During the secularist/humanist/atheist fundraising drive for Doctors Without Borders (DWB), I offered an autographed copy of WEIT—with a gratis hand-drawn cat produced to your specification—to any reader who donated $100 to the organization and could provide evidence of donation.
Seven readers took me up on it, and that—along with my own contribution and the more than $500 that the two autographed eBay books garnered—brought the donations of our readers to over $1300. I’m quite proud of that. But really, it’s only a drop in the bucket for that organization, so I think that henceforth I’ll adopt Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) as the Official Charity of WEIT™. It’s completely secular and does a hell of a lot of good.
I’ve gotten a lot of nice thank yous for the autographed books, but am putting this one up because it’s too cute to resist.
The backstory is this: one reader, Tim, sent this request:
I have enjoyed your “blog” for some time and would like to take you up on your generous offer of an autographed copy of WEIT in exchange for a donation to DWB. I actually have a hard copy, which I very much enjoyed, but my kids would love to have a feline artwork of yours if possible! My kids love animals and I frequently share the pictures and videos of animals that you post with them. I will also add that we have 5 cats (Buddy, Dozer, Freddy, Boo Boo and Baxley) that are very spoiled and well-loved. If you would be so kind as to address the autograph to Anya and Leif it would be greatly appreciated!
I asked if he wanted his cat drawn in any particular way. He responded and sent a photo, too:
Anya says she likes when Dozer stands on his back legs and reaches up her leg to get some fusses, could you do something like that?
I added a picture of 4 of our 5 cats. From left to right, Freddy, Boo Boo, Dozer and Buddy.
I asked Tim what “fusses” were. He responded:
Fusses are scratching and petting about the head and ears. I picked it up from my English brother-in-law.
So I autographed the book, added a drawing of Dozer getting fusses, and later received this lovely photo and reply.
Jerry, we received the book and the kids loved it! Your rendering of Dozer is great!
Thanks again for your thoughtful effort, Tim
Leif (holding Dozer) and Anya with the book. I love this photo!
Here’s an enlargement from the photo, showing Dozer getting his “fusses.” YOU TOO can have something like this (see below):
Dozer looked very large here, so I inquired about his poundage and the source of his name. The response:
Dozer is pretty big: 17 lbs, mostly in the head. He has surprisingly short legs. When we got him as a rescue cat he was 2 years old and had not been neutered so he had a very thick tom cat head and neck, thus he was named after a bulldozer. He has shrunk a bit since being fixed. The perspective of the picture makes him look a bit bigger.
Seventeen pounds! That’s a lot of tabby.
Anyway, I’ve decided to extend my offer for one week, until next Wednesday (after that I’ll be heading to Europe). Any reader who donates $100 or more to Doctors Without Borders—and sends me a receipt or proof of donation—will receive a similar copy of WEIT, autographed to your specifications and with a hand-drawn cat (I’ve drawn some of the readers’ own cats). No dogs, please! My supply of books is getting low, so move fast. Email me your request and proof of donation.
You can donate to DWB directly here.