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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Discord in Concord

Credit: M. Gerver
The pussies are coming!

The town of Concord recently averted a cat-astrophe!

Concord, Massachusetts, now there’s a town that has earned its place in history. The seedbed of American democracy, it was at a meeting in 1774 that the residents agreed to form a militia, volunteers who could be ready in a minute to face any approaching danger. Some months later these minutemen saw action against three companies of the British Army on the town’s North Bridge, firing a shot heard around the world.

Another shot has been fired from Concord that has been heard around the world, yea, even so far as London. The enemy this time is not redcoats but felines. Yes, some of the townsfolk were aiming their muskets against the town’s roaming cats. Are there any German Rex cats in the population, I wonder, pussies of possible Hessian extraction?

Lydia Lodynsky, a local resident, something of a minutewoman, took up arms against a sea of outrageous cats and by opposing feline troubles hoped to end them. Apparently these free rangers had been invading her garden and making away with the local bird population. So she proposed Article 45, a new by-law intended to stop cats entering neighbouring properties without the owner’s permission.

It’s a case of three strikes and you are out. The owners of deviant wanderers found trespassing three times would, under the proposal, have to work with an animal control officer to ensure their confinement; to ensure, in other words, that pussy is kept in the pen. Cats found ‘running loose’ could also be impounded or quarantined. In a letter to the local press Ms Lodynsky said that her proposed bylaw would create “a platform for addressing cat-related disputes as a result of free roaming.” Quite frankly, it all sounds vaguely Un-American.

The media, as the media is wont to do, had fun with this, calling it a leash law, though in fact she was not proposing that cats, free spirits in ever there was, be led around like slavish dogs. But leash law is how some of the local residents, those in opposition to 45, saw it. One even invoked the spirit of Henry David Thoreau, a former resident who sought freedom, transcendental enlightenment and communion with nature in a cabin on Walden Pond. Interviewed by the Boston Globe, she said “I feel confident that Thoreau would not want cats on a leash. It seems to inhibit their freedom to roam and discover.”

Fortunately for the freedom of cats to roam and discover (including discovering birds in Ms Lodynsky’s garden) the proposal was shot down at last Wednesday’s town meeting. Speaking against Article 45, Mr John Flynn said that he did not want Concord to be known as the first town in the country to ban cats. This was followed by Mr James Brown, who in one of the final arguments said “this kind of legislation hurts the town and I don't want my tax dollars spent that way. We have a lot of laughs coming our way and I want to avoid that.”

Too late; the bird has flown, the cats are free and I, for one, am chuckling.



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Anastasia is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on Discord in Concord

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By ColonialBoy on April 30, 2012 at 04:28 pm

Ana, cat lover that I am, even down here in Virginia we recognize the problem caused by packs of feral cats. In addition to the negative effect they have on song birds, they are just as prone to spread rabies as wild raccoons or opossums (a long-recognized problem here in the South), and the fleas they tend to carry aren't too wonderful either.

It's silly (reducio ad absurdum?) to call these "leash laws" as cats don't belong on leashes, but indoors! If these cats are collared and tagged, then it is their owner being irresponsible, if not, then they are just feral animals (for which purpose, in MY state at least, we have Animal Control Officers).

In any event, this article demonstrates the well-known ignorance of those of the "Northern" persuasion. Anyone with an OUNCE (or if you prefer, a GRAMME) of common sense can tell you what a waste of effort it is to attempt to herd CATS!! :-P

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By Anastasia on May 01, 2012 at 05:24 pm

CB, Northerners have always attempted to heard cats...in one way or another. :-)

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By llida on May 01, 2012 at 09:44 pm

@ ColonialBoy - in Concord, there IS NO Animal Control Officer, which was also an Article presented and shot down at the Town Meeting (also - you should check your data since ACOs are designated by town/city and not by State). And you may think that those of Northern pesuasion are ignorant, but *most* of the more informed folk agree that cats should be kept indoors, or as I suggested, in an outdoor enclosure (lots of great photos/examples at http://www.catsofaustralia.com)

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