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Tattle Cat & Cati Cat

Welcome back to the bark side of life here in Ottertail, where Zephyrus winds blow and waves on the lake are angry and white capped. Labor Day is upon us and summer has come and now is waving goodbye; like the swaying majestic oak trees out side my window.

The veggies in the garden continue to grow, and purple grapes on their vines slowly ripen, and it seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating the Fourth of July. And a metallic water pail still hangs in a kennel unfettered and full of water...Toby still smiles his conspiratorial grin.

Speaking of animals that conspire against us, Shirley Johnson of Battle Lake (who has submitted a tale in the past about a "Tattle Cat") has sent me this tale of two kitties. Here's Shirley's story.

This story started unfolding about one year ago this coming October. We were a one-cat family. On a beautiful day in October, we saw this adorable baby kitty out back. We looked at her through our binoculars and saw a short-haired tortoise shell kitten, about six weeks old. Our Trouble Cat was a long-haired tortoise shell; she was 14 years old. We were leaving for Arizona in just a few days, but how could we go and leave this baby to face a Minnesota winter?

We borrowed a live trap and proceeded to catch her, but she was too smart for us. I guess we felt if one bait would do, two would do better. The next day, both cans were pulled to the sides of the trap and were completely empty. She was not about to be caught. Should I say that she was smarter than us? When it was getting close to departure day, I told my husband we probably should take the trap down because there was no time to tame and find a home for her. Now she was a challenge so the trap stayed up. On Saturday afternoon she made a mistake and was in the trap. We were leaving on Monday morning. Now what do we do?

It didn't take long for this hissing ball of fur to calm down, and she actually seemed to like being touched and petted. We couldn't take her in the house as she had not been tested for feline Leukemia, but the Battle Lake veterinarian said I could bring her in early on Monday morning. She was Leukemia negative, so there was nothing to do but take her with us. I had been feeding cats on the front porch and had some experience taming a kitten and finding a home for a kitten the year before so I had purchased a dog crate, just in case I found another one. Off we went to Arizona.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of this tale next week. I met the Johnsons last year when this drama was unfolding, and I know how they were anguishing over leaving a defenseless kitten to the elements of a harsh and brutal Minnesota winter. They are the type of people who make this world a better place to live by their stewardship towards animals -- especially cats.

There are many tales where logic is used by a wild or feral animal. Instinct plays a heavy role in their survival, but it is their use of their mental skills that often prevail. If you have a tale that you would like to share, email me at or write to me at Keith Alan Ross, Richville MN 56576 or phone me at 218-495-2195.

Also, I happen to have a book out by the name of Tales From The Bark Side, and you can purchase a copy at the Red Willow on the corner of Washington and Willow and also at the mall. They are terrific people there and they'll help you find what you need. That does it for this week; next week will bring the conclusion of the tale of "Tattle Cat and Cati Cat." Until next time...