M. David Lutz
Just for Laughs
"Writing is easy . . . Writing Good Ain't"
By Arvis Moor
Gardening & Entertainment reporter
Gamber Herald Times

June 25, 2007 - Unwilling hero, Grizzly Gus Reports His Neighbor’s Cat is Missing.

Early yesterday morning, Grizzly Gus was spotted taping up “Cat Missing” posters in the Shop-n-Go window on Route 3.  When questioned about them by this reporter who happened to be buying a coffee and chatting with cashier Lucy Barnett, Grizzly responded in his usual gruff but surly way.

“I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you can read.” he says.  “Looking for a missing cat.”

Concerned Gamberites clustered around the writer and semi-recluse, all eager to help. 

“We’ll form us a search party,” says Sgt. Lem “Lem” Collins.  “We’ll drag Werner’s creek if it comes to that.  Although all of us pray it don’t.”

The fuss seemed to irritate Grizzly who told this reporter, “If it were my cat it would have been missing a long time ago and I wouldn’t be looking for it.  However, my manly-challenged neighbor Marvin talked  me into looking after it while he went away to some retreat in the woods with all his tree-hugging friends.” 

Oh that Grizzly!  In addition to being a woodchuck slayer and not-quite-renowned poet, he’s got a sense of humor.

“Whose jokin’,” he says.  “Step aside now you phoney paparazzi, I’ve got posters to post.”  

Lucy Barnett jumped into action, taking up a collection to buy a can of oil-packed tuna to tempt Grizzly’s wayward feline home again.  Minnie Hemley offered to do her prize-winning cat calls, guaranteed to bring any lovesick Tom within five miles running.  

“Yeah, and them calls work too,” says a disgruntled Rick Luber, Minnie’s next-door neighbor.  “One night it got so bad out there I had to throw a shoe at the old biddy to shut her up.  Cats fightin’ and yowlin’ all over my yard and hers.”

“Got one of ‘em plastic forks?” was Grizzly’s only comment when accepting the tuna and complementary Shop-n-go paper plate.  He then departed, ignoring the well wishes and hopes for the cat’s speedy return.  

The bells on the door jangled as it closed behind him, and we all smiled and shook our heads.  That’s our gruff but loveable Grizzly!


Yesterday at dusk Grizzly was spotted down by the river, fishing pole in hand.  I received the tip and hurried over to find him right where my anonymous caller said he’d be.

When asked if he’d found his neighbor’s cat, Grizzly responded, “Yeah the big sissy and the little kitty are reunited.  You know if he’d just have it stuffed it would be easier to take care of.”

This reporter couldn’t help noticing the stringer of fine-sized trout Grizzly had in the water and asked if he’d reveal his secret for readers of the Gamber Herald Times.  

“All depends on the bait, don’t it?” he says.  

“Common Grizzly, tells me and my readers what kind of secret bait you’re using.” 

“I’ll be using ‘nosy reporter’ if you don’t get outta here and stop bothering me!”   

So that’s the good word folks, The wandering cat has returned.  Thanks to all of you at the Shop-n-Go who donated your change for the tuna that successfully lured the stray home again.