Wednesday saw the Pittsburgh City Council take it's first vote on licensing cats (final vote Tuesday). While the Burghosphere is jumping with Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle's remarks on the evolution of feline behavior ("In 2007, cats are more aggressive than they used to be"), she was far from the only Councilor to, um, "distinguish" herself during the debate on the bill.
Councilman Jim Motznik painted himself as being primarily concerned with the safety and welfare of pet cats -- no mention as he had in the past of his own, personal concerns for the safety and welfare of his pet fish in his backyard koi pond. More amusing was his likening himself to former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani. At least he kept the comparison to "quality of life" issues and wasn't claiming to be "America's Councilman."
But, what I found to be most disturbing about Council's conversation wasn't Carlisle's evolutionary thesis or Motznik's Rudy pretensions, it was Councilman Len Bodack's arguments.
Bodack made it clear that he favored the bill and he indeed voted for it. However, he actively encouraged the segment of the cat owning population who keeps their cats indoors to IGNORE THE LAW FOR WHICH HE WAS VOTING.
Yep, he basically said that if you had indoor cats no one would be the wiser if you just didn't bother to license them.
What the hell kind of legislator votes for a law that he's telling people to break?
Oh yeah, one who the voters of his district wisely decided not to invite back.
What a jerk.
Major props to Councilwoman Darlene Harris for all the research that she did on the issue and for taking the sensible and humane position that the real problem is feral cats and the best solution is to have the City reinstate its program to trap, spay and return the cats which was dropped by Act 47.
If you read the MSM/blogs you may know that the vote this week was four in favor and four against with one abstention by Jeff Koch.
Koch will be voting on the bill next week. If, like me, you believe that cat licensing is not the way to go, please contact Koch at:
It's especially important to contact him if you live in Council District Three.
P.S. I hear Koch is a cat owner.