crime

Woman murdered after argument with man over feeding stray cats

66 Comments

A woman was stabbed to death in Chiba on Thursday afternoon by a man who apparently objected to her admonishing him for feeding stray cats.

Police received an emergency call about 1:40 p.m., reporting that a man with a knife was chasing a woman in Funabashi City. Officers rushed to the scene to find Nobuko Okado, 64, lying on the ground, bleeding from her abdomen. The suspect, identified as Kiichi Hayashi, 70, was found nearby and initially charged with attempted murder. Okado was taken to hospital where she was confirmed dead later.

According to police, Hayashi lived in an apartment next to Okado's house, and the two had been at odds over Hayashi feeding stray cats, something he had been doing since last autumn. Hayashi was quoted as saying: "She kept telling me not to feed the cats, and I got angry."

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66 Comments
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“I warned her not to keep feeding them, but she ignored me, and I got angry.”

So, he killed her. You hear this scenario repeated half a dozen or so times a year. There are many strange people around. I can understand lonely oldies feeding stray cats and they should be discouraged, but......

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What a sad, pathetic old man. Stuff like this makes my blood boil.

"she ignored me so I acted like a petulent child and couldn't express my emotions or feelings properly, just like other pathetic Japanese men"

Let him rot in jail.

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Send this geezer to the chair.

Animal haters are the worst.

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I guess demented 'cat ladies' aren't just a Brit thing.

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the suspect, identified as Kiichi Hayashi, 70

for a grandpa age he still possess the power

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Now the cats will go hungry because an angry old man murdered an innocent woman.

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Feeding stray cats is OK if you catch them and get them fixed so they can't propogate.

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what a sick reason to take a life. Where do these nuts get this sick sense of murderous authority.

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Someone shows pity for other living bengs and is murdered for it. Getting angry is no excuse for killing someone or something. I get angry all the time, but I don't assault and kill. Even if I reeeeaaally want to. Some people have obviously never been held ccountable for thier actions thier whole lives, or have been sed to having people jump when they speak. As soon as it doesnt go thier way they revert to a 2 year olds mentality and throw a violebnt fit, but with dire consequences.

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should say 'used to having ...'

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It's sad, I was hoping that somebody would stop the man from killing the woman (after all, he was sighted). RIP

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Old JN men are always in other people's business. I feel for the lady..

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People, feeding stray cats does not equal kindness to animals. I am not excusing the murderer in any way so don't go there, but all this old lady was doing was feeding feral animals and perpetuating the social and public health problems they cause. By feeding the stray cats she was enabling them to multiply and exacerbate the problem. I'm sure she meant well and what she was doing was to be expected of an 'animal lover', but she should have given her time and/or money to a program that works to control the stray cat population, as ogtob already mentioned. Her neighbor had absolutely no right to harm her, but please don't make this old lady out to be some saint. I myself would have cautioned her against feeding the strays and would have taken further action (naturally not criminal) to stop her from continuing the practice, but I'm certainly no animal hater.

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USNinJapan2-Amen.

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the law warned you it's bad to kill someone .. people are angry now .. maybe we should tear you to pieces (?)

People's train of thought are getting less and less irrational by the second =w=

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ISNinJapan

"but all this old lady was doing was feeding feral animals and perpetuating the social and public health problems they cause."

So what social and public health problems are you referring to? Please expand. What is wrong with feedeing feral animals?

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Police received an emergency call about 1:40 p.m., reporting that a man with a knife was chasing a woman in Funabashi City

It's distressing that somebody saw him before he killed her and nobody intervened. At least they could have shouted at him that the cops were on the way or something, or ask him please don't kill her. Sad.

And just like in "hachi" the cats will still show up at her apartment looking for food.

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“I warned her not to keep feeding them, but she ignored me, and I got angry.”

And the daily pointless murder is in. Enjoy prison, I hope it's for the rest of your life.

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USNinJapan, who is making out anyone to be a saint? You might not be excusing the murder, but you are way off base ranting about the evils of the deceased. How can you be more focused on the issue of an old lady feeding stray cats than the feral old man who slayed her in cold blood?

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Feeding stray cats is illegal in Japan, the guy could have reported her to the police without having to goto this extreme.

I also wonder why she died from a knife wound to her belly? Sounds like the hospital didn't really do a good job... since the lack of experience doctors in trauma surgery in Japan you are pretty much dead if you have any sort of serious accident.

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I agree. Even if this woman was doing something way more anti-social than feeding cats, that is not the issue here. What gave this old geezer the idea that the best way to solve this problem was to start stabbing her with a knife? The mind just boggles at the actions of some people. Why do so many people think violence is the way to solve their problems? If the old guy was annoyed by someone feeding cats, he is not going to enjoy a prison environment- far more annoying things going on there, for sure.

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ISNinJapan, as asked by others; what social and public health problems are you referring to?

Would that be that these cats chase down vermin, rats, etc; animals that unlike cats are more filthy and may even carry diseases humans can catch?

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@Apsara Why do you think feeding stray cats is anti-social in the first place? Aren't ridiculous blaring politicians and junk beggars in the streets far more anti-social?!

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2020hindsight

There are very few (if any) positive aspect to sustaining feral cats. Read the linked article then tell me that you still think feeding stray cats is an admirable/advisable thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_cat

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@gogogo "Feeding stray cats is illegal in Japan"

Oh really? Show me the paragraph that proves this. In that case I would have already offended the law here several time. I think you confuse Japan with Singapore.

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People, feeding stray cats does not equal kindness to animals.

Actually feeding a starving cat IS undoubtedly an act of kindness to the individual animal, whatever your views are of the social consequences. As others comment, cats do actually serve a useful function in terms of discouraging rodents (and, in the country, snakes!)

I feed starving cats when one turns up. Hope the guy has a long, healthy and well nourished life ahead of him to give him an opportunity to learn some compassion for others.

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USNinJapan2 -- gotta agree with Statistician on this one. You make a huge leap of faith by assuming that these were feral cats, and not simply a couple of abandoned domestic ones. (Heaven knows that the chance of some Japanese people simply abandoning cats because they tire of them, or can't afford to care for them, is very high.) And, there is certainly no reason to believe that they were part of feral cat "colonies" causing harm to anyone. You are way over-dramatizing. And, if you ever try to take "further action" when I occasionally feed a stray cat, you better have more than your theory to support you.

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Statistician

I feed starving cats when one turns up. Hope the guy has a long, healthy and well nourished life ahead of him...

So he can mate with other stray cats and make even more cute little stray kittens. You get the big picture?

If you really care about that poor starving stray cat that you feed, take it in, give it a home and have it neutered. Oh, and do the same for the next stray that shows up, and the next, and the next...

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When I was wondering whether or not I should marry Mr Cleo, the clincher was when I visited his apartment and saw him putting food out for a stray kitten he'd noticed but hadn't been able to capture. I could never live with a person who wasn't an animal lover.

Wasn't Rome spared the worst of the plague in the middle ages thanks to its feral cats keeping down the rat population?

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herefornow

An abandoned domestic cat is by definition a feral cat. It doesn't have to be part of a feral cat colony. I'm not over-dramatizing anything. I'm simply stating my opinion that the old woman (or anyone else for that matter) shouldn't have been feeding the stray cats and that people that feed stray cats directly counteract the efforts of others who are working to solve the problem of stray cat populations through adoption, population control, etc.

And, if you ever try to take "further action" when I occasionally feed a stray cat, you better have more than your theory to support you.

What I meant by further action is bringing up the issue with the chonaikai or other community/neighborhood body and asking them to intervene. FYI an increasing number of Japanese cities, wards, etc. are actually passing ordnances prohibiting the feeding of stray animals so I would check your local laws if you plan on continuing your altruistic practice.

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I just don't get people. A lady murdered for an act of kindness. Why do people settle disagreements with violence?

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Whether the cats were feral or abandoned domestic ones, or even if they were cats from outer-space is not the issue at all. The issue is that this is yet ANOTHER example of someone simply snapping and killing another person without thinking one iota of the consequences. It's a daily phenomenon here, whether it's a girl knifing her dad over a cell phone bill or a guy stabbing a woman to death for feeding cats, do these people not think FOR ONE SECOND that prison's going to be a whole lot worse?

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Why do people settle disagreements with violence?

-cause civility don't work with some folks.

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Smith, it's part of the human condition.

As one of my cowboy heroes once said on screen, 'The secret of a long life is to try not to shorten it.'

The guy tried talkin' to her for a year about this and then he finally caught the cat lady's insanity and went off on her. I do believe that some folk's irrational behavior can definitely set off irrational behaviors in otherwise sane people.

Was this the case here? No one here knows.

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smithinjapan-good point, but I am going to have to back USNinJapan2 on this.

USNinJapan2-good stuff man. If people really want to help, take them in and get them neutered or have the local vet pick them up. You know what happens when they get picked up, but it is better than the animals breeding pests that need to be taken cared of later.

Those who feed strays are not doing anyone a favor. They ruin the ecology by feeding on animals that are normal prey for other predators. They also are braver than other predators as in they will go through your trash, garden and even brave enough to get inside your house to steal food. They will and have messed with little children who do not know the difference between domesticated animals and stray/feral animals. I do not even want to talk about how annoying it is when these animals are in heat.

If you really want to help, go to your local shelter and pick up a dog or cat there and take care of it. Take that stray animal to the shelter, they have at least two weeks of being taken cared of before they are put to "sleep". So help/rescue an animal that needs rescuing at a shelter.

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You know what happens when they get picked up, but it is better than the animals breeding

No it isn't.

they have at least two weeks of being taken cared of before they are put to "sleep".

They have one week, and they aren't put to 'sleep', they are 'disposed of' in a way that would give you nightmares if you had to watch.

So help/rescue an animal that needs rescuing

Yes.

http://www.satoya-boshu.net/

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@cleo- No it isn't. - your opinoin, your entitled to it.

Did you notice I put the quotes around sleep, most people know what that sleep means. I know they are gassed. Some shelters run for two weeks in Kanagawa, but I know the norm is 1 week, as you may have watched a documentary that showed extremes.

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I think many people think the lady was feeding cats... No. It was the guy who was feeding cats and the lady was telling him not to because of the kitty poop.

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I know.. I read a few different Japanese news and they all say it was the man who was feeding the cats and the woman had been telling him not to for a couple of years. He said he was angry because she yelled at him. If anyone can read Japanese, below are the links ..

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20090828-00000001-maip-soci

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20090827-00000112-jij-soci

Moderator: The story has been corrected. We apologize for the mistake.

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@USNinJapan2

if you really care about that poor starving stray cat that you feed, take it in, give it a home and have it neutered. Oh, and do the same for the next stray that shows up, and the next, and the next...

Well actually friend, that is what I did do, three times in ten years.

As you are so full of good advice for others, how about you mister?

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fishy-you are right. Just checked it and it was the woman who told the man to stop feeding the cats. Good on her, too bad she died because of it.

cleo-if you were asking, which is what I am assuming what you meant, anybody what they would rather do, I am sure procreating would be the choice of any person. Now if you ask people would you want animals to breed unadulterated so they could kill off other species and become pests or choice B and maybe choice C like Statistician did, I am sure more people would choose B. Why? Because they do not want to take responsibility for the animal, they do not want the animal in their house, they do not want to spend money and care for the animal like they should. It is cruel and mean, but if you keep letting them breed and let it get out of control, we are going to have to start culling cats and have someone else get shot in the neck by some old dude that has no idea how to handle a weapon. (yes that was a little extreme, but I am only following your example.)

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I have no sympathy. I've said it before and I'll say it again: You don't mess with a man's cats. That's just wrong.

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Statistician

As you are so full of good advice for others, how about you mister?

I have adopted a cat once from the SPCA but no, I do not feed or take in stray cats no matter how cute they may be or have any desire to have anything to do with them. I am indifferent as to their existence in so far as they are not a nuisance to the public or to me personally. I am all for controlling their numbers by whatever means necessary but prefer the catch-nueter-release method.

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So now it turns out the nutjob was the 'animal lover' who evidently valued the lives of stray cats over a human life. That's rich.

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JT just corrected the article :)

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Ichya -

No, I wasn't asking. I was hoping people would look at things from the cats' point of view - all they're doing is getting on with their lives, being cats. No way they'd think being put to 'sleep' (yes, I did notice the quotes') was preferable. From the human point of view, I'd rather my tax money be spent on neuter-and-release than on gas chambers. In my time I've taken in more than my share of stray/abandoned kitties and pups and found them new homes with responsible owners.

Old dudes out on a killing spree who get shot in the neck by other old dudes ditto don't cause me to lose any sleep. Except about the killing spree thing.

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@USNinJapan2

I have adopted a cat once from the SPCA but no, I do not feed or take in stray cats no matter how cute they may be or have any desire to have anything to do with them.

I guess that was one happy kitty you had there. Congrats on your generosity and 'the good deed'.

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cleo-I understand what you are saying and if they were captured, neutered and released, I would feel a bit indifferent to it. The reason I am more into the "sleep" is becuase I had a neighbor who was putting out rat poison for the cats and some pet owners dogs got sick from eating it. This man was arrested, but for someone to just leave out poison instead of the later is just even more twisted.

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@IchyaTactics

I had a neighbor who was putting out rat poison for the cats

I hope he got a substantial and well publicised prison sentence. He was not only putting out poison for cats and dogs, but for young children playing outdoors too.

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I bet that old woman lived with her parents until married and then moved in with her husband and has had every single need and want taken care of her whole life without so much of a struggle but the pretentious, arrogant, heartless, old cow, threw it all away when she could not keep her mouth shut when an old man was taking pity on unwanted pets. The punishment in this case does not fit the crime but I am chalking one up for the animals anyway. I like cats much better than most humans.

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threw it all away when she could not keep her mouth shut when an old man was taking pity on unwanted pets.

No, I'd say it is the stray-cat feeding idiot who "threw it all away" by killing the woman who was tired of him attracting thousands of cats to the neighborhood.

People who regularly feed stray animals are heartless fools with no friends. They need the "affection" of animals who come to them for food. And more often than not, as this woman found out too late, they have a violent streak and are infested with hatred of fellow humans.

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@dr_jones

It was post on JT last year sometime as news, since JT remove old news I can't find it, I'll post again if I do.

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I hate stray cats. They fight and make to much damn noise. To bad this nut killed bachan over them.

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People who regularly feed stray animals are heartless fools with no friends. They need the "affection" of animals who come to them for food. And more often than not, as this woman found out too late, they have a violent streak and are infested with hatred of fellow humans.

That's some insight you have there....

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People who regularly feed stray animals are heartless fools with no friends. They need the "affection" of animals who come to them for food.

you are the definition of an oxymoron....

what makes you think that people whom feed stray cats don't have friends? on many occassions, my family and i have feed a ton of stray cats and i have, not a lot, but a descent amount of friends. not only that, all strays aren't violent and hateful. you're thinking of physically abused strays; the ones whom can no longer trust human kind for the abuse their owners dealt them for no apparent reason at all. either way, these strays--abused or abandoned--still want love and affection. my family took in two stray calico cats and one of them sleeps with her paws clinging to the fabric of the couch from some sort of physical abuse she endured from her previous owners. the one whom was abused cuddles with us, walks on our shoulders to rub her head against ours and sleeps on our chests when she wants to feel love.

sometimes its not the person whom wants love but the animal since they're the ones whom are entirely friendless. all they want is love from a human, not from people who feel they have to to impress somebody or fill a black whole in their life

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Okay I love cats as much as the next person but I don't think that there is a need for killing another person over them.

And another thing, how do we know if the cats weren't captured, neutered and released? The story doesn't say that.

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I love cats! I have one stray cat I've sort of adopted as an outdoor cat. There are maybe only one other cat in the area (I think mine is very territorial). But the cat is very friendly and welcomed part of the neighborhood.

But if someone thought it was a bother, I figure that cat would be able to survive on it's own (it eats rats and mice with no problem). Certainly wouldn't get mad at someone for it.

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Sorry I hate cats! And these idiots who feed stray cats and let them breed out of control should be put in jail! Killing the poor woman for telling him not to feed these cats? This guy needs to hang! Japan should be more strict about stray cats, dogs etc..the SPCA of Japan should have been called and hopefully all of this would have been avoided. RIP poor woman. This 70 year old horrible man should burn in hell!

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that cheapskate only fed the cats when he could have captured, neutered and released more cats, and been much kinder to them.

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I agree she really shouldn't have commented on something like that if it didn't pose a direct issue to HER, but Hayashi was way out of line for what he did. Regardless of the disagreement, that kind of retaliation is never appropriate. This is just ridiculous! May Okado rest in peace.

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Feeding stray cats is not just about taking pity on poor homeless animals:

Stray and feral cats can harbor parasites and disease that could spread to domestic pets, particularly if the homebound pets interact with the strays or share some of the food left out for them.

Food left out for cats can attract other, less welcome creatures -- rats, mice and other vermin -- that can spread disease, infest homes, and create unsanitary conditions with their droppings.

Uneaten food can attract flies and other insect pests.

Strays can get into fights and displays of territorial aggression with domestic pets, resulting in injury, infection, or death of one or both of the animals

Strays and feral cats may bite or scratch young children or other unwary people. A cat's bite is awash with bacteria, and can lead to a dangerous, even life-threatening infection. And because a cat's teeth are pointed and designed to puncture rather than crush, bacteria can be pushed deep into a person's tissue.

The possibility of rabies is always a concern, even in urban areas.

People with allergies to pet dander could suffer severe allergic episodes if forced to interact with multiple stray cats on a regular basis, or else have to foot high bills for allergy medications that may only marginalize, not eliminate, their symptoms.

In addition to attracting unwanted vermin like mice and rats, food left out for cats may just as likely attract larger, more aggressive animals. In my home state of NH (in the USA), a bowl of food left out for a cat or dog is just as likely to attract a black bear or a bobcat.

A feral cat can be just as dangerous as any other wild animal. Just because a stray cat looks like a domestic cat doesn't mean it will act like one.

As has been mentioned, leaving out food for stray cats can lead to multiple cats congregating in a certain area, which can increase the chances of those cats breeding with each other or with domestic pets. This in turn can create an unsustainable expansion of the cat population.

It's all well and good to want to care for homeless animals, and if this were a perfect world doing so would have no downside. but this ISN'T a perfect world, and the risks posed by feeding stray cats (or dogs, or other animals, what have you) often outweigh the benefits. Sometimes the best you can do for an animal is leave it alone and let it look after itself.

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Of course I would never kill someone, but we had this problem at my home once. It becomes a persistent nuisance and there is no way to stop it short of killing every last cat. Feces, noise, all manner of diseases. Carcasses. Killing of wildlife, etc. I am an animal lover, and all too often, that means being a feral cat hater. I did not make it that way. That is the world I live in.

I believe that sterilization of cats is a huge financial burden for the average person in Japan.

I moved away. That solved the problem. If the man had contacted me, I would have told him about a guy I knew who was able to find very effective countermeasures against these animals using items you would find around the house. There is after all, more than one way to skin a cat.

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Feces, noise, all manner of diseases. Carcasses. Killing of wildlife, etc.

@Klein2: What kind of cats did you live near, mountain lions?

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Mnemo is SO RIGHT ON! These feral cats are not named Fluffy and Snowball. They spray, they howl, they make a big mess, and kill everything in sight. They dig up gardens. They are worse than vermin. Truly. I would rather have a yard full of poison snakes (and do in fact) than one feral cat.

Cat lovers should understand that no matter how much they like their little kitties, once they are outside, they are everybody's problem, and they don't mind like children do, and they don't have diapers. I, for one, am delighted when one of the regular prowlers comes up missing, replaced by a marauding tanuki or fox, or a nest of hawks in a nearby tree. We had monkeys come through this summer. They are disgusting, but they snack on cats. Keep kitty inside and kitty will live for another day. If they want to walk on the wild side, they take their chances.

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Thanks for asking, techall,... cats kill birds. Lots of birds. Sparrows, sure, but what about pheasants? Have you ever heard a pheasant call? I used to hear it a lot, but not so much anymore around here. They nest on the ground, and they are about gone. The hold their own against the crows and all of the people and traffic, but along comes mommy kitty and her brood and it is game over.

They eat snakes and lizards too. Around here, the only things that eat moles are snakes. Lizards keep the cricket and woodlice population way down. Frogs eat the slugs. We used to have a lot of squirrels too, but they are vanishing.

So it is so nice to think that cats just eat mice, but it is not true. Dogs are pretty clueless and do not seem to make a whole lot of difference in the grand scheme of things, but feral cats mess the whole thing up.

Do you like to grow lettuce? Of course you don't, but if you did, how about a tomcat peeing on your lettuce? What lengths would you go to in order to keep a tomcat from peeing on your lettuce? There IS a point where it is worth getting stabbed, and that lady went there.

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mnemosyne, great post!

Sometimes the best you can do for an animal is leave it alone and let it look after itself.

Yes, but I think the "sometimes" is closer to "always" with feral animals.

To the others, yes I may have exaggerated the psychological profile of people who feed cats and pigeons, but I am referring to people who habitually feed them every day on a large scale, without the slightest regard for the effects on neighbors. Nearly always these people are mentally unstable, and unable to form relations with others. That was the case here I think, regrettably.

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