“Look,” the old man said, stopping me as I walked down Lincoln Avenue. “They moved out and left them behind!”
I looked through the window of the empty storefront, which until recently had housed a computer store. Sitting close together were three gray-and-black cats, a mother and two kittens. I’d seen them a few times before, rubbing up against the glass or napping next to the software programs and mouse pads.
“When did the computer store move out?” I asked the old man.
“Two weeks ago,” he said. “Isn’t it terrible? They’ve gone and left those cats behind.”
Boxes were piled up in the back, but otherwise the space was empty–no food or water bowls or litter box. So I wrote down the telephone number on the For Rent sign in the window and promised the old man I’d see what I could find out.
“Don’t call the Anti-Cruelty Society,” he told me. “You know what they’ll do.”
When I called the next day, the woman I spoke to sounded like abandoned cats were the least of her worries. She said she’d look into it and get back to me. She didn’t, and I forgot about the cats until two weeks later, when I walked by the storefront again. The cats were gone, and a note had been taped to the inside of the glass door. It said: “These cats had free access in & out through the crawl space. They were not locked in the store. But because of all the commotion & problems you gave me I have sealed their entrance & they have been locked out. Many of you thought wrong. You made incorrect assertions. Now the cats are locked out in the cold & you can deal with them.”
Early Wednesday after the primaries, WBEZ reporter Shirley Jahad asks an anonymous Rostenkowski campaign aide if he thinks their big victory has somehow cleared the clouds of scandal away from his man Rosty.
“Hey, you know what?” the guy says in full-bore nortwesside
Chicagoese, every word a jab of the finger. “You know what? Who isn’t a crook? I mean, let’s be real.”