Column: Who will make the first top 10 list of interesting people in Albert Lea?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 4, 2005

Every community has its share of interesting people. They might be the ones who are the artists, the musicians, the globetrotters. They seem to beat a different cadence than the rest of us, but they are fun to talk to &045; to have in our lives. In some cases, perhaps we live vicariously through them. They bring variety and interest and fresh ideas and new perspectives to our own rather routine lives. Every town needs such people.

Every community has its share of influential people, too, of course. They are the first ones called upon to contribute solutions to problems, serve on boards and committees or put up some financial capital to substantial community projects. They lead the parade, so to speak, of development, whether that be in attracting new business to town,campaigning for a cause at the local, state or national level, or championing a local cause. They are invited to dinners with dignitaries because they have vision or compassion or a new concept &045; in short they are respected for their work and strong character. They make things happen.

These types of people, and so many

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more, are the ones who affect positive changes to progress the community from one phase of life’s timeline to the next.

The Tribune will compile a list of the top 10 interesting/influential people in Albert Lea based on your nominations.

While I don’t want to place too many restrictions on who you might nominate, keep in mind the person should have made a significant contribution to the community; made a change to improve the quality of life in Albert Lea, or in some way positively altered or enriched it.

Send your nomination, along with a paragraph on why this person should be chosen for the list, and your name and phone number (we will not publish it) to: Editor, 808 West Front St., Albert Lea, MN 56007. You may also e-mail to Put &8220;Person of Interest&8221; in the subject line. All Submissions should be received at the Tribune by Friday, Dec. 16.

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I had supper with a group of friends the other night. As we ate our way to clean plates, we chatted our way through a number of personal and community topics. The final one was the most memorable to me, though.

What follows may be another tick for Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer to add to the &8220;why dogs are better than cats&8221; column, but I came to a far different conclusion.

One of my friends recently moved her mother (and her cat, Tyger) from a house to a one-bedroom apartment. Mom has had her share of difficulties with the change, but the cat has changed the most perhaps.

Usually not an aggressive feline, she has taken to hiding under the couch for long periods of time and attacking feet when they come near her place of hiding.

Worried the cat might turn on mom, the kids decided to seek out a pet psychic. Before you laugh, watch &8220;Animal Planet,&8221; or read &8220;The Horse Whisperer.&8221; I believe some people have an uncanny connection to animals and can translate their behavior in a way that helps their human companions understand their pet’s feelings.

The pet psychic helped the family understand what their feline friend was feeling.

After making some sort of mental connection with Tyger, the psychic told the kids the cat was unhappy in the apartment (She really preferred the house!) was under a lot of stress and angry.

Tyger was also taking the emotions her human companion wasn’t able to express, and the cat was expressing them.

In further mental communication with the cat, the psychic learned there were &8220;creepy, spirit energies&8221; lurking in the apartment building. Well, that prompted a call to a person in Illinois who would excise those bad energies right out of the place.

The pet psychic said she told the cat it couldn’t take all that on and that her human companion needed a companion, a friendly cat to sit in her lap, that sort of thing.

The children were at their rope’s end and it made some

sense, after all the cat’s behavior hadn’t been so aggressive before the move, so they took all the advice of the psychic.

As I listened to the story, caught between doubt and my inability to completely dismiss it, I had to find out if the family had seen any change in the cat. Surprisingly, there had been a change in her behavior. She was more friendly and she was seen sitting on the lap of her human companion much more often.

Say what you want: cats are intuitive and complex and need someone in tune with their personalities. I applaud her human friends who had open minds enough to find the right kind of