A lot of you know that I have a soft spot for cats. Persians to be precise. Raised them for years and used to go to shows. My cats still go to shows, but being blind, I kind of get lost looking for the concession stands. But, I have ‘cat’ friends who take my cats to the shows and still stay in touch with a lot of cat people.
Just this weekend there was a show here in Portland and I sent two of my girls. A friend who shows a different breed than Persians shared the following story in an email this evening, and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
See, times are tough, even amongst people that still pursue this hobby. So, she took her two cats to the show hall, and found out that parking near the Rose Garden was $8.00 a day! So, being the thrifty person she is she decided to park across the busy four lane road in a shopping mall. She diligently read the sign that said ‘Complimentary 4 Hour Free Parking for Mall Customers’. So, she decided that if she went in and grabbed a latte from ’that place’ she’d at least be technically a mall customer. She was even thoughtful enough and dedicated enough to go move her car every 4 hours.
All went well Saturday, and she even did some Christmas shopping at the mall after the show Saturday and had another over priced coffee before the show Sunday. But that is where the happy story ends.
She came out of the show Sunday, around 4:00 pm, had her cats and all the paraphernalia that cat people haul around to show, carriers, combs, corn starch (does marvels if your cat has an accident) shampoo, brushes,anti static spray, “Summers Eve” feminine hygiene spray, which believe me is used for even bigger accidents and is a cat show persons secret weapon, and to quote Arlo Guthery, other implements of destruction.…she had all this loaded on a little four wheeled cart and secured by bungee cords so she could cross the street safely. She makes it across the street and approaches her Toyota Sienna Van-brand new and perfect for hauling all your cat show stuff.
I remember talking to her when she bought it and suggesting the vanity plate (a pun in itself) of CAT BOX. Well, she couldn’t get that plate but she did pick out a great vanity plate. You see, she shows and breeds Somalis, like the reddish fellow upstairs on the right. By the way, she got a great deal on this van from another cat friend who works for the Toyota dealer in Corvallis, OR. She has even managed to find stickers, like you see saying “Proud Parent of an Honor Student” only these are of Somali cats. I think it’s terrible to put bumper stickers or any other stickers on a car, especially a new car, but you know these crazy cat ladies….
You probably haven’t been able to miss the story all over the news about the young American student that went to school at Oregon State…in Corvallis. The one who was born in Somalia and with the assistance of the FBI managed to plant a dud bomb near Portland's Pioneer Court House Square.
I’m sure you can see what’s coming. My friend gets back to her car. A van, with the Somali Vanity plate and the dealer license plate frame from Corvallis Toyota. She is immediately surrounded by 5 mall security vehicles and officers with there guns out. Right behind them is two squad cars from the local PD. She immediately cops to beating the $8.00 a day parking at the Rose Quarter, but explains that the sign wasn’t excluding others from parking, and besides she had her coffee cup still proving she was a legitimate mall customer. Give them credit, they didn’t have the bomb disposal van there. They demanded to search her van. So, she opens the back and besides the cat toys, cat beds and other cat items, she has a box of plastic 1 gallon mason jar type containers of detangler. They all stepped way back and conferred in hushed voices. Believe me, we spend more of cosmetics and toiletries for these cats than we do on ourselves. She finally caught on to why she was getting all this attention and asked point blank (pun again intended) if it was because of her license plate. They said, “Well, yeah.” so she proceeded to open one of the pet carriers and show them the cat and the ribbons proving it was a Somali cat. They had another conference and finally let her go on her way with a stern warning about how not to look suspicious. One even suggested she think about a different vanity plate.
A few weeks ago this may have just been a funny story. I may have even been a bit proud that law enforcement was so serious about public safety, but now….I’m not too sure.
The Dirty Lowdown