It’s no secret. I love meme, but when I came across this one from Winograd’s No Kill Nation Facebook page, I tasted the acid come up in the back of my throat.
Everything wants to live, and this feral kitten actually is of an age when it might be tamed down.
But even with that simple observation, the meme is manipulative.
“You want to euthanize cut kittehs? You bastard!”
The thing is that feral kitten will grow up to be a feral cat, and if this is in one of those managed colonies, it will be trapped and desexed and released back into the wild. It will be fed cheap cat chow, which will subsidize its sport hunting proclivities. Kind of like a Meow-cescu. (Don’t give me hell for that pun!)
in an urban area, it will be at best a reservoir for disease. In a rural area, it will be part of the great mesopredator guild expansion. This is the world were the little predators now live without much fear of the big ones. This is a part of ecology we are only just now starting to figure out. North America was not always filled with raccoons and foxes, and feral cats are only very recent arrivals. Our small mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphbians didn’t evolve with so many little carnivores, and it is hard to see how they could be benefiting from this new ecological realty.
I am tempted to make my own meme, maybe a photo of little rabbit or robin, that says almost exactly the same thing that this Winograd one says.
You can only support TNR if you don’t understand the science behind the mesopredator plague that has swept much of North America and Europe over the past few centuries.
Once you realize what’s actually happening in this wolf and cougar depauperate land, you won’t be so cavalier about saving the kittehs or letting your own cat roam outside unsupervised.