Saturday, May 08, 2010

Every Missing Pet Poster Tells a Story

Every Poster Tells a Story
They tell stories about pets and their owners, wrenching tales of heartbreaking loss -- along with the hope of a happy ending. This poster about a bilingual cat caught my eye last night. The fine print:
He has brown striped fur, white fur on his chest, and green eyes. He also responds to Der Müssen. He's been missing for about two weeks. We miss him!
I've put up more than a few missing cat posters myself over the years, and although we've usually been lucky, I know that aching sense of loss. Years ago, I read an experimental novel by Carole Maso called The Art Lover: A Novel. It was a narrative about loss and mourning in New York City in the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Elements of collage mix with a story within the story, and found objects -- newspaper clippings, photos and missing pet posters -- are interspersed with the story line. I don't really remember the characters or what happened very clearly, but I do remember the lost pets. There was Rebecca the ferret, there was a parrot, and there was a missing dove. The plaintive notes, the owners' heartbreak expressed in drawings that seemed more real than photos -- it all contributed to a haunting sense of loss.

Here's hoping that Der Müssen's story has a happy ending. If you live in the Madison and know anything about his whereabouts, give his owners a call at 612-296-3836 or 651-235-7185.

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