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May 22, 2017     West Seattle Herald
Jean's View: Catastrophe hits Seattle
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May 22, 2017

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Jean's View: Catastrophe hits Seattle | West Seattle Herald / White Center News Skip to Main Content Area Monday, May 22, 2017 | Clear sky, 57.2 °F search Letters Sign in Subscribe Contact Us Front Page News Features Sports Opinion Police Blotter South Park residents fight back against fear-inciting fliers By Lindsay Peyton Brad Cerenzia works from his home in South ... Experimac: Apple centric sales and service store opens in West Seattle Experimac, an Apple centered store offering services, repairs and ... Tides turn back West Seattle By Tim Clinton SPORTS EDITOR West Seattle's ride through the ... Amanda's View: Colosseum and memoriam By Amanda Knox Approaching Century Link Field in a throng of ... Police Blotter week of 5-15-17 Man arrested for firing gun in park Around 11:30 p.m. on Wed., ... Features Jean's View: Catastrophe hits Seattle Pat's View: Celebrating Failure Star chef Cameron Hanin brings art and craft to the Ma’ono kitchen Sunset of the week 5-15-17 Summer Fest GreenLife – Sustainability for West Seattle and Beyond Pairing Words & Wine – West Seattle resident Jessica Trouillaud builds business around her passion Pat's View: Hairy Experience High security hide-and-seek, K9 training at Sea-Tac Pat's View: Ace reporter Sunset of the week 5-8-17 Enjoy a healthy smoothie, tax-free Take a ride on the Goodship – Jody Hall paves the way with cupcakes, cannabis Good for you: Mom was right Kitchen Talk: A mother's true love Westside-O-Rama West Seattle Entertainment Guide Marc Lainhart is a prospector in service to spirit Smart investing can help you keep moving toward your goals Sunset of the week 5-1-17 Pat's View: Hanging Shoes Good for you:The Unscrambling of Eggs Kitchen Talk: Eggsactly what you need Happenings in the Heart of West Seattle Jennifer's View: Meet the new SW Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Can you free yourself of some investment-related taxes? Sunset of the week 4-24-17 Jean's View: Catastrophe hits Seattle 05/22/2017 updated 8 minutes ago By Jean Godden May is the month of lost cats in Seattle. When I check news on a neighborhood website or when I browse through local blogs, the top story often is about someone's quest for a missing Tom or Muffin or maybe Oscar. Telephone poles, too, are aflap with posters for missing tabbies -- reward offered. I know how the owners must feel. They're consumed by worry, out searching neighboring streets, calling pitifully for that favorite feline and worrying that, alas, something disastrous may have befallen Boots or Blackie. Not long ago, I discovered a neighbor traipsing through my backyard, calling for her beloved Rowdie. That hunt, unlike some, had a happy ending. After his weeklong absence, Rowdie was found hiding in a neighbor's garage, hungry but otherwise unharmed. The task of searching for a missing indoor cat -- the kind most of us bird lovers prefer -- is especially poignant. These are creatures who are not familiar with the multiple dangers of passing autos, predatory wildlife and other unpredictable hazards. I am no stranger to the trauma of a missing indoor cat. Chloe, my late orange tabby -- a female with extra toes and a rambunctious personality -- managed to escape three times. One time she zoomed through my legs while I was answering the front door, another time when a house guest was careless and a third time when I was schlepping a load of groceries and didn't shut the garage door properly. It's no wonder so many cats go astray in Seattle. The town is a proper cat city -- more cats than dogs and more dogs than children. One third of our households have cats; one-fourth have dogs, and a mere 19 percent have children. It's not cat-besotted Seattle alone, but the entire Puget Sound region functions as the cat capital of the nation. Given that Seattle has this outsized cat population, we are also on the hook at the supermarket, buying more cat food than any other U.S. city. And, although I haven't seen the industry statistics on kitty litter, those sales too are probably astronomical. In keeping with our cat obsession, Mayor Ed Murray once a year renames City Hall, styling it as "Kitty Hall." That's the day when the Seattle Animal Shelter supervises a day-long cat adoption program, right there amidst municipal doings. City Hall visitors are encouraged to meet the Shelter's tabbies, petting and cuddling before deciding on adoption. It's downright impossible to say no to a purring ball of fluff. I learned early in my newspaper career to respect Seattle's cat obsession. My editor once warned me that, if I liked living here, I would never -- no, not ever -- advocate for a cat leash law. I was, however, allowed to write an occasional column about cats. And, in fact, one of my most popular city columns was the story about a cat named Amanda. The way the story goes, this Seattle family had adopted a local stray, unaware of her testy disposition. They named her Amanda. The large feline immediately took up residence atop the family refrigerator and seldom budged. Whenever anyone got close, Amanda would snarl, reach out and swipe a lethal claw in their direction. Since Amanda wasn't much of a companion, the family finally adopted a dog, an enthusiastic Labrador pup that they named Buddy. Buddy was only in the home for a few days when Amanda mysteriously disappeared. Although the family looked for the missing cat, they didn't persist. After all, Amanda was hardly a pet to inspire prolonged searches. Skip ahead five years and the family's beloved Buddy streaked out into the street one day and was promptly hit by a car. He died soon after. A few days later, the family was still mourning Buddy when, to their surprise, they looked up. There was Amanda, back in her spot atop the refrigerator. I had heard Amanda's story from a newspaper friend who knew the family and swore it was all true. The tale supplied grist for one of the most popular newspaper columns I ever wrote, second in reader response only to the column I wrote about the origins of Frango chocolates. In Seattle, go figure: It's either cats or chocolates. We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed. View the discussion thread. Please send us your news tips, photos or ideas of how we can better cover your neighborhood. Email us at or TEXT news tips to 206-459-6717 Receive updates on news and events in the West Seattle neighborhood via Twitter! Web development by Freelock Computing © 2017 Robinson Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved. 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