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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Monday, June 3, 2013


Today I had to let go of my sweet cat that has been with me for the last 8 years, through thick and thin.  Who has seen me through 8 different apartments, a bitter divorce, a life changing move across state lines, all the hurdles and high points of the last 8 years through the lens of a docile, mostly clueless house pet.  Probably had no idea what was going on, she just hung around and chased shadows on the floor, spent hours looking for the most comfortable spot in the house only to pick the most random, aligning herself where she could just passively observe the activity in the house until something moved her to jump up into the window and chatter at the birds.

She had as simple a life as any house pet.  She was always there in the morning right when I woke up, jumping on the bed to remind me that she needed to be fed, as if I might forget about her.  And she'd always jump up again at the end of the day to say good night, letting me pet her for at least a few seconds before deciding she had more important things to do.  In between, during rehearsals or when I was composing, she would sit in my room and listen intently, one of the few times she would actually sit in my lap.

On some level, I think she really enjoyed the music, which totally makes her my cat.  I recall a time when Lacy and I were practicing a song of hers that was particularly sad (a song from her first album about Diane Fosse and the gorillas in Africa) and she sat up at the end of it, walked over to Lacy, looked up at her and meowed...almost as though she could feel the emotion of the song and identify with it somehow, on some cat level.  The two of us busted out laughing in the moment, but I was sure, as is every pet owner, she must have been able to comprehend to some degree.  But then again, this is the cat who would chase shadows on the floor, going so far as to try and bite them.

I will miss her dearly.  I will miss her presents (my favorites being a bird's nest, a garden snake and a live chipmunk), though she hasn't been outside to bring them to me in years. I will miss the way she would seek my attention by lifting a paw up to my knee as I would sit at my desk working.  I will miss her coming to greet me by trotting over, plopping down on the floor and rolling over, meowing and clearly begging me to rub her belly.  I will miss the way she would lick and then nibble and then bite, or sometimes reach a paw out and scratch for no reason other than sheer cat boredom.  I will miss picking her up, her going limp, rag doll cat that she was, and holding her until she would squirm, signalling that it was time to put her down again, a period of time that would get longer the longer I had her and she grew to trust I would not drop her.  I will miss her talkativeness, a personality change that arrived when I removed her from the company of our two other cats that my ex kept.  Seriously, we used to have little conversations.  I'd say hi, she give a short mew, and then there'd be a back and forth exchange that could last sometimes up to a minute, me having no idea what she was trying to tell me other than some kind of small talk type, "I killed a bug today" conversation that I had to use my imagination to decipher usually.

I've never experienced losing a pet since my childhood cat died and I wasn't there for that so this is new but it's true what they say.  It's like losing a family member and a friend at the same time.  Well, she was both.  I'm sad but I'm glad that I could at least be there and end her suffering mercifully.  RIP Penny.  2005-2013.

1 comment:

  1. Truly Sorry for the loss of your loved one. We have four cats and when one of them passes..I think they'll have to talk my wife down with a swat team. Never understood the awesome love and devotion to pets until I met and married my wife. Much respect to you hang in there.