Perspective: What Would You Do?

Dec 10, 2019

Here’s a “What would you do if…” situation I recently encountered. Outside the Art Institute in Chicago, I saw a crowd gathered around a man with a cat and a “Grumpy Cat” sign. What alarmed me was the cat was motionless.


Something was wrong, I felt. How could a cat sit so still amid throngs of people and cars whizzing by? I could only imagine that the cat had been drugged. But I walked away -- feeling nauseous, helpless and weak.


I left a message at the Anti-Cruelty Society with no response but was able to speak to someone at PAWS, the Pets are Worth Saving organization, who gave me advice I want to share.


First of all, and I knew this, I should have moved closer to get a better picture of what was happening. Had my suspicions been validated, confronting the man could have been tricky. The PAWS person said he might have tried to sell me the cat, in which case he would most likely find another one. And then there’s the man, a street vendor trying to eke out a living. But there was a number I could have called, 311 -- for non-emergency situations.


Of course I don’t know what that response would have been or how timely, but at least I found out about another option, as I try and learn from the things I should have done.


I’m Paula Garrett and that’s my perspective.