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General News · 13th May 2020
I can't remember who introduced us to Ed Piggott, possibly Lynne Jordan who told him I was a taxidermist and a hunter. He was immediately interested in my work and tried to get me into the local rod and gun club of which he was president. Later I became president myself whether I liked it or not. He invited us down to his farm to see his gun collection and talk stuffing. Back then my younger daughter Willow was living with us and she wanted a kitten. This was in the fall of 2005. We had arrived on Cortes on the May long weekend of that year and were still settling in. So down we went to Ed's farm in November and as Ed and Tom and I talked about deer and chickens (he tried to sell us some) Willow was trying to catch one of the half-wild kittens.

Ed noticed her interest and encouraged her to choose one of the skittering little creatures. This she did, falling in love with a spotted dark short-haired tabby who looked like a miniature jaguar. We returned once we had kitten food, a bed, etc all set up. We already had two male cats which we had brought with us – Simon (fluffy orange tabby) and Radar (orange and white perpetually shedding short hair). But Willow had her heart set on this kitten. So – Ed used a fishing net to trap the little guy who spat and snarled and was flipped into an empty feed bag which he then quickly folded shut as the kitten, snarling and spitting, was trying to hurl himself out.

The kitten rode home in our little white Ford Escort with Willow firmly holding the bag closed. No way did we want that kitten loose in the car! So we carried the kitten into the house, made sure all doors and windows were secure and tried to introduce the kitten to his new kitty bed. That animal impacted the floor once, flew over the staircase and slapped himself claws first against the nearest window. Then snarling and hissing he streaked into the bathroom and skittered under the dryer.

I placed food and water close by. The kitten was quiet until the middle of the night and began then to wail piteously. I meowed back and slowly he came out from under the dryer. I inched the food dish in his direction and he stiffened. Then he realized what it was and nearly ate the bowl itself. He's had a great appetite ever since. We thought about a name and "Pavi" was Willow's decision, short for Pavlov's Response, such was the cat's attraction to a full food dish.

Willow got married and moved to Kentucky where she has more cats. Pavi is fourteen now and has lost half his teeth but his appetite is better than ever. So is his wail.

– by Laurel Bohart

Please see a video created by the Reel Youth Celebrating Seniors Film Program, where several generations came together to produce short films about Cortes Island elders. The videos are hosted on the Cortes Island Museum website.