On Monday night around 1:00 AM three college students stole an 18-year old black cat from in front of a house on Utica Street in Brockport.
At 12:54 AM, noise from the street woke me up and when I looked out the window I saw 3 college students on the edge of my lawn. They looked like they were trying to help one of their drunken friends who had either fallen down or sat down on my front lawn.
It happens all the time in Brockport. Just last Saturday night, I was awakened by a similar noise and I saw a female college student flat on her back on my front lawn. Two male college students were trying to help her to her feet. They got her up and the three of them staggered down the street.
My first thought was that the same thing was happening on Monday night/Tuesday morning,
But I was exhausted, so I collapsed back into bed. I had been working on the house all day – scraping, painting, moving ladders around – and I was so tired I could barely move.
Then I realized that I had actually seen the three students stealing my 18-year old cat, who I call Ugliier and the rest of my family calls Java.
When I had looked out the window, the three students had been squatting down on my front lawn by the sidewalk and on the path to my front porch. I heard one of the students, a female, say, “Pick her up.” And another one of the students, a tall thin male, picked up my cat, who was lying on the path to my front porch.
But by the time I jumped out of bed they were gone.
In the morning, I called the Brockport Police and asked if I should file a police report or wait until later in the day to see if my cat came back home. I couldn’t really believe my eyes. Maybe it was all a dream, I had been so tired, And why would anybody steal my cat?
The Police Chief told me to file a police report immediately.
A few minutes later, a Brockport Police Car arrived at my house. As I was filing my report with Police Officer Mike Detoy, a female college student walked by and I asked her if she had seen my cat. She replied, "No, but my roommate texted me this morning, OH MY GOD! Some college students just stole somebody's cat."
The student, Ariel, who lives 2 doors south of me, said that her roommate, CJ, had actually seem the 3 college students steal my cat and then walk east on Adams Street toward Main Street. That text was sent at 12:58 AM.
Once the police officer left, I started walking through the neighborhood looking for my cat, and asking everyone I met if they had seem her.
The cat is old, and if the students abandoned her on the street, then she would probably not be able to find her way home.
Because the cat thieves had walked east on Adams Street, the cat thieves probably live in the southeast quadrant of the village, so that’s where I went.
As I was walking back toward my house I noticed a group of college students talking to someone pulled over by the curb in a black car, so I walked over to ask them if they had seen my cat. It turned out that the Police Chief was in the car talking to them about my stolen cat.
Brockport residents owe that man a huge debt of gratitude for the outstanding way he does his job.
When I got home I made up a flyer with the cat’s photo on it and a description of what happened, and I printed 100 copies.
Then I walked back out into the neighborhood and gave one of the flyers to everyone I met.
Everyone was shocked – college students, college staff, village residents. Each and every person I talked to thought it was atrocious that someone would steal my cat. The most common phrase I heard was, “I’m sorry. Why would anyone steal a cat?”
Who knows: maybe they’d been smoking dope, maybe they’d been drinking, maybe they are just plain stupid.
I spent the whole day walking through the streets of the village looking for my cat, talking to everyone I met, and leaving a flyer at each house I passed.
Each time I ran out of flyers, I ‘d walk home and print some more. By the end of the day I had printed so many flyers that my printer cartridges ran out of ink, and so did the brand new ink cartridges I put in to replace them.
Later in the day, I met CJ, and she told me that she thought that it was two male students and one female student who stole my cat.
She had overheard them talking and thought one of the male students said that their landlord didn’t allow them to have pets. But the girl said something like, “We’re taking the cat anyway.”
She also thought they said something about the dormitories, but that didn’t make any sense to her because when they walked away they didn’t walk toward the dormitories, they walked in the opposite direction.
I thought it had been two females and a male. So what we know is this; one of the thieves is female, one is male. The third thief may be male or female.
With one exception, everyone I talked to about my cat was caring and supportive. As I walked back to my house to print more flyers, college students would ask me, “Did you find her yet?”
Village residents suggested that I contact the town dog warden and the animal hospital. Several students said if I gave them flyers that they would post the flyers on the campus. Some people who work for the college said they would spread the word on campus (and they did).
One woman, who I have never met, called me late in the day to tell me that she lives on Main Street and had gotten one of my flyers. She called to tell me she was sorry and that she would look for my cat.
Connie Cataneda’s sister even came out of her house on Main Street and ran after me to tell me that she had seen a black cat on Centennial Street as she was walking her dogs that morning.
People were amazing. Everyone was pleasant and supportive, except one person, Rhett King, the college landlord who lives at 20 Adams Street. Rhett has a long-standing reputation for being a jerk and he lived up to it yesterday when he said, “Get off my property.”
Later, when I asked Ariel what her generation would call somebody like that she replied, “Douchebag”.
So Rhett King is now officially a “Douchebag”. If you meet him, please tell him he is a douchebag, and feel free to use any other profanity laced phrase you can think of. Now that Rich Miller has been chased out of the village for voting illegally in village elections, it looks like Rhett King has taken over Miller’s old role as the biggest jerk in Brockport.
Everyone else in the village was great and offered to do all they could to help.
The cat is old, she’s as dumb as a brick, and she pees on the floor every day, so the thieves may abandon her on the street at any time.
She is the sweetest cat on the face of the earth, and she will come to anybody to get petted. The kids in the neighborhood love her because she’ll walk right up to them and meow to be petted. Then she’ll flop over on her side and start purring loudly.
So if you see my cat, please pet her, don’t let her out of your sight, then call the Brockport Police or the phone number on the flyer.
The bright side of things is that I met a lot of good people yesterday. I saw a side of the college students that I wouldn’t normally see. I met people I normally wouldn’t meet.
I also didn’t have to clean up cat pee from the kitchen floor this morning. But I bet the cat thieves will have to clean up cat pee.