If you want to get newspaper readers riled up don't bother bringing up politics or religion. Just publish a story about a cat.
There are cat lovers in this world and there are those who, at best, are indifferent to felines. Editors at the Brainerd Dispatch knew this when they ran a Page1A story about Lucky, the not-so-fortunate cat who survived an arrow that someone shot through his abdomen. Reaction to the story was predictably mixed. Some readers were stirred with emotion and immediately contributed money to reimburse the new Brainerd resident who discovered the ailing cat. Others wondered out loud how in the world the Dispatch could donate a good portion of Page 1A and a sizable chunk of Page 5A jump space to a story about an injured cat.
Without going through the entire rationale for running the story, editors thought it was of sufficient interest and we note at least one Twin Cities broadcast outlet aired a story on Lucky.
Our view is the young woman who took responsibility to save the cat's life and backed it up with a commitment to pay the veterinarian's bill should be commended. The person who shot the cat has earned the community's disdain.
Dispatch readers can expect to read many stories about the 2004 election and the war in Iraq this summer. Sometimes, it's nice to give readers a break from the steady drum beat of hard news. If the story of Lucky gave us a rare narrative with a happy ending and provided a brief diversion from weightier matters then it served its purpose.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.