Major the Cat, as drawn for the Lewiston Evening Journal

When the cat comes back is agitating Pine and Lisbon streets, for it has now been definitively settled that the Major was not devoured by rats, and there is no good reason to believe that he was spirited away by them. On the contrary, he is known to have had an international agreement with the rat tribe of Savings Bank block that he should enjoy life at the expense of peace with them, provided that in case he was called up to butcher a trap full of them, he should politely but firmly decline.

The first indication that such a treaty existed was when the drug clerk and a dozen bloodthirsty men assembled recently in a back room and let out six fat rats in the presence of the cat. The Major recognized them with a sniff, and turning tail, walked off to the door in a stately fashion. They had to call in a rat-destroying dog to complete the massacre.

The Major disappeared last Monday night and no one has seen him since. They did see him go out at the door and they stayed in the store an hour after the time of closing just to let him in when he returned.

But never back came he.

Nevertheless, there be those who affirm that the cat will come back.

The only reasonable theory is that he has joined the Mysterious Disappearance Syndicate which numbers among its victims the young, the old, the learned and the unlearned, the well and the sick. No cause can be given for his disappearance. He had not indulged in political bets, his list of acquaintances numbered not one enemy. On the other hand, everyone was his friend.


Tuesday morning when the store was opened, the people came in and while the clerks with long faces put up physic looked around for the familiar figure of the Major, and finding him not, they inquired. Some sighed, some tore, some discussed right roundly at the man who would dare lay a violence finger on a hair of the tail of the famous cat. As the day wore on, the atmosphere of the drug store assumed a more dense color. The clerks lacked the merry smile that makes Wiggin’s a pleasant place to loaf. The doctors came in and waited in pained silence while their cases were filled.

Would the Major but return, he might wander at will with muddy feet over the counters just polished, or lie at length on the catnip bag under the counter. Should he knock over a vase of the choicest perfumes of the Orient or destroy priceless herbs and roots from distant India, no one would as much as mention it. One by one, the clerks and doctors slipped out of the front door on one pretense or another, and going leisurely and unconcernedly down Pine Street to the back alley, scurried among the ash barrels and broken glass in a way and with a show of interest that would have made them blush had anyone seen them.

Dr. Aurelia Springer and Dr. Alice Leader held an inquest in the former’s back office, and decided that the tiger cat was not dead, should not be dead. One occupant of the building mentally composed a poetic ode to the memory of Major and said he hoped he should not have to deliver it. The lawyers having offices in the front of the building went about the preparations for tonight’s celebration in a half-hearted way.

November 12, 1896 Lost and Found ad in the Lewiston Evening Journal

Mr. D.P. Moulton wrote a twenty-five cent ad for the Journal and got in too many words and would have had to pay 50 cents had it not been that it was a popular cause. You’ll find his advertisement in the Lost column.

Today the suspense is really getting unbearable, and Savings Bank Block will not be half illumined tonight. But the public will understand. Cooms, Gibbs & Wilkinson have offered to design an elaborate tomb should the cat not come back alive, they will design a marvelous collar of gold, to be wrought out of sterling gold eagle.

Comments are not available on this story.