You introduce me to another old guy who’s from my world and an old hippie probably and I say to him, “Dude….I never thought I’d be looking at somebody that I recognized from my world and my life and I’d be calling him “Dude.”
And I step through the years of my life and my world of cats, going back through history to Margaret, the first of my cat lives, but even that one wasn’t the first. I could go back to the cat from Will Love that we had on the farm in Cockeysville, Maryland, just down the road from where John Waters was working on Pink Flamingoes.
And then there was Behemoth who is a whole story on her own. Her head was cockeyed. I knew her when I knew Arnold the BlueJay who lived with us at the Newman House….was it it the Newman House?…no, I don’t think so. Maybe it was…it was a little coffee house building where we did one act plays back in my days as a student at Drew Theological Seminary.
Then to California and after a generation and a life as a dogman….when I broke off with Cheryl and moved into that Santa Monica house with Ed and Robin and John Tays. And that was the start of my CAT-LIFE….and Margaret was her name. So yeah. Margaret was my first CAT LIFE; no offense Behemoth and no offense, un-named cat that lived with me in Cockeysville, Maryland, that once belonged to a guy named Will Love, but that’s another story.
I remember I was taking a creative writing class with the wonderful T. Chorogison Boyle and one of the stories I sent in was called “That Asshole Cat.” It was only a few lines (like maybe 6 or 12 lines) and people said it was too short to be considered a story and that I shouldn’t get credit for it because the story was like 6 or 10 lines but Tom said no, it was a real and full story even if it was very short and that it actually was a very good story.
I gotta say that made me feel very good…and it was true, it was a good story. I wish I still had a copy of it but it was back in the days of carbon paper and I never saved those things and they were impossible to digitize and now I understand they have been the contents of my life; the chronicle of my passage here.
I’m talking about the cats and their lives….not the carbon paper.
So there was Margaret and her litter of babies…and there was that little calico I called “Beanie.” He ran out into the street on night and got run over and that ended the history of cats with freedom to come and go.