If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
- Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

The cats have apparently decided to help around the house,

not by catching voles or snakes or the random robin,

but I guess they think I might be overloaded by life,

and they, in their cat wisdom, would be so right.

The cats, two of them having more dexterity and knowledge,

due to both being Black Polydactyl Pentecostals;

( ...I don't knock anyone's religion, or lack thereof; it's just

something I notice, like a hole ripped in a hoodie or

the way someone giggles, the color of eyes, a burned out

light bulb, the choice of silly shoe laces and socks...)

So these two, with furry fingers, use the poem on the wall behind them

instead of laundry detergent.

"Help one fainting robin" indeed, but still I appreciate the gesture,

and since they were born after most people stopped

using record players or turntables, it's such a shame

because the stack of vinyls so close to their delicate cat ears includes:

ELVIS, Aloha from Hawaii via SATELLITE (1972)

ELVIS, (1973) including Fool, It's Impossible, Where Do I Go From Here?

and I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen and others

Elvis, That's The Way It Is (1970), side 1- Mary in the Morning,

side 2- Bridge Over Troubled Water

HYMNS WE LOVE by Pat Boone (undated), arranged and conducted by Billy Vaughn

Grieg, Peer Gynt and Lyric Suite, with Stanley Black conducting the London Symphony Orchestra (1970),

In The Hall Of The Mountain King from Suite No. 1

Elton John, Blue Moves (1976)

Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)

Joan Baez, Diamonds and Rust (1975)

Willie Nelson, Pretty Paper (1979), with White Christmas, Blue Christmas,

and Christmas Blues, produced and arranged by Booker T. Jones

Willie Nelson, Stardust (1978), featuring Georgia on My Mind, Blue Skies, and All of Me

Stevie Wonder, Talking Book (1972), with special notation that he "uses the Arp and Moog Synthesizers"

Paul Mc Cartney, Mc Cartney II (1980) record sleeve notes: "This album was recorded at home.

The microphone was plugged directly into the back of a Studer 16 track tape machine,

bypassing the recording console. Additional vocals: Linda."

Johann Sebastion Bach, Weihnachtliche Musik (undated), only words in English being 33 stereo

and Made in Germany

Sinatra's Sinatra, arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle (undated) but it includes

Young at Heart, All The Way, and Call Me Irresponsible

John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Double Fantasy (1980), raw lyrics, last song on side 2, Beautiful Boy,

with the promise to his son, "Close your eyes, Have no Fear, The monster's gone, He's on the run

and your daddy's here."

Hours later, the helpful cats have fallen asleep, and I don't have the heart to move

the tumble of wet clothes and towels into the dryer, disturbing drowsy cat dreams. So many wonderful songs,

that the cats may never hear playing. However, it was not for them I brought the music home from the


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