Google in deep doo-doo from environmental wackos over feeding stray cats
As you might imagine, the leftists over at Google are cat people.
And since they feed themselves, they feed nearby cats, too - tons of stray feral cats on their corporate headquarters grounds, known as the Googleplex. They call that not feeding strays, but more grandly: "colony care." And according to this New York Times report, that's a problem, because the cats are now doing what cats do, which is eat birds, specifically, the local owls, which has gotten the equally powerful local environmentalists up in arms.
Google never set out to threaten biodiversity in its front yard, of course. Like so many stories these days about Big Tech, this is a tale about how attempts to do good often produce unexpected consequences, and how even smart people (especially, perhaps, smart people) can be reluctant to rethink their convictions.
At Google, it is not so much that workers do not like birds as it is that they really love cats. There is an employee group called GCat Rescue that traps the cats around the so-called Googleplex. Kittens and friendly adults are put up for adoption. Less-friendly adult cats are neutered and released.
Google is famous for feeding its employees well, and the cats are no different. Every night, all night, dinner is served from cat-feeding stations. The cat community calls this approach “colony care.”
So now we have leftwing-on-leftwing conflict, pitting the interests of Google with its love for stray feral cats (and note that these aren't the kind that return affection, they just cat around), with environmental wackos, who see endangered species under every rock.
Apparently, it's a pretty intense conflict. The Times reports that the environmentalists have tried to coax Google to get rid of those things since 2012:
Environmental groups said Google was generally an excellent partner and had made aggressive efforts to support the burrowing owls at Moffett Field, its leased property a few miles south of the Googleplex, but was consistently unhelpful on the cat issue.
The Googletons, meanwhile, aren't letting up, ensconced in their attachment to their filthy stray cats. The owls, meanwhile, not only get it from the stray cats, they get it from the stray golf balls in the nearby golf course, undoubtedly hit at least in part by wealthy Google employees playing there. And city employees have a 'catch and release' program, that batters the owls even more. And the fight goes on and on.
These people deserve each other.
Image credit: Daniel Ramirez, via Flickr // Creative Commons SA 2.0 Generic