I am Celia Cruz-Gato, the #1 cat fan of my Latin idol, superstar icon Celia Cruz. Just like her, I believe in celebrating those who embrace the spirit of their own uniqueness.
When Celia Cruz won a singing contest in her native Cuba, a legend was born. After high school, she enrolled in Havana’s National Conservatory of Music but, with a professor’s encouragement, quickly left to pursue a full-time singing career. In 1950, Celia joined one of Cuba’s most celebrated orchestras, Sonora Matancera, charming audiences all over Central and North America throughout the 50s. In 1959, Ms. Cruz joined many of her fellow countrymen and left Cuba under Fidel Castro. She became a US citizen in 1961.
When the Queen of Salsa joined the Tito Puente Orchestra in 1966, she cemented her place in the hearts of fans all over the world with her flamboyant stage costumes, and equally sassy personality. ¡Azucar! After a long and stellar career including 20 gold records and seven Grammy Awards, Celia died of cancer at her home in Union City, NJ. In the following years, she’s been honored with an exhibit at the National Museum of American History, appropriately called ¡Azucar!, a commemorative USPS stamp, and even a Google Doodle.
Read Related: Tito Puente: Mambo King/Rey del Mambo
An aspiring salsa singer myself, I am working on getting my own signature cat-call: ¡Mariscos! to catch on with my feline fans. Although, I have dreams of playing Carnegie Hall like my idol, so far most of my performances have been impromptu backyard gigs, put together on the fly when I manage to slip past my owner as she comes home from work.
What Makes Celia Cruz-Gato Purr
- That feeling of pride when I deposit a freshly caught bird on the front doorstep.
- Next to anything by Celia, I love the soundtrack to my favorite musical, Cats.
- There’s nothing better than a freshly cleaned litter box.
What Gets Celia Cruz-Gato’s Dander Up
- I am working on a petition to ban the phrases ‘Scaredy Cat’ and ‘Pussyfoot’.
- My intolerant neighbor who shoos me out of her yard mid-concert.
- The vet.
- Occasionally my owner tries a new flavor of 9Lives—I only want tuna!
Celeb-Gatos at Gatoverse is a creative way to pay homage to our Hispanic idols by harnessing the cuteness of kitty cats everywhere. We purr, we roar, we matter! Follow @Mamiverse and @Gatoverse for more info.