Celebrity Stalker

Have you ever met a celebrity and felt let down?  I have.

Years ago, I was obsessed with an actor in a series of television commercials.  Obsessed.  I stopped what I was doing to watch his overly aired ad.  I was in love.  He not only had charisma, but attitude.  Not hot like Johnny Depp or anything, but he possessed that je ne sais quoi.

I just HAD to meet him.  There had been a lot of publicity about him and I knew one thing — he lived in Chicago.  Well, I just happened to be in that very city.  So, I made a few phone calls.  I was an actor in commercials, he was an actor in commercials.  I knew people.  Those people knew his people.  Someone pulled some strings.

A man from a huge ad agency would be picking me up at my hotel.  My actor lived outside the city.  A 45-minute drive.   Some really nice person I didn’t even know was willing to make the introduction.

I’m beyond excited.  I got all geared up, couldn’t sleep the night before.  I never cared much about how I looked, yet I dressed my best.  Put on a little makeup.  I was ready early, waiting for the car in front of the hotel, over-the-top excited.  It would be magic when I met my crush live and in person.  We would run into each other’s arms and he would insist on living with me for rest of his life.  I’m talking non-stop to this random ad agency dude the whole ride out about my deep infatuation.  He’s humoring me, pretending to be in rapt attention.

Finally, we arrive.  Way out in the sticks.  I walk in.  The place is a complete dump.  Totally ghetto.  I cannot believe it.  Can this possibly be the home of Morris the Cat?  I mean, with the kind of dough he’s making from his 9 Lives cat food commercials, he should be living much fancier.  Guess he’s not so “finicky” after all.   Me, a naïve, star struck fan has confused the actor with the role.

In fact, we’re in an animal shelter and veterinary hospital called the Hinsdale Humane Society.  It’s where this big orange tabby was discovered and still lives.  I’m escorted down the hall to an office in which he’s allowed to roam free, and I’m expecting fireworks.  But when I enter, “Morris” doesn’t even get up from the desk on which he’s lounging.  He ignores me like I don’t exist.  I’m pulling out all my feline seduction tricks like my loud purr that draws all cats to me.  Not Morris.  I try the hand-stretched-out-at-head-level that other cats can’t resist, as they walk straight to it for a good petting.  Again, I’m getting nothing, and he’s giving nothing.  I wonder: Is he gay?  I now know he’s not the great method actor I assumed he was, he just plays himself in those spots, aloof.

The people that work at the animal hospital don’t even have any interesting anecdotes about wacky & wonderful things Morris does.  They offer me the perfunctory autographed photo — his headshot with lame paw prints.  I grab some of his fur, thinking something great might still happen.  I put it in an envelope.  I am now longing for my own cat back at home.  I’m thinking Cosmo is a real star compared to Mr. Fame here.  I can’t help but compare.  I have the most special boy that lives with me.  What was I spending all that time fantasizing about?  If Cosmo were only discovered by a great agent, he would be HUGE.  He has so much charisma he won’t need someone to loop his voice.  His voice is magic.  He talks all day.  He grabs random tampons, puts them in his mouth and drops them in the bathtub to bat around.  Cosmo fetches when I throw little pieces of fur I collected in my childhood or rolled-up balls of foil.  I needed to get home and make it up to Cosmo.   What a fool I was, nearly cheating with another guy when I already had the best one at home.  Kind of like leaving Robert Pattinson for some older, married director.

Morris the Cat’s paw prints


In the last few weeks one of the most famous award winning restaurants in Chicago closed.  Charlie Trotter’s.  Here are some other restaurant ideas, Obama approved.  Italian Fiesta Pizzeria, that apparently leave patrons speechless, that’s how good the pizza pies are.  Topolobampo, which is a mouthful of a name is one of chef Rick Bayless’s interesting and innovative Mexican Restaurants.  MacArthur’s is a soul food restaurant (my favorite) with homemade meatloaf and sides like zesty collard greens and sweet candied yams.  Barack Obama wrote about this restaurant in his second book, “The Audacity of Hope.”


Cosmo, my own big rock star of a cat!!!!!!


me and the love of my life, Cosmo


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12 Responses to “Celebrity Stalker”

  1. Jonah Wilson says:

    Another funny clever blog Fredde, I rememebr Cosmo so well!!!

  2. gari says:

    fredde you are hysterical!! i really thought you were leading up to brad pitt or george clooney !! not morris the cat!! i love your writing and it always brings me joy!! keep up the good work!!

  3. simon says:

    great story> just one question. you collected little pieces of fur as a child? like big game souvenirs, a little tiger fur, kodiak bear fur, dodo fur (ok I know they didn’t have fur)? Do you have any left? does the smithsonian know?

  4. Hoov says:

    (y) (y) Ony Wakko could find a crush on him. He does rock on TV though.. Cosmo though is part of the hood and what else can a distant misplaced ski bum find living in the South Pacific about a crush except: Cosmo Rocked your life. Nothing more needs to be quacked. Aloha Wakko…. Hoov

  5. Doreen says:

    I think he was gay. 😉

  6. This is so you Fredde and I think I remember you doing it…Such a great story…

  7. Valentina says:

    Fredde, this one is a jewel. I could see reading this in TV Guide, Emmy Magazine, or Reader’s Digest, or… a feline fancier’s pub. I think you should submit for publication, as other cat lovers will totally get it.

  8. pauli says:

    Another glimpse into the soulful psyche that is Fredde. Thanks for the chance to share your ride – we have all had a crush (or seven) that didn’t quite live up to our imagination.
    Very nicely written!

  9. Augie Duke says:

    Sheeessh i was hoping for some Johnny Depp from the 70’s and i got an orange cat, think about it Johnny Depp and Cosmo look more alike anyway so there… Love it great story you freak a leak going above and beyond for a cat. I probably would do the same perhaps.. Apple does not fall far from the tree people…..

  10. janet graham says:

    i love this fredde. so clever and full of fredde duke wit. just keep the stories coming.

  11. Debbie Schellenberg says:


    Sooooooooooo clever. Have you thought of a book? Let’s get together soon. I would love to see you!


  12. Mitch says:

    Very cute. You had me all ready for something big and then, well, he WAS a big cat.

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