Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oliver & Sally

This blog's characters:
Oliver - Shelby's younger, more agile cat - played by himself
Russ Lathrop - Shelby's "boy" - played by himself
Zilda - Shelby - played by herself
Me - Me - played by me
Stunts by Sally and Lizzy
No creatures were harmed in the making of this blog - except for Lizzy's tail

Saturday morning (5/17) I got a text message from Nashville:

Russ Lathrop (5/17 9:46 a.m.):
Oliver just caught a salamander!

Me (5/17 9:53 a.m.):
As in with his teeth? What’d he do with it?

Russ Lathrop (5/17 9:56 a.m.):
He came strutting across the yard with his captive in his mouth ready to offer it up as a sacrifice to his beloved human. Then dropped it to play some more…until Zilda grabbed him so we could leave.

Me (5/17 9:53 a.m.):
And beloved human said what?

Russ Lathrop (5/17 10:00 a.m.):
Good kitty!

Me (5/17 10:30 a.m.):
Yes good kitty – is the sally dead?

Russ Lathrop (5/17 10:33 a.m.):
Nope… Escaped the throes of death by mere moments only by the whim of merciful Zilda…much to the chagrin of a reluctant kitty.

Here is a picture of the mighty hunter and his prey, Sally.

The Sally is under his left paw. Either Oliver is showing us his ferocious side with that face – or the sun is in his eyes.

Fast forward two days and I receive this picture share:

No, that's not a hairball that Oliver is looking at. He has another captive.

Russ Lathrop (5/19 1:04 p.m.):
Oliver brought his temporary detainee into the house as I was trying to get out the door to the airport. Said detainee was mercifully released…sans tail!

Two amphibian/reptile-like creatures in two days. Great stories of the mighty hunter Oliver’s exploits to tell your children and grandchildren. A true American fighting off terrorists Sally and Lizzy, I thought.

Then my new California side kicked in and I began to wonder if there was more to these hostile actions? What effect had L.A. had on Oliver? Is he a victim of absentee parenting? Did he escape the Hobbit Hole while Shelby devoted her life to Oscar and get mixed up with the bad cats of Compton? How did we get here? And I say “we” because it literally takes a village to raise these cats…

Me (5/19 1:11 p.m.):
Have you witnessed him throwing any gang signs?

Russ Lathrop (5/19 1:18 p.m.):
He has been wearing really loose, low riding jeans. Runnin the streets w/strays. He may even be responsible for recent “tagging” in the Fido Alley

We may never know the answer.

What we might know though:

from Russ Lathrop
to Jacqueline Chapman
date Tue, May 20, 2008 at 6:51 PM

Upon further investigation, I believe Oliver’s Temporary Detainee was a Ground Skink. “The Ground Skink is sometimes mistaken for a salamander, but unlike a salamander it has scales.”



  1. jackie, oh jackie! i miss you. i think of you often. how's california. i love hunter cats. they are the best cats. can i come visit you?

  2. california is great. busy but great. and truly sunny.