A week ago on the fishing trip there was plenty of time for stories since the fishing was so slow. One of the best ones came up when Truman, the disabled guy who I wrote about, asked the charter captain how was it that he always seemed to know where he was on that big body of water. Capt. Billy pointed out the instruments on board which assisted in helping him determine his position and observed that there were a number of visual landmarks as well, especially for someone like him who had been guiding on the Chesapeake Bay for over 20 years. He went on to say that his ability was restricted to on the water and that on land he was quite capable of getting lost. He then told the following story.
When Capt. Billy was a young man an uncle offered use of a cabin in the West Virginia mountains when he wanted to get away for a romantic weekend with his girl friend. Capt. Billy eagerly accepted and soon drove up with the young lady. Shortly after arriving at the cabin, the two decided to go for a walk in the woods. As they were leaving, he noticed a cat hanging around the cabin. Although the cat looked distressingly skinny, Capt. Billy wasn't too bothered because he never cared for cats.
Enjoying the scenery of the mountains, they walked for a number of hours, and at some point Capt. Billy realized that he had lost his orientation and wasn't sure of the way back. With the pride that young men often have, he didn't mention that he was lost to the girl and hoped that he would see something that would give him a clue of where he was. Finally, the young lady mentioned that they had been gone a while and that since it soon would be be dark, they should probably return to the cabin. Just before Capt. Billy started to admit to their predicament, he noticed the same cat that he had seen earlier at the cabin.
Yes, that cat led them through the woods, up and down hills, and back to the cabin. At the cabin, his girl friend was probably puzzled that Capt. Billy, who she knew disliked cats, was feeding this guide-cat anything it wanted. He had such gratitude to the cat for bringing them back that he would've given that cat anything and continued fussing over the cat for the reminder of the weekend. When it was time to leave for home, Capt. Billy decided the cat was going with them. That cat remained a valued pet for years.