Mr. Adams seemed to treat Mr. Sliwa’s offer with mock seriousness. He suggested that he welcome Mr. Sliwa’s help, hinted that he might hire him as the town’s new rat tsar or perhaps an intern, then said people shouldn’t treat the town’s rat problem like a “Tom and Jerry”. animated movie.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the front of the mayor’s townhouse looked fairly clean, save for some leaves, a stray Q-Tip, and some discarded paper.
A neighbor suggested that the real problem wasn’t Mr. Adams’ property, but that it was right next to it, where rat droppings seemed to be plentiful on Wednesday, as well as animal bones of undetermined origin. So far this year, that property has received two subpoenas for failing to control rats. The property owned by Mr. Adams, who claims to have spent nearly $7,000 on rat control efforts, has now received three.
Sara Azizian, a 40-year-old architect who lives a few houses away, said feral cats already patrol the block and have little impact on the rat population.
“I have feral cats in the backyard,” she said. “I feed them. They don’t even bother to get out on the street. They can’t even handle the rats on the street. This is crazy, honestly. The city must invest money in cleaning up waste. Nothing but that will solve the problem.”
Urban ecologists tend to agree.
“Cats prefer easy prey, not risky and potentially deadly prey,” emailed Michael H. Parsons, a visiting researcher at Fordham University who co-wrote a paper on the ineffectiveness of using cats to control rat populations. to keep.
Dr. Parsons described rats as “battle-hardened”, “amazingly agile” and more than capable of holding their own against felines.
“And these comments are coming from someone who loves cats,” he added.
William K. Rashbaum reporting contributed.