Keep them in, keep them safe
To the Editor:
When I read about the kitten owned by Mr. and Mrs. Burrows I was totally devastated, especially after seeing the picture of the kittens. I don't know how I would feel if something like that happened to one of my cats, which is highly unlikely as I only ever had indoor cats. Having expressed my condolences, I would like to add a few of my personal opinions about this terrible event.
As a cat owner for many years, foster care animal provider, and member of many animal organizations, I feel I have some experience with cats. Statistics show that outdoor cats live much shorter lives than indoor cats. There are many ways to enrich the lives of indoor cats to give them a safe and happy home. But every time you open the door and let a cat out, you are never sure if you will see that cat again. There are too many dangers in an urban environment that cats are not capable of fending off, especially if the feline has had claws removed.
A wakeup call for me would have been when the first cat was killed by a coyote. Having been warned they were around, I would be hesitant about letting my cat out. Next wakeup call would have been when I discovered my cats were hit by cars. If I knew my neighborhood had high traffic volume, I would not let my cat out. Lastly, now that you know there is someone in your neighborhood who is mentally unstable, I would not let any more of my cats become targets for this person.
I am certain Mr. and Mrs. Burrows love their animals, but by letting cats out of the house they are placing their animals at great risk. I am so sorry you went through this and hope that you, and other responsible pet owners, will rethink your position of letting your cats out of the house.