I thought I knew about the blues.
I thought I wasn’t wild about the blues.
Now I think I was a dunderhead.
Based solely on a vile ex-boyfriend’s musical taste and the blues scene from Adventures in Babysitting,* I thought the blues were always essentially this:
Since mah dadduh left me
And mah mammuh left me
And walruses stole mah shoes
And Zayn left One Direction
Mah life is sad sad doody
(OK, actually that was an awesome song right there. But I digress.)
I also thought I knew about sad-faced cats.
I thought sad-faced cats were sad.
Now I know I was a dunderhead.
Tabby’s Place has hosted legions upon legions of sad-faced cats. We’re talking inverted-V mouths, teardrop-shaped eyes, ears that crinkle down so very emotionally.
Complicating the matter for small human brains, some of these cats have sad stories backing up their faces.
So surely such cats are stricken with the blues, right?
Consider Tabs. There’s no denying that those nervous green eyes are so very full of All The Feelings. Tabs came to us from a crowded, open-admission shelter in New York, unwanted and unknown and uncertain of a future.
Tabs isn’t singing songs of sorrow.
He is, however, singing the true blues.
The blues, I’m learning, are different from a dirge. With a wink and a nod and tongue firmly placed in cheek, the blues turn bad news on its head. Pathos turns to play.
The griever goes gleeful.
Consider the following, from blessed bluesmaster Keb’ Mo’:**
I’m amazing; I’m incredible
I’m a miracle, a dream come true
I’m marvelous; I’m beautiful
So are you.
That, kittens, is the true blues. And that is the song with which sad-faced Tab lives his large, loved life at Tabby’s Place.
Need more proof? Look at Toya. Ten years into her term at Tabby’s Place, she’s currently our longest-time resident. Her stay here was punctuated only by a brief, blissful adoption. That reverie ended with her adopter’s passing.
Toya could be tortured. Her Picasso-esque face and noble golden eyes could emit angst.
But they don’t. Toya just sings the blues. As Keb’ would have it:
Life is beautiful, life is wondrous
Every star above is shining just for us
Life is beautiful, on a stormy night
Somewhere in the world the sun is shining bright
That sun shines on Toya every day in the Tabby’s Place lobby. And, if we dare forget for a moment, she shines it back at us.
I could go on. There’s moon-faced Philippa, basking in her basket in Adoption Room #3. There’s Claudette, of sober profile and Mardi Gras personality, flaunting every inch of her glory at every chance. There’s big-eyed Ali, no longer “afraid of molecules,” looking right back at the world that loves to love her.***
There’s you. There’s me.
Sing those blues, baby.
Photo credits: Thumbnail by this person on Flickr; first shot of Tabs by fab Mary; 2nd shot by AT; Toya by Mark.
*Which, if you haven’t seen, you need to see. Now.
**And if you don’t know Keb’ Mo’, for heaven’s sakes, stop reading this blog and go check out his grooves right now. You can thank me later.
***OK, she is still pretty freaked out by atoms. But we’re all in process.