Kitty was OK; this was more of a social visit. Dr Shirley had moved and her clinic was across town. I was glad to see her, and so was Kitty. After a brief visit, we left.
On the way back, Bob and I decided that we ought to eat and decided to reroute down to the Strip District. This is the area in Pittsburgh where a lot of good foods come into town, and is just about the only place in the area where one can get decent seafood. At least in my opinion. We decided to hit Wholley’s Seafood for lunch.
”Bring Kitty in with us?” asked Bob.
”Why not. We’ll get him a little piece of halibut.” I answered.
”Ever occur to you that the little guy might go nuts in a seafood place?”
”I planned on it”, I replied.
”A cat in a seafood restaurant oughta be more chaotic than 19 blind lesbians on a tuna boat! Oh, well, what the hell.”
I grabbed my cane, doffed my shades, grabbed the little guy and off we went. Kitty was making a beeline for Wholley’s.
None of us wanted to get booted out, so we played this deal pretty straight. Some boss type looked at us, but decided that he’d probably better shut up and take us at face value. A blind patron, his pal and his guide animal.
He even asked if kitty wanted anything and fixed him up with a very nice piece of baked halibut. Free. Pretty nice of him.
Bob and I had a cup of chowder and a pretty good fish sandwich. We all ate and left.
Bob was chuckling that we’d gotten away with bringing Kitty in with us.
We were headed back to the truck when I saw her.
”Bob, target of opportunity, range 75 yards, It’s that damned reporter that raised hell at the match a while ago” I said, quietly.
”Oh, shit!” said Bob. And with that, he peeled off out of formation like a P-51 pilot after an ME-109. He vanished.
Kitty and I proceeded and the reporter addressed me. I played dumb and kept moving.
”Hey, you with the cat!” she said, loudly.
”Who, Me?” I asked.
”Is that a guide animal?” she asked.
”Now what do you think?” I answered, just on the edge of nasty.
”Would you like to see yourself on TV?”
”Whadda you, some kind of magic eye doctor?” I snapped.
”Oh, I’m sorry”. Anyway, I’m a reporter from STUV-TV and we’d like to interview you. We’ve never seen a cat used as a guide animal and it might make a pretty good human interest story.”
Bam! Snagged the bitch! Payback time!
A few years back when the media was playing the “militia scare” business up, this little twit had shown up at a local sportsman’s club and shot film of the rapid fire portion of the National Match course, zooming in on 2 National Guardsman and a Vet in BDUs. That evening it was aired in the context of being some sort of ¡ “Paramilitary training” going on in the area. The club came damned close to shutting down their DCM/CMP program for a while.
And here I had the bitch! Cameraman and all. HAH! I’ll fix THIS twit!
So I gave her an interview.
I stood there with Kitty, and looked off center toward the camera and explained how Kitty had been trained by a retired Barnum and Bailey lion tamer, and that HMOs are starting to use trained cats instead of dogs, and in general, with a straight face, gave her the biggest crock of pure, 100% unadulterated first-class bullshit that I’ve ever produced.
When the interview was over, Kitty and I started up the sidewalk. Neighbor Bob popped straight out of nowhere and rejoined the formation. He had pretty much heard it all and was laughing himself silly.
We drove home and watched the news nightly for the next week.
I went back to work and forgot about it. I guess they figured out that they’d been had and hadn’t used the tape. It became a dead issue.
I was at sea weeks later, and as I crawled out of the rack, my shipmate looked at me.
”Some guy name a Bob called. He says call home” He said.
I called. Mrs. Pic told me an anonymous caller that was looking for me worried her. She said that there was something about the voice that worried her a bit. She also gave him a date to call me.
I assured her things would be all right, and reminded her that the .45 was ready to go.
A few days ago, when I got home, the caller called again.
He told me that there had been chaos in the TV station a day after the interview. Just a couple minutes before airtime, the cameraman had run a computer search on the subject of “Seeing Eye Cats” and had gotten a link to ARFCOM. Chaos had reigned as they replaced the interview at the last minute with some copy they had on file about something or another. (Mrs. Murphy supplies Mexican Army with Clam Chowder comes to mind.)
Had the interview aired, there would be a good chance that a competitor would have aired it poking fun at the other TV station. This means it probably would have gone national.
The following morning the reporter stomped down to the Police Station demanding that the evil perp that had lied to her be apprehended. The desk sergeant took her complaint and told her he’d look into it.
(Right now my vision is in Black and White. Ol’ Sarge picks up a foot tall Mike: “Calling all cars, Calling all cars, Be on the lookout for a guy with a Seeing Eye Cat¡. Approach with caution! Cat has been reported to be an extremely vicious trained attack cat (Sirens start to whine. A Motorcycle cop adjusts his cap, pulls down his goggles, kick-starts the Harley and comes out from behind the billboard. I watch too much AMC)
Truth is that he most likely tossed the complaint into the trash can, or perhaps used it to entertain the oncoming shift during briefing.
He also asked me NOT to bring Kitty into the city for a while.
Whoever you are, Thank you!