In the weekly feature called "e-views," we invite readers to answer a question via email.

Last week's question:

What do you think should be done about areas where feral cats gather? Would you feed them or do you think that's a bad idea? Do they bother you? Why or why not?

PERSONALLY SPEAKING, I say leave them alone. The feral cats are not bothering anyone. And, in reality, they keep the rodents such as rats and mice numbers in check.

If people want to feed them, that's all right too. Last year there was a neighbor complaining about cats in the neighborhood -- the very next night I saw a large rat on his roof. I'll take cats any day over the rats.

Dick Augusta

Antioch

I'M A LONG, longtime animal lover, but we don't need to encourage increasing the feral cats population. Unfortunately, the best thing to do is gather them all up and give them a humane ending.

All my cat-loving friends are gonna hate me for even suggesting such a responsible remedy. Such a solution reminds me of the cartoon where the frustrated little kid says, "I'll be glad when I get old, so I can say what I think!" That's me -- probably too often. Dogs? That's different!

Glen Young

Brentwood

FAR TOO OFTEN a cat being identified as feral was previously a family pet which was abandoned, lost or discarded.

It could also be a friendly stray with an owner who lets it roam. Or it is the offspring of any one of these because the parents were not spayed and neutered.

Cities all around the world face the emotional and complex issue of free roaming cats. We are not immune in East County. Fortunately, we have many caring people in our community who are working to reduce the number of these animals.

You can help by spaying and neutering your animal, even if you consider it an indoor pet. Contact your local animal rescue groups and ask about programs they have and how to obtain a humane trap. Make a tax-free donation to Spay/Neuter Impact Program in Antioch or participate in one of its regular low-cost clinic days. For information, go to www.snipcat.org.

Angela Lowrey

Oakley

This week's question:

If you had a magic wand and could make three changes in your community what would they be?

Email your response to bnews@bayareanewsgroup.com. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. Not all responses will be published. Note: Please respond before Monday.