Coca Cola van broke down in the heat
The girls in colored dresses
They seem to laugh as they run - yeah
But they dream of only sweet caresses
Come Back The Sun
We will be like children
Come Back The Sun
Make us into children
~ Zucchero, "Come Back the Sun"
Zucchero "Sugar" Fornaciari - Come back the sun (Ridammi il sole - english version 1997)
The blossoms are late this year, although my weeping cherry tree is certain to be full of pink rain within the week.
May 1, 2009, the cherry blossoms bloomed to mark the passing of my oldest friend in human years. Genji Cat was ninety when he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He was named after the princely hero of Lady Murasaki’s "The Tale of the Genji", which some speculate to have been the very first novel.
Nearly nineteen years before, my best girlfriend and I were watching Pet Sematary one dark and stormy night; the movie set out the exploits of Churchill, a British Grey cat who had come back from the dead.
The very next morning, a tiny grey kitten wandered into the backyard. He was so small, he fit in the palm of my hand. His fur had the silvery shimmer of a Russian Blue. It was a spooky coincidence!
No one put up signs in the neighbourhood about the tiny lost kitten so I kept him.
As he grew older, Genji managed to sneak out the back door and over the fence twice in search of Ladies And Adventure, with one incident when he was the ripe old age of 15, involving 4 days off work and several hundred flyers. Some people called to say that they’d spotted a cat a block or two away with an unusual silvery grey coat. He was as nonchalant as could be when he finally returned, lounging on the neighbour’s patio in the June heat meowing at me, with only the tip of his tail twitching.
Then he was 19. Ninety or more in human years, when he finally aged very quickly. Cherry blossom princess, Kyoto the shiba inu, was the first to figure that the end was near. Puppy Kamikaze Karinoe helped watch during the Dark Night of the Soul.
After his last visit to the vet, I bought a little pot of forget-me-nots. It seems as though the last time I looked, the only flowers poking their heads up were brave little crocuses. Now, suddenly, everywhere there was a riot of colour. How did I miss that?
I had stepped out into the back yard at two in the morning and, as if for the occasion of Genji’s life passage, the weeping cherry had suddenly come into bloom. In the stark porch light, its new blossoms were quite striking, like warm spring rain. The Japanese kerria, quince and flowering almond were all blooming.
This year, they are all late, but I see that the weeping cherry has two blossoms already and Genji my heart cat and Small Town Romeo will never be forgotten.