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Hartselle Enquirer

Caf kitty held hostage

By Staff
Tracy B. Cieniewicz, Hartselle Enquirer
Nestled in a holler off Highway 36 E, past the crowing roosters, over the threshold of a quaint log cabin, and up to the front counter of the Smokey Holler Caf, a ransom note sits under a homemade fried peach pie.
Above the peach pie paperweight, another note hangs. It reads:
"Missing Cat.
Last seen here (arrow points down).
Yellow and white.
If found, please return."
The missing feline belongs to waitress Rhonda Harris.
"She always sits up here on the front counter," Harris said. "All the customers like to pet her while they pay their tickets."
While most restaurant patrons would cringe at the thought of cat curled up beside their take-out orders, customers at Smokey Holler Caf don't mind this little kitten-probably because the cat in question is only a stuffed toy.
"She looks so real and has soft fur like a rabbit," Harris said. "Everyone loves her."
The tabby has been missing since lunchtime last Thursday. On Friday morning, Harris found the following ransom note:
"Dear Cat Owner,
I want $5 in unmarked bills. Please leave in envelope under fried pie by 5 a.m. Saturday morning.
The Cat Napper"
As instructed, Harris left the ransom in the specified location.
As she and Smokey Holler Caf owner Tina McCrory prepared for the breakfast crowd, the kidnapped kitty reappeared just as quietly as it had disappeared two days earlier.
But the joke may have ended up on the Cat Napper.
"Rhonda left a big $5 bill of play money under the fried pie," McCrory said. "We still don't know who the Cat Napper was. Nobody's seen anything and nobody's talking."
Minus the mishap with the play money, this cat napper nearly got away with the purr-fect crime.

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