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“Ora Sento” (c)2012, Acrylic on Canvas Board, 16″ x 20″
“Ora Sento” is on display in the 2012 Members’ Show, December 4, 2012 to January 4, 2013, at the Artel Gallery, Pensacola FL.
As any doting parent, I could endlessly wax poetic on the smallest, furry member of our family: our cat-child, Shadow, aka Kitty. I’ll attempt brevity, but I believe the back story is integral to the power of the incident.
Since slinking into our garage two years ago, thin-bodied and hollowed eyed, at arm’s length—not withstanding many a scratch and plentiful swabs of topical colloidal silver—we treated her for mange, fleas, and yanked out a few festering tics. We catered to her basic needs but chose not to tame her, for fear of weakening the instincts she depended on for survival.
We just let her be.
We eventually gained her trust through ritual daily feedings and by waiting on her for any natural, sociable advances; but otherwise, she happily remained a wild and energetic garage-cat in control of her destiny.
However, prior to moving to Pensacola, she grew lethargic, a bit of a cry-baby, and, strangely, more interactive, particularly rubbing her ears against our knuckles. Odd, we thought. But we knew, without doubt, that something was up when she started listing to one side. The vet, however, assured us that she was fine and chalked it up to a difficult adjustment to our local move three months earlier.
But following our arrival in Pensacola, her imbalance increased and she began vomiting. So off to the vet we flew, whereupon she was diagnosed with a severe infection in both ears and a build-up of mite “debris”—otherwise known as poop—so dense and deep in her ear canal that a general anesthetic was required for the cleaning.
When she was safely back home, and completely conscious, she was transformed.
Tall and still she sat. Listening.
Eyes riveted; ears poised.
I could see her hearing. Suddenly, she turned and opened her eyes to me; they were enormous and clear. Her expression was deep and focused. She seemed amazed and curious and in love. With life. And I was there to savor her sentience. We shared an energy, a communion that was bigger than the two of us. Well, I did. I know I’ve anthropomorphized her reaction, and you might deem me daft, but I like to think that we shared a union on a metaphysical level and I consider myself fortunate to be witness to one of the most unique and pure moments of cognizance, expression and wonder.
This is the gift that I painted.
Since this incident, and though she retains her free-spirit, she’s become a little love-bug that follows me around the house and curls up next to me in the middle of the night. Oh, the joy. Sigh.