Agua con Gato Muerto

Brief by Central Staff

Salida Water – August 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

On the evening of July 5, just as Salidans were relaxing from a busy Independence Day weekend, police cars with sirens and bullhorns were making the rounds.

We were outdoors and heard them from several blocks away. All we could make out from the announcement was something about “water,” and my first thought was “Boy, they’re really cracking down on people who water their lawns on the wrong days. Sounds like a full-bore SWAT team.”

Eventually, they got closer and we heard it was an announcement that Salidans were supposed to boil their drinking water until further notice. The next day, the gossip of the Tuesday evening single-malt scotch tasting society was confirmed by a story in the paper: A cat carcass was found in a water line that was being laid, and to be on the safe side, the city issued the boil order.

It was still in effect on Friday, when Ed went into the Book Haven to see about an ad. Haven asked him how he was, he replied truthfully that he was hot, tired, and thirsty. “I have some pre-cat water,” Haven helpfully offered.

This led to further discussion. One person blamed it on terrorism: An al-Kat-eida feline suicide attack. A brewer could commemorate the week with “Dead Cat Ale,” non-potable Salida water could be bottled and sold as souvenirs of “The Week of the Cat Water,” and if Salida needs another summer festival, we could try “Fiesta del Agua con Gato Muerto.”

Actually, we were glad to go back to drinking tap water on July 8. Ed notes that he accidentally drank a little forbidden water one night when he was groggy, and has so far suffered no ill effects, other than being hot, tired, and thirsty.