What you missed (but it’s not too late!)

September 19, 2012 • 11:24 am

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.

21 thoughts on “What you missed (but it’s not too late!)

  1. You just reminded me to go check the mailbox. Thank you!

    I still need to get an ink pad, but I should have a chance to do that this week….


    * I have no idea what “q1” is supposed to mean, but it’s what Baihu typed as he transitioned from the desk to my shoulders. b&

  2. Mr. Coyne:

    Totally off subject, but if you haven’t viewed (just posted); Google: PROOF THAT CATS ARE BETTER THAN DOGS (YOU TUBE) 3:20.

    Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
    At one time I had 7 cats in a mobile home. Have 2 dogs now. Love ’em all!.

        1. Thank you, I’ll send it on to all my friends who own these lesser creatures, as well as those who are owned by their cats.

  3. OOh, ooh, I donated $100. Proof on the way, Dr. C.! (I already bought QTY=2 of the bargain HBs of WEIT on Amazon a while back!)

  4. I hope sometime you will post a few of your drawings although I understand that they should be used for special occasions only.

    What wonderful photographs of Dozer and what a great name.

  5. If you were going to do some serious fund-raising for Médecins Sans Frontières
    you might consider having bookmarks made with your book’s cover info on one side, blank on the other. For a donation of say, $25, you could offer to sign the book mark either on the back or the front. Postage’d be a first class stamp, and I bet a lot of people would love to have a Coyne cat bookmark. I would!

    1. You remind me — I was going to mention.

      If I had to pick two causes to support, they’d be MSF and the ACLU. There’re other worthy causes out there, to be sure, but none more important to me than them.

      The ACLU is only of tangential interest to the international audience, which makes MSF the obvious winner, and it makes me glad that Jerry went with said winner.


  6. I made a $100 contribution but I cannot figure out how to get an email to you. Probably obvious, but I am overlooking it.

    1. Just find my university email address: Google “Jerry Coyne University of Chicago” and send the receipt and your snailmail address (as well as signing/drawing wishes) there.

      Thanks for your donation!

  7. Jerry – a deal. I will donate $100, if you get your publisher to make WEIT available on the Kindle app for Australians. We are a nation of early adopters (although this isn’t early), and I appreciate authors who remind publishes that there are other places apart from the US.

    1. Ah, I’ve already tried to do that, and failed miserably (it’s not my publisher who would do that, but my agent). Either you or other Aussies have suggested it, and I did my best.

      Anything else I can do to persuade you to cough up the bucks?

  8. You’re a sweet man, Prof. Coyne. And thanks for adopting DWB as WEIT’s charity; they are great people doing fantastic work, often in harm’s way, and deserve all the support they can get. (I like that you said DWB ‘does a hell of a lot of good’.)

  9. Pixel does the same thing when she wants picked up. She’s like a toddler in that she’ll stand on her back legs and reach up with her front to be picker up. As soon as she sees one of us reaching for her, she starts purring (before we even make contact). =)

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