Mordecai Siegal Archive
The great Louis Armstrong used to refer to all of us as "cats." And if he admired anything at all about you personally he said you were a "cool cat." After all these decades, the expression still has the same meaning. What greater compliment is there than to be a cool cat according to the Satchmo . . .
Manhattan's answer to the Starbucks Empire is the proliferation of independently owned neighborhood coffee bars. You should not confuse these small spaces with the old coffee shops of another era where a guy in a white paper hat slammed down a splashing cuppa Joe on the Formica counter as he offe . . .
In early October, I received an e-mail invitation from my dear friend, Chaplain Cherilyn Frei, the Director of Spiritual Care at Ronald McDonald House of New York. It was to attend a special Mass in celebration of The Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Animals and Nature. She refer . . .
The following column is reprinted with permission from an article by Mordecai Siegal, which appeared in the beautiful "Cat Fanciers' Association Inc. 2007 CFA Yearbook." It can be purchased online at : http://www.cfainc.org/catalog/ye . . .
Because of low metabolism, it takes me more than an hour each morning for the blurry sleep to burn off like fog and open my eyelids. To put it mildly, I’m not sharp first thing in the morning. It takes strong coffee (2 jiggers Columbian to 1 jigger espresso) to give me a jolt from one large, fla . . .
In April of this year, I received a letter from an animal rescue worker, Ms. Jean Cullen from Pahrump, Nevada. In it, she asked me to look over the material she sent me about a "wonderful place, Rolling Dog Ranch Animal . . .
I used to know a cat named Gus, and he would clear a room faster than a kid sucking on a lemon. Way back when, we were a group of young adults who used to get together for fun a couple of evenings week, like the first act of La Boheme. We were all friends then, and I even married one of them, lon . . .
When I was much younger and uncertain of my future as a writer I often heard about sightings of Norman Mailer walking his Standard Poodle along the beautiful Promenade that forms a belt around Brooklyn Heights. My friends and I, young aspiring writers living in Greenwich Village, were intrigued t . . .
I sort of knew a cat named Bogart back in the Sexy Sixties, and now it can be told that he sort of lived at a very popular hangout, a restaurant and bar on a busy avenue in Greenwich Village. It was a sort of secret at the time because the Health Department Code of New York City forbids animals f . . .
Wonk is computer-ese for an expert in a given field and appears to have derived from spelling the word know backwards. You can stop grinning, because this word refers to those who want to be taken seriously (although you are allowed to wink). I suppose it applies to most of yo . . .
There are twelve beautiful trees gracing my block on Charles Street. I consider myself very lucky to have them. From the glass door leading to my terrace, I watch the seasons change as these very trees sprout buds, tender leaves and then large green ones that look like open hands. At this time of . . .
I guess I am no different than anyone else when it comes to the crisp, cold-weather holidays, from Thanksgiving (my favorite) to New Years Day. It is all a matter of what you choose to anticipate, mind you. What is on my mind right now is the day I . . .
So much has been said about the horrors visited upon the Gulf Coast cities and towns it seems almost useless to add to it. Of course, it is always useful to express your feelings. When I was a very young man in the U.S. Air Force in the early 50s, I was stationed for almost a year at Keesler Air . . .
The ink is barely dry on her new book, The Lady and the Panda (Random House), and author Vicki Croke is already getting her fair share of attention in a tough month for authors that have seen the new Harry Potter installment and the Woodward and Bernstein deep throat thriller hoggi . . .
Wait a minute. This is not about treason; it's about that misunderstood term, co-author. The title of this piece is just a smart-ass way of saying that writing with another person sometimes feels like that, even if it is not true. Of the 33 books I have written, 11 of them were with the sa . . .
To my surprise and disquiet a features writer from the Wall Street Journal interviewed me for several hours during the busy days leading up to the Westminster Dog Show. In other good times, I have been interviewed by our own Steve Dale, among others, for his syndicated newspaper column and radio . . .
It's hard to believe that it's been five years since goodnewsforpets first crackled in the electric vapor. Holy Plasma Screen! It's older than my computer. Imagine. My "new" ThinkPad is old enough to be embedded with the dusty exhaust of Manhattan's electrostatic air. Not only . . .
One of my pleasures each morning is watching my neighbors from the terrace of my little Greenwich Village apartment as they give their dogs their morning stroll. I stand near the ledge, sip coffee and sometimes talk to a friend on my cordless phone. . . .
Taken in part from a keynote address given at an awards dinner for the Hillsborough County Veterinary Medical Society in Tampa, Florida. A friend of mine lives with a dog named Daisy, who has more pent-up energy than a nursery . . .
The Dog Writers Association of America was appropriately born in a back room at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 1935. It started with 30 editors and publishers. Today, members also include broadcasters and online columnists, and total over 500 who make their living reporting about ' . . .
Those who know me are aware of my aversion to country living. For me it is all too quiet among the trees and very, very dark at night. Then there is the cacophony of the evening crickets and the cicadas to break through the silence along with an oc . . .
If I could afford the side trip, I would enjoy teaching what I have learned about writing over the past 53 years to those who have a burning desire to fill blank sheets of paper. Unfortunately, teaching is a luxury I simply cannot in . . .
Nestled between the many disadvantages of living in New York City there is the benefit of always having something current to write about and something interesting to do at lunchtime. It all began when Lea-Ann, our founder, l . . .
One of lower Manhattan's busiest thoroughfares is Houston Street. Hold it, guys. New Yorkers pronounce it, HOUSE-ton Street. Recently, I was in the city of Houston (pronounced: HUE-ston) to attend the Cat Writers Conference and to s . . .
As we leisurely stroll down life's bucolic lanes and roads, with a lollygag here and a vegetative gaze there, resembling a giraffe staring into a camera, we barely notice subtle changes such as the dulling of our taste buds and the growi . . .
This column is reposted in celebration of the life of Mordecai Siegal, a longtime goodnewsforpets.com columnist and friend who passed away on April 1, 2010. It was originally written in 2003 about the Westminster Kennel Club Show that year. A legendary . . .
The cutting chill of winter is slowly, grudgingly giving it up for spring which is lurking somewhere just beyond the weatherperson's pointer. It is now a game of temperature numbers; today it is 520, tomorrow it will be 57< . . .
When I was a married man, my wife and I owned a summerhouse on the south shore of Long Island which we sold so that we could have a third child. We were there for seven years, staying in what was essentially a vacation cottage from Memor . . .
With my birthday in late July, I am left with only one more year as a sexagenarian (look it up, it's not what you think). One of the benefits of this, in addition to discounts at the movies, is that nostalgic moments creep in on little . . .
In a galaxy far, far away, we lived on MacDougal Street when it was the coolest street in America. The problem was that we could only walk our dog early in the morning and late at night because the sidewalks were jammed with tourist . . .
Once upon an ending, years ago, oh, so many years ago, there was an old woman who lived with a large, gray cat, in a deep-down basement on a winding, twisting street in that strange and curious place . . .
For me it all began before Christmas on December 9th, 2003, at one of Manhattan's truly fabulous restaurants, the Blue Water Grill, which is not a place where dogs usually hang out. They can't afford it. It was an upscale PR luncheo . . .
The only person I ever met or interviewed who wrote about dogs as a professional and didn't own one or live with one was the late Walter Fletcher of the New York Times who for many years covered Westminster and all the important dog . . .
I only know of one instance where heartworm disease actually did some good for a dog and a person. The dog was a rescued Golden Retriever named Dakota, who it turned out, had extraordinary qualities, qualities beyond anything you c . . .
Before sitting down to work each morning, I always stand in front of the glass door that separates my small apartment from my even smaller terrace. With a luke-warm mug of coffee I squint out at the narrow street below and t . . .
Growing up in Philadelphia with no money or contacts was an inauspicious start for a kid with a desire to write. All I ever had was a bit of lunch money. I studied journalism in high school, wrote a column much like this one . . .