Thursday, July 14, 2005

Introducing Mozart

I will never forget the day that I was chosen by Mozart to be his owner. I was at the animal shelter looking for a cat and was surveying all the cages at eye level when suddenly a white paw gently curled itself around my right hand hanging at my side. I looked down and a beautiful two-year-old orange tabby cat looked up at me with his great big green eyes with gold sparkles and it was love at first site. “This is the one,” I said emphatically! “Meooow!”

One of the assistants got him out of his cage for me and we sat with each other in one of their “interview” rooms to get to know each other, but we both knew we were meant for each other.

After all the arrangements and de-clawing were done, it did take a little bit of time for Mozart or “Mo-Mo”, as I call him, to get use to us. Not long, but, as with all cats, there was a time of adjustment, investigation and a sizing up of his situation. He was taking ownership of the house. I had never owned a cat before and so I checked out every cat book in the library to read up about cat behavior and care. I would sit next to him on the couch and he would look at me from the other end with those deep green intelligent eyes in such a way that I felt he could read my thoughts. The ancient Egyptians believed that the morning rays of the sun god Ra were in the eyes of a cat, a bright clarifying fire. They believed that the domestic cat was the incarnation of Bast, the famous cat-goddess of ancient Egypt who was supposedly the daughter of Ra. Bast was the eye of Ra, clear-sighted and sound in judgment. She was the goddess of fertility, love, dance and music. My Mozart’s eyes were clear and sound seemingly wise and mysterious at once, too. They were merry eyes full of what seemed to me to be music, the effervescent music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Mozart quickly adjusted and became a very loving, bright and happy cat. I was amazed how social Mo-Mo was and affectionate. I was surprised at all the different noises a cat can make beyond the usual “meow”: chirps, chortles, squeaks, growls, and the mysterious purr. Cat language is very direct and emotive. Cats make it quite clear how they feel with the sounds they make. It is quite simple, really. Cats have also never forgotten that human beings once worshiped them although they smile sheepishly at that!!

I had grown up with the erroneous belief that cats were aloof. Oh, no, not aloof, but self-confident. Some people think cats are not intelligent and cannot be trained. Oh, no, they are very intelligent, too intelligent and independent to let themselves be snookered into doing parlor tricks. Mozart quickly became an affectionate member of the family, a wise and patient companion, listening like the Egyptian sphinx with his paws crossed in front of him to all the human talk watching all the doings going on around him. I often wondered what was going on behind those bright eyes: music, meditation or philosophical reflection? "Purrrrrr".

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