Yo, Rocky here. They asked me to do an interview to give you guys some kind of behind the scenes look at shelter life. Yea, I got your behind the scenes look.
Q. How did you get to Friends For Life?
So I ran this cat gang out of I-10. One day, we were grabbing a snack that this guy was serving us. The next thing I knew, just as I had this freakin’ awesome chicken leg in my mouth, I heard this door close and I was in this little wire box. I do not mind telling you I was pissed. I mean, wth, Dude? I will tell you straight up that I let them know I was mad. In the first three months I was there, I sent three of the FFL-ers to the hospital. Word. Thing is, you go from controlling everything to controlling nothing and this thing they call “rescue” doesn’t seem cool. But then I realized I actually do control them. They bring me my food, constantly try to figure out which cushy bed I would like the most, and build little window seats for my napping pleasure.
Q. What does a typical day look like at the shelter?
Well, I wouldn’t know some of it. It appears to start early. I’m not very interested until breakfast. It seems to involve a lot of scrubbing, litter emptying, and medication handouts until then.
For me, I like to be sure I get in my 22 hours of beauty sleep, but I try to make myself available for photo ops and shelter tours if I’m not on my break.
Q. Who is your favorite person?
I kind of dig Angie even though she does like to dress me up in outfits. Humans seem so easily amused. All we have to do is put on a sweater and you guys just live the dream over it. Such simple souls.
Q. If you could be anywhere else, where would you be?
I’m a Be Here Now kind of guy. Wherever I am is the place to be. Around four everyday, you can find me on the kitchen counter making sure that Buddy does not get my share of the dinner grub–which he would totally eat. His title is FFL Ambassador. Ambassador translates to “guy who lost out on the Mascot title, “ near as I can tell.
Q. When do you find yourself the most happy?
One of my favorite parts of life is when I can get them to bring my food to me. I guess I’d have to say I’m happiest in that moment they wake me from a nap to offer me tasty snacks.
Q. What kinds of duties do you have as the Friends For Life mascot?
Like I’ve said, it occasionally involves wearing outfits. That is not my favorite part, but I kind of feel sorry for them because it is clearly a bright spot in their otherwise kind of simple lives. So ok, make me a freaking Cupid again. Laugh it up, Bozos!
I have to accompany the director through the back of the house on tours. She is terrible about scheduling those things in advance with me. So I often don’t know we have one until I hear her say, “Here is the back of the house …blah, blah…” I know from the time I hear that, I have about a minute before she gets to me. I get up and walk withthem to each room. I sitand pretend to listen attentively. Truth be told, I’m a little bored with it, but I think it boosts her confidence to have me there in case she forgets something. Once she skipped a room, but I remembered. I sat there until she realized it and came back. Yea. That’s me—keepin’ it together when the humans can’t.
Q. Who is the person you trust the most at the shelter?
Uh, they neutered me. I am always a little on my guard.
Q. Who is your favorite shelter friend?
There is this one little guy. His name is Pepperoni. The first time I saw him I thought he was just like your regular orange teenage guy. He seemed friendly enough always says “Hi Rocky!” when I walk by. He does tricks—he knows how to high five and go through a hoop. None of that is too amazing, I guess until I tell you, Pepps is blind. True fact. Little dude cannot see squat. But you’d never know it. I heard the behaviorist say, “He’s a brilliant and courageous person.” I gotta admire him cause he’s not all “waaah, waaah me.” He’s always walking around like he can see the place. He is a really happy little guy. He uses his litter box every time (which is head and shoulders above some of you other guys. You know who you are.) He uses this scratching post and can even jump up on top of it. He’d really like a home. He keeps asking me, “Hey Rock, can you see my people yet?” I just tell him “No kid, not yet.” But it’s gonna be a really good day when I can say, “Yep. And they look nice.”
And you people out there who walk by him…check this out. How many cats can do this?
He even has a music video! Geez, I’m the mascot and I don’t have a music video. He’s cute but what an overachiever.
Cute little dude, huh?
Q. If you were the owner of the shelter what would you change?
I would definitely have those fountain things that dispense chicken baby food.
Q. What aspects of mastcot-ing would you say you especially excel at doing?
Tough to pick just one because really, I am kind of an all-around guy. I will let kids pet me, I look great napping for photo ops, and can do action stuff too–perhaps you saw my recent photo spread in the Houston Chronicle?
Q. What is your most attractive feature?
I’m not sure if it is my eyes or my sense of humility.
Q. What’s your favorite treat?
Tough choice. I try not to discriminate. Baby food chicken flavor is delicious, but I’ve never met a plate of Fancy Feast that I didn’t like.
Q. Do you have a favorite outfit?
Q. Do you like other animals?
I’m not a big fan of dogs. I don’t see them very often so it’s all good.
Q. What do you enjoy to do in your spare time?
I have no spare time. Mascot-ing is a full time job. Nap here, eat there, do this tour…I’m a busy guy.
Q. Rocky, are you writing these questions yourself then just saying what you want?
Yes. I find it very freeing.