LETTER- Birds need predators to stay alert

There may be good reasons why pet owners should keep their cats indoors, but harming nature is not one of them [June 1: "Peripawtetic puss: The great roaming cat debate rages"]. In the big picture, free-roaming cats are beneficial to wildlife in the highly unnatural suburban environment of lawns and bird feeders.

All species need predation to stay healthy and maintain alertness. Cats can assume the duties of the skittish native predators that leave when the bulldozers arrive.

Though seeing a songbird in the jaws of a cat is upsetting, we should remember the dodo as an example of evolution in an environment that was "safe" from predators for a long time.

J.A. Barker