Dilemma for Cat Fanciers

NZ-based psychoanalyst Jeffrey Masson has weighed in on the cats versus birds debate in a New York Times magazine feature. The issue of cats killing native birds in the US came to national attention after bird lover Jim Stevenson was caught and charged with shooting feral cats in his area. Masson, author of The Nine Emotional Lives of  Cats, is a member of Alley Cat Allies, a US organisation that fights for the rights of wild cats. He found himself caught between two conflicting issues – the rights of individual animals (cats) versus the health of the overall ecosystem (birds) – when he and his family moved to NZ. “Our five cats started to hunt, as cats will,” he says. “Our neighbour, a bird enthusiast, was furious. ‘Your cats are decimating these birds,’ she told me, and I had to agree. But I didn’t know quite what to do about it. True, the cats should not be here. But the cats were only doing what came naturally to cats.”

Tags: Alley Cat Allies  cat  Jeffrey Masson  Jim Stevenson  New York Times (The)