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