Local feline activists are hissing with displeasure at the U.S. Navy over a change in the service’s policy toward feral cats. Starting on Jan. 1, 2002, all feral cats found on Navy bases around the world are being trapped and sent to animal shelters, where they face euthanasia. Kerry Fay, a program manager with the District-based Alley Cat Allies, says her group is lobbying military officials to abandon the order. Killing cats, Fay argues, is more expensive than the approach preferred by cat advocates, the trap-neuter-return (TNR) method. According to Fay, numerous Navy bases, including the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia, have previously practiced the TNR method to keep their cat populations from proliferating. “We know that not everyone is into touchy-feely things like saving cats,” Fay says. “But this new policy is going to cost the Navy a lot of money.” —Felix Gillette