Just so you have both sides of the story, when the above series first appeared in newspapers, I received a polite email from a PR spokesman for the tanning industry who assured me that articial tanning is perfectly safe. Now, I have a backyard tip. Those of you who hate cats and think they’re evil, those of you who are squeamish, those of you who think of nature as a sweet mother figure are excused, although this somewhat disturbing tale does have a happy ending. I had a wooden bird feeder in my backyard, the type with a tray around the base. It afforded many birds the opportunity to dine in comfort at the same time, but it also created a blind spot. Cats would creep under the feeder and from a standing crouch cover the six feet from ground to feeder and nail an unsuspecting bird with an extended paw. Love ’em or hate ’em, a cat in its prime is an athlete nonpareil. The feeder already hung as high as a human conveniently could reach, so I thought of raising it further with a system of pullies and rope. Too much work! Finally, I replaced the wooden feeder with a cylindrical basket that has feeding ports on the side and a narrow, circular tray at the bottom. The communal dining experience isn’t quite the same, but now the birds can see cats approaching. Problem solved.