It’s been a year since Luna passed away. And so today we mark her yahrzeit, or anniversary of death. Over the past year, the grieving process has continued in its complicated and chaotic pattern, sometimes raw and at the surface, sometimes just a fond memory now tinged with melancholy. Perhaps if one plots the grief over the course of a year. it will trend downwards, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t moments of deep loss and sadness.
We began observing the yahrzeit at sundown yesterday. After repeated heatwaves and the worst fires and air quality that I have experienced in California, the skies and air suddenly became chilly, crisp, and damp, signaling the real arrival of autumn. The palpable chill in the air brought memories of Luna’s last week back into focus and set the tone for the evening. We switched on the memorial candle – I only use electrical candles for this purpose. A glass or two of red wine, some comfort food, and David Bowie on the stereo. The songs “Dollar Days” from Blackstar and “Prettiest Star” from Alladin Sane are particularly tied to Luna’s passing, along with the chill.
Sam Sam seemed to sense my state – exacerbated by an unusually stressful workday on top of everything else – and provided a lot of extra comfort last night, breaking her night-time wanderings around HQ to come and lay on my chest and purr. She does this most days, but not as long or as deep. Indeed, her presence has been a great source of love and comfort as I continue to move forward. I will always miss Luna, but my current and future cats need me in the present.
By Japhy Riddle. Submitted by Bill Wolter via Facebook.
An improvement (in my opinion) on someone else’s concept. I can only take partial credit for this. All paper cut-outs.
This fits so well visually on CatSynth!
A photo captured in SoHo, New York City, framing a metal sculpture and black-cat painting on a wall.
A tribute to John Cage on his birthday (September 5), by the Merce Cunningham Trust. The photo is courtesy of the John Cage Trust.
John Cage’s beloved black cat was named Losa Rinpoche. From the John Cage Trust (on his 101st birthday in 2013):
John Cage had a very close relationship with his second black cat, Losa. (His first black cat, Skookum, was tragically set loose on the streets of New York by a well-meaning worker on the roof. John was so bereft, Andy Culver told him we were going to have to send him back to Zen School.) One of their favorite games together was for John to put Losa under a cardboard box. Losa would then move around the loft, the box on his back, weirdly animated. I was horrified the first time I saw him do this. “He must be scared!” I cried. John just laughed. He said Losa liked it, and, furthermore, his new name was now Losa Rinpoche Taxi Cab. Of course, Losa would, after a time, simply shrug the box off, look disdainfully at us both, and calmly walk away.
Another from our friends at Eevo Lute Music & Technology, this time featuring a black cat and a classic Roland TR-808. This was post for last week’s “808 Day”. My favorite comment: ” I only have full sized analog cats!” 😸 🎹
Another from our friends at Eevo Lute Music & Technology, via Instagram and Facebook. You can see their previous contributions here. This one features their black cat with a Korg MS-20 synthesizer and sundry household items.
Synthesizers, vacuum cleaner, cat and washing machine. #neveradullmoment #housekeeping #musicstudio #blackcats
While many readers are undoubtedly familiar with the MS-20, those who are not can learn more here.
Today would have been Luna’s 12th Gotcha Day, 12 years since I first brought her home. And a little over 7 months since she left us.
As with any deep loss, one starts to dwell less upon it over time. Sam Sam’s presence has played a strong role in that. But I did catch myself saying “Luna” to try and get her attention the other day. It doesn’t happen often, but I notice when it does.
I want to celebrate her life and the many years we had together. She was a constant presence, a soulmate, and of course a fine feline model full of grace and elegance. So please indulge me in this series of photos.
But emotions work in strange ways. Sitting down to write this, opening up the editor and typing, has caused my heart to sink and my eyes to water up. I would say this is healthy, given the deepness of our relationship and the magnitude of the loss. There is a very specific sadness associated with grief. It builds slowly and lingers for quite a while, and then can suddenly burst forth, usually in response to another’s emotions or sympathy. I expect that process will play out again today. I am grateful for the many good things that have unfolded in life since she passed, but I still miss her so much.
Perhaps our favorite “May Day” artwork of all time. 😺
While we at CatSynth are not able to participate in any of today’s main protests, we support those who are.
Our friend Runkl returns with another portrait in front of the modular synth. Submitted by Jeph Nor via Facebook.
Cute black cat playing a Korg Volca FM synthesizer. Submitted by Stephen Cort Smith via our Facebook page.
This picture is too adorable, especially because we love black cats. But it’s also a reminder that I need to explore the Volca FM more here at CatSynth HQ as I have only scratched the surface.