The city known as Gulf Breeze, [Santa Rosa county] Florida, being a rather-better-off-than-you-and-me bedroom community for Pensacola and Escambia county, has also long been known as kind of a snooty, stuck-up place with [fortunately] a slight leavening of surfer kids, since they're both rich enough to afford the hobby and close enough to the beach that they can skip only part of the school day and still get some surfing in.
It's a nice little community: clean, quiet, articulate even [also very white]. It's surrounded by water, making it a great place for boating and fishing and just hanging out in some wonderful parks. Used to be you could even hang out at the parks with your dogs. But some truly cranky types got it into their heads that dogs were going to be the ruination of the place or something, and some fairly draconian and dog-unfriendly ordinances were drafted and passed.
I've been boycotting Gulf Breeze businesses ever since [that would be years now]. Not that it seems to have made an impression on them. Then again maybe it did make an impression, because now the city is on the warpath against cats. The cats of Wayside Park, to be precise.
Wayside Park is at the foot of the Old Fishing Bridge, as it's known locally. There's a Wayside park on the Escambia county side too, where the other end of the old bridge was. What's left of the bridge at each end is now used as fishing piers, and we all know what kind of trash ends up at fishing piers. Dead fish. The ultimate in cat food. The el primo of cat food. All cats should be so lucky.
But the good luck is running out. Time is running out too. Come July 1st, the city is going trap and kill the cats. Actually, they're not even going to do the killing themselves. Gulf Breeze is in Santa Rosa county, which has its own animal shelter, but the cats are going to be carted across the bay into Escambia county, to our animal shelter, to be killed.
Did I call these people snooty? That was too kind of me. Hypocritical comes to mind. So do some other words.
Stepping off my soapbox for now. If you can donate to help the kitties, please do so. If you can make it to the June 27 city council meeting, do so. If you live far away, write to the mayor, the city council, the city manager, the parks department, and tell them [preferably politely] that if they start killing off cats, you will elect to spend your tourist dollars in some other [kinder, gentler, saner] town. Tourist dollars count for a lot here in Florida.
Also, if you could work in a few good words for TNR, that would be cool. It [public pressure] worked in Wisconsin, it can work here too.
nice website about the cats
blurb at the City of Gulf Breeze website about the cats
contact info for mayor, city council, etc
Apologies for the do-it-yourself linkages. Computer difficulties.