MILLIE......

Millie had started out as most urban kitties do, abandoned very early in life by a neglectful mother either too drunk or too busy with gentlemen-callers (or both!) to raise her litter properly.……Although Jacob Riis photographed her at one of the most dire times of her young life, Millie’s natural beauty shone through, and brought her enormous notoriety in all the gazettes of the day. Society matrons flocked to her neighborhood near Five Points in an attempt to “rescue” her and be seen as the “great philanthropists” that wealthy citizens found to be the most fashionable hobby. She did indeed go on to a very comfortable life, but she became an inveterate thief of people's personal property; it started out with small unimportant objects, pieces of string, a paper clip, rubber balls, coins, things left on dressing tables....You know the type! But then she began to raise the stakes. The police couldn't trace the crimes for years because there was no rhyme or reason to them... a rubber band on Monday would be followed by a $2000 earring on Wednesday... What she couldn’t carry off to her hide-aways, she’d simply knock off the edge of tables in an off-hand sort of way, usually when no one was looking, but sometimes right in front of them! Finally, the authorities tracked her down...she was hiding in a seemingly abandoned paper bag….but her rustling gave her away. As they closed in, she leapt out at them in one final burst of surprise scaring the crap out of all of them. Yowling triumphantly, she escaped and was never really caught again...although there were reports for years that she could be seen lying on other people's desks, pillows, sweaters, bathmats, open romance novels, fashion magazines, dress patterns, gentlemen’s “French Calendars”... you get the idea. She could, on occasion, allow the unwary to scratch behind her ears and compliment her on her lovely whiskers as she did her bathing. Reportedly she was very well loved in spite of, and perhaps because of, her life of narcissism and mischief. …..She had private accounts at Luchow’s, Tony Pastor’s, "21", The Stork Club, The Russian Tea Room, The Rainbow Room, oh, all over..... Of course, she never paid her bills, but they kept seating her anyway…. And at the best tables. She lived to the ripe old age of 22, although she lied about her age till the very end, claiming she was only 3 or 4. She might have lived longer, but she was killed in a motor car accident of her own design. Her friends had warned her not to drive herself, but she insisted, even though it was very difficult for her to see over the steering wheel of a Duesenberg, and a stolen one at that! She was laid to rest in a very expensive cigar thermidor of carved mahogany with her favorite lobster fork and a brass door knocker in the shape of a pineapple. Her many kitty friends delivered hours of eulogies in the alleyway behind Bergdorf’s …at the top of their lungs…. And the nice people at the Plaza Garden Court catered the luncheon….