The exceptionally cold Texas weather catastrophe is a global warning. They say that it is a sign of global warming. Fortunately and thankfully the forecast for Houston Texas is that conditions are rapidly warming up this weekend. Temperatures get back to about 20°F. But over the past days I’ve been thinking of the feral cats living in Texas who would normally not be in danger because of extreme weather conditions.
I have convinced myself that there are many wonderful volunteers out there doing their best to keep feral cats warm by building shelters and ensuring that they are fed under TNR programs. I know this has happened. People can retreat to their homes but feral cats can’t unless people provide them, and in my book we have an obligation to do it as we put them there.
We are told that there’s been some failures in the electricity supply grid partly because of wind turbines freezing. There is a story of helicopters spraying antifreeze onto wind turbines. So people are suffering in their homes too.
PETA provide some winter survival tips for animals in Texas. A common sense first step is to make sure that any indoor-outdoor cat is kept inside but that said most cats will remain inside for the duration. It is dogs which in this instance are more vulnerable. Dogs are a concern because some people keep them outside on chains as guard dogs but apparently this is illegal in very bad weather in certain places. It should be illegal under all conditions and in all places in my opinion.
There is a report of a dog found frozen to death in Grapeland. PETA tell us that there were at least 37 cold weather-related companion animal deaths in 2019. They stress that this is just the reported cases. No doubt there were a lot more.
A defect with the reporting by PETA of companion animals being harmed by cold weather conditions is that they don’t mention feral cats. They have a long list of incidents of dogs being abandoned or left outside in freezing conditions but not a mention of feral cats. I know PETA believe the feral cat shouldn’t exist and they have implied that they should be euthanised, all of them. I think their signalling with respect to feral cats is confusing.
Anyway, I would like to see them discuss feral cats. They are just as important as companion dogs stuck outside on chains. Human behaviour which results in this relationship with animals is abhorrent.
I have found a couple of references to cats and cold weather on the PETA website list. One refers to 26 November 2019 in South Okanagan, British Columbia. 5 cats were found living in a metal crate on a truck bed in freezing temperatures and sadly 4 of them had died. In the second incident from Essex, Ontario, Canada, dated 2 March 2019, a cat was found by the side of a road suffering from hypothermia. The cat died a month later. All the other reports are about dogs and on one instance there is a report about 4 horses.
I would like to see some more reports about feral cats, please. Are they forgotten because they are so valueless? Perhaps they are unreported because they are unnoticed. That’s an issue which is concerning about feral cats. They are there but hiding and unless volunteers are concerned about their welfare under TNR programs, their death during the sort of weather currently encountered by Texas go unnoticed. They die or become frostbitten but nobody knows about it. Let’s think about the feral cats, please.