The owner of a missing cat is asking for help. "My baby has been missing for over a month now, and I want him back so badly," said Mrs. Brown, a 56-year-old woman. Mrs. Brown lives by herself in a trailer park near Clovis. She said that Clyde, her 7-year-old cat, didn't come home for dinner more than a month ago. The next morning he didn't appear for breakfast either. After Clyde missed an extra-special lunch, she called the police.
When the policeman asked her to describe Clyde, she told him that Clyde had beautiful green eyes, had all his teeth but was missing half of his left ear, and was seven years old and completely white. She then told the officer that Clyde was about a foot high.
A bell went off. "Is Clyde your child or your pet?" the officer suspiciously asked. "Well, he's my cat, of course," Mrs. Brown replied. "Lady, you're supposed to report missing PERSONS, not missing CATS," said the irritated policeman. "Well, who can I report this to?" she asked. "You can't. You have to ask around your neighborhood or put up flyers," replied the officer.
Mrs. Brown figured that a billboard would work a lot better than an 8"x11" piece of paper on a telephone pole. There was an empty billboard at the end of her street just off the interstate highway. The billboard had a phone number on it. She called that number, and they told her they could blow up a picture of Clyde (from Mrs. Brown's family album) and put it on the billboard for all to see.
"But how can people see it when they whiz by on the interstate?" she asked. "Oh, don't worry, ma'am, they only whiz by between 2 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. The rest of the day, the interstate is so full of commuters that no one moves." They told her it would cost only $3,000 a month. So she took most of the money out of her savings account and rented the billboard for a month.
The month has passed, but Clyde has not appeared. Because she has almost no money in savings, Mrs. Brown called the local newspaper to see if anyone could help her rent the billboard for just one more month. She is waiting but, so far, no one has stepped forward.
A man accused of failing to return more than 700 children's books to five different libraries in the county was released from jail yesterday after a book publisher agreed to post his bond of $1,000. The publisher said, "There's a story here. This is a man who loves books. He just can't let go of them. He hasn't stolen a single book. So what's the crime? We think that Mr. Barush has a story to tell. We plan to publish his story."
When asked why he didn't return the books, Mr. Barush said, "Well, how could I? They became family to me. I was afraid to return them, because I knew that kids or dogs would get hold of these books and chew them up, throw them around, rip the pages, spill soda on them, get jam and jelly on them, and drown them in the toilet."
He continued, "Books are people, too! They talk to you, they take care of you, and they enrich you with wisdom and humor and love. A book is my guest in my home. How could I kick it out? I repaired torn pages. I dusted them with a soft clean cloth. I turned their pages so they could breathe and get some fresh air.
"Every week I reorganized them on their shelves so they could meet new friends. My books were HAPPY books. You could tell just by looking at them. Now they're all back in the library, on the lower shelves, on the floors, at the mercy of all those runny-nosed kids. I can hear them calling me! I need to rescue them. Excuse me. I have to go now."