One key perk: getting to sing the songs of the cats too humble to toot their own trumpets.
Behold the bashful beauty that is Lucia.
In the early days of her Tabby’s Place sojourn, Lucia followed in the pawprints of another black-and-white cutie by hanging out dwelling in the tube connecting the solarium to Suite C. This is not exactly a move screaming “I love you people – please smoosh and love and kiss me!” I worried that the gentle-spirited tuxie girl with the heart-shaped face may be heading the long, circuitous road of Puzzle and Skye.
But, silly human bean, I needed fear no such thing. Lucia decided quickly that life was sweeter in the fray than on her own deserted island, and moved into Suite C. She took up residence in a nook on the cat tree, happy to be visible but just as happy to be in a place where you had to really seek her if you wanted to find her.
I admire a cat like that. Don’t get me wrong; the gregarious Mangos and “love-me-love-me-love-me!!” Madelines have my heart, too. But there’s something soulful about a modest feline like Lucia, who waits until she knows you’re willing to pursue her affections before she’ll come bouncing out and about.
But it’s come to my attention that Lucia could use a little bit of a PR boost. The boinging, boisterous Tigger-types of the cat world make their own parades, and get scooped up at warp speed. But the laid-back, love-me-on-my-own-terms Piglet personalities – like our Lucia – are like the emeralds that get overlooked just because they aren’t diamonds.
I’m here to sing for the emeralds.
And that brings me to the title of this post. It may be best known as an island paradise, but Santa Lucia is also a profoundly, almost spoofishly, dramatic Italian song. My own clearest memory of this song is less than epic, I’m afraid. On an epically-long road trip to Florida with my Italian uncle, we listened to almost exclusively Italian songs all the way down the eastern seaboard. By the time the CD played Santa Lucia for about the eighth time, Uncle J had to find a restroom – desperately. And so, in his ringing baritone, the song became “Santa The-Batha-Roooooooom!” (Happy ending: he found a Subway just in time. And also eventually changed the CD.)
OK, what this has to do with Lucia I’m not entirely sure. But I am sure I will keep singing the songs of the shy ones, the quirky ones and the “difficult” ones until this world gets an eye for emeralds. I will make a happy fool of myself if necessary to trumpet the glories of loving the Lucias exactly as they are.
Lucia, someday, someone will come looking just for you.