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story.lead_photo.caption A sentry cat at Rebsamen Golf Course keeps a wary eye on the resident Canada geese. Should the fowl approach the expensive greens, the cat will go into full attack mode.Fayetteville-born Otus the Head Cat’s award-winning column of humorous fabrication appears every Saturday.

Dear Otus,

What's up with this AAA outfit? They keep sending me anti-cat emails as if I'm some sort of bad person for allowing my cats out in the yard. Now their newsletter has popped up in my mailbox.

-- Maisie MacKenzie,

Sherwood

Dear Maisie,

It was wholly a pleasure to hear from you and to readily acknowledge that I feel your pain.

You aren't the only one who has complained about the militant Avian Advocacy Association. It's a shame that under the aegis of freedom of speech, decent Americans must endure the incendiary rhetoric of yet another hate group emboldened by the current resurgence of extremism and intolerance.

The AAA, a highly questionable nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based out of Shawano, Wis., is known not so much for its pro-bird stance, but for its anti-feline rants in its unctuous Flier for Flyers, the official propaganda newsletter found stuck on windshields and in mailboxes.

Do not be deceived, fellow citizens. Although it may appear harmless, the AAA is as perverse as they come. I'd put them right up there with such nefarious extremists as the alt-right, antifa and the Webelos.

The federal Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that a minimum of 10 billion birds breed in the United States every year and that as many as 20 billion may be in the country during the fall migratory season.

Compare this with the paltry 86 million estimated domestic cats and you can see how the opportunity for oppression exists.

The current January/February edition of Flier for Flyers is a good example of the AAA vitriol. The flier contains seemingly innocuous articles such as "Feeding Fine-Feathered Friends in Cold Weather," and "Homemade Suet -- Include Mealworms in Winter."

But there is also a survey at the bottom of Page 2 that reveals the crux of the AAA animus: "Members Respond to the Problem of Cats -- Keep Them Indoors or Let Them Roam?"

The so-called "problem" of cats killing birds can be solved by simply keeping cats indoors, according to 98 percent of AAA members who responded to the survey. It was hardly scientific. Sample spleen-venting responses:

"A responsible pet owner will at least keep a cat on a leash, if the cat must go outside," says one member from Michigan. "Cats should stay in the house," another writes. "It is best for everyone if they stay safely indoors." And this bit of drivel comes from a couple in North Carolina: "[Tell them to] get a pet rock if they won't keep a cat indoors."

While these responses might be amusing to some, they quickly turned ugly: "Squirt guns, BB guns, dogs and high-powered hoses can be used to discourage cats from harassing the birds."

My fellow citizens, the AAA is openly advocating pernicious, lethal violence against an entire species of beloved domestic pets. How else are we to interpret the cavalier suggestion of "guns and dogs" as a means of "discouraging" cats?

And discouraging us from what? "Harassing" birds? How would you like it if they objected to small children in the neighborhood? "BB guns and dogs have been tried to discourage children from scaring the birds."

When one woman moved into a new California community, she visited every cat household in the neighborhood to say that the next time she caught their cats on her property she would take them to the pound to be put down.

If that happened in my neighborhood, you can rest assured that shrewish old termagant would have pulled back a bloody nub.

Here's the final indignity: "Cats are not critical in controlling problem rodents and may even deprive some raptors of their food source." Not critical? Tell that to the estimated 25 million souls who died during the Black Plague. It wasn't owls and hawks that rid the world of the plague. If it wasn't for "outdoor" cats dispatching all those rats, humans would have been flea-bitten back into the Dark Ages.

And tell that to the keepers of Little Rock's Rebsamen Golf Course who have enlisted 18 sentry cats to keep Canada geese from ruining the $10,000 greens. A gaggle of geese can turn the Bermuda greens into mulch overnight.

For the price of some Little Friskies and a warm bed in the maintenance shed, the geese have been kept at bay for the past six months.

I can only assume these AAA people are merely ignorant.

Until next time, Kalaka quotes Jefferson: "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny will vanish."

Disclaimer

Fayetteville-born Otus the Head Cat's award-winning column of

Z humorous fabrication X

appears every Saturday. Email:

mstorey@arkansasonline.com

HomeStyle on 01/13/2018

Print Headline: Fly away avian advocates, cats have rights too

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