The Kittycats.

They were insane. That's all there is to it.

Who else could land a quadruple lutz, barely creaking the ice on the landing, turn to his mother, and ask, "Did I do okay?"

Who else would get in Dorothy Hamill's face, almost spit out the words, "You can't skate. You've never been able to. And you never will," go out on the ice and beat her, and walk around in 1976 as though she were the one at the Games?

Insane. This is a good thing in pair skaters. It's even better in ice dancers.

They did it all. Plus singles events.

You're getting the idea. Insane.

A little too much for the US federation. A little too much for the ISU. Never skated in international competition. I had to wonder whether people were having second thoughts when Katarina Witt dropped the neckline and hiked the leg (not nearly as far as Kittygirl would have, either) and sashayed to gold in 1988. And Brian Boitano purely jumped to victory. Kittyboy had better jumps. In 1984. Sorry, Scotty. Sorry, everybody.

Tape exists. Well-guarded. Don't believe me if you don't want to. But if you turn your nose up at tape, oh well. Somebody has it. Con them out of it. Best skating you'll ever see.

Every expert I talked to agreed (when it was safe) that these kids could've gone 4 for 4 in 1984. Singles. Singles. Pairs. Dance. You didn't get to cheer. The federation sat on them. (And got fur on its pants, too.) Until it was too late.

Spring of 1983. Realized they were in big trouble for the Olympics. Started the whining. All the way until Sarajevo. Called constantly. Harassing them. Begging them to get on the plane. "The costumes will be waiting over here." Not these kids. They took it from design to ice themselves or they didn't skate in it at all. Reputation. Wild, but reputation. When your country ignores you, you have nothing else.

"We'll check out your choreography." When these kids believed skating came from the heart, had to be worked out with your partner, and was nobody else's business.

Kittygirl started it. Competitive phone-throwing. She swore Kittyboy cheated. He won anyway. I saw a phone receiver literally explode against a baseboard. 5.9 for technical execution (he didn't turn loose of the receiver soon enough, so both ends didn't hit the baseboard equally). 6.0 for style. No argument. Pieces flew ten feet. And were still being dug out all over that room six months later. Six. And they were trying to clean it up.

Kittygirl just sniffed, awarded herself an ice cream sundae for trying, and made Kittyboy buy it. He did. And ate half and complained about the topping. Then they went out and worked on their throw quad jumps. Side by side quintuple jumps by that time. Solid ones. I couldn't pick any holes in them.

I tried.

And there is literally no more point in describing their moves. You wouldn't believe me. You'd say I was lying. People have been killed trying to duplicate their choreography. I saw gold medalists cry. Several. Names you'd recognize.

Kittygirl. Kittyboy. The Kittycats.

C'mon! Where's the tape? Show these people what it's all about!

Excellence by any other name still turns up its nose when it isn't fed properly. Still wants its ears scratched. Preferably by each other.

Still throws green M&Ms back and forth. Counts off for misses. And fights over the scoring.

There's a reason I'm so picky.

It meows. In stereo. Loudly. While it's skating. And still lands the jumps. Nobody else would even try them, much less argue through the takeoffs....

Check the tape....some of us remember. Here kitty kitty kitty kitty, here kitty kitty kitty -- want a ham biscuit? Country ham?

It'd have worked.

Love. And Pairs. Cecile. And Jonathan.
The Legacy of the Kittycats.