Thursday, March 21, 2013

Helping Those in Need

If you read any of the literature on happiness and being happy, one of the things that always comes up is helping others. It seems that when it comes to creating the greatest sense of satisfaction in our lives, maximizing our hedons as it were, it's hard to beat the seemingly selfless acts of charity and doing good deeds. Thus perhaps one of the best ways to selfishly increase our pleasure is by acting in non-selfish ways.

Well, Today I put that to the test. You see, yesterday when I came home from work I was baffled by this mysterious mewing. I looked around but since I had this head cold in December my stereo hearing has been off. Consequently, I spent a good time spinning about trying to detect the origins of these sounds - until I eventually looked up.

There in the tree, on a way too high to reach branch was a young cat. The cat clearly unhappy and unable to find a way down, I found myself in the middle of a stereotype. Childhood images flashed through my mind of calling the fire department, hook and ladder trucks, and a kindly old woman happy to get Mr. Whiskers back. Then I recalled a more matter-of-fact comment that such things were ridiculously unnecessary. The evidence being that nobody ever found a cat skeleton in a tree.

So I walked away.

Guilt tinged - but when I walked the dogs later that night I didn't hear a sound. She must have climbed done I thought, "well done, cat." The next morning as I walked out to the car, a cat was meowing. The same cat in the same tree. Afraid of the dogs she must have shut up the night before. I went to work feeling a bit guiltier.

Cat at Dawn
Tonight, when I came home, I spotted the cat still in the tree. Quiet. I was not going to be that first person to discover a cat skeleton in a tree. Thus I mounted my rescue effort:

Cat at Dusk

Step One - Put on Cat Friendly clothing - 
" I come from Central Cat Command, I am here to help you."

Step Two - Get a Ladder (preferably one tall enough to reach cat)
Step Three - Make Eye Contact (and cute cooing noises)

Step Four - Pull out the stinky tuna 
(Trader Joe's has the best stinky tuna around)

Step Five - Not Pictured - Grab cat, now in a state half way between delight - for tasting tuna after at least 24 hours stuck in a tree - and terror - For being held by a man 50 pounds over the weigh limit of the ladder he was now tottering on; and scramble as quickly as possible before cat's terror reaches it's claws and teeth, or you loose your balance, whichever comes first.

Step Six - Do not get distracted by the raccoon breaking out through the brick wall
 you built to keep him out from under your house
 or thoughts of the Kool Aid Kid, "Oh Yeah!"

Step Seven - Bask in the hedons of your good deed
 watching the grateful hungry cat finish off the  can of stinky tuna

Tonight, I sleep soundly.