The Katy Trail Is Overrun with Feral Cats

It has begun.
It has begun.
Photo illustration by Eric Nicholson

In what is being called (by me) the greatest public-safety threat to strike the popular walking path since a proposed high-rise threatened to blot out Highland Park's view of the sun, the Katy Trail has been overrun with feral cats.

So says a WFAA story from last night, though maybe "overrun" is a bit of an overstatement. Let's say "littered with." Whatever the proper adjective, the danger is very, very real:

Seth Hale said he sometimes sees cats running around all over the popular paved pathway.

"I notice the cats in the morning and the evening time," he said...

[Friends of the Katy Trail marketing director Lauren Whitson] showed News 8 where food containers for the cats are scattered. She said joggers worry about tripping on containers or trails of cat food that are often placed right on the pavement.

While this danger can be avoided by joggers using their eyeballs, the tripping hazard is just the first glimpse of the impending Katy Trail cataclysm. These cats, per WFAA's headline, are "well-fed." How long will they be content to dine on kibble? How long until one of their number, peering from the shade of a bamboo grove as one of the weaker members of the Katy Trail herd wheezes past, decides to pounce? Then, free of natural predators and with an abundant supply of food, how many generations until the cute-seeming tabbies grow into ravenous jungle cats? Because if one buys into the Darwinian theory of evolution, one has to accept this as an inevitable progression.

In an effort to prevent this, the Friends of the Katy Trail is wisely urging trail patrons to quit leaving food out for the cats. The group has also trapped and neutered 42 feral cats, which should at least delay their evolution into man-eating predators while simultaneously serving as a model for dealing with the Katy Trail's homeless population.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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