Elvy Yost & Rubbish


“It was a cold and lonesome winter, and I was playing a pet owner in a wonderful play. The bohemian unguessable will-o’-the-wisp life of an actress had convinced me I couldn’t be a pet owner in real life, but I was about to be surprised. One cold and rainy morning that winter, thanks to her keen mother-to-be radar, a lovely pregnant woman heard some muffled hoarse cry-squeaks. She opened a nearby trashcan to find… rubbish. Tiny, cold, about to drown in garbageous rainwater, darling, miserable, distended-bellied, smelly, little, baby, rubbish.

I saw the heartbreaking adorable scruffy photo of her face after her first post-rescue bath, and fell in love. I suggested she be named after her place of discovery, and was told I could name her that if I adopted her… I excitedly said I’d take care of her for eleven days while her rescue-couple went out of town, but of course, those eleven days turned into the rest of the life of: rubbish.

The first thing I did was sing to her, and the second thing I did was pick her up by the scruff of her neck in my mouth so she’d know I was her mom. She was so tiny back then that she would ride around on my shoulder like a wee soft parrot. She arrived four days before my birthday, and a sweet castmate at the time called her my “cosmic birthday present”. I met my human sweetheart nineteen days later; I think opening my heart to my special cat was the gateway to opening my heart for my special human.

She flops and writhes at my feet whenever I walk in the front door, and air-chomps like a possessed lipsmacker when she sees a bird or a squirrel out the window. She chirpsqueaks when I sing or play ukulele, which has lead me to believe that she was a jealous little juicy chanteuse of a showgirl in her past life. Little reincarnated flapper.

Knowing my nomadic lifestyle, I trained her early on to be my little travel companion. She’s been on buses, aeroplanes, in theatre dressing rooms, in television set trailers. She’s hovered over the streets of New York in a Kermit the Frog tote bag, and zoomed around the streets of Los Angeles in a backpack-for-cats. She’s been in sublets, homes, friends’ homes, traveled with me to the Sundance Film Festival, been discovered on shelves and in cupboards, in patches of sun and under beds, and best of all: in my arms for cat-life.”

Elvy is an anti-fascist pro-feline actress, singer, composer, casting directress, and calligrapher who splits her time betwixt New York and Los Angeles.


Photographer based in Brooklyn, NY.

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