First, everyone involved has good hearts. While I am strongly against maintaining feral cat colonies and even come down firmly on the side of eradication, I can see that the feral supporters are motivated by kindheartedness. They don't want to see the little fuzzies hurt.
As wild and ecologically damaging as this kitty is, even I don't want to see it suffer. No one does.
I think that the feral supporters love cats, they've probably had to put down cats of their own and remember the pain of seeing their loved pet pass away. They can imagine what it would be like for the feral cat to be killed. In none of the comments, however, do they mention the pain and death of the local rodents that are killed by the ferals. Imagined or not, it does happen. Our own Maximum Leader is a well-fed, spayed tuxedo and despite having plenty to eat, she routinely brings in birds, lizards, insects and mice that she has killed. She can't help it; it's the way God made her. I let her out because I want her to live like a cat and I accept the death and destruction she dishes out to the locals. Call it hypocritical, but I've made that moral decision.
One commenter left a link to the site, TNRrealitycheck, which discusses the drawbacks of the feral cat trap-neuter-release program.
The creators of this website are vehemently opposed to TNR for many reasons. In short, TNR does not reduce the feral cat population through natural attrition and comes at the expense of our native wildlife. TNR is inhumane for our companion animals and the existence of cat colonies contributes to the unending cycle of abandonment. TNR only appears to solve the problem of feral cat overpopulation, but in reality new problems are created.Here's the part that really motivates my position.
Native wildlife has not developed the mechanisms to live alongside non-native predator species. This causes an imbalance and can decimate local wildlife populations. Native predator-prey fluctuations are normal and maintain an ecological balance and biodiversity. No balance can exist between domestic cats (an exotic species) and native wildlife in the environment.It's worse that this. The feeding stations left by the feral cat supporters allow the alien predators, the ferals, to live in much higher concentrations than they would if left to their own devices. So not only are they a threat the locals have not adapted to, they are a massed threat. It's like having one crack house in your neighborhood and then finding that the government has subsidized three more right nearby. It's a disaster.
In the first post, I put up a poll to see which side my readers came down on. Due to some viral marketing of my post by the feral supporters, the vote has gone dramatically in one direction. I'll bet local city and county government meetings go this way, too, when feral eradication is discussed. Here's the poll again so you can vote if you'd like. Comments and discussion are very welcome.