My family thinks of themselves as environmentally aware. They turn off lights, lower the blinds during the day, and sort the trash.
On some of these points we’ve had to negotiate. For example, how can I adequately guard the house if the blinds are down and I can’t see who’s coming? I also like to lie in a patch of sunlight for my afternoon nap.
We worked it out. Now they are free to lower the blinds on the second floor, but keep them open on the first floor so I can see out and take my naps in the sun. Yes, it’s a sad fact; I’m not supposed to go on the second floor, as discussed in The Grass is Always Greener on the Second Floor.
Sorting the trash is an area on which I’m still working. I’m most interested in the compost bin; however, I have yet to figure out how to open it. I’m sure some of what they toss I would be able to dispose of on site.
As I discussed before in It’s My Turn: part 2, I pre-clean the dishes in the dishwasher to conserve water and time.
One of the things we like to do with this extra time is go out together for an evening walk. My family gets much-needed exercise and I continue my environmental protection, among other things. How do I do this?
To start with, I chase cats. I imagine you know cats hunt birds and other small mammals, but perhaps you didn’t realize free-ranging domestic cats in the US are estimated to kill 1.4-3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually!! Click here for the 2013 article about this shocking cat behavior. This New York Times headline from 2014 says it all, The EVIL of the Outdoor Cat, emphasis added. Even the American Veterinary Medical Foundation thinks cats should be kept indoors. So, I do my best, whenever I see a cat outside, to impress upon them that they should just tuck their tail between their legs and scurry inside. Call me the champion of birds and mammals everywhere!
I also make a point of wading through tall grass. It surprises me that my family fails to appreciate the important environmental function I serve by doing this. Please read What is so Special About Long Grass Anyway? in which they display their ignorance on this subject.
As I’m sure you have guessed, I wade through the grass to facilitate seed dispersal!
Seeds cling to my body. When I return from walks I rub against the ground to release the seeds in a new, fertile area.
I am proud of doing my part to ensure the survival of numerous plant species.
In addition, with my finely attuned nose, I am vigilant about tracking and consuming food that has been tossed to the ground. When it rains, these contaminants could be washed into the waterways and disrupt the fragile ecosystems!
My family thwarts my efforts in the most humiliating way. They pry open my jaws, pull out the food or bone, and, Toss… It… On… The… Ground. All my good efforts undone!
Clearly, I have a lot of education to do with them, but at least I have been able to share with you, dear reader, the lengths to which I go to protect our environment.
Note from Ruth:
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