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It’s been an interesting year to start working at the Santa Barbara Independent, which is what Celina Garcia did in January, starting first as a calendar assistant but rising to be one of our web content managers a couple months ago. Running Independent.com from home created space for a new friend, so she recently adopted a cat, now named Gael García Sundstrom.
Did you already have pets? I’m a proud owner of a 14-year-old Silky Terrier, Maximiliano. He lives in Goleta with my folks and at one point had an entire sofa to himself. I’ve also adopted my partner’s cat. Her name is Nancy, and she is the sauciest little thing.
What prompted you to get a new cat? My partner, Paige, and I recently moved in together and were so excited about having more space that we pounced on the opportunity to get a second kitty — neither scenario was on my pandemic bingo card! While there were many felines I instantly fell in love with at Cat Therapy, we knew that him being a (mostly) black cat decreased his chances of finding a home as quickly.
What’s the story of his name? He was originally named Trooper after surviving a mysterious accident, but obviously we wanted something more suavecito than that. I was leaning toward something Spanish when we settled on Gael after Mexican actor Gael García Bernal from two of our favorite movies, Coco and Y Tu Mamá También. They both have dreamy green eyes.
What’s special about Gael? The internet made introducing cats to one another sound incredibly nerve-wracking, but Nancy and Gael became pals in days. They’re still testing out boundaries: Nancy likes to follow him into the litter box and eat his food, but she doesn’t like when he tries to wrap her in a hug. They’ll get there one day though, and when they do, I’ll be reaching for my phone.