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(146 Posts)
Namsnanny Sun 10-May-20 19:43:50

AIBU …. to be distraught as I watched next doors cat catch and kill my lovely blackbird (sad)

I know that's what cats do, that's why I try to keep them out, but it's impossible.

I love the garden birds.
I've been so enchanted watching the blackbird build it's nest in our Pyracantha bush. Nice and prickly, a good choice I thought as it might keep out predators.
He/she was becoming like family member to me.

I kept away from the bush and watched from a distance, so as not to frighten it off.
I have a garden mirror which he had problems with, as he saw his reflection and kept leaping up to it, thinking he was protecting his territory from an interloper.
It was funny, the first time I saw him do this, nothing made him give up!
So I covered it, so as to allow him some peace.

I haven't stopped crying since, silly me.
I suppose lockdown is getting to me.

Cat lovers please at least put a bell on your beloved.

Tillypuppy Thu 14-May-20 00:50:13

Not sure about the city method but rural towns are often quite small and work on a local enforcement level cats are picked up and held until collected by owners. This has reduced the numbers of bird deaths, it seems to work.

Callistemon Thu 14-May-20 09:59:42

In one area of Australia I know that a relative used to have to take her cat out on a lead or keep it indoors.

Chewbacca Thu 14-May-20 10:11:07

Cats are vermin? Hmmmm, let me think about this.....

If I think about the odd bird or mouse that the average domestic cat kills in an average day and I compare that against the average amount of pollution, destruction and general ecological damage that the average human does in the same period of time...... nope, I'm thinking that the vermin is definitely not feline.

Callistemon Thu 14-May-20 11:39:54

Namsnanny I am not, as you may have surmised, a cat lover. However, my DC have cats and I can tolerate them, and can see the appeal of kittens so I do get distressed when I see cruelty towards cats.
However, when my family tell me that one of the cats has dismembered yet another blue tit, brought in a blackbird, that upsets me very much too. Then I worry they may have brought in a mouse and I'm going to see one peeping at me from behind the corner of the bathroom (well, not at the moment as I can't visit).
We had a neighbour whose cats used to dig up my large planters at the front, thank goodness she moved.

I don't think that worms have the same parental caring instincts as birds, Loislovesstewie. They lay eggs and then leave their progeny to their own devices, unlike birds.

Domestic cats are fed and do not need to hunt and kill prey whereas birds need to catch worms, insects and find food for themselves and their offspring even if people do provide them with some seeds etc.
Grey squirrels are vermin but they are very entertaining.

lemongrove Thu 14-May-20 11:51:59

Callistomen....I hereby sentence you to ten lashes of the cat!
So there.?
If I was feeling really mean, then it would be a flogged around the fleet sentence.
I am sending a wicker case to you containing two enormous
Ginger toms.

Callistemon Thu 14-May-20 11:55:39

The only cat I was very fond of was a ginger tom, lemongrove. He particularly loved DH, who can't stand cats but even admitted he liked that one.
Unfortunately he met his fate on the road sad

Chewbacca Thu 14-May-20 13:25:00

My best loved cat of all time (and I've had many) was a huge ginger tom who just walked into my house one day and never left. He had ears that were so ragged and torn that they looked like they'd been cut with pinking shears. He had savage scars across his face and a misaligned jaw; probably from a road accident. He walked with a pronounced limp because his hip had been fractured and never been treated. He hated dogs, other cats, children and men and would readily chase and fight any one of them if they came near. But he loved me unconditionally and I could absolutely anything with him. I miss that cat! And I preferred him to many humans I've known.

lemongrove Thu 14-May-20 13:30:06

According to many cat rescue centres, ginger cats are the most wanted of all ( and black cats the least wanted.)
We have had two lovely ginger cats in the past, real characters.

Loislovesstewie Thu 14-May-20 15:37:26

Callistemon, I probably didn't explain very well but I was attempting to show that we pick and choose what animals we get upset about . I see on another thread today that there are comments about seagulls with some posters thinking that gulls are awful birds, so the demonizing extends to what sort of bird as well.I live on the coast BTW and currently have seagulls nesting between the chimney pots. Songbirds seem to be universally liked, magpies, gulls , rooks ,crows etc come in for a fair bit of verbal abuse. ( I'm sure the abuse has been physical in the past too) . As I understand it ,pigeons are pretty poor parents , I suspect this is why they seem to be so disliked .
My point was just that all animals have a place in the great scheme of things and human beings have changed the non-human world immensely and quite often not for the best.
As an aside I like black cats, I am not concerned about looks but personality.

Callistemon Thu 14-May-20 17:21:49

It depends which creature comes highest in the food chain.
I always save worms although they may become bird fodder.

The thing with domesticated cats is that they kill for pleasure, not for survival.
I'm sure their owners feed them the very best.

SueDonim Thu 14-May-20 17:35:21

Cats really don’t have any concept of pleasure or fun or sport. These are human traits that we use to anthropomorphise animals. Cats will try to catch prey because their brains are configured to react to certain stimulus. They don’t actively think ‘Ah, there’s a cute blue tit, I’ll rip it’s head off for fun.’

By putting out feeders in our gardens we are encouraging unnatural behaviour in birds, because otherwise they’d be off elsewhere looking for food. I live in a rural area but we get fewer birds here than when we lived in town, simply because there are richer pickings in the fields than I can supply.

Namsnanny Thu 14-May-20 21:55:45

Lots of fields aren't used anymore SueDonim are they? Which is bound to affect bird populations.

Feeding in gardens isn't an indulgent fad for people to enjoy watching birds (although that is most likely the incentive).
It's the only way to get food to the birds who have nowhere else to feed!

Namsnanny Thu 14-May-20 23:09:13

lemongrove … shouldn't that be 9 lashes (cat o' nine tails)?!!

SueDonim Fri 15-May-20 00:10:24

All the fields round me are farmed. Some lay fallow, some have grain, some potatoes and root veg/brassicas as per crop rotations. Some have stock on them. We have also have woodland no moorland and mountain- quite a variety!

It attracts birds, red kites have moved in in recently and oysters catchers, even though we’re inland. We’ve even got peacocks! grin

One thing I‘ve noticed over the years is that there seems to be a correlation between rabbits and buzzards. The years when rabbits are abundant are also years when buzzards are plentiful.

SueDonim Fri 15-May-20 00:11:14

woodland and moorland

Eloethan Fri 15-May-20 00:59:18

Namsnanny I really feel for you because the same thing happened to us and we were really upset.

We had been watching for some weeks a little robin building its nest and then going back and forth to feed its young. One day we went into the garden and found the babies dead on the patio - with no trace of the mother. I think the cat might have got the babies and the mother. It really spoilt the whole day for us.

I suppose it's just a cat's nature but, even though we had a cat ourselves for 21 years (too slow to catch anything fortunately!), I wouldn't get another one as it is too distressing when they keep killing mice and birds.

Loislovestewie I do agree that some people demonise certain creatures and there appears to be an increasingly growing list these days - pigeons, gulls, squirrels, badgers, etc, etc. It always amuses me that they are referred to as a "nuisance". I would have thought the biggest nuisances on this planet are ourselves.

Namsnanny Fri 15-May-20 01:27:12

Suedonim … Altered farming practices and environmental changes have made birds feeding habits change also.

Food sourced from garden feeders makes up around 20% or less of the birds diet in summer.
In winter it's crucial to their survival.

The Red Kite population has improved primarily due to individuals either feeding them directly, or engineering their farming practices to allow them to find the food they need.
Then obviously they nest nearby to the food source.

Namsnanny Fri 15-May-20 01:29:23

Callistemon … Australia seems to be on the ball smile

Callistemon Fri 15-May-20 15:37:25

It could have been a local law, Namsnanny, sadly, that cat died; where they live now cats are free to roam, the new family cat there terrifies me every time run the gauntlet past him.!

Tillypuppy Fri 15-May-20 18:53:26

If you Google cat curfew Australia it will show the rules also new restrictions coming into play soon.