Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thou Shall Not Stalk Birds

Well, I am back from vacation and feeling much more rested than I did a couple of weeks ago. I would have enjoyed another week or so but that's life. My wife and I spent a couple of weeks back in our hometown of Didsbury, Alberta, located about 40 miles north of Calgary.

Like most people, there are things about one's hometown that you both love and cringe about; little quirks and idiosyncrasies that make home, home. Things like the road sign to the Didsbury cemetery, which has a sign underneath that reads "No Exit." At least this is an improvement over the old sign that read... "Dead End."
Didsbury's latest quirk is Bylaw 2007-10 that seeks to control cats in town (an impossible task if I ever heard of one). The bylaw sets out the offences and responsibility of the cat owner and the various acts that are forbidden to cats in Didsbury. Cats may not run at large, defecate on public or private property, bite or attack people, or wander about without a collar and tag. But then there is Part 3,2,f which makes me absolutely love my hometown. Hereby let it be known that the town council has officially forbidden cats in Didsbury, Alberta from stalking or killing birds on public or private property.

Tell me, how are you going to stop a cat from stalking a bird? As a law-abiding person, I drove around the streets of Didsbury during my two weeks of vacation, making it a point to keep an eye out for stalking cats. Oh the anxious looks I saw on the faces of tabbies and calicos from all sections of town as they slunk around, peering over their shoulders, fearful of being accused of stalking those of the avian species. I personally assisted many of them as they seemed in danger of forgetting their criminal inclinations by pointing at them and solemnly reminding them of their civic responsibilities. I wondered if I should call 911 when I saw an unaccompanied feline slinking towards a grove of trees.

It does make me think though, of our growing tendency here in Canada to create laws for just about everything and the ridiculous lengths we go to appease every single interest group that makes a tweet of protest about some real or perceived offense. Common-sense seems to have flown the coop.

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