Celebrates People and Pets
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Mary Ellen and Miss Wings
Mary Ellen
Tips 'n' Tales Newspaper Columnist with Miss Wings

- Born to Love Animals -
90 Years of Kindness
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Theo holds one of his precious rescued six cats, Rochester,
a one-eyed, rare Black Smoke Persian.



Tips 'n' Tales is a wonderful vehicle for sharing the lives of the valuable citizens, and their pets, in our community.

Unlike Theo's 6 cats, who were all born in Cottage Grove, Theo was born in Missouri.
He spent his early childhood in Los Angeles, and served in the United States Air Force from 1940-1946 and again from1948-1951.

When Theo finished his military years, he tried his hand at selling...he was even a popular Fuller Brush man.  Then in1961, his newspaper boy announced, "The Yellow Cabs are hiring!" 
So, Theo jumped into the driver's seat until his retirement.  He spent 24 years driving a taxi cab in San Diego.

These days, you will find Theo volunteering.  Every Friday, for the last ten years, he has worked a weekly shift at the This 'n' That Corner Thrift and Gift Shop.  The shop's proceeds support the Humane Society of Cottage Grove.  Shop customers excitedly consider the store's many unique discoveries on the same level as treasure hunting!

"The volunteers at the shop all love working with Theo and they admire him for his dedication to his family of kitties.  We hope we are doing as well as Theo when we reach our nineties!" says Janetta Overholser, President of Humane Society of Cottage Society.

During this interview, Theo proudly describes each of his six cats.  He shares details that only someone who truly loves pets notices.  And he admits, "The cats run the house; I just live here."

"My cats eat high on the hog!" laughs Theo, "If I have meat for dinner, they demand it and I cave into their demands!  And as most people discover, life is always more fun sharing! The reason I adopt cats is because there are so many homeless cats. 
Many people do not like cats, so it is difficult for cats to find homes.  It hurts me to see an animal wandering around dirty, unkept, and unfed.  So, I do as much as I can to help them.  Now, when I'm in the yard gardening, I feel like the Pied Piper, because my cats follow me around like 6 curious supervisors.

Over the years, each of my cats arrived on their own, at my home. They wanted something to eat." Theo simply adds, "So I fed them.  They say, that a cat will stay with anyone who feeds them and won't wander off.  My cats proved this theory!"

Theo's beautiful and rare Black Smoke Persian, Rochester, has only one eye.  Once, while playing with his kitty-buddy Tiger, a long haired Manx, Rochester suffered an injury.

"One of Tiger's claws accidentally scratched Rochester's eye, rendering it inoperative." explains Theo.  "Luckily, Rochester gets along fine with his remaining eye.  The cats are still the closest of friends. Apparently, all is forgotten, as Rochester lovingly washes Tiger's orange face with his pink tongue."

Theo has two white cats.  The first, Snowball has a serious weight problem! Weighing in at 22 pounds!  "He eats like a horse!" laughs Theo.

Sibling rivalry even happens in cat households. "Tiger used to attack Snowball," admits Theo. "So, I filled a water bottle and squirted Tiger until he stopped.  Now Snowball sits in front of Tiger glowering at him. Evidently, Snowball wants revenge for all the times Tiger attacked him."

Whitie, his oldest cat, is also the thinnest. Whitie has a thyroid health problem, so twice a day, Theo rubs medicine on one of Whitie's ears. "To help keep him alive," softly mentions Theo.

Blackie, the youngest at a year old, spends hours sitting at the sink.  Blackie is single handly trying to solve the great-cat-mystery; 'where does the water go when it falls from the tap, and disappears down the drain?'

The last kitty is a Wild-Stray-Diva.  Her manners are so bad, that she remains nameless; but all the same, still fed by Theo!

Theo and his family of cats share one very small trundle bed.  It is a little wider than a bunk bed.

Theo, more of a giver than a taker, quietly asks, "Would any of your readers have a double bed that they no longer need? Every night 4-5 cats sleep on my bed.  They hold down the blankets, sandwiching me in, making it impossible to move!"  

Theo is willing to trade his solid oak trundle bed for a double bed and sheets.  While interviewing him, it is evident that he is also in need of a comfy chair to watch TV.
If you can help him and his cats with a new double bed, visit him at the Humane Society Gift shop, Friday afternoons, at 33 N. 8th Street, behind Bank of America; or phone the Sentinel 942-3325.
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe" 
Theo enjoys and appreciates the new chair that a Tips 'n' Tales reader gifted him.
At 92 years of age, Theo said, "I do not know what I did to deserve all this kindness."
Theo teaches kindness, it is evident in his story...
and it is wonderful to see him on the receiving end!


"With the economy and job market in trouble, and the local unemployment rate 12.8%, people are hurting.  And so are their pets," explains Janetta Overholser, President of Humane Society of Cottage Society.  "This 'n' That gratefully accepts donated pet food, especially cat food. We give the pet food to people in need, so their four-legged fur-family members have enough to eat.  Drop donations off at This 'n' That Corner, N. 8th Street, Monday through Saturday, 10am-4pm."
The HSCG also has $20 off coupons, good at the veterinary clinics in Cottage Grove and Creswell, towards the cost of spaying and neutering cats and dogs.  They are available at This 'n' That, as well as applications for the Low Income Spay/Neuter Assistance Program.
When you donate or purchase articles at the shop, the money goes towards these programs, and pets' needs in our community.

Also, Toni, in Aptos, California writes, "My cat, Fancy, and I appreciate Tips 'n' Tales!  We have read, and enjoyed the column since its inception, plus being wonderfully educated by the  informative 'TIPS'!
The Scotts Company LLC (wholly-owned subsidiary of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.) recalled an additional 7 varieties of suet wild bird food products which may contain peanut meal purchased from the Peanut Corp. of America. The bird food list is in addition to the 5 previous suet wild bird foods recalled a month ago.

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