Alexis Lacroix and Rita

May 23, 2018
photos by Eric Pallozollo


Alright, where we at right now?

3rd and Army!

Where’s yr cat?

She’s up where the van is parked in Potrero Hill.

So explain yr van, what renovations have you done to it?

I did a couple things to the van, but mostly for the cat. I made a kitty door, just used a saw and built this little door. She’s gotten used to going in and out of it, and she can do whatever. The food’s inside so she always comes back to eat. It took a while to train her to do it, at first she only knew how to get out and not back in. It took a lot of me taking her and putting her through the door, saying “Rita, that’s how you do it.” But now she knows.

So her name’s Rita? How’d she get that name?

Uh, she was the runt of the litter and all the other cats would push her away so she couldn’t get as much milk, and she had really crusty eyes so we started calling he “the retard cat,” and finally after awhile, my friends whose babies they were gave me the retard cat. So at that point I had to find a new name for her, you know, a nicer way to say her name. So retard cat turned into a nice funny little name.

What happened to yr custom roof rack when we were at China Banks?

Oh man, we tried to park at the indoor garage right there and the roof was just too high, so it ripped of. We had to just dump the whole thing right there. It’s kind of sad, but I think I’m gonna get way better mileage now.

How long have you and Rita been on the road?

This time, we left Montreal around October. Then stayed in BC for like two months, so it was like a little pause, and then after the new year I came to California to skate here.

So about five months, crazy. Does Rita have a litterbox?

Yup, I put a little box in there under the bed cause sometimes I do long car rides and she needs to go. But yeah, she finally learned how to not use it if I’m parked somewhere for a while with the kitty door open. She just goes outside, so I haven’t opened the litterbox in like two weeks. There’s a way for me to close the kitty for if I’m doing long distance routes too, so that’s really the only time I have to open the litterbox.

What’s the best part about having a feline companion on the road?

I’m never alone. There’s someone to talk to, someone I can say “I love you” to. She’s just magical, and it makes my life kind of mystical. Having this little creature around, and she’s just amazing. The other day she healed me! I had stomach pains all day, and I went to lay down and she came up on my stomach and started massaging my belly with her paws. Then she laid down and just started purring, then next thing you know I did a long fart and the stomach pain was all gone. So yeah, cats are magical healing creatures.

She hangs out on the dashboard a lot, right?

Yeah, I think that’s the warmest spot. Close to the big diesel engine. She’s the captain at the front of the ship telling me where to go. Cat intuitions for sure.

Are you gonna build a big cat scratcher or anything in the van?

I want to find a way for her to have little toys so she can play and stay in good shape. I guess cat food gets spilled everywhere too, so a little holder or something would be good.

Have you ever run into any problems traveling with her?

When she was younger she used to just go off and get lost, she was a little crazier. But now we’ve gotten used to traveling together. She got used to my ways, I got used to her ways. So I let her go when I can, and if I’m trying to leave soon and I know I need her to be around, I lock the door. Cause sometimes if I forget to do that I need to go, and she just wanders off and then it makes me late for somewhere. And I’m afraid cause sometimes living at one place for too long, she goes kind of crazy and gets lost in the city or whatever. I think she likes to be on the road and discovering new places, and being in nature especially. So I always try to find places close to a park or something at least so she sticks around. But when I’m steadily moving, she always just sticks around the van.

So when did she start skating?

She started skating maybe a year ago? She learned how to stay on the shoulder, and then shortly after she learned how to skate. At first she freaked out a little, but now I feel like she just wants it. She’s chill at high speeds, doesn’t complain.

Do you get scratches on yr shoulder and shit?

I tried a few times with just a tank top or whatever, and have gotten some bad ones, but with a hoodie or a vest it’s good. If you have a loose shirt on she’s going to slide around, so with a solid vest she can just stick right in.

Full Rita part by 2019?

We’ll see, that’s a great call. I’ll have to talk to her about that.