a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

kenny g and the calico cat

< by Jill >

When I arrived home on the night of my 12th birthday, I paused at the front door. Something seemed wrong — music was leaking through it.

Now, this door was not some flimsy sheet of particle board, but rather a thick mass of solid wood.  It had a brass knob and a matching brass skeleton key. This door could block out anything except, apparently, the smooth jazz of Kenny G.

When I finally cracked it open, I felt the full thrust of the music. Soaring high notes, emotional trills — the hallmarks of circular breathing — roared on full blast. The silverware on the table practically rattled. Feeling excited for birthday festivities, I disregarded the music and found my place at the dinner table. We ate heartily and celebrated my ascension to the age of 12, capping the meal with a thick slice of pineapple upside-down cake.

Meanwhile, the saxophones blared.

When it came time for presents, my dad shot a look at Ann, my big sister, who then invited me upstairs. We scaled the stairs in a flash, scampering to the top and into the darkness.

In the shadows of our bedroom, a big brown box rattled from side to side. I approached it with soaring anticipation, and found before my eyes a beautiful calico cat. I reached down to pick her up, and she raced to the opposite corner. After some fervent grappling, I finally held her in my arms.

And then the music stopped. Seamlessly, a new sound replaced it: Relentless, angry meowing.

The music had been covering up her cries the whole time, deftly entwining her screeches with contemporary saxophone.

To this day, when I hear Kenny G, I squint my ears and listen for her mews in the background.

_ _ _

We named that kitty Lucy. As a beautiful creature with a tempestuous spirit, she lived up to the name. Tomorrow you will get to hear her side of this story. 

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