I am a cat named Cinnamon. I have a log cabin Up North. It's on Snowshoe Brook in Peace Township. It is surrounded by 600 acres of private woods. My mom and dad built the one-room cabin with a loft about 15 years ago, and take me there every weekend. The pine cabin is 20 feet by 26 feet and is heated by a wood-burning stove. There is no electricity or running water.

Sounds idyllic, doesn't it?

We park on a quiet dirt road. You can't see the cabin from the road. It's hidden. We walk a quarter mile through the woods, down a hill, across the creek, up another hill, and there it is. Dad pulls the sled with all the food and water we'll need, and Mom carries me all wrapped up in my warm blanket.

One Friday night we drove through a blizzard to get there. It was almost midnight, and the snow was heavy. Saplings bent in every direction. We couldn't see the path. Dad was on his hands and knees trying to pull the sled under the branches as wind gusted and raged, and snow pelted his face. Then he heard laughing. He turned around and saw Mom crawling on two knees and one hand. Her other arm was holding me in my blanket. She was laughing her happy laugh. It doesn't get much funnier than a couple of 60-somethings crawling through a snowstorm at midnight (with a cat).

In winter, Mom feeds the deer. She even talks to them. When the weather warms up, there are some really big cats with masks and rings on their tails who also like to visit the deer feed after dark. In spring, the frogs make such a croaking racket that you can't hear anything else.

I love to watch the birds. A family of phoebes makes a nest above our back door every spring. There are turkeys that like to sleep in the trees.

One day I went nose to nose with a big black bear on the porch. Scared the heck out of Dad. I was inside, and the bear was outside on the porch steps. He was curious about me, and I was busy smelling him. Then Dad shouted and clapped his hands real loud. The bear took off, and I went scrambling inside and ran up into the loft. Now, I growl whenever I smell a bear close by.

Well, that's it for now. I see Mom throwing food in the cooler, and Dad's filling water jugs. That means it's Friday afternoon, and we'll be heading north soon. Ah, wilderness!

Bill King and Candy Sheppard, Minneapolis