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I was a PETA kid, started animal rights groups in high school and college, went vegan, etc. However, the good/evil dichotomy got more complicated as I got older.

Many studies have demonstrated that each free-roaming pet cat can kill dozens of native animals, like birds and lizards, per year. When we fostered kittens down south, there was a volunteer who created an enclosed play yard for her cats, but this is the exception to the rule. Only an estimated 35 percent of pet cats are indoor only.

So if we really love animals, should we save the dozens of native animals killed each year by a cat or do we save the cat that kills them? The problem with this question is that it is cerebral not emotional. Cats are the ones who are soft and cuddly, purr on our laps and play with toys. Wildlife doesn't get that kind of marketing advantage. As one pet owner recently said of her cat, "he's the cutest little serial killer you will ever meet."

Natalia Collier, Arcata


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