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A happy ending for the 'killer cats'

An army-navy club has granted a 'reprieve' for the colony of stray cats that's lived on its Virginia grounds for more than 40 years.
 
 
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At the end of December, I blogged about a family of stray cats that had been living, for more than 40 years, on the grounds of an army-navy club in Arlington, Virginia.

The club's board members had just decided to get rid of the resident kitties for fear that they might "become infected with rabies and bite someone on the grounds."

Many club members -- like Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa) -- were outraged by the decision to exterminate the cats, many of which had already been spayed and neutered at the club's expense. Volunteers had routinely been taking time to feed and care for the felines, and the cats never showed any sign of aggression or illness.

Good news -- the Washington Post recently ran a follow-up story announcing the club's decision to grant the cats a "reprieve" and allow them to remain on the grounds.

"Early this week, [the club's vice president Al] Baker and the cats' caregivers met at the club with representatives from Alley Cat Allies, a Bethesda-based national organization that works to reduce the stray and feral cat population. The group proposed moving the cats from three locations on the property to a more remote spot, farther from where children play, and the club agreed.

"When these club members started to get the information about the cats' situation, there was a giant response of concern," [Baker] said. "I think the outcome of this is representative of thoughtful leadership and concerned members coming together and trying to get an effective solution to save and protect the cats, which are a valuable asset to our club."

Yay -- color me relieved. I'd like to think it was my blog post (and readers' subsequent complaints to the club) that made a difference, but I'm not that vain...

Laura Barcella is AlterNet's front page editor.