Felines throughout North America’s oldest city are up on their hind legs this week. In a catty move the City of St. John’s announced their new “Regulations for Cats living in the City of St. John’s.”
While the Mayor and City Councillors think this is the Cat’s Pyjamas for solving the problem of cat roaming, over population and damage control, feline’s are calling foul.
Sylvester Escott is a 15 year old Tabby, that’s almost 80 in human years. He says the Mayor may be grinning like a Cheshire Cat over this one, but Mousers everywhere are mad. He has agreed to sit down, or lay down, for an exclusive one-on-one interview with me about what he refers to as the “Ratty Regulations.”
Reporter: Thank you Sylvester for taking the time to speak to me and give your side of the story.
Sylvester: You’re welcome. I feel someone had to speak up. These new regulations has left us as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
Reporter: How did you first hear about the new regulations? Were you or your community consulted in anyway?
Sylvester: Well Thomasina down the road was using her litterbox Saturday afternoon. Her human had just cleaned it and laid down a new lining of newspaper and Kitty litter. After doing her business she proceeded to bury it as all good cats do. Well to put it in Thomasina’s own words “I just finished burying one pile of crap when I dug up another!” She called a neighbourhood watch meeting on her back fence and read out the new regulations. It was the first we heard of them.
Reporter: So the ad in the newspaper was when they let the cat out of the bag?
Sylvester: That’s right. You know what they say “When the Cat's away the mice will play” and play they did with these ridiculous regulations. Banning cats from roaming the City of St. John’s! Who do they think will control the rat and mouse population now? City Council? Really, the pot holes up by Stavanger Drive have been there that long Shannie Duff has declared them a heritage hole now! How the hell are they going to do our job? Then to set up live humane cat traps. That’s just a Cat-o-nine-tails form of punishment for helping keep the city clean.
Reporter: You have to admit that cats do cause damage to property and are a nuisance to neighbours by leaving droppings around their yards.
Sylvester: Then I ask you. When will the City of St. John’s ban humans from roaming?
Reporter: Why would they want to?
Sylvester: Well Spring has sprung in the City of Legends. Try walking five feet without seeing a discarded Tim Horton’s cup, a McDonald’s bag, or Pepsi tin. Every parking lot, school ground, lawn and trail is full of human garbage! It’s not cats throwing old fridges in the bushes on the Rennie’s Mill Trail. It’s not cats that clean out their cars in parking lots. It’s not cats that throw their cigarette butts out the windows. Humans create a 100 times more garbage than cats do.
Reporter: (Pause) Sorry the cat had my tongue there for a minute. But you do urinate and do #2 outside on peoples lawns and flower beds sometimes.
Sylvester: Well Hey diddle diddle, the Cat and Fiddle. We do have to go when nature calls. It’s called fertilizer. At least we are discrete about it. Try walking down George Street, Duckworth Street or Water Street on a weekend night. Are you telling me that it is cats who are pissing up against all those clubs, restaurants and businesses? Like, I know a Tomcat that’s pretty proud of the length of his tail if you know what I mean, but even he can’t write his name in the snow like a drunk staggering on George Street.
Reporter: The City says that it’s for your own protection. Every year they see hundreds of cats die due to cars, predators, cat fights and exposure to disease. So for your own safety owners should not let their cats outdoors unattended.
Sylvester: Let’s get something straight first. Cats do not have owners. We own humans. So don’t play cat and mouse with me. Let me ask you a question. How many humans die each year because of cars, predators, cat fights, and exposure to disease in St. John’s alone? Thousands! You are the number one cause of global warming. The number one cause of spreading diseases. You are the only animal that will abandon their young before they can fend for themselves. You are the only animal that will kill your own kind for no reason other than you don’t like each other. Let’s not pussyfoot around here. Instead of these high paid city councillors wasting their valuable time creating regulations for cats, how about they spend some time creating shelters for homeless youth we see sleeping in alleyways downtown? How about cleaning up the graffiti off historic buildings? How about filling a few potholes!!!!! I want answers to these questions!
Reporter: Well curiosity is obviously killing the cat so to speak. How are you going to fight this?
Sylvester: We are mobilizing as we speak. I’ve contact Pussy Galore in our national office and she is hopping like a cat on a hot tin roof. She told us to get every feline in the city to attend City Hall’s next meeting. There won’t be enough room to swing a cat when we unite.
Reporter: So you will be attending the next City Council meeting?
Sylvester: No, we’re not “attending” the meeting we’re going to piss on their cars in the parking lot. Try getting the smell of cat piss out. Talk about your new car smell. They’ll get our Cat-Calling Card.
Reporter: All City Council is trying to do is please City residents who don’t like cats and who have complained about them on their property. Is that so wrong?
Sylvester: People who don’t like cats? What is this the Salem witch hunt? It’s bad enough you humans put Halloween costumes on us. Next you’re want us to walk upright and wear pants. Did you not watch the Lion King? It’s called the circle of life. Humans create garbage, garbage brings rats and mice, and cats kill rats and mice. Unless the City is advertising for a Pied Piper position I don’t see how this is going to work. Why don’t they regulate the birds? When was the last time a cat shit on your windshield or head? We’re so upset over this, we are never bringing our musical back to this city!
Reporter: That’s all the time we have. Thank you, Sylvester Escott, for taking the time to speak to me…. (weird sound comes from cat) Excuse me did you have something you wanted to add before we end?
Sylvester: No, just a fur ball. Sorry.
Reporter: There you have it. City councillors have dragged the feline population into a cat fight. It is unclear if the new regulations apply to cats visiting from other areas around the City. The City also can’t say how the Animal Surveillance Security Enforcement Section (Asses) will be able to tell St. John’s cats from Mount Pearl cats. The Mayor of Mount Pearl says he will have nothing to do with a Pussy Patrol and that Mayor O’Keefe better keep his hands off Mount Pearl pussies.