“Rats don’t run this city, we do,” NYC Sanitation head Jessica Tisch declared this past fall. The city posted a job listing for a Rat Mitigator, a 24/7 position aimed at decimating the city’s rat population by “improving operational efficiency, data collection, technology innovation, trash management, and wholesale slaughter.” As brutal as that description sounds, the city is in desperate need of someone to save us from this rat-tastrophe.

Enter Sliwa, who has turned down the $170,000 a year salary, saying that he’ll do the work for free. He is, he claimed, regularly patrolling the streets of NYC from 10 pm to 4 am, which is when the rats roam. “I’ll be the Rat Czar at night,” he said.

Early in the press conference, a reporter asked Sliwa’s thoughts on the fact that studies have shown that feral cats are not effective in reducing rat populations. Curtis responded confidently, though not really answering the question, “Remember, they don’t eat the rats, they just kill the rats. They are predatorial.”


“The cats that are nocturnal are up, patrolling up and down” the block, Sliwa promised the crowd.

At one point during the press conference, a man on the street started chanting, “LESS RATS, MORE CATS,” and Sliwa went over and hugged him. A plant? A fan? Maybe just the only sensible man in this city... (Editor’s note: It’s “fewer” rats, not “less,” for fuck’s sake.)


Throughout the event, Sliwa kept mentioning that the most common managers of feral cat colonies are women aged 55+, but that all types of people, “hipsters, millennials, Black, white, hispanic, Asian,” have managed feral cat colonies. Sounds like some neoliberal diversity rebrand of neocon values, if you ask me.

While I am generally hesitant to fund increased surveillance of any kind, I am admittedly interested in learning more about this feline policing solution. But more than that, I am interested in watching Curtis Sliwa continue to have bonkers press conferences any time he wants. I am ready to submit to my feral cat overlords.