By Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Crusader
Devastated at the loss of her friend, Prince, Catherine Glover, better known as “Cat…Prince’s Cat,” late Tuesday night reminisced about her musical hero. Prince was a man who literally took her to stardom and left her with millions of fans, who also are still mourning his death.
Taking a trip down memory lane, Cat who was born Catherine Vernice Glover in Chicago to the parents of Mildred and Doneall Glover, is one of six children. She began dancing with her sisters at the age of 5 and has never stopped.
While in Chicago, Cat attended the Esmond Elementary and Morgan Park High Schools, but dancing was in her blood. It was her passion, and she proclaimed one day she would meet and dance with Prince—her musical knight in armor.
When asked when did she first hear of Prince, Cat recalled: “I first heard about Prince after his album. ‘Dirty Mind.’ I was living on my own on the North Side of Chicago. The only thing that got me through my depression from everything was listening to Prince’s album, ‘Dirty Mind.’ I knew I had to meet him. That was me talking to my inner self.
“I listened to ‘Dirty Mind’ and I knew one day I was going to meet him and he would love me…. Prince was the one who inspired me to move me further in my career. He was six or seven years older than me. He was the only one who made me dream,” she said.
Asked where did she first meet Prince, Cat said she was a dancer at the Dingbats Club on the Near North Side and Prince came in with his manager, Steve Fargnoli and others.
“They were staying at the Holiday Inn across the street. I remember going over there,” she said. Prince was standing in the elevator. Their eyes met but the elevator door closed. “I was on my break.”
She was only 18 years old at the time. Cat would take the train to dance at Dingbats and the Coconuts Night Club. Cat added, “That was my life back then… They knew I was a struggling dancer.” She wanted fame and to dance with Prince.
Cat got a break when she appeared on “Star Search,” which was hosted by the late Ed McMahon. Cat and her partner, Patrick Allen, quickly became known as the “Pat and Cat” act.
They were the first act to get a perfect score out of four stars with her famous “Cat Scat” dance moves. The dance moves were later included in Prince’s video, “U Got The Look.” In the end, despite winning the semi-finals, Pat and Cat lost the finals along with $100,000.
One day, Cat was invited to Prince’s house in Beverly Hills by a friend, Devin DeVasquez, who Cat said was a Playboy playmate and a model on Star Search.
Cat said, “We became friends and she asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner. I said sure. I agreed to go to the house on Elm Street in Beverly Hills. Prince walked into the house. We were having dinner. He looked at me…. Once again their eyes met.”
Cat continued, “Prince asked me to dance. We started doing dance moves. I started following his steps. I began dancing by myself. I jumped on the table dancing….” The two clicked.
After Star Search, Cat was in demand.
Both Prince and David Bowie asked her to join their bands. Cat joined Prince’s band on New Year’s Eve in December of 1986. He flew her to Minneapolis. “I remember calling my mom, crying. ‘Hey mom. I miss you,’” said Cat. Her mother cried on the phone when she told her mother she was with Prince. Cat said her mother expressed joy, but cautioned her to be careful.
With Prince’s support, Cat choreographed and appeared with Prince in the 1987 film “Sign O’ the Times” shown in Chicago with her family sitting in reserved seating. Oprah Winfrey was there. At the same time, Cat said she and Prince were in Minnesota watching the premier of the film. “My family was there. I wanted to be there especially to meet Oprah. I’ve always wanted to meet her,” said Cat.
Cat also appeared with Prince’s 1988 Lovesexy Tour where she appeared in Rosemont, Illinois. Again, the family had special seating. Cat is on several of Prince’s albums like the “Black Album” track “Cindy C,” and “Alphabet St.” from Lovesexy. She and Prince traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe including London. Cat, who was with Prince from 1986 to February 12, 1989, when she quit, also produced on her own EP Catwoman in 1989.
When asked when was the last time she talked to Prince, Cat said it was about a year-and-a-half ago when she was in the hospital. Cat, who was in a coma for 30-days, suddenly awakened one day after doctors wanted to pull the plug. When Prince called, she said the nurse answered the phone, but she was too weak to talk. Two weeks later he called again and they talked to each other.
She wanted to know how did he know she was in the hospital. “He said a lot of people reached out to him. He had my back. He was there all the time….”
When asked what would she do with her life after Prince, Cat said, “I don’t know right now. People are calling me. We’re going to do concerts dedicated to Prince.
Note: Cat is the first cousin to Chinta Strausberg.