Is it easy living as the anonymous companion to a global celebrity? Some people believe that the unknown companions of very famous individuals must feel constantly overlooked and undervalued, like the drab hens to glorious roosters. When the rooster gets all the attention with his lustrous plumage and magnificent dawn arpeggios, wouldn’t it be understandable if the hen sometimes yearned for her own time in the spotlight, too?
In the case of this particular hen, no.
Within my own small world of Jokhang, I am already as well known as it’s possible to be. At Café Franc I am venerated as a rinpoche! And while His Holiness may appear frequently on TV, he also has to go through life being photographed and having microphones thrust in his face morning, noon, and night. He must answer the relentless questions of journalists asking him to explain elementary Buddhism—much like a professor of applied physics being asked incessantly to recite the seven-times table. That the Dalai Lama manages to do this with genuine warmth and a sense of humor reveals something not only about his personal qualities but also about the value of Buddhist practices—most notably, the perfection of patience!
The reason I’m so categorical—if you’ll excuse the pun—about not wanting to be famous is that I’ve been on the receiving end of a great deal of media attention. This fact may surprise you. Why, you may wonder, have you not already come across the Dalai Lama’s cat in the pages of Vanity Fair, photographed perhaps by the great Patrick Demarchelier? Or preening her whiskers and folding her long, grey boots with studied insouciance, having invited Hello! magazine to survey the delights of her sumptuous Himalayan boudoir? It pains me to admit that the media attention I received wasn’t of the glossy magazine variety. Photographed? Yes. Celebrity pages? Alas, no.
Now, dear reader, if you like the little excerpt above, isn’t it time you ordered yourself a copy of my intriguing memoirs?
And tell me, how does your feline companion feel about sharing their life with you?
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