On the very weekend that construction of the cats’ new playground was completed, we opened our mailbox to find this anonymous message:
We were surprised. We are on good terms with our immediate neighbors – that is, the neighbors on each side of us, the neighbors who live in the three houses behind us, and at least one of the families who live across the street from us.
Indeed, in the past we have explicitly asked several of our neighbors if the cats disturb them, and they have told us that on the contrary, they enjoy watching the cats.
Obviously we have other neighbors who feel differently.
"They have been causing all sorts of problems" - ?
We are sorry the cats kill baby robins. We are sorry they kill any birds. We are sorry they kill mice – even though our immediate neighbors seem to appreciate the cats’ attempts to eradicate the local rodent population.
But we have found it impossible to persuade the cats that killing other creatures is "bad." After all, cats were domesticated and tamed in the first place, because humans wanted them to kill the rodents and birds who destroyed crops and invaded human dwellings.
We built the fenced-in playground because we worried about cars and (animal) predators. Now that we know the cats have made human enemies, we are all the more relieved that in their pen, the cats can enjoy the outdoors, and still be safe.