Duece Jones for county commissioner

Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones is one of the nicest people around.

But recently I have tried her last good nerve.

First, I said voter registration closes on July 29 for the Aug. 26 party primary. Wrong. It closes on July 28. I am so sorry for that.

Now she is getting calls, including one from a Levy County Commission candidate, asking about Deuce Jones, the write-in CATidate for county commissioner.

And here is where Miss Tammy’s good side comes in. She laughs as she says she has been asked if the deadline has passed to file as a write-in candidate.

Fact is Deuce is about 6 cat years old (is that 42 human years?) and he is running on the Florida Tuxedo Party ticket as a write-in candidate for county commissioner. He lives in District 5 with me and the Carnivore. And truth be told, he is the Carnivore’s cat.

But Deuce is a rescue. His mom was a feral living behind a restored Cracker home in Williston and she took a long trip mousing when a kind woman found him and his three brothers – all tuxedos.

Herding Cats Ranch, our home, was down one cat with our beloved Paco, a Tuxedo, dying just before our move to Levy.

Enough time had passed and our other cat Mister Steed Jones spotted Deuce in a basket that his rescuer brought in to veterinarian Dr. Bill Bennett’s office. Mister Steed would not leave Deuce alone and I figured it was the resemblance to Paco. I started nagging the Carnivore and he finally visited the rescuer’s home and immediately picked up Deuce and inspected his four “white booties.”

Deuce weighed 11 ounces and was just a handful of kitty. But he took the message on his first collar to heart: Bad to the Bone.

He rules the roost at our latest Herding Cats Ranch, patrolling the grounds, giving his sister Midnight trouble, wrestling with his brother Scooter, visiting Mister Steed’s resting place and bringing home a stray gray tabby we have named Earl.

And that’s where we get to Deuce’s political aspirations. He did not want Earl to go to the Levy County Animal Services shelter because they are overwhelmed with animals and a number of them are killed on a regular basis.

And it’s not a pretty, peaceful procedure like taking your pet to the vet’s office. They take a long needle filled with a toxic drug and stick it through the animal’s chest into the heart. It kills the animal immediately and the only pain is the “heart stick” as it is known.

Deuce thinks there is no need for that.

So adopting the platform of the late Tuxedo Stan and the Tuxedo Party in Nova Scotia, Canada, he has taken on the mantle of running as a write-in commissioner.

“Because neglect is not working,” Tuxedo Stan’s slogan is now the slogan of Deuce Jones and the Florida Tuxedo Party, the first international unit of the movement.

The Tuxedo Party works to raise awareness of animal conditions in the community, have TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) programs and spay-neuter programs and quality shelters for animals awaiting adoption.

Deuce is running because, for too long, Levy County has looked away from its animal problem. We know some folks feel “It’s just an animal.” That is OK with us. We feel differently.

These animals are costing close to $300,000 a year in tax money for animal services. And that does not include the donations of supplies and other items for the shelter.

In Cedar Key, cat lovers, led by Doreen and Oliver Bauer of Faraway Inn, have helped spay or neuter over 900 feral cats to keep the population down.

Commissioner Ryan Bell’s wife, Crystal Marie, has pushed for the shelter to consider staying open later than 4:30 p.m. during the week and on Saturdays. She helped organize a recent adoption event that kept a few kennels empty for a day or two after 23 animals were adopted.

Deuce’s platform is we need the adoption events in the community, not locked away at the landfill where the shelter is located. We might even need to consider the county organizing low-cost or free spay and neuter drives to eliminate the dumping of pregnant dogs and litters at the shelter.

He will be asking the other candidates to sign the pledge to reduce eliminate the need for the heartstick program.

To pledge your support go to Unofficial: Deuce on Facebook and sign up. And ask your candidate to support animal programs that won’t eat up our tax money killing animals.

If anyone is confused about Deuce’s CATidacy, I hope I have cleared this up.