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The cats at Winn-Dixie

July 2, 2013
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

A week ago, I received a call from Al up at Winn-Dixie informing me Rascal, the all-gray cat with the matted fur on her back end had a swollen jaw. Early the following morning, I went and got her to take to the clinic, thinking it was a bad tooth abscess or insect bite. As it turned out, she had a malignant tumor which caused her to loose mobility in her jaw and she wasn't able to open her mouth very wide to eat. Needless to say, there were no options, she had to be put down. Once sedated, I was able to hold, pet and comfort her before she passed on. I then brought her back to the only home she knew and loved - Winn-Dixie. The fellas at the store buried her on the grounds she roamed (in the wooded area.)

She loved being around people, yet never bothered anyone. As a community, we took care of her when no one else would and she felt safe with us. All she wanted was food, water and to be around people. We'll miss you Rascal - rest In peace.

We now only have Tom (papa cat), the striped tabby that loves to sleep by the doors out front. He's very cautious if you go to pet him and is not receptive to touching. But a soft kind word always gets his attention. Then we have Mama Cat who lives down at the liquor store, she also is very shy and bothers no one.

Once Tom and Mama Cat are gone, there will be no other cats ever allowed on the premise.

Unfortunately, we still have some people who continually complain about the cats. This is a never-ending battle for Dan who gets all the aggravation. Dan does so much for this community and is very supportive of all the organizations on the island, we can't afford to see him lose his job over these petty silly complaints.

Just recently we had a cashier who works one day a week complain to customers and management that the dander from the cats were coming into the store through the front door and making her sick. Inspectors were sent out and could not find a trace of dander in, or out in the front of the store. What a waste of time money and aggravation for Dan to deal with!

The Winn-Dixie cats showed up following Hurricane Charlie- - that was 8-9 years ago. They haven't many years left, why not let them live their lives out peacefully? They never bother anyone, and with the help of several workers who look after them, I make sure their medical needs are taken care of as needed.

Edith Schulte

Pine Island



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