This morning my small sleek black and white cat Plum died while I stroked her silky old head. This cat had been deeply loved by my family and she always appeared to share my love of Jazz. Whether scientific or not I will continue to believe in Jazz Cats; magical animals who occupy a revered place in the Jazz pantheon. I am not alone in making this connection as the linkage between Jazz and the cat is cemented forever in the hipster argot. Plum always appeared when I was about to put a CD on and she would ‘lay-out’ hassling for food until the music was finished. She always spent time sitting on the knees of my Jazz buddies when they called by for a night of music. Any Jazz activity seemed to please her and she especially liked my friend Stu.
The ‘hang’ will never be quite the same without her; diminished by her absence. Her soft footfall and shadowy presence filled a room to capacity. She and I were all the company we needed if my partner was out-of-town. Jazz cats, digging the sounds and hanging loose in the vibe.
I would watch her with interest if Dolphy or Sun Ra emanated from the sound system. Nothing was too challenging and no chord too dissonant. As long as they were Jazz chords and the pulse was right she was fine with it. I never tried her with Kenny G as I don’t believe in cruelty to animals and I don’t own such music – Plum and I had an understanding of what was cool and that trust was never knowingly violated.
I miss her so much it hurts and every shadow that falls causes me to start suddenly as my hand involuntarily stretches out to stroke her.
She now lies in the cold garden earth below the Coral Tree and I realise that there is only one remedy. To play Jazz tunes about cats.
‘Baby Plum’ – Jacky Terrasson (What it is), The Cat’ – Tom Dennison (Zoo album). That’s my friend Roger player tenor on the second track – I am so glad that he blew his horn so movingly on that song.
I loves ya Jazz Cat Plum.