Let (permanently) sleeping cats lie?
May 25, 2011 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Dead cat in stream. Kids play in same stream a couple hundred meters downstream. Public health hazard? Should I remove the cat to keep kiddies safe from pathogens? If not, I'm perfectly content to let dead cats rot in peace.
posted by zachawry to Science & Nature (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My knowledge of waterbourne pathogens pretty much runs out after Cabin Fever, but move the cat or notify someone who will.
posted by yellowbinder at 5:15 PM on May 25, 2011 [3 favorites]

You're perfectly content to let dead cats rot in peace, but know that probably isn't the best answer. Find a friend who will help you, let it be a bonding activity. If you pick it up with a grocery bag, then you never have to actually touch it. If you call animal control, they'd probably pick it up for you, too.
posted by aniola at 5:34 PM on May 25, 2011

Does the cat have a collar? If not, remove cat/bury cat. Neighborhood kids play in the stream; cat may have been cat of neighborhood kids.
posted by Morrigan at 5:39 PM on May 25, 2011

Personally I'd bury it (pick up cat with garbage bag, but bury the cat un-bagged, tamp down loose dirt and stack with stones so it's not easily dug up by local critters, make sure it's in a place that's not going to get washed away the next time it rains), or call animal control.
posted by Mizu at 5:43 PM on May 25, 2011

I wouldn't want to play in a dead-cat stream. It's not exactly a roaring river, and it sounds unsanitary.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:44 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Water is full of fish. They die. Let this guide you.
posted by fake at 5:46 PM on May 25, 2011 [3 favorites]

Gross, why risk this when the solution is so easy? Walk over with a shovel, scoop up the cat, dig a little hole, done. 5 minutes. It will take less time to solve this problem than to read this thread.
posted by Ashley801 at 5:51 PM on May 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

Bury the cat. If you own a shovel, it does not involve much work.
posted by Flood at 6:05 PM on May 25, 2011

you might want to read this.

be nice and move the cat, but, truth be said, the stream is probably already unsafe to drink, but the poor cat doesn't help.

That said, Dead Cat Stream is the name of my next band, or local river.
posted by tomswift at 6:25 PM on May 25, 2011 [3 favorites]

Hell if you don't own a shovel it's not too much work either.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 6:27 PM on May 25, 2011

Dig the hole first.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:39 PM on May 25, 2011 [11 favorites]

I'd first call Animal Control. That's their job. Dead cat in a public place is a public health hazard, they will take it away (give good directions).
On another note, if you did decide to bury it yourself, you have to find a safe place away from the water or it will just end up back in there anyway. A place where it's safe and legal to bury a dead thing might be more complicated than you imagine ...
Lastly: I bet the fish are not minding at all. They will eat it up-Yum! Fish food for sure.

For the kids downstream: Assuming moving water (not a pond) ... a couple hundred meters is not as bad as 20 meters ... moving water is full of dead and live things already that are mostly unseen, so the exposure is high but moving water is "clean-ish" compared to the standing type.
posted by bebrave! at 8:14 PM on May 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

Just bury the poor thing and be done with it.
posted by joannemullen at 8:28 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Its a dead cat! Its not a rabid hyena.

Dig a hole, use shovel to put cat in hole. Fill up hole.
posted by Justinian at 9:53 PM on May 25, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for all replies. I'm in Japan and I don't think they even have Animal Control. However, there is no good place nearby to bury said cat. What to do, what to do...
posted by zachawry at 10:04 PM on May 25, 2011

Use a rake. Get it out of the stream. Put it in a plastic bag. Call these people and ask them what to do. They probably can't help you directly, but will have advice, I hope.
posted by trip and a half at 10:34 PM on May 25, 2011

If it makes you feel better, some time ago, I was on a school hiking trip and we chanced upon a fast moving stream. The teacher encouraged us to drink to our heart's content. A few hundred yards upstream, we found a very dead sheep.

We were fine.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:12 AM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

there is no good place nearby to bury said cat

Garbage bag.

Double-bag it to be sure.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:50 AM on May 26, 2011

Oh, Christ, if you can't find somewhere to bury it (really?), just take it out of the damn stream. If you wanted to put it in a garbage back and a trash can, bonus points.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:57 AM on May 26, 2011 [3 favorites]

Garbage bag + trash can.
posted by valkyryn at 4:58 AM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

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