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Fred's memorial not moving - yet

The stone is on the site of a planned senior center.

By ANNE LINDBERG, Times Staff Writer
Published November 11, 2007

After he died, Fred the cat's ashes were spread and this marker installed there at the site of the old City Hall. here.
[Times photo: Bill Serne]

SEMINOLE- The architects thought of almost everything when preparing the conceptual design of the long-awaited senior center - the location on the park property, aesthetics, versatility, efficiency.

But they forgot Fred.

Fred was the orange tabby cat that graced City Hall for years and became Seminole's unofficial mascot. He died in 2003 at the ripe old age of 17. His human friends held a memorial service in 2004, scattering his ashes and putting out a tasteful granite memorial plaque - smack dab under what will become the site of the senior center.

"That's sacred ground," Seminole City Manager Frank Edmunds said last Tuesday when reminded of Fred's resting place. "I'll have to tell Joan."

Joan Angelopoulos, an account specialist with the city, gave Fred a home in his later years after he became dehydrated during a particularly hot summer. He had been banned from City Hall because some workers complained they were allergic and others objected to the "souvenirs" he left behind.

"That means the headstone for Fred has to be moved," Angelopoulos said Thursday. "We'll have to take it up and do another memorial."

Angelopoulos said she would talk to Edmunds about finding a final, final resting place for Fred.

After his death, Angelopoulos had him cremated and put him in a small box on top of an ancient Webster's dictionary on a shelf in her City Hall office. He remained there for almost a year while an appropriate marker was found.

The day the marker was placed in front of the City Hall, 17 of Fred's friends gathered to wish him well in what was thought to be his final resting place.

Soon after, the City Hall moved to its current location on 113th Street. The old City Hall was scheduled to be turned into Seminole's emergency operations center and senior center.

That plan fell apart when engineers ruled it would be more cost efficient to construct a new building to withstand a Category 5 hurricane rather than reinforce the existing one. That meant the demise of the old City Hall.

And, it meant the architects could locate the new building to make it more of a centerpiece for the park. But Fred was in the way.

Fred's memorial won't have to be moved for a while. Planning for the center is in the early stages and a Public Works building must be erected before the old City Hall can be torn down. Until then, Fred can stay undisturbed among the flowers in the place he called home for most of his life.

[Last modified November 10, 2007, 21:47:08]

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