Pussy Galore

Sometimes it feels like Greenpoint is the capital of Lost Kitty-land, or perhaps where all Internet cats go to retire. It doesn’t take long to find a lamp post covered with layers of lost cat posters, old ones getting covered up by new ones.  It feels as though our fine little northern Brooklyn neighborhood is overrun with free kittens, feral cats and locals looking for their lost furry friends.
Ever wonder how this happens? How do people lose their cats? Do they leave their doors or windows open? Are felines naturally attracted to those giant digester eggs at the waste facility on Greenpoint Avenue? Are Greenpointers trying to hipsterize their cats by making them “free range”? If your cat “escapes” your home, would you chase right after it? Or do people think that posting flyers all over the neighborhood will bring them back?
Look at these flyers. Many of them don’t have a good picture of their cats so the tiny chance that someone may identify their missing pet is minimized. And many say, “Goes by: Mr. Fluffypants” Really? Cats respond to names given to them? I don’t think so. And there is the phone number; what are you supposed to do with that? Call and say that you think you just saw their cat running east on Manhattan Avenue?
I do have sympathy for anyone losing a loved one, but might I suggest to all cat owners right now: Take some good mug and side profile shots of your kitty and create a missing cat flyer template now because chances are it’s going to happen.

Now, I don’t have a completely sarcastic view of this. Just yesterday, I was walking down my street and saw another missing cat flier for a very cute long-haired friend named Nappy, and it reminded me of when I lost my beloved feline Casper when I was 12 years old in a land far away from here.

I cried for days wondering if he’d ever return. Turns out he spent a long weekend inside of a truck owned by the driver for a bunch of Amish construction workers who were building my parents a new roof. (In case you didn’t know, the Amish have superior craftsmanship and that roof is still holding strong.)
I read every word on Nappy’s flyer twice and looked at the photographs of the cat, trying to memorize its distinctive properties, and while walking my dog decided to look over every inch of sidewalk and front stoops in case it might show up. I entered the phone number on my phone, even though I thought it was futile and I began looking. I actually did see a couple cats, but none fitting the description.
I began to brainstorm ideas of what would be the best way to really find a missing pet. Relying on strangers to phone in a clue doesn’t seem like enough for a lost loved one, so I came up with the idea of a pet amber alert. Of course, when I got home the Google told me that this already exists. There are companies that will robo-call your neighbors and fax missing kitty posters to your local vets for $100 or more, which seems worth it to get your pet back, but I’m not sure this would work as well in Greenpoint. First off, the phone calls are landline based. Does anyone know anyone with a landline anymore? And when you receive a robo-call, do you even listen or immediately hang up?  And why pay, when you have the crowdsourcing conscious people of Northern Brooklyn?  
So, I came up with, until someone has a better name, “The Pet Amber Alert Flash Mob Search Party Local Chapter 11222.” I’m considering the idea of a Facebook page with the same name and here’s how I think it should work: Once we get enough pet owners in Greenpoint to join this cause that anyone can and will benefit from, we will allow any member to post on the Facebook page that they have lost Mr. Fluffypants and with the help of allowing push notifications on your phone, you will be immediately be notified with a pet name, brief description, and cross streets of where it was last seen.
If the pet literally just escaped, it would mean Plan A: Anyone in the vicinity of the cross streets would meet there and fan out and also look for it on the way to the meeting point. If someone just noticed that their pet is missing, but is unsure when it took off, there’s Plan B: a doodle poll with a 12 hour window where members sign up for a time they can be available to go on the hunt. Whatever time slot that allows the most amount of people would be picked and the same search party technique for Plan A would be used.
I have this vision, that we’d end up with a whole bag full of cats if we had a big enough search party. Of course we’d have to sort out the feral cats from the bodega cats and ponder the fate of homeless people cats, but it could work. Let’s face it, those flash mobs where people dance in public makes everyone want to puke, but a flash mob of pussy hunters sounds fun and has a better cause than Glee-ing out in a mall. What do you think? You can also GPS your pet now. You can accurately find your pet on Google maps with a $100 device and a $200/year service, but most places suggest you only get it for dogs that weigh over 10lbs. Casper was definitely over 10lbs, although he’d probably find a way to get that thing off his neck. My last idea was to get some kind of catnip drone from our well-armed military, but yeah, I’m reaching.
I’m a new pet owner of an 8-month-old puppy that I would never want to lose. My partner and I decided from the get-go that he’s too much of a personal, financial and emotional investment to leave him tied up to buildings while we go shop or eat, but he’s also very, very cute.  The thought of him disappearing frightens the hell out of me, yet I still have a sarcastic bone when it comes to the insane amount of available kitties, people with three or more cats, homeless people cats, feral cats and the lost cats that make up all of those denominations. I also realize that if Greenpoint was overrun with thousands of French Bulldog puppies, we would be in much dire circumstances, since at least the gangs of cats that troll our hood have a knack for taking care of themselves, along with the random folks in the 11222 that help out the feline population. I’d love to hear your success stories on reclaiming your wild cat from the mean streets of Greenpoint.

Tony Luib has a one man blog about Greenpoint and beyond at Brooklyn Imbecile.

About Brooklyn Imbecile

I've been wandering around Greenpoint for a decade taking pictures of random shit. Yup, that's about it.

3 Comments

  1. Jo says:

    I like this idea!

    Reply
  2. Woodsman says:

    Rule #1 of pet-ownership: If the pet is smarter than you are you shouldn’t be allowed to keep it. E.g., someone being dumber than a Black-Mamba snake keeping those for pets and they too escape confinement for being smarter than their keeper.

    I’ve noticed this anomaly with cat-owners. Nearly all of them are dumber than a cat. Think carefully now … what does it mean when a cat can “OUTSMART” you and get outside? I hope this isn’t too difficult for you to think about. Is that question hurting your brain?

    If a cat escapes from an owner’s safe and supervised confinement then it only proves that that cat is smarter than the human, OR that they really didn’t care about that clearly expendable cat in the first place. This also proves they are too stupid to keep ANY pet responsibly. Not even fish. Because this is how African Cichlids got into the Everglade canals, and Eurasian Watermilfoil got into all our waterways — from pet-fish owners who were being just as astoundingly stupid and criminally irresponsible as these invasive-species-cat owners.

    So you are doing these people and any future animals that they stop adopting a huge favor by destroying their clearly expendable cat for them as humanely as possible. Otherwise that animal of theirs would cruelly suffer to death under the wheels of a car, or being poisoned, or attacked by other cats or animals, die of wounds, diseases, etc. You will be showing them that you actually care more about the humane treatment of their pet than they do — by destroying it humanely before it can die inhumanely under their criminally irresponsible care.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Free Puppy? Attention Dog Owners! | Greenpointers

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