Welcome to our new web site!

To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely avaiable, through October 1, 2018.

During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.


A cat’s meow: Finding fallacy in the news


I was reading the paper to the cat last week. She tries to keep up on current events, particularly stories about politics and alien landings. We got to a story where a few obscure animal rights groups have called for the nation’s 66 million pet cats to be kept indoors for life.

“Why?” asked Miss Kitty.

“Well,” I answered, “This says that free roaming cats kill from 8 million to 217 million birds a year in Wisconsin alone.”

“My, I had no idea there were that many birds in Wisconsin.”

“Yes, and one person was quoted as saying ‘We don’t want our house companions going out and killing other animals.”

“What about mice?” asked Miss Kitty scratching behind her ear.

“They don’t say, but they are also worried about you being eaten by coyotes.”

“Then why don’t they keep all the coyotes indoors for life? It’s like making people bolt and bar their homes and stay inside during prime shopping hours. Why don’t they just keep all the criminals indoors for life?”

“Good question, but they say cats are domesticated animals and coyotes are wild animals and they don’t want to appear anti-wildlife.”

“Mice are wildlife, and so are birds. It’s all part of the food chain.”

“They apparently want to remove cats from the food chain. For your own protection, of course.”

“I thought it was to protect the birds,” said Miss Kitty, ever vigilant to flaws in my logic, “And besides, do they really enjoy that odiferous cat box in the laundry room. It’s bad enough to walk around in a Tupperware Toilet if you’re a cat. I’ve always envied camels. Sand as far as you can see. Go anytime you please.”

“They suggested humans who want their cats to spend time outdoors need to invest in an outdoor enclosure or walk their cats on a harness.”

Miss Kitty got indignant, “You ever tried to walk a cat in a harness! We’re not dogs, you know! I’ve spent a lifetime keepin’ your place free of rodents and vermin and this is the thanks I get. So I eat a bird now and then. And another thing, I’ve lost more friends to car tires than coyotes. Why don’t they have speed limits slow enough to let cats get out of the way?”

“Wait a minute,” I protested, “It isn’t me, it’s just a story in the paper.”

“Sure,” she huffed, “But some self-appointed cat lover will weasel or badger you into makin’ me a house cat. You’ll fall for it and take me prisoner. Next thing I know you’ll be takin’ me for walks in a cat harness. Not for me, buckaroo, I’m leavin’.”

“Wait,” I pleaded, “Where will you go...”

“Well,” she said, “I’ve always wanted to see Wisconsin.”          

Baxter Black