Kittens In Peril

A couple of Manhattan subway lines were halted for a time last week when authorities became aware that two very young felines were last seen heading down one of the tunnels.


You have to be impressed at the power of baby animals to move the hearts of humans. It turns out nobody, not even rough-tough New Yorkers, wanted to be held responsible for mangling kittens beneath the wheels of a subway car. That’s a super-villian level of nastiness that most of us can only aspire to.

The people who decided to stop rail traffic to support the kitten search did so knowing full well they were inconveniencing commuters and costing the transit agency a considerable amount of money. Still, they took the risk expecting to be forgiven. And who can fault them? It looks like everything worked out for the best because the kittens were found and returned to their owner.

When it comes to pets in trouble, we seem to instinctively know the right thing to do.  It does make you wonder what other decisions might be made easier by juicing the narrative with pets in jeopardy. These examples of real news copy have only a few minor word changes.

From the Star Tribune:
A group of metro leaders voted Wednesday to reject a $330 million deep tunnel for the future Southwest Corridor light-rail, citing opposition to cat carnage.

From The Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace in recent months, led by consumer spending on puppy armor, according to the Federal Reserve’s survey of regional economic conditions released Wednesday.

From CBS News:
Former President Bill Clinton, once dubbed America’s “secretary of explaining stuff” by President Obama, laid out a rigorous defense of the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, urging supporters and detractors of the health care reform law to work together on its implementation instead of flat-out murdering defenseless kittens.

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
For as long as anyone in Marine on St. Croix can remember, dogs have been welcome at the village’s post office. No more. Residents learned last week that a longstanding U.S. Postal Service policy barring all dogs except service dogs in the post office would now be strictly enforced. Blaire, Linda Tibbetts’ West Highland white terrier, was crushed when she learned the news.

Actually that last one was unchanged. How can they get away with crushing terriers at the Marine on St. Croix Post Office?

As we’ve already established here on Trail Baboon, our pets tend to be more likable than most people and are considered to be members of the family.
In addition, they are:

  • True to their own nature, no matter how disgusting.
  • Possessed of distinct personalities.
  • Not inclined to do chores.
  • Allowed to nap as much as they wish.
  • Quickly forgiven for misbehavior.

A person fitting the above description is probably not someone they’d shut down any part of the New York City subway system to protect, should he wander into a tunnel.

I can think of two instances when other people went a little nuts because I might be in jeopardy, and by “other people” I mean my one and only dear departed mother.

One was when I wandered away from the group on a Scout trip to a theme park, and the other was when I decided to walk home alone from an after school program because she was late in picking me up.

When I was finally found, I was roundly (and deservedly) scolded.  Both times.

When have you wandered away from the group?

66 thoughts on “Kittens In Peril”

  1. For the record, I am rarely to be found with the group. You, oh Baboon Congress, are one of the few exceptions (and even here, I sometimes wander off-Trail for a time.

    Perhaps this is because I was terrorized early in life by the dire consequences of “wandering off”. I still remember the time I actually smiled and perhaps even talked to a gentleman on an elevator (with parents and little brother right beside me)-I have no recollection of what my parents threatened me with, but I did not sleep well and kept checking under my bed. Granted, if there was an elevator involved, we must have been in Des Moines……. can’t be too careful in Des Moines…..

    so in the fullness of time, when I was more or less “at liberty”, I mostly avoided groups–so as not to wander off from them.

    And thanks a million, Dale, now that you have reminded me of the horrific visions of kittens in peril, I will probably not be able to let either of my 2 delinquents out of my sight for the rest of the day. Again.

    Best thing is probably to just curl up on the couch with the 2 little darlings and take a long, safe nap.


    1. Wow, sounds like you were lucky to escape with your life. Imagine smiling at someone in an elavator – in Des Moines yet. You’re very lucky that you just ended up with phobias about what was under your bed.


  2. dale , i recognize the difference between getting the bog written and having the time to do the work on it that makes you feel good. you are a gifted craftsman of the written word and the time to put it together in a way you have time to tweak and mold until it feels right appears to make a difference. the ideas and flow are the same as we have seen but the aple has a little more polish and the time to be able to put it together seems to be worth it. the premise of the new deal is ok so far.
    leaving the group? most recently we were at the fair and had one of my daughters friends along who hadn’t done the fair much before so we were showing her the different stuff at the fair and i did keep noticing them having to wait for me because i was caught up in something, talking to the bonsai tree guy about how you do this and that, talking the minnesota orchestras harp player about the contract negotiations talking to the people at the eco building about the stuff they were doing. i talk to people and it takes on a moment within the moment kind of personna. i suppose that my family just explains that he talks to people we just have to deal with it. maybe someday i will march in line and look at the world presented to me the way it is and be satisified with that but there are always other things that come up.
    the other time i wandered away was 25 years ago in ireland when my wife and i compsed the group. she felt like sitting not walking and we were on some rocky crag overlooking the ocean on the side of the raod and i took the camera and hiked off saying i would be back in a bit. as i got 2 or 3 blocks down the path the direction was appearent and i followed my nose where i t led me snapping rolls of 35mm film in and out like popcorn 36 nshots , 36 more, today thats no big deal but cback in film days it was an extravagence to blow 7 dollars and commit to 7 more in developing for a moment in time but the sites were magnificent. sometimes you dont know if the power of the subject will come through in a photograph this trip i had my camera brain on and i was certain these would be exactly what i was looking for. i turned the corner and the light and the rocks and the green and the ocean was more magnificent than the previous shot, shooting back uphill where i had come from made it more powerful and the next spot around the corner an dbelow this rock was even better. i knew i was going to come back toan unhappy camper when i returned what was now cdrtain to be an hour plus later but i couldnt see leaving such a magnifacent spot never to return just because she was angsting out about where i was instead of enjoying her book.
    wish i knew where those picture were today. i have a terrible habbit of putting stuff in a box and losing it for decades. if i ma not the one who finds it it looks like a bunch of old stuff and occasionaly gets pitched without my ever hearing about it. such is the life of a collector. books vcr and cassette tapes reel to reels art photos cds and dvds all thrown into disarray by the need to get them out of here and awy where they can be sorted later. when by who…….. oh look i have wandered of the topic. i am talking to people and the people is me. i must be ready for rock bend. off in the am. the details to be worked out later.i bet ill find some people to chat with.


      1. Steve, I had to read through tim’s post twice.. since the Fair is over, do you mean you will be at Rock Bend?

        This is who previously said they were doing Rock Bend on Saturday: BiR & husband, Jim, tim, Linda, me. So do we add Steve and Bill to the list? Robin?

        City Mouse starts at noon — I’m planning on getting there around 11ish. Shall we all look for each other at the Main Stage? First one there lays out blanket or something to hold space for the rest?


        1. Yes, Bill and I will be at Rock Bend. Not Robin. We might show up a bit later than you mention. Since I don’t do well in hot air, we might not be there long. As I read your list of who will be there, I see Linda’s name. I think Bill wouldn’t mind if she rides with us (I think Linda is no big fan of highway driving).


        2. Robin is otherwise engaged on Saturday so it will be only Steve and I. As much as I’d like to offer rides to more, we will be traveling in my pickup, which really only comfortably accommodates two. There is a jump seat in the extended cab, but it wouldn’t be comfortable on an extended trip.


        3. We still hope to get there, but it’s not a done deal at this point, lots of stuff going on with my mom. Hope to see you there, Rock-Benders.


        4. Steve, I have no objection to using your Outback to make the trip. however, you had expressed a concern about how you would fare in the heat. If it gets to be too much, we two could leave anytime, but if we have other passengers, it gets a little more complicated. It’s your call, really. I’m prepared to be flexible.


        5. By the way, considering the heat forecast for tomorrow, I’m bringing an umbrella. Just sayin’…..


        6. And if I don’t bring an umbrella, hoping that will engender rain, then it won’t rain either. But keeping the beating sun off the head helps a little.


      2. ill be the early one, ill save a seat for sherrilee , linda and pj with room for bir and michael and maybe donna, factoring the arrival and early departure of steve and bill. and i will save dale a seat in case he decides to come at any tiome during the weekend and end his enigma status here on the trail not that he has achieved baboondocks spin off i think the pressure is off. he is just another player on this blog now huh? mike is on 12 -2 dale and tomorrow night i am assuming at the local joint down the road. city mouse is a fun chunk of the festival
        maybe we should save krista a seat too. i think she deserves to come and listen with us this year. i hear they reduced the admission this year too.
        ben its pretty close. clyde never mind people and crowds dont work but if i can buy you a cup of coffee beforehand ill be in st peter for breakfast about 10.


        1. Hi tim; geographical distances aside, it’s miles away for me. 🙂
          I’ve got tech rehearsals for ‘Les Mis’ tomorrow. Meeting the stage manager at the theater at 8AM to copy light cues into her script. And then a good chunk of the day in there.
          The show is coming together; I’ve been adding lights the last three nights. Might not be what the director wants, but it’s something for the actors to work with anyway.
          ‘The Miser’ at the Rep Theater opened tonight so I got that show finished up last Tuesday. And I’m maintaining my sanity; good shows, good people, a good supportive wife and family that brings me DQ blizzards, pizza, and PowerAide to drink as needed.
          I’m a lucky man.
          Enjoy the music!


        2. Do you operate the lights and run the light show for all performances or do you just set it up and assign someone to look after it is the miser and les Ms. an overlap scenario or does one finish before the next one begins


        3. tim,
          I just get things set up and the light board programmed and then someone else runs the shows. The Miser will run for 3 weeks; Les Mis for 5 weeks.
          At one theater someone came in specifically to run the lightboard and a few sound cues. At the other show the stage manager took over the light board.
          I always say it’s not so simple a trained monkey can do it; you have to know not to ‘double click’ on the ‘go’ button; and you have to be paying attention.
          Although The Miser has 12 cues and Les MIs somewhere around 200. All programmed by me.
          And by ‘programmed’ I mean getting the look onstage, recording it in a cue, and then setting the timing so they fade up or down in a manner to fit the show. Could be a 1 second count or a 30 second count. Or more or less. And with moving lights and LED’s there’s more to program such as pan, tilt, zoom, patterns, colors not to mention intensity.
          It’s kinda fun!
          Luckily both theaters have the same brand of light board so I didn’t have to relearn one or the other. And then I save it to the HD plus a thumb drive. I can load the show in an ‘off line editor’ here at home and make changes here if I wanted too…

          I hope the music was good!


  3. Good morning. My wandering has had more to do with wandering toward the wrong groups, as some people saw it, than wandering away from a group. When you wander toward certain groups you do tend to leave other groups. The groups I wander toward, which some thought were unacceptable, were the wars protestors and the hippies. My parents more or less let me make my own choices and didn’t interfere very much with my wandering. The professors who guided my graduate work, school officials, and some of the other students were among the ones who let me know they didn’t like my wandering.


    1. yes jim you are right. i remember mr kuzma the philosophy professor getting in my face during one of the protests at my school and saying ” the leaders of your movement are so weak they are illiterate loudmouths who are making noise and not good points” and i had to agree with him the guys who were standing up and waving their arms and making lots of noise were not he brightest bulbs but at least they were on the right side and the message was clear. you dont have to be articulate or eloquent to say ” no more killing stop the war get out of there” if someone were going to speak out it would have to be done in a condensed version. the attention span wasnt too good man.


      1. Yes, there may have been some people with impaired attention span. Actually, while some speakers at those rallies may have not been too articulate, there were others who were among the most articulate people you could find any place.


  4. I missed out seeing Stonehenge because I had gone on a tour of Salsbury Cathedral that took several hours, far longer than I had anticipated, since once you started the cathedral tour, it was impossible to leave it. The tour included climbing up in the rafters, attics, and every imaginable hidey-hole in that huge building. I remember looking out of an attic window seeing my group’s tour bus driving away without me, and wondering if they would come back for me.


  5. As a kid I was sweet and trusting, obedient to authority and a natural teacher’s pet. On the outside. But I early on developed a habit of contemplating things in my head, making my own decisions, and I slowly became a free-thinking rebel, even if all appearances suggested otherwise. I suppose that amounted to wandering from my group, even though I wanted to please so badly that I couldn’t admit to having sacrilegious thoughts.

    And in fact, sacrilegious thoughts were the start of this tendency. My parents, nominal Congregationalists, hoped to raise me in that church’s philosophy. (I noticed, even as a little kid, that this was the church my father’s boss attended, and that fed my skepticism.) It didn’t help my faith that our church’s minister was one of the most tedious men I’ve encountered, as well as a nasty religious bigot.

    In Sunday school I smiled and sang the songs but kept asking questions in my head. One morning our Sunday school teacher asked if anyone in the class could define God. A little girl thrust up her hand and stood up to say, “God is you and me. God is the air we breath. God is everyone and everything.” The teacher could have kissed her she was so delighted. I was shocked. I thought, “So God is the chair you are sitting on? God is a car accident? That’s just bullshit!” It would be ten more years before I had the courage to use the word “bullshit” to express my doubts about such things, but the seed had been planted. My group, when I was a kid, all believed in the religion that was embraced in our little town. But I wandered off into a sort of wilderness of doubt that ended in a crisis of faith in my first year in college.


  6. Like Linda, I got an early lesson in the inadvisability of wandering away, so in many situations I stay put but then mentally wander away– especially trainings and meetings that have dubious value to my actual job. But I also like to strike off away from the crowd. Many years back, my company won a prestigious quality award that was presented to us by President Clinton in Washington DC. Due to my work on the quality program, I was one of the group selected to travel to DC for the ceremony. On arrival day, we were offered a bus tour of DC. I plan these kinds of things for a living and didn’t think a bus tour was the best use of my time. So I declined the tour, took the Metro down to the mall and spent the whole day at the Smithsonian. Next morning, instead of a big group breakfast at a local restaurant, I went back and walked the circuit from the Capital to the Lincoln Memorial and back. Much better way to enjoy my short weekend in DC than hanging with the group!


      1. Interesting story (well, at least to me). I went down and waited in line for almost 2 hours so that I would get a really good seat. Security, metal detectors, the whole works. I was in the fourth row back on the aisle since the 1st three rows were reserved. There was about 15 minutes of various introductory remarks and then Clinton got up to speak. About 2 minutes into his speech, alarms started to buzz. He ad-libbed for a few minute (he’s very good at this) before some fire marshall types came in to say we had to evacuate the hotel due to a fire in the basement laundry. Clinton stayed on the stage kind of making sure everyone else (all the company owners from the winning companies) was escorted safely from the stage. Personally I thought that was really interesting; I’m sure the Secret Service folks were itching to get him out of there. Anyway at that point, it was all over, because even though they put the fire out very quickly and allowed us back in the hotel, the security was blown – it would have taken an hour to get everybody back through metal detectors, etc.

        So the ceremony was over, we went back to Minneapolis, but I will always remember when he walked down the aisle to get to the stage, coming within about 3 feet of me. I can completely understand why people are attraced to him… since that day I’ve always said I want to have his children!


  7. I was pretty much always told that I was ‘unique’ and that I liked to ‘go my own way.’ So, yes, I do tend to wander away from the group. (My initial response was, “There’s a group?”)


  8. My first (and only?) getting lost must have been when I was about 6, got separated from my dad in downtown Storm Lake, Iowa. All I remember is that I was sitting with the nice fellows at the police station, who had given me an ice cream cone, when Dad walked in. Not exactly the sort of thing to discourage further wanderings…

    Wandering away from the group? I am constantly vacillating between being part of a group and going my own way. Groups mean responsibility, for instance, and right now I’ve taken on some level of responsibility in every group I belong to – librarian for chorus; programmer (dj) for Tapestry, etc. As my mom begins to need significantly more of my attention, I may have to do some wandering away from the groups. But then I’ll probably hit a point when I feel too isolated, and come back…


  9. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I wandered today, having little time to log in this morning. Took the dogs to the dog park where it is hot and steamy and the dogs were growly with each other.


  10. OT – for tim, who was thinking that Rhyme Wave disappeared in the transition – I see it in upper right corner of the BBC “page.”


  11. “Not all those who wander are lost,” said JRR Tolkein.

    I remember on a trip to London in high school wandering off and spending a pleasant afternoon losing myself in the gardens at Kensington Palace. I was with a friend and we found ourselves completely detached from the group. We knew when we had to be back to meet up to return to the place we were staying, so it wasn’t too concerning, but I suppose had my mother known that her 15-year-old was wandering loose in greater London, she might have fretted a bit. I, however, was busily enjoying the quiet and the roses (and not being on a forced march through yet another Building of Significance).


  12. I don’t like groups. Never have. Even as a kid, I usually played alone or with one or two others (this tendency was strengthened by the fact that I was one of the younger ones in our tight-knit community and it was like the older kids were on a different planet…they didn’t have much to do with me or me with them). As an adult, I usually stayed on the fringes of any groups, and as I grew more disenchanted with them, gradually dropped out of them. Part of that was the fact that I don’t do well in groups of people – all the talking and noise feel to me like I am being beaten with sticks. And part of it is that some groups assume or require that you think a certain way…and when I couldn’t comply, I would leave. I thought I would never join another group until I found the Baboons. This group is different. I like it.


        1. Exactly. And, while there is a certain like-mindedness in this group, we are not required to all think and act the same. Instead, our differences are enjoyed.


  13. I can’t help but notice that this particular group predominantly post before noon – only after about an hour before I even arise! Many times , this has discourage me from posting. I always feel “late to the party”. Nonetheless, this forum has become a familiar and grounded daily activity. Whenever I see a food-related subject, I absent myself since I have zero interest in food, eating, or cooking. I also avoid Hiaku (spelling?) because I’m not clever enough to participate. Other than these two subjects, I love to hop on board. It’s been strange to have several day go by not getting my daily emails from Trail Baboon and I really am unsure how to transition to a new board.

    As to “groups”, I’m not really in any. About a dozen former high school classmates meet once every month, but I find this pretty boring because I’m so not in this cohort. I’m tiny, I dance, I’m divorced, I don’t focus on deteriorating health in spite of my cancer ordeal. I look and feel like I belong in their daughter’s cohort than theirs. They tolerate me well, but the truth is that I stick out like a sore thumb. I sometimes thing how fun it’d be to belong to a whole group of folks who have something mutual in common, but I do not.

    Lastly, my foray into Meals on Wheels is paying off: I’ve gained three pounds (my first weight gain in three years) in just the two weeks I’ve gotten this help!! Yeah!! This is wonderful to be gaining weight rather than continuing to lose it in ounces per month. Life-saving really. The volunteer yesterday actually grew up in Ames, Iowa – my home town. What’s that theory about six degrees of separation?


    1. Great the MoW is working well, CB.

      I’ve been watching, and a lot of days about half of our posts are before noon. Then there is a slow trickle through the afternoon, a small flurry (a flutter?) after people are through with work and dinner, and then it’s sporatic, but often there are a few real night owls (so the first thing I do in the morning is check out what happened while I slept).

      This doesn’t seem to have changed much this week on Baboondocks. Just click on that – if you scroll up to the top of this day, look under “Blogroll” (upper left) and click on “The Baboondocks”, third one down. There you are – click on the tiny date (in gray) under the bold one to see the comments.


    2. CB, sometimes I post in the morning but often at night. There’s a kind of anonymity in posting late at night because I don’t think anyone ever reads it so I feel more compelled to spill my guts. 🙂
      Or not. Ha! Fooled ya!

      Seriously, don’t let time stop you CB… we’ll catch up to you. Consider yourself really early for tomorrows blog.
      Glad you’re gaining weight!


      1. CB and Ben – you are not anonymous… the first thing I do when I get on the trail in the morning is check the comments from the night before!!! Bwaa haa haa!


  14. Well, Dale seems to have wandered off from this group. Nothing going on in the Baboondocks either.

    I join groups selectively, and stay for as long as suits my purposes. As a teen, I loved being a Girl Scout, and never missed a meeting. I’ve been active in any number of groups as an adult, not so much because I enjoyed it, but felt like I needed to do my part, and in some cases because it was expected of me. Riverview Garden Club, Danish American Fellowship, a couple of professional associations and the local crime watch group fall in that category. And I’ve met some wonderful people because of those involvements. I feel good about being part of a rather loose-knit network of people from all over the West Side, good people that I don’t necessarily socialize with much, but who I know would be there in a heartbeat should I need support. For 25 years I’ve enjoyed my Danish book club, but the last couple of years our meetings have been sporadic due to travels and work commitments of some members, and that erodes the cohesiveness of the group. Seems like there’s a natural ebb and flow to these things. Now that I think of it, it seems like I have been involved with an awful lot of groups, especially since I consider myself a rather solitary person. Today I’ll be in the group of baboons at Rock Bend.


    1. My thought is that Baboondocks just flows along on its own, kind of like the Saturday/Sunday blog always did, but I could be wrong about that.

      The outing to Rock Bend sounds like fun, I will think of you all while at work-as my Grandpa always said, “never complain about having work”. Too true.

      I hear Rock Bend is FREEE this year too, such a deal. Maybe next year…… but they may need to double the price by then.


    2. Sorry about the delay this morning – there’s a new post at The Baboondocks for today (Saturday). But don’t feel obliged to rush over there, especially if you’re going to Rock Bend today. Have fun, everybody!


  15. I wander away from the group every chance I get, and have been doing so since approximately 1965. Groups seem to have a hard time making decisions that satisfy at least a majority, so I’d just as soon rule myself unilaterally.

    Chris in Owatonna


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