People in Echo Park and surrounding don't seem to have to buy dogs and cats. They just show up, ready to live with you for 20 years, or you steal one. My cats showed up. To name two: There was Flipper the Maine coon whose previous guardians caught on that the FBI was staking out their house: They fled, but they left Flipper (whose name at the time was Calvin) as well as at least one car and a houseful of furniture and other belongings. We had Flipper for 15 years, until he died. There also is Monkey, a manx, who began a siege upon our house the day we moved in. No matter what door you went to, Monkey was there, trying to get inside. She clung to window screens like a bat. Being fed wasn't enough: She wanted the keys. And, yes, as I type she is laying comfortably on
my her bed with her paws in the air. I tried to give away Monkey and Flipper, but fate resisted until I wouldn't have parted with them for anything much less than a million dollars.
I didn't have to buy those guys (or any of the nearly one dozen -- no joke -- that have showed up and needed homes over the last few years). But I didn't steal them either.
I make the distinction because there's a cat-theft story developing on an Echo Park list serv. A couple of weeks ago, I started noticing postings that read: "Have you seen Sonny?" Apparently there were phone-pole flyers, too. I always think coyote when a cat is missing, so it was a nice little surprise when I saw that Sonny's owner, whom I do not know personally, reported that his cat was back after five days absence.