Blood Brothers: Skeeter and Hoosier

Posted on December 15, 2017

Matt Duffy, Cathy Duffy, Tom Duffy, and Erin Duffy pose for a picture with Skeeter’s brother Hoosier as he is held by his mom Doreen Ewert in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

(Editors note: Skeeter Duffy, “First Cat of San Francisco baseball” and family cat of Tom, Cathy, Matt, and Erin Duffy from Long Beach, California died last month at 15. What follows is an amazing tale of the search for Skeeter’s long-lost twin brother, written by Skeeter’s dad Tom Duffy.)

Special Guest Blog by Tom Duffy

We had a special reunion the Saturday after Thanksgiving. There is a back story here, but the shorter version is this: in November of 2015, we’d tracked down one of Skeeter’s brothers, the one that was nearly his twin. His name? Hoosier. In the same crazy fashion that year had unfolded for our son Matt and Skeeter, it turned out that Hoosier lived right smack in the middle of (well, sort of)… San Francisco. In the Sunset District, to be specific. Hoosier resides with his human, Professor Doreen Ewert, who teaches at USF. This part of the tale alone still has us shaking our heads. Like, where else would they be living?

We had originally planned to introduce ourselves to Doreen and Hoosier in person back in 2016, but the situation changed and it went to the back burner. Since our family celebrated Thanksgiving in the Bay Area this year it felt like the right time to finally meet them, and bring along Skeeter’s great friends Brad Mangin and Andy Kuno. Sort of a little celebration of Skeets’ life, but with a twist. And what a twist it was.

Now, a bit more back story is required here. Mom Cathy was the one who had originally rescued all four kittens from Skeeter’s feral litter around 15 years ago, devoting personal time to each of them in an effort to domesticate the little wild cats. Somehow, ‘I’m-not-a-cat-dude’ Dad got sucked into this vortex and became an unwitting assistant. The point is that we and the four kittens got to know each other pretty well for five months. At that point in time, Danny (now Hoosier) and Charlie (renamed Cougar and now passed) left their brother Skeeter and sister Lindsey for their new family. So, there was a definite reconnection aspect to the visit.

The visit? It was pretty darn cool. Doreen was an engaging and gracious host with an easy laugh and fun personality. We thoroughly enjoyed her narrative on how she broke the news to her two Giants fan sons that their big cat was Skeeter’s blood brother. Evidently, while they were big fans of Matt and Skeets, they weren’t as impressed by Skeeter’s size and appetite as the average fan. And why should they be? They had their own version of him right in their own home! They did enjoy the surprise news though, as did all of their friends and Doreen’s co-workers when they found out.

Now for Hoosier. Seeing him again was like… well, a lesson in the power of genetics. In plain English, it was like seeing Skeeter again, only one week after he left us. The size, the look, the uncommonly affectionate personality. Even his affinity for his fellow felines’ food bowls. It was all straight out of Skeeter 101, like he’d rehearsed for the part. It made us both sad and happy at the exact same time. But mostly happy.

When it was over, we couldn’t stop comparing notes about the uncanny similarities between Hoosier and his late brother. Their runt sister Lindsey, here at home with us, is nothing like them. We all agreed that Hoosier had that same awesome way about him that Skeets had, making it obvious that he was as special to our new friend Doreen as our big boy was to us.

In closing, our thanks go out to Doreen for welcoming us into her home and sharing some quality Hoosier time with us. It was a unique opportunity and we enjoyed every minute of it. We plan to see them both again, and hope Giants fans will somehow embrace Hoosier as they did Skeeter. He’s a big awesome cat, just like his brother was.

Enough words here- have a look at the photography of Brad, Andy, Erin and myself to fill in the blanks. Just be sure to remind yourself of one thing as you view them…

…this is not Skeeter.

– Tom Duffy

Skeeter’s brother Hoosier in his house in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Tom Duffy)

Skeeter’s brother Hoosier as he is held by his mom Doreen Ewert as Tom Duffy pets him in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Andy Kuno)

Skeeter’s brother Hoosier as he is held by his mom Doreen Ewert as Tom Duffy takes a picture and Cathy Duffy watches in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Skeeter’s brother Hoosier as he is held by his mom Doreen Ewert in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Tom Duffy)

Skeeter’s brother Hoosier sits on the floor as Tom Duffy pets him in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Andy Kuno)

Skeeter’s brother Hoosier lies on the floor as Tom Duffy takes his picture in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Andy Kuno)

Skeeter’s brother Hoosier lies on the floor in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Matt Duffy holds Skeeter’s brother Hoosier in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Andy Kuno)

Matt Duffy holds Skeeter’s brother Hoosier in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Matt Duffy sands Skeeter’s brother Hoosier to his sister Erin Duffy in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Tom Duffy)

Erin Duffy holds Skeeter’s brother Hoosier in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Andy Kuno)

Erin Duffy holds Skeeter’s brother Hoosier in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Skeeter’s brother Hoosier in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Tom Duffy)

Skeeter’s brother Hoosier smells Tom Duffy in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Matt Duffy holds Skeeter’s brother Hoosier as everyone else takes pictures in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Andy Kuno)

Erin Duffy pets Skeeter’s brother Hoosier in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Skeeter’s brother Hoosier in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Erin Duffy)

Erin Duffy, Cathy Duffy, Doreen Ewert, Tom Duffy, and Matt Duffy pose for a picture in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Skeeter’s brother Hoosier lies under the bed in San Francisco, California on Saturday, November 25, 2017. (Photo by Tom Duffy)

What Others Are Saying

  1. Rosemary Picado December 15, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Awesome story about the Duffy’s, Skeeter, and his brother Hoosier. They have really brought some joy into this Giant’s fan’s heart! Thanks for posting the story and pics! They’re awesome!

  2. Lisa Duffy-Way December 15, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Oh, this made me cry! (surprise, surprise!). Such a beautiful family story. I wondered about Skeeter’s brothers. How crazy Hoosier lives in SF! Well written Tom 🙂 Nice to see you again Hoosier. You are a spittin’ image. Doreen is blessed to have such a special sweetheart in her life. Thanks you for sharing Brad and Andy!
    Love, Aunt Lisa

  3. Touchdown Tommy December 16, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Great story. I’m with Tom Duffy, not much of a cat person due to allergies. There is a cat in our ‘hood in Oakland who is the same color, but not the same dinosaur size, and goes by the name Stormy. He loves our dogs.

    Over the years our dogs have become more relaxed when he runs up to greet us. Sadie (Dachshund mix) and Rue (Maltese mix) are a bit skeptical because they are not sure about his version of play time. Stormy is gentle when he takes a swipe. They can’t yet make the connection to their own method of ‘wild kingdom’ play time on our sofa. You should hear them! Sounds like they are going to rip each other apart!

  4. Barbara Anderson December 16, 2017 at 12:58 am

    Thank you, Brad, for sharing this. What a great cat, and what a great family. Learning about Hoosier, and getting to see him, made missing Skeeter a little easier. I miss Matt Duffy, though, and that’s not gotten any easier.

  5. Brad Mangin December 16, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Rosemary- I am so glad you liked Tom’s story. We all had so much fun meeting Hoosier.

    Brad

  6. Brad Mangin December 16, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Lisa!

    Oh man it was super nutty seeing Skeeter’s twin and Tom did such a great job writing all about it. We all had so much fun visiting Doreen and Hoosier!

    Brad

  7. Brad Mangin December 16, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Tommy!

    Thanks for sharing your story. It was so much fun. Both dogs and cats bring so much joy to all of our lives.

    Brad

  8. Brad Mangin December 16, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Barbara,

    Thanks for the nice note. We all had so much fun and I am glad we were able to put Tom’s story together with all these fun pictures.

    Brad

  9. Rod Banuelos December 20, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    I was looking for an update on skeeter. Sad to hear he passed. But It was a great story to hear about his brother and the families quest to locate him. Spending time with him surely helped them heal after Skeeters passing.

  10. Brad Mangin December 21, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Glad you like the story Rod. It was really great for everyone to meet Hoosier after losing Skeeter. Thanks for taking the time to send a note.

    Brad

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