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W42ST Daily 6/22/2020

First came Monty, a white and ginger rescue kitten brought home after Guide camp when I was about 13. Dad had always said he’d never have pets – they’re too much trouble – but Monty won his heart and the two became best of friends (but only when Dad thought none of us were looking).

Jack and Rigsby joined my roommate Susan and I – they were crazy little rescue kittens who hid behind the TV for the first week, then slowly grew to love us, despite our late-nights, random parties after the bars had closed, and revolving door of friends and lovers. They came with me when I got married, moved house, had kids. Jack went missing one winter and was found months, after the snow thawed, stiff as a board in a neighbor’s yard. Rigsby passed away in my arms that same year. They’re both buried in the garden.

We weren’t going to get any more cats, but then we acquired Willow one summer visit to the north of Scotland – a scared, neglected little kitten who desperately needed a home. We loved her fiercely, but omitted to get her spayed, so she had a litter of scrappy little kittens while she was still really just a kitten herself. We farmed all the offspring out to friends bar one, which we kept until it disappeared one day. I can’t even remember its name.

About three Easters ago, Willow didn’t come home either. We waited for her return. Put posters up around the neighborhood. Then, gradually, accepted that perhaps a fox had taken her. Or (the preferred option), she was living her best life with a family far more loving and attentive than ours.

I guess what I’m saying here is, I’m a cat person. They’re smart AF, need very little attention, and refuse to “perform” for treats. They fit into my lifestyle, and I into theirs. I’m basically a cat.

This weekend, I’m cat-sitting Zoey. A COVID orphan, she ended up in Williamsburg after a brief stint in Hell’s Kitchen – her owner trapped overseas since lockdown. She’s the quietest, most easy-going kitty I have ever encountered (and I’ve encountered A LOT). And she needs a forever home by July 15. 

“In the three months I have had her, I have fallen in love with her,” says my friend, her foster mom. “She is the sweetest cat and has this lovely, delicate meow when she wants something. I would love to keep Zoey but my situation doesn’t allow it. I want her to go to a lovely family who are going to be patient while she settles in and give her the cuddles and love she deserves. She really has the sweetest personality.”

She’s around two and a half years old, has had all her vaccinations, and has been spayed. 

Likes: Watching birds and chirping at them. Suddenly stopping in her tracks to fall to the floor for tummy tickles and long petting sessions. Naps and grooming.

Dislikes: Having her ears touched and having her nails trimmed.

If you can take Zoey and love her, let me know. I’ll cat sit when you’re on vacation.

I think Matt can sense my resistance. We’ve been “meeting” weekly for about just over a month – him a cordon-bleu trained chef, me the reluctant learner; him coaxing me gently to have fun in the kitchen, me wondering why we don’t just cut out the middle woman (me) and order in.

This week’s recipe was a good, old-fashioned breakfast fry-up – with home-made baked beans. You can find the recipe here.

Highlights included Matt telling me the corn starch paste should have the consistency of “spit or sperm” and me, after about 45 minutes cooking and 15 minutes washing up, wondering why we didn’t just go out and buy a tin in the first place.

Because they’re WAY more tasty. And way more healthy. And, having made them, I now have beans to last me at least a month. Look out, ozone layer.

Thanks to Karin, whose guerilla chalk messages have been appearing all over the neighborhood and beyond. If you’ve spotted any more, send them in. 

There’s a cocktail demo, virtual bingo, and stories of hope at RMM’s summer campaign kick-off tonight. The theme? “Still Open: RMM Standing in Solidarity with the Hell’s Kitchen Community for 25 Years.” You can register here.

There’s a ton of stuff about our old New York life we’re missing right now. If open mic nights is one of them, get your fix tonight – come with your music, comedy, poetry, whatever! Just keep your clothes on, kay? Find out more.

As New York enters Phase 2 (hallelujah!), our bars, restaurants, stores, and hair salons/barbers are slowly opening up. Support these local businesses and ensure Hell’s Kitchen keeps its unique personality. Add to our list of open businesses by posting your favorites on Instagram, using the hashtag #W42ST. 

It’s the New Victory Theater’s acro week. Learn how to warm up properly, then the art of balance, trust, teamwork, and all the skills that make the best circus acts. Disclaimer: you will NOT learn to do this with cats. Start today here.

If you like staying connected to your neighborhood through these daily emails, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it with a friend. They can join the W42ST tribe too – by signing up on that big yellow blob.