VISIT HOPE, MINNESOTA, late on a Sunday morning and you might feel like you’re in a ghost town. Except for the cats. The Hope Feline Patrol, I’ve dubbed them.
When my husband and I pulled into this Steele County town because that’s what we sometimes do on Sundays after church—hop in the car and drive to places we haven’t been to before—not a soul was in sight save those two cats.
They lounged on the porch of Hopefull Treasures, aka Wilker’s Antiques, all stretched out as if they had not a care in the world. Until I appeared.
The long-haired orange cat stirred, on alert, jumped off a weathered wooden box and wound around my leg. The tabby stayed put, flicking eyes toward me, then, satisfied that I presented no threat, resumed cat napping.
The orange cat, however, plopped down on the sidewalk in front of the antique store, rolled around for awhile and then assumed a leisurely pose with a watchful eye on the single main route through this town of 120 residents.
All the while I kept taking pictures of the cats and the antique store I wished was unlocked. It’s open only from noon to 6 p.m. on Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays or by chance or appointment. Apparently I wasn’t drawing a chance card on this day.
I knew I’d love poking around inside this place, scrounging for more story and photo treasures, plus antique and collectible treasures.
Every place, every person, every animal, every thing holds a story. And at Hopefull Treasures I’d found my story in The Hope Feline Patrol.
© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling