Keeping the world safe from Terrorist Cats

A lot of you know that I have a soft spot for cats. Persians to be precise.GooGoo-07 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. She shows and breeds Somali cats, a breed closely related to  Abyssinian cats which turns out would have been a safer breed to show, but wouldn’t have fit on a Vanity License Plate, She 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, brave the rainy cold weather and save a buck or two. 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.Somali Cat

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, toys, shampoo, brushes,anti static spray, “Summers Eve” feminine hygiene powder, which believe me is used for when your cat has an accident 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.sienna Oh, and it has black out windows. Very ominous.

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. She chose the plate number of SOMALI. 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-terrorist 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 for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.us-attacks-justice-somalia-oregon_5517471_custom 

I’m sure you can see what’s coming. My friend gets back to her car. A van, with black out windows,  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 their  guns out. Right behind them is two squad cars from the local PD. Her first thought was, “Wow, there are really serious about “Customer Parking”. She immediately cops to beating the $8.00 a day parking at the Rose Quarter, but explains that the sign for mall parking 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 nor did she see any FBI agents. They demanded to search her van though. 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. Not all that plainly marked, and to be honest you wouldn’t know what was in these jars unless you were a cat person. They all stepped way back and conferred in hushed voices.

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. Plus she was parked in the very back of the lot, had black out windows and when they had peeked in the windows there were suspicious looking containers.” So she proceeded, very cautiously,  to open one of the pet carriers and show them the cat and the ribbons from the show and explaining that 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 and the proper use of Mall Parking. One even suggested she think about a different vanity plate.

Paranoia on their part? Is the threat of terrorism translated to this level of scrutiny? I don’t know, but it did make me think that if we end up invading Iran next, I might want to consider a different breed of cats than Persians.

 

The Dirty Lowdown

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About DirtyLowdown
I was born in Pomona, California at a very young age. I had a pretty normal childhood…or I was a pretty normal child hood if mom is telling the story. I was a paperboy who always porched , usually on the subscribers porch. I washed cars and bussed tables which left me with a life time affliction of chapped lips. I was a soda fountain jock-jerk and a manic mechanic but my first real job was as a labor organizer in a maternity ward. Then, because of the misjudgment of a judge I spent nearly 10 years in the service of our country mostly on KP duty. Our country sure turns out a lot of dirty dishes. I am a past master at pots and pans. They eventually recognized my real talent and let me wander around some very unfriendly places carrying a big radio that didn’t work. Along the way I took up the bass guitar, jotting down stories, electronic engineering and earned a degree in advanced criminal activities. I spent most of my adult life, if you can call it that, working in the I.T. industry, which I was particularly suited for since we worked in rooms with no windows. On and off I taught in colleges, universities and reform schools as a student teacher… I like smog, traffic, kinky people, car trouble, noisy neighbors, and crowded seedy bars where I have been known to quote Raymond Chandler as pickup lines. I have always been a voracious reader, everything from the classics, to popular fiction, history to science but I have a special place in my heart for crime fiction, especially hard-boiled detective fiction and noir. I write a book and music review blog for all genres at The Dirty Lowdown and another dedicated to Crime Fiction and all things Noir called Crimeways. It’s named after the magazine that appeared in the Kenneth Fearing classic, The Big Clock. There I write scholarly reviews of the classic hard boiled, noir and crime fiction books from the 20's through today. Mostly I drool over the salacious pictures on the covers. I also write for Technorati/BlogCritics where I am part of a sinister cabal of superior writers.

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