Cheney Free Press -


Do you know what a coyote looks like? Know your nature

Of Cabbages and Kings


It’s been years since I’ve stopped to visit “Cat Tales” on Highway 2. Every time I drive by I say to myself, “Stop one of these days and see the animals.” And every time I whiz on by. We Americans seem to be forever in a rush to somewhere just beyond wherever we are.

I am thankful for the people who own Cat Tales and take care of these animals. Some would say, “The poor things, being shut up in a cage all their lives.” That statement is the very reason you should visit them. Most are there because somebody wants to give them a good home. Others have been rescued from uncaring humans.

I remember the day I took a friend to see Cat Tales. We approached the entrance and it was as if we had walked into a farm yard. A cluster of banty chickens gathered around us, talking to themselves and to us, like little children greeting us. We could almost decipher what they were saying, “Good morning, glad you came.” In fact, that may have been exactly what they said.

When I’m at home, a few miles from Cheney, I can look out my window and see wild animals most any time. The treat yesterday was a big moose grazing near the trees across the road. I’ll never forget the day I watched a pair of gray wolves in almost the same spot walk with purposeful steps until they were out of sight. A moose can wander a bit. A gray wolf is more intent on his destination.

The day I watched the wolves is forever in my memory. I called the Turnbull Refuge. I called other wildlife organizations. The first thing said to me each time was, “Lady do you know what a coyote looks like?” Well, at least they called me a lady. They could have said, “put your mommy on the line.”

The very next day I was exonerated. A man in Idaho, which is not that far away, had killed a gray wolf and held it up for all to see. How strange, it looked just like the ones I saw. Nobody called me to say they were sorry they hadn’t believed me. I didn’t mind. They were probably very busy taking calls from other silly women, and saying, “Lady do you know what a coyote looks like?”

That is one of the reasons we can be grateful Cat Tales exists. We need to identify different species so the professionals can’t identify us as idiots.

Luella Dow is a Cheney-area author. She can be reached at


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