Gus was the Mayor of Irving Street, and he had a million friends. Particularly amongst the walking rush-hour crowd.
Practically every morning, as I stumbled in a sleepy haze towards the bus stop at 14th Street, that cat greeted me on the sidewalk with a mumbled mowr, and the droopy-eyed look of indifference that old cats develop. Sometimes it sounded like he was sympathizing with my fatigue and desire to just crawl back to the pillow that hatched me an hour before... And sometimes I think he was ordering me to move along and stop interrupting his Very Important Loitering.
Gus never roamed far from his stoop, on the 1300 block of Irving Street, and he became as recognizable a face as the crossing guard on the corner, or the guy selling the morning Post from a plastic chair on the side of the road...
Now there's a memorial on the sidewalk, with items added from people around the neighborhood. It's funny, touching, and sad--but it illustrates one reason why I love Columbia Heights, even with its occasional hemorrhages of violence and crime. This kind of spontaneous memorial never would have happened in friggin' Glenmont.
And all this, from a guy allergic enough to cats to restrict all Gus Contact to a single index finger, for boopin' on the nose. For Gus, I'm sure that boopin' was quite enough. Anyway.
Git thee to Valhalla, dude. There's a sidewalk in the Summerland with your name on it.