An amazing concert tonight. The group was dispersed through the performance space, and the resonances and movement of music and sound were a wonderful, unusual experience. The middle piece was by Xenakis, and was scored for brass and piano. The brass players moved around the stage, played into the piano, created amazing, textured and powerful soundscapes that washed around and through the audience, which was seated in the middle of the space, surrounding the piano. I love the way wind instruments can really meld together when they play chords perfectly in tune with each other. There is a purity and clarity to the brass sound.
We had a babysitter, and so Ted was able to come to the concert, a rare treat. I came home briefly in between our short rehearsal and the concert. That was hard, because it meant multiple transitions very quickly. When I left Hazel was crying and screaming for me. I want to make a bit of time each day for just the two of us. I have another rehearsal tomorrow, for my next concert, but it’s not until the evening. I think we can find time for a walk or water-coloring, or whatever she wants to do. And when she gets a bit older, she can come to my concerts if she’d like to. I look forward to that.
As it turned out, Hazel and the babies had a really good evening with the babysitter. We’d prepared by making everything later today. We slept in, naptime was a few hours later than usual, and we fed the kids plenty of food so they’d be fueled up and ready for an evening with our nanny. That way, she didn’t have to try to get them all to bed by herself, a tricky proposition. It worked. When we came home we did the dance of kitty care (pilling, fluids, hand-feeding), reading to Hazel, getting her to bed, feeding the babies, and feeding the other cat. All three were very happy and excited to see us, and we managed it all without tears, a victory. I talked to Hazel about how fun and different this evening was so she wouldn’t (hopefully) expect it to happen this way as a rule. We’ll see how tomorrow night goes.
Feeding the babies was lovely. The way they light up when they see me sends an electrical jolt of loving delight to my heart. Joanna smiles with the intensity of a vividly scented rose opening in the morning. She lifts her arms and waves them, asking to be picked up. Emily giggles and crawls over to me, grabs onto my pants and pulls herself up. She grins and laughs and nibbles on my knee. I feel an absolute surfeit of happy, connected, mutually satisfying, passionate love. I am so lucky.
Satchmo is doing better for now. He went downstairs to lie in the grass in the back yard. He’s been engaging, purring, sitting in our laps. So, we’re going to wait and see how he does, take it one day at a time. Nevertheless, there is a hard stop we’ve sadly had to agree to due to the fact that we’re going to be out of town for a couple of weeks this summer. We’d have to board him during that time, and that would be cruel. He absolutely hates being at the vet. We are going to have to let him go before we leave, so he can be home and with the people who love him most. That will be so, so hard. But it would be terrible for him to die without us, in a place that causes him so much stress. So, we’re going to spend as much time loving him as we can for the next several weeks. And then we’ll say goodbye. I so appreciate my friends, some of whom have known Satchmo for all the sixteen years he’s been my kitty. I’ve had some very helpful conversations about him and the situation in which we find ourselves. Grief is not less shared, but it’s more bearable.
I remember when I’d first gotten him. I was trying to think of a name for him. I’m not great at names. Everything I came up with got (lovingly, I’m sure) shot down down by my friends. I don’t remember most of the options, except for one, Mocha. Then one morning we were all at brunch, and on the menu was a scramble called, “Satchmo’s Way.” Satchmo was Louis Armstrong’s nickname. It worked. Satchmo the kitty has a low, gravelly meow, and Satchmo the musician had a raspy, gravelly singing voice. In fact one day when Hazel was a baby, she crawled over to some stuffed kitties in a shop and started making a very strange sound. We were confused until we figured out that she was imitating the cat. We fell all over ourselves laughing. Hazel’s cat’s meow wasn’t what most people would recognize as such. Not cute, and not sweet. Except, of course, that it was incredibly cute and so wonderful.
So, over the next few weeks, or as long as he lives, I’ll include things in these posts, snippets of his life and the things I love so much about him. I want to celebrate him while he’s alive as well as after he’s gone. He’s a very special kitty.