Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Don't Have to Live Like a Refugee

At first I was delighted that Possum appreciates Tom Petty's music as much as I do. But we've discovered that he likes to sing my favorite song, "Refugee," to taunt Wendy. Here he is, at it again:

Possy gets into the yelping part toward the end of the song.

He has selected "Refugee" as Wendy's theme song, because she still won't believe that her life is any better than it was when she was a tiny kitten, living in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant near Swansea, Massachusetts. (It was not a Wendy's.) She's always cringing, scurrying away from us, and staring with round, nervous eyes as we coo at her. When she finally surrenders, she melts into raucous purrs and begs us to stroke her belly... but in the meantime, it's all:

Somewhere, somehow, 
Somebody must have kicked you around some.
Who knows? maybe you were kidnapped
Tied up, taken away and held for ransom...

As a matter of fact, Wendy was kidnapped (she wandered into a humane trap), taken away, and put up for adoption. But Possum is also a refugee, from Shrewsbury. He thought it was so much fun that he got himself trapped twice. Whereas Wendy has psychological scars. 

So he sings to her:

It don't make no difference to me, baby,
Everybody's had to fight to be free,
You see you don't have to live like a refugee.

He puts extra emphasis on "baby" because that's what we call often her.

So, yes, it was clever of him to choose such an appropriate song, but I'd rather he had picked something more optimistic, perhaps The Beatles' "She Loves You." He says Wendy wouldn't pick up on the irony of that. It's true: she's such a literal cat. Until she settles into her luxurious "new" life ("It's only been a year and half, give me a break!" she squeaks), we're going to be hearing,

It don't really matter to me, BABY,
You believe what you want to believe,
You don't have to live like a refugee.

Unfortunately, Possum doesn't sound anything like Tom Petty. (Not everyone loves Tom's voice, but you can't sing like a refugee if you sound like Frank Sinatra.) Possum is an effortless high tenor — maybe even a counter tenor. Too high-pitched and "boy choir" sweet for a rock star, although falsetto will probably come naturally to him. That's what happens when a guy gets neutered before he's 8 weeks old. (We don't use the words "castrato" or "boy soprano" around here.) 

When he used to sing "Mustang Sally," it was pretty awful. Don't tell him I said that. He sounds best singing Gregorian chant.

The music of Frankie Valli, the Beach Boys or  even Freddie Mercury — I can imagine Possy singing "Bohemian Rhapsody"— would better suit his abilities, but I won't say anything yet, since he's having such a good time.

1 comment:

  1. I love the thought of your cats singing voices...Disco sounds a bit like Tom Waits, Brighton like Paul Simon and Coco like Cindy Lauper...


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