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Unlucky Cat - Lucky Look-Alike

'I Love Lucy' Leads to Unlikely Lucky Break

By Diane RandlePublished 4 years ago 3 min read
Photo by Borna Bevanda on Unsplash

'Serendipity' could have been her name. Instead, she became 'Lucy' and how she came to be 'Lucy' is one of my favorite work memories.

In 1999 I worked for a major Canadian airline. Ninety-nine was a weird year. Y2K, (remember that fizzled and flabby non-happening?) had people envisioning planes falling on their heads, madness, mayhem and looting in the streets, blackouts, floods, volcanoes, earthquakes, fires, explosions, alien invasion and zombie apocalypse.

No zombie apocalypse but a mishap on a passenger jet flying between Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and Whitehorse, North West Territories on December 9 had the cargo manager at Whitehorse so upset he couldn't finish his standard morning bear claw and Timmie's double double.

A crate carrying a cat from Edmonton was opened in the Whitehorse cargo hangar and..the cat was dead. Now, this cargo manager was a sensitive guy belying his football linebacker past and physique. He was a big softie. A big old softie. A big old softie who had seen too many 'I Love Lucy' episodes.

His crew teased him about it but there was nothing 'Joe' liked more after a tough day than putting his feet up, cracking a brewskie and settling in with his boxed DVD set to watch Lucy Ricardo stuff chocolates in her mouth, drunkenly hype vegameatavitamix, squash grapes with her feet or get her leg stuck on a ballet barre. It was, he proclaimed, "Classic!"

Lucy was a schemer. She always had a plan, she was always thinking. And now, 'Joe' was thinking. Thinking, thinking, 'What would Lucy do? What would Lucy do? Ah ha!'

He went to the local animal shelter to find a cat that looked like the dead cat. And he found the perfect brown tabby. He couldn't believe his luck. His employees couldn't believe it when he showed up at the warehouse with the look-a-like and they all disavowed any participation and warned 'Joe' he could lose his job. 'Nah' said their easy going supervisor.

The customer arrived; the imposter was already in the crate, Joe put the crate on the counter and the customer, a man in his 30's we'll call 'Lawrence', said, "That's not my cat."

'Joe' plopped the way bill on the counter. "Yup, yup, only animal on the flight, cat from Edmonton, this is your waybill." 'Joe' opened the crate and 'Lucy', as she would soon be known, stepped out. A friendly cat, she rubbed her cheek against 'Lawrence's' hand.

"Aw, there you go." Joe smiled.

'Lawrence' rubbed his hand down the cat's back to her tail. "This is not my cat." He continued petting 'Lucy' who began to purr.

"Well, okay, how long have you been apart? Maybe she just looks a little different, put on some weight, lost some weight. Listen to her, that purr, she's so happy to see you."

"This is not my cat."

"Of course she's your cat."

"No. My cat is a boy."

"Are you sure?"

"And dead."

'Joe' blinked at 'Lawrence'. "Dead?"

"Dead. He's a boy and he's dead."

"He's a boy and he's dead."

"That's what I just said."

"He's dead?"

"He died in Edmonton at my sister's place and I had him shipped home to be buried in the yard at our family home where he lived most of his life."


"Where is he?"


"He's here." 'Kevin' appeared with a box. "He's here. His blanket is in here too."

He handed the box to 'Lawrence'. He opened the box and stroked his cat's head. "Hey, buddy. Welcome home."

"Aw" 'Joe' said, "What's his name?"


And that's how 'Lucy' came to be the warehouse cat at Whitehorse and how she came to live out her life with the guys on the 24 hour shifts at the small airport and ride with them in the cargo trucks and greet customers and be forever grateful to Lucy Ricardo aka Lucille Ball, another woman who profited greatly pretending to be someone else.


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