by MURIEL PAGAN
How many of you remember Morris, Variety’s orange tabby cat? Morris was Variety’s mouser. He spent his nights on the fifth floor of 154 West 46th St., trying to do his job. He may even have caught an occasional mouse, such as the one that got away from Norma (see Keith Keller’s story on Simesite or in the Souvenir Album).
In the daytime, Morris kept me company during office hours, sleeping on the top of my desk in the “in” basket. Whenever there were “problems”, such as ill health or unexplained listlessness when it came time for his daily catnip, Morris would be taken to the home of Joan Crowley, one of our switchboard operators, who lived on the East Side, who would pamper him and nurse him back to health. The biggest “problem” of all came the day the old office had to be vacated for the move to Park Avenue South. Obviously, the new corporates weren’t going to allow a mere tomcat to cuddle up in their fancy offices, so Joan and her husband officially adopted Morris and provided him with a permanent new home. He probably didn’t even have to chase mice anymore and doubtless wound up sleeping in some more elegant place than an “in” basket. During the time of Joan’s final illness, she used to laugh and tell me, “I don’t know who is going to go first, me or Morris.” Sadly, Joan went first and Morris spent his last days being taken care of by Arthur. They are now both spending time together again and hopefully bringing comfort to each other.