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February 02, 1988|JACK JONES | From staff and wire reports

Archbishop Roger Mahony says he likes to retreat now and then to the radio room in his quarters at St. Vibiana's Cathedral to enjoy being a ham operator. "It's a very convenient operation, living on the top floor of the cathedral rectory," he told a writer for the KCET Magazine. "I have the roof right above me for antennas."

Because hams are identified only by their Federal Communications Commission call signs and their first names, Mahony said, "people only know me by the name Roger." He said that appeals to him "because I don't have to get involved in long discussions about the church."

Nobody seems quite certain how many cats roam the old Warner Bros. and Columbia back lots in Burbank, although there are probably several dozen descendants of those introduced during the 1930s by the late Jack Warner to keep down the rat population.

No telling how many cats there would be if Columbia secretary Elyse Mayberry and other studio animal lovers had not been trapping the cats for the past three or four years, having them neutered, spayed and placed in homes. She guesses that her group has found owners for as many as 200, including kittens.

Still living on the combined back lots are felines with such names as Bones, Ratter, Marmalade (who hangs around Burbank Studios wardrobe) and Louie (who is in special effects).

Mayberry and her friends took eight felines to the recent American Cat Assn. show in Glendale, finding homes for all eight. These included a battle-scarred, one-eared old veteran named Dempsey and a yellow tabby named Ivan the Terrible. They plan to unload some more at another show Feb. 14.

Although the neutering and spaying have taken care of the wildness, Mayberry says, the remaining cats "are not exactly lap dogs." However, she adds, "Once they get to love you and trust you, they become neurotic for affection."

The studio, she insists, "doesn't have a rat problem."

On the matter of cats, Wildlife Waystation director Martine Colette says the state Department of Fish and Game has taken charge of a nearly blind mountain lion that strayed into a Chatsworth neighborhood a couple of weeks ago and was promptly treed by the local dogs.

The 90-pound animal, afflicted with cataracts, was rescued by Los Angeles City Department of Animal Regulation officers and taken to the Waystation, a private refuge for wild animals. Colette said the beast is being examined by state veterinarians at the fish and game field station at Sacramento.

No one mentioned examining the eyesight of the dogs.

The Wildlife Waystation, incidentally, will be a benefactor of the third annual Los Angeles Marathon when runners will be careening through the streets. At Sunset and Vine, somewhere near the 14-mile mark, what in Colette's words will be "hopefully, some terrific-looking girls" in animal costumes will be passing water and other liquid refreshment to the runners.

"I don't mean they'll be impersonating animals," says Colette, "but it will be something in the animal flavor."

St. Mary's Medical Center in Long Beach banned smoking on Monday, ruling the habit off-limits throughout the premises. It is the first Long Beach hospital to do so, spokesman Tom McCullough said.

Nurse Audrey Tolino, who said she has smoked for 15 years, on Monday evening went to what had been a smoking lounge, only to discover that things had changed. She settled for having a cigarette and a cup of coffee outside. "Well," she said, "I'm kind of glad. This might make me quit. If it was just a little colder outside, I probably would have just forgot about it."

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