Editorial by Tom Demerly.
Everybody has stories about things that happened
on a ride: "Remember when Al got that flat and it started
raining and then there was that flash flood and
Now I have one, and I need your help.
Jim and Pam Gentner, good customers of ours- they
live down the street from my Mom- were on a ride today coming
back from Northville on Hines Drive. That's the usual route
for cyclists going east and west out of this area. It's a superb
ride. Jim is an electrician and has done a lot of electrical
work here in our store. Jim and Pam's daughter, Liz, is dating
our store manager Nate- and they make the cutest couple.
So Jim and Pam are riding back from Northville.
Jim sees a dead cat on the side of the road. Very sad. Then
he sees another, and another, and a fourth. Strange and worrisome.
Jim and Pam being more than decent people stop to investigate
what appears to be an atrocity of the worst measure.
What Jim and Pam discover is those four cats approximately
6 months old have been abandoned by the side of the road. I
won't get into my thoughts about the type of person who is desperate
and unfeeling enough to do such an awful thing, but suffice
it to say, and pardon my language, the world can be a fucked
up place filled with selfish, stupid people who make it that
way. Four poor little six-month-old cats.
So Jim wonders about what to do. He could call
the animal shelter but that is clearly a last resort. Pam and
Jim are people of conscious so they don't just get on their
bikes and ride away. So they call me.
I drive out to where they are about ten miles
from here and find that one of the four cats has been spooked
and crawled into the wheel well of a rickety pick-up truck.
It belongs to a man who looks like an extra from the movie "Deliverance".
I'm sure his first name ended in "-Bob". I speak disparagingly
of this man because he is now yanking on the cat's tail in an
attempt to dislodge it from the inner wheel well, pouring water
on the cat from above, and banging on the side of the vehicle
in a dim-witted ploy to dislodge the poor cat. The more he antagonizes
the little cat, the more firmly it becomes wedged. I admonish
him gently to walk his hound dog (not kidding) while I try to
use my superior intellect and natural affinity for animals to
persuade the terrified animal to come out.
I fail. The cat is wedged and no amount of gentle
tail petting and soft, gentle words will coax him/her out. Pam,
Jim and I try to think something up, call the animal shelter's
emergency number (they're busy) and Slim Pickin's returns from
his 'coon hunt. He throws hound doggy in the back of the pick-up,
grunts briefly at the tail protruding from the body work, mutters
something about his Grandma who's diabetic and has to get home
and drives off with the cat wedged in the truck. I am not kidding.
Then they were three.
I corralled the three, which didn't require much
work- they were very willing. They jumped in my car and took
their respective positions. I drove back to the bike shop. Usually
when you put a cat in car and start driving you get kitty Jihad.
Not these three though. Perhaps they knew they were being rescued.
Maybe it was just the first time in days things were starting
to look up for them. It looked like they'd each missed a few
meals and could use a good brushing. I got them back here to
the shop, built them a litter box and posted a notice on Dan
Empfield's Slowtwitch.com forum and then wrote this editorial.
Here's where you come in, and pack your bags I'm
taking you on a guilt trip.
I have to find homes for these cats. I have to
do it because no one else will. If I take them to the animal
shelter they will put them in those wire cages like a kitty-Auschwitz.
They will have 3 square feet of environment, all sheet metal
and wire. I won't do that. Over 70,000 people a month see this
website. We only need to find homes for three cats. I already
called several people. I put a sign up in The Little Café
where I get coffee every morning. I'm telling everyone.
So, this is a chance to do something good, something
right, something selfless in a sometimes really screwed up world.
These cats are totally lovable and loving. They are 100% socialized
and love people. They need some shots probably and their "parts"
fixed and a litter box, some food, some water, some love and
in return I guarantee hours of entertainment and a healthy dose
of genuine affection in return.
Also, everyday when you come home and they come
running to greet you (they're already doing that to me) you'll
be reminded you did something good, something right. You made
a difference for the better in a world full of selfish, desperate,
unfeeling people who are capable of awful things. It takes a
special person to have empathy and love for an animal that has
been abandon. Sure, the thing will probably puke, piss or poop
where it shouldn't at least a few times during its life span.
But you will be a better person for having taken one into your
home and cared for it. And you'll have a good story to tell
about a ride someone went on. The cats have no names so you
can call them whatever you want. You can call us at (313) 278-1350.
Good homes only please.