* Re "Cats Are in the Doghouse," Nov. 15: Of course, cats should not be allowed to decimate a bird sanctuary, but I hope bird lovers and the Humane Society both remember their history before they push to legislate feral cats out of existence. The article mentioned a cat's kill is 20% birds, but neglected to identify the majority of the "small mammals" that constitute the other 80%, the rodent. Wandering cats have been an important part of our urban and rural ecosystems for over a thousand years. Cats have always been prized for rodent control to protect against diseases such as bubonic plague and rat bite fever. They were imported to Europe from Egypt for this purpose.
What do people think those cats are eating around those trash cans? We should consider the consequences of interfering with a functioning ecosystem in our increasingly crowded cities or we may set the stage for zoonotic disease transmission that could be difficult to deal with.
CHARLES SODIKOFF DVM
* Cat feeders, you needn't stop all feeding of strays. You needn't lose your joy at their gratitude. Instead, support all outdoor life--including birds. You needn't feed birds. Birds find their own food, like bugs. In their search they propagate plants, including plants that produce cat food. Help both felines and avians by less feeding. Call this summation a free cat scan.
JULIAN (BUD) LESSER
* I'd rather have a cat next door than a dog. At least cats don't bark mindlessly all hours of the day and night. And I keep mine inside.
JOSEPH A. DENKER