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Cats are NOT harmless. In fact, “America’s cats, including housecats that adventure outdoors and feral cats, kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds in a year”.
I always "say" I hate cats, but I always get along great with them. But as a pet, yeah, they're pretty much useless consumers of expensive cat food, expensive vet bills, expensive pet-hair vacuums, and expensive furniture. If they weren't so cute and friendly, I'd find them repulsive.
So is bird killing good or bad?
I'm so allergic to cats that I must hate them on a cellular level
I prefer dogs, but I DO like cats and with my current living arrangements (small suburban apartment with no yard space) would find a low-maintenance cat much more practical to own as a pet than any dog. Unfortunately however, I'm allergic to cats. I like to pet them, but i absolutely can't live in the same apartment with them.
I am allergic to cats.
My cat contributes to the household. She brings me live rabbits without hurting them. That gets the bunnies out of my garden, and if the bunny is big enough I've been known to clean and roast them for dinner!
(PETA-types might have an issue with that last part.)
Who else is unsurprised that the comments are filling up with cat haters?
"If cats looked like toads, we'd see 'em for the evil little bastards they are."
I used to think cats were just nuisance animals, but ever since the coyotes have moved into the area, I appreciate the value of cats as a food source for these wild canids.
It's remarkably easy to imagine a dog mocking Jenkins. As for cats, they do think they're better than him; but they think that about everyone.
I am of the opinion that someone can always find a good alternative to a cat as a pet. Most of the time, I recommend rabbits, unless you want something to kill mice and birds. Then there's a long list of dogs that can do the job better.
I like cats, and I like dogs.I hate cat or dog hairs stuck to everything though, so they're not getting into the house. No sirree.
I think the bird numbers are inflated. Cats are evolved to hunt rodents mostly. They are in fact, damn good at it. MUCH better than than they are at hunting birds. There is evidence that persecution of cats allowed for a boom in the rodent population in the European middle ages. Hello Bubonic Plague. I guess rampant disease is better than a few casualties.
I hate cats. They try to kill me with their allergens.
...and, over at Asking the Wrong Guy, Rick is talking about shooting cats with catapulted dogs.
"If they weren't so cute and friendly, I'd find them repulsive." That's true for everything cute and friendly.
Also, cats have healing superpowers:"Scientists at the University of California, Davis hypothesised that a cat's purr can be used as a healing mechanism to offset long periods of rest and sleep that would otherwise contribute to a loss of bone density. The vibrations and contractions of a purr work during both inhalation and exhalation show a consistent pattern and frequency around 25 Hz; these frequencies have been shown to improve bone density and promote healing in animal models and humans." (wikipedia)
how many bugs and worms do birds kill every year?
Seriously, you're going to hate an animal for being in the food chain?
(and as for being "useless" as a pet but "cute and friendly" --- I am not quite sure how to parse that. being good company is pretty much the main role of most pets.... on the other hand, I wouldn't be averse to a pet that cleaned the house or mowed the lawn!)
I love cats. Grilled with a little lemon and olive oil.
Our cat sometimes catches rabbits and leaves a half under the dining room table.
On a related note, you'd be surprised how similar half a rabbit is to a soft toy, from the point of view of a two-year-old.
@Mouse:We've eliminated lots of small varmint-type predators in human-populated regions; the kind of predators that naturally prey on birds. Cats fill that niche, that's all. The attitude that predation is bad for the prey species is dated, sentimental, and just plain wrong. In the absence of predators, species degenerate. Birds, in particular, quickly degenerate into flightless forms such as the dodo or kiwi in the absence of small terrestrial predators.
Your position that birds would be "better off" if we eliminated their last remaining predator is short-sighted and naive. If we succeeded in that, the birds that we "helped" would degenerate into helplessness within a surprisingly small number of generations, and would quickly face extinction. This scenario has been played out innumerable times on isolated islands. Note that big-city pigeons already show signs of such degeneration; they are fat, short-winged, and awkward, their reflexes and flight ability having regressed not only with respect to the wild phenotype, but below even the standards of the domesticated messenger pigeon breeds. The only thing that keeps them in marginal trim is, you guessed it, predation by cats. Songbirds will be no different.
What about if my cat hates me?
I've known too many cat owners with scratched arms who, when asked, say "Oh, Princess did that, price of owning a cat, haha." Yeah, I hate cats. Evil things.
Some times I like cats, some times they're meh, some times I really do hate them. Depends on the chef...
I submit that, given Scott's prior comic on the subject of birds, A Non-E Mouse's comment does not constitute a contradictory point.
My mom hates cats. She is very allergic to them, but they really like her. She considers their friendliness a deliberate assassination attempt. So, Scott's theory holds. :)I like both dogs and cats, but having raised my children, I will never again live with a creature who can't clean up its own poop.
Here's to predators.Dogs helped us pack-hunt, and helped make hunting and gathering successful. I'm grateful to them for that, but at a distance. Up close, I can't stand their smell.Cats helped us make civilization. When we began agriculture, mice flocked to the granaries, and cats came after the mice. Without cats, we'd still be a few million small families scrabbling for food, and even such things as this comic strip would be a luxury beyond imagining.
I got a cat to make sure some of my wife's friends didn't visit as they are allergic. I cannot think of a better reason to own a cat.
Cat haters should be required to clean litter boxes for a week. That should take care of the problem.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23745372?tool=MedlinePlus
So fish tail wagging doesn't mock Jenkins? Fish move their tails all the time. Hmmmm.
I'm allergic to them, and cats have a distinct ability to find the one guy in the group who's allergic and confuse his face for their favorite pillow. While I hesitate to say I hate them, I do generally try to avoid them.
I like cats okay, when my allergies to their fur aren't acting up. Nope, what bugs me more is the personification of cats by cat people (which I discover seems to be shared by anyone that has a small pet-- ferrets and so on).
I prefer dogs because 1. I'm not allergic to their hair, and 2. they were bred to work for humans. I want a service/therapy dog for my son with autism and also myself, and I don't see a cat adequately fulfilling the role we need there.
@A Non-E Mouse: And how many innocent bugs and worms did those birds slaughter?
@ILoveCats: How is that different from, say, the average dachshund?
1st poster is correct; Cats are selflessly throwing themselves into the fray and are saving us from the bird-pocalypse. Imagine all those birds if they were not taken out; we'd have a Hitchcockian outbreak of birds. I for one would like to thank our feline protectors...
I have a cat that's more like a dog - greets us at the door when we come in. What I can't stand are those tiny, yappy dogs, but I think it's more the owners of such dogs that I really have a problem with (and the fact that they don't bother to train their dogs because, 'what harm can a 5 pound dog do'.)
I'm mangling a Terry Pratchett quote here. "If cats behaved exactly as they do now, but looked like large toads, they would be regarded as the most horrible monsters on the face of the earth." That said, I prefer cats to dogs, for much the same reasons Scott mentions in panel one.
I love cats. They're vicious killers, and SO cute!
If you have two cats, how come we only ever see one in the comic? I think it is time to meet Cat #2.
Cats are adorable, but I am tragically allergic to them.
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