Aside from his love of writing, Michael is an armchair anthropologist, political junkie and history buff, a dreamer and a schemer, cat companion, and aspiring rap lyricist. When not writing, he may be found training hand-to-hand combat in hallways, bathroom stalls and other close quarter settings. He has been called an honorary ‘Soul Brother’ for his love of Motown and 70s R&B, and has a professional background as a market launch, brand development and guerrilla marketing specialist for tech startups. As a biographer, Michael has chronicled the lives of genocide survivors, entrepreneurs, war veterans, and, most recently, the incredible comeback story of a baseball star who overcame decades of drug addiction.
As a Story Terrace writer, Michael interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better: you can read an autobiographical story of his own below. Get in touch today to work with him!
My Favorite Kitty: the First Time I Ever Saw His Fat Little Face
I was nearing the end of sixth grade and it was Lauren’s 11th birthday and she declared that she wanted a purebred Siamese kitten, and that according to her research mom should be willing to spend up to $200 for one. ‘$200?!’ I thought to myself, incredulously. We already had The Wild and Wooly Pudin, and, plus, shouldn’t we be supporting social consciousness by rescuing a kitten from a shelter? I certainly had my reservations, and when I learned that we’d be driving all the way out from Lake Forest Park to the boonies of Monroe, I thought to myself, ‘wow, this must be a specialized breeding farm, or a scam.’ Likely the latter, as Siamese were, in my mind, a rich person’s luxury—people living on the Eastside, like Grandma and Poppa, owned them. Not us.
We were too middle class; kitties of our social standing were Calicos, Tabbies, Russian Blues like resident cul-de-sac alpha male Gris and maybe Tuxedos like Pudin, our unneutered and newly arrived challenger to Gris’ throne.
Lauren had scoured an ad in the Seattle Times classifieds (you entered this world at the end of the analog era, when people still thumbed through paperboy-tossed newspapers and Craigslist was just a place for casual sex) and so we contacted the folks and drove their way.
As we journeyed in the ’93 Jeep Cherokee away from metropolitan Seattle and through cow manure stench farmland strips of highway and old auto rows and bleak horizons of flat brown grass, I was all the more certain that this was a hoax. Purebred Siamese kitties—entire litters of them—did not come from places like this.
Nearing our destination, we pulled off the paved road, opened a rusted gate of weather-beaten wood and veered down a dirt path with tall trees overhead. The sun was soon to be falling, and it was a setting out of Deliverance, only I was 12, buck-toothed and flabby—the antithesis of Burt Reynolds.