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Editorial by Tom Demerly.

Sweet Sammy and the sisters.

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…. Blah, blah,blah."

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 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.


© Tom Demerly, Bikesport Inc.
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