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Monday links


  1. Bear
    Bear October 29, 2018 9:45 am

    1,000,000,000 birds / year
    70,000,000 cats: Avg 14.29 birds per cat.


    The most successful bird-hunting cat I knew was Puta. She might get 5 or 6 a year. She’d bring them to me for my approval, then go eat them.

    Jigsaw was hell on chipmunks — which seriously needed thinning — but she never caught a bird, despite a lot of tries.

  2. Claire
    Claire October 29, 2018 10:27 am

    Amen, Bear. I also found the claim that cats have been solely (“directly”) responsible for the extinction of 33 bird species to be dubious in the extreme.

    Granted, bird species seem to be fragile in general and humans are undoubtedly responsible for quite a few of their extinctions. But cats? Wiping out 33 species? Hm …

  3. larryarnold
    larryarnold October 29, 2018 11:10 am

    I live in a retirement-oriented town, so there are lots of them around. Some of them sit in front of their TVs all day and gripe because there’s nothing to do.
    Others get out and volunteer, play games at the community center, go to church, start second careers, get married again, or whatever, and get on with life. I just interviewed one who had a very successful career in the Foreign Service, and now participates with Red Cross disaster teams. She says, “Life is there. Live it!”

    IMNSHO, contrary to antisemitic opinion, I simply can’t believe Jews are in control of the world. They’d be doing a better job of running it.

    Like Bear, I remember the polio epidemic. The day my Dad came home from work early and we went somewhere to suck on the sugar cube with the vaccination, we went out to supper to celebrate. I was a bit young to understand, and parents weren’t sharing their fears with us, but I remember after that Mom and Dad were a lot less worried, and we went to a lot more public places.
    Today, of course, the “rising tide of gun violence” seems concentrated on the TV news and in internet hashtags, and vaccines don’t seem to work as well there.

    So if it wasn’t for the evul cats, we’d be up to our elbows in bird poop?

  4. E. Garrett Perry
    E. Garrett Perry October 29, 2018 11:59 am

    Cats are incredibly destructive as an invasive species. My 12-year-old Maine Coon was bringing me 2-4 birds and rats/mice per day for six weeks after we moved into our new house- he only stopped because he killed everything in range. I love cats, but they are near-absolute apex predators who kill for fun and practice besides food. Armalite has killed and brought me one of pretty much everything smaller than he is, including rabbits, rattlesnakes (one still alive), a woodpecker, an owl, and more garden-variety vermin and songbirds than I care to count, many if not most of them in the end partly consumed or totally uneaten. This is absolutely consistent with the behavior I’ve seen in barn cats all my life, especially in large males. Armalite’s castrated, and he’s bad enough- a big powerful warrior Tom will go through a neighborhood’s worth of songbirds like a charge of canister. They are absolutely a destructive invasive species so far as the New World and Pacific are concerned. The worst part is that cats were usually introduced from ships, which also introduced rats. The real double-whammy for birds was the introduction of the cat (which eats adult birds) alongside rats (which eat the eggs). With both species consuming every chick and fledgeling they can find, its a helluva pressure.

  5. Mike
    Mike October 29, 2018 1:24 pm

    I like the way Bear compares the hoplophobes with an anti-gun bent to anti-vaxers. This is an argument that I plan to adopt,

    As for the Cat issue, it’s BS. ‘Nuff said.

    Seeing the result of the type 2 diabetes study wasn’t a huge surprise. Over the past decade there has been a gradual shift from exclusively treating the pancreas to treating other causes that restrict absorption like kidney and stomach issues. This is a nice development, and when I visit my Doc in a few weeks I’ll pass it on. I’m curious to see his reactions.

    Once again, great group of links. Thanks, Claire.

  6. Claire
    Claire October 29, 2018 1:53 pm

    “My 12-year-old Maine Coon was bringing me 2-4 birds and rats/mice per day for six weeks after we moved into our new house- he only stopped because he killed everything in range.”

    Wow. I wouldn’t mind having your cat. Mine only started killing the occasional mouse about six years after I got her. Never a bird, never anything else. The local mice are actually more scared of my dog.

    I’m sure some cats are veritable godzillas, but others, like mine, make up for it.

  7. Sam Linder
    Sam Linder October 29, 2018 2:04 pm

    Re: perils of early retirement – jeez, talk about “first world problems”. I can’t even relate to someone like that writer. Doesn’t think he can get by on $200,000/year – might need $300,000/year! Give me a break! What a pathetic excuse for a human being.

  8. Comrade X
    Comrade X October 29, 2018 2:23 pm

    Constitutional carry throughout the land and the plague would be in remission for sure.

  9. Pat
    Pat October 29, 2018 4:11 pm

    “(My guess is that IF this works, it’s going to turn out to be for some reason other than researchers now hope it works — maybe something related to gut bacteria, or a combo of causes.)”

    I agree — it may be for some other reason. And I’m not sure why they thought to try this at all. (Unless there’s a medical company in the background waiting to pounce on the reault with an intervening something-or-other to sell.)

    “It is believed there is a link between nutrient absorption by the mucus membrane in the small intestine and the development of insulin resistance among people with type 2 diabetes.”

    Yes, but I don’t know how this procedure would work to improve the situation. This “link” may be simply that all autoimmune problems are linked to every system in the body — nothing new there; and the importance of the gut is becoming evident in current research. But — to isolate (and mess with) one component apart from the rest has frequently been shown not to work without the whole body physiology taken into account. Blood glucose levels are still related to diet and exercise (and metabolism, another component of physiology).

    It sounds like they are trying to find a cause-and-effect, whereas there may only be a corollary present.

  10. ProGunFred
    ProGunFred October 29, 2018 6:16 pm

    Jewish “boy” buying a gun:
    “For some time I have been a supporter of the Second Amendment — intellectually. I agreed with the Founders’ rationale for the right to bear arms. I even joined the NRA.”
    These three statements are not congruent. He has much to learn but ownership brings a whole new awareness of the threat posed by the controllers of all stripes, many of whom, as he is aware, are from his own tribe.

    3 years old. 9 birds total which is not bad for an indoor cat who is allowed partial outdoor access on a balcony. I could see her getting 14 or so some years if allowed to roam.. Oh, and the wailing and gnashing of teeth if I were to tell anybody a couple of the species she’s taken. None of this has any bearing on her being allowed access to continue to kill. It’s what she was built to do. Denying her access is to deny her very nature, a sin against God. A cat uses no forethought in the matter. It knows no malice. It knows no right and wrong. It knows no sin. It’s a cat. Some people are stupid beyond a classical education’s ability to help them. On a side note; that’s one mean looking cat in the picture, LoL. That thing, on the other hand, looks it might kill for spite. Wow.

  11. Desertrat 1
    Desertrat 1 October 29, 2018 7:21 pm

    Sports Afield magazine, maybe forty years back, roughly, had an article about feral cats.

    The wildlife folks of the Wisconsin agency had a bunch of grad students go all over the state in an effort to figure out how many feral cats there were, and their impact on songbird populations.

    Conclusions: A feral cat kills and eats around 100 songbirds per year.

    There at that time was an estimated one million (+/-) feral cats, statewide.

    My own outdoorsman experience and observations over some seventy-plus years leads me to generally agree with the study’s results.

    A next-door neighbor lady put food out for “her” cats. After local area complaints about the absence of birds, squirrels and rabbits in the area, the local humane society set out Hav-A-Hart traps near her house. 72 feral cats later…

    Now, I like a house cat or two around me. Purring lap putty. But ferals? A .220 Swift worked well to 400 yards.

  12. larryarnold
    larryarnold October 29, 2018 11:09 pm

    My 12-year-old Maine Coon was bringing me 2-4 birds and rats/mice per day for six weeks after we moved into our new house
    One cat? Sorry, E, but it sounds to me like there were way too many birds/rats/mice around your new house, and your cat solved the problem.

    72 feral cats later
    Ouch. That’s a different problem, and also needs solving.

    Nature must balance.

  13. Jim Brook
    Jim Brook October 30, 2018 9:07 am

    I simply cannot imagine retiring. I am 56 years old, and just hanging up my cleats in only 9 years sounds pointless. Why in the world would I bail out of active contribution to society, if I still have a lot to offer? My patients might someday decide to retire me, if I lose my ability, but that will be their choice. I actually have big plans that should keep me roaring into my 90s. The president of my church is 94 years old now. He hops all over the world, advancing the cause, in a very busy and active schedule. Donald Trump does an awful lot at 72 years of age, and wakes up after about 4 hours of sleep every day just raring to go. In that regard, I want to be like him when I grow up.

    Larry, that was an excellent observation that if the Jews were actually running the world it would be in much better shape.

  14. Georgia
    Georgia October 30, 2018 9:29 am

    I was lucky the day someone drove down my long dirt road, and tossed a kitten out the car window, into my yard.My children, without my knowledge, started feeding it canned tuna, giving it reason to stay. One day, after I took laundry off the clothesline,and had towels stacked high enough, I could barely see over the stack, the cat kept bumping me. I lowered the basket, and about to curse the cat, I cursed the canebrake rattlesnake in my path, ready to strike,instead. The cat gave me time to put the laundry down,grab my shotgun leaning on the clothesline tree, and shoot the head off the snake. The cat got a can of tuna from me. As for inducing malabsorption syndrome to control type II diabetes, sounds like a bad idea to me, creates too many other problems.

  15. E. Garrett Perry
    E. Garrett Perry October 30, 2018 11:52 am

    My cat certainly solved the problem, but he provides a very good example of what happens when a domestic cat gets into an environment with a superabundance (whether by dint of sheer numbers, or of ignorance regarding Felids) of easily-accessible prey: they kill it. All of it; or at least all the bits they can easily reach. Armalite once brought me a large male Pileated Woodpecker: I at once asked “how?” The damned thing’s 2/3 his size, never comes out of the trees, and has a jackhammer mounted to its’ face! My questions distressed him not one bit- he ate everything but the feet and the jackhammer. The following day it was a trio of bullfrogs. Since moving to our little Bohemian village, he has been in kitty heaven, which is the same everywhere: where Pastafarians get a beer volcano and Asatru get endless duelling, cats get the Olive Garden Special on songbird nests. Remember as well that a feral queen can drop 2-3 litters per of 4-10 kittens, each of which survivors is hunting on its own ( and needing a meal every 36hrs or so) by 6-8 months at the latest. From a wildlife perpective the only large animals to be as distructive as invasive species are the rabbit, the Norway Rat, the wild hog, and the asian grass carp. All five have caused immense habitat and population damage in their non-native range, and three of the five (cat, rat, pig) are especially bad on birds and small ground-dwelling mammals.

    I’m sorry to be so blunt, but you folks insisting that your cats kill only small numbers of birds and rodents are simply not paying attention. Even back in the US, Armalite would bring us 1-2 birds or animals per day, may of them (moles and shrews) creatures he clearly considered inedible. Some cats lack the instinct (like my wife’s dingbatacat), but the majority are killing machines- hence my little pal’s name. Terry Pratchett modeled his sadistic, psychopathic Elves on cats for a number of very good reasons. Emma (wife’s non-hunter) is one of only two like her that I’ve ever met. Every other cat was a biological weapon of mass death and was proud of the fact. I love cats, but part of loving them means acknowleding what they are- the only predator on this planet that routinely attacks and consumes Man, and the only other killer as highly evolved for his bloody trade as Man. Shere Khan was King for a reason, and your garden moggy is just Shere Khan writ somewhat smaller.

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