STAND UP TO CHENNAI’S CAT KILLERS
In November last year, our pet cat Tamasha Tabby went missing, along with around 15 other cats in our neighbourhood in Kilpauk, Chennai. A tip-off from a nearby shopkeeper who saw narikuravas - men with catapults and nets who primarily hunt domestic animals for food- take away cats that sat on walls and roamed near garbage dumps. We teamed up with a policeman and a local auto driver and started checking narikurava settlement in and around Chennai to look for Tabby. What followed was a gut-wrenching discovery – cats being gutted, skinned and bludgeoned to death, kittens with heavy chains wrapped around their necks awaiting slaughter and crowded enclosures of adult cats on death row.
Chennai’s cats (both pets and community cats) are living on borrowed time. There has been a huge rise in these illegal trappings and cruel deaths by the narikuruva community who continue to live on the fringes of society. Sadly, even residents’ associations, managements of Law Institutions and Civic bodies ‘enlist’ narikuruvas to perform illegal culling operations for a fee as a ‘urban animal population control measure’, though history has shown that the only effective strategy to reduce the population of homeless animals is ABC (animal birth control). There is also the danger of a rising rodent population (and resultant spread of life-threatening diseases) that is the certain outcome of cat culling programmes.
We seek justice not just for Tamasha Tabby but also for the many other animals that suffer unimaginable cruelty for no fault of theirs – you are their voice. Sign this petition for affirmative action for the city’s cats who want nothing more than a peaceful existence in a world that belongs as much to them as it does to us.