The Mix

Attack of the killer...cats?

Um, no. But one VA club is planning to exterminate its population of stray cats, <i>just in case</i> any of 'em should decide to get violent in future.
As my friends and family know, I'm a super-sucker when it comes to creatures of the furry kind. Especially creatures of the furry feline kind. I've grown up with 'em, and I brought my two (adopted shelter) cats with me to San Francisco when I moved.

So this recent article in the Washington Post damn near broke my heart.

It's about how an Army-Navy country club in Arlington, Virginia is planning to exterminate its resident cat colony -- a family of feline ancestors that's lived on the property for 40+ years.

In the story, the club's vice-president Al Baker said that although he didn't agree with the club's position, the board of governers decided earlier in the year "to enter into a program where the cats are terminated, eradicated, killed," and to begin doing so as early as January 1st.

Why? Because "although most of them have been trapped, vaccinated and spayed or neutered, usually at club expense, some board members fear that a new cat might move in, become infected with rabies and bite someone on the grounds."

It hasn't happened in the 40 years that the colony has lived there, but it might happen soon. Um. Ok. When's the last time you heard about a killer cat attck on "20/20?" I never have, because it, uh, doesn't happen.

In the article, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), a 20-year club member, was quoted as being "outraged." He also said he'll use his political prowess to try to convince the board members not to kill the cats: "We can't let that happen...Let me get involved in it and see."

I visited the club's website, and easily found a list of staff email addresses. I took the liberty of emailing the club's COO, Edward A. Urben -- as well as some other club officials -- to protest their decision to exterminate the kitties. (FYI: you can also call the club at 703-521-6800).

If you care about animals, I urge you to do the same...
Laura Barcella is AlterNet's front page editor.
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