You know that old joke in which someone shows up and announces “the party has arrived!” implying that they are so much fun they ARE a party? I’ve been guilty of pulling that line. We don’t need a party? I AM the party! Well never has this statement been truer than it is for a certain NYC firefighter and friend; Marty Party. I know. You hear the name and think “this is some kinda joke right? That can’t actually be his name.” Well I assure you, it is in fact his real, legal name and oh how fitting it is.
The story of how Marty and I came to be friends is by far one of my faves and in honor of today being his birthday I felt it was an appropriate time to share.
As you may know, I run the Instagram account for Tom’s firehouse cat Carlow, followed by 39.6 thousand people world wide. Read about it in previously posted blog; THE Firecat of Firecats. In it, I mention a second FDNY cat; Midtown Boogie and his Instagram fame that followed closely behind Carlows. Whoever ran Boogie’s account had a sense of humor and he most certainly had a level of cat-crazy love almost comparable to mine. Almost. Whoever this guy was, he was not afraid to be silly, using ridiculous cat puns in every caption. “Happy Meownday”. I assumed it was one of the firemen of E1, L24 as I’m sure he assumed Carlow was one of the firemen of E22, TL13. We’d exchange shoutouts and occasionally message about reporters and the websites that wanted to feature the cats but never knew who the actual human was behind the screen.
On February 6th, 2016 our beloved Midtown Boogie passed away causing grief throughout the firecat community and his followers. It’s amazing how much these cats are loved by humans that have never met them. I will confess, when I heard of Boogie’s passing, I too cried.
The day after the news broke, Boogie messaged Carlow thanking him for all of his support over the years and help building that follower count. I (Carlow) responded with my condolences and mentioned that if ever they wanted to get another firecat, I know people who work for rescues and would be happy to help if the time ever came. And that was that. Our communication ended as the only thing connecting us was these cats.
Several months later, I had posted about a rescue cat looking for a home on Carlow’s page and someone named @partycommamarty responded that he was interested in the cat for their firehouse. An immediate second messaged followed saying that he had meant to send that from Boogie’s account and explained that he used to run it. I continued to respond as Carlow not giving up my true identity but loved knowing who had been the other crazy cat person in NYC!
Fast forward almost a year later and I was out at a bar on the upper east side with friends. A man came in and I knew I knew him somehow but couldn’t quite place him. I thought about it for a bit and then it hit me, MIDTOWN BOOGIE! I racked my brain, trying to picture his Instagram handle to remember what his name was, which is ironic because it’s pretty memorable. Party something… ? Whatever, I’ve never been shy so I went right up to him and introduced myself. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Excuse me…Are you Party something?
Marty: Yes, I’m Marty Party.
Me: I hope this isn’t weird but I follow you on Instagram and recognized you. Are you also Midtown Boogie?
Marty: I was. *confused face
Me: Well I’m Carlow FDNY Cat!
And just like that, a friendship was born. We chatted about the responsibilities of being a famous firecat and the unfathomable amount of gifts and visits they receive from strangers all over the world over a drink. We toasted to Boogie and discussed the potential of a new cat for the house.
Since then, our friendship has grown and now our friend circles intertwine somewhat. I write about my friendship with Party Pants (the nickname I use for him) because what I’ve learned in the last year is that he is a great friend. The kind you’re lucky to have. Obviously he’s fun, his last name is Party! But he’s also loyal and dependable. If he says he’s gonna do something, he does it, even if that means going to a 6am spin class. He always reads my blog and supports my fitness career. Whether he’s in the back row of my charity spin class or high-fiving me from mile 16 of the marathon, he’s always proving to be the kind of person who cares about the people he meets.
When you first meet Marty, you of course think “He changed his name to Party!? What a clown!” And he is a clown but in all the right ways and he doesn’t give one flying fart what you think about him. He just wants to have fun with fun people. He loves his job, is a loyal friend, proud uncle and American AF. I’m thankful for Carlow and Boogie and the road it paved that lead me to Party Pants.
Even though every day is a celebration for you, I hope today, your birthday, is the happiest of all. As your self-appointed fitness trainer and nutritionist, I give you permission to skip the burpees and go strait for the Budweiser. Have a happy HAPPY birthday Party Pants! Now go get lit. AF.