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The Slice: Cat tale ends happily

Sat., Oct. 19, 2013

Back in late November 2011, The Slice told the story of an old mule named Maggie and her friend, Thunderfoot, a large orange cat.

The animals dined together and spent time hanging out at the North Idaho ranch owned by Diane Newcomer and her husband. “They really are friends,” she said at the time.

Well, last October, Maggie had to be put down. She was 49 years old.

“Thunderfoot was lost,” said Newcomer. “No one to have breakfast with.”

But two months ago, Newcomer purchased a disturbingly underfed male horse. His name is Cinnabar.

Now Cinnabar has plenty of grain every morning. And Thunderfoot, a full-figured mouser, has a new companion.

“They seem to enjoy each other’s company,” said Newcomer, a retired librarian.

There’s plenty of evidence.

“Like Maggie, Cinnabar is unfazed by a fuzzy animal rubbing on his chin while he eats. And Thunderfoot has a bite of oats and corn (with molasses) with him.”

Newcomer said Cinnabar has put on weight and looks much healthier. It probably doesn’t hurt to have a generously proportioned feline friend show him how it’s done.

Slice reader Terry Hontz has a question: “Have you ever chosen a hospital or a doctor based on an ad you saw on television?”

Breaking the code: I’m guessing that most of us who use email have misspelled words or committed typos more than a few times. But something in a note from a nice guy weighing in on “GEG” keeps making me wonder. He wrote “RE: Spokane International Airport’s cod” in the subject line.

He quickly followed up with a correction. But I can’t stop wondering, if such a thing existed, what the airport’s cod might be. If you have any theories, please share.

Oh, by the way. My correspondent said GEG is at least better than SUX (Sioux City, Iowa) or FAT (Fresno).

Today’s Slice question: Were hugs better back when they were reserved for special occasions?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email On this date in 1864, Confederate raiders who had come down from nearby Canada robbed some banks, shot a couple of locals and set fire to a shed in St. Albans, Vt.

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