News that a cat has been kidnapped spreads like wildfire. News that the cat has been rescued spreads slowly.
Maybe that’s because when people were handed a flyer about the cat being stolen, they sare hocked and appalled that anyone would steal a cat, and they asked themselves what they could do to help.
So they posted the flyer on a bulletin board or passed the flyer on to someone else. Then they told their friends about it. In short, news about the stolen cat went viral.
That hasn’t happened with the news about the rescue.
Ten days after the stolen cat was rescued by a SUNY Brockport college student and returned to its owner, people are still asking about the cat.
On Thursday, as I was painting the front of my house, a woman walking west on Adams Street, changed direction and went out of her way to ask me if I had gotten my cat back. She was one of the hundreds of people I had given a flyer to as I tried to find my cat.
Every day, numerous students, going back and forth to class, ask about my cat.
One man coming back from campus stopped to chat because he was really concerned and wanted to know how I'd found my cat.
But despite a concerted effort to let the community know that the cat is home safe and sound, good news still travels at a snail’s pace.
Last weekend I put up a hand drawn bed sheet sign thanking the people who helped find my cat. Students walking by would cheer when they read the sing. Students driving down the street would roll down their windows and shout out “I’m glad you got your cat back,” or “That’s great news about your cat.”
People passing by kept saying how happy they were that the cat was back home again.
You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
Yesterday a male student walking by pointed up at the cat sleeping in the bedroom window and said, “Hey! I see you got your cat back.”
He had heard that the cat had been stolen, but he hadn’t heard that it was back home safe and sound.
The good news might spread a little farther and faster, because the local media has picked up the story.
The campus newspaper, The Stylus, ran a story about it: Students rally to find local resident’s stolen cat.
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle ran a piece about it in the Thumbs up, down section on the editorial page of the September 7th edition..
“For three Brockport cat burglars. A village resident says three college age youths abducted his pet from outside his house, then dropped it off on The College at Brockport campus about a mile away. Happy Ending: The college community pitched in to search and the cat was found and returned to her owner.”
It’s on page 16A of the print edition and (Page 2 of 2) of the Thumbs up, thumbs down page on the D&C website.
The Suburban News ran a story, “College student rescues stolen cat” on page 16 of the September 8, 2013 edition.
According to the police investigation, the student’s didn’t mean to steal the cat. They thought it was a stray. But pets aren’t allowed in the dorms, so it seems they weren’t thinking clearly, if at all. Perhaps their minds were dulled by drugs or alcohol.
But saying they thought the cat was a stray doesn’t explain why they thought it was a good idea to leave the 18-year old cat outside, almost a mile from where they found it, just as autumn weather set in.
It rained a lot this past week in Brockport, and the overnight temperatures have dropped into the 40s. Leaving on an old cat outside in cold, wet weather is not a formula for success.
Hopefully the three students will learn from this experience, and act in a more appropriate manner in the future.
The matter is now in the hands of the Office of Student Conduct. Let’s give them the opportunity to show their stuff. Let’s not pass judgment until we see how well they deal with it.