“We have a male, Stinker, and a female, Kitty Poo. Kitty Poo came to our old house and lived in a muskrat hole for the first two winters. I’d put food out on the porch, and she’d wait five minutes to come up and eat it. Finally, she came into the house.

She was spayed and declawed, so she was somebody’s cat before. I’ve never been a cat lover before this. We were weekenders, and after our dog was killed up here, we decided no more animals until we retire. The this cat happened. Stinker came to us, during the Halloween storm in ’91. I let Kitty Poo out that evening. When I called her back in, another cat answered. When I went out to shovel the next morning, a kitten jumped right into my arms. We tried to give it to the humane society, but couldn’t come over that weekend. By the end of the weekend, he was ours.

He doesn’t like other people unless he knows them. He especially doesn’t like kids, so he stays under the bed when our daughter and grandchildren are here. Jerry brings him minnows. He’ll take one, run to a certain corner of the kitchen, let it flop a few times, and then eat it. He brings mouse after mouse and squirrels and chipmunks. He’s a hunter. All summer, he’s out there.

There’s a closet in the bathroom where it’s quiet and dark, and they take turns being in there on a pillow day-by-day. We call Kitty Poo “Cranky,” too. She’s a brown Persian Tabby and will sometime pose on a little stool in the middle of the kitchen floor. She likes chicken and chicken-flavored cat food, but we don’t ever put out lutefisk for them. They won’t go near it!”

-Gerald and Marlene Sundboom, Isle

“You mean my kitty? I have a three-year-old tomcat, and I call him Datsun. A friend gave him to me. He’s a big baby. He’s the biggest chicken in the world. If someone he doesn’t know comes, he’ll crouch behind the nearest object and peek out to see if he needs to run and hide.”

-Lynn Elg, Malmo

“We just moved here on 30 acres, and three kittens came over from the neighbors. One was much smaller. We took them back, but that little scrawny one kept coming back. I was up on ladder painting the garage door, and it walked through my red paint. We cleaned her up, but then the mom wouldn’t have anything to do with it. So we started feeding it. I said, ‘This cat is not going in the house,’ but my brother came while we were gone and saw the milk dish, and when we got home, the kitten was in the house with him. All by itself, it started using the ash pan for a litter box. I told that cat ‘You’re not staying,” and had my husband take it back again. He dropped it off and then felt awful all the way to Aitkin and back that it might have followed him and been out on the highway. But that itty, bitty thing found her way back again through the woods and came down the driveway with her little mouth going, ‘mew, mew, mew, I’ve found you.’ My husband called me at work and said I better bring cat food home. This free cat cost us $150 so far because we took it to the vet and got everything done. It keeps us up at night – trots across the bed at 4 a.m. It’s as cute as a bug’s ear. We call it Mazy because it’s the color of corn. I wanted a dog, a cocoa Lab. But we have this cat.”

- Judy Daher, Malmo

“We have lots of cats. We got the mama, Matilda, from Bill Nelson in Wahkon, and she’s 23 years old now. She’s what started it all. We have three in the house, a bunch of them sleep all together by the dog house by the door, and the rest are barn cats.

Spot came from somewhere else, but the rest, like Bear, While Legs, Fred, Charlie and Marian, came from Matilda. We don’t have any other pets, just one horse.

Once, we left two hundred dollar bills laying in the kitchen table. We noticed one was missing and finally found it behind a cabinet where Marian hid it. Guess he was going to give it to us later. He won’t go to anybody else. He was a single-birth kitten and raised by us, not the mother. Fred eats out of the spoon on the floor – puts his paw on it and licks it clean. We love cats, just love ‘em!”

-Russel and Mavis Rule, Isle

“We’ve had cats all our life. We have six cats, two birds, three dogs, fish, chickens, and one grandkid. Silver was our favorite cat. He had a personality all his own.”

- Tami and Ken Peterson, and granddaughter Justine Yost, Aitkin

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