This means war

I’ve had it up to here with cats wandering up on my deck — the place where I feed birds — as if they owned the place.

They are welcome to cross the yard if they like. Technically, they are violating a city ordinance by wandering about loose, but I’m willing to cut them a little slack.

But the deck is a no-cat zone, and the cats don’t seem to be getting the message. It is becoming a daily thing — often more than once a day. I notice there aren’t any birds feeding. I take a closer look, and, sure enough, one of the cats is making itself at home.

I chase it off, clapping my hands. It leaves, but sooner or later it always comes back. Or another cat takes its place.

So I’m going to get more aggressive. I’m going to fill my squirt bottle — as soon as I can find it — with water and have it at the ready. If I can’t find the squirt bottle, I’ll buy a squirt gun the next time I go to the store. I will not harm a cat, but I will do whatever I can to make its visit to my deck unpleasant.

I mean, really.

On other topics:

  • Jana in Proctor and others have mentioned seeing nighthawks recently. Apparently, a major migration swept through the Duluth area the other day. Karl Bardon and the other counters at Hawk Ridge reported seeing13,154 common nighthawks on Tuesday — the fourth-highest single-day count on record in Minnesota. I’m not even sure if I could count that high.
  • I went for a walk on the Split Rock River Trail in Lake County today. I didn’t see much in the way of birds, but what I did see made it worthwhile: a pair of mourning warblers. This was worthwhile because they were "lifers" for me — the first mourning warblers I’ve seen, or at least the first I’ve put on my list. I wasn’t sure they were mourning warblers while I was on the trail, but after looking at more pictures online, I am sure. The colors matched perfectly, and the white eye ring confirmed it. (Actually, a walk on a beautiful day in August is worthwhile even if I don’t see ANY birds.)
  • Thanks to Kathy and Andrew for your suggestions regarding what to do to keep bees out of the hummingbird feeders. Andrew, your suggestion may have been the most unique advice I’ve gotten on any topic so far with this blog.

11 thoughts on “This means war

  1. John – thanks for following up on the Nighthawk migration. It sure was an enjoyable thing to watch.

  2. Could you put something uncomfortable (for cats) to walk on on the deck? Those plastic car mats placed upside-down so the pokey things (technical term) on the bottom point up worked to keep our cat off the counters… But then you have to remember to not go barefoot on your deck, too.

  3. A friend had a big problem with stray cats kiling songbirds, digging and crapping in his flowerbeds, etc. He got a good sized varmint live trap (about 12″ x 24″)and put an open can of tuna in it. Four days — four cats, all who went to the local shelter. One was reclaimed, but never came back. The owner must of got the message. Letting cats out at night (or day) to run or ‘feel freedom’ is bad for the cat. A high percentage of them get diseased, bad food or hit by vehicles. You want your cat to live a good long and healthy life — keep it inside!

  4. Amen to the last post. I unfortunately hit a white cat on London Road the other evening. First time I have ever hit a pet. It ran away, but it could have had internal injuries. That cat was on a mission! I didn’t stand a chance. Cat-owners: Please! Save us and yourselves the tears, OK? Super-soaker keeps the cats out of my back-yard. I hope you all had a chance to see a Night-hawk! Peace-all!

  5. Oh boy, John, this is one of my pet peeves and really gets my dander up. Dog owners are required to keep their dogs in their yards, why should it be any different with cats? I have written numerous letters to various editors which have all been published regarding keeping cats inside where they belong or on a leash when outside.

    I have found that putting out moth balls helps somewhat in keeping cats away as they do not like the smell. Other than trapping them and taking them to the Humane Society, unfortunately there isn’t much one can do – legally anyways. Good luck!

  6. My husband and I enjoyed watching 6 night hawks and they circled over our home. They are very relaxing to watch and it was a great way to end our day.

  7. I was under the assumption that there is NO leash law for cats was I wrong? What ordanance is in violation?

  8. Regarding the leash law and cats in Duluth, there’s this from the April 8, 2007, Duluth News Tribune. The source is Carrie Lane, the lead worker at the Duluth Animal Shelter:

    Keeping a dog or cat on a leash when it’s off the owner’s property is not only the law in Duluth, it’s common sense, Lane said.
    Lane stressed the importance of keeping an eye on your pet. Even if it’s off its leash on your property, be out there with your pet. “In terms of it getting lost or stolen, very few pets disappear when the owner is right there with it,” she said.

  9. I have 2 cats one is an indoor and the other is only out when I am stays in the yard and is under supervision at all times I don’t do anything ut keep an eye on him I don’t like the animals running loose

  10. Good for you, m switzer. If all cat (and pet) owners were as responsible as you, there’d be no problem.

  11. Out here where I am in southwest Washington state, there are coyotes everywhere (including our front and back yards), and even right in town. They are devouring cats right and left and people still let their cats roam outside. I just don’t comprehend that at all.

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