On Mon, Feb 07, 2000 at 10:59:28AM -0800, Randall wrote:
> Gerald :
> IMO those are all good suggestions (except maybe C), but nothing is
> 'sure fire'.
> My suggestion would be to go to the local animal shelter and get a cat,
> preferably a young adult. Take it to your Little House at the start of
> your 6 month sojurn, and feed it a little, outdoors or in the barn, so
> it adopts your place as it's territory. If you can, provide a 'lick
> stick' or rain catch, so it has water to drink, but otherwise leave it
> on it's own while you are gone. (There must be natural water available,
> or you wouldn't have a rodent problem.) It will keep the rodent
> population to an absolute minimum.
> And, before you animal rights activists jump my case, there are millions
> of cats put to sleep every year because no one wants them. Your opinion
> may differ, but I know that, faced with the choice of "root hog er die"
> or certain death by lethal injection, I'd take the former, hands down.
Some housecats are good hunters, many are not. The area that you leave
the cat in might be an unoccupied territory teeming with game, or it
might have other predators in it and be relatively bereft of house-cat
sized prey. Do you know enough to be able to tell? hint: I've a
degree in wildlife biology and I couldn't tell without a couple years of
If you're going to try this method of rodent control, do it where you're
going to be around to keep watch on the cat and keep it fed. Instead of
getting a random cat from the shelter, get a kitten from someone who's
giving away a litter from their barn cat (and don't get it too young
either- you want one that's been taught to hunt). That way the cat will
have a fighting chance. Picking a random pound cat and abandoning it
with no food for six months pretty much guarantees that it'll either
starve or go find someone who'll feed it. But if you feed it and give
it a good spot in the barn to sleep (dry, warm and up high) then it'll
stick around and keep the rodent population down.
Eric Murray www.lne.com/~ericm ericm at the site lne.com PGP keyid:E03F65E5