MontClairVoyant: Montclair Cat Has Nine Lives to Live and One Column to Write


Hi! I’m your new cat. You’ve never missed a column since it started in 2003 in a newspaper that shall remain nameless but rhymes with Tontclair Mimes, so you need a break. Can I write the column this week?


Word Purrfect

I knew something was up when you pawed the “tab” key followed by the letters “b” and “y.” Here…you can work on my laptop. Um…I’m talking about my computer, not my lap.

Given that you’re a feline, I’m addressing you as “Montcatvoyant” rather than “Montclairvoyant.” You’re an indoor cat, so how can you know enough about Montclair to be a substitute columnist this week?

Santa Claws

I read Baristanet every day, frequently look out the window, and receive alerts in the litter box on my iClump.


What did you do New Year’s Eve when the ball dropped in Times Square?

Countdown Dracula

I swatted it under the nearest sofa.

Now a test of your wordplay skills: The Crosby bar on Glenridge Avenue has liquor (which can be made in stills), noise that causes neighbors to grind their teeth, and many youthful patrons. Sum-up?

Al Cohol

Crosby, Stills, Gnash & Young.

Not bad, though a bit “old school” musically. Meanwhile, what do cardiologists do?

Ventricle on Van Vleck

They diagnose and treat playing cards, but not clubs or spades or diamonds. Only hearts.


Okay, that’s groan-worthy enough for you to take over this column permanently. Are you up for it?

The Groanheads

Given my nap schedule, I’m not up enough.

The Montclair we know was incorporated in 1868 — meaning it will turn 150 this year. What will you, as a cat, do to celebrate that major milestone?

Purrty Animal

Extra dental treats for all!


Montclair has MANY great restaurants, but I can’t think of any that specialize in cat cuisine. Am I missing something?

Ate Is Enough

You sure are — those dental treats are tasty.

What did your seafood-craving ancestors do to celebrate our town’s 50th anniversary in 1918?


Rhea Membrance-Day

While holding a “Moby-Dick” readathon, those cats hatched plans to open two coffee-chain outlets in Montclair named for Herman Melville’s Starbuck character.


Hate to say this, but today’s column is rather dumb and insubstantial. Was the writer person you live with desperate for ideas during a slower holiday time? Did the frigid weather numb his brain?

Nat King Cold

I just asked him, and he’s adamant that this is the best “Montcatvoyant”…um…”Montclairvoyant” column of 2018.

You do know this is 2018’s ONLY “Montcatvoyant”…um…”Montclairvoyant” column so far?

Hans Solo

Oh well, enough written words from me the feline. I’m going back to “Cat TV” (looking out the window).

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

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  1. My dogs are ROFL after reading this. They would like to point out 2018 is the Chinese Year of the Dog.

  2. Ha! Thank you, Frank! And please convey my thanks to your dogs, too. 🙂 There’s the saying “Every dog has its day.” Sounds like they’re having their year, too!

  3. Congratulations, Frank, on the probable historic designation for your beautiful 1880 house! (Saw the article about that.) Great news!

  4. Thank you. We very much appreciate the support of the Township and invaluable research assistance from the Montclair Public Library and the Montclair History Center. Very personal thanks to Bianca Nealley, a friend and lifelong resident who inspired us, and Cornelia & Peter Forrence, the previous owners who put us on the path.

  5. It was a lot of fun researching. For example, the first world chess champion lived in a nearby house. He commuted by train to NYC. The commute then was 45 minutes. (the good old days). He terminated his 1st assistant who then shot his replacement. He died in Mountainside Hospital. Mountainside had only opened the prior year (1891) and Mrs Porter sat on the hospital’s first Board of Governors.

  6. Wow! That’s some interesting information — including the drama with the assistants, and the train then being as fast or faster than it is now.

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