Celebrity Stalker

by Fredrica Duke
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postcard-chicagoHave you ever met a famous person 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.


morris-in-directors-chairFinally, 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.

cosmoThe 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.


Fredrica Duke shares how she discovered her love of food while growing up in Los Angeles on her blog Channeling the Food Critic in Me.


#4 Peter Hoover 2012-09-17 01:13
It rocks.. two (y) (y) up. Aloha Wakko.
+2 #3 janet graham 2012-09-11 20:34
i remember cosmo and how much you loved him. he was a cool cat. much cooler than Morris. i loved this story! kept reading to find out who you had this obsession with. couldn't believe your audacity, the lengths you went to get what you wanted. and what a humorous twist. i love your voice, your quirky values. keep these stories coming. they're delightful.
+2 #2 Barnaby 2012-09-11 13:26
What a great story! Hilarious (: Cosmo is cutter anyways
+2 #1 Jennifer Dudley arbs 2012-09-10 18:12
Morris purrs 'nother rewind. Second hse in Malibu. You were my port in storm. Recall 3 dogs and kazillions of felines. They crawled all over me. Especially thru my legs while I put makeup on b4 heading down PCH 2 work. I DETEST CATS! After 2 weeks I filled the DUKE red Audi mobile and became a nomad. Any bed sans cats! Not even a famous one Jenn still in charlevoix ..xx

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