As much as the thought pains me, it seems only right to advocate something that's come to an end on the Marshall County Courthouse grounds, encircled by Lewisburg's public square.
Courtney, the courthouse cat, has been neutered.
Tribune readers may remember that several of the ladies who work at the Courthouse noticed that a black and white cat had been roaming the grounds during the dead of winter. Out of concern for the animal, one of them got a Styrofoam box from a meat mail house and made a cathouse. That prompted others to bring food, and it appeared that Courtney would become a fixture on the square.
The cat has been using his Styrofoam cathouse. There are muddy paw prints to prove it, but it was intended as temporary quarters. The ladies were looking for a permanent home for Courtney.
This update on the shaggy cat tale comes from Jenise Nelson, one of the circuit court clerk's deputies.
Cecilia Spivey, a local lawyer and counselor to the county water utility, caught Courtney early this week, took him home and to the vet the next morning where Dr. Roger Storey and his staff neutered him, treated him for ear mites, applied flea and tick medicine and gave Courtney his first rabies and distemper shots.
"We have heard from Dr. Storey and the prognosis is good," Nelson continued. "They were surprised that they could handle him so well."
While the courthouse ladies have been feeding Courtney, other area residents have come to the square to feed him and win over his affection.
"He let one couple rub on his head and feed him, but he wouldn't let them catch him," Nelson said, identifying that family as those with the good home for Courtney.
"They're going to pick him up at the vets office now that he's all fixed," she said. "It will be like they're rescuing him from the vets office.
"I told them that if he didn't work out we'd take him back and return him to his storm drain home."
Courtney hides in the storm sewer.
Other cats have been seen on the square. It's believed they were just showing up for the free food. One is clearly a male. The other has a flea collar on so it's got to be local, Nelson said.
Now for the advocacy: It's a good idea to spay or neuter your pets. Marshall County commissioners have been wringing their hands over the overtime pay being earned by the dogcatchers.
That would help control the budget. If not, as my punishing friend says, "They'll come back in spayeds."
Then there's the lesson from Washington, D.C. There was a rodent problem in the Capitol building. Congress appropriated large sums of money for an exterminator, but a reporter suggested they use mousers. he reporter must have been from a county weekly.
Anyway, I thought all the rats in Washington had been driven to the drink by a pie-eyed radio announcer who led them to a drowning in the Potomac.