catalogue of a categorically cataclysmic concatenation...
The Infinite Cat Project
is about one cat watching another. A long line of
1795 cats so far. The very first
Infinaut is Frankie,
seen at left admiring a flower. He is the
owner of Paul Hamilton.
If you'd like to add
your own fuzzy friend to the Infinite
Queue you can find all the details here. Or
just take a picture of your kitty watching the kitty below and email it
to me. It's just that easy.
Infinaut, Cat #1795: Gibbs
Dish O' Kute
"Well, I WAS sleeping in heavenly peace
until you started yelling."
December 22, 2014: "The cat has
too much spirit to have no heart" - Ernest Menault
Simon gets tips for taking cats to the vet.
"I have you now-ow-owwwwww!"
WALLA WALLA — Before Santa climbs down that first chimney
on Christmas Eve, Jacob Streck already knows this is the best Christmas
of his seven-year life.
Last week the second-grader was reunited with Simon, the cat who
had been in his life forever. And it happened through ways Jacob’s
family can only describe as miraculous.
#When Jacob’s uncle, Eric Dahlen, lost Simon last summer,
it seemed like one more — and final — swing of the 14-year
pendulum of the cat’s life.
Things started off unlucky for the tuxedo feline with white bib
and paws. Simon was born to a feral mother in a “party house,” Dahlen
said. “And then one of the guys that lived there got a dog
and that pit bull started eating the baby kittens.”
The homeowner — and main party dude — encouraged Dahlen
to save a kitten. That day a young Simon rode on his adoptive dad’s
dashboard to Dahlen’s home in North Portland, where the two
lived for the next seven years.
There Simon tested the “nine lives” theory several
times — mostly by getting stuck in trees and once by eating
rat poison, Dahlen recalled. “It was lucky I saw him doing
it. I had to rush him to the emergency vet.”
Seven years later plus a move back to Dahlen’s hometown,
Simon’s luck remained status quo. Again the cat ate rat poison,
visited a veterinarian in the middle of the night, lodged himself
in trees and wandered the neighborhood off Stateline Road.
Simon always came home, though. Until the day he didn’t.
That was at the tail end of August, Dahlen said. He scoured the
nearby roads, yards and businesses looking for the lost cat, to
no avail. Jacob, who lives with a diagnosis of autism, fretted.
“Simon is Jacob’s best friend,” explained Betty
Streck, Dahlen’s mom and grandmother to Jacob.
Betty and husband Rick Streck are raising Jacob ... and Simon,
so to speak. While Dahlen lives next door, the cat seems to prefer
to stay close to his little buddy. Her grandson feels the same.
“He needs animals around to soothe him,” Betty Streck
Dahlen’s next step was to make and distribute fliers all
around, including down the road at Walla Walla Nursery Company.
Katherine Donaldson said she’ll never forget when the man
came into her sales office at the nursery.
“I saw the flier, and (Dahlen) had these ... like ... glamour
shots of his cat on it. But he looked like Grizzly Adams. He looked
like someone who would own a Labrador. I was thinking ‘Wow,
this guy really loves his cat.’”
Donaldson was also thinking Simon had to be long gone, despite
wearing a collar with his name engraved on it. Stateline Road runs
through countryside attractive to stray dogs and footloose coyotes.
Traffic on the old road lowers the survival rate of all area animals,
Months passed. Dahlen continued on in his house-painting business
and Jacob started second grade. Donaldson focused on her health,
which is threatened by stage 4 breast cancer, while continuing to
work. At some point the “missing cat” flier disappeared,
Fast forward to Dec. 12 and the next swing of Simon’s luck.
Donaldson was at Providence St. Mary Regional Cancer Center getting
chemotherapy and chatting with oncology nurse Kim Hellman.
In the exchange she learned Hellman lived on Stateline Road, and
Donaldson told the nurse she worked at the wholesale plant business
on the same road.
“I told her the story about the guy who had brought around
the flier,” Donaldson said. “She looked at me and said, ‘Is
the cat’s name Simon?’ I told her it was and she said, ‘I
have the cat. I have been feeding him since summer. He is outdoors,
with the rest of the cats.’”
When Simon first showed up in the Hellman yard, her family had
put effort into finding his owner, Kim said. “We have cats
and we know how bad it is when you lose a cat.”
The feline’s collar had a Portland number that was disconnected
when Kim called, she said. So we put the number in the computer
and backtracked and called someone with the same last name.”
As Simon’s luck would have it, it wasn’t the right
Before any of that, however, came a group effort to get Simon out
of the tree where Hellman’s German shepherd had him sequestered.
Once down they let Simon go, thinking he would head home.
Three days later, their barking dog alerted the Hellmans to Simon’s
presence in a basement window well. The morning after that the cat
emerged from the wood pile and began eating with the family felines.
“We took his collar off so he wouldn’t get hung up
in the wood,” Kim said.
Eventually Simon became another pet, she added. “What’s
one more meal?”
No one suspected Simon’s original family was three or so
houses away. It took Donaldson to put the puzzle together.
She had no idea of the phone number of the long-ago flier, Donaldson
said, but something Dahlen had said stuck.
“I remembered he said he lived in the third house on the
right by the Oasis stop sign,” she said. “So I stopped
by there before work yesterday and I stopped the car that was driving
down the driveway. He said Simon was (Dahlen’s) cat and he
gave me his phone number.”
Dahlen could barely allow himself to think the text he got Monday
could be real, he later said. “Like, how could it be true?
I instantly called.”
A black and white ball of purr assures all of them it really is
true, Streck said. Simon, normally sporting a little attitude and
not one to solicit company, can’t seem to get enough affection
since returning home.
The same could be said for the rest of Simon’s family. Streck
concedes she cried when Simon came back into the house Dahlen’s
arms, and neither she nor her husband got much sleep that night.
Simon, understandably, has dogged Jacob’s footsteps, she
“I told Jacob, ‘Jesus answers prayers.’ In my
heart he did this for us.”
Simon is home just in time to don his little Santa suit, Dahlen
“He acts like he doesn’t like it, but he does.”.
Kibble for Kitties
was alerted to a web site called freekibblekat.com by
Beloved Girlfriend. You go there, play a simple trivia game and the site
donates kibble to
needy animal shelters. It's free and you can play once a day, every day.
They obviously make a few bucks for themsleves but it's clear that the
majority of proceeds goes to the animals, so please stop in when you
PS, you can also totally
send some kitty vittles with just a click at theanimalrescuesite.com.
Just visit the site and press the big purple button. That's all there
is to it.
Oh, and if you're looking to save
some money on meds for your moggies how about a free 1800petmeds
Need a custom web
site that's attractive, fast-loading, Google-friendly and,
relatively-speaking, dirt cheap? Then see my friends at X-Site-D
Web Creation. Tell
'em Mike sent ya!
you're interested in placing a graphic link on your web site
back to the ICP, here's the very thing you're looking for.
link above and
help support the
"My Infinite Gratitude"
The following is
a relatively short yet very heartening list of those
who have contributed in
support of the Infinite Cat
of listing the names
in any intelligent way I decided to post them alphabetically.
It's not a perfect system, as those of you of Polish descent
get the shaft again <grin> but at least it helps me
keep the names straight.
In case you're wondering, names in white indicate donations
of $5 or less, while green notates donations
in excess of $10. The
lover who recently earned the prestigious "Quadruple Kittyhead"
for her generous and continuing support. (You know who you
are and I want to have your children.)
Adam, S. Adams, L. Aimone,
S. Almaguer, G. Ancell,
M. Axtell, A. Bachman,
D. Baker, O. Balaban, K. Berenson, H.
T. Blassingame, P. Blassingame,
A. Bolt, R. Bruner, J.
Bullas, A. Chiang, M. Cogen, D. Conlin, B. Coren,
M. Cracauer, D.Davis, M.
Dawson, J. Delton, T. Devrick, J. Diamond,
T. Dixon, C. Dofer, E. Dorfman,
B. Dutton, E. Fitzpatrick,
B. Fonteboa, E. Foss, B. Friesner, G. Garcia, M. Gordon,
A. Greeley, A. Gunn, J.
B. Harper, J. Hays, T.
D. Herbert, A. Hertz, M. Hester,
A. Hilbert, K. Hildebrandt, A.
Houser, V. Huston, , J.
Ikeda, B. Jones,
S. Jowett, P. Keachie, M. Knight, D.
W. Lee, M.
Lufkin, C. Lewis, K.
MacKenzie, M. Mcgann,
J. McGinnis, M. Mckercher,
S. Melhuish, T. Miles, D.
A. Neduha, A. Nelson, L. Nevins,
C. O'Brien, A. Ocean,
www.oldamericancentury.org, K. Orman, K.
Otto, Pinky & Bunny,
R. Owens, J. Pavlov, R. Perry, C. Phillips,
H. Pirani, C. Plant, R. Poletto, K. Pride, D.
Rakowski, R. Redman, R. Riitala, M. Ryan,
W. Ryngwelski, D. Sanders, M.
H. Sherwood-Taylor, J.
Sokel, S. Somero, M. Stabile, F. Street, J.P.
Thompson, D. Thoms, G. Toland, C. Ullrich,
J. van Luyt, A. Walls, J. Weisenfeld, K.
Welles, B. Wilkinson, J. Williams.
I thank you, the cats thank you, and my web host
The Infinite Cat Project
Presented by Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
©Mike Stanfill, 2014