I have a long history with cats. Just can’t say “no” to cats. Funny, someone once told me that the difference between cats and dogs is that dogs say “yes” all the time, cats say “no” all the time. Well, whether that is true or not, I just can’t say “no” to a cat. That’s why at one time our family had about 45 cats. Yes, all had names, all came and went as they pleased, all had distinct personalities. Many contributed to my on-going project, aptly named, “Death By Cat”. What they brought home, I recorded. Not for everybody, for sure, but a way to memorialize the victims. The opening photo is of Ying, one of my main collaborators.

But really this is about another cat. Grey Cat. He showed up at our house many years ago, a big, grey tom cat. He hung out and slept in our barn at night. He wouldn’t let anyone near him, but was very willing to eat whatever we fed him. Slowly, he became more friendly but wouldn’t come into our house. He also got bigger and bigger. And by bigger I mean fatter. In fact very, very fat. He was like a grey basketball that had no bounce. Since he seemed more and more vulnerable to the other outdoor night creatures, I had a studio meeting to see if anyone objected to a studio lump…I mean cat.

At the time I had a great bunch of people at the studio. Jana was the devilish ring-leader, with Jonathon, Colin, Dominic, Alex, and several others cycling through. Jana said “sure why not” and everyone agreed. So I caught Grey Cat and brought him in. Everyone freaked out! Jana couldn’t believe his size, his belly actually dragged on the floor. And of course, Grey Cat freaked out. He ran, I guess it was sort of like running, into the prop room and disappeared under the shelving. He never came out. You could look under and he’d just be watching you. He was fed every night and every morning his food bowl was empty. Still he never came out. One day when we weren’t shooting, we were just working away, which meant hanging around Jana’s desk bullshitting when Grey Cat came out of the prop room. No one could believe their eyes! He was thin and svelte, muscular and about 10 years younger. He was socialized as well. He spent the rest of his life watching over the studio and sleeping in my office.

So that was Grey Cat. But really this is a post about the wonderful people who have been part of my team over the years. Many, many more names should be mentioned and will be down the road. I owe much of my success to them. I’ve been lucky to know them, to work with them, to travel with them, to learn from them, to teach them. My life is richer because of them and I want you all to know it.

4 Responses to “Cats”

  • Bill

    Where can we see the “Death by Cat” images? Have only seen one or two, and they are wonderful.

  • Colin Lane

    Aw shucks. Sitting in a hotel room in Krakow right now getting all nostalgic. I miss Grey Cat. And you, and Alex and Dominic and Jana! Hope you’re well.

  • Martin

    I know it’s been a long while but I think of you and Laurie fondly. I think
    It would be great to catch up. I hope you’ll be in touch. Best Martin

    • Bruce

      Well, thanks for checking in. We are well and living in Portland, Oregon. I too have fond memories of you guys. Last time I saw you and Susan, you had a little, little baby named Jane. Bring me up to date.
      Best to the Tandlers, Bruce

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