As a longtime reader who along with her husband has been a subscriber to the Post-Gazette for many years, I was appalled when I read the editorial "Killer's Cradle: Domestic Cats Are Wildlife Enemy No. 1" (Feb. 13).
The editorial was unnecessary. Whoever decided to place the original Jan. 30 news article on Page 2 made a statement by giving it such a prominent location. It was also curious that your editorial board felt this issue warranted the same degree of attention as North Korea beginning nuclear testing and the undertaking of gas drilling at the airport, the subjects of the other two editorials on Feb. 13.
The anthropomorphic use of the terms "killer," "homicide" and "cruelty" in your editorial are all inappropriate in that cats are creatures of instinct doing what comes naturally and do not possess the free will necessary for any of these things.
A love of birds and cats (and all living creatures, for that matter) is not mutually exclusive. Nature is what it is. Even Nietzsche recognized that animals should not be blamed for acting in accordance with their instincts. Your editorial states, "Clearly the public won't accept cat hunts; that would seem like animal cruelty even if the aim is to stop the cruelty to other species at the paws of cats," the tone of which seems to imply that it's too bad that the public won't condone such activities. Whether the cats have owners or are "feral" cats, as you describe, they have a right to life, and it is irresponsible for a paper of the Post-Gazette's stature to give credence to efforts to eliminate them. Throughout history, cats have been a target for mistreatment and abuse. Your editorial seems to give free rein to those who would feel they were performing a public service by getting rid of cats.
I hope that your editorial board will rethink its decision to espouse such incendiary and irresponsible views and that this particular editorial will not be the cause of any untoward actions against cats.
MARY K. HEALY