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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Monday, September 11, 2006

Selfish and Brutal Eggheads at Central Michigan University Target a Colony of Feral Cats for Defamation and Eradication

"He who is cruel to animals becomes hard in his dealings with man. We can judge the heart of man by his treatment of animals."
-- Immanuel Kant

Ailurophobia is by no means limited to the hoi polloi but rather its ugly tentacles extend far and deep into the ranks of the intelligentsia. Most notably, vivisectors and dissectors have a long and shameful history of butchering and torturing cats and other animals all the while hiding behind the cloak of academic respectability.

Although it is not nearly as well-known, American universities also have an extensive record of abusing and, in some instances, exterminating feral cats. A good case in point is Central Michigan University's (CMU) recent decision to do away with a colony of about fifteen cats (See photo above of a feline outside Grawn Hall) who have been residing at its Mount Pleasant campus since at least early summer.

Not only have campus pest management specialist Dave Swayze and Isabella County animal control officer Val McCullough ordered that the cats be trapped and removed, but they also have launched a malicious defamation campaign against them. In order to transform their fiendish plot into a reality they are spreading the often repeated but completely unfounded lie that feral cats carry rabies, parasites, and bacterial infections that make them a hazard to both humans and household pets.

Au contraire, most feral cats are remarkably healthy. They rarely contract rabies and the only parasite that they are known to carry which is harmful to humans is toxoplasmosis gondii and it can only be contracted by ingesting cat feces. (See Cat Defender post of May 16, 2006 entitled "Kansas City Vets Break Ranks with AVMA to Defend Cats Against Bird Advocates, Wildlife Proponents, and Exterminators.")

As far as domestic pets are concerned, it is doubtful that they are even allowed on campus, let alone permitted to run free; consequently, there is little or no chance of them coming into contact with the ferals.

Swayze and McCullough also object to the fact that some kindhearted students have been not only feeding the cats but also releasing some of them from traps set outside Grawn Hall (See photo below) which houses the Business Administration Department and Ronan Hall (See old black and white photo below) which used to house the library. "Feral cats pose a risk to humans and pet cats are not supposed to be running wild, so it is a good idea for students to consider all cats they see as being feral and leave them be," McCullough told the student newspaper Central Michigan Life on August 31, 2006. (See "Campus Sees Cat Infestation.")

Swayze is such an inveterate cat-hater that he would much prefer to see the cats die of starvation than for the students to feed them. "People who feed wild cats should know that they are not doing the animals a favor. Competition for food often results in fights and injury (sic) to the animals. Several cats that I have caught in that area showed obvious bite scars and signs of old injuries."

Life on the street is rough and cats, like homeless people, occasionally get banged up but that is going to happen to cats regardless of whether humans feed them. Since Swayze admits to having snared a number of raccoons, opossums, and skunks in his traps, it is more than likely that the felines sustained their injuries scrapping with these animals rather than by fighting with each other over food. (See Cat Defender post of August 28, 2006 entitled "Marauding Pack of Vicious Raccoons Rip Ten House Cats to Shreds and Terrorize Residents but Wildlife Officials Refuse to Intervene.")

"... hungry cats do no make the best mousers."
--- Carl Van Vechten, The Tiger in the House

Swayze furthermore categorically declares that feeding homeless cats reduces their ability to provide for themselves. Anyone even remotely familiar with the feline world knows just how ludicrous that statement is since even well-fed house cats continue to hunt if they are allowed outside. As Carl Van Vechten noted in his seminal work, The Tiger in the House, "... hungry cats do not make the best mousers."

CMU is certainly not alone in attempting to starve to death its unwanted cats. Back in 2003, Cornell fired sixty-seven-year-old dairyman John Beck for feeding feral cats on its Harford, New York campus. (See Cat Defender post of June 14, 2006 entitled "Kindhearted Dairyman, Sacked for Feeding Feral Cats, Files $20 Million Lawsuit Against Cornell University.")

Swayze is being truthful only when he admits that he views the felines as a nuisance. Just as municipalities all across America are locking away the homeless out-of-sight and out-of-mind in shelters and jails, college campuses like CMU do not want the world to know that they have a homeless cat problem.

Moreover, Central Michigan Life reporter Milinda Wilson is also probably shading the truth when she declares that the cats first showed up on campus this summer. More than likely they were abandoned at the close of the spring semester back in May by irresponsible students hotfooting it out of town for their summer vacations. This sort of crass use and abuse of cats is endemic to practically every college in America.

Consequently, the welfare of these cats is preeminently the responsibility of the students and administrators at CMU. With a student body just shy of 28,000 and with four-hundred-eighty acres of land at its disposal, CMU (See photo at the bottom of the page) is not only as rich as Croesus but it has plenty of space in order to accommodate the cats. It should therefore spend some of its precious shekels on either finding them new homes or providing them with on-campus veterinary care, food, and permanent housing. All campuses have a surplus of half-empty basements and underutilized outbuildings that could easily be converted into feline housing.

Swayze told Central Michigan Life that wildlife accidentally trapped are released on undeveloped sections of campus but that most of the cats are given to farmers with the remainder being "placed with people who are equipped to deal with them." Then in a slick attempt to reassure cat-lovers he craftily added, "The office of pest management never destroys or injures any animals caught in these traps."

Swayze chooses his words with the meticulous care of a Blair or a Clinton and his assurances therefore cannot be taken at face value. Most likely what all this double talk means is that he is giving the cats to McCullough who in turn is exterminating them.

That is the usual modus operandi of most phony-baloney, inherently immoral, intellectuals who spend their allotted time on this earth strutting around college campuses with their dirty schnozzles poked high in the air, their forked tongues wagging nonstop, meerschaums dangling from their pursed lips, and cobs stuck up their hairy, overgrown cracks. Although they no doubt lack the guts to exterminate the cats themselves, they certainly do not have any reservations about allowing some outsider to do their dirty, murderous deeds for them.

Like journalists, university professors and administrators consider themselves to be exempt from such mundane concerns as morality. Because of the exalted positions that they occupy they feel that the world owes them adulation and a ton of money whereas they do not owe society, Mother Earth, or the animals anything.

In his Devil's Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce defines a lecturer as someone who has "his hand in your pocket, his tongue in your ear and his faith in your patience." Not surprisingly, about all that anyone ever gets out of intellectuals is either hypocrisy or sottise; they only become animated when they are pimping for either the capitalists or the militarists.

If either Central Michigan Life or the student body had any backbone or genuine concern for the welfare of these cats they would demand an accounting from the school's administration as to the fate of each one of them. In particular, someone should visit them at their new homes in order to verify that school officials are being truthful.

Those cats still living on campus should be photographed and their trapping, removal, and relocation independently monitored and verified at each step of the way. Unless the students prevail upon them to do the morally correct thing, the administrators will take the fast, cheap, and brutal way out by mercilessly exterminating the cats.

These cats' lives are not any less precious than those of the suits, dons, and acolytes of CMU. Like man, they have an inalienable right to life and freedom. Besides, they have not committed any grievous crimes against society unless, c'est-a-dire, having the temerity to breathe is now considered to be a capital offense.

If they had any interest in either doing the right thing or in their own edification, the administrators at CMU could learn a lot from the sterling example set by Hofstra University. When she died, Kate Hofstra left money in her will for the care and maintenance of the stray and feral cats that were then living on the Hempstead, Long Island campus that bears her name.

Her legacy lives on today thanks to the efforts of administrator Camille Marryat, Animal Lifeline, a New York State animal rescue group, and the generosity of anonymous donors who see to it that the felines are provided with food, shelter, desexing, and veterinary care. New homes are also provided for those cats that are friendly enough to be adopted. (See The Chronicle of Hofstra, February 3, 2005, "Cats Find Refuge.")

Photographs: Ryan Evon of Central Michigan Life (cat) and Central Michigan University (Grawn Hall, Ronan Hall, and campus entrance).