Paul V. Coates — Confidential File, July 29, 1959

1959_0729_mirror_cover_thumb

July 29, 1959: The "Orientals" being sent to Congress from Hawaii include future Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.
And notice the story about Nikita Khrushchev being invited to visit the U.S.

1959_0729_mirror_extra_thumb

And the Mirror-News brings out an extra about the arrest of Carole Tregoff Pappa, the girlfriend of Dr. R. Bernard Finch, in the death of his wife, Barbara Jean Finch.

Confidential File

Great White Hunter White Feels Blue

Paul CoatesI present you with my recently completed thesis on the subject: "Proper Protocol to Get a Wildcat Out of Your Back Yard."

My collaborator on this project was Mr. Keith White, an engineer.

Mr. White, who lives in Northridge, first suspected that there was a wildcat in his back yard several weeks ago.

For
no apparent reason, huge branches of eucalyptus trees began crashing
down on the premises in the middle of the night. Two of them — 5 or 6
in. thick — were snapped off last weekend.

So, at 1:30 Monday
morning — when White's dog began barking furiously — he and his son
Charles, 16, set out to investigate. And, beaming a powerful flashlight
around the property, they soon found their wildcat.

The animal
was perched in an eucalyptus tree about 100 yd. from the house. It had
eyes the size of silver dollars, set about 5 in. apart. It was a big
cat. No doubt about it.

July 29, 1959, Traffic Immediately, father and son retreated indoors and White picked up the phone. He called the sheriff's department.

"Can you come out and kill a wildcat?" he asked.

They couldn't. White's property wasn't in their jurisdiction. He'd have to call the Los Angeles Police Department.

So he did. And the sergeant promised he'd dispatch a prowl car to investigate.

White waited about half an hour. No prowl car came. So he called again.

"Sorry," he was told, "but we decided that it's not a police matter. Call the animal shelter."

Going
on the theory that the wildcat was a patient one, and willing to wait,
he dialed again. "Can someone come out and kill the wildcat before it
kills us?" he asked.

The animal shelter man was very apologetic.
He didn't have a gun. But Mr. Jensen, the manager, would be in the
office bright and early in the morning. Maybe he could help.

It was 4 a.m. by then, so White decided to call it a day.

However,
the following morning, he got a call from Mr. Jensen, who said that
while the city could do nothing, he'd be glad to contact the state.

And
he was true to his word. About an hour later, he phoned back to report
that the state poisons coyotes, but it doesn't shoot wildcats.

"You'll have to contact the federal government," Mr. Jensen said. "Talk to the U.S. Wildlife Service. Ask for Mr. Elder."

The cat, of course, was gone by now, but when White observed the size of its tracks, he decided to persist.

He telephoned the U.S. Wildlife Service and asked for Mr. Elder.

July 29, 1959, Abby "Mr. Elder's on vacation," a cheery voice informed him.

Undaunted, White explained his problem and asked if Mr. Elder had an assistant.

The
answer was, of course, no. "I'm afraid you'll just have to wait until
Mr. Elder gets back from vacation," the voice continued, "and I have to
admit that I don't even know when he's expected."

Now,
definitely daunted, but desperate, White tried again at the LAPD. He
got a sergeant who referred him to a lieutenant who referred him to a
third party who suggested that he go out and shoot the animal himself.

"I don't," he answered meekly, "have a gun."

"Ummm," was the studied reply.

Then White asked: "Could I go out and buy a gun and kill it?"

It's Not Permitted

"You'll have to get a permit."

"Can you give me a permit?"

"Oh, no. You have to make a written application."

"How long," gasped White, "does that take?"

"Well, it has to go through channels, you know."

There was silence. "Suppose," White finally continued, "I just went out and bought a gun and killed that cat without a permit?"

"Then," was the firm reply, "you'd probably be arrested."

With
White's luck, that's probably how this story's going to end. He'll buy
the gun, shoot at the wildcat, miss and wind up in jail.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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