Me, my dad, and the cat I named Spooky Moon in front of our house on Albany Avenue in St. Paul in 1987.
We lost three cats in six years. Spooky Moon was the second.
Blackie, my first cat (and namesake for Blackie Portland, my porn name), escaped when we were camping. Don’t ask me what we were doing camping with a cat. I was five. My dad was 36. But let’s give him some credit: being a single parent ain’t easy. Camping with a cat starts to look like a good idea.
Spooky Moon was mauled by dogs on our neighbor’s back porch in San Francisco. She HATED the cross-country move and hid in a crawl space in our new house for a year, barely showing her face (my parents later told me she had always seemed a bit retarded). Then, at long last, she came out and … yeah. Mauled by dogs. That’ll learn ya. We buried her under a peace sign on the grounds of a water treatment plant behind our house.
Elsie was the pound-kitten that replaced Spooky Moon. I named her after a street near our house. My Aunt Rose later told me that “elsie” means “little cat” in an Asian language she learned on her travels. What a coincidence! (In retrospect, sounds a bit fishy to me.) When we moved back to St. Paul, my parents sent me and Elsie first, so I could start school. We stayed with my grandma and Aunt Rita. One afternoon I took Elsie outside. The phone rang. I went in to answer it. I told Elsie not to move, but she did. That was the end of that.
Cats. Can’t live with ‘em … can’t live with ‘em.
PS: My dad’s shirt is awesome, yeah?