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Feline Felicity

by Christina Ritchie Rogers

July 5,2006

A recent "irresistible headline" on the WSOC-TV web site presents Chester, a 31-pound Texan feline. According to the Associated Press, Chester is attracting more tourists to his owner's local store than the merchandise inside. Aside from what I can only imagine is a surprisingly strong gravitational pull, I just don't see the draw of a fat cat sleeping in a store.

I like cats well enough. My cat, though not 31 pounds, could stand to lose a few. Couldn't we all. The other night, I was eating salad for dinner and living vicariously through the Food Network. Reba was sleeping like a – a fat cat – in her place as usual. A small, plastic lid belonging to an insignificant Tupperware container shifted on the dish drying rack in the next room and clattered to the floor. The sound was barely noticeable. From a state just this side of comatose, the cat instantaneously levitated and propelled herself, like a turbo-charged hovercraft, horizontally over the arm of the chair – clearing a full standing glass of water and an upright vacuum, and smacked her fat, stripey face directly into the adjacent wall. Her prompt slide to the floor, all-healing head shake, and mortified slink into the next room was the perfect comic ending to a painfully funny occurrence.

How do you like them apples, Chester? If I ever open a store, rest assured that Reba will have a standing invitation to pull stunts like that at any time. I will laugh and the tourists will pour through my doors.

Charlotte recently adopted a new Cat, and this one is definitely something to see. For starters, he is six feet, eight inches tall, and weighs two hundred and five pounds.

Adam Morrison has joined our Bobcats, and is getting a very warm reception. Especially since he brings us a 28-point average per game as a housewarming gift (How did he know? It's just what we wanted! How thoughtful!).

Whereas Reba was my first pick out of a garbage can in December, Adam was the number three NBA draft pick this year. And, whereas Reba was 100% free, Adam costs several million dollars (yet I still got the short end of the stick, I think). Charlotte's new Cat is not only a huge asset to the team but could be a very effective tool for some much-needed marketing. (My cat eats Q-tips)

When it comes to marketing and media, Robert (Bob) Johnson, the original Bobcat, has generally taken a conservative approach to spending. He wants to maintain a budget in which the team’s spending does not exceed their potential for revenue. While this is a wise, logical approach – one that most people should adopt in their own lives – it may not be the best way to rapidly cultivate a team that shines in both the realm of entertainment and media and the realm of athletics.

Many were excited to learn that a very well-known “fat cat” has joined Johnson and the Bobcats. Michael Jordan now has a vested – an Invested – interest in the team. And this tall tycoon is planning to change the way in which money is spent. Jordan’s approach to the business is less financially conservative than Johnson's. His goal is to market, sell and promote. He recognizes the atmosphere surrounding the initiation of a new team in a city of people who are dealing with residual feelings of Hornet-abandonment, and emphasizes the importance of spending as a way to promote and establish the new Charlotte team.

And, just as Chester’s owner has learned, merchandise sells when the promotion works. Upon a recent visit to Wachovia, Morrison drew a crowd of workaholics out of their offices. One eyewitness account says that it was strange – almost uncomfortable – to see that many grown men standing and staring.

As we move forward, and work towards a championship (it could happen!) I suspect that Michael Jordan will probably bring his new Cat Adam to work with him often. It can't hurt business to let Morrison sleep in the window occasionally. And it can’t hurt the Bobcats to have Michael Jordan in the shop. The future of the team seems as bright as Rufus’ suit, and I can’t wait for the 2006-2007 season.

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