Island Pacific Seafood closes, but cats stay

Kind-hearted Filipinos try to fill gap

Cats on Plaza Blvd. "They like chicken adobo."
  • Cats on Plaza Blvd. "They like chicken adobo."

“Around 15 cats live behind the Island Pacific Seafood Market on 2720 E. Plaza Blvd,” posted a Paradise Valley resident on her Nextdoor account. “The store is closed and they need food and some water.”

Island Pacific Seafood Market shutting six of its stores in California.

Island Pacific Seafood Market shutting six of its stores in California.

Photos of the cats roaming throughout the parking lot and dirt area were posted.

On August 17 at about 3 pm, I visited the supermarket parking lot to locate ferals; I immediately saw two but they bolted.

I parked next to two women and a man eating Filipino food from the tailgate of their truck.

“Have you seen the cats around here?” I asked. Both women nodded, “There’s more than 20 of them that hang out in this parking lot,” said the woman wearing a Los Angeles Chargers jersey, “but they come out after 6 pm and they like chicken adobo.”

The group just ordered food from Tita’s Kitchenette, a Filipino restaurant, which is about 40 feet east of the supermarket.

“I’ve seen a few cats there at nighttime, but not a lot,” said Obie, an employee of Tita’s.

A fenced-in dirt lot separates the supermarket parking lot from the National City Car Wash to the west.

“Every once in awhile, when we open in the morning there’s some cats trying to drink water and trying to get inside,” said Russell, the manager of the carwash. “You might want to ask the people inside the supermarket, they are renovating it.”

I then returned to the front of the supermarket and noticed a lady trying to enter. “It’s closed and I don’t know why,” she said.

The doors were locked, the windows were covered, and no signs were posted regarding the closure; I saw another cat run by the back fence.

According to an April news report by supermarketnews.com, it read it part: “Island Pacific Seafood Market, a Filipino food retail chain, plans to shut six of its stores in California [and] that liquidation sales are under way at the stores, located in National City, San Jose, American Canyon, Rancho Cucamonga, Chula Vista, and Los Angeles.”

Marcy from Valencia Park came by. “I put some yummy canned food into two of the bowls I found there,” she said.

Usga, a close-by resident offered to pony up $18 for a 25 pounds of Costco cat food. “I have taken care of at least 20 cats over the years and worked to capture, spay, neuter, and release them too.”

According to the Feral Cat Coalition: “Feral cats are the offspring of stray or abandoned pets that are not spayed or neutered. Female cats can become pregnant at five months of age and can give birth several times each year. Without early human contact, their kittens become feral and begin the cycle of breeding again.”

Amber Millen from the El Cajon-based coalition, helps residents throughout San Diego with their feral cat populations.

“Cats are territorial to protect resources,” Millen said, “and colonies are not limited to relatives. Colonies can change throughout the years due to attrition, birth from unfixed cats, adoption of friendly cats or other unknown causes. Stabilized colonies, where cats are protecting their territory, help to keep newcomers from moving in and having more babies.

Michael used to get his patis (fish sauce) from the supermarket. “The cats and homeless would rummage through their trash bins,” he said, “that’s why the cats still hang out over there.” A 2013 Yelp review of the supermarket further corroborated that cats lurked in the area; reviews stated that competition from Ranch 99 and Seafood City was evident “... which could’ve been a cause to the supermarket closing.”

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