Subject: Re: cats & birds Date: Apr 19 10:35:49 1995 From: Don Baccus - donb at Rational.COM
OK, all this cats & birds stuff is driving me insane!
I'm forced to respond with:
THE SAGA OF THE PORTLAND AUDUBON SOCIETY'S CAT POGRAMS
Yes, indeed, way back when - in the 1930s, if I'm not mistaken - PAS (then known as Oregon Audubon) conducted search-and-destroy missions to free the nocturnal streets of these pesky pestilential pets.
Actually, apparently it was a single member of the board who was freaked by felines to the point of implementing kittyicide.
He'd drive the streets at night, looking for cats on the loose. "Here, kitty kitty!". He'd put them in a large sack, fill it with rocks, and drown them in our duck pond.
I kid you not.
As Dave Marshall, retired head of the USF&W Endangered Species Program under the Carter Administration, fifth-generation PAS member and currently on the Board of Directors says:
"He was a strange guy".
This went on for years. No, we have not excavated the pond, even when drained, in any attempt to estimate the number of cats which met their end, mewing pitifully "I've never killed a bird! Honest!".
For all you cat lovers out there, I hope the levity doesn't offend you. This is an Official PAS Dark Secret which gets reverently repeated during our annual Board/Staff retreat's social hour. Usually after a reasonable amount of time has been spent sipping the Official Drink of the Portland Audubon Society - Jose' Cuervo. Straight. No lime. No salt. No bullshit.
And, most certainly, no cats.
The uncovering of this secret is probably why all those other chapters in the state were founded, splitting Oregon Audubon asunder. They probably couldn't handle the guilt of being associated with a society with such grim secrets lurking in the archives.
An additional tidbit: during that time the Society also built a "cat-proof" fence around our 140 or so acre Sanctuary (now expanded to about 220 acres). We are uncertain whether it was more effective at keeping cats out, or, once in, keeping them from escaping.
Cat owners have been exacting retribution for years: hardly a week goes by without either an unwanted cat or batch of kittens being released in our parking lot in the middle of the night. "Portland Audubon - oh yeah, that's the organization that loves cats!" You figure it out, I can't.
Or, perhaps they are simply the reincarnated inhabitants of our duck pond!