Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Cat I used to know....

I don't talk about this subject much. I'm not really embarrassed about it, but more that I grew out of it? That I got tired of "the scene" or maybe it's that the kinship I had in Southern California was absent here. Whatever it was, I used to be a furry. In a way I still am. Every so often I'll draw Rummyhunny, my fursona and I'll flip through old sketchbooks and art I've bought in years passed, but sometimes you're reminded of your past and it almost hurts that you allowed it to be forgotten. Last March I got a phone call from my friend Waar Horse's brother. Waar had passed away from a heart attack. I had seen him the year before when he was up for a con and we wandered around Pike Place Market on a very rainy day and talked over chai and crumpets. He was one of my best art customers and always worked security at cons. We'd dance together and when me feet gave out, he always offered to soothe them. Over the next few days after that phone call, I heard from other friends in SoCl about his funeral and so on. I felt ashamed I had ever left and I cried. My last message to him was wishing him a happy birthday in December. Yesterday I got a message from Kat. She's the only one left from that life that I still semi-regularly talk to. We're both artists and very theatrical ones at that, so there's a bit more connection there. It could also be that for 4? Years we'd tell our stage fright to behave and put on a crazy show at Califur. But this time it wasn't idle prattle. This time another figure head of my time was dead. I don't remember the first time I met Stalking Cat. I'm sure it was at Rick and Tess's house in SoCal. I was a freshman in college and recently out of a bad relationship with the guy I'd left my highschool sweetheart for. Furry was an escape for me. A way to be more outgoing than I was in 'real life'. But my first memory of Cat was him picking me up from school and a bunch of the students freaking out because I knew him. I remember buying us coffee from Starbucks and then getting a ride up to the house party. I remember after a con going to the Outback Steakhouse and watching him and my wolf gal pal Rage share a piece of "blue rare" steak. He'd paint Kat and I up for the cabarets so we could shake our money makers. In 2003 that world started to fade. My highschool boyfriend and I got back together and I stopped going to the house parties every month. In 2005 I graduated from college and moved back home to Seattle. Rick had gotten a job up in Everett and he and Tess invited Stalking Cat to live with them. I know he loved it up here. There was a stronger sense of pride in the Native Ameicn tribes up here it seemed. In 2006 I got married. My ( now ex) husband was Blackfoot and I Jewish, so Rick ( a rabbi) and Cat ( a shaman) officiated at our wedding. I remember telling Cat about my divorce a year later and remembering him say he wasn't surprised and that the guy wasn't cool enough for me. My new boyfriend wasn't into furry but WA supportive, but I was so happy that I didn't need to escape anymore. But maybe Cat did. Away from Hollywood and the media, I know Cat had a hard time financially. Down in San Diego he did computer stuff from home, but up here none of the I.T. companies would look passed his appearance. He couldn't hold own a job or help around the house to pay his rent, so he eventually had to move. I remember him calling me every so often out of the blue to tell me how much he hated Nevada but I used to find an excuse to get off the phone because I listened to people complain about things all day at work. So I'm sorry to say that when I was told he had committed suicide, I actually wasn't surprised. It's a terrible thing but I know he was troubled. It wasn't the trouble the media rags spread about there must have been something wrong with him for him to want all those tattoos and modifications and whatnot. But he didn't get the love and understanding he deserved. The kind you get when the people around you are blind to race and color. I remember giving him a tour of Real Networks with my dad who kept quizzing him about networking and commenting on how much he knew. Or Cat growling about driving up the hills FROM Real Networks in his beat up truck with the epic stickers all over it. Or the time he got on a fan boy's case when the guy asked Cat why he'd gotten breast implants. Cat very honestly an humorless ly would explain that he had testicular cancer and they had been removed. But he kept the breasts because otherwise his tattoos would get messed up. He was always very candid like that. I'm reading news articles about him and wishing that I could correct them. He was so caring and loving and sharing. I consoled him when his cat Morris passed away. I remember how he'd smile with pride showing off his tiger art collection. Most of the art of mine that he had I gave in exchange for rides or body paint. That was the Stalking Cat that we saw. That's the Cat the news people don't talk about. He was spiritual and was a unique being, not man or cat but parts of both. Despite the sharp claws and teeth, he was kind and has hopefully found peace. In the spirit world. -Rummy


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