The fellow flanking us was filthy, and upon his shoulder sat a small orange kitten, making the chopper pilot look like world's friendliest pirate.
Spurgeon and I were walking down a dirt path inside Nelson Ledges Quarry Park at the Lowbrow Getdown. We may have been inebriated. We were walking to see Blue Oyster Cult play a little rock 'n' roll. We commented to the cat-bearing fellow about how odd it was to see a kitten at a motorcycle event, and then we got the story of a lifetime.
Pat hails from New Jersey, not too far from RevZilla, but we met him in Ohio, hundreds of miles from home. Pat told us a story that would have been unbelievable if he didn't have the furry proof standing on his shoulder. That adorable bucket of fuzz, by the way, now is known as Party Cat.
This story is part of our series called "Stuff that doesn't suck." In the moto world, we all see things that aren't major news, but still stir our emotions and make us stop and say, "You know, that doesn't suck." Whether it's an inspired customization or an act of kindness or generosity, we want to shine a light on the good stuff in motorcycling. Seen something that doesn't suck? Tell us about it. Send an e-mail to CommonTread@RevZilla.com.
"I was coming back from Born Free in California, and we had made it to Nevada," Pat told us. "I was at this truck stop getting gas, and this little guy just needed help. He was pretty badly burned, so I picked him up and tucked him inside my vest. We're feeding him regularly now, so he's doing better, even though he's sort of living on the road until we get home.
"He's been eating tuna fish out of those dry-foil packs you can buy, and his burns are pretty much all healed up except for the little spot on his lip. He's so chill. He just hangs out in my vest when we get on the road. I've never met a cat so calm."
Party Cat was easily the most chopular mammal attending the Getdown. I'll be damned if I met a single soul who hadn't heard about the guy who rode cross-country with a kitten snuggled up to him. That cat had more greasy fingers petting him than anyone ever could have expected. When Party Cat's chips were down, Pat helped him out. Party Cat will repay the debt one mouse at a time out in Pat's shop, I'm sure. God knows Pat earned it.
Pat and Party Cat's story doesn't suck at all. This isn't a breaking news story CNN will pick up, but it is a true tale of a biker who did something extraordinary and kind.
Take an interest in your surroundings. You never know who you might be able to help on the road.