An elementary school in Maryland has been closed simply because a feral cat was seen wandering around the school. Surely this cannot be a sensible reaction to the presence of a feral cat within the school’s grounds.
The picture above is not the cat. If is just to illustrate the page. A picture of the actual cat is at the base of the page.
The school has 500 students and they were bussed back home or they waited to be picked up by their parents to return home.
Traps have been set to catch the cat. This story was reported on August 29, 2014. The cat may already have been caught by now and if so it is a death sentence.
In closing down the school just because a feral cat is seen wandering around is effectively a death sentence for the cat because it will be trapped by animal control and then euthanized. No question about that. Is that fair?
Of course, people have to protect students in their charge. The headmaster’s first priority is the student’s safety but does the presence of a feral cat present a danger to the students anymore than sports events or playing in the playground?
I don’t think it does. All you have to do is ignore the cat. Feral cats will nearly always run and hide from people anyway. The real danger is towards the cat not the people at the school. The headmaster could have issued a warning at morning assembly to not approach the cat. Then the school could have used the opportunity to turn the event into something positive by setting up a lesson in companion animal welfare.
I have a feeling that the headmaster’s decision to the presence of this cat is a knee-jerk reaction based upon what he or she may have read on the Internet about aggressive feral cats. It is indicative of how it is quite easy to spread misleading impressions when the wrong language and the wrong emphasis is employed in articles about cats. This is something that the news media often do.
I cannot believe that this is the first occasion when a stray cat has wandered into the grounds of the school and I’m sure that on all the other previous occasions the cat was simply ignored and the school functioned as normal.
This bad decision by the headmaster, in my opinion, does yet more damage to the public profile of the feral cat in the eyes of the public which may well lead to more persecution of the homeless cat.
Update: the cat has been captured and will be “assessed”. That means a good chance of euthanasia. I think it is disgusting. She is a dark calico:
She is scared. Why did they embark on all this nonsense and to kill this cat? I’d be very surprised if the cat is released or adopted out.