Monday, January 17, 2011

THE Cat of Parkdale

I remember clearly the night that I first conceptualized this blog.  I had just moved to Toronto, I was heartbroken, unemployed and confused.  I didn't have a lot of friends here yet, so I used to spend a lot of time walking the streets at night, exploring my new home of Parkdale.  I walked all over the neighbourhood, trying to figure things out.  One night, I walked up Gladstone Avenue where it (used to) meet Dufferin, and I came across this cat sitting outside this ramshackle house reminiscent of my elementary school portables. 

As I walked up to him he jumped up on the recycling bin (on the right) and asked for pats.  We had a little love sesh and I felt so infinitely comforted and welcomed to the city. He connected me to my cats at home and all the cats I have had, known and loved in my life.

I didn't have a camera to capture the moment, but I saw what an integral, equalizing role animals fulfill in a city.  Being near animals - cats, dogs, squirrels, pigeons - makes me feel more human and connects me to my inner animal.   

That was about a year ago and I was lucky enough to come across a picture of this fellow on my new friend Lillith's facebook.  How many other people do I know who have had a moment with this same cat?  His sweet trust somehow connects us all in this big cold city.  I wanted to document this phenomenon in some way. As I've gained friends here, I was able to do so through their generous support of my blog and sharing of their cat pictures.  I will always think of this cat as THE cat of Parkdale.  Cat connections forever. Love Ellie.

Thanks to Lillith Ze Davil for the picture.