When I was in high school, my sister received a gray tabby cat for her 18th birthday. She named him Kirby, in honor of Minnesota Twins center fielder Kirby Puckett. He was one of those cats that only gave the time of day to one individual, the hand who fed him. However, like any other cat, he was drawn to warm places. He loved to sprawl out in front of the picture window and feel the warm sun rays shine down on his fur; times like that he would let anyone pet him.
He had a habit unlike any other cat I have come across. One day I was in the bathroom taking a shower; I had left the door open. The steam billowed out into the hallway.
Warm...so warm, must have been Kirby's thought process. After tilting back my head to wash the shampoo out of my shaggy hair, I looked down, and there he was--in the shower. Standing up near the wall. It was one of those non-tub showers, so, he was able to saunter in unanounced and without much difficulty. He was getting a litle wet, but nothing major, but as the steam gathered, he moved closer toward me. The water pelted down upon him...and all he felt was warm.
But, much to his dismay, reality set in that this was actually water showering down upon him--and like every other cat I have ever met, Kirby did not care for water...not one bit. Upon the realization, he jumped about a foot straight up in the air and bolted out of the shower to dry off.
A couple days later, a voice could be heard over the shower in the bathroom: "Hey! What are you doing in here?"--this time Kirby decided to meander into my father's shower time.
All 9 years of his life, Kirby would occasionally take a shower with someone, and every time he would forget about the warm feeling being water until the realization hit him and he took off in shock.
I get that. Last night, Kirby and I were kindred spirits. First off, I must give a "shout out" to the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra who performed an amazing concert last night in Madison. The Capitol Theater, where I was at for the performance, is shown above. See the organ kind of to the left of the photo, kitty-corner to the stage--the second row up, near the aisle. Yeah, that's where I was seated.
I nestled into my red, plush chair and let the warm music of Mendelsohn, Mozart, and Fields wash over me. It was so quiet. A whole room full of people sitting watching classical music without speaking a word to one another. Shhhh, I wanted to say, Listen to the warm.
Sitting up so close, I got to watch the faces of the performers. The cellist sitting by herself in the back row; when the symphony got to the fourth movement of the Mozart piece they were playing, I could clearly see the expression on her face, saying--"Oh, crap here it comes"--and then her fingers simply flew up and down the fingerboard.
The concertmaster with her pink stringed bow barely broke a sweat when the difficult passages popped up, and the woman behind her attacked that 4th movement like she had been wanting to play this piece her entire life.
These were people who loved what they were doing, and boy was that love infectious. After those last notes of Mozart's 35th Symphony, I was almost tempted to do some major fist pumping a la Jersey Shore. But, I thankfully refrained, and clapped like a civilized concert-goer.
It was a warm night in Madison, and walking out of the Overture Center, the streets were a bustle. College kids were yelling across the street, two boys wearing white and green colored wigs were throwing up on the side of the road, and people were bumping up against one another without even a simple word of apology.
I realized, quite quickly, the warm can not last...and even though I wanted to go back and stay in that concert hall, I knew that's not how life works. So, off I went to the parking structure, weaving through the drunkards and the obnoxiously loud.
But, the music still plays in my head, and that violin player--the one right behind the concert master, the one with the glasses and the long curly hair--I can still see her eyes simply ignite with joy when hitting that fourth movement....that image is all I need for now.
There is another concert in April, and though it is an expensive habit and I know I probably should avoid it--but just like my sister's cat, I can't help but be drawn to the warm.