Update On Priests Starving Cats
by Elisa Black-Taylor
Here’s the latest update on priests starving cats at St. James Parrish in lower Manhattan. My original story can be found at Priests Starving Cats (opens in a new window). From what I’m hearing, caretakers for the cats have been allowed to begin feeding the cats again. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.
On Tuesday, March 27, representatives from St. James and the Archdioceses met with representatives from NYC Feral Cat Initiative of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.
After listening to concerns on both sides of the issue, the church asked NYCFCI to write up a proposal on the care of cats on church property.
Personally, I believe these priests need an education in TNR. I believe they’re under the impression that should the cats be physically removed from the property the problem will be solved.
This is far from the truth and they need to be taught what has happened to these cats to make them the ideal solution for rat control. First of all, the rats in this area are huge and plentiful. The church grounds have few rats because the cats are doing their job.
These cats have been neutered and vaccinated against the most common feline diseases.
Should the cats be removed, more will come to take their place. That’s just how feral colonies are. Only the new arrivals will breed out of control and spread disease as they are NOT vaccinated.
If these priests think they have a problem with eight hungry cats on their property, they have no idea of how bad their cat problem will become should these cats be trapped and removed.
This cat colony of eight cats is manageable. They could easily have a hundred cats or more by the end of the summer if another feral colony moves in to take the place of the cats these priest so want to be rid of.
“It’s better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you don’t know,” comes to mind as I think about the ignorance these men are showing. Father Gonsalves, you can give the caregivers permission to continue feeding a handful of cats, or you can take your chances that several dozen will take their place by the end of summer. After all, kitten season has already started.
My suggestion would be to keep the eight you have. They’re neutered and vaccinated and earn their keep by killing rats.
You’ve already chosen to ignore the “rules” set forth pertaining to animals in the Holy Bible. Please don’t ignore the suggestions the NYCFCI are giving you. They’re not only trying to help the cats, they’re trying to help your church. You should not even be having to ask an outside agency to do what is considered right in the eyes of God.
Everyone needs to stay vigilant and keep the calls and emails to the church coming. Joseph Zwilling is Communications Director for the Archdiocese of New York and can be reached at 212-371-1011 x2997. The Archdiocese can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readers, cat lovers are making a difference in this situation. Because of all of the publicity, this tragedy has made news around the world. Let’s finish this by letting these men know that according to scripture, they are morally bound to care for God’s creatures.
Perhaps it’s because I’m a cat lover, but I see no other way for this situation to end than for the cats to stay on the church property and be cared for. Any other choice would not only be putting the cats at risk, but also the worshipers who attend services here. Between the rat population and cats not inoculated for disease, this church could become a dangerous place.
I apologize for not having more to report. I think it’s a waste of everyone’s time for a plan of action to be written and then presented. I believe these priests should do what’s right. Period.