Alexis Patterson & Mr. Claude


“I got Mr. Claude in 2008 from a shelter when he was about 3 months old. As the other cats meowed and fought for attention, he sat quietly in the corner shivering. They informed me that he may be suffering from cat laryngitis and may never meow. They tried to push “healthier” kittens on me, but he was the one that wanted. To this day, he still does not meow.

Mr. Claude is by far my best friend. He has traveled from Florida to NYC with me, has seen me through many breakups and job failures. And in July 2013, probably the hottest summer I have ever experienced, I helped him recover from “death’s grip.” At the time I was living in the Lower East Side in a 5 story walk up with no a/c unit – it’s no joke, heat literally rises. Mr. Claude had been acting kind of sluggish. I blamed it on the record breaking heat and my recent change in relationship status. My boyfriend of about 4 years moved out earlier that week and I thought, like a great friend that he was, Mr. Claude was mimicking my displays of heartache. We would lie lethargically on the couch together, when I cried he would hollow too. I did not become concerned until I realized that he was not drinking his water and there was blood in his litter box. Worried that he was severely dehydrated, I decided to try and force feed him pedialyte through a bottle. This was a bad idea – Mr. Claude let out a painstaking cry and passed out. Horrified, I hailed a cab 11 blocks to The Village Veterinarian.

The Vet informed me that Mr. Claude’s bladder had exploded due to a large kidney stone that was preventing him from peeing. The Vet said it was possible that he may die. I lost my shit and hysterically begged the Vet to save him. I never thought I’d ever find myself in the position of agreeing to a $2,500 life-saving “sex change” for my cat, but the thought of possibly losing my buddy was absolutely unfathomable. Long story short, after weeks at the Vet, Mr. Claude recovered gracefully. My friends now joke and call him Miss Claudette.”



Photographer based in Brooklyn, NY.

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