Just my cup of tea

Originally ran in the Jan. 27, 1972 edition of the Illinois Valley News
February 24, 1972

Mr. and Mrs. Roland Carr, Encino, CA, interrupted a tour of ski resorts to inspect their property on the Illinois River near Cave Junction. They found that the river, during high water this year, had cut into their property and exposed the roots of a large Myrtlewood tree. While they were here, they visited Mr. and Mrs. Wilmer White and Mr. and Mrs. Randall Palmer. Before returning home, they stopped to ski at the Mt. Ashland and Mt. Shasta ski resorts.
Elsie Hagerman, Old Stage Road, has recently returned from a winter vacation in Southern California. She left just before Christmas, and because of the storms she had to go many miles further to get to the various cities she wanted to visit. First, she went to Oroville and visited her aunt Edith Hood; In Sacramento her nephew and his wife, Tom and Mary Walton; spent some time in Los Angeles with her son and daughter-in-law Larry and Lillian Ford and the grandchildren. On the way home she stopped at Lompoc, where she used to work, and renewed acquaintance with friends there, and on to Castro Valley, where she visited her sister Viola Wilkerson and her family, and home again to Cave Junction.
Mrs. Alice Hogue, Kerby, has returned from a visit with her daughter Dorothy and son-in-law Dave White in Vallejo, California. Alice had planned to stay for two weeks, but was gone for five because she got sick with the Hong Kong flu after arriving at her daughter’s home.
A Sunday visitor at the home of Warren and Fern Wisham was Fern’s sister Bernice Reddish. Fern and Bernice attended the Bible Community Church in the morning. In the afternoon George and Betty Wisham, who have recently moved to Grants Pass from Calimesa, California, came for a short visit.
Visitors at the home of Phayo and Ruth Pfefferle were Keith and Gail Wells of Grants Pass. Mrs. Wells is the former Gail Barlow of Cave Junction.
Robert E. Brown came up by plane from Sunland, California to visit his mother Mrs. Emma B. Brown and his sister Esther, who lives on Caves Highway. Esther said they enjoyed the three-day visit of her brother, who had not been here since last year.
Nearly 15 years ago Phayo and I attended an Illinois Valley Mineral and Hobbies Club meeting held at the home of Mrs. Alice Hogue. During the meeting Alice showed the club members a relic that she really prized. It was a well-worn flat stone (oblong) with following inscription cut into the surface of the rock: “McLoughlin, Missionary in Oregon, 1859.” An American flag was inscribed on the reverse side, and the upper portion of the stone was completely inscribed by a deep, hand made groove. The stone was evidently worn around the neck as a method of identification.
I wondered if Alice still had the stone, so I called her on the phone and she still has it and says she will keep it, in spite of the fact that many have wanted her to either sell it or give it to them. She said that her daughter Alice (Sissy) found it many years ago in an old woodshed on their farm where chickens were kept, and that the chickens had scratched it out of the ground.
“The Cat That Came Back”
-Written by Ruth Pfefferle for her grandchildren who love pets.
“My name is Tag Pfefferle. This is my story. I am telling it to you because I know you love me. I have heard my mistress say that I am more than 8 years old and that I have been blind since I was a kitten. But I have always been healthy and have a big appetite, so I grew to be a big cat. I have heard people say my fur shines like black satin.
Although I am blind there are many things I have learned to do, and I have always been very independent. I found very early that I had to keep trying. I find my way around by bumping my nose against things and if something is familiar then I know where I am. I learned to climb a ladder a long time ago. I put one paw up until I touch something, then climb there and reach higher. I can even climb the ladder in deep snow. I found out how to get into the attic and I like to sleep there. But sometimes I climb all the way to the peak of the roof and sit there and wash myself.
One day I was in the garden with my mistress and surprised her by running, then took a big jump and climbed about 12 feet up a big fir tree and shinnied back down. One day I followed our other cat, Cholly, and heard him jump, so I jumped up after him and found that I was inside my kitchen and there was my food. My mistress said, “Oh, Tag, now you have found a way into the house too! Now how will I ever keep you out?”
Sometimes Cholly and I quarrel and fight, but even though I can’t see him, I never back down to him. When we finally stop, he is as beat up as I am. One day I got mad at him and we had a fight on the far side of the yard. I chased him all across our big yard. Oh, how I made that cat run!
But I am not always so brave. Strange voices or loud unfamiliar noises really scare me and sometimes I panic. When the cold wet snow was so deep, I had a hard time finding my way around the yard. That was when a car drove into the driveway real fast, and suddenly, there were loud voices and running, and I really panicked! I did not wait to find out that the boys liked cats and would not hurt me. I ran wildly this way and that, and finally got so frightened I ran and ran until it was all quiet.
After I got over my fright, I tried to go home, but although I had been in our forest many times, everything seemed strange. I kept bumping my nose into trees, but they all seemed alike. I could have been going in a circle bumping into the same trees. I couldn’t find my way home. And it got colder. And I got hungry. (I can’t hunt like other cats because I can’t see. And I can’t tell if it’s light or dark because for me, it’s always dark.)
I tried and tried to find my way home. The snow was still deep, and I was so hungry, but I couldn’t quit trying. Then part of the time I noticed that it was not quite so cold. Then I was surprised to feel the bare ground under my feet sometimes. I still kept bumping trees, then I found some smaller shrubs and more bare ground. Finally, I found something familiar, and I knew where I was…on the logging road.
I went down the hill, stopped to listen before crossing the paved road, crossed it, and heard my master calling my name. I ran as fast as I could, but was weak from lack of food. He opened the door for me and gave me my favorite food, but I was so excited to be home that although I was starving, I also wanted to be petted. I ate a bite and ran from one to the other of my people, talking to them all of the time. They kept saying, “I can’t believe Tag was lost for 8 days in the bitter cold with nothing to eat and found his way home! It is no wonder that he is so thin!” I am so happy to be home where there is warmth and food and love.
Please remember my story, and when things are hard, never give up. Never stop trying, because if you do, you will never find your way home.”