Cats--indoors or out? Plus: An Iraq War vet speaks out.

Re: “The Lost Cats of Poverty Gulch” by Mike Seely (October 8)

Coyotes eat cats in every neighborhood. They don’t make any class distinctions. No one will help with coyotes in your neighborhood, no matter how rich or poor you are. The state wildlife department people are jerkwads about it—they act like your cat is an unnatural life form with no right to exist. And private trappers won’t work in the city for reasons that should be obvious. Until somebody’s child gets killed, no one is going to do anything about the coyotes. —JoAnne

Why is it OK to let your cat outside because it’s their “nature,” and isn’t OK for a coyote to kill them, which is their “nature”? If you love your pet and want it to be safe, keep it inside. —Amy

I have also lost cats to coyotes, but I don’t hate the coyotes for it. They have a right to eat. We don’t ban cars, which also are responsible for pet deaths. Coyotes are becoming more noticeable because we take up more and more space and they have fewer places to go, just as with the bobcat and bear “nuisances” we hear about on the evening news. You can protect your animals and also allow them outdoors by building a cat enclosure. —Sally Neary

As a dog owner, I would be seriously fined for allowing my dogs to roam the streets. So why is it OK for cats to roam the streets, leave excrement in my garden, taunt my dogs, and nearly cause accidents by rushing across the road when I drive down my street? Let’s not make coyotes into monsters when there are many predators (animals) doing what comes naturally: raccoons, eagles, dogs, even other cats. Lock them up or suffer the “natural” consequences. —Faith

I don’t live in West Seattle (I live in Magnolia) and I am not a cat-loving fanatic (although we have a very cool cat named Russ and we love him dearly), but I wanted to tell you that you wrote a dang good story. I don’t know exactly where Delridge is, but after reading your article I think that I am picturing it perfectly. You did a nice job with a local (some might say unimportant, but really very sweet and relevant) story about what sounds like a great neighborhood. Thanks. —Michele Hughes

A whiny non-article with no real topic and a sexual reference stunningly out of place. So cats disappear, wildlife roam, and neighbors are questionable. Start another neighborhood blog. Why is this fit for the Weekly? Slow news week again? —me

CORRECTION: It was the federal government that hatched a plan to shoot a coyote running loose in Discovery Park—not the Seattle Parks Department, as was stated in Seely’s story.

Re: “Thyme Bandits” by Aimee Curl (October 8)

As long as these plants and trees are on public property OR hanging over public property, than these are free for the taking according to the law. Even if the tree is planted on private property, if the branches or fruit hang over the public right-of-way, they belong to whomever. I should know, as I have also had my cherry trees stripped clean. It sucks, but that’s life. —sguenther

Re: “Finding Peace” by Brian J. Barr (October 8)

Dennis Wilson co-wrote, sang, and probably played the organ on “Be Still,” not Brian Wilson. Dennis (drums, piano, keyboards, vocals) was apparently the first Beach Boy to work with Kalinich. —Eric Bryan

SW responds: Noted. Thanks, Eric!

Re: Review of Silent Steps by Brent Aronowitz (October 1)

A MacGuffin is not a red herring. A red herring is a false clue, typically in a mystery, while a MacGuffin is an irrelevant object that propels the real story (Maltese Falcon). —SomeGuy

SW responds: All MacGuffins are red herrings, but not all red herrings are MacGuffins.

Re: “Purple Heartbreak” by Nina Shapiro (September 24)

I served in the Army infantry and was in Kuwait prior to the war starting. We went through the missile alerts and whatnot. I don’t remember there being a time that the alerts lasted more than an hour, but maybe it happened after we got the “go ahead” to move forward and “liberate” Iraq. We moved forward. We were among the first to get to what was then Saddam International Airport. We then got orders to go to a then-unknown little town called Fallujah. We were the first unit to be sent there. We then took up residence at a marble house at the Baghdad zoo. We then stayed at a camp whose name I can never remember (Muleskinner?). It was always hot as balls. We never had reliable electricity.

When I was sent back to Germany, along with several others who had been stop-lossed with me, we partied hearty. We had to out-process over a three-month period. If people are not familiar with “stop-loss,” it refers to the government telling a soldier whose contract is ending (I signed up for three years and wound up serving four) that they are not allowed to leave. I was held indefinitely. That is all right and understandable. I did not love the idea, but hey…I volunteered, right? So we went to Iraq, did an infantryman’s job, came home, out-processed, and came back to America. I drank way too much when I got back. I was pissed off and weirded out by society in general for about two years.

I quit drinking, used the GI bill, and am now pursuing my bachelor’s in nursing. I am engaged and looking to buy a house next year. I am well adjusted, sleep well, don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs, I eat healthy, go to the gym, pay my taxes, and let people cut in front of me at the grocery store. Why can’t anyone ever tell that story? Why is it OK to feel sorry for people that turn to drugs and self-destruction? I really sympathize with them, but there are avenues for help if a person puts their mind to it. Want a news flash? The Army doesn’t care about you!!! It is not your mommy. It wants to use you to do the government’s duties and dirty work. We all know that. The military exists to exert America’s will. That’s the sole purpose of combat duties. That is what you joined. It does suck to have to live with nightmares and the thought “Am I going to hell for being a murderer?” for the rest of your life, but you volunteered. If you didn’t think it through prior to signing…that is your fault and I am truly sorry. —JahnMcg.

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