Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Softer Side

Over the weekend I found a cat. It was down below the embankment in the backyard, near the stream. It was sitting down, and heard me, but was not running away. It just sat there, with it's head looking in my direction, and bobbing a bit.

She didn't look well. I rolled a stone down in her direction to see if she would move. The stone came to rest a few feet from the her. She fell onto her side, and with her legs stretched out towards the stone, and she cried out in anger at it.

It was obvious now that this cat was hurting, and I was at a loss as to how to help it. It may have rabies, or distemper, so a hands on rescue was out of the question. I called the the Sturbridge Police, and told them the situation. Like me, they were interested in getting someone over to take a look at the cat since it may be diseased.

Officer Hillary Dadalt responded in short order after I made the call. I have to say that this young officer was very professional, concerned, and caring. She immediately went out back to see the cat, studied it from afar, and assessed it's movements. Officer Dadalt also determined that the cat needed help. She returned to the cruiser, and called the Animal Control Officer and left a message. The Animal Control Officer only works on a Monday through Friday schedule. The weekends are up for grabs, and on Sunday, it was Officer Dadalt that ended up grabbing it.

I was impressed at Officer Dadalt's genuine interest in making sure the cat was fine for the time being, and would be OK overnight until the Animal Control Officer could get to her. The police officer observed the cat from afar, and spoke to it in calming tones. If one is able to do that at this level of police work, the officer will have little problem with the major issues.

We both knew that although the cat was walking slowly, and methodically along the edge of the stream, and resting for long periods in between, it probably would not survive the night. The illness she had, or a predator would be working against her survival.

The morning came, and I went outside to check on the cat. It was nowhere to be found. Nowhere. Not a trace of it. The Animal Control Officer arrived too late.

Maybe, when it got dark, and had built up some strength from the liverwurst I had thrown down to her, she was able to wander away.


We'll never know, but I am glad for the interaction with Officer Dadalt. She is totally professional, and has heart.

That is a great combination. She has a great future.


  1. From what I'm reading, the poor cat was just left out to perish. Couldn't it been brought someplace to be cared for?

  2. It was a feral cat. The neighborhood has several. About a month ago I found one dead in the yard. Not knowing just what was wrong with it (rabies/distemper/ illness vs. poisoning), and not having the equipment to capture it and find out was hard.

  3. That's understandable. Thanks for clarifying.


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