Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Alternative music legend Morrissey agrees to adopt 2 million feral cats in win-win for felines, Australian native fauna

Posted 01 Apr 2016 / 1

508px-Morrissey-Alexander-Film-After criticizing the Australian government’s plan to cull feral felines last September, legendary vocalist Morrissey has agreed save the cats by adopting all two million of them. Australia’s plan to get rid of the invasive felines was motivated by studies showing that feral cats have already caused “the extinction of some ground-dwelling birds and small to medium-sized mammals” and could threaten the survival of dozens more. Although there is debate over the ethics and imperative driving the feline extermination plan, many experts agree that — without the rescue provided by Mr. Morrissey — the cats would have to die. The agreement, brokered last week between Australia’s Ministry of the Environment and the British singer, will allow Morrissey to round up and ship over what he playfully refers to as his “six orders of kitty magnitude”. He is purported to have ordered a regular monthly shipment of 8.8 million pounds of Benovo to his Los Angeles mansion.

“Their killing days are over,” Morrissey announced, “behind their hatred for Australian fauna there lies a murderous desire for love. I intend to provide that love.”

The agreement is a win-win for both the wayward cats and Australia’s native animals, which were being consumed by feral felines at a rate that would have made Caligula blush. Morrissey has been a staunch defender of animal rights throughout his musical career, which included the production of the Meat is Murder album by The Smiths. So it was no surprise that when Morrissey learned of the Australian government’s plan to use a poison called Curiosity to bait and kill so many cats, he sprung into action.

“Curiosity killed the cat, that’s bloody clever isn’t it?”, quipped a pissed-off Morrissey, “even I wouldn’t come up with trite rubbish like that”.

When it was pointed out to Morrissey that there was a rationale behind the cull of feral cats — to protect endangered Australian fauna — he simply said “I can’t help the way I feel”.

Australian wildlife advocates quickly shot back at Mr. Morrissey’s criticisms.

“There is a better world for these felines,” explained paleontologist and wildlife enthusiast Mike Archer, “there is another world for these felines, there must be. Australian native animals just can’t coexist with these wild cats”.

“It seems so unfair,” whined Morrissey, “I want to cry.”

“I may feel slightly sad,” suggested feline cull advocate John Rankine, “but I won’t cry when all these murderous cats are dead.”

“If they dare touch a hair on their feline heads,” Morrissey declared, “then I will fight to the last breath.”

Eventually Mr. Morrissey’s pleas reached the right ears down under, and negotiations to export the cats picked up steam. Many following the international incident have wondered why it took a full seven months to broker the deal.

“Well, for one, my significant other has been hospitalized and unresponsive of late,” Morrissey stated, “…it’s serious.”

“These things take time,” explained animal rights activist Billy Itwaz-Reelinoughton, “and when it comes to forging international agreements, Mr. Morrissey is certainly not the most inept who ever stepped”.

Sources familiar with the trajectory of the agreement indicated that building trust between Morrissey and Australian environment minister Greg Hunt took time. Responding to the original scathing criticism from Morrissey, Hunt fired back in defense of Australia’s native animals.

“Nature is a language,” Hunt said, “that apparently Mr. Morrissey cannot read.”

“Killing these cats  is murder,” Morrissey insisted, “a death for no reason and death for no reason is murder.”

Hunt then suggested that “perhaps Mr. Morrissey would like to take the cats back to dear old Blighty”. A week later, Morrissey threw down the gauntlet, publicly saying “ask me, I won’t say no, how could I?”.

Apparently Hunt did not initially believe that Morrissey was serious. In early October, he laughed off reports of Morrissey’s willingness to adopt the problematic felines.

“How could they hear me say those words, and still they don’t believe me? Please, please, please,” pleaded Morrissey, “let me get what I want… two million furry housemates!”

Now, with this new deal in place, Morrissey’s wishes seem to be on their way to coming true. In the meantime, Morrissey is content to stretch out and wait for the arrival of his new pets. When asked how he plans to round up such a large number of feral cats, Morrissey quipped “the Aussies love me… I plan to ask every one of my Australian fans to round up a couple of cats and that should do the trick”.

Some worry that Morrissey has started something that he won’t be able to finish.

“Do you think you’ve made the right decision this time Mr. Morrissey?” taunted British Prime Minister David Cameron.

“When you say its going to happen now, well when exactly do you mean?” asked Animals Australia Executive Director Glenys Oogje of Mr. Morrissey. “I’ve already waited too long, and all my hope is gone.”

“You shut your mouth,” Morrissey responded angrily, “how can you say I go about things the wrong way?”

Whenever it actually happens, now that the deal has been sealed the cats are heading to Los Angeles, not England. “These cats will never have to face another dreaded sunny day, or the pet cemetery gates,” explained Morrissey, “They will be spending warm summer days indoors.”

Still, many Angelenos are concerned that Morrissey’s feline philanthropy may lead to “panic on the streets of Melrose” if the cats get loose and begin wreaking havoc in La La Land.

“It’s bloody strange, adopting two million cats, isn’t it,” commented estranged former bandmate Johnny Marr, “makes you wonder if his head is full of plaster.”

“Is it really so strange?” Morrissey responded. “I mean if you love cats, you do what you have to do.”

“He’s not strange,” asserted a Morrissey confidant who declined to be identified, “he just wants to live his life this way.”

“If the people stare [at my yard filled with cats], then the people stare,” declared a convicted Morrissey. “Oh I really don’t know and I really don’t care. If I seem a little strange, well that’s because I am!”

Animal rights and environmental activists alike have hailed Morrissey’s unprecedented act of feline philanthropy, but he remains humble about his decision to become the world’s biggest cat person.

“The pleasure and the privilege is mine,” declared Morrissey, “it’s with freedom and ease that I combat ignorance, dust, disease, and invasive species.”

When asked if the newly-adopted felines would be allowed out at night, Morrissey said “oh, there’s no problem with that. They can find their way back. On the back door of my house there is a light, and it never goes out.”

The photo of Morrissey used above is courtesy of Caligvla (no, really), Wikimedia Commons.

A Major Post, Activism, Belief, Biodiversity Loss, Conservation Biology, Ethics, Felids, Invasive Species, Predation, Sustainability, Urban Ecology

1 Comment to "Alternative music legend Morrissey agrees to adopt 2 million feral cats in win-win for felines, Australian native fauna"

Ed Gibney 17th April 2016 at 7:14 am

Brilliant. Your brain moves like a cagey tiger.

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