A Kitten’s Risks in Coyote Country

Kudos to Ginnie Ryder for her sensitive and honest article (“Instinct Fails a Kitten in Coyote Country,” Orange County Voices, Jan. 24).

Quality of life is the key. My Simba, a happy and healthy 4-year-old neutered male, comes and goes at will, through kitty doors.

To watch him bask in the sunshine on the patio table, chase grasshoppers and “bird-watch” is a joy. His world is very small, so he doesn’t wander far. His kitty friends come to visit and tumble on the lawn. Our neighbors drive slowly to respect the life and freedom of their children and our pets.

If we locked up a child because they lack “instinct” to be safe outdoors, we would have that child taken away and be excoriated by sensible people. All of life is a risk.

True, I did not buy a house on the canyon side, but I do feel that if I and my cat cannot have freedom in the “burbs,” then neither of us would enjoy quality of life.



Laguna Niguel


I am enraged by what Gene P. Morris and Heidi Bressler-Riordan said with regard to “negligent” cat owners (Letters, Jan. 31).

I lost a cat of six years to a coyote attack, not because I was “negligent.” What a disgusting thing to imply. I lost my cat because I had absolutely no knowledge of the coyote problem in Anaheim Hills. My cat went outside safely for six years in Fullerton and lasted less than a month when I moved here.

I don’t think the negligence rests with me. It would, had I known of the problem. I took my cat to the local vet for a preventive checkup and consultation and bath before I brought him to our new home.

The vet, who had been working in an Anaheim Hills office for years, made no mention of the coyote problem. She knew that I had just moved into the area and that my cat went outdoors. I looked for leaflets in the reception area on pet care, and again, there was nothing about coyotes.

My cat was smart to cars and could easily hold his own in a cat fight, and so I really believed there was nothing to worry about. Do people actually think that I would have let my cat outside if I had known of this danger? He was violently killed by a coyote attack in November and I am still grieving. I will be grieving for the rest of my life. I loved that cat like a child.




It is obvious that Ginnie Ryder needs to learn the difference between wild animals and domestic pets, as well as the fact that the two do not mix.

Domestic dogs and cats are no match for a coyote. Letting pets out to roam in an area inhabited by predators is only asking for trouble.

Having never lived in the wild, a kitten could not possibly know the danger associated with a coyote. As a pet owner, Ryder had a responsibility to care for that kitten. Apparently she didn’t feel that included keeping it out of harm’s way.

My husband and I recently moved to Yorba Linda from Chino Hills. Coyotes roam freely in both areas. We have not and will never intentionally let our four cats out of the house. We have respect for the wild animals as well as our pets.

Cats do not need “freedom” to be well-adjusted. We would rather see them live to a happy and comfortable old age than be killed by predators or hit by a car.


Yorba Linda


While the loss of my half-grown kitten still brings tears, and the Jan. 31 published letters to my essay scathed me, I must defend my position: giving my pets the right of freedom to come and go as they please.

Haven’t we all, at some time, seen indoor cats grown fat from lack of exercise? Or the declawed and now housebound pet with its only means of defense removed?

I feel this is wrong to force cats to remain indoors.

In our Hollywood Hills home, our two pets were allowed their freedom. While there were no coyotes around, I remember raccoons and foxes, all hungry and needing to eat. Yet one cat died of old age, the other of leukemia.

Here in this hilltop home above Laguna Niguel, Jezebel, our 17-year-old Siamese, roamed freely. She was finally put to sleep because of kidney failure. Blackie, now at 12, stays close to the premises when he’s outside. His roaming days seem over.

Cats, in my opinion, are lovers of freedom. If they’re well cared for in their home environment, and allowed their freedom, they make wonderful, and most often, longtime pets.


Laguna Niguel