On Facebook: “Ummmm, where is Stewie? We haven’t seen him in a long while!”
In the halls: “Mrs. Koehler, we saw Stewie in community today! How’s he doing?”
My child’s GRANDMOTHER: “Can I come over and see Stewie? I miss him.”
Meeting a neighbor: “Nice to meet you, can I ask you what the name of the orange cat is?”
I’m a pretty cool person I think. I mean, I’m most definitely an introverted, book loving, tv binging nerd at my core. But there’s a niche for that, no? Yet somehow, I have become an assistant to the feline celebrity in my midst. My duties include but are not limited to maintaining his glossy coat, tricking him into letting me brush him and work on his never ending mats, providing his favorite dollop of whipped cream, facilitating his torturing of the other cat, fluffing his favorite towel, and being on hand to open the door so he can greet his neighborhood fans apparently. I am constantly fielding requests and queries as to his well being. I’m forever behind the camera on my phone so as to catch the perfect shot that will appease his throngs of devotees. I swear I could be hobbling down the hall in a cast carrying my newly awarded Nobel Peace Prize and that orange floof would still get center stage in the conversation. Heck, even people who don’t like cats, like him. (you know who you are)
It started on FB because he really is that cute and troublesome. So a few pics turned into a Daily Stew (see what I did there?). This must have a shelf life, I said to myself. How much could people really tolerate my posts about my cat? I had a perfectly good child to post about. Well, it turns out VERY much. If I skipped some days, I might get a message or a post asking where he was. They miss him. Then someone mentions he would be great for our community feelings lessons we have each morning with students across the district. So why not? And that’s how Stewie became a district-wide feline celebrity. I met with a former student virtually the other day. A student I have not seen since last March and 2 minutes into the conversation he asks how the orange beast is doing. Everyone in his class that recognized him when he came across the screen a few months ago felt like a celebrity in their own right when they could excitedly yell, “That’s Stewie!”
So I need to break the news to my principal that I might be leaving one assistant position to take on another full time one. Or break the same news to Stewie? Tough call.
Some of the many faces of my Celebrity Stew. Which Stew are you today?
I can only attribute his success to the isolation of 2020.
That has to be it.