A cat and mouse tale

Keeping the Peace
By Tom Lessard

Back in the good old days – the early 70s, that is – there was a company in Huron Park by the name of Hall Lamp. It was a large employer that produced taillights and mirrors. The company used most of the industrial park’s hangars.
In the southwest corner of Plant 3, the shipping department was staffed by two very competent forklift drivers and a clerk typist who knew virtually everything there was to knw about shipping, especially how to get those shipments across the border by car, truck or airplane. Her name was Julie.
Now in that office there was a baseboard that ran around the perimeter; it was about 5” high by 3” wide. Along the baseboard ran one of Julie’s pets – a mouse. She would place peanuts, candies or whatever she had left over from her lunch on the baseboard. You could walk in almost any time during the day and watch that mouse chomping down on the goodies.
A year passed and Julie felt it was time for a birthday party for her pet. Arrangements were made at the Club Albatross, decorations were purchased, a cake was made and invitations were sent to all management personnel and a few workers who we knew could get away. The mouse had a mouse house that we took to the bar, in which it had a TV set, a portrait of Mickey on the wall, and a sofa with two little mice seated watching a Disney “Mickey Mouse show”, probably Annette and the Mouse Club.
The day arrived and everyone gathered at the Albie on the dance floor. Tables were set and balloons and hats were provided. A toast was made and everyone sang “Happy Birthday”. Then we ate and imbibed a little more while presents were opened. It was a wonderful party. S/he got lots of neat gifts, mostly food.
One day a stray cat arrived on the shipping office doorstep. It was a cute little dirty furry mess. Julie, the animal lover, took it into her domain. It had to have some place to stay so a house was provided with a blanket, a bowl and a litter box; we called it “Julie’s cat house”. Of course, with a little imagination, you can figure out what we called the cat.
We had a lot of fun with that cat and it got along well with the mouse. An elderly foreman, Vic, would take the cat home every weekend for a cleanup. He rigged up a length of twine and tied a foam seal from a Chrysler taillight to use as a leash and would take the cat for a walk through the plant. The women on the lines loved that cat.
One day Julie set the cat on her desk and he pawed the electric typewriter. The words that appeared on the sheet of paper made us realize we had been calling him the wrong name. Apparently his name was OIY OIY.

Come on out to the Crediton Harvest Family Fun Day September 6 at the park. Lots of entertainment, fun and games, and plenty of good food. Get your tickets for the top prize of $5200 worth of gas in aid of our building fund.