When the weather forecast was for snow early this week, some of the ladies who work in the Marshall County Courthouse fabricated a cat condominium for a feline that's been roaming Lewisburg's public square.
Nicknamed "Courtney the Courthouse Cat," the black and white male cat had been taking refuge in storm water sewer drains, according to Deanna Reed and Jenise Nelson, two deputy clerks in the office led by Circuit Court Clerk Elinor Brandon Foster.
"You've heard of the 'Cat in the Hat,'" Foster said from her office chair by a window with full view of Courtney's realm, "well, this is the cat in the drain."
Nelson quips: "We should have named him 'Draino.'"
Courtney was selected for the cat's name because Nelson and Reed hadn't been able to determine whether the cat is male or female. Courtney, they said, was a suitable name for either.
The ladies' kind thoughts for the alley cat grew as he appeared each morning and they began to feed him. That led to his trust to be closer, and a determination was made as to his sex.
"If anybody wants to adopt this cat, and provide a loving home," Reed said, "please contact us. We may be able to help you catch him."
Meanwhile, cedar shavings have been poured in the bushes at the southwest corner of the Courthouse and black plastic has been used to cover a white Styrofoam box that was originally used to deliver frozen beef. A round entry was cut in the box for Courtney's front door and the box was placed in the bushes.
That was Tuesday.
Wednesday -- with a light, cold rain falling instead of the threatened snow -- Courtney was nowhere to be seen.
"We can't find him," Reed said that morning.
A few hours later the clouds cleared and the day warmed.
The cat came back.
"Jenise is out there trying to coax him into the Styrofoam box," Reed said.
As for Courtney's whereabouts that morning, there's been speculation he applied for a job at Ace Bayou, the so-called pet furniture manufacturer.
That's based on the theory he could get a job like Li'l Abner who worked as a mattress tester.