The Reading Room
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
Treasures From The Inbox
She just showed up ten years ago, putting the
two black labs in their place, she strolled through
the open front door, sitting down, the cat made
herself at home. They called her Rusty because of
her tawny colored coat.
Charming family and friends, Rusty became a
beloved family member. Involving herself with
family activities, she was frequently found in the
laps of those working on the computer or at-
tempting to read the newspaper or book. Rusty
talked to everyone and, even though ¡°cat lan-
guage¡± was not comprehended by her humans,
she was able to make her wants known by actions
and body language.
Our daughter was invited to her in-laws¡¯ home
(Rusty¡¯s home) for lunch a couple weeks ago.
Family greeted her at the door accompanied
by sadness. It seems Rusty had been killed by
a truck speeding down the street. Lunch was
a somber affair, everyone retrieving their own
memories of Rusty. Following daughter to the
door after lunch, they stepped out into the front
porch. Conversation abruptly ceased as all eyes
focused on the porch chair. Stretched out across
the chair sleeping was Rusty! The utter silence
was broken by father-in-law¡¯s loud shocked
voice, ¡°Oh my God whose cat did I bury in our
back yard!!¡± Daughter still maintains she saw the
hint of a smile tugging at the corners of Rusty¡¯s
Having been owned by cats all my life, I en-
joyed the following cat story: ¡°In the beginning
God created Adam and Eve. After a while Eve
was busy tending to the fruit orchards, leaving
Adam alone much of the time. One time when
God and Adam walked in the cool of the day,
Adam expressed to God how lonely he was and
requested a friend. God created a dog for Adam.
Dog became a loyal friend. He fetched Adam¡¯s
sandals, walked beside him, lay at his feet in
the evenings, loved and worshipped Adam. He
doted on Adam. Soon Adam became very self
important, prideful and arrogant. God looked
and saw that this was not good, so God replaced
the dog with a Cat.¡±
A son in law told this story of his strange expe-
rience with cat of a different kind. Quite a few
years ago while driving the back roads of Bull
Canyon south and west of Naturita. A large
female mountain lion suddenly came out from
the sage brush running alongside the truck.
Astonished, son-in-law stepped on the gas pedal.
Stretching out, the cat pulled ahead, then, swerv-
ing, vanished back into the sage.
Husband brought home a pamphlet entitled
¡°Living with Wildlife in Lion Country¡± distrib-
uted by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. I¡¯ve
encountered bear, coyote, elk, deer, badger, a
pair of wolves (near Pawnee National Grasslands
in Northeastern Colo.), mountain sheep, bobcat,
antelope and various small animals while hiking,
but never a Mountain Lion. Have come across
some tracks and did hear one scream. Pamphlet
informed that there are between 1500 and 3000
individual Mountain Lions in the state. Their
ranges vary from 10 to 370 square miles. Hus-
If you get email, you get
stuff. Sometimes it is spam,
sometimes it is a true gem.
Here is one of those gems
band suggested I focus on the part pertaining to
what to do if you meet a mountain lion. #1 Stay
calm, talk calmly yet firmly to it. Move away
slowly. #2 Back away slowly. Face the lion, stand
upright. Running may stimulate a lion¡¯s instinct
to chase and attack, etc. etc. No chance of running
here. When I¡¯m afraid I freeze in place.
I¡¯ll continue to dream of seeing a mountain lion in
the wild, but perhaps from the safety of the jeep!
The Big Cat
Frisks its tail
Toying with a hiker.
(Karen Schafer lives in & writes about life from
duck. She circled me
relentlessly quacking. It
was quite the spectacle.
Just then a young
man and his wife ap-
proached me and I
began explaining the
coaxing, the young
man took action. He
carefully lifted off the
grate and went in after
the ducklings. One by
one he lifted them to
me. An employee from
a nearby store came
out with a box and we
began filling the box
with quackers. Seven
ducklings filled the box
and the young man assumed his rescue feat was
completed. As he returned the sewer grid and
turned to me he saw the sadness in my face, I
knew in my heart I had counted eleven ducks,
four were still lost...
By now a small crowd had gathered to watch the
rescue. With seven ducklings in the box, I set the
box on the ground and moved away. The mother
duck cautiously entered the box of quackers and
quieted them down. A couple from the crowd
volunteered to take the box to a nearby pond.
Although, the Mother duck protested, the couple
put the box in their car and set off for the pond.
Everyone seemed happy, applauding everyone¡¯s
efforts and then left. But I couldn¡¯t! There were
four more baby ducks down there.
I stood quietly listening and worrying. Two new
people came by to ask me why I was standing
near the sewer staring down. I explained what
happened and that four ducklings were still miss-
ing. The woman and her daughter then lifted the
grate and suddenly we heard the low quacks of
the ducklings calling for their Mother over the
gushing water. The first young man came to the
rescue again, this time armed with a flash light.
He smiled at me and said, ¡°Four more huh!¡± He
disappeared again into the sewer drain and was
gone for several minutes. Suddenly, his head
popped out of the sewer drain followed by a
huge smile and in his jacket were 4 ducklings
quacking their heads off.
We covered the sewer drain and drove to the
nearby pond where the quacking of the four
stragglers brought the mother duck and her
brood to the shore line to be re-united. My heart
was singing and everyone was smiling like we
had all just won the million dollar lottery.
When I finally arrived home dripping wet my
husband looked at me with some annoyance say-
ing ¡°where were you for so long.¡± I just smiled
and said, ¡°Someone quite small reminded me
just how precious life is and the love that bonds
mothers and their offspring, so just stop your
quacking! I¡¯m going to be a GRANDMOTHER!¡±
Stop your Quacking!
It was a typical hectic wet spring Saturday and I
was driving to a local department store in search
of a baby shower gift for my daughter, she was
having my first Grandchild. I told my husband I
would only be gone a short while because I knew
what I wanted to buy. As most rainy spring Sat-
urday¡¯s would have it, the traffic was heavy and
everyone seemed to be in a mad hurry.
As I was leaving BABIES ARE US, and scam-
pered across the parking lot to my car, I noticed
a large brown duck circling a sewer grid. As I
approached the duck, she came waddling up to
me frantically quacking. As soon as she knew
she had my attention, she turned and waddled
back to the sewer grid. As I looked down into the
sewer I counted eleven tiny yellow ducklings. I
thought for a moment saying out loud that I was
very late and very wet and there was nothing I
could do. Besides, the sewer grid was much to
heavy for me to move. Even out loud, no excuse
sounded good enough, I knew I couldn¡¯t leave.
This was a mother duck and her ducklings were
in trouble and she came to me for help. As I stood
there helpless, other people approached to see
why I was standing in a parking lot talking to a