Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current, June 22, 2016, Page 7A, Image 6

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    COTTAGE GROVE SENTINEL June 22, 2016
Purr-fessional Street
Walker
When Rebecca and her daugh-
ter, Johnna, son Ian, bunny Lyric
and their pit bull, Mylee, moved
into their rental home, they did
not realize they were intruding!
A seemingly ageless feline
(Ms. Purrl), adopted years ago
by a previous renter, consid-
ers the home hers, and she has
outlasted the last three renters.
Purrl’s fi rst owner packed up
the household goods, the cat
and moved two blocks away.
But, the woman had to continu-
ally return and retrieve the cat
— over, and over and over!
It was obvious Purrl was not
happy about the move! She had
a purr-fectly plaws-ible reason
for staying. She was not leaving
her self-appointed street-greeter
job, so she repeatedly took the
shortcut through backyards to
her old home to purr-form her
daily “meet and greet” and in-
fuse lives with sunshine and joy.
This was her kingdom, and the
reining queen was not leaving!
Everyone who walks by the
rental knows Purrl because she
approaches mothers pushing
carriages, students on their way
to school, men walking small
dogs and, well, everyone who
strolls by. If you don’t know her
name, someone passing as you
bend to pet the demanding cat
will formally introduce you.
I have been petting and talk-
ing to Purrl for years. The gra-
cious queen expects it, and I
enjoy it! Purrl must have a de-
gree in psychology, because af-
ter everyone’s brief interaction
with her, she has them walking
away smiling. She intentionally
lifts her subjects’ moods.
“We’ve never met this beauti-
ful-social Himalayan cat’s orig-
inal owner,” said Rebecca.
Our dog had to adjust to Purrl.
Mylee sits on one side of the
screened door and gazes at Purrl
on the other. Mylee doesn’t
growl, and Purrl does not hiss.
They actually entertain each
other. Mylee shows a little jeal-
ously when we feed Purrl.”
The cat initially caught Re-
becca off guard. They’d been liv-
ing in the house for three weeks
when she phoned the landlord
worried about the friendly
“homeless cat” hanging around.
The landowner explained that
the cat “Comes with the house!”
and that all the previous renters
have cared for her.
Purrl’s name changes with
each renter. Currently she is
known as ‘Fuzzy Boots’ because
of her Persian fl uffy pantaloons
that look like she’s wearing
boots,” said Johnna.
The family is fully aware that
their shameless purr-fessional
street walker solicits food and
love from neighbors; shocking-
ly “... all the way down to the
church!”
“Our friends also love our
rental cat,” said Johnna, “be-
7A
ODFW: Don’t
release pet turtles
in the wild
Photo by Mary Ellen “Angel Scribe”
Johnna holds Cottage Grove’s purr-fessional street
walker, Fuzzy Boots. The notorious celebra-cat wel-
comed Johnna’s family’s to their new rental home!
cause she happily greets them
just like she does the people
walking down the street. One
friend who does not like cats
admitted, ‘This gorgeous cat
is awesome and loaded with
charm.’ He’s right!
Once Fuzzy Boots sees an
approaching subject, she jumps
off the porch, walks down our
sidewalk, then down the street’s
sidewalk for her royal greeting!
She thinks everyone is here to
serve/pet her...and they do, be-
cause she rules our street! As
‘queen’ of the neighborhood,
Fuzzy rules with a soft paw,
but if you don’t stop to pet her,
she reminds you of your duty
by playfully nipping innocent
ankles.
One time a little girl walked
by and, of course, Fuzzy went to
give and get her love. The little
girl asked, ‘She’s so beautiful
and nice — can I have her?’ I
said, ‘Sure’ but 20 minutes lat-
er, Fuzzy was trotting back up
our sidewalk, (just as I knew
she would!). I greeted her with,
‘Welcome home, Boots!”
Please see T&T, Page 11A
A 10-pound snapping turtle recently found at the Yoncalla
Water Treatment Plant is a good reminder not to release pet
turtles into the wild. It’s illegal, and it’s harmful for Oregon’s
two native turtles, the Western Pond Turtle and Western
Painted Turtle.
Snapping turtles, red-eared sliders, and map turtles and are
not native to Oregon and are often illegally bought, sold or
traded in the state. These are the most common pet turtles
but are prohibited by law in Oregon because they are invasive
species.
ODFW biologists say invasive turtles compete with Ore-
gon’s native turtles for food, basking sites and nesting areas.
Many grow bigger and lay more eggs than our native turtles,
and some even predate upon them, hatchlings in particular.
Turtles can live 40 to 100 years and are often released into
the wild when people lose interest or tire of caring for them.
Pet turtles often suffer from eye, shell or respiratory infec-
tions, and these pathogens can be spread to native turtles.
“Turtles take a lot of care and have special diet and habitat
needs to keep them healthy,” says ODFW Conservation Bi-
ologist Susan Barnes. “Turtles also carry salmonella, which
can make people, particularly children, very sick.”
Anyone fi nding an invasive turtle can turn it into their local
ODFW offi ce. Use extra caution when picking up a snapping
turtle, however; they can and do bite. Pick snappers up by the
back of their tail, not the sides, as their neck is long enough
to swing about half their body size.
This time of year, female turtles are moving to nesting ar-
eas. Rick Boatner, ODFW Invasive Species Program Man-
ager, has some advice.
“If you fi nd a native turtle crossing the road, pick it up and
put it on the side of the road in the direction it was heading,”
Boatner said.
The Western Painted Turtle and Western Pond Turtle are
both classifi ed as “critical” on Oregon’s Sensitive Species
list; state law prohibits killing them or taking them from the
wild. Our native turtles are also identifi ed as priority at-risk
species in the Oregon Conservation Strategy due to declining
habitat quality and fragmentation, pollution and competition
with invasive turtles among other reasons.
ODFW tracks native and non-native turtle sightings and
asks the public to help by reporting online.
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Courtesy photo
This 10-pound snapping turtle was recently
found in a Douglas County water treatment plant.
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