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SENTINEL TRIBUNE ]00IEWPOINT Wednesday, July 17, 2013 Page 4 BETWEEN By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune -- tmerchant@ncppub.com THE LINES Saying goodbye ... This week was a sad time for me and Best Friend. We had to put one of our best friends to sleep Monday afternoon. Our kitty Tammy Jo was a part of our family for almost 19 years, although since she was a stray she was probably closer to 20 years old. She came to us when our friends Merlyn and Joann Hanson took in a scraggly skinny kitty that came to their home almost 19 years ago. They were able to nurse her to good health. We had just put another cat, belonging to our son Jeff, to sleep earlier that summer, and another cat of 16 years we had put to sleep a year before. So the Hanson's, not needing a perma- nent resident, asked if we would like to take it in, we accepted the offer and Tammy Jo became Jeff's pet. Well of course when Jeff went off to college we became grandpet custodians. I must say she became quite a unique kitty with her own unique personality. She had some tmusual markings which I don't ever recall seeing before. She had the markings similar to a Tortoise Shell, which looked like the lineage she came from. She had a blaze of orange on the right side of her face above the mouth and nose, and a similar blaze below her mouth on the left side of her chin. One time when our former Pastor Roy Williams stopped by, when he saw her and looked at her facial markings, he said, "the Lord had a good sense of humor when he created her," We all had a good laugh from that one. Come to find out after a bit of research, "Torties" have a bit of an unusual trait of never com- pletely losing their kitten instincts. So you might say she was very mischievous. We could not have a plant or cut flowers anywhere within her reach, which meant essentially nowhere. She also knew how to get our attention by either knocking things off the dining room table, or any where else objects were laying. Especially things that were on the table between our recliners, like the remote, or cell phones. She was very quick and if you were not paying close attention she would knock them off in a heart beat. Or sometimes she would jump up on our lap and with her paws on our chest, would bat her paw at our face until we got up to get her food or treats. When she was younger I would play with her and let her bite me on the hand, but she would never bite hard enough to draw blood unless it was by acci- dent. She was shy among kids and strangers, sometimes when she was on my lap if someone came to the door she would do a quick exit leaving claw marks on my legs. I could go on with stories about her but space and time and your patience would not allow for it. Saturday morning I took her to the vet as she had lost a lot of weight the past few months. It was confirmed, after blood work, that Tammy was in kidney failure. So she was loaded up with fluid and I took her home, and Best Friend and I decided to bring her back Monday. She had complete- ly quit eating and was becoming weaker. The one thing she would still eat was canned whipped cream. So when we took her into have her put to sleep I told the vet I'll bet you have never seen this. I told her Tammy really loves whipped cream, so we got a plate out and gave her some whipped cream before putting her to sleep. The vet said that was definitely a first for her. I also told her that my nose has been running for the past three days, and she replied "I know it was Saturday when you came in too." Well I was OK with this when I started this column, but my nose is beginning to run again, so I will call it quits for this week. Have a great week and do good! Tammy Jo Mission Statement The Sentinel Tribune serves the residents and business community of Cottonwood, Redwood, Murray and Lyon County and southwest Minnesota by apply- ing its available resources to accurately and consis- tently produce a quality newspaper which thoroughly covers the news of the area, stimulates thought and conversation, delivers advertising messages in a timely manner, and provides information of general value to its public. In so doing contributes to the overall quality of life and economic health of its readers, advertisers and community in general while stimulating the profes- sional development of its employees. AI BaH... "Stories from the Batt Cave" Cicadas are nature's telemarketers I like cicadas. I'd never buy one on a whim, but I like them. The most common cicada we have where I live is the dog day cicada. I live on the north side of Chicago--in Hartland, Minnesota According to folklore, frost occurs six weeks after the first song of the dog-day cicada is heard. I pay attention to the date of the first song, but I wouldn't bet any money on its accuracy. Dog-day cicadas, as their name implies, sing during the long, hot summer days of July and continue croon- ing into September, the Dog Days of summer when the Sirius star is prominent in the night sky. It's the soundtrack to my childhood. How loud are the cicadas? They are loud enough that I can hear them over the sound of the lawn- mower. They  soun d like a distant ., . above ground as adults making their distinctive buzzing sound and whoopee. They reproduce and die. I was in an eastern state and their calls were piercing. They were so loud that the folks at home in Minnesota likely could hear them. It made me want to report them to someone with a badge and a gun. I saw one new adult cicada wear- ing sunglasses. After all, it had been underground for 17 years and it lived too close to the sun. The oversized shades made it look like a doofus from the planet of the same name on a Star Trek episode. Captain Kirk fell in love with one of them. "Man, you have changed. You look all grown up," I said. "I hear you are still with band. You guys are into some chanting thing, eh? I'll bet it ticks you off when people call you a locust." "Do I look like a park ranger?" came the reply. "Wow!," I thought. "A talking .cicada!" circular saw. Despite that', 'I'erijby seeg dn ia ) : ]L e)kedthe cicada what it ' te/fiembered from the last time it adult cicada freed from its old self that is left behind as an exoskel- eton. The 17-year cicadas (periodical cicadas) have been underground since 1996. Just think of spending junior high school below ground. They apparently haven't said anything in 17 years as they have plenty to say now. They saved it up. We don't have periodical cica- das in Minnesota. The cicadas swarming our eastern states are of the 17-year variety. They stay underground feeding on plant roots (drinking root beer) and then emerge, molt, and look for a good time. They spend their brief time was topside. The cicada rattled offa list of things. Betty Rubble's debut as a Flintstone vitamin. Dolly the sheep, the ftrst mammal to be cloned. Hurricane Bertha making landfall in North Carolina. Bob Dole nominated for President and Jack Kemp for Vice President at the Republican National Convention in San Diego, Calif. A three-year-old boy falling into a 20-foot deep gorilla enclosure at the Brookfield Zoo in IlL and Binti Jua, a female silverback gorilla sitting with the injured boy until his rescue. President Bill Clinton and Vice President A1 Gore nomi- nated at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. A new toll- free 888 area code was introduced. The US Senate approved a 90-cent raise to a $4.25 minimum wage. Kirby Puckett retired from the Minnesota Twins. Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, were divorced. Mad Cow Disease hit Britain. The cicada's entire life flashed before its eyes. "What have I missed?" it asked. "What haven't you missed? Everything has changed except that which stayed the same. We now have apps that are supposed to make our lives easier by com- plicating them. There are cameras in everything. Celebrity chefs have proliferated to the point where they eat cicadas. Sorry about that. One ear of every human head now comes with a cellphone. We Google things and have life coach- es who Google things for us. We don't depend upon friends and fam- ily for all the bad advice we need. We have Dr. Phil for that. We Twitter and tweet. Don't worry. " That doesn't mean that we've become birds that eat cicadas. That is, unless we're celebrity chefs. We get tattoos. They're a list of things to do and memory prompts that are always kept handy. We have reality TV. It's surreal. Our dog-day cicadas have a 2- to 5-year life cycle. Some appear every summer. Things don't change much in 2 to 5 years. Or do they? Remember what you were wor- rying about a year ago? AI Batt 2013 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 http://albatt.net/ Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Junette Merchant Joan Spielman (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Office & Production Ad Representative & Office Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, and Murray $42.00 per year. Elsewhere in Minnesota $46.00 per year. Out of the state $52.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office. If wrong amount is submitted subscrip- tion will be pro rated accordingly. "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while they are gone, or pay $5.00 extra to have it mailed out of state. 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