We’re all thinking of Cathy Seipp today, a witty and iconoclastic writer and one of the world?s most gracious and brave ladies. Charlotte Allen is going to write about Cathy a bit later, but I know Cathy has many fans who come to Inkwell, and I want to let them know about Cathy, who has battled cancer for years, all the while writing brilliantly and hilariously. Here is something from Cathy’s own blog, Cathy’s World, by a friend:

“Normally, my byline elicits tears (of joy) for many, but tears nonetheless for all those who see my name in this space. Tonight is one of those times when the tears are shed by me. I just finished corresponding with Maia, and the inevitable will soon happen. Rather than protest the tragedy of Cathy’s passing, or offer some hagiographic depiction of her life, I prefer to remember her as she was: a real person who, despite her sometimes tough exterior and opinionated demeanor, was extremely sensitive; worried about her daughter, loved her deeply, despaired (occasionally) about her own illness, and definitely considered herself the patron maven of Los Angeles journalism, in the best sense of the term.

“Cancer is a brutal disease; my aunt died from the same strain, never having smoked a cigarette. I went with Cathy, when she was healthier, to chemo on several occasions. It seems incongruous to use these words, healthier and chemo, in the same sentence, but Cathy was truly better during those days than she is now. With just a few notable exceptions, she never spoke about her presumably impending death: she wanted to protect Maia financially, and her other great concern, notably lower on the totem of importance, was that I would wear shorts to her funeral, much to her regret. No need to worry about the former or the latter. Having lost my father less than a year ago, and having an almost congenital loathing of hospitals and funerals, I hope readers will understand my absence at the forthcoming burial. I much prefer to see Maia in better circumstances, over a good meal, and talk about Cathy fondly.”

Cathy’s daughter Maia penned this heart-breaking update on Cathy’s condition:

“As earlier mentioned in the comments section, my mother is in the hospital. The doctor says that right now they’re just making her comfortable. She’s sedated, with painkillers among other things. Lungs collapsed so right now we just want to make sure she has dignity and is not in pain. The doctor says she has a couple days left. I want to thank all her readers for reading this blog, her friends for supporting her who made up ‘Team Cathy.’ Through you all, I learned what a true friend was. I’m at her bedside now, holding her hand. I tell her she has 292 comments on the latest blog post…her last but she just squeezes my hand. She was very happy with this blog. In honor of her, if you can…support the American Lung Cancer Society and or adopt stray dogs and cats from the pound. Those were her causes. Thank you all so much. Will keep everyone posted.”

One of the things I love so about Cathy was that she was part of the whole West Coast scene, and yet she has always gone her own way and said things that most people who get to go to good cocktail parties wouldn’t dare say. Cathy is such good company that she’s always been invited anyway.