Cat’s luck better than people’s good fortune

First things first. You had to know that while this summer was probably the worst summer, weather-wise, for lounging near the pool or hanging out at the beach, once you got back to NIU, temperatures were bound to soar into the high 80s for your “back to school” enjoyment.

Although I do feel like I was gypped out of part of my summer, there were a few highlights. One memory sticks out that did not seem significant at the time, but after further thought really “gets my goat,” as they say. No pun intended, you’ll understand as you read.

I worked as a reporter this summer at my local town newspaper which has a respectable circulation of over 70,000. So you could say the paper is widely read, but like many newspapers, including The Northern Star, it is sometimes hard to spark up reader response, or what is also known as letters to the editor.

With this in mind and it being an obviously slow news day, my editor did not hesitate to take Carl, an ordinary average citizen, up on his little story tip.

Carl called our office Wednesday morning in somewhat of a panic. He said the night before he was driving home and noticed a cat lying on the side of the road. Thinking it was just another road kill, he didn’t bother to stop at the time, but after a few hours he decided to go back and check on the feline which was alive and who he later named Lucky.

Carl took the injured cat to a local vet, who diagnosed Lucky with a broken paw and some ear mites. The bill ran about $100 and Carl was unable to pay the bill which was his reason for calling Lucky to the media’s attention.

Following my front page Lucky (saga) story in the local section of the paper, which ran with what some might call a cheesy close-up color photo of Lucky’s fractured paw, calls flooded the office. It was something my editor said he had never seen before.

Animal lovers from all around were calling to make donations to Lucky’s bill, and offering to take the cat off of Carl’s hands. Veterinarians called to offer free follow-up care. It was heartwarming, but only to a certain extent.

While children are dying from diseases, homeless people roam the streets in every city across America and criminals are set free with no place to jail them, a stray cat gets more than enough care.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way an animal hater, but some might ask who am I to put a human being’s needs before an animal’s. But I do, and whether right or wrong, you would never see me picketing a hospital because doctors are trying to save a man’s life with a liver from a baboon.

That’s something I have a hard time understanding. Nothing is more precious than the human life and all measures should be taken to save it if the means are there.

Rather than going deeper into the subject, I’d rather end on a happier note and answer all those who want to know what happened to Lucky.

Cat lovers will love to hear that Lucky’s rightful owner was found. Her paw was fixed and an excess of over $500 was donated to the local humane society.

I guess that’s life as we know it and another subtle, but twisted, reminder that the world is not perfect.