smells this stuff, he should run away.  We hope that it will keep the cat from coming back into our yard.

It's not that we don't like cats... we do.  In fact, I have a good cat friend named Red.  Red and I are almost the same color.  He has been my friend for many, many years.
Me and my friend Red (and no, Red doesn't hunt my yard!)
Red and Roxanne taking a stroll together.
The problem is that we have a VERY bird friendly yard.  We have six bird nest boxes in our yard and five bird feeders.  We have LOTS of birds visiting our yard every day.  We also have many squirrels and lizards.  We don't want the cat to kill our friends!

Many believe that cats have become a real problem.  Researchers say that there are over 77 million pet cats in the US.  They also believe that 55 million of these pet cats live outside and hunt songbirds and small mammals.  A single cat can kill over 1,000 birds and small animals in one year!  We need your help to keep our wildlife safe!

What can you do to help save our songbirds, lizards, and small mammals?  The best and easiest way is to keep your cat indoors!  Just click here to read about some fun ways to keep your cat happy inside:

If you would like to learn more about the danger of domestic cats to songbirds and small mammals, please click one of these sites:

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