Throughout much of my life I was chronically annoyed by anti-smoking crusaders. Everyone knows smoking is unhealthy, so why must health care professionals harp on the matter incessantly?
My experience as a veterinarian, however, has made me understand the mission of the anti-smoking brigade. Allowing your cat to go outside is the veterinary equivalent of smoking a pack a day. I can’t count how many hundreds of outdoor cats I have seen come to indescribably horrible ends as a result of their lifestyles. When one has witnessed enough horrors, one wants to push back against the cause of the problem. Now I, too, am a crusader — for keeping cats indoors.
On this blog I have recounted many outdoor cat tragedies. Today, a story from WRBL in Georgia reminded me of yet another misfortune that can befall cats: they are sometimes shot with arrows.
The news report covers the story of Archie, a stray cat found shot with an arrow. The story is a feel-good one. Archie survived, and is well on his way to recovery. Sadly, however, Archie is not very unique (except for the fact that he survived) — outdoor cats are frequently the victims of psychopaths engaging in target practice.
When I was a child, a serial cat killer plagued my home town of Boise, Idaho for several months. The deranged sociopath’s method of killing was a bow and arrows. The story became front page news as one cat after another was found dead on a nearly daily basis. Community groups offered rewards for the killer’s capture. To my knowledge, he or she was never found.
Death or injury by arrows is yet another entry on the very long list of risks that outdoor cats face.