Pet Tales

Special cat Harley is a purring machine

pettales@thetribunenews.comMarch 20, 2014 

Jennifer Vandersmith

Richard Tibben of Nipomo sent in a story about his cat, Harley:

I enjoyed your article on pet therapy. It made me think of a cat I once owned. This is the story of Harley.

My life partner and I were out shopping one day and came across a cat-adoption event. Since we both love cats, we decided to browse the event. We came upon a black cat and began to pet it through the cage. The cat began to purr. I looked at my partner and said, “Wow, that is the loudest purr I have ever heard.”

I did not know cats could purr that loudly. I could see my partner was intrigued; I stated that we had enough cats. This cat was very special, not only for its purring, but because it was extremely loving. We left the event but talked about this incredible cat. Yep, we went back and adopted yet another cat.

As we were driving home, we discussed a name, and because of its loud purr, we decided on Harley (after Harley-Davidson). Harley moved around the house very carefully, more carefully that any cat I had ever owned. I did not think much of it. I thought he was just getting used to the place and the other cats. Soon, he was running around like a regular cat should.

One day, I was doing taxes and decided it was time to feed the cats. Harley always came running, literally, when it was time to eat. He enjoyed the petting he got while he was dining. I left my chair out, which we never do. As Harley came running, he smacked into the chair full-force. I looked at my partner and asked, “How the heck could he not see that chair?”

As the days went by, we devised tests to determine whether Harley could see or not. It turned out he was blind — no wonder he took so long to scope the place out. We decided that Harley might be better off as a therapy pet. We contacted an organization that does this, and the staff said they had a perfect match for Harley. We hated to see him go, but we did not want to have him knock himself crazy. Last we heard, Harley and his new friend loved one another. Harley made it so easy to love him and, oh, that purr!

Paso dog jog set

Dogs can bring their owners for a 4K/2K run or walk Saturday through the Salinas River trail that starts and ends at the Kennedy Club Fitness in Paso Robles. Participants receive a voucher for a pancake breakfast (additional vouchers are $5), a goodie bag, event bandanna and a medal. Race starts at 9 a.m., rain or shine. Race-day registration starts at 8 a.m. Contest will start at 10 a.m. for Best Pooch Smooch, Most Appropriate Name, Best Smile, Wildest Wag and most unusual face. Registration is $20. Proceeds benefit Sherwood Dog Park in Paso Robles. For more information, call 239-8488, ext. 33, or visit  

Spring break animal camp

Woods Humane Society will hold an Animal Action Camp for children, ages 12 to 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, Monday through March 28. Camp costs $250 and includes daily healthy snack, field trips, camp shirt and all supplies for the week. Spots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. For details, call 543-9524.

Horse adventures

Adventures with Horses’ spring sessions are from 9:30 a.m. to noon April 12 and May 10.

Children ages 5 to 12 are invited to meet, greet, groom and walk calm and gentle equines. Children and their parents will enjoy learning about basic equine manners, body language, safety skills and round-pen activities.

Wear closed-toed shoes or boots. Events are at Heaven Can Wait Equine Sanctuary, 6275 Cerros Pioneros in San Miguel.

Register at  

For information, call 368-5702 or visit

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