Monday, September 24, 2007

Ziggy Stardust

I was surfing around today and visited the lovely Mosaic Cat blog. I really like these cats and this lady. Back in Canada, I used to make mosaics and was surprised, when I visited last year, about the amount of projects and materials I have sitting in my mother's garage. They're waiting for me to come back, and I'm looking forward to getting back into them! Eventually.

See? Here's a Fish Chest I made my mom for her birthday.
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I liked the sides of it. Water lilies and sand.
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I was still experimenting with materials and projects when I put it all aside to come to Asia. Mosaic Lady's pieces are so lovely. I want them all. Anyhow, I didn't mean to be writing about mosaics, though let me finish off by saying I'm quite sure if Mosaic Lady and I were to meet up in person, chances are very high we'd be fast friends. And hopefully she'd let me play around in her studio. I'd even grout for her, because I know she doesn't like it- and I love it.

I followed a link on the MC's blog to The Cat Realm - where last month their lovely cat Anastasia went missing. She's still not returned, but it got me to thinking about many years ago. It got me thinking about a cool cat named Ziggy.

I moved out of my house when I was about 18 and pretty much right into my friend Kim's house. It was a better choice than my car. To say my leaving my "nest" was abrupt is an understatement. One morning I was living at the house I'd lived in for four years with my family, and 30 minutes later I was not. That's another story.

Eventually, my brother started dating Kim. So lucky he was, always having a big group of my beautiful friends to choose from. Then he and my girlfriend would have a horrible break-up, which meant the end of my friendship as well. Thanks, man! (He's now married to another of my highschool friends - Lori. Knock on wood we'll all be BFF.) So anyway, the three of us- Kim, Jeff, and I, were pretty much living together. In Kim's father's house. We decided we needed to get our own place.

We found this great house with a spiral staircase leading up into a loft from the sunken living room. Skylights and stained glass, it was lovely. We wanted it so bad. But, I don't think any of us were working steadily, so it was doubtful the landlord would rent to us bums. We ended up designing a reference letter with fake letterhead and we had our friends be our pretend bosses when the landlord called to have us checked out. (Our made-up jobs were at a Music Company and Recording Studio called "Now and Then Again." Those fake jobs rocked. I looked forward to getting up every morning and pretending to go to my imaginary job back then.)

I had a bedroom in the back above the elderly alcoholic's bedroom who lived downstairs. Those two old folks were hardcore alkies, and they would have brutal fights just about every day. It was interesting at first. If you were visiting us then, you might have walked in to find the three of us lying of the floor over the vents listening to Alma and Ivan scream at each other, while we tried not to giggle too loud. There's something disturbing about eavesdropping on a 70-something year old woman slur-scream "YA? WELL YOU CAN'T SHEVEN F*#& ME ANYMOW, YOU @&#^@ SHUNUVVABISH!" at her husband. Months later, we were given a respite, after Alma got taken away in an ambulance with a bandaged-wrapped bloodied head, as the police followed, leading Ivan away in handcuffs. An officer followed holding a plastic baggie filled with a hammer!

I'd do a jig and sing, "Bang bang Ivan's silver hammer came down on Alma's head!"
"Doo, do doo doo!" Kim would pipe in.

I've gotten away. Far far away from what I was talking about.

When we all moved in together, Kim brought her cats. She had two boys, Ziggy - a furry black and white big-balled strapping male, and Sebastian (Thebathtian) who spent a lot of time being gay and neurotic in various closets. We loved these cats, and would often forgo TV and instead watch these guys as we listened to music from my brothers giant stereo in our smoky living room. The cats would roam above us, balancing and criss-crossing on the exposed beams in our high ceiling. We would have a running commentary on their actions. Such good boys.

And then one day Ziggy was gone. But this wasn't unusual. He was often outside. I don't think anyone was very worried after a couple days. Ot was spring. He was probably out with the ladies. But after a week we started to miss him. Kim would walk around calling him and head toward the old neighbourhood. But no Ziggy. With each passing day, we were more concerned. We put up posters with pictures asking people to call if they spotted him. But nothing. Everyone was so sad. Ziggy was such an awesome cat and it just flattened us to think he'd gone out and gotten himself lost. Or worse. But as the weeks turned into months we had to let go, and realize he was gone. Thebathtian theemed thad. He spent more time in hith clothet.

Spring turned to summer and it was quickly heading into fall. One cool nightm after a happy game of "Hearts" at Kim's uncle's house nearby, Jeff and I and Kim stood in the kitchen talking to one another. I remember I was the one gabbing and gesturing with my hands as I tend to do, when I glanced over at the patio door. And then I got stuck. My words were stuck, and I looked at Kim and Jeff with big round eyes. I couldn't even breathe, really. I reached my hands out and grabbed Kim and Jeff by the front of their shirts and finally let go of the shout lodged in my throat.

"ZZZZIIIIIIGGGGGGYYYYYY!"
And I let go to point toward the glass door.
There sat Ziggy with his nose up close, looking at us like, "What?"

He had been gone for months! In the city. The big bad car-filled stray dog city! Kim ran to open the door and get him, and she snatched him up in her arms. The three of us danced around shouting his name and asking him where he'd been. Kim held him in the air by his armpits and waved him around and Jeff and I stuck our hands in his soft dirty fur. And we were leaking. And shouting. Such joy! Ziggy looked down with unamused yellow eyes that flickered between us, and searching for his bowl. Thebathtian came out of hith clothet and we four sat on the floor and asked Ziggy questions as he gobbled up food. "Where have you been? We were so worried, where were you? Were you lost? Are you ok? Why didn't you call?"

Ziggy finished eating and then walked away only turning once to shake his tail at us. Again, like, "What?" Thebathian followed Ziggy to try and clean him up a bit, (he was a Groomer) and, I suppose, to get Ziggy to share the stories of his adventures.

Sometimes against all odds, they do come back.

4 comments:

Laura said...

WOW!
Thanks for pimpin' my blog! What great surprise, and your work is gorgeous. No wonder you miss it and get vicarious hits from mine. Please Please come grout for me. I have 10 pieces sitting idle right now waiting for you.

It's a good thing you live so far away in another time zone or I'd drunk dial you a LOT!

And you're right...we'd be great runnin' buddies if we lived close by. You remind me a lot of some of my favorite friends in high school and college (that's a good thing, really!). I've only had a couple gal pals in my "adult" decades that were really funny, brilliant, bawdy and irreverent in the way I adore.

Anywho...I'm sposed to be in there making a mosaic something or other now but it's way funner to surf the web and wait for the Prez of Iran to start yakkin' on CNN.

Cheers, Jelly!
Mosaic Lady & Cats

Jelly said...

Believe me - I'd TOTALLY grout for you! I love it! It means the end - pretty much, of a piece. I tend to shred my hands making stuff. Too often my things are filled with my blood, sweat (and sadly) tears. So grouting is like playing in the mud. I like it A LOT!

Your comment makes me happy.
I'll e-mail you!

Jelly said...

Oh - and if you meant "runnin' buddies" to mean "not running in any way shape or form," then yes!

You mean "beer run," yes?

Mike Bohemoth said...

Cool mosaics! Got more pics?