‘Curiosity’ murdered the cats

‘Curiosity’ murdered the cats

by Maggie Sharp
(Hobart, Tasmania, Australia)

Wilson, a previously feral cat.

Wilson, a previously feral cat.

We've all heard the saying 'curiosity killed the cat', it's a simple saying which describes our curious companions. But you would never have expected this saying to be warped into the name of a sick ill humoured poison which is designed for one purpose: to slaughter cats.

'Curiosity' is so degrading to cats, and in my opinion it's extremely offensive to any and all cat lovers. It does offend me, and it brings a lot of shame upon me, as a Tasmanian, as it was made to kill cats on an island just off Tasmania, which goes by the name of 'Tasman Island'.

How, may you ask, did the cats get to Tasman Island in the first place? Well, the island was used for light houses, and light house keepers took their families to live on the island, and with the families came their pets. There has been no people living on Tasman Island for about 30 years (or so I've heard) but it has been home to many feral cats, which were left behind by humans to breed and populate. There are currently approximately 150 feral cats on the island.

These cats have been slaughtering the native birds which live on the island, which makes perfect sense. Cats aren't going to starve to death to preserve the native fauna on the island... Their aim is to survive.

So, scientists (or whoever it is who makes these poisons) have created this poison and have designed it to kill 'pests' such as rabbits and rats, but mainly cats... What they do is put the poison on meat and leave it in traps. The curious cats enter the traps and consume the meat which is contaminated with the poison 'Curiosity', 'Curiosity' then kills the cat...

These cats were put on the island by people, then abandoned and left to fend for themselves to later be slaughtered by people... It's so shallow, just kill off the homeless because they're acting as a somewhat burden... To everyone out there who owns a cat that was previously feral, think about this and how they're killing cats that are just like yours and mine...


Hi Maggie... Thanks for this story, which is close to my heart. The feral cats on Tasmanian islands are often cited by "experts" as examples of how cats kill wildlife and how dangerous they are to native species.

But as you say (and I am completely in tune with you on this subject) we introduced the cats and we abandoned the cats and then we bloody well kill the cats - a complete screw up. Do we do anything that is correct and proper? It is so typical of the worst of humankind's nature - narrow minded and arrogant. The cats are simply surviving as you say.

People kill far more species of animal than all the other animals put together. But do we do anything about that? Very little indeed.

The wild cat species are gradually being hounded off the planet. It is said that the tiger could be extinct in the wild in 5 years!

stephens island wren

There was a story that a single cat who I think was called "Tibbles" killed an entire species of bird, the Stephens Island Wren on Stephens Island, which is part of Queensland, Australia and just south of Papua New Guinea as far as I am aware.

It is well documented but highly exaggerated. Tibbles seems to have existed and he caught and brought back the wren to the lighthouse keeper who recognised the importance of it as a possible new species.

The lighthouse keeper keep a cat or cats and a pregnant female went wandering and created feral cats and bingo, they killed all the wrens on the island. As they were flightless birds this was not difficult.

As the bird was only found on this single island it became extinct.

The root cause was us. The cats were simply acting naturally and predictably.

There are many examples of whole cat colonies on islands being exterminated by "experts" to protect sea birds and native wildlife.

I just find the whole thing sickening as it is yet another example of how we screw up. Birds are important, yes, of course. But so is all life. Is a cat less important than a bird?

Michael Avatar

'Curiosity' murdered the cats to Feral cats

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'Curiosity' murdered the cats

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Oct 01, 2010 Sick
by: Edward

This is horrible man and the man making a joke about the name of poison he made to kill cats is sick and anonymous you are as sick as well if you think cats deserve to die like that.

Sep 29, 2010 Sadistic pleasures my eye!
by: Leah (England)

To gutless anonymous

Who are you to talk about sadistic pleasures?
There is no species that enjoys sadistic pleasures more than man.
Man is incapable of living in harmony with nature prefering to maime and kill rather than have some compassion towards defenceless creatures.

Do you think those cats asked to be left on that bloody island to suffer disease and starvation? For gods sake what planet are you on? You and like minded people should be have left on that damned island not the cats.

When will people realise once and for all that cats ARE NOT vermin or wild animals!? If they appear to be so then its because of humans not neutering when they should causing them to breed. Its about time people started to take responsibility and do the decent thing instead of sitting on their arses whinging about what awful predators cats are when all these unfortunate creatures are trying to do is survive the only way they know how.

As for the smart arse who thought of the poison well how clever are you eh? Bet you're real proud of yourself aren't you? Mass murder of innocent cats right up you street is it? Why don't you go get a proper job you bloody loser.

Sep 29, 2010 Feral cats deserve our compassion
by: Michele S.

Maggie: Thank you for bringing this to our attention, I hadn't heard anything about the mass poisoning of cats on Tasman Island. Is there anything we can do to help? Sending letters to anyone etc.

Once again, a man made problem is being "solved" by cruel methods without an ounce of compassion for the cats who didn't choose that lifestyle or location for themselves. Neutering isn't a new procedure, and if the original island dwellers had neutered their cats they wouldn't have been able to breed in the first place. Nor has the feral cat population expanded overnight, so there has been plenty of opportunity in the past to implement a mass neutering/spaying scheme. (The left flank lateral spay technique was introduced specifically so that ferals could safely be returned to their colony within 24 hrs of surgery). Neutering would have been a cheap and humane solution which could also have saved some of the birds.

To anonymous: Remember too that some humans enjoy killing other species (and each other) for fun before you try to villanise cats for killing birds. Mankinds exploitation of the planet and its resources has driven many species of flora and fauna to extinction and we continue to do so on a daily basis.

Sep 29, 2010 To Anonymous
by: Barbara

Another gutless know-it-all who has plenty to say but not the balls to put a name to it. Therefore your stupid ramblings mean nothing. Cats are programmed to hunt and kill, they don't make a conscious decision to go out and have a day of fun blasting birds from the sky only to bury them in a pit at the end of the day as humans do. Yes it's sad that birds are killed but it's even sadder that cats were put upon that island, left to hunt for their own food and survive as best they could and then some scientist makes up a poison and thinks he's being clever by calling it curiosity. I hate humanity!

Barbara avatar

Sep 29, 2010 It's you retarded
by: Fran

It's you retarded,not us who care about cats.
For God's sake,cats sure are abused plenty and more often than not by people they have no choice but to rely on.
What goes on behind closed doors doesn't bear thinking about.
It's people cause the problem of ferals by their sheer ignorance and cold heartedness in throwing them out to fend for themselves.
Take a look in the mirror and see who is the retarded person who plainly hates cats,to write such rubbish.

Sep 29, 2010 To retarded anonymous
by: Ruth

People kill far more birds than cats do and many of them for no reason other than enjoying the 'sport' of shooting them down from the sky.
Birds are also kept in dreadful conditions and slaughtered horribly for people to eat, so I suggest unless you are vegetarian you think about that, as chickens and turkeys are birds as much as any other bird is.
People don't need to eat flesh, animals do !
Cats follow their instincts, they had to hunt to survive and although people have domesticated them and taken much from them, thankfully they haven't lost all of their natural instincts.
Birds caught by cats are the weakling ones, it's called Nature and Nature takes care of herself by ensuring the survival of the fittest.
Feral cats are a man made problem and have to survive somehow and no one has the right to complian or to kill them as an inconvenience.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Sep 29, 2010 This is completely retarded
by: Anonymous

Most cats kill NOT to eat, but just for the pleasure of killing. I quote:

"Eleven of the birds were brought to Lyall by Tibbles in almost pristine condition, as she seemd to enjoy the act of the chase and the kill rather than eating the birds" in regards to the Stephens Island Wren.

Also, there were reports of a black seabird massacre by feral cats, in which a person observed in digust at all the feathers and wings ripped off live birds just so cats can sate their sadistic pleasures.

If a single cat were killed the way hundreds of birds are killed by a cat, I bet the world would keel over the abuse of the cat.

May 05, 2010 Dear Maggie, i hate to hear about such abuse to feral cats.
by: Julie,Alhambra,USA

When I was a child a trapper placed some traps along the creek in the woods near our home. These traps had a sizzor action which made them twice as deadly. He bated them with fish.Our cat Natasha lost her tail too it and almost died. My sister Annie and I walked the banks of the creek with sticks and set off all the traps and then we threw them in the creek. We keep quiet about it. Trapping became too expensive in our neck of the woods;and you can't trp without traps!
Hoping they will wake up or grow a heart aint gonna happen.When it becomes expensive and non productive that's when they will move on.
People who posion animals under the guise of envirmental protection are not only playing God but they are gutless sadistic cowards!

May 04, 2010 'Curiosity'
by: Maggie Sharp

The main thing that annoys me is that nothing was tried to save the life of the cats, is their death really inevitable?

Another thing which worries me hugely is the fact that feral cats are a huge problem all over Australia, what's to say that these people won't use 'Curiosity' in other places, where domestic cats are... The killing of feral cats can include the killing of domestic cats if they're not careful.

May 04, 2010 Terrible !
by: Ruth

This is terrible ! Which sick in the head person invented the poison and called it Curiosity ?
Yes it's all down to the selfishness and uncaring attitude of some humans,they have an animal just because they can and then discard it when it suits them. Those poor abandoned cats got the blame for killing birds to survive and their punishment is their own death.
I am ashamed to be human !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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