One of our Mantras here at Provocative Pleasures is that the Customer always comes first!!!! As PP owner I would like to think I set an example of greeting customers and letting them know that I am here to help should they require any. I never follow people round the shop as most people are happy to browse and will ask for help if required.
You will never be asked in store “Would you like a basket”? For three reasons.
Firstly it drives me crazy in a shop if the assistant assumes I don’t know what to do with one and would never think of picking one up….
Secondly you know they just want you to fill it up with things you don’t need.
And thirdly we don’t have any!!!!
But on Saturday 16th January the customers did not come first second or even third as there was a cat in my ceiling and armed with a pair of scissors I had to set him free before dealing with anyone else.
We had heard a cat from about Wednesday but further away and we thought he was in one of the upstairs flats. We had looked for him outside but nothing. I can only imagine the poor little thing had worked his way through the roof of the garage at the back of the shop and ended up above my stockroom on the Saturday. He was mewing so loudly and sounded distressed so there was no mistaking he was there (although at the time of punching the first hole I was convinced Dave would arrive for work on Monday and ask why there was a hole in the ceiling and I would have to admit I was insane).
As I stood on the stepstool and listened at the ceiling I was sure he was there so I tapped on it and he mewed again. I was franticly looking around the stockroom for some tools and we did not have any. I then thought about calling the fire brigade but decided I could not waste their time as they may have a real emergency (not just because it was an animal and was not worth saving it is just me, when I woke up half paralyzed when I had my Stroke I got a taxi to a walk in center as I did not want to bother the emergency services in case it was a trapped nerve and someone might really need them. Turns out it was indeed a major right side paralyzing brain hemorrhage stroke and I was lucky to still be here. It was also stroke number 9 as I had missed the first 8 TIA’s. Laid back me? Never!!!).
I spotted a pair of scissors and tapped the ceiling again and when I was sure he was on one side of it I stabbed the ceiling on the other side and was surprised when they went through. I then got my phone so I could use the torch on it and peered through the hole, sure enough I was convinced I had seen an ear so made the hole a little bigger and the next time I checked I could see his little face looking at me.
This went on and on as I had to put my fingers in the hole and push him away so he was not hurt. My stroke’s have left me with dreadful balance so stood on a step stool bashing at the ceiling with my right hand (which is a bit skittish still) was not one of my best moves but it is amazing the things you can grab onto to stop yourself falling when a cat needs some help.
For about 40 minutes the shop was empty which was lucky as it is one of our busiest days. But then I heard the door open and put my head round the door from the stock room to be greeted by two new customers. I explained I could not serve them at the moment as there was a cat in my ceiling and I was trying to get him out. They followed me into the stock room and could not believe it when his little nose appeared in the hole.
Rather than leave they told me not to worry and they will look after the shop so I thanked them and went back to stabbing the ceiling and pushing the cat out of the way. Eventually his head could fit through and they came back for another look and one of them remarked “It is like he is being born” and that summed it up perfectly.
I managed to break a bit more of the ceiling with my fingers and then spent 5 minutes trying to pull him through. His collar came off and he kept going backwards but I finally got a good grip and managed to bring his front paws through with his head so as not to get them caught and then managed to push his back legs together so they were not pulled and he landed on my shoulder with a thump.
Never has a cat cuddled into me so tight he buried his little head in my neck and clung onto me for all he was worth. He was skin and bones and I wrapped him in my cardigan whilst trying to get him some water. The two lovely ladies ran off down the road and came back with some cat food so I gave him a small amount, which he ate very quickly.
It was nearly 6pm at this time so I held on until the end of the day sat behind the counter with a tiny little scrap in my cardigan talking to him like he was a baby and calling the vet. We took him to the vet in the evening and they kept him in to give him some fluids. By this time I had posted some pictures on FB on our Provocative Pleasures page in the hope we could find the owner. I had used my phone as a torch and as he first peeped through the ceiling I thought no one would believe me so started taking some pictures.
The next day over 20 thousand people had viewed the post we are lucky if we get 500 views. So many comments likes and shares as well until finally someone let us know who owned the cat and also the cats name was Cedric!!!! By this time over 50 thousand people had viewed the post and it started to appear In my news feed from all over the place.
I spoke to the vet with the name of the owner and when contacted he did not want the cat back. I got a call to ask me if I wanted him as I found him and I was delighted to say yes as he really had grabbed my heart in his paws and I knew he had to come home with me.
As the days have gone on I was interviewed by the local paper and they used some pictures of Cedric I had taken were on the cover and on page 3 was a picture of me pretending to poke the ceiling with the scissors (a page 3 girl at 45 fame at last). I have been interviewed for a magazine with a fee of £100, which I will be donating to the RSPCA as they paid for Cedric’s care before I signed for him.
People keep sending me articles from as far as Singapore and another referred to me as “Williams” which made me laugh and I felt like a convict. But it has been a whirlwind and little Cedric has gone from strength to strength and is putting on weight rapidly (not sure he realizes he will be loosing his manhood once he is fit enough) but I am not going to tell him.
It would not be fair to change his name as he needs all the familiarity he can get so we have kept it but added a second name after one of our favorite manufactures products. So we welcome Cedric Skittle to our family and to the Provocative Pleasures gang, we would not be without him.
So our mantra has not really changed we will always put our customers first!!!! However should there ever be another cat (dog, rat, horse or elephant) in our ceiling you may just need to serve yourself whilst we find a pair of scissors.
Tanya :o) xxx