A man warmly concerned with any large theories has always a relish for applying them to any triviality.

G. K. Chesterton, “The Absence of Mr. Glass”,

from The Wisdom of Father Brown (1914)

Okay, I’m guilty as described. I don’t see this as a felony issue, though it may have been cruel in the implementation. Your point is well taken, Paul, about glue boards; my conviction is that even when perfectly justified in killing an animal — whether a bug, a rat, or something bigger — we’re called to a standard of mercy. That doesn’t preclude eradicating the pest, but it does mean I’d prefer a spring-loaded mousetrap to a slower death that leaves a less distressing corpse to clean up.

I teach my kids that if you’re going to step on a bug, for goodness sake (literally) really stomp that sucker ? no pulling wings off flies and so forth. We distinguish between pests in their own world, and pests in ours — I have no compunction about killing a spider or moth indoors, but leave them alone outside. In all cases, though, try to kill them quickly and cleanly as possible.

In this situation, cat in question was a pest invading someone else’s world. I for one would not want a stray cat living in the storage space of the grocery store we shop, although same cat hanging around the back of Red Lobster is just living large –?more power to him. Given the wimpy choice of tools available (I suppose a volley of bird shot is not a good thing inside a storage container), Animal Control probably should have been the call to make.

But a felony? Off the cat and you never vote again? Let’s have some perspective — this isn’t Pharoah’s Egypt.