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In his little NIMBY Tribunal column, “Get Ready to Rumble” (5/10), Dave Nuttycombe writes of residents in Adams Morgan who are beset by a man, described as a “white male, 5-foot-9, thin, and 50-ish, with very short hair” who is stealing cats. Nuttycombe comments on this terrible situation by joking, “Those cats were going to leave you anyway.”

Nuttycombe should imagine himself as one of the people whose cats were stolen. Imagine these people’s grief. Imagine their distress at the loss of their beloved pet, and their worry and fear that the creep who took their cat may be a sadist who enjoys torturing animals, or that he sold them to a laboratory for experimentation. Maybe these cats were old and frail, or needed daily medication. Maybe they were recently adopted from the cage of a shelter, or rescued from an abusive situation and brought to a loving home for the first time. Nuttycombe should imagine the plight of these stolen animals, and the pain these people are in, and then ask himself if his lame joke at their expense was warranted.

Cities are a dangerous place for cats, and it is best to always keep them indoors, where they are safe from creeps, dogs, cars, and other perils. As for Nuttycombe: If one of my cats were stolen, and he made that “joke” around me, I would later explain to him, “You were going to lose those teeth one day anyway.”

Silver Spring, Md.