To the editor:
As a full-time permanent Pine Islander resident, I was dismayed to see the article regarding "Complaints about the cats." The most important consideration that concerned our decision to move to Pine Island was the friendly caring quality of the people and the businesses on Pine Island. This has been reinforced over and over again since our relocation. The cats at the various businesses are there for a reason and speak well for the owners and managers. The complaint regarding the cats seemed cruel, and uncaring and an affront to decency. The management at Winn-Dixie should realize these complaint makers are not of the majority. The cats are beautiful animals, well fed, well cared for, happy to be at their permanent home (the plaza), and certainly well loved by many who consider them their own pets.
I have not seen any bird chasing, but I am sure the cats do accomplish the age old task of controlling the rodent population, which can be a problem in commercial areas and especially grocery stores. If Winn-Dixie controls the plaza, perhaps Winn-Dixie should reconsider the thought of "moving the cats." I know we personally could do business with their competitors, some less expensive (in general), and some with an even greater reputation for customer service, but we have chosen to do business with Winn-Dixie based on their caring attitude towards the community as exemplified by the presence of the cats. Should the cats be "relocated," my days of shopping at Winn-Dixie will end and I would be only too happy to organize a general protest/boycott of their stores. Maybe that is something the corporate executives and the local store manager would understand.