• Christodoulos Moisa BLOG

Felix the cat vs Mr Morgan

Updated: Jul 18, 2020



The loss of my eight year old ginger cat Leonidas (Leo) and a comment made by a friend, albeit after he expressed his condolences, have forced me to pull my head out of my writing hole and give voice to what I think about cats.


Economist Gareth Morgan, helped by his millions, is spreading his message that: “cats must go if we care about our environment” and promotes the killing of cats to get rid of them not only from our countryside but also from our homes. Many people seem to agree with him.


What worries me is that some are taking this message further and are already attacking and killing cats. Some are even torturing them as happened in my city recently. I had a neighbour once who h

ated exotic trees and would roam at night poisoning all the pine trees of our suburb and eventually he actually killed and chopped down some very fine T-trees in his very own back yard. Those were some of the very indigenous trees that he was supposedly protecting. He in some ways couldn’t help it because he had a condition. However, it shows what can happen when someone expounds a proposition and acts on it before anyone is given a chance to critically analyse it.


Cats have been with us humans a very long time. In Cyprus recently in a Neolithic village that existed at Shilliorokambos, a grave was unearthed where a man’s body was buried with his pet cat. This predates the Egyptians by 4000 years. Those north African people worshipped cats, and their pantheon of gods included Bastel and Sekhmet among many other deities.


The knowledge that the relationship between humans and cats goes back a long time gives me some assurance that the link cannot be severed by a headstrong millionaire’s campaign. Don’t get me wrong. I love our birds and I like others are supportive of what different environmental organisations are doing to protect them. I also am enthralled by the notion that in New Zealand we had the largest carnivore bird Hasst’s Eagle (Harpagornis moorei) which could weight 230 kilograms ... a mean bird that in its time surpassed the aggression of even the most ferocious cat. This bird’s main food source was the moa.


Personally, I think that cats kept in a domestic situation should be neutered or spayed (unless they are for breeding) and confined indoors at night. I also believe they should be micro-chipped and collared with a bell and cared for properly by feeding them twice a day, worming and de fleeing them and taking them to the vet for a Feline enteritis vaccine during an annual check up. I am against de clawing them as they do in Canada.

Cats are not to blame for been found in New Zealand. It was us humans who first brought them here in the nineteenth century. They were imported for several reasons the most important to curtail mice and rats from eating stored crops and spreading diseases. Those vermin still do this and when one of my cats brought in a mouse or a rat he was doing exactly what he was brought here for.


They were also brought here as companions. It was the middle class though that elevated them to a status symbol and because of it, there are now more than 70 breeds of cats. I know that some people love those animals to an unhealthy degree and cannot see that allowing them to breed unchecked is detrimental to not only them but to the animals themselves. The compulsive hoarding of cats, a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), has long been associated with “crazy cat ladies.” Our health authorities and our justice system in New Zealand have to deal with people like that every few months. In 2015, just in Canterbury district, 11 cases were reported double that of the previous year.


The early link of cats with the parasitic protozoan Toxoplasmosis gondi and the danger posed to pregnant women excluded cats from households in many countries despite the fact that to get the virus a cat has to eat a bird or rodent that is carrying the protozoan that causes the disease. Then people have to touch the actual cat’s faeces; or water, vegetables or earth exposed to the excrement and thus the disease.


My opinion is that having more than two or three cats should be forbidden by law. Are we going to actually deny ourselves though, Felix the Cat, Garfield, Puss in Boots and Mr. Mestoffelees by consigning them to the rubbish bin of extinction? I doubt it very much. What we need to do is protect our native birds in sanctuaries, teach people that cats are a responsibility and also educate them how to manage them.


It also would be great if someone were able to put money into coming up with a vaccine for Toxoplasmosis. And as for people like Mr. Morgan ... well, he’s got the money to create a gated community ... in fact as many gated communities as he and other cat haters can create ... and when the cats eventually rule the earth, they know where to find them. Of course, he may be already eaten by DNA regenerated Haast’s Eagle that apparently is incapable of showing any discrimination between mice and millionares.


The loss of my eight year old ginger cat Leonidas (Leo) and a comment made by a friend, albeit after he expressed his condolences, have forced me to pull my head out of my writing hole and give voice to what I think about cats.

Economist Gareth Morgan, helped by his millions, is spreading his message that: “cats must go if we care about our environment” and promotes the killing of cats to get rid of them not only from our countryside but also from our homes. Many people seem to agree with him.


What worries me is that some are taking this message further and are already attacking and killing cats. Some are even torturing them as happened in my city recently. I had a neighbour once who hated exotic trees and would roam at night poisoning all the pine trees of our suburb and eventually he actually killed and chopped down some very fine T-trees in his very own back yard. Those were some of the very indigenous trees that he was supposedly protecting. He in some ways couldn’t help it because he had a condition. However, it shows what can happen when someone expounds a proposition and acts on it before anyone is given a chance to critically analyse it.

Cats have been with us humans a very long time. In Cyprus recently in a Neolithic village that existed at Shilliorokambos, a grave was unearthed where a man’s body was buried with his pet cat. This predates the Egyptians by 4000 years. Those north African people worshipped cats, and their pantheon of gods included Bastel and Sekhmet among many other deities.


The knowledge that the relationship between humans and cats goes back a long time gives me some assurance that the link cannot be severed by a headstrong millionaire’s campaign. Don’t get me wrong. I love our birds and I like others are supportive of what different environmental organisations are doing to protect them. I also am enthralled by the notion that in New Zealand we had the largest carnivore bird Hasst’s Eagle (Harpagornis moorei) which could weight 230 kilograms ... a mean bird that in its time surpassed the aggression of even the most ferocious cat. This bird’s main food source was the moa.

Personally, I think that cats kept in a domestic situation should be neutered or spayed (unless they are for breeding) and confined indoors at night. I also believe they should be micro-chipped and collared with a bell and cared for properly by feeding them twice a day, worming and de fleeing them and taking them to the vet for a Feline enteritis vaccine during an annual check up. I am against de clawing them as they do in Canada.

Cats are not to blame for been found in New Zealand. It was us humans who first brought them here in the nineteenth century. They were imported for several reasons the most important to curtail mice and rats from eating stored crops and spreading diseases. Those vermin still do this and when one of my cats brought in a mouse or a rat he was doing exactly what he was brought here for.


They were also brought here as companions. It was the middle class though that elevated them to a status symbol and because of it, there are now more than 70 breeds of cats. I know that some people love those animals to an unhealthy degree and cannot see that allowing them to breed unchecked is detrimental to not only them but to the animals themselves. The compulsive hoarding of cats, a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), has long been associated with “crazy cat ladies.” Our health authorities and our justice system in New Zealand have to deal with people like that every few months. In 2015, just in Canterbury district, 11 cases were reported double that of the previous year.


The early link of cats with the parasitic protozoan Toxoplasmosis gondi and the danger posed to pregnant women excluded cats from households in many countries despite the fact that to get the virus a cat has to eat a bird or rodent that is carrying the protozoan that causes the disease. Then people have to touch the actual cat’s faeces; or water, vegetables or earth exposed to the excrement and thus the disease.

My opinion is that having more than two or three cats should be forbidden by law. Are we going to actually deny ourselves though, Felix the Cat, Garfield, Puss in Boots and Mr. Mestoffelees by consigning them to the rubbish bin of extinction? I doubt it very much. What we need to do is protect our native birds in sanctuaries, teach people that cats are a responsibility and also educate them how to manage them.

It also would be great if someone were able to put money into coming up with a vaccine for Toxoplasmosis. And as for people like Mr. Morgan ... well, he’s got the money to create a gated community ... in fact as many gated communities as he and other cat haters can create ... and when the cats eventually rule the earth, they know where to find them. Of course, he may be already eaten by DNA regenerated Haast’s Eagle that apparently is incapable of showing any discrimination between mice and millionares.

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