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My friend Hanah requested that I write about her missing cat, George, so here’s the saga, in my usual roundabout way of getting to the point, which I hope she will not mind.

When I was in Israel for my friend Hanah’s wedding, I noticed many sex shops. ( The country is much kinkier than one might expect; it’s the only place I ever entered my hotel room and discovered a round bed and mirror on the ceiling. I suppose that’s one way to take your mind off of dying in a terrorist attack.) One of them was near my hotel in a gentrified warehouse district of trendy stores, restaurants, bars, and clubs. Unlike most of the sex shops I saw, it was run by women mainly for women. Like many of those types of sex shops, it focused on female pleasure and making women comfortable with their sexuality. Of course, like any good feminist sex shop, it proudly displayed a wide range of colorful dildos.

The inclusive hominess of the place worked well. Hanah’s cousin was strolling in the area with his active two year old son Peter and other family and friends when he caught sight of the store out of the corner of his eye. Before anyone had a chance to mention the nature of the toys inside, he said, “Look Peter! A toy store!” The other more aware adults immediately said that it was not really a toy store, but once a precocious toddler gets it into his head that there’s a toy store nearby, not much will convince him otherwise, and Peter suddenly ran into the shop. He grabbed a huge blue dildo, and ran outside waving it around to show off his new toy. Confusion ensued, and the dildo was eventually returned to the amused shop employees, while Peter screamed and cried indignantly over the loss of his new plaything.

Anyway, Hanah moved back to the US in September after living in Israel for many years. Since she will be staying for a few years before going back again, she of course paid for her two cats to come with her. She placed the cats in the cages that Continental Airlines required her to use, locked them securely, handed in the paperwork, and bid them a nice trip. She never saw one of her cats again.

About five minutes before the flight was scheduled to depart, representatives from Continental informed Hanah that her cat George was lost sometime between when she checked him in and when the baggage guy went to load him onto the plane and noticed that the cage was awfully light. They asked her if she wanted to try and look for him around the airport, but given that the flight was about to leave, she was unable to do so. Obviously, it was a horrible flight for her, and when she arrived at Newark Airport, in which she had a long layover before continuing to her new home in North Carolina, the airline let her hang out for a while with Bruce, her other cat.

Imagine how upset she was when she arrived in North Carolina, but Bruce did not. After much inquiry, it turns out that the stupid fucks at Continental kept the documentation for both cats in George’s cat, which was never placed on the plane. If someone had told Hanah this while she was in the airport for hours with Bruce, she could have given them the copies she had with her. Since nothing was said, Bruce was detained at Newark. It took something like a day of phone calls for Hanah to even find out where he was, let alone why. After another day of phone calls, she was finally able to find out where to fax the documents for Bruce. Then she had to get him at the airport a day later. Throughout the whole experience, Continental was overall helpful at a minimum, although a few employees went out of their way to help her. While they gave her a refund for George’s ticket, there was no such reimbursement after their fuck up with Bruce.

George is still missing. I like to think that he is safe and always purring as the resident mouse catcher at the sex shop Hanah’s cousin ran into, although if anyone knows his whereabouts, it would be even better if he could join Hanah and Bruce at home.

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