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Thursday, 22 July 2010

Chelsea RIP

Feline Friends
By Peter Frishauf
Junto Staff Writer Bio
New York
It was 1991 when a group of staffers at SCP Communications rescued a mother cat and three kittens abandoned in the stairwell of our office building in Chelsea, at 134 West 29th Street.

Thus began a long relationship with the eponymous Chelsea, mother of our SCP office cats who were loved or despised depending on who you were within the company. (OK, guilty as charged: their six-year stay was helped because I was CEO -- Cat Empathetic Officer).

A cat forum on our wiki-like computer bulletin board covered everything from cat-care, to how to avoid getting hair on your chair (leave a scotch-tape dispenser or stapler on your seat before you leave) to the cat-free zones in the office for those who were allergic, phobic, or both.

It was an era to remember. Chelsea, or a member of her family, was generally on hand to welcome a new visitor to the SCP office at the reception desk, or examine a new document as it emerged from a printer or fax machine. When SCP launched Medscape in 1995, our cats were there, and a TV show about our office in 1996 featured Felix as emblematic of the hip new digital culture of Silicon Alley.

True, the cats were once accused of bringing down Medscape down by tugging on a wire attached to a server, but we suspect it was because they sensed the presence of dogs.

In 1997 or so, Chelsea and Boots joined us in our home at West 103rd Street.

On Tuesday (July 7, 2010), Chelsea's long, 20 plus-year old life came to an end.

KC and I miss her a lot, but are lucky to have enjoyed her company so long. And happy to have so many great memories of our adventures with Chelsea.

If you'd like to share any memories (or pictures) of Chelsea, the SCP cats, or anything else Chelsea-related, this Google Docs Wiki, will let you do just that.