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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Welcome to San Francisco's Lost Cat Chronicles

Posted By on Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Dylan the Cat
  • Dylan the Cat

Man Just Wanted Cat Back - Got Threats, Maniacal Letters, and Erotic Propositions Instead

Michael Iacuessa is a MFA student at the Academy of Art University who shares his Haight apartment with his orange cat, Dylan."His job is to sit around the house and be fuzzy," Iacuessa says.

But Dylan disappeared one day in January when he didn't return home via the window he typically uses at his pleasure. A worried Iacuessa posted "Lost Cat" signs on neighborhood telephone poles, offering a $200 reward for anyone who'd bring Dylan back safe and sound.

He then followed up with a post on Craigslist.

But instead of getting any news -- good or bad -- about Dylan, Iacuessa got a maddening taste of San Francisco quacks and punks; he received a threatening letter, a sinister phone call, and an offer for a homoerotic shower.

Let's follow his adventures.

The Bestiality Call:
The first call Iacuessa got came from a strange man who asked him to describe his cat, then responded, "Yeah, that's exactly what he looks like." Iacuessa got excited by this lead, but started to lose hope when the caller began getting weird. "The guy was kind of like 'I got to be really careful because this gay guy has been following me around, so I want to meet you in a public place,'" Iacuessa told us. After a few more exchanges about Dylan, the man finally admitted: "I want to fuck your cat." Iacuessa hung up.

The Case-The-Place Call
Next came a call from a "punk" who seemed more interested in what Iacuessa had in his apartment than returning Dylan -- or any cat for that matter. "He started by asking about the reward, and then said, 'How much money do you have on you? And what do you have in your house?'" Iacuessa told us. "I'm like, 'I'm a student, I'm broke.' I'm trying to stay on the phone just long enough to find out if he has my cat." He then hears a voice in the background clearly say: 'Does he have an X-box?' Uh. The man then got aggressive, asking for Iacuessa's address so he could drive by and return the cat. When Iacuessa gave him a false address, the man started hurling threats. "At that point he said, 'Don't fuck with me, I have your cat,'" Iacuessa says.

The Shower Offer
Next caller up was into homo-eroticism. "He said is there a reward?" When Iacuessa   reiterated the $200 offer, the man said, 'In lieu of a reward would you consider taking a shower with me?'

Still, no cat.

The NIMBY letter
Finally, came a letter familiar to many who've put up posters in the Haight area: The warning from Neighbors for Livable Neighborhoods, an organization that claims in the letter-head to be located in City Hall. Actually, it's just a neighborhood crank hell-bent on ending the posting of notices in public space by sending outraged, nonsensical letters. The one addressed to Iacuessa stated, among the three pages of madness, "Clearly our Commonwealth can ill afford abusive acts of which you are a part."

Pet Detective:
Iacuessa's final efforts to find Dylan included a pet detective, who he hired from As the detective drove over, Dylan pattered back though his apartment window, as if it was a normal day. Dylan was safe -- yet looked a little dusty, as if he might have gotten trapped in a garage -- or some place weird.

Surely, Dylan's experience was no more bizarre than his owner's.

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Lauren Smiley


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