Cat on a roof

“There’s a cat stuck on the roof.” Devanie Angel, the CN&R’s associate editor, stood at my office door and nodded her head toward the window that looks out onto the flat asphalt-shingled roof that covers the first floor of our building. “Huh,” I said. “There’s a cat stuck on the roof.” I looked out my window and saw nothing more than the growing collection of yellow leaves along the upturned edge of the roof. No cat. I could see that response wasn’t what she was after. She likes cats. A lot. I walked to the office next to mine, where the official roof access window is located, opened it, pushed out the screen and made the awkward squeeze over the sill and onto the roof. In a falsetto voice I started repeating the words “Here kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty. Here kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty.” By now Devanie had made it down to the sidewalk and was directing my movements from there. “What does it look like?” I asked so I’d be sure to recognize it when I saw it. I guess that was in case there were more than one cat up here—I wanted to make sure I rescued the one she had seen and not some undeserving feline. “It’s dark,” she said. “but sort of like a calico.” I asked where she saw the cat. She pointed to the second-story roof, which is pitched. “Up there.” I was about to give up and climb back in through the window, when I saw the skinny, bright-eyed cat come trotting over the crest of the roof toward me. I started saying, “Here kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty,” again and stood with my arms stretched above my head offering the cat a way out of its predicament.

What a hero I am, I thought. I hoped people passing by on the sidewalks and streets below were taking notice of my heroics. “Look, that man is saving a helpless kitty,” I imagined mothers telling their much-delighted young children. “Isn’t he something?” Suddenly the cat meowed and ran past my outstretched arms and onto a tree branch that hangs over the roof. The cat negotiated the branch as it had obviously done many times before, and sort of walked, slipped and trotted all the way back down to the ground, leaving me in its wake. The cat skittered away, apparently annoyed by my clunky attempts at a rescue. I climbed back into the building thinking how vastly superior animals are to humans. Want proof? Read what follows.

The magic of e-mail makes possible missives from our readers like the one received just this week: “Why are you a human? I told you i was gonna come to look for you must really want someone to call you out on your email edicate cause your lack of response has pissed me off enough to actually make me come down n piss on your computor and make a scene i asked you for help and you didnt even give me any excuse why?you wont? that really makes me sad for all humans if you saw what i do to help the community, with the weight i,ve been given , you would realize you are a lame ass one day when you least expect it i will appear in your face i will bitch slap you with my words till you cry and ask for forgiveness you need a little your boyfreinds to save you i will not be pleasent. The Whip oh a little pic of you smellin your own ass hehe.”

This week the City Council issued a proclamation honoring the Butte Environmental Council’s 30th anniversary. Mayor Scott Gruendl read the proclamation thanking BEC for its years of environmental protection and handed a wooden plaque to Peter Hollingsworth. At that point the council broke into polite and appreciative applause. Everybody that is except for Councilmembers Dan Herbert, Larry Wahl and Steve Bertagna, who sat stone-faced and silent, unable to bring themselves to applaud these crazy environmental obstructionists who’ve done little more than impede growth in this town. Who needs that? The mayor also issued a proclamation to Tami Ritter, executive director of the Torres Community Homeless Shelter for the past five years. She was praised for her enthusiasm and received a standing ovation—even Herbert, Wahl and Bertagna got caught up in the audience’s appreciation for Ritter, who recently stepped down from the job.