The Great Pumpkin and a Black Cat Tale 

As you may have noticed, the La Sal Elementary PTO coven manipulates the date of Halloween most years to accommodate the festivities to a more convenient day.

This year, Halloween falls on a Saturday. No need to reschedule the holiday.

It is also a full moon that night. A nice, big Halloween moon. (It is also a “blue” moon, meaning that it is the second full moon in the calendar month.)

Everything seemed to be aligning for a perfect celebration of La Sal’s favorite holiday.

Well, we know that 2020 has been anything but cooperative. No, COVID has shut down Halloween for this year.

I’ve conducted an exhaustive investigation to determine what, if anything, was going to happen in our village for All Hallows Day this year.

Okay, so I looked for posters at La Sal Central and on Facebook on the La Sal Barter and Trade page. Nothing.

Seems Halloween, as with most things this year will be a quiet, private affair. Surely this too will pass. 

However, in recognition of the season, a giant pumpkin appeared several weeks ago at Ana’s La Sal Store. I wonder if it is the one Charlie Brown has been looking for all these years!  

This particular gourd was raised by La Salian James Wesley Hill (Wes) in his garden here. I’m impressed. I only managed to raise four little mini pumpkins, one spaghetti squash, and a half dozen zucchini and yellow squash. 

Everyone was invited to guess the pumpkin’s weight. The person who guessed closest to the actual weight won the grand prize which was – ta da – the pumpkin!

Winner was Macie Warren, who guessed 63 pounds. The actual weight was 67.2.

Macie and her family are part-time residents of our village – actually Wray Mesa, east of the village proper. They are currently in the process of building a home there.

For now, they are living in an abode established within a silo. Sounds interesting. Hope they have fun carving a giant jack-o-lantern. 

This report came in from my buddy, the Cello lady at Wilson Arch. I died laughing as I tried to envision this comedy of errors, the adventures of a black cat. So appropriate for the season.

Here it is verbatim: Stuka the Magnificent has entered his 19th year, but do not let that cause pause for just any praise my way and a collective “ah.”

No siree, this old boy is going to go out in style and fighting, quite literally.

A little superfluous background to this story. I just purchased and had delivered five outdoors lights for my cottage. One arrived defective, and I did not like the quality of the lamps so I am returning.

So the story begins.

I was on the phone to the lighting company to initiate the return process, but first the goal, as always, is to connect with a sentient being.

I waded through the phone tree of options and put the phone on speaker so I could do other things waiting for that human connection. 

After waiting a good 15 minutes the call was finally going to be answered. Not too bad by COVID standards of the day.

Just as it was ringing to that hallowed person who was going to help me, I hear behind me that tell-tale sound of a muffled meow.

I knew immediately that the old boy was dragging in some kind of rodent to lay at the alter of my feet. I turned around to see him come through two pet doors carrying, like a beloved kitten, a chipmunk.

Stuka more often than not likes to carry them gently ramping up for the inevitable chase. Can’t chase a dead chip.

I have learned to praise him and try to gently get him to the bathroom where it is the easiest to catch said prey and hopefully return it for another day of play. Not today.

Stuka decides to release the little darling in my dining room and proceeds to trap and release.

The chip jumped up to a dining room chair and aimed for the top of the table. Meanwhile Stuka latched onto the lace tablecloth and gets his claws stuck while he simultaneously is pulling everything off the table.

This includes the potted Poinsettia with moist soil I have been nursing since the holidays.

Now is the time I need to mention I purchased earlier this year a brand new light colored Sisal carpet that was not cheap.

So let’s review this picture – Cat stuck in tablecloth, chipmunk running amok, and all the contents of my tabletop tumbling to the floor including all this nice black damp soil.

All the while I am trying to keep track of where the chip is heading. Stuka is screaming, carpet is black, and I have no idea where the chipmunk went.

Yup, another day in paradise.

I got the old boy untangled and gently scooped up most of the soil and fortunately was able to vacuum most of the rest with no visible residual. Luck of the Polish.

I then left all my doors wide open for the remainder of the day to encourage little Alvin to exit and welcome any flying insect who wanted a look around. Yup, Stuka the Magnificent at work and play. 

Happy Halloween!!

San Juan Record

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