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Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Homeless with two cats"

There's a young homeless woman outside a supermarket in Holborn with a sign that says "Homeless with two cats". I can't get it out of my mind.

There was no sign of the cats in the shop doorway but then there wouldn't be, would they? Having observed that cats tend to regard a single home as not entirely adequate and usually make sure they are fed somewhere else as well, I am surprised at the loyalty of creatures who are "kept" by somebody who has nowhere to keep them.

But then I thought, is this one of those marketing messages that has been proven to get round human defences? Can it be the case that people will pass by a fellow human in need but will turn and reconsider once they find out that there are a couple of cats involved? And does it only work when you refer to multiple cats? It doesn't bear thinking about. Nonetheless, I have been.

2 comments:

  1. The Big Issue seller outside Barclays Bank in Camden Town has a cute dog. Needless to say, no one buys his magazine but he's inundated by tins of dog food.

    On a cat note, I was surprised to see in Lyon's central thoroughfare recently, an accordian player who had two cats sitting quite contentedly at his feet. I wondered if they might be drugged, or perhaps they were just used to retreating into their own world. Anyhow, the cash was rolling in.

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  2. The last time I was in Manhattan, I found myself wandering down 5th avenue at some point, in the very small hours, and I was transfixed by the surreal sight of a beggar set out on the steps of St Thomas Church, replete with cardboard sign, and two cats neatly sat on the spot either side of it.

    I spent the rest of the evening boggling over quite what you'd have to do to coerce cats into co-operating to that extent, but then I'm a dog person.

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