Mr. Bootsock says hello, too.
“Who is Mr. Bootsock?” you ask, palms sweaty, knees weak, arms heavy. Is he a ghost? A hallucination? An ex-boyfriend? A special name for an intimate body part?
None of the above. “Mr. Bootsock” is the name I've given to the two-faced/janus/diprosopus cat symbol you see floating around my website.
Why did I create Mr. Bootsock to be my mascot?
Mr. Bootsock is named after the symbols in Greek theater, the comedy and tragedy masks. Actors in comedic roles generally wore a type of thin-soled shoe called a “sock”. Actors in tragic roles wore a type of boot called a “buskin”. Sometimes, the masks themselves are referred to as “Sock and Buskin”. Yes, I read the Wikipedia page.
I actually used to do theater—musicals, mostly—when I was a teenager. I loved performing (and, consequently, making jazz hands), but, as an Asian female, I felt like there were few roles available to me. Sure, there were exceptions like parts in “Miss Saigon”, “The King and I”, or “Flower Drum Song”, but it didn't seem like there were many roles for Asians, in general. And, in the end, I felt I couldn't pursue theater as a career because I knew I would always be in the chorus and never in a leading role. I didn't fit "the look" most of the time. So, I left that comedy-tragedy dream behind. Obviously, this was a long time ago, before the multicultural awesomeness of “Hamilton” began to permeate the industry.
Mr. Bootsock is also a representation of my bipolar disorder. Yes, I have bipolar disorder, in case you didn't know. Manic depression. In my case, it manifests itself in extreme happiness and sadness. Technically, I have bipolar disorder 2, which means that I'm not prone to intense mania, delusions, or auditory/visual hallucinations. Which is nice, I guess. I used to white knuckle it without medication, thinking that I could simply will myself into better mental health, but that didn't work out. The coping mechanisms I had developed over the years to take the edge off weren't enough and I felt out of control.
I began taking regular medication a couple of years ago, and it just helps me feel incredibly normal. I still feel like myself, not like a zombie at all, which is one of the big fears when beginning any kind of medication that messes with your brain chemicals. In addition to the medication, I have also been eating keto, which is low carb and high fat. I tend to eat, low carb, high fat, and moderate protein. The original ketogenic diet was developed as a way to help sufferers of epilepsy, usually in reducing the frequency and intensity of seizures. There is also some anecdotal evidence that it helps people who suffer from mental illness. Personally, I feel more emotionally stable on this way of eating because I don't experience those drops in blood sugar resulting in hanger, but, again, YMMV.
The last reason Mr. Bootsock exists is because I really love cats. And, though I haven't reached the highest level of Crazy Cat Lady (yet), the one where I own twenty or more cats, I do have two furballs of my own. I also read about Frankenlouie (R.I.P., you beautiful baby), that awesome two-faced cat from Massachusetts, who passed away four years ago at the grand old age of fifteen. He was a cool cat and seemed to have such caring owners. He definitely inspired the creation of Mr. Bootsock.
Mr. Bootsock is a representation of my great appreciation of theater/performance, my bipolar disorder, and my love of cats. I felt I had to create a mascot, and he does the job just fine.
So, huzzah to Mr. Bootsock!
Long may he reign, human. Long may he reign.