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Our neighbours have 10 cats and they skulk along our fence line trying to catch our kookaburras and lorikeets. They haven’t caught any birds yet, but it’s only a matter of time. What should we do?
Mr LG, Medowie
I can understand your distress here. There is nothing sweeter than the sound of a kookaburra cackling away, or the sight of a mob of lorikeets diving into a birdbath. Your yard sounds like a sanctuary. Of course you want to enjoy it and keep your feathered friends safe.
Ten cats? That seems somewhat excessive. It that even legal? If so, do your neighbours lock up the little treasures at night? Do they have bells around their scrawny little hunter-gatherer necks (the cats, not the neighbours)? Do they seem approachable (the neighbours, not the cats)? The problem here is that the cats are just doing what cats do.
Cats have mannerisms that would seem antisocial in most humans. They bring rancid rats to the doorstep, they spray their scent on curtains, they lick their private parts in public, they cough up fur balls and they claw the bejesus out of your legs when they’re trying to get comfortable. They also instinctively kill or maim, though not necessarily eat, other living things. Don’t let those cute YouTube cat videos fool you. Cats are murderers with foul habits. Have you ever looked into the eyes of a cat, Mr LG? Those eyes are satanic.
I do, however, have a very simple solution for you. In the great food chain of life, you simply need to insert your own predator. I would suggest a dog. Not a poky little puppy, but a threatening Rottweiler named Fang with a studded black collar and one of those prisoner restraint masks made fashionable by Hannibal Lecter. If you don’t want the expense of a dog, maybe you could wear the collar and mask as your standard weekend attire when you’re watering the plants (and the cats) along the fence line. Have Nickelback’s ‘Figured You Out’ streaming from the speakers. I think your neighbours will get the message. And the cats. Cats and irresponsible neighbours are not subtle creatures. You need to speak in a language that everyone understands. Comprende?