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MARILYN HAGERTY: Friendly black-and-white cat writes letter to Dot.Com

At last count, there were 812 dogs and 162 cats licensed in Grand Forks this year. If they should go astray and get picked up, the police would know where to return them.

At last count, there were 812 dogs and 162 cats licensed in Grand Forks this year. If they should go astray and get picked up, the police would know where to return them.

If they have no license, their owners might have to pay a $35 retrieval fee to spring them from confinement at the Humane Society. The licenses cost $5 for neutered dogs or cats and $17 for those not neutered.

I have been thinking of cats and dogs lately -- ever since I found a letter my dog, Dot.Com, received from a cat in this area with the same name of Dot.Com.

My dog is white with black markings. The cat friend is black with a white dot in front. I know her "person" is Sandra Korsmoe. But this cat has a mind of her own. To my dog she wrote:

"My name is Dot.Com, too. Only I'm a cat -- a feral cat. That means I'm wild, at least most of the time.

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"Five years ago, my mother decided to settle down, so she went to live in these people's barn. One night in August, she had four kittens. That's me -- number three. Before my eyes opened up, I got acquainted with my siblings. They are Colonel Potter, Sister Baby and Four. (Someone ran out of cool names.)

"Because I have a white spot on my black face, the person named me Dot.Com. When I got eyes, I saw my first friend. His name is Sheik, and he is a horse. He was 23 years old that fall. He spent his nights just across the fence from me and my siblings. He is still a great friend. We can play in his hay while he eats his supper and sleep on top of him when it gets really cold. We had another friend right away, too. She's a dog named Nina who thinks she is our aunt. But she stays in the house. We only see her a couple times a day.

"Thanksgiving weekend, our mother did not come back from her hunt. That's when we got to know the person much better. She brought food and warm milk. I still love a little warm milk on a cold morning. Since she could not catch us and my hair was so long, she thought I was a girl. When we got to the vet a little later in the winter, they found out I was a boy. It wasn't that great because I ended up having surgery anyway."

The cat continued: "It's a great life here in the barn. We are employed full time. The person does not want mice, rats or birds in the barn. That's our job and we are good at it. If there isn't a breakfast with fur or feathers on, there's always a little cat food in our dishes to tide us over. There are only three of us here now. One winter, Four got some kind of skin thing and so much of her hair fell out that the person took her to the house. They gave her a different name -- I think it's Sweetie, but I'm not sure. When she comes to the barn, we don't know her anymore. She smells funny.

"The only bad thing is this long hair I have. It gets tangled up a lot. The person grabs me by the tail and brushes and combs me a couple times a week. I pretend to hate it, but sometimes I forget and purr. Sister and Colonel think brushing is great, so I'm not sure why I run away when I can. Another bad thing is when they stuff me in a plastic box and take me to the vet. They pull me out, stick something under the skin on my neck and let me go back in. That's not so bad, but I hate the rides in the car even though Nina usually comes with to keep us company.

"Well, that's it. I suppose you are wondering how I came to know about you. Our person reads every word your person writes. Then she tells me. That's how it goes when the gossip is good."

She signed the letter: "Sincerely, Your friend Dot.Com (the cat)."

Reach Hagerty at mhagertry@gra.midco.net or (701) 772-1055.

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Related Topics: FAMILYPETS
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