Part 1: Weekend Warriors
It started, as most things do, with a mischievous night deep in the center of downtown Albuquerque. A night much like any other, including some awesome shots of my friends and I being morons in a photo booth, neon sunglasses, some face painting and glitter, and a performance by one of my favorite local pop bands, Monster Paws, that soon enough led to the usual post-show party foolishness. Now, anyone who has ever walked down the street in the wee hours of the morning in four-inch platform pin-up heels with a boy wearing a teddy-bear hat on his head and another with a unicorn painted on his face can pretty much tell you what happens next. The brilliant idea to go tinkle in an alley came up, and as I trooped back behind a dumpster to pop a squat, (did I ever mention just how classy I am?) is about the same time that the wolves came out.
‘Wolves’ is my term for the scary characters that I encounter on a far-too-regular basis on the sinister streets of Albuquerque and beyond. They are usually male, quite often homeless, and frequently inebriated. Most often they travel in packs and can attack with very little provocation. In this case it was a couple of real winners, probably members of some awful fraternity that encourages things like 4Loko, UFC, tribal pattern tattoos, and watching ladies pee in alleys- which is exactly what they were doing. No worries, I had a glittery posse.
So as I listen to my unicorn-painted friend try to reason with the wolves, asking them to back away and give me a moment to compose myself, I zip up and take off in the other direction. When it comes to the ‘fight or flight’ response I always run. Always. So I left Mr. Face-Paint alone to face the wolves. I watched from a safe distance on the far corner. Things seemed tame for a moment, but as my other friend, Mr. I’m-Wearing-A-Severed-Teddy-Bear’s-Head went to see what was happening, one of the wolves struck like a snake, punching my unicorn painted friend right in the face. It didn’t look pleasant, I’ll tell you, but my buddy just looked at them, then shrugged his shoulders and said something that I later found out was, “What? Hit me again, shitbag.” Astonishingly enough the wolves departed and we were left in peace to continue our journey.
We have a phrase for just how cool getting punched in the face for a friend is, and that phrase is Bro-Up. He totally ‘Bro’ed Up’ and took one for the team. I really appreciated it. So I began to formulate my plan to give him a ‘Thank You’ present. Not just anything will do when you’re trying to get a gift that has that perfect “Thank you for getting punched so that I didn’t get raped” message. It took some thought, but eventually I figured it out- I would get him a kitty.
Part 2: The Great Cat Caper
About a week went by. I ran my plan by a few other members of the crew, and for the most part I got raised eyebrows and responses such as “You are a horrible friend.” I figured that to be beside the point and I simply continued to let my plan brew. It seemed flawless.
Step one: find a kitty.
Step two: put the kitty in a basket with a cutesy note.
Step three: ding-dong ditch the cat on his doorstep.
Without any overwhelming support, though, I was only mildly planning on actually pulling off this little maneuver. But then came that fateful Saturday when I woke up with that all-too-familiar itch to find some mischief. It was go time.
The crew and I got together (despite some mild opposition) and began tracking down feral cats living behind photography studios and the like- but this proved to be a pinch too much effort for us. A more logical solution was to head to the Albuquerque Animal Rescue and pick some little snuggler who wouldn’t put up a fight or give us rabies. And there, amidst the pugs and pit bulls and Siamese cats, we found him. Immediately, he connected with us. Little dude is cute, sweet, and snuggly, and to top it all off he is polydactyl. I had a little bit of Berlin’s “Take my Breath Away” playing in my head as we gazed into each other’s eyes.
Everyone in the crew voted for him so I adopted him and we headed over to our buddy’s house to surprise him with his new soul mate. “Now, Lindsay,” you might ask, “What on earth makes you think your friend wants a cat, will like the cat, and isn’t going to punch you in the face when you bring him a cat?” The answer to that is easy- cats rock.
But seriously, a bit of background: I happen to know that this guy just went through a break up that resulted in his ex-girlfriend keeping their cat. He has mentioned it only about a thousand times. I also know that he loves cats. I also know that I love kittens and at any given moment of my life am at-risk for adopting one. I’m not quite ready to be a crazy cat lady, however, so I try to practice restraint.
So the kitten is all of ours, he’s simply the newest addition to our crew. He even has become a little groupie for Monster Paws (the group that led to his being adopted at all.) After everyone was good and acquainted and we had all given him a different name, we put Hemingway Bro Tron Sam Beam (Bro-Tron for short) on a leash and headed to our local pet-friendly patio bar for some drinks. We’re that kind of people. He’s that kind of kitten.