Josie is my oldest cat (by a year), and the one who has been with me the longest. She has changed through the years, becoming much more demonstrably affectionate. She has also mellowed to a degree.
I thought of this earlier in the week while I was in the bedroom listening to music. It was a station that plays largely solo piano music, recent compositions that are variously compiled under the titles ‘adult contemporary’ or ‘new age’. In any case, I like it. This one selection featured not just a piano, but the sounds of birds, to evoke a feeling of a woodland in summer. When the birdsong was heard, my Chubs, who was curled in the saddle of the tall cat-tree in the bedroom, one of her favourite resorts, noticed, and turned toward the source of the music.
She was not alarmed or even noticeably alert. She was not annoyed, nor was she interested in finding these birds. It was as if she were simply enjoying the sounds. Was she recollecting a distant memory, when she was a kitten, possibly the last time she was outside? Was she thinking of lying under a tree in a forest glade, watching the birds above, or drifting off to sleep in a warm slumber?
Whatever her thoughts, Josie was contemplative until the birds ceased to sing. She then returned to her rest, her eyes closed, her breathing gentle. My oldest cat has changed through the years but, perhaps for a moment, she was young again, when everything was new, she was an excitable youngster, and birds sang in the trees overhead.