On my way back from the gym this morning, I saw this sign taped to a pole. PUGS FOR SALE. It depressed the hell out of me. The mother’s face says it all. She knows her kids are not only going to be taken away from her, but separated from each other as well. She knows she’ll never see them again. And here’s where I’m going to stop because if I go any further, I’m going to start thinking about how my own dog, every time he sees a German Shepherd on TV, looks over his shoulder at me and plaintively says, “I miss my Mom!” and then I’m going to be forced to get maudlin and all “girly”. And we certainly don’t want that. I mean, the next thing you know I’ll have a MIDI file embedded on this page of a sappy song that blows enough in its original form but suffers even more in the new incarnation.

Signs advertising puppies, or any other animal, for sale do little to elevate my mood. Indeed, if I’m in a good one (and no, it’s not as rare as you may think) (remember, you don’t know me in real life), the sight of a sign like this instantly reverses that mood for at least an hour. Signs advertising FREE animals plunge me into despair for as long as it takes for me to get the mini-lobotomy necessary to remove that part of my brain responsible for the storage of memories that would otherwise keep me even more awake at night. And signs advertising LOST animals … well, let’s just take a tip from the modern lingo so popular with the kids these days and say, “Don’t even go there.”

My cat, who spends a fair amount of time by my side when I’m in this room, is a “lost” cat. Someone else’s. When she was a kitten, she was found by someone I’ll just call S at a suburban Philadelphia train station, where S saw her every day for quite some time, just sort of hanging out and mewing like mad. There was no sign around pleading with anyone to return a lost kitten. No one knew her. S, who admitted that she wasn’t really a “cat person”, scooped the poor thing up anyway and, to make a not so long story short, the kitten wound up with me. And a trip to the vet confirmed that the shaved belly she presented, although perhaps all the rage among the renegade punk cats in England, was only an indication of a recent spaying here in this country.

It’s been two years and four months since S rescued the kitten from the train station, and almost that long that my cat has been thanking me every day for caring enough about her to take her in. Of course, she shows her thanks in ways that I misinterpret. I mean, who knew that peeing on the bed was an indication of gratitude? But then again, the cat’s lack an opposable thumb is probably why she didn’t just leave a nice thank-you card instead.

P.S. Yes, I did blur the phone number on the little slips of paper at the bottom of the “Pugs for Sale” sign. I’m sure that whoever is selling the puppies wouldn’t appreciate being bombarded with hilarious calls reminiscent of the Beastie Boys and/or this Crank Yank Prank Skank (or whatever the hell it’s called) crap that everyone seems to think is funny (but which I think blows … and which could be the subject of another post, but which I assure you won’t).
P.S.S. Even if you squint really hard, you still won’t see the phone number. But if you gently stare at the blurs long enough, then just like with those Magic Eye (sp.?) drawings, something might pop out in secret code!