As you've likely heard, Minnie, who lives at McSorley's, is being sued... Per the Post the other day (read more here):
A New Jersey woman has kicked up a feline fury at the 156-year-old McSorley's Old Ale House, by filing a lawsuit claiming she was viciously attacked by the venerable bar's pet cat and had to be hospitalized.
Now, Minnie has a Facebook page... So, via Facebook, I asked Minnie for an interview. I realized that, on the advice of her attorney, she couldn't discuss the specifics of the pawsuit. However!
"Things are calming down here so I have some time on my paws. I'm glad to learn I have fans, but really the saloon is the celebrity — and all the nameless, faceless cats working out there every day to make hoomans a little more civilized. With that said..."
(Transcribed, as always, from my dictation. I do not type well with paws.)
How are you coping with your new-found celebrity?
Minnie: Celebrity, like a full food dish, is fleeting. Many famous people have visited McSorley's and I've heard tell that its age made them all feel a bit more humble. Although we don't usually get the arrogant ones. We got John Lennon, and Elvis and TR and Houdini and Chet Arthur and Belushi. The stuck-up ones go elsewhere. Meh. Their loss.
Besides, while dogs have been known to let fame and fortune go to their head (Lassie demanded bowls of red kibble only on her dressing room), we cats always land on our feet and therefore keep them planted firmly on the ground.
I will say I'm enjoying the outpouring of support. I don't even mind the requests for autographs. I love the cat people and am even patient with the non-cat hoomans, the well-meaning ones who'll ask me to "do something." Uh, come again? I met the Purina Cat Team a few times. They do tricks and are the exception to the rule.
Best/worst part about living at McSorley's.
Minnie: The best part of living in McSorley's is the opportunity to experience things you can't find anywhere else. I ask you, where ELSE could an 18-month-old cat get sued! Mew, mew, mew! (Transcriber: Here Minnie broke down in laughter.) Seriously, I love the history of McSorley's and the look on people's faces when they first walk in the door. Usually you only get that sort of look when you see a cat walk into the Vet's office. I can pick a first-time visitor 10 miles away. (Our eyesight is keener than humans, and so are our metaphors.)
I am also very fond, as McSorley's cats have been for a century, of the potbellied stove — especially this time of year. One of us was in e.e. cummings lap while he wrote the poem "I Was Sitting in McSorley's," about a snowy day in the saloon.
Worst part? There is really no worst part about McSorley's, unless you count Bloomberg's thugs stomping around and picking on us. "Why, yes, there is dust and the occasional fly, Mr. Health Inspector! Shocking in a 150-year old bar. Do you go to the Pyramids and complain about the dust? Do you go to the Statue of Liberty and complain about the corrosion? Do you go to Venice and complain about the trash in the canals?"
Wait, never mind. Bloomberg probably does.
That line etched in the window, Mr. Mayor, the one that says "we were here before you were born"? That's a message from 30 generations of McSorley's cats — and we'll be here after you're gone, too.
Do you prefer the light or dark ale?
Minnie: Light or dark, the eternal question. I'm afraid I don't drink the ale. I go to the bar and order Guinness. (Transcriber: More cat laughter.) No, just kidding. Of course all cats love the dark; we can see in it.