Cat-Hating Gardener in Nordrhein Westfalen Is Told by the Local Authorities to Remove a Board of Nails from His Yard
"Man kann Vorkehrungen treffen, aber dadurch duerfen keine Tiere verletzt werden."
-- Dr. Claus Kallenberg
Nails suddenly have become a popular weapon for ailurophobes to employ against cats. In December of last year, for example, Dr. Claus Kallenberg, a veterinarian with the Amt fuer Verbraucherschutz, Veterinaerwesen und Lebensmittelueberwachung in Bergheim, Rhein-Erft Kreis, was called upon to mediate a dispute between a gardener and a cat-owner involving a Nagelbrett.
The conflict arose in the Niederembt section of Elsdorf, thirty kilometers west of Koeln in the state of Nordrhein Westfalen, when an unidentified cat-hating resident put out a board studded with nails in order to reportedly keep Manuela Lisken's cat out of his garden. (See photo above.)
"Was ist, wenn da ein junges Tier mal abrutscht?" Lisken complained to the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger on December 22nd. (See "Mausefallen gegen Katzen.") She also voiced concern that either her son or one of his playmates could be injured by the Nagelbrett while retrieving errant balls that sail into her neighbor's yard.
Acting upon the recommendation of Kallenberg, the cat-hater removed the Nagelbrett but shortly thereafter replaced it with another wooden board that this time around was outfitted with mousetraps. It is unclear from press reports but presumably these traps were both baited and set. As he did with the Nagelbrett, Kallenberg likewise advised that they be removed.
"Man kann Vorkehrungen treffer, aber dadurch duerfen keine Tiere verletzt werden," Kallenberg told the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger in the article cited supra. In other words, whereas property owners are entitled to safeguard their gardens the measures that they take against cats must be humane, which is certainly not the case with either Nagelbretter or mousetraps.
He went on to point out that neither a Nagelbrett nor a board lined with mousetraps are effective in keeping cats out of gardens since they simply can detour around them. Although the cat-hater doubtless was aware of that consideration, he nevertheless claims that he only wanted to scare off Lisken's cat as opposed to doing it bodily harm.
Kallenberg further advised both parties to sit down and discuss the matter in an attempt to arrive at an amicable solution. He also suggested that the gardener consult with a veterinarian concerning behavioral strategies that will humanely deter cats from visiting his garden.
In making that constructive suggestion he most certainly did not have in mind either UC-Davis lecturer and veterinarian Dr. Sophia Yin or Tribune Media Services columnist Steve Dale who on May 7th told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that all uninvited cats who visit their neighbors' yards should be illegally trapped, transported to the nearest shelter, and then summarily executed. (See "Trapping Outdoor Cats May Be Only Way to Banish Them.")
Unfortunately, cat-hating gardeners get away with those types of despicable crimes all the time thanks in no small part to the support that they receive from bloodsuckers like Yin and Dale who earn their daily bread by defaming and abusing cats. (See Cat Defender posts of June 5, 2007, October 30, 2007, and November 16, 2007 entitled, respectively, "RSPCA's Unlawful Seizure and Senseless Killing of Mork Leaves His Sister, Mindy, Brokenhearted and His Caretakers Devastated," "Crafty Bird Lover Claims Responsibility for Stealing Six Cats from a Southampton Neighborhood and Concealing Their Whereabouts," and "Fletcher, One of the Cats Abducted from Bramley Crescent, Is Killed by a Motorist in Corhampton.")
Not content with merely stealing and killing cats, Yin also lines her pockets by encouraging cat owners to dope up their companions with amitriptyline and other harmful drugs. That is pop psychology at its worst. If a no-account bum like Yin wants to dope it up that is her business but she should not be prescribing that garbage for cats under any circumstances. (See photo of her above on the left.)
Since Kallenberg's authority is only advisory, the dispute in Niederembt may yet wind up in the courts. Under such a scenario, he theorized that both parties could be held liable.
Lisken, zum Beispiel, could be ordered to pony up for any damage that her cat does to her neighbor's garden while he likely would be held accountable for any injuries sustained by her cat. Evidence would have to be collected and these issues adjudicated in court.
While cats are commonly blamed for digging up and fouling gardens, they are far from being the only animals who engage in such activities. Birds, moles, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, and groundhogs likewise are guilty of the same offenses.
No one goes berserk, however, about the behavior of those animals; it is only cats that engender such hatred. It also it important to point out that there is nothing in the public record to substantiate the cat-hater's claim that Lisken's cat is responsible for besmirching his precious garden.
The same unfounded complaints are routinely voiced concerning overturned trash cans. While it is doubtful that very many cats have either the strength or inclination to overturn a fully-loaded trash can, such a feat is a piece of cake for raccoons, groundhogs, and bears. Squirrels are even capable of gnawing through plastic cans and making a mess.
Besides, there are countless humane methods of deterring cats from gardens. For example, some gardeners have had success with such ancient remedies as natural repellents and fences while others have resorted to more modern methods, such as motion detectors, ultrasound waves, and sprinkler systems.
Whereas Nagelbretter are nowhere nearly as deadly to cats as nails that are fired at them from nail guns, they nonetheless are yet still another indication of just how far ailurophobes are prepared to go in order to kill and injure members of the species. (See Cat Defender post of June 1, 2010 entitled "Grace Survives Being Shot Point-Blank Between the Eyes by a Monster with a Nail Gun but Sioux City Authorities Refuse to Even Investigate the Attack.")
Photos: Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger (Nagelbrett) and Facebook (Yin).