When I was in Brussels, I worked at the Philips Research Lab. My first director there was Vitold Belevich, henceforth called VB. He was a man with several peculiarities, but foremost he LOVED cats. One day a poor wretched, hungry, and sick kitten entered the Lab, mewing in the corridor. He ordered his secretary to feed it with milk from the canteen, and that evening he took it home.

My colleagues also told me about the following story:

One evening, VB and his wife are giving a party at their home. At one moment, Mrs. B summons her husband into the kitchen. Indeed, she has discovered that a sizeable chunk had been bitten off from the smoked salmon that she was about to serve. There is no doubt about the culprit: it is THEIR CAT. She asks:

- Should we tell the guests about it?

VB's brain starts calculating (grinding gears: scrtch, scrtch, scrtch...). Finally he answers:

- NO.

So the party goes on, and everyone enjoys the salmon.

Later on Mrs. B summons her husband again. She shows him that she found the cat on the window-ledge, DEAD. So, was he poisoned by the salmon? Again she asks:

- Should we NOW tell the guests about it?

VB's brain makes a new calculation (scrtch, scrtch, scrtch...), and then he answers:

- YES.

So the guests are informed about what happened to the cat who had eaten the salmon. The party ends in a grim mood.

... A night spent in anguish...

The next morning, someone rings the bell. As the Bs open the door, the man there removes his hat and says:

- Well I am sorry to tell you...


... that yesterday evening, as I was driving here, your cat crossed the road. I could not avoid it. Seeing that you were having a party, I did not want to spoil it, so I deposited the corpse on the window-ledge.

It seems that this story is a classical urban legend. However it was convincingly told by VB himself... But maybe VB was a living urban legend?

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