This is a story of a little family legend. I believe it was so long ago and it was passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation, and it may or may not be true. Genealogy, on the other hand is tracing family members back by birth, death and marriage certificates. Old letters and newspaper articles are also used to complete the journey. All of the above were useful in researching my family.

Legend has it passed down from my paternal grandmother that Dodiphar Richards fell in love with Little Fawn, daughter of Big Thunder, of the Tarrantine Native American tribe. In the cold of winter, Dodiphar came down with a raging fever and Little Fawn kept him warm by covering him with bear skins. She stayed by his side, fed him and brought him back to good health.

The first settler, Dodiphar's brother James, had picked a place that had water and land to grow things. Woods and water was very important for settlements.

In those days many children died young of Typhoid Fever and other diseases, because there was no medical cure for whatever they got. They drank water from any source, and, of course, it had not been tested, as it is today. Today, the water from the lake or the pipes is regularly tested. There were no water pipes then.

In the cold, James Richards had arrived here, and told his brothers, Joseph and Dodiphar, how beautiful it was. They soon arrived and settled in the area. Lincolnville, Camden and Rockport are filled with Richards' families. If they ever had a reunion, no tourists would find room to arrive.

Many generations later, I am still living in the same beautiful town, but have not seen a Native American for a long, long time. I understand fully why they picked this beautiful coastal community to settle, “where the mountains meet the sea.” They needed to settle by woods and water.

Recently I added another generation, when I fostered a twelve year old, little old lady cat, who had arthritis and couldn't smell or hear. She was pampered for six weeks, back to good health and enjoyed her freedom, love, being petted and fed whenever she demanded it. One night she was ill and I had to send her back to Pope Humane Society, because they have their own veterinarian. She had serious kidney disease and could not come back. She had every health issue that older people do, so I said that they had better also check her blood pressure. I loved the sweet old lady cat, Jada, and missed her. When the opportunity came to foster another cat, I accepted. The old ladies are not readily adopted because everyone wants a kitten and I know how they feel.

The second one (this invisible one) is nine years old, Chloe, and they said she was shy. That is the understatement of the year. I am quiet but have had only three short sighting of her in a week. I brought a toy that looks like a banana, but is filled with catnip. She came in yesterday and was very happy with it for 10 minutes. I expect she hasn't forgot the “high” from it and will return, now she knows she is safe. She actually glanced out a large window and acted like she had not seen the world before or maybe it had been a long time.

I cannot describe her very well, because her visits are brief. She appears to be black, white and grey with a very clean white belly. What better company could there be? I shall obey her every command, and keep her water and food dishes filled with fresh supplies. She has squirrels and birds to watch for entertainment. She even has a top-of-the-line litter box.

Yesterday I had to go to the dentist and the house was empty for one and a half hours. When I returned, she came in the living room, meowing and remained. She constantly talked to me, but I did not know what she wanted. I refilled all her dishes. I tried to pat her and she inspected my hand and then ran to another part of the room. However, she stayed in the living room for the next eight hours and meowed. Then we both fell asleep until three hours later she was talking to me again. At 4 a.m. I could not think of any more conversation, but she still wanted to talk. So we did for a couple more hours, when she left and went to sleep under the bed.

I will even tell the woman who cleans, not to use the vacuum cleaner, as I am sure she would not like the noise.

Those cats train me in a very short time. Soon, I hope she is comfortable enough to let me take her picture so that I will no longer have an invisible cat.

Should I return after death, I think I would like to come back as someone's “waited-on pet cat.” It must be a lovely life.

 

Barbara F. Dyer has lived all her life, so far, in Camden and is the official town historian.