Disciples of Otis,
Today we complete the epic saga of The Legend of Kiddy the cat. Here is the last of the information that I translated from the recording of the mysterious, furry stranger in Tombstone.
After the incident at the O.K. Corral, Ike Clanton left Tombstone never to return. His belief that he had seen the ghost of Kiddy the Cat coming toward him during the fight at the corral had driven him insane. Still, his fractured mind sought a way to ease his feelings of guilt by attempting to right the wrong he had committed in not keeping Kiddy the Cat safely contained. Since he was now deathly afraid of cats, he had to find a new animal toward which to direct his energy. When a drunken friend jokingly suggested cows, Ike latched onto the idea, and he began to campaign against outdoor cattle. He was shot and killed on June 1, 1887 at Jim Wilson’s Ranch on Eagle Creek, south of Springerville, Arizona. The ranch hands claimed they had caught Ike rustling cattle, but Ike’s friends claimed that he had not really been trying to steal the cows but rather to herd them some place where they could be safely contained.
The Earps continued to come into conflict with the remaining members of the Cowboy gang. The feud eventually took the life of Morgan Earp and left Virgil Earp with a paralyzed left arm. After these attacks on his brothers, as well as constant threats on his own life, Wyatt Earp put together a posse and proceeded to, as he put it, “euthanize” the remaining members of the Cowboy gang. He then stole Sheriff Behan’s wife and retired with her to California.
Doc Holliday eventually settled in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He was still suffering from his terrible cat allergies, and he chose Glenwood Springs because he heard it was the only town in the United States that did not have cats. Unfortunately, the American Society of Cat Fanciers had heard about Glenwood Springs as well. They found the town’s lack of cats appalling, and decided that it should be remedied. On November 1, 1887, The ASCF held an enormous cat adopt-a-thon in Glenwood Springs. Shelters from all over the United States participated, and more than 25,000 cats were sent to the small town in the hope that they would be adopted. Even the town of Tombstone got involved, sending every single cat that was housed in the O.K. Corral off to Glenwood Springs to be adopted. Unaware of the event until it was too late, Doc Holliday was overwhelmed by an allergy attack of epic proportions. Barely able to breathe, he was admitted into the local sanitarium, where he died on November 8, 1887.
The City of Tombstone went into a state of decline in the late 1880’s after miners struck the water table and accidentally flooded the silver mines. The Tombstone City Council, desperate to save both the town and their jobs, decided that tourism might be the right direction to go. Other than mining, the only thing interesting that had ever happened in the town was the fatal encounter at the O.K. Corral, so the council decided to focus their tourism efforts around that. They decided to hold daily reenactments of the battle, inviting tourists to pay two-bits per viewing. They billed it as “The Catfight at the O.K. Corral”.
The Tombstone City Council advertised their new attraction in newspapers as far away as New York City. During the first week of reenactments, thousands of tourists flocked to the town. There was clearly a problem though. Half of the tourists were depraved-looking men who seemed disappointed when they finally witnessed the fight. The rest of the tourists were people waving signs saying “Stop Animal Cruelty!” This contingent seemed pleasantly surprised after watching the reenactment.
Frustrated but not yet defeated, the Tombstone City Council went back to the drawing board. They invented a completely new back-story for the conflict between the Earps and the Cowboys, re-imagined the fight itself and removed all reference to cats from the O.K. Corral sign. Having already emptied the corral of cats during the Glenwood Springs adopt-a-thon of 1887, they also rebuilt the corral to look like it had housed horses and mules instead of felines. They then re-launched their publicity campaign and hit the jackpot. It seemed that families from all across America were excited about the thought of men killing each other in the streets for no good reason. Thousands of tourists flocked to Tombstone to see the, now completely inaccurate, reenactment. Despite not knowing the real story, some visitors have claimed to have seen a black-and-white cat running from the corral during the simulated gunfights.
In time, the role that cats played in the events that took place in Tombstone was almost completely forgotten; however, the name of Kiddy the Cat lived on. It has changed slightly, as all things do in time, but it endures to this day. Whenever you humans call a cat “kitty” or “kitty cat”, you are invoking the spirit of Kiddy the Cat. Remember his story, and honor his memory by doing everything in your power to keep cats happy, healthy, and safely contained.
With that, the story of the mysterious, furry stranger from Tombstone ended, but he did say one more thing to the Guardians of Otis that was caught on the recording, and I’m pretty sure it was the only thing he said that they understood. It was, “Can ya’ll give me some pets now, please?” They must have complied, because just before the recording cuts off I am sure I can hear a cat purring.
Well, Disciples of Otis, that is the tale. It was a long journey, but I hope you found it both enlightening and entertaining. Tomorrow I turn the blog back over to our fearless Leader, and we will continue with our mission to make the world a better, safer place for all of felinekind.
So Sayeth Brother Oliver