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  • Katia Rose

Tattoos in Catch and Cradle

If you haven’t cracked open a copy of Catch and Cradle yet, you might be wondering what all the lobster hype is about. Here’s a quick excerpt to clear things up:

“Aww, you guys, look at our little lobsters!” Paulina wiggles her foot in the air next to mine. We’ve all got tiny, black ink outlines of lobsters tattooed on our ankles. The whole lacrosse team has matching ones.

Why the founders of the University of Nova Scotia decided to name their athletics department after a crustacean will always be beyond me. They couldn’t have picked anything more stereotypical. Seafood was one of the only things I knew about Halifax before coming to school here. The other teams in the league give us a lot of shit about our name—that is, until they get on the field with us.

Then they quickly learn some respect.

I kicked off release day with a temporary tattoo of a lobster on my ankle to match the ones the whole lacrosse team has in Catch and Cradle. May it be noted that it was harder than one would think to find temporary lobster tattoos, and my amazing girlfriend scowered the internet to acquire some for me.

They came in a pack of about thirty different sea creature tattoos, so I’ll probably be covered in aquatic life for months to come.

For today’s release week event, I’m sharing some details about the other tattoos mentioned in Catch and Cradle, as well as some inspiration images from the book’s pin board.

Hope’s Chickadee Sleeve Tattoo

“Oh, thanks.” She strokes the ink on her left bicep. “Chickadees are my mom’s favourite, and I guess somewhere along the line, they became my favourite too. I got it just before I left home. We have a lot of chickadees where I’m from.”

“Ontario, right?”

I don’t know where I pull that information from, but it seems like a safer subject than asking about the location of any other tattoos she might have.

Hope’s tattoo represents a connection to her home town and her family, which are both still very important to her now that she’s found a home away from home in Halifax.

Image source here.

Becca’s Ben Howard Lyrics Tattoo

“Is it from a poem?” she finishes.

Once again, it takes me a few seconds to get any meaning from the words.

“Oh. No. It’s a song, actually.” I find a white t-shirt in one of my bag’s pockets and knead the fabric in my hands as I keep talking. It’s easier to fight the urge to move towards her if I’m talking. “By Ben Howard. You probably know it. Keep Your Head Up? It’s like his biggest hit, which makes it kind of basic that it’s my favourite by him, but it is.”

Image source here.

Becca’s lyrics tattoo on her upper back spells out the line ‘Keep your head up, keep your heart strong.’ It’s part of one of her favourite songs, and also references something her grandma used to say to her while Becca was growing up. Becca’s grandma was a very special person in her life, and the tattoo is a way to remember her as well as a reminder to hold onto her own strength.


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