Cat Hunt Canceled, Kiwi Journalist Says Cats ‘Need To Be Shot,’ ‘Run Over’ And ‘Wiped Off The Face Of Aotearoa’

A New Zealand group canceled a cat-hunting competition for kids after receiving massive backlash for the plan, but one Kiwi journalist told a national audience he thinks the cat hunt is a great idea and doesn’t go far enough.

“When it comes to feeral kets, I’m on the soide of the kea, the kākāpō and the kiwi ivery sangle doy of the week and my missige to [the organizers] is ‘Git the competition back on, git the keds back out thea,'” said the vowel-desecrating morning show host Patrick Gower. “If thea gonna hunt and thea’s feeral kets in the way, then we hif to woipe them out. Feeral kets need to be shot, they need to be run ovah, they need to be trepped, they need to be woiped off the foice of Aotearoa and I imploah the school to git it back on, and look, I’ll put up some rewoade as well foah any kets these kids git down theah as well.”

English translation: “I think the cat-killing contest is a wonderful idea, cats need to be shot, run over and exterminated from New Zealand, and I hate cats so much that I’ll put up some of my own money as prizes for the children who bag the most kills.”

You’ve got to wonder what cats have done to Patrick Gower for him to hate them so much, and fortunately dear readers, PITB has the answer!

Gower lost the New Zealander of the Year competition of 2020 to a cute orange tabby named Mittens.

Think about that: All those years of doing Pulitzer-worthy breakfast show kitchen demonstrations, of slaving away at the anchor desk bringing viewers important news about reality TV stars and parroting former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s declaration that New Zealand’s government is “the single source of truth” on COVID, and Gower loses the honor to a damn cat. Mittens even has the key to the City of Wellington, and Gower does not.

So sad.

Mittens the Cat
Mittens receiving honors that have eluded morning show host Patrick Gower. Credit: Wellington City Council

It’s unfortunate when a man in influential position, small country or not, enthusiastically encourages children to practice being future serial killers by slaughtering innocent animals because he thinks — despite the complete absence of evidence — that arbitrarily gunning down and running over sentient animals will save birds.

Really, you’d think before calling for the extirpation of an entire species of animal that these people would have something, even a single bogus research study, claiming that bird populations would recover if only people started killing cats on sight.

But no such proof exists, and the burden of proof rests with Gower, fellow Kiwi cat-hater Gareth Morgan and others who harbor an irrational and ill-advised hatred of tiny animals who are simply behaving the way nature designed them to behave.

What we do know is that managing cat populations can be done, but it’s difficult, time-consuming work that requires dedication and patience.

Cities like Washington, D.C., with its exhaustive cat count, and communities across the US have provided the blueprint with TNR efforts and a mass push for all pet owners to spay and neuter their cats. The results have been remarkable, and shelters save more than a million felines a year compared to just a decade ago. There’s still work to be done to bring the number of euthanizations down to zero.

Patrick Gower

It’s also worth noting that the organizers of the North Canterbury Hunting Competition and supporters like Gower are coming from a place of ignorance. In their original, now-deleted announcement, the organizers offered a “guide” to telling the difference between feral and pet cats, unaware that they are the same species. The only difference is that pet cats are fortunate enough to have homes, and strays and ferals do not.

The group said it was offering its “guide” as a way to prevent children from killing pet cats, but how exactly would they do that when a pet is indistinguishable from a colony stray or a feral? Would they find a microchip on the corpse of a cat they killed and say “Oops, guess that one doesn’t count!”?

Does a cat somehow feel less if it doesn’t have a home? Is its life worth less if it doesn’t have a collar and eat from a bowl?

It’s barbaric and so poorly thought-out, it really boggles the mind that the idea of a cat-killing competition for kids was voiced, let alone approved, planned and promoted by supposed adults.

As for the contest itself, we’re very glad it’s been called off, even if the organizers want to play victim and say their feelings have been hurt by the response to their murderous event.

That, however, doesn’t solve the problem. The fact that the organizers thought this was a good idea in the first place, and the increasingly pitched rhetoric from the likes of Gower and Morgan, are normalizing the idea of slaughtering innocent animals who have their own minds, thoughts and feelings, and who have been shaped by 10,000 years of history to live with and depend on humans.

Instead of calling for blood and whipping people into a frenzy, influential New Zealanders should read about cats and animal cognition in general, so they’re aware that felines experience the full range of primary and secondary emotions and are very much capable of suffering the same way we do when we’re injured, stressed and our lives are in danger.

That, unlike claims that cats are primarily responsible for the decline in bird populations, is hard scientific fact. We can peer into the brains of felines, watch their neurons fire, see different brain regions light up as they think specific thoughts and respond to specific smells and sights.

Maybe if people who hate cats understand what they are, they’ll feel some empathy for a beautiful species, animals who have been companions and literal life savers to humans since before deepest antiquity, animals whose lives have intrinsic value regardless of what they mean to us. At the very least, we owe them that.

28 thoughts on “Cat Hunt Canceled, Kiwi Journalist Says Cats ‘Need To Be Shot,’ ‘Run Over’ And ‘Wiped Off The Face Of Aotearoa’”

  1. Oh dear, Mr Gower does seem to have a whole host of problems, mostly based on his lust for killing. Its highly likely that felines are not his only target, and after his proposed extermination of cats, I have zero doubt he will call for the extinction of other species which should be ” woiped off the foice of Aotearoa” ( great interpretation of the accent btw) based on claims that he read in a rag somewhere or junk science again. I would strongly suggest that the human DNA pool would be a lot better off if he no longer existed in some similar method to his proposals for cats. As you rightly say, we (the entire human race) need to understand and care for our fellow earthlings better rather than simply killing them, the eventual outcome is that nature fights back with its viral weapons that destroy us, and that truly is a proven fact

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Of course the accent stuff is all in good fun and I like New Zealanders, but some of them have very strange ideas when it comes to conservation.

      Anyway, the panel — not just Gower — agrees that cats should be exterminated and people should not be allowed to have cats as pets.

      One of the presenters also gets it twisted, again, and says feral cats and domestic cats are different species.

      If they are that concerned about animals like the kiwi, they should be having a larger conversation about whether humans should live on those islands at all. Australia’s got plenty of room for the NZ diaspora, and then their beloved kiwis and keas and other animals can live free of people’s cats, pesticides, light pollution, EM radiation, industrial waste and all the other stuff that hurts their long term survival.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. So Gower, the man resembling a very angry Alfred E Newman has the most frail ego in NZ? Got it. He doesn’t appear to have much of a brain or common sense or empathy either. What a tw*t.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The t-word is one of my favorite insults when directed at men. I love the way the British use it lol.

      I did not go looking for a bad photo of Gower, BTW, he’s got that look in all his pictures. I thought at first that he was saying this stuff just to generate headlines and maybe pad his follower count, but after watching the segment it seems he’s really serious about this and insistent that cats have to be completely eliminated in NZ, including pet cats.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yep, the insult fits him to a t. 🙂 He’s unattractive outside and in, that’s for sure. For some reason some people whip themselves into a froth in their hatred of cats. One I knew maintained that cats are thieves,
        helping themselves to food left unattended. That person was also a tw*t.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I mean, they’re not necessarily wrong about cats and food 🙂 Buddy is notorious for sticking his little face in food, sniffing, giving an exploratory lick, then deciding he doesn’t want it. Unless it’s cheese or Impossible burgers, which he seems to be fooled by.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Another article by a writer who doesn’t seem to understand that feral cats and domestic cats are the same thing.

        Also notice the claims that feral cats kill 100 million NZ birds a year and are responsible for the extinction of six species, according to one supposed expert. Where is the proof? How does she know? Are New Zealanders really claiming human activity has nothing to do with extinctions?

        There’s no attribution for the source of the data, so the listeners and readers can’t independently verify the claims.

        This is not journalism.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The outrageously high number of birds killed by cats in New Zealand is wrong. A Google search claims the number is 25 million, which still seems awfully high. A terrible image of a dead cat came up. Along with the cat the image showed dozens of dead birds, lizards and insects. My barn cats will occasionally hunt and kill birds and lizards. They also kill mice and rats. However, I’ve never seen a cat stash its kills like the image implies. Cats eat their kills, they don’t line them up on a blanket for all the world to see.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thanks for the information and for reminding me of how duplicitous the studies are. I just published a post about this. I should have done this yesterday or the day before, but better late than never.

        As Carl Sagan said regarding burden of proof, I can say I have an invisible dragon in my garage, and that’s just as valid as any other claim with no proof to support it.

        The claim about cats wiping out six native bird species prompted me to look into the source, which led me to Gareth Morgan’s site, which attributes it to a meta-analysis that relies on studies having nothing to do with New Zealand and very little to do with the hunting impact of feral cats. The people making these claims need to be reminded that they have influential platforms, and their words directly lead to people abusing and slaughtering innocent sentient animals. This kind of nonsense is beneath us as a species.


      6. The Washington Post has an article about the hunt, and as expected the cats don’t fare well. Worse, many of the commenters applaud the idea of an eradication hunt.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You would be surprised at how many people have indoor cats but think ferals are vermin. One person a block away from me. I caught this semi- feral and fixed him before anyone caught him and bought him to ACC to be killed. That was thier plan for him. Living in my garden 4 years now.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, lots of self identified animal lovers make exceptions for creatures they really hate. Hypocrites!
      It’s great you were able to save this semi-feral.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. Bootsy comes to my kitchen window and loves to be touched. I go outside garden? Runs away and sometimes hisses. Go figure! And he kills rats but runs away from squirrel Stubby i feed and is out of sight when raccoons come for a visit.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m glad that the event has been canceled, but sad to see anyone at all supporting it. My general impression is that many environmentalists are questioning the nativism idea now anyway. I think many pet cats are indoor/outdoor in New Zealand, as they are in UK. So any attempt to kill off ferals there would no doubt kill many pets, too. Sometimes socialized pet cats do not behave in a friendly way towards strangers and would appear to be feral. Of course I’m just as upset when someone kills truly feral cats; they have every right to live too. You are certainly right to say that cats have saved human lives and that we owe them big time. They have made agriculture possible by guarding stored foods against rodents. That’s true also for ocean travel. Without cats on ships, I doubt the British would have arrived in New Zealand as early as they did.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s exactly what I was trying convey and probably should have been more clear. Nascent human civilization may not survived if not for cats protecting food stores, and God only knows how many people in towns, villages and cities, and people on ships, may have starved if not for cats.

      We still keep cats on ships to this day, and people keep barn cats for that purpose.

      Then there’s the fact that cats protected us from so many diseases by killing off rodents.

      If NZ does extirpate cats, the results may not be what they expect.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. The LOSER hates cats because he lost out winning some type promotional contest (I think it was) to a ginger tabby named Mittens. I’d have chosen the cat over him too. Big earred, Big nosed .. ugly ass puke. Nice giant lower lip & teeth too. This guy looks like something that belongs under a bridge

    Liked by 1 person

  6. New Zealand also had contests where they stomped and threw possums to death. They thought it was cute to have school children dress up dead possums. They should stop destroying habitats of wildlife instead of killing innocent animals.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I showed that photo of Gower to my guy, giving him the lowlights of the story. I said he looks like a man who hates cats. He took a peek and said Gower looks like a man who “beats his wife, if he has gone.” I think he’s right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was poking around the NZ political charter while reading about this, I happened upon a NZ discussion thread about Gower’s call for cat extermination. Even some of the Kiwis who agreed with him didn’t like him.

      I don’t know much about him and my opinion is limited to what he said about exterminating cats, but I suspect he was trying to get his name out there and raise his profile by pouring lighter fluid on a story that was already generating international headlines.


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