Free them: I'm glad that for once there's an issue where animal rights activists and most members of the public can reach the same conclusion: Big cats don't belong in back yards, which is what I took away from Calvin Godfrey's article "Cat People" (September 13). I have no idea what possesses these owners of wild cats to try to turn them into big housecats, but it is as puzzling as it is unfair. There's no reason for these people to own big cats except to meet their own eccentric, selfish wants. These animals deserve to be in the wild, or at least at a wildlife sanctuary, not eating KFC through a fence. I hope local lawmakers pay attention to this issue and work hard to take these cats out of these substandard living situations.
Santa Monica, California
What a sight: Many thanks for Calvin Godfrey's article "Cat People." The Siberian and Bengal tigers are, without hesitation, the most beautiful of nature's creatures.
To those who would think that private ownership is not fair to this animal, I would say it's a lot better than in some other countries, where this animal is killed for supposed aphrodisiac effects. Yet to say these magnificent creatures can be safely tamed is an understatement.
More than 25 years ago an Arab sheik owned the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach. One evening he gave the most memorable black-tie affair that this city has ever witnessed. As one of the 250 fortunate people in attendance, I will never forget Caliph, a huge Bengal tiger, being walked through the cocktail party by his trainer. What a sight.
I asked him if I could feed him, and his trainer said, "He likes clams and oysters, but give him only a few, as tigers are carnivores and the shellfish go through his system a bit too fast." It was an experience never to be forgotten — feeding a tiger as if he were simply a little cat, and not being afraid.
Kudos to all the individuals who are able to feed, care for, and appreciate one of God's most magnificent animals.
Ronald C. Rickey
Take another look: I was surprised to read Carlos Suarez De Jesus's "Meeks Inherits" review (August 30), which totally missed the point in Erin Holzman's work. The idea was composition, energy, and duality. Look closer.
Way to Go, Leo
Ya done good: I was very impressed with Leonardo DiCaprio's powerful documentary The 11th Hour, reviewed by Mike D'Angelo in your August 30 issue. The film depicts the devastating impact of global warming, including droughts, hurricanes, and coastal flooding. It features interviews with the brightest minds about this man-made environmental crisis and possible solutions.
The good news is that each of us can do our part to reduce global warming on our next trip to the supermarket. More details are available at www.coolyourdiet.org.
Fidel Disappears, Again
Thank you, Internet: After I picked up your August 16 issue, I saw Fidel Castro on the cover. I wanted to read the story ("The Greatest Generation") on page 13. But when I turned to that page, it wasn't there. Someone had removed pages 13 to 50. Every single paper in the rack was the same. That was in Miami Beach. I had to travel to the Miami Civic Center to find more issues. I grabbed one of your papers and the same damn thing happened. Every one had those pages ripped out. I am glad no one hacked your Website!
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Yes, a Bit Ass-Kissy
But we're not above it: Thank you so much for surprising us with such a flattering Live Wire review by Eric Saeger in the August 9 issue. We really appreciate the attention and inclusion. Thanks as well for staying so involved and reporting on the Miami music scene. Writers like Saeger are the glue helping to keep this fragile scene together, and it does not go unnoticed. A bit ass-kissy, I know, but thanks again for the writeup. Take care and rock on!
Mike Barnhill of Self Run Will