In the mid-1980s, I had just completed a successful season with my jazz duo in London, and we were booked for a six-month contract at The Golden Hat Piano Bar in Paris. One night, just before our 1 a.m. finish and when the crowd had thinned out, a young man in blue jeans and a light leather jacket walked in with his small companion. He chose a table near the band and ordered a cocktail for himself and an orange juice for his friend.
They sat and listened to the music. When we had finished the number, the little friend, who was dressed in overalls and a red-checkered cap, carefully put his orange juice down on the table, and they both clapped enthusiastically.
Well, we couldn’t very well stop at that when we had two such delightful customers enjoying the music, so we played on for another half hour, thoroughly enjoying our small but select audience.
What made it an occasion to remember was that the pleasant young man could have been from anywhere, but his little companion—was a chimpanzee!
Surely, only in Paris!—Leigh Weston
Tiger earns his stripes
My cat, Tiger, hates it when I use my iPad because it takes my attention away from him. One year, I had a fall at home and was on the floor for 16 hours. During this time, I was unable to move and couldn’t get to the phone to call for help. Tiger stayed by my side until he vanished under my bed.
What’s he up to? I wondered. To my surprise, he started to push something toward me. It was my iPad, which I didn’t realize had fallen off the bed and onto the floor underneath. He probably didn’t know what it was, but he knew that it made me happy.
Thanks to Tiger, I was able to contact a friend, who then contacted emergency services. I spent the next eight days in hospital recovering. When I returned home, I bought Tiger a salmon out of gratitude.—Ray Betteridge