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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • Cat tales

  • In case you haven't noticed, cats are quite independent creatures.
    Take “Lucky” Lucy for instance. I guess you could call “Lucky” The Helena World's mascot sort to speak. We adopted her. Or should we say she adopted us. She wasn't found in the usual manner such as being adopted from an animal shelter, found on the side of the road, or even given to us.
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  • In case you haven't noticed, cats are quite independent creatures. Take “Lucky” Lucy for instance. I guess you could call “Lucky” The Helena World's mascot sort to speak. We adopted her. Or should we say she adopted us. She wasn't found in the usual manner such as being adopted from an animal shelter, found on the side of the road, or even given to us. Of all places “Lucky” found herself literally suspended between Heaven and Earth perched at the top of a utility pole in front of the office. She was named “Lucky” because a brave utility worker managed to coax her from the pole with a can of cat food. She was quite “Lucky” that she didn't fall. She has resided at 417 York Street ever since. If you visit our office you probably will find her all curled up in someone's chair or being petted by one of us. Usually, she mischievously plays with various items around the office and quickly heads for cover when she thinks she's been caught doing something wrong. Right at quitting time Monday evening, “Lucky” was nowhere to be found. We searched each office and under most of the desks. Normally, she responds when called but not on this occasion. Fear gripped us as we began to think that she might have wandered out the front door without being noticed when a customer was entering or leaving the office. Eventually, she was found playing under the tables in a closed off portion of the building. “Lucky” is not my first experience with an independent cat. Many moons ago, when I was in grade school, my family was selected for “cat adoption.” Several consecutive days, we heard this loud “meowing” coming from our back porch. When we looked out we saw this beautiful orange and white cat. We surely thought it must belong to someone because it was too well groomed. After a few days, Mom couldn't take it anymore and she began putting out milk for the frequent visitor. Now, Mom was not an avid animal lover but she would not for one minute let one starve to death, so she began giving the cat scraps from the table. Soon, we were buying cat food for the new family pet. From the beginning it was obvious “Pretty Boy”, as we were affectionately calling the old Tom, was at least partially used to the great indoors. Repeatedly, he would attempt to enter the house when visitors came to the door. Mom would have none of that until late one rainy night we heard a distant cry of what sounded like a baby. We looked high and low but could not tell from where the cries were coming. Dad finally spied “Pretty Boy” sitting atop a fence. The yard was soaked and the cat wouldn't climb down. Dad waded through the yard with water more than an inch deep. From then on “Pretty Boy” was a part-time house cat. He didn't want to stay inside all the time. He would leave the house in the dead of night and sometimes not return for days on end. On more than one occasion, he came home battered and bloody. You had to wonder if he survived the fight what the other poor cat must have looked like. For a short period of time, this cat ruled the roost. He had his own chair on which he slept most of the daytime. He didn't mind letting you know that was his chair and that he preferred that no one sit there even if he wasn't occupying it at the time. Cats are so different than dogs. While they certainly like attention and like to rub up against you but the leg of the kitchen table will do just as well thank you very much. Unlike dogs, they are loyal only to the person that is taking care of them at that time. “Pretty Boy” didn't live to a ripe old age – too much fighting. One day he went under our house and died. Dad had to crawl under the house to bring out his lifeless body for burial. It was like losing a member of the family. I didn't have any more experiences with cats until “Lucky” Lucy came around. A little black kitten adopted Mom and Dad after I left home. Mom named her “Spooky” because she found her on Halloween Night. There may be some truth to the old myth about bad luck and black cats. Mom had never suffered a broken bone in her entire life until one night she nearly tripped over “Spooky” in the kitchen. She swiped at the cat with her foot to get the cat out of the way to avoid falling and broke her great toe in the process. “Spooky” didn't stick around long. She vanished as mysteriously as she first appeared. It may also been a Halloween night.

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