In the Muffin Scene, my favorite from the movie Casino, Ace Rothstein (Robert DeNiro) complains to his partner about the inequality of blueberries in their respective breakfast pastries and heads to the kitchen to instruct the chef to “put an equal amount of blueberries in every muffin.” It’s the cinematic high-water mark for detail-cursed managers and a common point of reference in my writing and day job. If you haven’t watched or don't remember the scene, pull it up on YouTube and be better for watching.
My sense is that our friend and inspiration Lynea Lattanzio at The Cat House On The Kings.com suffers the same curse. Whenever I visit her sanctuary, I see her bustling around the grounds with the energy of someone that sees her world in startling clarity and when some thing or some critter is not to standard, agitated. With thousands of animals saved, and hundreds of rescue folk inspired by her work, the world is better for her attention to detail, but I’m sure more than few staffers have experienced hands on instruction on how to do whatever it is they happen to be doing, right.
So it was yesterday, when I headed south for Cat House's annual Open House to pay my respects to her 30 years of dedication, see the new FIP House first-hand and flop about like a fish on a boat in a sea of cat ladies. In between tours, photos ops and pleasantries, I noticed Lynea sizing up an overfull trashcan, and my 40 years of trash handling expertise—it was my job in college—and chivalry kicked in. When I pulled the bag, tied it and proceeded to reline the can, Lynea watched me like I was moving her kittens. To give her some comfort that I knew what I was doing, I commented that I had to teach our crew the proper way to line a trashcan, but I could tell part of her wanted to offer feedback for improvement. To her credit, she let my clumsy work go and turned her attention other, more grievous offenses, but it was moment of connection, like two insiders sharing a joke, and I left knowing that in what was the largest gathering of crazy cat people on the planet that day, I had common ground with at least one.
Congratulations, Lynea Lattanzio, Tammy Barker-Noell, Beth Caffrey, Cindy Unruh, Christine Cordova and all the other Cat House on the Kings crew and faithful on your successful open house and 30 years of selfless dedication to our furry friends.