While I was researching designs for the first one, I had come across a little piece that I couldn’t get out of my head. A simple little black cat outline that just stuck with me for years. I would draw it on my forearm with a pen and act like it was another temporary tattoo. A passing fancy. I’d told myself I only wanted one tattoo. That I didn’t need any more ink. But I couldn’t forget the design. And where I would put it. And how much I knew I would love it (senseI love cats and all). And how it was a little black cat and I would get it on a Friday the 13th so it was even more cool.
Fast forward forward about 3 years… and find me, on a Friday the 13th in May… wandering into another tattoo parlor. This one not nearly as fancy and posh as the studio I did my first tattoo at. In fact, it was not fancy or posh at all… it was a literal hole in the wall tattoo studio somewhere in Wash Heights that shared space with a gym and was a total of 1 room. No paperwork to fill out. Cash only… I know, it sounds like the start of a horror story, but you know the ending- I’m still here and I have not lost any limbs… so it turns out ok.
The kid (honestly he was 18) was super nice and when I walked it said he could do the design for cheap and asked if he could clean up the image for me. Of course I said yes, cause I can’t draw to save my life and my rough little sketch was not what I wanted the final piece to look like. After about 10 minutes we were ready to start. I sat in a folding chair with my forearm on a little stand covered in fresh plastic wrap.
Snap on the gloves, peal open the needle, squirt in the ink, and buzz the gun…. and we were ready to go.
I felt like it was over before it even began! I guess that’s what happens when you get your largest piece as your first tattoo. Everything else starts to feel a little easier. Or at least shorter. I wouldn’t say easy. It’s still painful. You are still agreeing to have your body pricked repeatedly with a needle and inject ink into your skin. But 20 minutes later it was done and (only a little bloody) cleaned and neatly wrapped in plastic.
Like nothing had happened I jumped right on the train and went to work. That’s life isn’t it. In my mind yeah, getting tattooed was a big deal, but in the grand scheme of things, it is just like running another errand and you still have commitments to take care of.
I remember being at work that evening siting at the computer and trying not to brush my arm up against the desk because it hurt. And waiting 3 hours till I could take off the plastic and clean my arm- finally getting a really good look at my little black cat.
I mean, it’s been another 3 years now and I still look at my arm and wonder why the pen drawing hasn’t washed off yet. Honestly I forget it’s a permanent tattoo. I got so used to seeing it on my arm and acting like it was real, not that it is, it’s not a big change.
I get all of my tattoos for me. So I want them look best when I look at them (sense I’m the one seeing them the most). The best is when people see the cat and ask what it is. Apparently upside-down from a distance and if you have no idea what it could be it looks like the “death eaters” symbol from Harry Potter ….. I’m sorry to disappoint- it’s not… but that makes a fun story to share here.
A word of wisdom to the wise from someone with ink? Have a reason for an piece you get. Have a story to tell about it. Have a really amazing personal reason for getting it. Cause you know what, people will ask. They will want to share their stories.
So I have a little black cat tat that I got on a Friday the 13th with a full moon and while Mercury was in retrograde. Thats a lot of superstition right there!
Do you have a fun tattoo story to share? Let’s here them!