Friday, April 20, 2018

Saved by the balls

Napoleon update: His furry little life was so harrowing this week! As he approaches his first birthday, he is quite the bruiser, very strong and healthy. When I think about the sad fate met by his momcat and littermates, it's amazing how lucky he is, being adopted by Caleb and Randi. They may be homeless, but they lavish him with love, attention and care. He's up to date on his shots, but he hasn't been fixed yet. Turns out, that's a blessing.

Caleb and Napoleon are high profile, panhandling together on Michigan Avenue street corners day in/day out.That has its benefits: local beat cops know them on sight. And it has its downfalls ... like Monday.

An "older woman" (Caleb's words; I suspect she might be younger than I am) came upon them and announced, "That's my cat! You stole my girl! That's Pussy Fru!"

Caleb told her he's had Napoleon since he was a tiny kitten, and that Napoleon is a he. (Blogger's note: no one who names a cat "Pussy Fru" should be allowed to have one.)

She reached for Napoleon, who was wrapped in blanket and tethered to a harness. "Do. Not. Touch. Him. You. Bitch." Caleb said, "Don't hate me. I was trying to be as tough guy as possible. Napoleon is my baby!"

The woman left but, unbeknownst to Caleb, returned. She and her husband were sitting in a big old car, idling at the corner, waiting. As Caleb was packing up for the night, the woman got out of her car and actually picked up the cat. What she hadn't counted on was the leash, which Caleb stands on when he can't be looking at Napoleon to make sure his baby doesn't travel. When he felt the tug under his foot, he spun around and saw her making her way to her car with Napoleon!

By the time he got over to her, her husband had gotten out of the car and taken Napoleon. This cat is usually very chill, but he's not accustomed to being held by anyone but Caleb or Randi. So he unsheathed his claws and took a piece out of the man's neck. The man, naturally, dropped Napoloen and Caleb punched him in the face. He picked up the poor frightened cat and started back to his cart when a cop arrived. After all, the woman had been screaming, "Pussy Fru!" the whole time. Even in Chicago, that will garner attention.

So they all got a ride to the police station. The woman insisted that Caleb was not a homeless man, but a hipster from Palatine (a suburb northwest of Chicago) who stole her cat, the unfortunately named Pussy Fru.

The top cop on duty checked under Napoleon's tail and announced that since Napoleon is a male, and Pussy Fru is a female, Napoleon cannot possibly be her cat. He told the couple that they had no standing to press charges for the assault because they were stealing Caleb's "property" and he was merely defending it.

As Caleb and Napoleon were leaving the police station, one of the cops that they see every day recommended that Caleb get "proof of ownership," so that this doesn't happen again. He's going to try to get a copy of vet's records detailing Napoleon's shots last fall. He also asked me if I'd sign "an affidavit or something" that says I've seen him with the cat regularly since Spring 2017. I told him that of course I would.

There's a notary public in my building. Maybe I'll just write something up myself and have it notarized for Caleb to carry.

April Challenge -- Day 20

Learn more

Put your iPod on "Shuffle," write the first three songs and share your thoughts.

"You and I" -- Barbra Streisand
Her voice is a complete delight in this one. She goes from a whisper to a belt, holds notes forever and proves that what she insisted at the beginning of her career is, indeed, true: She's not a singer, she's an actress who sings. 

"Shameless" -- Garth Brooks
I love early 1990s Garth.

"Dancing in the Moonlight" -- King Harvest
 A summertime song. Beginning with the first chords, it takes me back.  I remember which kids I babysat for (Stephen and Jeffrey) and which Cubs started in the infield (Santo, Kessinger, Beckert and Hickman) when this was popular.


If you're interested in seeing the April Challenge prompts and joining in, click here.