The sun come out today!

It didn’t rain today, and the sun actually peeked through the heavy cloud for a few minutes. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen sunlight for about a week and a half, at least. I went for a 2.5k run, and took it a bit easier today. Yesterday I really pushed hard to make a good time, so I thought I could ease off a bit today.

I had the last two lessons of the ethics class on introduced species. One of the last questions I’ve been asking in each class is about domestic cats, which are of course introduced species in much of the world. They cause particular problems here in Australia, where cats kill an average of 75 native animals each, every year. Yes, that means for every cat that’s kept indoors and doesn’t kill any, there’s a cat out there killing 150 animals a year. Domestic cats have caused the extinction of at least 22 species of native Australian animals. It’s even worse in New Zealand, where they’ve caused the extinction of over 70 native species. Some councils in New Zealand have considered banning the owning of pet cats. They haven’t enacted this, because there’d be a lot of upset cat owners.

I put the question to my students: should pet cats be banned, if it can save native species from extinction? The response was pretty uniform: no. The all thought that was going too far, that it’s not fair to ask people to give up owning a cat. I reminded them that it would save entire species from extinction. They said it would be nice to do that, but there’s no way a government could ever enforce a ban on owning cats – too many people would just ignore it. I hadn’t really expected the answers to be so uniform to this question.

Because I’ll be busy tomorrow, I worked on the next class for the coming week, with lessons starting on Wednesday. This week the topic is organ donation.

I also took the opportunity today with the lack of rain to take Scully to the dog park this afternoon. In a couple of weeks they’re going to have the traditional dog park Christmas party. I’ve gone to the past few, since we got Scully, and it’s always a fun event, with everyone bringing some food or drink and sharing everything. We get about 20 dogs and their owners.

Oh, and one of our neighbours has decorated the lift and the ground floor entry foyer with Christmas decorations already. I’m not sure which neighbour it is, but we have our suspicions. There’s an entire tree on the ground floor. Fortunately Scully ignores it!

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