The Lure of Tuna

by Torry Martin

Dear B. Log,

All week long while I’ve been out on my mail route, my buddy Bradford has supervised the tearing down and moving of Mr. McCready’s old bank barn.

Mr. McCready was happy to get rid of it, and I was happy to take it. In fact, the only individual unhappy about the arrangement was a kitten. Turns out he’d been living in the barn for months.

It was clear the kitten didn’t like any of us, but he took a special dislike to my dog, Sam. He hissed and spit at Sam every time he got too close. One time the kitten even scratched Sam right on the nose!

The fact that the kitten didn’t trust anyone flat out broke my heart. He was gonna flat out break my wallet, too, if I didn’t catch him and get him off of Mr. McCready’s property before the week was up.

It’s a good thing I came up with a foolproof plan: Operation Cat Food.

The brilliant ploy was to set a can of cat food at the base of a tree by the river. The delicious scent of tuna would lure the kitten out from the barn. Then I would grab him and gently place him in a small cage.

The plan didn’t quite work . . .

You see, as soon as I set the food under the tree, the kitten made a beeline for it, overshot it and wound up falling into the rushing river.

The kitten yowled, and the current threatened to sweep him away. Suddenly, Sam ran past me like a flash of lightning and jumped into the river! That heroic dog swam to the kitten, grabbed him by the back of the neck and carried him to safety.

After Sam reached the shore, he brought the kitten to me and dropped him at my feet. I guess the can of tuna was too much for the kitten to resist, though, because he immediately started devouring it (the tuna, not the can). That’s when the second miraculous event took place.

I reached down to give his fur a little stroke of assurance, and he purred! Not a hiss, not a snarl—a purr. And after he finished eating, he let me pick him up ad dry him off.

We decided to name the kitten River.

Well, B. Log, it’s been quite the week. The bank barn is successfully on my property, and I have acquired a new feline family member.

River seems to think Sam and I are worthy of trust now. In fact, as I type this, River and Sam are snuggled up together in front of the fireplace. I have a feeling he’ll be keeping a close watch on us.

It’s amazing how eager Sam was to help River in his time of need. River had been downright cranky to Sam, but it didn’t matter. River needed help, and Sam stepped in. That really inspires me to be more eager to help others. You never know when someone might need a hand . . . or a paw.

This article first appeared in the December 2011 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2011 by Torry Martin. Used by permission. Illustration © Gary Locke.