My Fellow Felines Help Wildlife

Bagheera the Diabetic Cat Does Not Do This

We felines have gotten a bad rap recently.  We have been accused of killing more than a billion birds annually.  Since I am diabetic cat, I am required to stay indoors, but I was an indoor only cat before I was diagnosed with diabetes.  And Jacey has always been an indoor only cat as well.  So it is wrong to accuse us of being murderers.  Well, maybe of bugs, but our human doesn’t consider that murder.  He considers that a favor.

Bagheera the Diabetic Cat Does Not Do ThisThis number was very quickly disputed, and many humans defended us by saying that their cats were like us — we have killed exactly zero birds and our human will keep it that way.  Other humans disputed the way the study was conducted.  Even the humans who conducted the study said it had many flaws and the estimates could be widely off.

Well, I always knew that many of my fellow felines do not kill birds because we do not get the chance to.  We are very capable of doing it, because of how we have eBagheera the Diabetic Cat does not Stalk Prey Like Thisvolved.  We are very efficient hunters because we had to be in order to survive.

But now another study has come out and it shows that we felines are often good for the ecosystem in which we live.  Here is how we felines help:

  • We kill other animals that cause harm.  One one Australian island, feral cats were eliminated.  Not surprisingly, the rat population increased exponentially.  And guess what those rats did?  They decimated the bird population.
  • We kill the slow and weak.  Thus, we help make sure that natural selection takes place and the strong and fast survive.
  • We help make the prey population smarter.  Now I know you humans are thinking, a smart rat?  Yes.  There are smart and dumb rats, and we kill the dumb ones.
  • We help maintain the ecosystem.  There is a balance that needs to be kept, and having too many prey animals like rats in the ecosystem can be very damaging
  • We maintain ecological diversity.  By keeping our prey’s population in check, we allow other animals to fill their niche.

The question of feline predation is much more complicated than the humans who write on those papers we use for the litter box will have you think.  And many cats, including diabetic cats like me, do not ever go outside.  So do not believe the stories about how we are destroying the bird population.

More Sad News From This Diabetic Cat

Yesterday, I had to share with you some sad news about poor little kitten Eric, who was born into a tough situation, and fought off an upper respiratory infection twice before it got him the third time.  I have another sad story to share with you today.

You will remember how Jacey and I were not happy about being banished from the balcony, because we like to go outside to work on our fur tans.  We are southern California cats, after all, and we need to get outside and enjoy the sun.  We get a little coming in from the windows, but nothing beats relaxing outside on the balcony.

The reason Bagheera the Diabetic Cat was not allowed on the balconyOur human explained to us it was because we had two little mourning dove hatchlings on the balcony.  We promised that we would not harass the birds, and gave him our most innocent and cute looks.  Well, he didn’t fall for it.  He knows that even though I am a diabetic cat, I will attack birds because it is in my instinct.  I am a predator, after all.

But while keeping us off the balcony eliminated one threat from the hatchlings, it didn’t eliminate all of them.  Most mourning doves do not make it past their first year.  And while we cats are like you humans and kill many of them by hunting them, predation only accounts for a small percentage of the losses.  Disease and starvation are the main killers of mourning dove hatchlings.  Two diseases that ravage the dove population are fowl pox and trichomoniasis.  Both of them can affect the mouth area, and thus kill by starvation.

My human thinks this is what happened to the hatchlings.  One of them died on Friday.  To try to keep the other one alive, he bought a suet and seed mix, which many wildlife organizations use to feed hatchlings.  The second one didn’t eat any of it, and it was dead this morning. The reason Bagheera the Diabetic Cat was not allowed on the balcony

He is sad the birds did not make it.  He told me and Jacey they were like his babies, too.  Well, I told him not to be sad, and that he was a good human for trying.  And I reminded him that he takes care of a diabetic cat like me, and has rescued four cats.

He will put the birds in the compost at the urban garden where he volunteers.  I told him that these birds will help create nutrients for the plants that produce seeds for other mourning doves to eat.

That got me a pat on the head, and he said, Bagheera, you may be a diabetic cat, but that sure didn’t affect your brain.  You are a smart cat!  Now both my human and I are happier.