Years ago, I went to college in London. I roomed with a girl from Boston. Her name was Valerie.
Valerie was dating a boy who was, in my totally uninformed opinion, a big sack of wheat. There was another boy in her life, Tom, who seemed to love her dearly. He called long-distance—because that was a thing back in 1996—and wrote sweet letters even though he was busy with an internship out in Los Angeles.
I didn’t know anything, but I told Valerie that she should consider dating Tom because they seemed more compatible.
Well, Valerie and Tom are now married with three kids. And, while I take no credit, I take all of the credit. Come on, man! That’s a great story!
Val also introduced me to her family, who are wonderful, and to a circle of friends back in Boston. Throughout the years, some of those relationships have expanded. I met a friend, Sully, who is pretty remarkable. He’s a filmmaker and a general badass. He and another one of his friends, John, decided to drive across the country back in 2000 (or maybe it was 2001).
He asked, “Can we crash at your place in Chicago?”
I had an apartment and only one cat—if you can believe it. I invited Sully and John to sleep on my sofa bed. Two dudes in my apartment may seem sketchy, but it was totally comfortable and platonic.
I stayed in touch with everybody, of course. Years later, when I thought about ditching human resources and being a cat blogger, I opened up a Facebook account for Scrubby. Right away, the algorithm worked its magic. I became fast friends with a cat named C. Angus Floyd—a fuzzy black kitty who looked like Princess Monster Truck before PMT was cool.
C. Angus Floyd (or just Angus if you’re nast-ay) was a charming and handsome cat. He had impressive outside interests, too. He liked design, furniture, art, great music, good food, and fun movies. And it turns out that Angus belongs to a woman by the name of Jen, who is John’s wife.
Small world! Small world! Small world!
So Jen and I became friends, and I had an opportunity to see John and Jen when I went to Harvard in 2013 to speak. They have kids, and we had a pizza party. Sully was there with his wife and kids, too. (Sully’s wife and children are awesome, btw.) Angus made a guest appearance, and I was happy to meet the wooly man-cat who knitted the circle together.
But sad news to report. Angus passed away. Ugh. There’s never enough time.
Angus’s passing is horrible, but I am reminded that life can so astounding. From two college kids in London to a community of adults with careers, kids, and cats on Facebook! Amazing.
In my mind, Angus serves as a testament to the power of social media to expand and enrich lives. My relationship with Angus’s parents is very meaningful to me and represents the perfect blend of online and in-real-life communities.
So this post is for Angus, Jen, John, Sully, Tom, and Valerie. I’m raising a virtual meowtini to their families, their kids, and to their animals. I love them, and my life is better for knowing all of these amazing people (and wooly creatures)!