My grandma recently moved into a nursing home and her house is being emptied ready to be rented. I scored her fridge (only owed by one elderly lady). It has a separate fridge compartment and freezer, which my old fridge didn’t. You had to open the fridge door to get to the freezer, so it wasn’t as efficient as a fridge with them separate. I had to defrost the old freezer more often than I would like. Also if you let the ice build up too much around the freezer compartment (which I had a tendency to do) you couldn’t close the fridge door, which meant it had to be defrosted right that moment.
I just read Animal Nation: The True Story of Animals and Australia by Adrian Franklin (UNSW Press, 2006) and it got me thinking about dingoes, cats and Illyarri gum trees. Animal Nation is about Franklin’s research into our views on animals. At times Franklin’s writing can tend towards the academic (I zoned out a bit during the discussion of Durkheim’s theories of Totemism), but it’s written for a general readership and most of the time the writing is accessible. His references are endnotes, so they don’t interrupt the flow of the text, but they’re available if you want to read more.
Some of Franklin’s ideas are confronting. I was shocked in his questioning of the continued effort to eradicate feral animals, particularly cats . Franklin wonders why we continue in these eradication efforts when scientific opinion shows this can’t possibly succeed (p. 148). I read about feral cat control in Western Australia in the summer issue of Landscope and it’s not pointless. I was both saddened to see the cute litter of tabby kittens that would grow into “murderous moggies” and heartened that small steps toward “conservation gains” are occurring. Cats are amazingly ingenious at learning to avoid baits and survive well in dry and drought-prone environments, common in WA. This, combined with the fact that cats arrived in WA before foxes, and evidence from CSIRO, enables Dr Jeff Short to counter
Tim Flannery’s claim that the majority of those who assert that cats have caused extinctions in Australia are simply cat-haters who have allowed their prejudice to override their scientific reason.