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Bob Lind, Published December 10 2013

Neighbors: A story about 'two very different kitty cats'

Elbow came first. Then Midi showed up. And Elbow wasn’t happy about it.

Elbow and Midi were cats owned by Dr. George M. and Janice Johnson, Fargo. George teaches at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, and Janice is retired as an attorney and as a juvenile referee for Cass County District Court.

George sent in the story about what he calls “two very different kitty cats, because we assume your readers love animal stories.”

The story begins with Elbow, named by a friend of the Johnsons’ son who once owned this little farm cat.

Then Midi arrived. This, George says, was, “A big fat purring coal black cat given to us by a relative who moved to Puerto Rico,” and “Elbow strongly objected to the new presence.

“So Elbow scratched the furniture and tipped over (on purpose, with us watching) a valuable 1930s vase.” And, George says, Elbow relieved himself on his, Janice’s and a friend’s clothes.

Well, one day, “to get away from all the hissing,” George says, he and Janice went to a movie, “and when we got home, Midi was nowhere to be found.”

Then they figured out what happened to her.

“There was a swinging half-door in the basement through which Midi, ever hungry, went to her bowl, led by Elbow. Then Elbow went out and slammed the door – job done!

“Not once, but twice, Elbow did this. This, from a tiny cat with a tiny brain, but who was much faster than ponderous Midi.

“Midi,” George says, “purred like an old-fashioned threshing machine.

“The only time Elbow purred was when he was put down by the vet for irreversible renal failure, at age 16.

“We cried. But we have his collar hanging above the kitchen sink. Such is life.

“We have had five golden retriever hunting dogs,” George says. “All were different; all had sweet souls and special personalities. But none beat Elbow.

“Those without dogs and indoor kitty kats are missing a major positive part of living,” George concludes.

Many folks no doubt will agree with him.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com