A few of your readers and editors are unaware of the great benefit that cats have bestowed on man; this was the reason they were valued and bred.
The cat became valued when man switched from "hunter-gatherer" to farming, creating the need for grain storage for periods between harvests. Hello, rodents! Help, cats!
One of your readers pointed out the exacerbation of the plague in London was caused by elimination of cats. There is also another threat -- the Hantavirus. The pulmonary form is fatal in 50 percent of cases; it is spread by mere contact with aerosols of rodent feces.
There are other examples of disease spread by rodents.
As a personal note, I live in proximity to a wooded area. My house and the houses around me were overrun by mice when I moved here. A few years ago, some feral cats moved in to the space and bye-bye mice. We are avid bird feeders, and there is no shortage of them.
I sure prefer cats to mice.
ANDREW GERENYI, M.D.