This is what death looks like

..and why we need to keep cats on leads

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This is what death looks like:

small,

silent,

still.

Nothing remarkable.

No great fanfare of mourners,

no pagentry,

just a leaf of brown fur curled up in the soil.

This is what murder looks like:

charming,

engaging,

entertaining,

loveable,

fun.

Ignore the sharp eyed claws

and jaws,

the precise pounce,

the silent stealth

of unsuspected ending.

 

Not everything is as it seems.

 

Images of unsuspecting horses stampeding from the Icelandic volcano,

the beauty of hooved escape.

Yet behind them is the more sinister tale of herdsmen who knew their impending fate,

knew through seismic science

the volcano was about to scream

and throw

molten rage

at their passivity,

their arrogance,

their denial,

for those herdsmen knew,

many moons before,

that the earth would tremble and spew

and yet they did nothing.

 

We are all doing nothing.

 

We are doing nothing about all the things we know are wrong.

 

We do nothing with all the science,

all the papers,

all the data,

all the facts.

 

This is what murder looks like,

to stand by

and do nothing.

 

Nothing at all.

 

My cat did not kill that vole,

together we found it curled up in the dew,

we sniffed and stroked it.

I felt sad

and spoke some words of gratitude for its still, soft, fragile beauty.

 

My cat did not kill that vole because I make a choice to harness our foundling kitten,

to walk together,

connected,

both of us restrained by the other.

 

Restraint is not a word we like to use,

not sexy,

not fun,

so tight and clipped.

 

Yet our restraint allows space for others to flourish.

My cropped consuming,

in a tiny way,

may allow,

more trees to grow,

fewer children to have their fingers torn in dark, rank rooms so I can disposably look good.

 

Death and Murder,

symbiotically connected,

neither looking as first they seem,

We are all both of them,

and will continue to be,

all the time we look away,

and see what we want to see,

A cute cat,

killing

a pointless thing.

 

I love my cat, but I also love the birds, mammals and insects in the garden.  He doesn’t need food, we feed him well.  Time moving slowly in the garden with him has connected me more mindfully to the nuances of light, shade, squeak and buzz.  He has shown me toads, voles, mice and insects which I never otherwise would have seen without him as my partner.

I chose to walk him on a harness because the evidence of destruction that domestic cats cause is incontrovertible. 

We have choices and this is one, what will you chose?

Domestic Cat Predation on Wildlife – ‘between 1st April and 31st August 1997. A total of 14370
prey items were brought home by 986 cats living in 618 households.’

How Many Birds do Cats Kill? – ‘cats in the UK catch up to 100 million prey items over spring and summer, of which 27 million are birds.’ (RSPB)

Domestic cats and their impacts on biodiversity: A blind spot in the application of nature conservation law – ‘To illustrate, the 14,370 prey items brought home by a sample of 986 British pet cats in a 5-month survey period in 2003 included 20 mammal species (e.g. mice, voles, shrews, squirrels, stoats, rabbits and bats), 44 bird species, four reptile and three amphibian species and some invertebrates (Woods, McDonald, & Harris, 2003)’

Cat survey reveals impact on birds – “The density of cats in urban environments is the biggest issue,” Thomas says. “Even if a cat isn’t killing often, there are so many of them in a small area that they can have a very serious impact. Owners might think their cats only catch two or three birds a year and that won’t make any difference, but they need to understand all the other pressures that wildlife is under from habitat loss and environmental change.”

The 232 animals in this photo were killed by house cats in just one year – ‘ around 100 million prey items between Spring and Summer, of which 27 million were birds – and not counting the creatures the cats didn’t bring home’

Pet cats have a ‘catastrophic impact’ on local wildlife when allowed to roam free – ”Humans find joy in biodiversity, but we have, by letting cats go outdoors, unwittingly engineered a world in which such joys are ever harder to experience.’

To work with me to improve your well-being get in touch through my site.  I have also produced lots of online materials (some of which are free) to suppport you.

Julie Leoni

Regenerative living coach, author, podcaster, facilitator, educator, Dr

Business as usual is no longer possible.  We need to dramatically shift how we think and live in order that the planet and all those people we share it with as well as our children's children, flourish.  This is the time of the Great Turning (Joanna Macy) and each of us can play our part in tipping life towards health and well-being for all.

Finding your thing or things can be the most radical thing you can do for your own well-being and for the well-being of the planet.

Work with me to create a life where your energy, health, social connection and emotional and social well-being are not just sustained, but improve, regeneratively. 

I am an author, educator and researcher who coaches individuals and organisations to find more regenerative ways of living and working in order to support the health of all peoples, the more than human world and future generations.

My work is based on wisdom from indigenous people, science, and my own direct relationship with people and the more than human world which have taught me about the interconnectedness of all things, and our dependency on each other for well-being.

There are more things to measure than income and status so let's start creating the world we want our grandchildren to live in.  It starts here and it starts now with each of us, daily.  

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