The New York Times Faces Serious Backlash From Cat Lovers

02/04/2013 12:47 PM |

Mommy and Daddy, please stop fighting!
  • Mommy and Daddy, please stop fighting!

It’s not often I get to write about cats for work. It’s “not within our purview” (purrrr-view? aaaaaah!) and not considered by some to be “relevant, intelligent news.” Today, however, important New York-based business the New York Times has found themselves in trouble with the cat community, after last week’s scathing exposé of their tendency to kill billions upon billions of small(er) animals every year. Some (me) are calling it a “catlash.” Anyway.

The Observer reported this morning on an angry newsletter sent out by cat charity Alley Cat Allies, denouncing the study cited in the Times article as “junk science” and the authors as “researchers with an anti-cat track record.” And they’re demanding action:

“The media are relying on a so-called “study” funded by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Migratory Birds that recklessly perpetuates a bogus debate. It’s propaganda, and Alley Cat Allies is demanding that the Smithsonian denounce it.”

The newsletter goes on, “We cannot stand for cats to be scapegoats.” Surely not. Now, the group’s concern — that the study will harm their “Trap-Neuter-Return” campaign and “could lead to more outdoor cats being rounded up and killed” — is serious. The idea that there is anyone out there actively working on the creation of anti-cat propaganda, however, seems… unlikely. S-purr-ious, even? God, that’s enough. I’m sorry.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.