Every once in awhile, I come across a news article that for some reason, just sticks in my head. It just seems out of the ordinary. When the theme of that article comes up AGAIN, then I find that rather… “coincidental”.
Just such a thing happened late last week. I came across two distinct stories about cats and I immediately thought of Mother Sekhmet.
But these stories about cats weren’t just silly stories buried somewhere in the news. Oh no, these stories were up front and center with two very key figures that have led the “baddies” for years – Queen Elizabeth and Goldman Sachs. Tony.
‘THATCHER DEAD’ TEXT SPARKS FEARS
A misconstrued text message announcing the passing of a beloved pet has sparked a flurry of diplomatic activity in Canada.
Transport Minister John Baird sent a message reading: “Thatcher has died”.
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper was soon informed that 84-year-old former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had passed away.
But it was actually Mr Baird’s beloved cat, named after his political heroine, who had died.
Alive and healthy
The confusion spread around a gala event in Toronto, where some 1,700 luminaries were gathered at a black tie event.
Calls to puzzled officials in both 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace followed.
Embarrassed aide Dimitri Soudas had reportedly already started preparing an official statement mourning the passing of the Iron Lady.
He was told that Baroness Thatcher – who just a few days ago attended a Remembrance Day service at London’s Westminster Abbey – was alive and healthy.
“If the cat wasn’t dead, I’d have killed it by now,” Mr Soudas is reported to have said of the 16-year-old grey tabby.
STRAY KITTENS IN GOOD HANDS WITH GOLDMAN SACHS
Never let it be said that the fat cats on Wall Street don’t care about the stray kittens living in their gutters.
Indeed, Goldman Sachs wants the world to know that it did not abandon unfortunate felines after reports suggested the world’s most influential and profitable investment bank skipped out on a $2,000-ish veterinarian bill for five black kittens found on the construction site of its New York headquarters.
“We want to make this very clear,” a Goldman representative said Thursday. “All of the kittens have been adopted and we paid the bills. We are very happy they have found homes.”
Underscoring the bank’s commitment to all things adorable, the company called back minutes later after making the statement to elaborate: “I would also like to add that we would never abandon kittens. Thank you.”
The rapid spread of the story, through a newspaper report and the Internet, points to a more serious image problem at Goldman: No matter what it does, critics and conspiracy theorists are quick to seize on any story that casts the bank as a symbol of Wall Street excess and greed.
The kitten saga started in August, when Rich Brotman found them near Goldman’s nearly finished $2-billion (U.S.) head office.
Mr. Brotman, who runs a rescue service called City Critters, approached the bank about paying for any associated medical costs, and took the kittens home to get them used to humans.
Mr. Brotman convinced Goldman to canvass its employees to see if any would open their homes to the kittens, which were nicknamed BlackBerries because of their dark fur.
And that’s where things started to get a little hairy. An editorial in a weekly Manhattan newspaper suggested Goldman had not delivered the promised veterinary cheque as of the end of October, months after the kittens were rescued. Worse, the paper alleged the bank hadn’t bothered to help to find loving homes for the hapless strays.
The blogosphere ignited with indignity – how could a bank that posted a $3.18-billion quarterly profit refuse to help? Maybe its critics were right, and it really was a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity,” as a Rolling Stone profile characterized it in a recent issue.
Except it was all a misunderstanding, the bank said Thursday: The bills have been paid, and all of the animals have found homes (though Mr. Brotman said it’s always more difficult to find homes for black cats). Two went to a family who read about their plight in the Downtown Express paper, two more went to the friend of a Goldman lawyer, and the final one found a home with a woman who lives in a condo near the construction site.
“We have a great community down here,” Mr. Brotman told the Downtown Express last week as he handed off the final feline.
“This is a pretty happy ending.”
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