By Bob Aldrich
The island of Molokai is renowned for fighting off-island invaders in ancient times and now big businesses. Now, a group of owners on the West End are also fighting their homeowners association to keep a managed feral cat colony on the 14-acre property.
A couple of members of the Board of Directors for the Ke Nani Kai Association of Apartment Owners believe that cats need to be removed from the property. They feel it is their responsibility to get rid of some of the cats at Ke Nani Kai (KNK) by trapping and relocating them to a non-existent refuge on the island. The bylaws of the association prohibit pets and animals on the property. Yet the regulations have not been enforced for 20 years.
The KNK Animal Control Committee (ACC) has worked very hard to reduce the number of cats on KNK property from 50 to 31 in the last three months. The board cannot just change the house rules without changing the KNK bylaws, i.e. the house rules must conform to the bylaws. This takes a vote of the owners, which must pass by 67 percent — just like our volunteer committee is trying to do with the proposed amendments to the bylaws to make KNK animal friendly again. The board approved feeding the cats on the lanais and front porches by the ACC.
Six months ago, the ACC conducted a survey of the KNK owners and found 67.4 percent of our owners were in favor of the proposed managed cat colony at KNK. Many of these cats have been on the property for as long as 15 years. Nothing has been done to them before now.
Let’s face it — the managed property cats have saved us from a severe infestation of rats and mice this year — something that a predominantly absent-from-island board could not do. A handful of people cannot be allowed to remove our managed property cats that depend on us for food, neutering and good health.
Perhaps we are all God’s creations, be it great or small, and there is a reason for allowing cats to remain on Ke Nani Kai property.