In The New York Times magazine section of Dec. 2, there was an arresting article by Bruce Barcott: "Kill the Cat That Kills the Bird?"

As a longtime cat owner, I read this carefully, and feel it should be read by everyone; it explains the ways of nature, and suggests remedies. I'd like to pass along some simple reactions to this powerful story.

The article focuses on the fact that our bird population is swiftly declining, particularly as regards that endangered species, and cats are the major reason for this disaster. It's the nature of the beast - but one bird lover's response was: Stop that!

Think of dogs - do they run loose, snapping at small animals or gathering in packs, sometimes overwhelming small or weak humans? Clearly, no. We see them on leashes, or close to an owner whose voice has authority and control. Do cats have all the luck? Not the way I see it.

Cats, too, need control. The safest and kindest place for them to live in a village like Port Washington is in the house, with one or more litter boxes. Safe inside, they will not be beaten up by aggressive dogs, cruel little boys, or gun-happy bird lovers. Neither will they be run over by cars or fall victim to the social diseases of wandering cats who have never seen a veterinarian. As an owner, you will see that they are fed wholesome food. If you leave town, you will hire a caretaker, or board your cat(s) at the veterinarian. A loved pet is entitled to care, and to your investment.

Fran Lauda

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