Letters to The Editor: May 26-June 1, 2022


The Editor:

I would like to comment on the column run in the May 19-25 issue of The Northern Light entitled “Important characteristics to know about cat breeds.”

Bengal cats are not truly domesticated, nor are they generally suitable as pets. They’re hybrids bred from domestic cats and Asian Leopard cats (a wild cat) to create their stunning coats. There may be varying degrees of wild cat genetic material in any individual Bengal cat, depending on the breeder, but what seems to be consistent is that many of them refuse to use litter pans or to cohabitate peacefully with other pets (and sometimes the humans) in the household. Depending on how far they’re removed from their wild generations, they may be banned or limited as pets in areas such as New York City, the state of Hawaii, Seattle, Denver and the U.K.

When they become unmanageable pets and their owners wish to relinquish them, they find that most domestic shelters will not take them, deeming them un-adoptable, and thus they must hope a wildcat sanctuary will take them. As a result, accredited wildcat sanctuaries are overwhelmed with Bengal and Savannah cats (a cross breed of domestic cats and Serval cats, an African wild cat) and this impacts their ability to care for larger and more needy large wild cats. Having spent years volunteering at The Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota, I have seen first hand how these hybrid cats overwhelm sanctuaries.

Here are some links with more information on Bengal and Savannah cats:

• wildcatsanctuary.org/educate. Click on “Say No to Hybrids.”

• bigcatrescue.org/savannah-cats-and-bengal-cats-make-bad-pets

• petadvisers.com/are-bengal-cats-aggressive

Please do not buy or adopt Bengal or Savannah cats; please adopt a true domestic cat or kitten from your local animal shelter.

Jennifer Plombon


The Editor:

Since January 1, the Alaska Packer Museum has welcomed guests from all over our state and lots from Whatcom County. But you may be surprised at how many visitors from out of state drop in. Just for fun, I checked the guest log and found people from San Antonio; La Porte, Indiana; Oceanside, California; Peace River, Alberta; Willmar, Minnesota; Littleton, Colorado; Manhattan, Kansas; Taft, California; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Darien, Connecticut; Metamora, Illinois; Washington, Iowa; Ketchikan, Alaska; Vancouver, B.C.; Sydney; Fairport, New York; Harrington, Delaware; Salem, Oregon; Toronto; Havre, Montana; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Fort Yukon, Alaska; Damascus, Oregon; Chicago; Charleston, South Carolina; Sacramento, California; and Hamburg, Germany.

And this is not the busy season. For such a little spot on the map we sure get a lot of curious tourists.

We need more volunteers to greet these people and tell them about our corner of the world.

Training is provided with a basic requirement of smiles and a friendly attitude. Open Friday, Saturday and Sundays, 1-5 p.m. For more information, please call 360/920-7420.

Sunny Brown, APA Museum volunteer coordinator


The Editor:

Memorial Day is a day that was set aside to honor our nations war dead. At a later time, it also became known as “Decoration Day,” and became a day for all families to care for the graves of their family members. In later years, it has again put emphasis on those who died in service of our country.

This is a good thing. Those who have taken time to serve deserve the final honor.

A very basic tribute to those departed veterans is the placement of a small flag, representing the gratitude of the country they served, at their gravesite. This is usually done as a part of the continuing public service of veterans’ organizations, like Veterans of Foreign Wars or American Legion. As time goes on, those organizations are dwindling in membership, and in members who are physically capable of going out to find and decorate those graves with the simple flag.

“Thank you for your service” need not be a hollow platitude, but may be fulfilled by organizations such as scouts, church groups or other civic organizations simply putting out flags on the graves of veterans in the cemeteries in their area.

Badly in need for this service is the Blaine cemetery on the top of H Street hill. Last year there were a significant number of unrecognized graves. While the memorial ceremony provides recognition to all, the presence of a grave flag is a touching remembrance.

Could some Blaine organization step up?

J. G. Sandy Phillips



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