Pussies galore! Brooklyn Heights man wants army of feral cats to fix nabe’s rat problem

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Kitty-corner them!

Brooklyn Heights residents are worried that several big construction projects in the nabe will attract an influx of rats, but one local citizen says he has the solution — an army of feral cats to patrol the streets, devouring the beady-eyed rodents.

“It’s a no-brainer,” said Roberto Gautier, who lives on Cadman Plaza West. “It’s a tradition to always see cats around restaurants, kitchens, and grocery stores to get rid of the rats.”

The Heights resident says upcoming work on the Brooklyn Heights Library and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will have rats crawling by the thousands to hide amongst the construction detritus — which, as neighbors of Atlantic Yards will tell you, they are wont to do — and officials need to start exploring out-of-the-box solutions to the problem.

Gautier, who is on the community advisory committee for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway maintenance, is proposing the city copy a program from Chicagothe “rattiest” city in the country, according to pest control company Orkin — in which people pay $500 dollars to command their own killer pussy platoon — which come with all their shots, spayed and neutered, and an outdoor shelter to live in — in patrolling a territory for the disease-ridden pests. The developers could even foot the bill, he suggested.

And one Windy City woman says the idea isn’t as hair-brained as it sounds — she adopted a trio of feral felines to police her area as part of the aforementioned Cats at Work program, and her once-skeptical neighbors are now thrilled with their vermin-free block.

“It’s very effective,” said Anne Beall, who wrote a book about the program’s success. “At first people were laughing at us, saying that it was kind of silly, and then people started thanking us.”

But not everyone is crazy about the wild scheme — Chicago avian aficionados say the untamed kitties are more interested in catching birds than difficult-to-devour giant rats, and have labeled the cats an invasive species, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

And at least one local pest-control expert is skeptical the program will work here, claiming the rat population is too large for the predatory pussies to make a dent — and the big ones are just outright difficult to kill — and suggested those living near construction sites would have more success just wrapping up their garbage and making sure the lids on their trash bins are shut tight.

“New York City is always going to have a rodent problem and rather than residents depending on feral cats to take care of the problem they should take steps to eliminate the rodents,” said James Molluso, who owns Marine Park extermination company Northeastern Exterminating.

But Gautier remains steadfast in his dream, and plans to petition elected officials with his plan at an upcoming Brooklyn Heights town hall meeting starring Councilman Steve Levin (D–Boerum Hill), Assemblywoman Jo Ann Simon (D–Brooklyn Heights), and state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (D–Boerum Hill).

Levin — who garnered accolades from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals last year when he rescued a feisty pregnant cat off the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway — declined to offer his thoughts on the idea.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Roberto from Brooklyn Heights says:
Construction activity and proximity to the waterfront have been linked to the displacement of rat burrows. My suggestion involves presentation of the Chicago option to see whether it might work in NYC by looking at its pros and cons. An approach that could reduce the reliance on poison should also be researched. Obviously, to release an "army" of feral cats without adequate understanding is not my intention nor is it my "dream."
April 14, 2016, 12:27 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Pardon me, but I don't understand why this Steve Levin character declined to offer his thoughts on this important matter. Having said that, I (John Wasserman) DO have my own thoughts on why this could be. Unfortunately I don't feel that it's appropriate to mention these thoughts at this time. But I will say this: What you're looking at here is a very confused John Wasserman.
John Wasserman
April 14, 2016, 12:57 pm
TNR Researcher from Brooklyn Heights says:
The place is already overrun with an infestation of vermin invasive-species cats. Lot of good that is doing about any rodent problem anyone is having. In fact, your pestilence of vermin cats ARE CAUSING your rodent problem. Don't believe me?

The myth about cats being good rodent control has been disproved on every island where cats were imported to take care of the imported rodents. Hundreds of years later and there's nothing but a thriving population of cats and rodents -- all the native wildlife on those islands now either extinct or on the brink of extinction -- even those native species which are better rodent predators than cats (such as many reptiles and shrews which destroy rodents right in their nests), the cats having destroyed them directly or indirectly.
April 14, 2016, 2:14 pm
TNR Researcher from Brooklyn Heights says:
The rodents reproduce in burrows and holes out of the reach of cats, where they are happy to reproduce forever to entertain cats the rest of their lives, and make your own lives miserable, on into infinity. On top of that, when cats infect rodents with cat's Toxoplasma gondii parasite, this hijacks the minds of rodents to make the rodents attracted to where cats urinate. http : / / scitizen . com / neuroscience / parasite-hijacks-the-mind-of-its-host_a-23-509 . html

Cats actually attract disease-carrying rodents to where cats are. The cats then contract these diseases on contact with, or being in proximity to, these rodents. Like "The Black Death", the plague, that is now being transmitted to humans in N. America directly from cats that have contracted it from rodents. Yes, "The Black Death" (the plague) is alive and well today and being spread by people's cats this time around. Totally disproving that oft-spewed LIE about having more cats in Europe could have prevented the plague -- more cats would have made it far far worse. Many people have already died from cat-transmitted plague in the USA in the last 2-3 decades; all three forms of it transmitted by CATS -- septicemic, bubonic, and pneumonic. For a fun read, one of hundreds of cases, Cat-Transmitted Fatal Pneumonic Plague -- http : / / www . ncbi . nlm . nih . gov / pubmed / 8059908

http : / / www . abcdcatsvets . org / yersinia-pestis-infection /
"Recommendations to avoid zoonotic transmission: Cats are considered the most important domestic animal involved in plague transmission to humans, and in endemic areas, outdoor cats may transmit the infection to their owners or to persons caring for sick cats (veterinarians and veterinary nurses)."
April 14, 2016, 2:15 pm
TNR Researcher from Brooklyn Heights says:
Cats attracting these adult rodents right to them further increasing the cat/rodent/disease density of this happy predator/prey balance. It has been documented many many times. The more cats you have the more rodents and diseases you get. I even proved this to myself when having to rid my lands of hundreds of these vermin cats by shooting and burying every last one of them. A rodent problem started to appear about the same time the cats started to show up, 15 years of it. And, if you check the history of Disney's feral cat problem, their rodent problem also started to appear at the very same time their cats showed-up. Coincidence? Not at all. (BTW: All cat-advocates' beloved Disney's TNR cats are no more, they've all been destroyed by hired exterminators last year.) All rodent problems around my home completely disappeared after every last cat was shot-dead and safely disposed of. All the better NATIVE rodent predators moved back into the area after the cats were dead and gone. Not seen one cat anywhere nor had even one rodent in the house in over six years now. (So much for their manipulative, deceptive, and outright lie of the mythical "vacuum effect" too.)

Cats DO NOT get rid of rodents. I don't care how many centuries that people will claim that cats keep rodents in-check, they'll still be wrong all these centuries. Civilizations of humans have come and gone in great cities like Egypt, yet their cats and rodents remain in even greater pestilent numbers.

No cat population anywhere has ever been able to control rodents effectively, in fact cats only attract a rodent problem. But native predators can get rid of rodents -- easily.

There are dozens of native predator species that are MUCH better suited for rodent control. Ones that eat rodents only and don't destroy everything that moves, like cats do. There's a good reason one species in N. America was even named the Barn-Owl. Another named the Rat-Snake. Gray-Fox being another excellent mouser and ratter, they don't even have European fowl on their menus and will even climb trees to keep squirrel populations in check. (The only fox species known to climb trees. A family of them made a den near my home after every last cat was dead and gone.) Even the 1.75-inch Masked-Shrew, a David & Goliath success story, evolved a poisonous bite specifically for preying on rodents right where they breed. Even the scent of these miniature marvels being around drives away rodents. But what do their disease-infested invasive-species vermin cats do? They destroy these most beneficial of all rodent predators the very first chance they get.
April 14, 2016, 2:15 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
I hate to say this, but I will not tolerate this outwardly abusive racism towards the feline persuasion. You, sir. Yes you "TNR Researcher" (if that is, in fact your real name). You have been reported.
Pardon this interruption.
John Wasserman
April 14, 2016, 3:25 pm
JUSTINE SWARTZ from Brooklyn Heights says:
"The Heights resident says upcoming work on the Brooklyn Heights Library will have rats crawling by the thousands..."
Simple Solution: DO NOT DESTROY THE BROOKLYN HEIGHTS LIBRARY!!! It is the second most attended library in Brooklyn and is the safe haven and learning center for thousands of school children and young adults.
It is an established fact the surrounding
Parks and Court houses in Cadman Plaza are jammed packed with rat's nests. The vermin infested rodents will swarm Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn Heights, once the five story deep basement for the proposed 36 floor condominium begins its excavation. The pile driven poundings and vibrations will have those rats dancing in our streets.

April 14, 2016, 5:52 pm
Marilyn Berkon from Brooklyn Heights says:
Justine has it right. There is no need to destroy our excellent Brooklyn Heights Library and suffer through 4 years of construction with nightmarish rats , all kinds of vermin, and toxins. And what do we get? A 36-story luxury condo sitting on top of a shrunken replacement library, barely big enough to serve the needs or our own neighborhood, much less those of our neighboring districts who rely heavily on these services. It's shameful that a greedy developer can simply steal what's ours, even attempt to make the public believe they're getting something good, when all he has in mind is his own enormous financial profit. Steve Levin gave away our library, even though he said that 95% of his constituents did not want it torn down.
April 15, 2016, 1:52 am
JUSTINE SWARTZ from Brooklyn Heights says:
All of them stealing from our children's futures. :-(
April 15, 2016, 3:59 am
JUSTINE SWARTZ from Brooklyn Heights says:
Public owned libraries, Public owned senior
citizens homes, Public owned schools, Public owned parks should not be sold off by the City. Neither should LICH have been sold in order to build another surplus condominium. There are vacant lots in
NYC that should be utilized in construction
for affordable housing and luxury Hi-Rises.
April 15, 2016, 7:30 am
Andrew Porter from Brooklyn Heights says:
Back when what's now 60 Pineapple Street, and the St. George Tower were vacant, an army of feral cats lived there. They did NOT keep the local rats and mice down. What they did was have cat sex in the middle of the night, quite loudly.
April 15, 2016, 2:09 pm
Joe from Greenpoint says:
I have only seen two rats near my building in eight years. And there are also quite a few feral cats around.
But, I too doubt that the cats have any great effect on the rat population.
Also, these cats appear to be decently fed. So, I don't think they are hunting rats for food, only sport when they are so inclined.
April 15, 2016, 5:02 pm
samir kabir from downtown says:
Lauren Gill: Can you please not use the word p**sy? I think I asked you this once before.
April 16, 2016, 8:18 am
Roberto from Brooklyn Heights says:
Pleased to see an interest in covering a pro and con discussion of the rodent problem and its relation to the activities of developers. But, as I've already communicated, I agree with Samir Kabir's comment about the inappropriate title of the article. Unfortunately, the use of p**py can be seen as a nod to the sensationalistic and provocative use of language for the purpose of attracting the attention of certain readers and selling newspapers. Who composes the title? An otherwise progressive journalist or an editor?
April 16, 2016, 11:31 am
Roberto from Brooklyn Heights says:
I meant p**sy. Apologies for repeating it.
April 16, 2016, 11:44 am
Contrary Connie says:
I disagree with Messrs. Kabir and Gautier. "Killer ——." Love it. Say it again. "Killer ——." C'mon guys! This is the newspaper that brought you a page one story about a masturbating walrus.
April 17, 2016, 4:45 pm
Contrary Connie says:
Oh! Lauren can write it but I can't? Double standard!
April 17, 2016, 4:47 pm

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