Lions Purr and So Do I

It’s true I have been dragging myself around, knuckles and jaw scraping the floor, dust bunnies under my fingernails and between my teeth. And then I came across this…

MGM Lion…and it shook my world, or at least knocked me part of the way out of my coma.

The picture is the MGM boys recording Leo’s voice. The more I thought about it, the more it gave me perspective. I spend a LOT of time in studios watching people pour their voices into microphones, but never once has there been a lion on the other side of the glass. And look at him, so elegant and poised, mane brushed, teeth polished, right forepaw turned slightly outward in a pose worthy of GQ.

I started to wonder, would you say Leo was narrating or voice acting? He wasn’t saying any actual words, at least not English ones, so I guess you’d say voice acting. But on the other hand, he was speaking fluent Lionese, so maybe it counts as narrating. I don’t know that much about lion vocabulary, so I couldn’t vouch for what he might be saying.

Shimajiro speaks Japanese and English but I couldn’t vouch for his Tigerese.

080407_1039And thinking about Shimajiro reminded me of a day we were filming in a zoo. We were by the lion enclosure, where a whole pride of females were wandering back and forth under some trees. I heard a low rumbling sound and thought it was odd because we were nowhere near a highway or railway line. Then then I realized the lions were purring.

How many people get to say they’ve heard lions purring? And how many people get to film in a zoo? And how many people are friends with Shimajiro? And how many people get to hang out with narrators and voice actors? How many people get to be long term foreign residents of a city as much fun as Tokyo?

So instead of ‘down’, I will focus on ‘up’. I will scrape my knuckles and jaw off the floor, dust them off and smile. I will hold my head up like my friend Leo. I will look up at the sky and the stars and the birds and the butterflies and all the other pretty things that go flitting by. If work people decide they don’t want to treat me decently, I will tell them to go eat worms. (So there!) I will try not to focus on the things that are making me sad because there is nothing I can do about them.

I am told that my guardian angel spent a very pleasant Friday evening sipping wine with Aunt Gerri and is now ready to return to her duties looking after me. This is good. And ten hours of sleep didn’t do any harm, either. Purr.

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