Every hero has a back story and el Gato's begins with Miles, who as a young cat used to go precisely by that name. El Gato. It took only one leap of the imagination to go from jazzman to actual feline, a hepcat who blew no horn but sauntered in and out of rooms where horns were blown, ivories were tickled, strings were plucked and skins were slapped. Yeah, el Gato was a night animal.
Or used to be. El Gato, the hero of our story not the late jazzman, was no longer young, he was no longer hale. Time and the bell had buried the day and the night, to riff on another tom. And his tomcatting days were over. Oh, how he used to ronronear, el Gato purred and pondered, now that he was far from the barrio corners of his earlier times, slipping in and out of clubs where the gatos bodegueros were getting the groove.
But el Gato was not just one more hepcat. He was a literary cat. He read. He wrote. Cats had a thing with writers.