Those were the waning days of the go-go 80’s in randy San Francisco. The earthquake brought myapartment building in the Marina down around my head. Mark, my then fiancé, rescued me, movingwhat little I could salvage into his bachelor bungalow above Ghirardelli Square.It was all about love in those days; aerobics and dinner
after work, weekend hikes in Marin,food shopping in North Beach. Like most young couples, our lives were charged with sex and secondrun films, with nary a thought to a complicated future.Fast forward twelve years when our six-year-old son, Max, poked me awake one morning beforedawn, unable to defeat jet lag from the previous night’s flight from Boston where we had beenvisiting family. Groggily, Max crawled under a blanket in the TV room while I rummaged through a box of videos in search of one to occupy him. I came upon an ancient relic marked “Mama, Harryand Sally.” This was the family of cats we rescued after the earthquake. It was a curious choice for atape to watch now because Harry had shockingly deteriorated during our weeks back east. It wouldtake the veterinarian another day to make a house call and terminal diagnosis. I must have sensedimpending doom as I pulled the video from its sleeve.“You look like a girl!” Max remarked as the video began. I leaned in closer, stunned at the sight of myself: nubile and thin, manicured with tousled curls wearing Mark’s nightshirt. In breathy tones Idirected Mark to pan the room, zoom in on Harry Cat and his sister, Sally, pull back to show MamaKitty nursing them.