Feline killers vs. NY rodents
For these covert agents are cats plucked from Washington’s streets that would otherwise be put down, and their quarry is the burgeoning population of rats and other rodents plaguing the city. The Blue Collar Cats program, created in 2017 as part of the city’s Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA), offers felines that aren’t used to human contact and wouldn’t make good pets as a green alternative to traps and toxic chemicals. These mousers for the most part have no interest in socializing and are largely unapproachable, meaning they are ideal for people who just want them for their killer instinct. “The Blue Collar cat receives from the property owner, in return for deterring rodents from the property, food and water on a regular basis, and shelter in inclement weather,” says Lauren Lipsey with the HRA. “The homeowner just agrees to provide emergency medical care if anything were to happen and just keep a general eye out for the well-being of the cat.” The HRA takes each potential client through a rigorous set of questions—including whether there are any pets on the property—to ensure a cat-friendly environment. “I like animals and even the rats—I don’t hate them,” Christian Kelleher, the owner of a millwork company and one of Blue Collar Cat’s clients, tells AFP as he takes delivery of two feline employees.