Cats go from fairly friendly neighbors to scavengers

In those sanguine days when Ike Eisenhower was the president of these United States, an elderly lady lived alone on North Seventh Street in Willmar, with 17 cats as her only companions. They seemed to be well cared for and, while they did go exploring on their own, the number of rabbits eating in North side gardens was reduced substantially.

While some non-cat lovers may have been slightly annoyed when the felines made their presence known by screaming as only cats can, things were generally quiet on the North side.

There was an abrupt change when the lady in question moved to parts unknown, which did not accept cats. From fairly friendly neighbors they became scavengers and roamed the north side day and night in search of food. Even worse, they had kittens, and 17 cats can produce a lot of them in a short time.

The kittens followed their parents’ examples and scavenging became rather serious on the north side.

For years those cats ran wild in that neighborhood. Even worse, they had kittens, too!

Eventually they moved out into the wide world of the entire city.

That wasn’t too bad because their scavenging covered the entire town and Willmarites,especially the north siders, breathed sighs of relief and life returned to normal.

A few years later a couple of young ladies began raising a certain breed of exotic cats. They made their second-floor apartment into a cat factory. They were very good neighbors and the family living downstairs hardly knew they were there.

Once, when the ladies had to go to Minneapolis for several days for a convention, they asked those neighbors if they minded tending the cats while the owners were gone. Being neighborly, the people downstairs agreed, and the owners left with only one caveat — the cats must not be let outside.

The neighbors had no problems caring for the cats, but they felt very strongly that those tame cats should be let outside for a breath of fresh air and a little sunshine, and that’s what they did the evening before the owners were to come home. Immediately those nice, tame cats became real terrors! They scattered all over the neighborhood. The chase started immediately and lasted for several hours until all of those felines were safely housed in their usual quarters.

Next morning the owners came home and immediately began checking out their precious cats. Everything seemed to be okay, until one of them noticed that the tom cat which had spent the night in the apartment wasn’t theirs!

Those “cat tales” remind us of an old story about a Texas town which had become totally overrun with cats and kittens. The residents tried everything they could think of to no avail, so they called in an expert. He looked the situation over and recommended that the tom cat be taken to the veterinarian for an operation.

It worked! Cat population dropped to normal or below and everyone was happy for a few years until the town was once again overrun with cats.

They called in the expert again and he spent several days surveying the situation. When he met with the city fathers he told them that that old tom cat was the cause of their problem. He was becoming very active again — only now he was a consultant.

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