Discover more from ☁️ Daydream Trash by Shannon Hemmett ☁️
04.14.2023 Cat People
I felt a paw touch my face, and there was sunlight filling the room. It’s still not very warm in Vancouver, but at least we’re getting some sunshine today. Easter Sunday was so rainy and dark, I had to turn on every light source in the house so it didn’t feel like the middle of the night.
I have three cats; Frank, Dale, and Bob. Three cats seems like a lot to most people but they co-exist so perfectly, their presence at home is a total delight. Frank Black is the eldest at 11 years old. He is serious but sweet, dainty, and fine-boned like an Ancient Egyptian cat god. He is the house groomer—no, not the toxic male kind, he makes sure the other cats have clean ears and cheeks, which is quite decent of him. Dale and Bob are littermates, born during the pandemic. Dale is our black bear. He’s big, about 20lbs and loves to be carried around like a baby. He’s funny, sensitive and attuned to the universe; if you are sad or discussing something serious, he will come keep you company for moral support. He’s also the house manager, making sure everything runs correctly at home. Feedings, fresh water, letterbox cleanings etc. He hates it when the suitcases come out for tour. Bob is our chill tabby boy, we say “Bobby Don’t Care” because nothing seems to phase him. He’s here for it. Whatever that may be. He has claimed the right side of the sofa forever, and sits there like a human leaning on the armrest waiting to be offered a cat-sized beverage after a long day of bird-watching and naps.
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I’ve always had a way with animals. When I was young, my grandparents adopted a scruffy little black dog, whose previous owner had passed away. When they brought her home from the shelter, she was so sad and shut down I sat cross-legged with her and she immediately crawled into my lap. This was our routine for a week or so, and pretty soon, she was all wags and doing woo-woos. Success! She was whip smart and fit into our family so well, I loved going for walks with her and my Papa.
I would beg my parents for a dog during my entire adolescence, but they were not convinced that I was dedicated enough to exercise a dog every day. Fair enough. On my 16th birthday my Nana took me to the animal shelter to pick out a kitten. There was a ‘shortage’ of kittens in our area, but we found one after some effort; a cute silvery tabby, and I named her Ashes. One catch, my parents were out of town and had no idea that this was going on. They returned from vacation to find out I was now a cat owner. For years, I thought my parents knew that my Nana was going to help me adopt a cat, but it turned out my Nana operated alone! Bad Nana! We still laugh about my Nana’s independent streak. Ashes was adored, and lived to age 18 under my care.
I miss the cats when we’re on tour, so imagine my delight when we roll up to White Oak Music Hall in Houston, and there’s a petite black cat strutting around outside the venue. The band is pointing to the cat, “Look Shanny! A cat!!”, and I’m out of the van before it even stops rolling. She trots over to me for pets, and I see she is wearing a bandana, her name tag says SALAMI, WHITE OAK SECURITY CAT, and I’m dead from cuteness. We learn that Salami regularly tours all the indoor and outdoors spaces and has a cozy bed in the climate controlled utility building on the White Oak grounds. The staff give her a new bandana every couple months so she looks fresh and stylish for ‘work’. Bands visiting from all over the world hang out with Salami, and she has gained a loyal fan club. Our visit with her was surprisingly therapeutic, and helped me feel grounded during the perpetual motion on tour. Animals are the best. Btw, she has an Instagram account. She gets dressed up for Halloween. Go follow it immediately for your dose of music meets feel good cat content.
That’s all for now. Go pet your dogs and cats for me. Until next time. XO