Monday, February 20, 2012

Seeing Sammy Again

He was on the deck, in the middle of the night!!

I had come downstairs at 3:00 this morning, after having been up for hours with a touch of food poisoning.
The cats were ecstatic – EARLY BREAKFAST!! I put out their bowls, then strolled by the deck door to check for Sammy.

As some people know, Sammy was the outside cat I fed on the deck for 8 years. I was never able to get near him, but I provided a house, food and flea meds, which helped make his life easier.

He'd beaten the odds many times. Five months ago my beloved boy vanished, presumably lost to a coyote that had come through the woods that day.

But I NEVER stopped looking for him.

And at 3:00 this morning…there he was!!

My heart stopped – SAMMY! He was actually sleeping in the house!! I knocked on the door and he lifted up his head, so I knew he was ok! Tears streamed down my face as I ran into the kitchen to get his special food. As soon as I had fed him I’d call my friend, Judy, who knew that if he ever showed up again she’d get a call from me no matter what time it was.

The can opener turned and I took off the lid. Odd…the label was correct, but I could tell the food didn’t look quite right.

Then I noticed that the can opener was sitting on the table, and not on the counter.

Then I saw that the living room furniture was sitting in the kitchen.

And then I knew the heartbreaking truth – this was a dream!

I didn’t know I had gone back to sleep. I shot up in bed, and the realization that this was just a dream – that Sammy was NOT waiting for me on the deck – tore me to pieces. To have that joy ripped away was gut-wrenching. It had felt so real…so unbelievably real.

I sobbed buckets of tears...and then I finally stopped crying for him.

But I will never...ever...stop looking for him.

Chris Davis
Lighthearted Press
Publishing magical books for animal lovers

Friday, February 17, 2012

Are cats REALLY less affectionate than dogs?

The other day I had an interesting phone chat with my Aunt Mary.

My Auntie lost her husband a few years ago, and while she’d love to bring home a dog for company she isn’t allowed to have one where she lives.

She can, however, have a cat.

Aunt Mary doesn’t want to do that, though, because she’s heard how “aloof” cats can be. She wants a friendly pup who will follow her around and lay by her feet.

I always smile when I hear someone say that, because for most of my life I thought along those same lines. I’d always shared my life with dogs, often three or four at a time. People got used to seeing me walk my herd through the neighborhood.

It was my dog, Jake, who changed my thinking 14 years ago when he found a tiny tabby kitten in the yard. The kitty had a brother and several sisters, and Jake’s beautiful heart knew he needed to bring these kitties inside so he could take care of them.

Jake fell head over heels for the kitties…and so did I. When Jake left us in 2006 I thought for sure another dog would find its way to us soon. But the kitties asked for something that would impact those plans for another doggie.

They asked for some dog-free time with me, so I could have the chance to REALLY understand the world of felines.

When they were done, I wouldn’t just know a few lines of “kitty” – I’d actually SPEAK CAT!

So here we are, six years later…Star and Molly still by my side, their siblings Dickens and Pippen flying through the stars with my angel doggies.

What have I learned about cats?

I know that cats express their affection differently than dogs do. Star and Molly know that I deeply love and respect them, and I feel their love for me down to the core of my being. I appreciate their unique personalities, and value all that they bring to my life. We are a family. We can count on that love, and don’t have to constantly be in each other’s presence to know that the bond connecting us is real.

I know that some cats will come when called and others will completely ignore you, all of them tuned into radio station WIFM – what’s in it for me?

On the other hand, there was that one cold winter’s night I was sprawled on the bathroom floor with a bad case of food poisoning. Molly curled up next to me for several hours…and she never moved. Perhaps on that particular night WIFM stood for what’s in it for MOM?

I know that the love I share with my cats is loose and fluid. Each of us gets to be who we are, there for each other in spirit but not necessarily attached at the hip.

Perhaps that is the truest and purest definition of love. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been capable of participating in a love like that when I was younger. Maybe I wouldn’t have been able to do it at all without a cat showing me the way.

Loving cats has changed how I define love. It’s changed me.

For the better…I think.

Chris Davis

Lighthearted Press
Publishing magical books for animal lovers

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Art 101

It was there in the closet, next to the keepsake box.

I drew this with oil pastels when I was about 10 years old. You can still see the tape marks along the top where I must have stuck it somewhere.

There is an innocence to this artwork that brings me to tears.

Those happy, wide-eyed Raggedy Ann & Andy faces radiate unimaginable joy.

Yet, when I drew this I was in an impossible situation at home, horribly abused by one parent who was enabled by the other. In looking back, I’m not sure how I survived. I guess being a stubborn New Yorker had its blessings, even as a child!

Perhaps I drew what I had never known, but on some level was desperately seeking.

I have made peace with my past. However, looking at this picture touches a part of my soul that still seems to be lost, looking for my home…and for Mommy.

Chris Davis
Lighthearted Press
Publishing magical books for animal lovers

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Kissing Bruce Springsteen

Do you have a keepsake box?

You know, the place where you’ve stashed all your treasured memorabilia from years gone by?

I was looking through my box of stuff the other day when I came upon an old Christmas card. It was dated 1976, signed by Aunt Trudie. She wasn’t my aunt. Her nephew was the late Clarence Clemons, saxophonist fo
r the Bruce Springsteen band.

The memories came flooding back.

Suddenly I was standing along the wall during a Springsteen concert in NYC – DO NOT ask me how I got in there! It was my third time in as many nights. The sweet woman standing behind me introduced herself at Clarence’s aunt.

“Would you like to go back and meet the band?”


Everything after that is a blur…except the part about kissing The Boss! THAT I remember.

Long before I wrote books for animal lovers I made my living as a singer.

I had a different name, a different look and a different life. A large part of my world was wrapped around music.

Seeing this card from Aunt Trudie brought back so many good memories. I was having a wonderful time on this unplanned journey into my past.
Why not keep going?

To be continued…

Chris Davis
Former Singer
Lighthearted Press
Publishing magical books for animal lovers