Have You Seen This Cat?

Screenshot: Multnomah County Circuit Court

Before any of you wiseacres say, “Technically yes, now I have,” just take a sec and think, because there’s a very distressed man in Portland, Oregon who would like to be reunited with this handsome feline.

The cat in question came to our attention via a lawsuit, which, if you’re familiar with legal filings, tend to start with dry language like, “Plaintiff hereby affirms and alleges...” This one, however, kicks off with a full, color photo of Frank, a three-year-old cat, brimming with the sort of cocky nonchalance all cats seem to master at birth.

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As you might guessed, Frank is missing. Normally this is the kind of problem that merits stapling “LOST” posters to telephone poles instead of a lawsuit—and, for what it’s worth, that’s an avenue Frank’s owner has explored. But On Information And Belief, Joshua Smith, who rescued his “best friend and life companion” as a stray in a parking lot three years back, claims his own landlord entered his apartment without notice and took Frank in a brazen act of catnapping.

Smith told The Oregonian that his landlord even admitted to the feline crime, adding, “Isn’t that totally messed up?”

Smith says he hasn’t seen Frank since. And just look at this beautiful cat, I swear to god, he’s fucking smirking—not unlike my editors, who assigned this story to me knowing full well it had absolutely nothing to do with technology and that a not-insignificant part of me dies every time I’m made to blog fun but irrelevant news stories. My anguish is their joy, dear readers.

At this point I could argue that Technology—like uh, websites, or the sprawling mess of an online court system we’re saddled with—enables weird local news stories like this one to gleefully proliferate among a wider audience than ever before. And that the odds of this guy getting his cute cat back are probably dramatically greater today than they would be in a hypothetical, pre-internet, control test version of this scenario. I could argue that, but I absolutely will not.

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Smith is demanding up to $250,000 in damages for the disappearance of Frank with intent to “inflict severe emotional distress.” $250,000 is, for the record, more than what some apartments in the area have sold for—which seems fair enough to me.

You, however, have the ability to put this whole rigmarole to rest by, well, returning Frank. Have you seen him? Do you really not want the $500 reward Smith is offering? Won’t you put an end to his (and my) suffering?

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[Oregon Live]

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Bryan Menegus

Senior reporter. Tech + labor /// bryan.menegus [at] gizmodo.com Keybase: keybase.io/bryangm Securedrop: http://gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion/

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