To the editor:
I know that Alexandria is a bastion of dog privilege, even as enlightened people elsewhere are becoming more accepting of cats, making them the preferred pet in most urban areas.
The Alexandria Times pet photo contest takes this extreme pro-dog bias to a new level of discriminatory excess. The lone cat photo amidst the dozen dog photos is egregious tokenism, communicating cats in Alexandria are animalia non grata. The Times would have cats not be seen or heard in public; cross the street when they encounter a dog on the sidewalk; never look a dog straight in the eye, etc.
Alexandria maintains segregated facilities such as dog parks, doggy cruises and doggy swims, at which cats are not allowed. The city takes pains to offer dog-friendly outdoor seating at restaurants and dog bowls in pubic space on the King Street sidewalk. Will we soon see No Cats Allowed and No Cats Need Apply signs cropping up? Were someone to put up a No Dogs Allowed on the Lawn sign, surely he or she would be cited on the spot.
What is the ratio of dogs to cats on your newspaper staff or at least in your newspapers affirmative action plan? How many of your reporters have been to cat sensitivity training lately? Does the Alexandria Times have some kind of deep-seated allergy to cats?
Editors note: The Times received very few cat photos for the contest. But full disclosure: a poll of Times staffers indeed indicates a proclivity for dogs over cats.