London and New York are going through a real estate development boom. London’s skyline is littered with cranes as it has been for years. In London, developers are building glitzy, expensive apartments for foreign investors. It provides them with the best profit margins. They have abandoned the city worker.
They’re developing disused areas where once there were feral cats. They are being displaced and these iconic developments are not housing the local human population who now find it far too expensive to live in London. Something is wrong and the government is doing nothing about it.
New York, I’m told, is going through a real estate boom which is reshaping the city. Vacant lots, shuttered hospitals and former warehouses are being knocked down and the plots developed to build iconic apartment blocks and luxury office space.
I hope, in contrast to London, that some of this residential development is appropriately priced for the benefit of the local population to allow workers to live and work in New York.
In vacant lots and disused factories you will often find feral and stray cats. They are ideal locations, really, where a feral cat colony can thrive or at least survive with the assistance, very often, of human volunteers practicing TNR.
When a site is developed the feral cats have to be relocated which is invariably difficult and in one instance I’m told that cats are being poisoned although there is no hard evidence to pin down that allegation.
In addition, wildlife such as foxes are also being forced out of the city by these iconic developments.
There are 500 registered feral cat colonies across New York City. One of them is in Long Island city, Queens. Cats are regularly abandoned there or they simply appear. A couple of nice ladies, Barbara Garber and Rebecca Wolf have volunteered their services for 9 years to care for feral cats on the dead-end streets at the edge of Sunnyside Yards.
Recently dead cats have appeared and they’ve not been killed by being hit by a car and they had not died of old age. A large number of large plastic rat traps have appeared in the area outside a new 26-story apartment building on Purves Street. Interestingly, some of the traps have been modified to create larger openings. Have these been modified to kill cats rather than rats? The are clumps of poisoned bait littering the pavement.
Rebecca Wolf said:
“It’s an atrocity is what it is… There weren’t even any rats, because of the cats.”
Is been described as a gentrification of New York from which I’m going to presume that New York is suffering from the same sort of development that we are seeing in London: high-priced apartments often for investment rather than to be lived in as a first home.
As New York is being developed there are of course less and less vacant disused plots for wildlife and feral cats which also makes it harder to relocate them in a similar area within New York.
Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, a pro-business group, would prefer that the city establish a feral cat sanctuary.
The displacement of feral cats in New York City is an interesting byproduct of large-scale development and not one that is often recognised. I believe that these sort of developments – if they are what I think there are – not only displace feral cats but also people who work in New York.
There is a need to build modestly priced residential accommodation in London and I suspect similar concerns exist in New York. The average person is being priced out of the market. The average feral cat is being pushed out of his home! It is a reflection, once again, of the widening gulf between the rich and the rest of us.
The wealth ofAmerica’s richest 400 individuals is the same as the combined wealth of the entire cat owning population of the USA.
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