Those of us who choose to provide a cat enclosure or enclosures (in our case) for our much loved felines are also doing a good deed for the wildlife.
We live on top of Buderim Mountain (really a plateau about 100 metres high) in a lovely spot beside Buderim Forest. We are actually surrounded by huge green trees and foliage, and our back garden, which drops away sharply, is full of Tiger Grass, trees, gingers, and all sorts of palms and plants. We also have a very large old, pine tree which is situated at the corner of our large back deck.
Our view is north to the Blackall Mountains, and it’s all green, with a view of only three or four houses in the distance.
It’s really lovely, and, of course, we have some wildlife living in our back garden, though thankfully we haven’t sighted any pythons – although I’m sure they’re there, as one of our neighbours had a duck taken by a large python at Christmas time. However, that’s unfortunate, but normal, in terms of wildlife.
Also at about Christmas time we had some new tenants move into the next door house – a lovely young couple with two little kids – and a big ginger cat. Unfortunately, for some reason, they decided to leave their cat out at night, rather than in the daytime, with a nasty consequence.
I have taken to sleeping in one of the downstairs back bedrooms for coolness as it’s been so hot lately. A couple of weeks ago I was woken by the screams (really!) of some poor little animal being attacked in our garden. This was at about 3 a.m., when I’m not at my best, I have to say.
At first we thought it was the young possum who lives on our roof at night with two other adult possums, but fortunately, I guess, that wasn’t the case, and it turned out to be a marsupial that Ken had sighted when wondering around the back garden one night. There are some burrows in the garden, which we now assume is where these little creatures – not tiny, like a large rat – but not a rat – live.
Anyway, I went out a couple of times but in the dark, but couldn’t locate the problem, and it went on for quite some time in different locations in the garden. Two of the possums came along the fence and onto the pine tree to me, as they were understandably upset by what was happening. They were making their upset possum noises into the bargain.
In hindsight, I doubt that I could have saved the little creature, but it died a very terrifying and painful death, and it upset me so much I couldn’t sleep in the room for a couple of weeks.
However, as that has never happened in the three and a half years we’ve lived here, and the only change was the cat next door (a very large fierce looking fellow), Ken approached the neighbours and requested that they keep him in at night.
So far so good, and we’ve had no incidents since then, but I keep a torch downstairs, and will try and do a better job if it happens again – hopefully not!
I merely relate this tale so that you responsible cat owners can give yourselves a pat on the back. You’re not only protecting your much loved cats, but you’re also protecting the wildlife, which, so far as Ken and I are concerned, is equally as important.
So thanks to all of you, and give your lovely cats a pat and a hug from me.