Letters on Gainesville’s cat population, city planning, banned books

Letters to the editor present the opinions of readers on news stories and other pieces published by The Sun.

Gainesville’s sacred cats

Gainesville has a massive cat population — community, feral, outdoor/indoor or otherwise. The shelters are full.

Outside, cats are vulnerable to weather, parasites, disease, malnutrition and bad actors. They rely on neighbors for whatever care they do receive. Meanwhile, they are a constant threat to the birds, bugs and reptiles for whom many of us want to provide a backyard haven.

However, with dedicated community support and funding, this is a problem we can solve! We have all the ingredients right here — world-class veterinary care, the Santa Fe College teaching zoo, cat (and bird) lovers galore — along with local government, corporate and nonprofit stakeholders (Wild Spaces Public Places, Maddie’s Fund, Audubon Society, Wild Birds Unlimited, Petco, Petsmart, Chewy, etc.) to involve.

I propose that we find an unused parking-garage style building — there’s a perfect one on 13th Street — and turn it into a community cat zoo. Screen it in and add box fans, a few feet of mulch, some artificial trees, watering stations, feeding stations, etc. The roof could be a catnip garden. The bottom floor would be devoted to a clinic for incoming cats to be sterilized, dewormed and acclimated before release into their new digs.

All we’d need is a name. I propose “Alcatraz.” No dogs allowed!

Audrey Natwick, Gainesville

More letters to the editor:

UF students should be living in dorms, not rental properties

Not city planning

The announcement of a 12-story apartment to be constructed on 1.1 acre next to Innovation Square sums up the “city planning” process in Gainesville reminded me of the book “Babbitt” by Sinclair Lewis. It is a scary book. The characters are full of boosterism and materialistic striving. They are bereft of ethics and integrity.

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