Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: A cat offers her music critique

By AMY NEWMARK, Chicken Soup for the Soul | 5/12/2014

Ernest Hemingway once said that cats have “absolute emotional honesty,” never hiding their true feelings. Janet Ramsdell Rockey would certainly agree after her cat, Squeakette, made crystal clear her feelings about Janet’s singing voice.

As Janet wrote in her story “Mewsic Critic,” published in one of our books on cats, her voice “fell woefully short of Juilliard standards.” She was probably being modest, as she’d studied opera in college. But, in any case, she’d been away from singing for several years when she decided to join her church’s choir. It was time to start practicing again.

Ernest Hemingway once said that cats have “absolute emotional honesty,” never hiding their true feelings. Janet Ramsdell Rockey would certainly agree after her cat, Squeakette, made crystal clear her feelings about Janet’s singing voice.

As Janet wrote in her story “Mewsic Critic,” published in one of our books on cats, her voice “fell woefully short of Juilliard standards.” She was probably being modest, as she’d studied opera in college. But, in any case, she’d been away from singing for several years when she decided to join her church’s choir. It was time to start practicing again.

At home, she popped in a tape of opera music, sat down on the floor and started singing along.

“Gloria in excelsis Deo,” she belted out.

Squeakette, it seems, didn’t think the rendition was all that glorious. She leapt off the couch and ran toward Janet meowing.

“Not now,” Janet said. “I have to practice.”

But Squeakette didn’t let up. She gave Janet a “warning nibble” on the elbow, and then she stood on her hind legs and covered Janet’s mouth with both front paws.

Finally Janet stopped singing, and Squeakette thanked her by nuzzling up to her shoulder and purring. Amused, Janet wondered what she’d tell her choir director. “Do I tell him I can’t practice at home because my cat bites me when I sing?”

Whatever her excuse, the good thing was she knew she’d already dealt with her toughest audience. “Everyone’s a critic,” she wrote, “but none quite as honest as my Squeakette.”

Syndicated by Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, online at www.chickensoup.com

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