Park Slope, NY - Fuggles the cat wasn't much loved by his new owner, Daniel Stone, who would sooner have gotten rid of him altogether... but then Fuggles became much more valuable.
Fuggles had been bestowed upon Mr. Stone by his girlfriend, Sophie Waller, who split for Quebec with some dude that she met while working at Starbucks in her trendy Brooklyn neighborhood. Before Daniel could bat an eyelash, he was slumped over on the couch watching midday, mash-potato brain television and occasionally making riskier than normal stock trades on his computer. He kept Fuggles for weeks, hoping that Sophie would come back and be happy that he hadn't ditched the bulimic, wide-eyed cat.
Daniel was eyeing a particularly risky stock trade one day, a company called Globual, that said it had discovered the world's largest deposit of natural gas in the Amazon rain forest. Normally, Daniel would steer clear of trades that sounded like they were bad for the environment. He owned a Prius and used a solar power battery when he was sitting in the café, for crying-out-loud.
However, since Sophie left, he was feeling a little more barbaric. "Who cares about the stupid rainforest?" Daniel said, eyeing the cat with contempt. It was a risky trade for sure, since the push back for "fracking" the Amazon would be high-but this was one of those ground floor opportunities.
Ultimately though, more level headed thinking kept Daniel from hitting the last few keys of the trade and he hesitated to send the purchase order.
"That's when Sophie called from Quebec." Daniel told us during our interview, which took place at the Starbucks where Sophie had met the home-wrecker Jean-Luc. "She said she was having second thoughts."
Daniel threw a change of clothes and his passport in a bag and was on his way to Quebec before he had given Fuggles a second thought. "Did I feed Fuggles?" Daniel thought as he was racing north in his Prius at a reasonable speed.
"I spent a week in Montreal, trying to talk Sophie into coming back to New York with me. Eventually, she caved in," Daniel recounted. "She said she mostly missed Fuggles," Daniel recalled, reasoning at the time that it was better than nothing. So the two headed fuel-efficiently back to New York.
When they got home, Daniel's computer was still open to his E-trade account page and Fuggles had left his business card, in the form of cat barf on his keyboard. That's when he noticed what must be an error with his account. He had apparently bought fifty thousand shares of Globual, the Amazon Fracking Company, for a dollar each.
"I called E-trade and they were like, no dude, you bought those shares five days ago," Daniel said. "That's when I knew what had happened. I remembered leaving the computer open when I split for Canada. I'm always having to shoo Fuggles off of my computer, hence the big dried clump of cat spew that I found on the keyboard."
So Fuggles had gotten in on the ground floor of Globual at a measly one-dollar a share. During Daniel's week in Montreal trying to woo Sophie back, the company had announced that in was in negotiations to get the contract to start drilling. Brazil had a very expensive Olympic Games to put on and needed every source of energy it could get.
Globual shares had skyrocketed to twenty dollars a share, making Daniel's portfolio worth close to a million dollars!
Daniel played it smart and cashed out right away. After a romantic first night back with Sophie, it seemed Daniel was back to his old "tree hugging" ways and feeling once again like fracking the Amazon was a little bit morally reprehensible.
So all is well in the life of Daniel Stone once again. Qui?
"Non,… not exactly," a forlorn Mr. Stone tells us. "Sophie and I got in a huge fight the very next day about the money. I was willing to split it with her but she wanted more." Sophie is suing Daniel for almost the full amount, saying it was her cat that made the trade.
There is case precedence that might help Sophie's argument too, in the case of Martin vs. Martin. A suit, which tore the Martin family apart over an E-bay purchasing cockatoo, who got in a bidding war and bought an original Matisse for twenty three dollars and fifty cents.
"We go to court next month." Stone said sadly. "The money is being held in an escrow account by the court until a verdict is reached. " The depressed man added.
Sophie also left with Fuggles, whom she secretly hoped could make even more stock trades. She planned on leaving her computer open on risky investments and having Fuggles walk back and forth across the keyboard to complete the transaction.
"Yeah, good luck with that." Said Stone with a laugh, who had planted the idea in Sophie's head, hoping it would stick on her way out the door.
Stone had drained the last of his other accounts, once again feeling in a "Globual" sort of mood. He scrounged together what money he could, borrowing from family and bought every Globual stock he was able to, hoping the price would still go higher.
Daniel sat, seeming impatient. He kept looking down at his iPhone throughout our interview.
"Are you expecting a call from your lawyer?" We asked.
No, it seemed Daniel was keeping his eye on Globual's trading price. "Down Five Grand on Globual so far. Guess I'm no Fuggles." Said a glum Stone, who sipped on his half-caff, mocha whipped, two pump latte and stared out of the Starbucks' window at the passing traffic, wondering if the world was exactly the right place for him.
Better Luck next time.