Great Neck Estates cat fight comes to a quick end

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Boxwood Drive, as seen from Laurel Drive, in Great Neck Estates. (Photo from Google Maps)

A cat fight over regulations about feeding, spaying and neutering in Great Neck Estates ended not long after it began, advocates said, following a Monday night board meeting and a Tuesday afternoon talk.

Helen Katchis, a member of the Great Neck-based nonprofit Humane Urban Group, said she has fed, spayed and neutered feral cats in the area for more than 20 years to help individual cats and control their population.

“You don’t let an animal starve. That’s crazy,” Katchis said after the Monday night meeting. “When you spay and neuter, you always feed afterwards.”

But it only became a problem within the last few weeks after someone reported her activities, claiming she was “ruining the ecosystem,” Katchis added.

Great Neck Estates Mayor William Warner said on Monday the village has barred the feeding of animals by anyone and that “we try not to ignore our laws.”

Great Neck Estates village code has prohibited people from giving an animal food or water, be they stray, wild or domestic, since 1999. Anyone who does can be subject to a $25 fine for the first violation, $50 for the second, and $75 per violation thereafter.

Warner also said he received a letter from a Laurel Drive resident co-signed by 10 other residents concerned about feral cats, which are being fed, coming onto their property.

But, Warner had said, he wanted to set up a meeting with Katchis, code enforcement officer Michael Bogart and himself for Tuesday to discuss what is being done, why and where to go from there.

“I need as much information as possible,” Warner said on Monday, noting the issue only “came across literally within the last week.”

Members of the Humane Urban Group also submitted several pages of material on the importance of feeding, spaying and neutering cats and why it should be allowed.

“We made an agreement that I would go down there, feed [the cats], but I would have to remove the food before I left,” Katchis said, describing the talks as “very cordial” and “very to the point.”

Another point made was that cats aren’t considered wild animals, Katchis said.

Katchis also said that Jack Hausman, a co-president of the Humane Urban Group, attended the Tuesday meeting.

“He told them how much trapping we’re doing in Great Neck Estates. He said you would be surprised on what’s going on over here,” Katchis said.

“So everything is OK and Oct. 8 is no longer an issue,” Katchis later added, referring to a public hearing date set previously at the Monday meeting to address the feral cat issue.

Warner was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

1 COMMENT

  1. Why should seemingly harmless TNR kitties be a problem?
    The stark answer is : That they are not harmless.
    Outside cats – through a rat to cat transmission – spread the sinister parasite Toxoplasmosis gondii.
    That includes TNR cats.

    ( Its not just about birds )
    This where this parasite begins.
    Outside cats feeding off of mice and rats.
    Cats go to the bathroom like all of living critters, but in those cat “packages” are oocysts of Toxoplasmosis.
    And, nasty they are.
    Any child, walking the grounds, can be infected.
    How?
    By just being a child.
    Picking up a ball where a cat was using the restroom, and simply wiping a mucous membrane.
    Nose, mouth, eyes…..
    Then, it’s game over.
    Toxoplasmosis causes blindness.
    No child should ever go through that because they were infected.
    No parent can disinfect a child 24/7.
    Kids fall, they explore, and they put their fingers in their mouths.
    Washing up in the restrooms later may be too late.
    There is no cure for this parasite, and the only vector that affects humans are outside cats.

    The Brain.
    Once in there … there is no way out.
    The Toxoplasmosis gondii parasite has been linked to mental disorders, including schizophrenia, spectrum disorders, road rage, suicide, and depression.
    There are no inoculations for Toxoplasmosis.
    Your healthy, happy toddler can be changed forever due to this parasite.
    Is this possibility acceptable for any child?
    Not to forget blindness.

    Aaaaaaannnd the birds…..
    Cats kill 2,000,000,000 birds a year.

    Well fed cats.
    TNR cats.
    They are hardwired to hunt.
    That’s not even counting the small native mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that they view as “toys”.

    Rabies is becoming a real problem in many states.
    Cats have overtaken dogs as the number one source of rabies transmission.
    This is because raccoons are attracted to feral cat feeding sites.
    Are rabies vaccinations UTD with each cat every three years at your colonies?
    No……
    One shot upon neuter does not protect a cat for life.

    Great Neck had better think a little more about their children, and quite a bit less about alley cats.
    Physicians .. Where are you?????

    Cats, should be in an enclosed area where everyone benefits.
    The cats are safe and so are the children, immune compromised …and wildlife.
    Cats belong inside.
    Inside cats are very safe because the cat/rat interaction is unlikely.
    Cats make great pets.
    I love my cat.
    She stays inside.

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