Cat: The Other White Meat (Written as a letter to the editor in the local newspaper December 2009 when WI hunters were discussing Cat Hunting)
Wisconsin is proposing a controversial hunting season on wild cats to save trillions of songbirds now eaten each year. We need to examine this issue rationally and calmly and debate the merits. I don't have a pet cat but understand this issue emotionally too. I love my goldfish Judy, but understand the need to ruthlessly destroy her cousins, the flying carp, now threatening the Mississippi.
The non-game wildlife check off (chickadee check off) on tax forms currently provides what little funding is available to support songbirds that cats voraciously gobble down. Support for most other wildlife comes from licenses and fees paid by hunters. Cat hunting licenses and cat stamps fees could raise millions of dollars to be shared supporting songbirds, pet shelters and improving wild cat habitat and research.
Hunters need to be persuaded that cats are challenging and rewarding game for this to be successful. Wild cats put rabbits to shame in their wary elusiveness. Like deer, after a few close encounters, they become leery of hunters and a great challenge
With proper preparation and marination, feral cats lose their gamey flavor and are truly a delicacy. One full grown cat provides as much food as 7 mourning doves.
Although there could be a domestic market for cat fur coats, especially kitten coats, it would not be wise to flagrantly offend PETA. A better market would be bleaching them white and relabeling as Faux Baby Harp Seal and selling them in foreign countries like LA and NYC. This would take the pressure off of those cute over-clubbed baby seals whose blood is so red on the white snow on the TV news.
Hunting season would be like that for squirrels and rabbits and other vermin anytime on your own property, but only January-March elsewhere. This fills a gap now in the hunting year and would thin the cat population when it is most in danger of starving. Pet cats would be safely inside during the winter months.
This letter-to-the-editor from January 2009 by the Rambler was an attempt to try writing in a satirical mode ala Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal" to solve the baby problem in the 1700s in Ireland by raising babies for the food market. Most folks picked up the satirical intent.