Non Sequitor (AMS) offers a non-controversial chuckle to start a day of myth-busting, because, yes, it would be nice if Parks & Rec also offered scooping this time of year, along with plowing a path.
Our normal leash-free zone closes in winter, but we’ve got an alternative area, the driveway to which does get plowed though we have to park and walk. Getting the dogs to cooperate by not ducking off the plowed part is trickier, and not everyone scoops once the snow sets in.
When the town adopted a leash law, we petitioned for an off-leash area and they gave us about two football fields worth of open land. However, when we asked if the no-leash exception could be swapped to the winter area during that season, the police chief said they really can’t do that without legislative action. However, there’s a lot of looking-the-other-way because dog walkers tend to repel drug dealers.
We’ll get back to that cooperative, work-with-us-here attitude in a minute.
Meanwhile, here’s a canine
Juxtaposition of the Day
I’ve had dogs who thought it was hilarious fun to run around in clothing and I had one who assumed he was being punished if you put a sweater on him. My current pup — shorthaired but of Scandinavian origin — mostly doesn’t seem to care, though it took several tries to find a sweater she wouldn’t wriggle out of in 10 minutes.
One of her besties is a Boston terrier, and they’re famously vulnerable to temperature extremes at both ends, but I’m otherwise convinced that dog sweaters are for the benefit of dog owners.
I saw a chart on social media this morning telling what temperatures are appropriate for dogs of different sizes, but neither temperatures nor sweaters are one-size-fits-all. My ridgebacks used to scratch at the door five minutes after being put out in winter, while my sister’s Berner would climb up on a snowbank for a nap. Meanwhile, sled dogs consider five inches of snow a cosy blanket.
My own rule is that, when it’s cold enough that I don’t want to listen to other owners’ criticism, I slip the sweater on Suzi. It’s a system that seems to work for everyone.
Now let’s switch to cats so I can piss everybody off.
Meanwhile, in the mostly sunny South, JD Crowe notes a story about cat lovers who emphasize the emotional rather than the intellectual.
The outrage is over two little old ladies who were apparently arrested for feeding stray cats. The first flaw in the heartbreaking saga is that they were not arrested for feeding cats. They were arrested, charged and convicted for trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with governmental operations.
It appears that the town of Wetumpka, Alabama, does not have a specific ordinance about feeding feral cats, but it does have laws about trespassing and mouthing off to cops.
I have always admired John Lewis and Rosa Parks and others who defied the law, then took their lumps in the cause of justice. I’ve never –not even “Back in the Day” — had patience with people who broke the law and then wanted amnesty. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth accepting the consequences.
But being obnoxious is not a political position, and these women, the video reveals, behaved no differently than the people normally derided as “Karens” for demanding special treatment. And as someone halfway between them in age, I get particularly annoyed by people who cite age as an excuse for misbehavior.
I don’t recall Benjamin Spock resisting arrest on the basis of being old enough that laws no longer applied to him.
As for trapping, neutering and releasing feral cats, my instinct is to side with experts who say the Trap, Neuter, Release movement is not only ineffective but harmful.
Here’s more on the topic from the American Bird Conservancy, who cite a number of reasons to oppose the soft-hearted approach, and not simply because it allows feral cats to go back to slaughtering songbirds. They offer a variety of supporting links, including one to an overall roundup of information that includes this snippet:
I like cats, but, once outside the house, they are an invasive species. The Oatmeal did a cartoon a few years back, after a chilling report not just on what feral cats do but on what your sweet little tabby does once she’s on her own.
Cats are a scientifically-documented threat to the environment, and the fact that they are cute shouldn’t make a difference. I haven’t heard of anyone in Florida trapping, neutering and releasing Burmese pythons. Besides, many of the endangered species that cats kill are absolutely darling.
Meanwhile, if dog owners have to license and confine-or-control their pets, I see no reason cat owners shouldn’t do the same. I know people with indoor cats, and I’ve even seen cats walked on a leash.
It’s not rocket science. It’s just animal science.
But as long as I’m playing Comics Mythbuster, here’s some good news, in conflict with this BC (Creators).
Certainly, birds do fly into wind turbines and they don’t win the contest. But, as the Sierra Club notes, those collisions are no more of a threat to birds than anything else that sticks up, including communication towers, power lines and houses. Not to mention cats.
Even if there were twenty times more wind turbines, enough to supply the US with electricity, the number of birds killed, assuming no improvement in wind turbine design, would be about 10 million–still far less than most other causes of bird deaths.
And there have been improvements in wind turbine design.
I also like kids, but a growing threat to them is not from windmills or feral cats. It’s from people who, even at Christmas ferchrissake, feel compelled to spread mockery and hatred against those who are different, blaming them and shaming them for who they are.
Point of Personal Privilege
I’ll close today on a more comforting note, one which I republish each year at the Winter Solstice, called “Merry Christmas to Those Not Having One.”
Please click the link, and share as needed.