Thanks to those that volunteered to take part in our cat camera experiment. Sorry if we haven’t been in touch with you so far, we have been overloaded with requests to take part. We hope to get to everyone.
We are now about halfway through our cat camera experiment. This is all about highlighting the number of wandering cats and particularly the level of cat trespass in Wellington. Our longest running experiment has been in the back yard of the big man himself: Gareth Morgan.
The camera has been operating at Gareth’s place since late November, so we now have a pretty good dataset from his house. We also have a lot of shots of his wife Jo in her dressing gown.
Remember that in a lot of photos (particularly at night) it is impossible to tell which cat is which. Luckily we have a time record, so if we get 2 or more photos of a similar looking cat within a ten minute band, we count that as a single visit. Also remember that the placement of the camera is crucial. We only have one camera per property, so all our statistics are likely to be an underestimate.
The most cat visits Gareth had in a 24 hour period was a staggering 9. Over 2 ½ months Gareth had 115 visits in total, at an average of 1.5 visits per day. This is below the average of our houses thus far, which isn’t surprising given the height of his fence! Gareth’s house attracts a fair number of birds, which concerns him given the number of wandering cats passing through.
Most of the visits Gareth received were at night. Maybe the cats are afraid what might happen to them if Gareth sees them in broad daylight! [Joke]
Gareth’s pad is in Oriental Bay, so it is pretty unlikely that any of the cats trespassing are stray or feral cats. They all seem to be owned by someone. Ernie Merrick lives nearby, so we hope none of them are yours Ernie!