Monday, October 15, 2007

Global Warming Strikes Fragile NY Ecosystem

Researchers in Yonkers, NY yesterday released a study showing that the impact of global climate change, responsible for everything from a hole in the ozone layer to long lines at supermarket checkouts, has hit the center of New York’s famous Chinatown district. The study detailed the alarming decline of the rare New York alley cat Felinus Delicious, once plentiful in the 1930’s but now hovering near extinction.

“When I opened my restaurant in 1952 they were everywhere,” said Weng-Ho Chung, owner of Chung’s Tasty House. “They used to line up to get in the door. But I don’t think I’ve seen one in years, not since I opened my third restaurant over near Yong’s House of Diced Meat.”

Scientists blamed the decline of the alley cats on several factors, most importantly global warming. As the area businesses have expanded, most notably the restaurants and take-out palaces, the habitat area for the alley cat has also decreased. Worse, their favorite prey, Rattus Pansizus, has also suffered a drop in numbers over the past few years. While the Chinese Alley Rat, as it is known, is nowhere near endangered, it is considered a semi-threatened species.

Scientists had hoped that the decline of the cat’s main predator, Doggus Spiceybeefius, would help their numbers rebound, but it has not had the effect hoped for.

“I used to find two or three a week in my kitchen,” noted Sally Wang, owner of Wang’s Tasty Seafood Palace. “Now, I spend hours looking for them in the alleys and I’m lucky to come up with just one scrawny cat.”

The tradition has long been established that local eateries place food outside their doors for the cats, but this has been abandoned since they have become so rare. Animal behavioral specialist Doug Bunning noted that “Animals who’ve gotten used to eating handouts lose their ability to hunt, so it’s probable that since they don’t get free food any more they are starving. Plus, it’s so hot because of global warming that they’re too tired to hunt down anything.”

Climatologist Stormy Summers said “This is just the first of many species to go extinct because of global warming. First the mammoth, then the dodo bird, and now the Chinese Alley Cat. Cats are particularly vulnerable to global warming. In the late 1800’s the Felinus Guttus Intunius went extinct because of global warming during the violin production upsurge. Now we’re going to lose the Chinese Alley Cat. Next, I worry about the Felinus Racketus, which is already endangered in Wimbledon. When will people wake up?”

What can we do to help? “Turn on your air conditioner and leave your windows open,” advised scientists. “That way, the world will begin to cool off again.”

[Editor: Happy Blog Action Day!]