By Denise Briggs Potter
While strolling through Pleasant Beach Village in Lynwood Center, you’ve probably noticed the playful cat silhouettes and mice that adorn the ironwork around the buildings and down the stretch of sidewalk.
They are the inspiration of John Jacobi—Pleasant Beach Village developer, Windermere founder and self-declared cat enthusiast—who commissioned metal artist Jim Honold to add a touch of whimsy to the south-end hangout.
In addition to the artwork, Jacobi’s interest in cats prompted the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) adoption center at Pleasant Beach and in Kingston. He also donated a barn on his property 25 years ago to the Humane Society to serve as a halfway house for cats that required care or socialization before adoption.
“My wife and I are cat people, not crazy cat-lady people, but we’ve always been interested in cats,” Jacobi said. “My hope is that more can be done for animal welfare, such as a dog halfway house to allow more dogs to be adopted on Bainbridge.
”Honold recalled the fun he had coming up with the four sculptures, including a cat fishing into a pail and another cat pumping an old water pump that continuously circulates water into a never-ending pool.
“John wanted the art to tell a story,” Honold said, “so that someone visiting would notice little things along the way and it would make them laugh, smile or dream.”