“Citizen Of The Year” Lures Feral Cats To City Officials’ Homes… To Prove Point About Feral Cats

A New Jersey man who was once dubbed “Citizen of the Year” pleaded guilty yesterday to charges that he deliberately placed cat food on city officials’ properties in an attempt to lure feral felines and hopefully highlight the feral cat problem in the area.

“I intended to show what the neighborhood was going through,” the Burlington County, NJ, man explained to the judge about why he left trays of food on the lawns of at least two city officials, including the city council president.

We’d like to imagine that the result was a feline version of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, with victims coming out of their homes to be confronted by row upon row of purring, unblinking cats, who might let you pass but might also rip your throat out… but the reality was probably just two or three cats meowing loudly and messing around in the garbage cans.

The Burlington County Times reports that the man and others had tried unsuccessfully at public meetings to get the council to do something about the homeless hooligan cats roaming the streets at night and in particular about people who were making the issue worse by leaving food out for them. If the officials could just see for themselves how many cats — and other critters like racoons — showed up when food was left out, maybe they would do something?

His experiment backfired, as he was charged with littering and now must pay a $250 fine plus court fees.

“It’s disgraceful, it’s despicable and it’s troubling to me,” said the judge in the case.

But in the end, it all may be worth it for the former Citizen of the Year, as the city has announced plans to introduce a feral cat ordinance, and has been discussing implementing a “trap, neuter and release” program.