The Catman of LH

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Even though I mostly see him feeding pigeons, I’ve been calling this older gentleman The Catman since I first spotted him feeding cats at the Bi-Rite parking lot on Griffin and Broadway. He would show up during the evening hours and out of nowhere a bunch of cats would congregate for a late meal. Sometimes I’d go by and see the cats waiting, with the catman nowhere in sight. It’s an odd thing to see cats hanging out on a busy corner with cars and people going by, acting all nonchalant. I haven’t seen them or their caretaker at that corner in awhile, but I did see him buying cat food at the dollar store kitty corner (!) from the Bi-Rite, so they must be getting fed somewhere. I should have taken a pic when I had the chance, oh well. But I do have a few of pigeon feeding in action! Click ahead if yer interested.


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No, I’m not stalking this man, he just often wears the same jacket. Functionality trumps fashion, always. These pics were all taken on different days when I happened to see him out and about.

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Loaded down with just purchased cat food, and some lotto tickets to boot!

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On a rainy day he wore a different jacket. Of all the different LH characters, he’s undoubtedly my favorite: slowly ambling along, minding his own business, doing his thing, stopping often to sit and rest, looking around to see what’s happening, eating folded slices of bread from the same bag he feeds to the pigeons. There’s something reassuring running into him all the time, on the street or at the post office where he keeps a mail box; I don’t know him but I’m always glad to see him around.

Here’s a short clip of the feeding in action. I hope to eventually do a post of a few other LH characters, let’s see if it pans out.

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18 Responses to The Catman of LH

  1. chimatli says:

    I wonder whatever happened to “Santa Claus,” the friendly bearded White dude who would panhandle on the 5 off ramp?
    I say the best bet for running into the more interesting characters of Lincoln Heights is at the 99 cents store. There’s always something going on in there.

  2. rolo says:

    dude, how do you manage to take all these photos and videos and never get in trouble. Last year i was taking photos of a carniceria in Mexico and the carnicero chased me for two blocks, trying to take my camera away.

  3. Chuck Morse says:

    The pigeon thing is cool (so long as you’re not directly underneath them). Actually, here in New York City, people “run” pigeons: that is, sometimes you come upon a building and, just above the roof, you’ll a flock of a hundred or so of these stinky f*ckers flying around in circles and figure eights… This invariably means that there’s some human stinky f*cker whose been feeding them for eons up there swinging a rope, directing them. Occasionally dudes whose buildings are in sight of one another will have a competition to see who can get to the pigeons to do the coolest stuff.

  4. Kim says:

    Hurray for the Cat Man! He sometimes feeds the kitties in the fenced lot behind the post office parking lot on Johnston, which is where I found my sweet little black angora stray, Camilla “The Bat” Lopez. I’m grateful to the Cat Man for socializing her so she came when called, though her many weird behaviors show she was a real feral cat who had never lived with people before.

  5. Javi says:

    Hey Chimatli you are so right about what happens behind the 99 cents store parking lot. Have you seen the “pillow guy”, “nopales lady”, “grandma cigs”, “drunk dent puller”, and many others? U usually see them in the mornings. My favorite panhandler is that lady always asking for a fixed amount of money, “Do you have 50 cents?”. I don’t know if that Santa Claus dude you mentioned is the same one that I see all the time in Lincoln Park now. He’s crazy!

  6. urban memo says:

    I’d love to see a picture of him feeding a bunch of cats.

    I love cats. I have three of ’em.

  7. fxcastil says:

    What the Hell !!!! The story is about the “CatMan” of L.H. and we have no picture or video him feeding cats, #@$%$#&^%$ !!!!

    I will be calling somebody about this, I want to see the CatMan feeding cats, anybody can feed pigeons.

  8. Browne says:

    I can’t look at those pictues. In NY we do not feed pigeons. We do not feed pigeons. WE DO NOT FEED PIGEONS.

    The thing that is amazing about LA is that this is a city that won’t let homeless people use the toilets (in NY even at Borders) homeless people can use the bathrooms, (in most common places, not all, but it’s nothing like it is in LA with these key and token madness.)

    In NY there are no toilet seat covers (even in nice eateries,) which out here you go to a dive bar and they have toilet seat covers, BUT you in LA you have these pigeon feeding people.

    It just blows my mind as to what is viewed as ok and what as viewed as disgusting.

    Human being with no home have to do normal bodily function, not allowed, but pigeon feedings that attracts rats and diseases, completely ok.

    But toilets we can’t let anyone touch it but special people and only with the aid of a thin piece of paper, because toilets that can spread the bubonic plague.

    OK I’m done with my rant now. I can’t stand pigeons.

    Browne

  9. cindylu says:

    He makes me think of a scarecrow, especially in the 4th picture. Do you think he ever notices you watching and taking pictures?

  10. did you see that?! he got a pigeon by the neck and put it in the bag.

  11. Art says:

    Sometimes little old viejitos who worked their ass off for 50 years have a bit of renaissance man we only expect in old rich millionaires. In a perfect world these men wouldve gotten jobs as scientists, professional musicians, sculptors, urban planners or sociologists; but instead they worked in the boiler room of some factory and now feed pigeons or make elaborate whirling beer can airplanes for neighbors (or homeade nordic tracks in Sangra).

    Pero eren mexicanos, so they kept in all that genius inside and let it out in controlled bits for only a few to see. Sometimes these men became bitter, sometimes they became alcoholics, sometimes they became the world’s greatest abuelo/neighbor/tio or a catguy who warms your heart and makes you think the world is good. I think every truck driver/menial laborer in my family has some serious drawing/music talent, which is sometimes funny somtimes sad. My trucker veterano stepdad from Mariana can draw a chevy so nice he can put you in the reflection of the hood, my great grandpa told his kids to buy a house just outside East LA in the 1930s becuase it would one day have a freeway and be part of the middleof the city. I hope to be one of those viejities one day, with my bag of bread, house slippers and unravelled coat hanger for picking up loose stuff and checking phone change returns without using your fingers.

  12. EL CHAVO! says:

    Nicely said Art!

  13. Vidalia says:

    I’ve recently seen the cat man on several occasions feeding the cats (late night… between 11 pm and 1 am) in the back parking lot of that weird Teriyaki tacos pastrami burrito place next to the AM/PM on Broadway and Griffin. I’ve never seen him up close, but I don’t know why I always thought he was Asian.

  14. annie says:

    One of my favorite LH moments ever was sitting at the light at Broadway and Griffin around dusk and seeing the Catman stand under that ancient lightpole in the Bi-Rite parking lot shaking a box of Friskies as what seemed like hundreds of cats came running toward him from behind the market. He was smiling and the kitties looked so happy, the ones who made it first sat waiting at his feet.

    Speaking of local characters and animals, have you seen the guy from “The Office” lately? I believe he is now sleeping under the 5 overpass across the the Home Depot and he has a little puppy that he walks up and down the block.

  15. Obnoxious says:

    RIP TO EL SEÑOR DEMETRIO SOSA ALSO KNOWN AS THE CAT MAN….

  16. EL CHAVO! says:

    Obnoxious,
    Really? When? That’s sad news.

  17. Erika says:

    What? The catman has passed away?

  18. pitbullgirl says:

    Obnoxious? Check your facts (just cuz the LA Times doesn’t, does not mean that you can’t) I saw the Catman feeding the pigeons in front of 99 cent only today. He was pretty NOT dead.

    Demetrio Sosa was the guy killed during the police chase a while back:
    http://outside.in/Lincoln_Heights_Los_Angeles_CA/tags/demetrio%20sosa

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