La Feria News

Shrdlu Our Office Cat Dry Advice

Well, we had a good Christmas and we’re looking forward to a mighty fine New Year. We’re just that optimistic. Optimism is a good thing. Without it you get pessimistic, and pessimism is a bad thing.

We had a fine but short vacation up in East Texas, in the Piney Woods country, where hickory smoked sausages, thick ribbon-cane syrup, and the rest of that happy land’s kind of good every day eating made us awfully glad we went. The scenery was perfect, too, for the oak and gum trees were clothed in multicolored leaes, every color of the rainbow and some to spare, and the ground in the forests was covered with blankets of pine straw and the pines and magnolias were green. A couple heavy frosts added to the color – as well as to the flavor of the wild persimons.

We drove at night – and carefully. The roads were wet and crowded with holiday traffic, and the fog was heavy and the rain was wet and in sheets, but we arrived at the old homsteads for a real fair Christmas Day, with just enough nip in the air to make an overcoat comfortable.

We observed the warning of Shrdlu, our Office Cat, who is a sage when it comes to handing out the advice. Said Shrdlu, the day we left: “The driver is safer when the roads are dry, and the roads are safer when the driver is dry. Antifreeze is needed in the car’s radiator, but the driver better stick to warm overcoats.”

We stuck to our overcoat – and even drained our radiator twice.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Shrdlu our Office Cat is a cartoon that ran weekly in the 1948-49 editions of La Feria News as part of a weekly feature called “The Corner”.

We’ve been trying to discern the identity of the cartoonist that produced the Shrdlu feature, but haven’t been able to find any information online. Our best guess is that Shrdlu was a syndicated filler feature by cartoonist Nathan Collier, a journeyman cartoonist, active mainly in the 1920s.

Collier was born in Orangeville, Illinois. He studied at the Acme School of Drawing and at the Lockwood Art School. He did cartoons for the Chicago Journal, Judge, Life, as well as the feature ‘Our Own Movies’ (1920). His panel ‘Little Journeys to Yesterday’ alternated with ‘Wouldn’t It Make You Mad’. He did the comic strip ‘Kelly Kids’ around 1923 and cartoons for Life and Judge. In the 1930s, he made the panel ‘Can It Be Done?’ and the comic strip ‘The Professor’

This installment of Shrdlu our Office Cat ran in the December 29, 1949 issue of La Feria News.


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