Being an artist can be isolating. Once engrossed in a project I've gone for a couple of days without hearing anyone else's voice, including mine. Living in my head can be fun and confusing (especially when I start telling myself stories and jokes)... but sometimes it's lonely and I never even knew I was lonely until this little furball came into my life.
Bernard Banks is a pound cat, though he weighs 10 times that. For a few years, I'd creep in Craigslist and just search for free cats without any intention of getting one. Then one day, I just walked into the Hawaiian Humane Society and into their Cat Room where a beatiful black cat with electric jade eyes caught my attention.
I found out that his name was Darth Vader, and without really thinking that through because I was instantly charmed because I'm a geek and I absolutely love Spaceballs---just kidding. I love Star Wars. And why he was named Darth Vader didnt seem to matter–until I handled him– if you can even call it that. DV basically clawed himself up my legs and onto my torso while he somehow hung and swiped his claws repeatedly at my face. The helper at the pound had to pull him away from me. Needless to say, I didnt take him home. I retreated into another corner where Banks perched on a corner shelf- unaffected and aloof- like cats always seem to be.
I didnt take him home that day. I wanted to make sure i was ready to commit to being responsible for a living thing. I was barely making the grade with myself. I first met Banks that Monday. By Tuesday I couldn't stop thinking about him and knew that I would come back on Wednesday when cat adoptions are half off! I'd just quit my job so splurging on a cat on an artist's salary was questionable for me. But I couldn't wait and came right back for him and paid full price.
He changed my life. One day, sitting and painting in my studio, I didnt know how lonely I was until he would hang out with me and rub his furry whoopie cushion self on whatever it might be I'm workin on (even for just a second)... Maybe I wasn't lonely, but it's hard to imagine what I was because what I am now is just so extremely gay, as in exceptionally happy.