We were having a Happy Birthday chat with Ellen last night (Happy Birthday!) and got to talking about “things down @ her end of the street.”
Well, it turns out there have been a series of thefts from some of her neighbor’s property that – until recently – went unexplained. Not big, expensive things. Nope, the generator’s are still there… and so are cars’n’bicycles. Construction tools? Yep, still there, too. No, nothing big and expensive… but small things… actually, things that might be easily be considered misplaced by those of “a certain age”.
Shirts removed while working in the hot sun. Numerous pairs of leather work / garden gloves left next to their last-used tools or on a workbench. Replacement gloves (pink gloves?!) brought in to take the place of the misplaced / removed gloves. Low voltage garden lights. Hats.
As Ellen told the story, she had begun hearing reports of various things missing from several of the houses around her place. As the toll mounted, it came to her: “Ah, she said, that’s probably Dodger.”
Turns out that Dodger is another neighbor’s indoor / outdoor cat who has – for years! – roamed the neighborhood, picking up things he’s taken a fancy to and brought them back home to, um, enjoy. Apparently that continues year-round until Dodger’s caretaker has a pretty good sized bag of loot, whereupon he drags out the bag and visits local neighbors asking if anything in Dodger’s Treasure Bag belongs to them.
Good for Dodger(!), because the way I see it, he’s created something of a virtuous neighborhood cycle:
- Neighbor buys needed materials to make property improvements.
- Neighbor uses materials to improve property, increasing their happiness quotient.
- Believing his neighbor’s work is completed and needs cleaning up a bit, Dodger claims “excess” materials as his own and, in the process, improves his own property.
- Unable to locate their belongings, neighbor / former owner of “lost” materials purchases new items, incrementally boosting local / state and national economies.
- Dodger’s caretaker bundles everything up and visits neighbors while conducting his “Do you know who owns these things?” campaign.
- Relationships – human and material – are renewed and refreshed on-the-spot!
- Cycle repeats itself throughout the year, intensifying during neighborhood peak-activity periods.
Although we’ve met Dodger’s caretaker once, I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup. But I’d recognize Dodger anywhere:
He’s the white cat with a pink glove in his mouth!