|Cat shelter built so strays would come back. (WSJ photo)|
Not on the same level as life and death, but important to sufferers, is the plague of rats that Chicagoans are experiencing and the solution that seems to be working [bold added]:
Chicago is awash in rats. A mild winter last year allowed broods of baby rats to survive, leading to an explosion of the critters, terrorizing residents as they run around their yards and dumpsters. By September, there had been 27,000 rat complaints, a 40% increase from 2015.Comments:
This is turning the alley cat, once considered a rabid urban menace threatening small children and pets, into a prized possession.
1) Our former neighbor two houses away used to let her pet cat roam free at night. It kept the whole neighborhood rat free, but now that she's moved away we've sighted the occasional roof rat (thankfully, not at our house).
2) We've been longtime supporters of the Homeless Cat Network (HCN), which traps, neuters, and returns feral cats to the wild. HCN also feeds the cats in their Bay habitat and has a perhaps-surprising ally in the Audubon Society due to the reduced killing of Bay wildfowl.
3) It's in a way unfortunate that HCN has been so successful---we have no cats to export to Chicago.