Singer and Cat

So, Sam became my side-kick.  An unusual one since he wasn’t fond of my chosen profession of singing.  He had a loud, formidable voice that he used liberally.  He did not appreciate the talents of others, though, and would often complain with great vocal persistence when I would rehearse at home.  Funny, as I write this, I notice he came to a quiet acceptance of my singing in his last years – often choosing to sleep in the room where I would practice.

There were the many layers of mental and emotional impressions to work through as I brought personality up to speed with my life-stage and its attendant requirements and opportunities.  I enlisted the help of a therapist, and of course, Sam.

Fearless and dauntless, Sam attended to every size bruise.  Laying on the couch of my apartment, exploring the wounds of my psyche, I had the best of navigators with me.  He would lay on my heart and belly, and then the purring would begin.  Soft and rumbling, he would “lean in” and press his body and heart center close to my body and heart center.

Did this create a resonance?  A field?  Perhaps.  I was a scientist of health and wellness, though, and my requisite  findings would need to be practical.  How did it feel?  It felt loving and present, warm and fear-less.  Sam did not ask questions.  He did not ask if the pain was worthy of being felt.  He assumed, assumedly, that it was his job, simply, to love.   He loved me in those moments without fear or reservation or question or any intellectual content at all.

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Sam, or BFF

Yesterday my beloved Pet Sam crossed the threshold that appears to separate the visible and invisible.

appearances can be very convincing, can’t they?  Yet I feel my beloved pet’s love for me in my heart – moment’s after he passed, I experienced a knowing, a feeling that is more intuitive than rational, that seemed to say “I’m here!  I made it to the realm of the One Heart, do you feel me now?”

Why do I consider my cat, feeble and immobile in his last  days, my best friend forever?   He never spoke a “word” to me in his whole life, and yet we were in constant communication.  He arrived in my life at the dawn of a new chapter:  I left my home-state of Michigan to live in Cincinnati, where I was a scholarship student in Voice and Opera.  I brought with me from Michigan a lot of baggage.  Some would say lifetimes of baggage.  And I brought a bed and a lamp and a futon.  Eventually I would get a television/vcr combo.

Sam, and later his “sister”, Gracie, made his home on that bed in my single bedroom apartment.  He warmed the sheets with his love and drooled his affection there, as well.  My first lover.   He and his sister became my “yes men”.  I would merely have to think “ok, nap-time, guys”, and they would be there to be with me.

LIke I said, I brought a lot of baggage with me to Cincinnati.  I was wearing a 24 year-old body, yet my emotional life was quite stunted.  I chose, per pre-birth agreements, to endure the maze of confusion that comes when one is cut off from one’s own inner source-of well-being and happiness.  i saw through a film of lack, loss, agitation, depression, whatever you want to call it.  I wanted to experience the beauty in life that I sensed when I opened myself up to my music and lived in its expression.  I wanted my music to become my life.

Here enters Sam.  He is an adopted cat with black fur and a strong personality.  The nursing staff know him by name and intimate that I’m in for a ride.  I walk past the cages and a cat sticks out his paw and tries to catch some of my shirt’s fabric:  “Here I am!  I’m here, don’t you want me?”

Yes, I do, as a matter of fact.  He comes home and his food dish and toilet in place, he makes his home on my bed and in my heart.  Thus began our work together:  Singer and Cat.

More To Come . . .