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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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The Feline Field Level Report

I wasn’t able to get into last night’s historic Home Opener, but I do have a dispatch from someone who did. Special FAFIF correspondent Creamy the Cat had a great field level view of the proceedings and filed this report.

Everything you’ve heard about Citi Field is true. There’s not nearly enough foul territory.

Sorry if I offend any of you hardcore baseball fans out there, but I’m the type who likes to get up and roam around in the course of a game. I know they’ve allowed greater access for concessions and such — and I’m very interested in what they’re serving at that Catch of the Day seafood stand — but I’m not the kind who attends a Mets game and can satisfy myself with just watching or walking. Sometimes I need to go full out into a sprint.

That’s what I loved about Shea. Lots of foul territory. I could just kind of go about my business and nobody would bother me and I wouldn’t bother them. Not that I’m above bothering people. Listen, I’m a cat. I don’t really give much thought to people, but they have a tendency to get in my way.

Citi Field? Not much room from the line to the wall, so I get a little skittish when I feel closed in. Gotta run. It’s what I do.

Haven’t been in the outfield yet, though it does look pretty expansive. Yeah, I could run wild out there. Yet as a cat, it also looks like I could get lost. We’re creatures of habit, you see, and we like to get into a groove. The last place, I liked the symmetry. I knew where I was. 371 feet in the alleys, perfect for your alley cats. 338 feet in the corners, perfect for curling up and snoozing. Simple.

This place? Where the hell am I? How am I supposed to find my way around? If I ever get out there in the outfield, forget it. I’m going to be running in circles. It might bug some of the people. Again, not my problem, but we’re all mammals, right? Surely humans like knowing where they’re going.

Why do people make their lives more difficult than they have to be? Shea had a pretty big outfield, I thought. Looked big enough from the grass. Just do something like that. This thing at Citi is huge and unpredictable. Somebody said quirky. Is that something to strive for? I’ve been out on 126th Street. There’s nothing unusual about the terrain. So why’d they have to built an outfield fence that’s as crazy as one of those barking dogs from the chop shops? People…ya gotta wonder sometimes.

As a cat, I’m a little color-blind, so you’ll have to tell me if I’m just imagining that the Mets aren’t doing orange and blue anymore. I remember Shea had lots of that, which I understood to be intrinsic to the whole Mets thing. Not seeing a lot of that from my perspective. Maybe it’ll be there. I’m on the creamsicle side, I’m told. I wouldn’t know. I’m a cat.

Mets look only so-so so far. I saw Pelfrey. Good guy. He made eye contact with me. Got right down on the grass, which is my wheelhouse. I’d never seen his face before. Only the guys who make headfirst slides usually come to down to my level. But Pelf, he was real friendly. Quite sudden though. Kind of scared me out of my drowsy state. I’m a little skittish. Have I mentioned that?

Say, who the hell is Jody Gerut? And what’s this I hear about him naming his next son Citi? Wise guy. I’m a cat. I have excellent hearing. I hear things. Good sense of smell, too. That’s why I’m so up for that Catch of the Day. And two claws up for the sushi still being available. Look for me up at the World’s Fare Market, some time soon.

From where I sat, I thought the call on Feliciano was bush. Yeah, he flinched. So what? It’s a good day when all I do is flinch. I leap straight up when someone breaks my concentration. Feliciano…nice name. Must have some feline in his background.

Not as much standing water as at Shea. Thank goodness. Water’s for bowls, not puddles. I don’t care for baths. I’ve got a tongue for that, thank you very much.

DID YOU HEAR THAT? No, not the plane. Planes I’m used to. Somebody must have unwrapped a hot dog. Crinkling puts me on edge.

Still finding my way around. Wish the place was better marked. Cats are pretty good about marking things. I’m trying to figure everything out. One minute I’m in foul territory — not a lot of it, like I was saying — next minute I’m in something called Delta Club Gold. What the hell is that? I get in there and I’m afraid somebody’s going to ask for my ticket, and I don’t have a ticket. I’m a cat, for cryin’ out loud, and believe me I do my share of that. I don’t have Delta Club Gold money. Even if I did, I don’t have a pocket. Couldn’t get out of there fast enough. The rest of the night was kind of a blur.

Too bad the Mets lost. But I’ll be back for another game soon, probably when Chicago comes to town. My family has always loved going to those Mets-Cubs games. I forget why. I’ll have to grab a pocket schedule — in my teeth. Like I said, no pocket. I’m a cat.

Cats don’t read much, but you might enjoy Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets, available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.

Eddie Kranepool Society has information on a Doctor’s appointment of sorts here.

7 comments to The Feline Field Level Report

  • Anonymous

    I knew the cats would make their way to Citi with the team, but I didn't think we'd get proof so fast. I think we can take it as a good sign? right?

  • Anonymous

    Hi Greg,
    Do you think that cat might be the great, great, great, great, great grandchild of the one who roamed in front of the Cubs dugout 40 years ago?

  • Anonymous

    Is anyone surprised that even with such little foul territory, we figured out a way to foul out 4 times last night?
    And how about that poor schlub who got the half-nelson behind the plate?

  • Anonymous

    Creamy failed to mention that, but I was wondering how it was possible we found a way to keep fouling out, particularly to end it.
    Many weirdnesses catalogued here.

  • Anonymous

    It's a big family.

  • Anonymous

    Finally had some time to sit and finish the book tonight. Of course, I enjoyed it a lot.
    Looking forward to hearing your reflections on Citi Field after your first regular season game there.

  • Anonymous

    Creamy – great name for that cat. Really nice piece of writing Greg.