Dear Crabby, Did You Hear the Cats Won?

Dear Crabby, Did you hear Rochester City Council backtracked their stance on the cat ordinance you wrote about last week?

Sincerely, Public Comment


Dear Public Comment,

Well yes I did. Readers can refresh their memories here by taking a look at last week’s column.

Fortunately, for the cats and their owners, a couple of well-respected women offered public comment at Monday’s Rochester City Council meeting regarding the “clean-up” of the ordinance that would have forced cat owners to “reasonably control” their cats just as you would a dog. Penny Crissman, former Rochester Mayor, spoke about the council’s intentions with the original ordinance going back 25 years ago. It was issue then too, that a few cats would leave their yard and a few residents wanted something done about it. Well, they decided all cats should have tags and rabies shots, but collars and leashes would never work on cats. It could cause strangulation and most would just not tolerate it. Ms. Crissman confirmed the language in the ordinance was correct and the “clean-up” to include cats with dogs would be going against their intentions.

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

Besides the former mayor, resident and former councilwoman Sue Ann Douglas also spoke. Ms. Douglas was baffled at the conversation about domestic cats and feral cats being wrapped into one group. She suggested these are two separate issues and the proposed changes would not address the feral cat concerns. She herself is a cat owner and her cat is an indoor animal, but she understands not all cats are. Sue Ann also explained how difficult it would be for the cats to try to enact this overnight.

So, you’re up to speed on all that. They took the vote and the proposed ordinance change was turned down 5-1. I have to say I’m surprised city council did that. While public comments probably helped, I’m sure it was because they all (well at least five of them) must of read my column last week suggesting they were a tad naïve to think a cat could be leashed and taught to stay on its property. As I’ve said before, you can bring in experts to comment at these meetings, or ask Dear Crabby – I give great advice, just ask me readers.

City Council, you are welcome – no charge for my expert advice services. This column and my musings are pure gold – I know – which I offer free to the readers. And when local leaders jump on the Crabby bandwagon to make good decisions for our residents, it’s one of the few things to warm my curmudgeonliness heart. Bless you guys.

Well, thanks Public Comment, we make a pretty good team!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby.


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  1. Sue Ann Douglas says

    Thanks Crabby for your sage advise. – and at no charge to the City!
    Seriously, it was going to be very difficult to enforce as the City attorney pointed out. With many colonies of feral cats in the city, it was absurd to go after house cats. Even if a feral cat is trapped neutered/spayed and given a rabies shot, I doubt that he/she will be standing in line to jump into a trap for his booster shot 3 years later.
    Then there is geography. Rochester is almost surrounded by Rochester Hills where rabies shots and licenses are NOT required. When those Hills cats are out wandering, I doubt that they check where the Rochester border is.
    Thanks again for your sage advice.

  2. Patricia Kane says

    Dear Crabby,
    How do you think the “community cat” problem started? These are domesticated stock and for those that use the word “feral”, incorrect. So neighbors cats run all over, no collar and many of these “cat owners” do not license or even provide the necessary rabies shots. And once the cats are loose, some go home, some do not. Notice how Rochester doesn’t have a “community dog” problem? Also, great way for owners to not take responsibility or accountability. Matter of fact, it makes it easy for them. I suggest you take a look at Michigan TNR, their experience and the support they have at the State and county level. It is impossible to just “kill them” and death as an easy solution as some suggest. Really, in this day and age? Thank goodness for some great organizations and other people helping with this investing their own time and resources–and thumbs down to the irresponsible owners and those that complain and do nothing. You may be “Crabby”, but some of us are “Fed Up” with double standards. Did you know dogs came from wolves….and had to get use to collars and leashes? Responsible owners take better care of them…no community dogs here…

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