PSA: Outdoor Cats Are NOT a Natural Part of the “Circle of Life”!

Hello everyone! I have been very busy with good things but needed to post this immediately. I hope you will consider what I’m sharing if you have outdoor cats. I know that I may be vilified for speaking my mind about this, I have been in the past when I shared on social media amongst “friends” who found it amusing that their cats were bringing them dead birds and chipmunks, but catering to the opinions of others when it goes against what I believe to be a moral issue isn’t something I’m good at, thankfully!

An Instagram “influencer” with a large following just shared that she is going to be adopting “barn cats” for “rodent control”. I left the following comment: “Very disappointed to see you promoting cats as ‘rodent control’. Please educate yourself about the impact of outdoor cats on wildlife. Cats are also not part of the natural ‘circle of life’, they are actually invasive and kill literally billions of birds every year!”

Even a shelter where I have adopted from here in Maine is advertising some of their cats as great “working cats” for rodent control. Yes I did call them to share my opinion. What about all the rest of wildlife? And why do rodents minding their own business in their natural habitat need to be “controlled” via killing?

A 2013 study estimated “free-ranging domestic cats kill between 1.3 and 4 billion birds – on top of between 6.2 and 22.3 billion mammals – every year in the United States alone, the majority by feral or unowned cats.” You can read more here. The Humane Society has an article on how to bring outside cats indoors. Another option is to buy or build an enclosed outdoor “catio.”

Update: Said influencer deleted my good faith comment and my account has been blocked by this “good vibes” influencer.

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Thrifty Yankee Health Saver: 30 Cent Device & Tinnitus

I don’t hold a grudge against Michael Stipe for the hearing loss in my right ear and lifelong tinnitus that is the result of an REM concert in 1989. I was only a few yards away from the speakers on the far right side of the stage. After the concert my ears were roaring for days which gradually lessened but never completely went away. I habituated to it and I only noticed it when it was very quiet, and because it was a low pitch it wasn’t too bothersome. In fact I didn’t know it was called tinnitus until many years later. I thought everyone heard something when it was quiet! Because of that experience I’ve been very protective of my hearing.

There are things we are all exposed to on a regular basis that can damage our ears, but for this post I’m going to focus on the home and a tiny expense that can save your hearing, peace and quiet and possibly thousands of dollars in medical bills. I’m also going to share a very personal cautionary tale about how I recently suffered further hearing damage which has negatively affected my mental health. I’m now ready to write about it and hope it will help someone.

Continue reading “Thrifty Yankee Health Saver: 30 Cent Device & Tinnitus”