The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

June 23, 2013

June 23, 2012

A true story: Barbara and Oli Oliphant live near Bedford New Hampshire. They have a grown daughter. In the summer of 2011 Barbara noticed a thin black cat that was obviously a stray. They adopted each other. Barbara named the cat Wollie, after her husband. [Were this not a true story, I would not have included that detail] Then less than a year later that husband had a stroke and Barbara felt, reasonably, overwhelmed by the job of caring for her husband. She turned Wollie over to the New Hampshire. Animal rescue league. This organization is a no-kill shelter but they do not accept all the animals that need help. So Wollie is accepted into the shelter and now Wollie has used up TWO of his lives. 

Barbara's husband recovered nicely, and she realized how much she loved Wollie. She mentioned this to her daughter who schemed to adopt Wollie in secret so she could surprise her mother. This worked out til the point the daughter puts the cat in a carrier, the kind that zips. Now I don't know for sure, but black cats are often Siamese mixes, and these mixes are in my experience smarter than your average feline. But perhaps the daughter was just careless. Anyhow, Wollie escaped from the carrier in a parking lot in Bedford, six miles from Barbara Olliphant's house. Cat disappears and this time he is on his own in a world of coyotes in the woods, and cars on the asphalt river of death. Wollie has used up another life. It is June 23, 2012.

Barbara Olliphant, then, three days later, spots Wollie crossing the road. The cat has traveled six miles in three days. Wollie is home.

Wollie we know used up six of nine lives. He was grown when he was adopted, as a stray, so who knows how many lives he really has left. This story, mainly,  except the snark, came from an article in a St. Louis newspaper. But the article is not still available.  It had a picture with it, and if you search google images for "Barbara Olliphant cat" you can see various pictures of Barbara and Wollie, of which below is one. They are both adorable.

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