Thank a cat

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Regarding "Killer's Cradle: Domestic Cats Are Wildlife Enemy No. 1" (Feb. 13 editorial): Next time you see a cat thank him for the survival of the human race.

The Black Plague killed one-third of the population of Europe, some 34 million people. In England alone more than half of the population died. In some areas of France the death rate was 90 percent.

The cause of the plague was rats carrying fleas that carried the disease. Cats were mistakenly killed off as carriers of the plague. This caused a boom in the rat population and an acceleration of the plague. When the rat-flea-disease connection was finally deduced, cats became protected by law.

I haven't noticed any shortage of birds or small game in the Pittsburgh area. They seem to thrive here. The cats help to keep their population in check.

BILL WOHLFARTH
Pleasant Hills


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