Slap shot

My first wife, Georgia, and I found him as a kitten while living in Ottawa, Ontario. He started life as a combative kitten and grew into an adult that liked a good brawl. Georgia called him our little vampire kitty because he would lick your blood off his claws. After the marriage “went south,” he wound up with me. He loved graduate school in Philadelphia. It was his type of place.

 Clancy had a favorite musician, Warren Zevon. Clancy especially liked numbers like Werewolves of LondonLawyers Guns and Money, and Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner. There was a beat-up Windsor chair in my Philly apartment, and if I put a Warren Zevon tape on, the cat would jump onto it and challenge me to a duel. He hated it when I gave in too quickly. He preferred a quality combat experience – one with blood spilled – mine. He would sulk around the apartment, mutter to himself, and then attack my leg suddenly, forcing me back onto a combat footing until he tired. 

I found one way to distract him, a game we called Cat Hockey. Playing this game requires a multitude of small hi-bounce balls. We had dozens. The play took place in the kitchen using the refrigerator as the goal. He, of course, was the goalie. It was my job to get a ball past him and under the fridge. Clancy took great pride in deflecting my shots, making moves where he’d leave the “net” and attack me, or finesse a shot into the living room. Clancy typically won this game…it was safest that way. He didn’t handle defeat in a sports cat manner. We had so many balls to put off the moment when I had to get on my knees with a stick and retrieve the balls. Clancy had to supervise and crowded my view of the dusty under the fridge goal zone.

Ultimately someone unfamiliar with his proud Canadian heritage would suggest that the game could be cat soccer. At which point, I’d recommend that they came around some night when the Maple Leafs played the Bruins. When the movie Slap Shot came out, it was for sure his type of movie. Clancy would have fit right in with the Hanson twins, Killer Carlson and Ogie Oglethorpe. He loved to “drop the gloves” just like the hockey players of that era.

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