To save birds, should we kill off cats?
Our feline friends are killing billions of birds every year. A fan of both animals believes there are humane solutions.
Bernstein was a tiny kitten, unable to eat or open his eyes, when he was rescued after being abandoned in a barn. (His littermate, Woodward, remains with the journalist friend who rescued them.) He’s one lucky cat—and I’ve wondered if his genial personality might be due, at least in part, to everlasting gratitude for having dodged a lifetime of starvation, shelters, and other feral fates.
But no nature or nurture can override the feline instinct, as I was sadly reminded last spring. On a warm afternoon, I let Bernstein onto the patio for some sun. After slinking off for a few minutes, he proudly returned, clutching a ball of feathers: a one-ounce, beautifully shade-dappled Swainson’s thrush that had just