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Monday's Quick Hits: Feral cats, a retiring legend, "regular" coffee and Sunday in Citrus

The issue is TNR …

which you may be tired of hearing about, but it's one I've grabbed like a feral cat grabbing a helpless little bunny.

And I'm not letting it go.

Keeping up a friendly (I hope) dialogue with Joanne Schoch of the Humane Society of the Nature Coast, I think where our opinions diverge is with this question:

What should you do if you see a hungry feral cat in your yard?

She says it's her duty as a compassionate human being to feed it.

I say trap it and bring it to a no-kill shelter such as hers or, failing that, to Animal Services, where it will have an admittedly slim chance of being adopted before being put down.

Schock thinks that after trapping, the cat can be neutered and returned to the outdoors, which is what TNR stands for. I say that if there's a consensus now that it's irresponsible for cat owners to allow their pets to roam — and there is, by the way, because it's harmful to cats and the many animals they hunt down — then it's definitely irresponsible to allow them to live outdoors full time.

Who else but Lucy Morgan …

could write a letter to the incoming Florida House speaker, Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, in the tone of a mom telling her college-bound boy to behave himself?

Nobody, of course.

Morgan has announced she is leaving this newspaper after decades as a Times reporter and Tallahassee bureau chief. Every employee and reader of the paper will miss her tremendously, partly because we know we can trust every word that appears under her byline.

You might, however, retain a little skepticism about the editor's note above her letter to Weatherford in Sunday's Perspective section, especially the part that said Morgan had definitely retired last week.

I have a hard time imagining that we won't see at least a few more of her bylines. Probably just some fluff that will expose rancid corruption and bring down a lawmaker or two.

Arriving at my son's tennis tournament …

on Sunday morning, and seeing that all of the other parents in the stands were dressed like Green Bay Packers fans, I decided to duck out to a nearby Dunkin' Donuts and treat myself to a "regular" coffee, which, I vaguely remembered, meant that it would come doctored with cream and sugar.

But the amount!

It was like sipping coffee-flavored sweetened condensed milk. And it will fatten you up like it, too, or almost like it. According to the Dunkin' Donuts website, one 20-ounce coffee with cream and sugar contains 240 calories.

In a newly released book — Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Companies Hooked Us — author Michael Moss talks about the "bliss point," which is the amount of one or more of these unhealthy ingredients that most appeals to the palate of the average American.

If this "regular" represents the serving of coffee that Dunkin' Donuts has found to be irresistibly blissful, then our diets are in even more trouble than I thought.

The tournament …

by the way, was at the newly renovated — or more like rebuilt — Crystal River High School.

Having written recently about the lavish public facilities Citrus County has been able to construct, partly with tax revenue from Duke Energy's nearby, soon-to-be-closed nuclear power plant, I was curious to take a look around the campus.

I saw handsome brick buildings, immaculate ball fields and, of course, the eight new tennis courts.

Maybe the county got a bit fat on power company revenue. But maybe, if you heard the pride in parents' voices when they talked about place, you'd think it was money well spent.

Once in Citrus County …

I thought it would be a shame not to stop off at the vaunted Freezer Tiki Bar in Homosassa.

We huddled up next a space heater, which made it just cozy enough to enjoy a cool draft beer with my blue crabs — locally caught, steamed and spiced to perfection, the tender meat dipped in a small tub of melted butter.

Talk about a bliss point!

Monday's Quick Hits: Feral cats, a retiring legend, "regular" coffee and Sunday in Citrus 03/04/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 4, 2013 11:09am]
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