In addition to its people and pets, there are many wild animals in the coastal town of Fairhaven. They don’t always live together in harmony, as this story proves.
Last Saturday, a large bird known as a hawk fell from the sky and grabbed a cat. The cat with the orange fur was an easy target, given the color contrast of its fur to the snow-covered ground from which it was lifted.
This did not happen in the wild. It happened in my neighborhood, a neighborhood that is densely populated and is constantly affected by car traffic. This cat was a pet and what happened to it is terrible.
But don’t blame the hawk. The cat shouldn’t have been out of the house. Maybe it escaped, or maybe the owner let it out on purpose. If the pet had been in the house it would be a pet today instead of a losing member of the food chain. Animals need to eat more in winter, and competition for food sources forces wild animals to add to their traditional menu.
The main job of an animal owner is to protect the animal. Often times, the pet needs protection from the consequences of its own instincts and desires. Dogs are on a leash and behind fences so they don’t migrate and run into problems with bumpers and other deadly oddities.
And sometimes these pets can even be taken in from above, even if they’re in a fenced yard, like a bichon frize in East Freetown in 2018.
The suburbs of New Bedford, Fairhaven, Dartmouth, Mattapoisett, Westport, Freetown, Acushnet, Wareham, and Cape Cod also live in varying amounts of coyotes, foxes, bears, fishermen, hawks, eagles and ospreys. There are also credible reports of bobcats, lynxes, and even cougars and wolves in the area.
Wild animals must eat and our pets are food if we make them vulnerable.
Chris McCarthy is the host of the Chris McCarthy Show at 1420 WBSM New Bedford. It can be heard on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this comment are solely those of the author.