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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Missing cat prompts fears of gruesome business

A woman who lost her cat posited a ring of young men selling neighborhood felines to a local furrier. (S-R archives)
A woman who lost her cat posited a ring of young men selling neighborhood felines to a local furrier. (S-R archives)
Jim Kershner

Spokane police were investigating a missing cat complaint — one with a possibly gruesome twist.

Spokane’s captain of detectives said a woman reported that her Angora cat was missing, and that there had been a mysterious “thinning out” of cats in her entire neighborhood.

Then she happened to go into a local furrier’s store, and there, hanging on the wall, was the skin of her Angora cat. She claimed that she knew for sure it was her cat because “the tail of my cat had been cut off and she was a distinctive color.”

She believed that “an organized band of men or boys is engaged in catching cats and selling them for the price of their furs.”

The detective was investigating the complaint, and gave no opinion on its veracity.

From the lifeguard beat: A “girls’ life-saving corps” of 20 members was being formed at Lewis and Clark High School.

Several girls had already qualified to become lifeguards at lakes and resorts for the coming summer season. They had passed a number of rigorous tests.

They had to swim 20 yards dressed in skirt and shoes. Then, still in the water, they had to remove skirt, blouse and shoes and continue swimming for another 90 yards.

They also had to perform the following tasks: Dive down 6 to 8 feet and retrieve a 10-pound object and carry it to shore; carry a living subject 10 yards; and land a patient properly on-shore. They also had to demonstrate the ability to perform the “Shafer” method of resuscitation.

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