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Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Neighbors, Al and Bryan, on one of their last morning walks with Big Boy and Annie.



Al and his wife, Nancy, were familiar faces in Cottage Grove as partners at Pioneer Hardware in Cottage Grove.  After Al got out of the service, in 1947, the couple worked at Pioneer until their retirement in 1988. 

Nancy passed December 2006, and sadly, Al passed away days after being interviewed for this article.

Six years prior to Nancy's passing, an old cat moved into their yard.  Al reported, "We got up one morning, looked outside...and there he was, totally moved in!  Nancy fed him and we called him Big Boy because of his size.  Only to find out, two weeks ago, that he is a she! 

So for 10 years, she was misnamed." Al gazed admiringly at Big Boy and said, "Like a lady no one knows her age, but you can see that she is ancient."

Because Al and Nancy had two inside kitties, litter mates Dolly and Tiger, so Big Boy spent her life outdoors.  She suns on their lawn and sleeps in a little area Al built to keep her warm in the winter.  She is so friendly, that she even befriended and then invited a second stray, Boots to join her.

During the summer, Big Boy made little nests in Al's front yard grass.  From her comfy spot, she greeted everyone walking by with a friendly 'meow.'

What makes her extra special is that she followed Al and his neighbor, Bryan, and Bryan's 12 year old long haired Chihuahua, Annie, for their morning walks. 

The four of them walked along the sidewalk, in front of Harrison Elementary School, and crossed together at the crosswalks.

At the time of the interview, Bryan said, "We are old men, the cat and dog are old, so we all have one walking speed s - l - o - w. Our combined ages are 193 years.

Each animal has their favorite thing to do.  Annie inspects the same things, and Big Boy scratches her favorite fence post.  We all stop, and wait until she is done, then we carry on walking."

Residents watched the little parade as they walked up and down busy 10th Street for a half mile.  It is as cute as they come, and especially the day this photo was taken, as it was Bryan's birthday.

Al smiled and said, "Big Boy looks so frail, she appears to be 21 years old.  One wouldn't think she had the energy to make the walk, but she faithfully does with her three friends."

Because of Al's sudden passing, his inside cats Tiger and Dolly are in desperate need of a new home. Also, the fate of Big Boy and the other stray, Boots, hang in limbo. 

With compassion, Bryan's wife Linda comments, "Big Boy is frail, we are worried what will happen to her, as Al's out of town family is not able to take any of his cats.  Big Boy would rather be petted than fed, she loves attention. Al's cats are a living testimony to his kind heart."

While the cats wait and hope for new homes; Bryan continues his morning walks, with Annie....and Big Boy tagging along with them.

Adoption information:

       BIG BOY                                 Boots

Dolly                                              Tiger


Unfortunately, Al's story of his beloved cats left homeless is not a rare story. 

What will happen to your pets if you suddenly pass on? Humane Societies are over whelmed with the results. 

In our small community 17 people recently passed leaving their pets homeless.  Include your pets in your will; which friend or relative gets which pet, how you want your pets financially cared for, which pet has special diet or medical needs etc. 

This saves grieving family, friends, and neighbors a lot of added stress, and saves your pets from ending up at a shelter. 

Always check with everyone to make sure they agree to accepting your pets upon your death.

Pet Alert

"There is a deadly cat distemper outbreak in Creswell, Oregon.  A healthy, lively kitten can die within 24 hours, sometimes 2-3 days. This illness is simple to prevent, as is Parvo in dogs. 

If you have an extra thousand dollars, then maybe you can save a puppy of Parvo...if caught in time.

"A trip to the veterinarian, for an exam and vaccines, is a cheap investment that saves lives and tears!" reports Janetta Overholser, President of Humane Society of Cottage Grove.

Hunting Season is open.  Keep pets close to home, and if you live in the country use extra caution. 

Remember, a pet throws up for the same reasons a human does. Consider its food source, especially if you just opened a new bag or brand of food. 

Contact your veterinary. Report adverse reactions, related to any food for animals: Phone number to report:


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MARY ELLEN "Angel Scribe"
PO BOX 1004
Cottage Grove, OR

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