Helen Keller and the Buzz Saw

“What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”

Helen Keller

A couple of days ago I lost an incredible friend who lived with my family.

His name was Bob.

He had a couple blood clots in his heart that prevented blood from circulating properly.

Which caused the lower part of his body to become paralysed and ice cold. Once that happened, it was pretty much over.

Now Bob was not related to me in any way.

But he was as much a part of our family as anyone could ever be.

He didn’t really do anything for our family that you could term as “useful.” He didn’t work, didn’t do any chores and he certainly didn’t clean.

But Bob was loved by everyone one of us and he loved us back.

He was also deaf as a post.

Which is probably why he purred as loud as he did (yes he was a cat). And I mean LOUD. So loud in fact that if he was laying beside you it was almost impossible to have a normal conversation with someone in the same room.

Or hear the TV.

It’s funny, but it was Bob’s crazy “Buzz Saw” purring that attracted me to him in the first place.

How did I find him?

Well it all started with my wife wanting to get a new cat for our house.

So she went to the SPCA and found one she really liked but didn’t bring him home because I wasn’t convinced having a cat would be a good idea.

So my wife had the brilliant idea of challenging me to go down to the SPCA to see if there WAS one I liked. She said, “I’m pretty sure you’ll find one you’ll like and it’ll be the same one I picked – but I won’t tell you which one – you’ll have to go down and see for yourself.”

So, reluctantly I went.

Once I got there and looked around I actually DID find one I liked.

I phoned my wife and said there is only one cat in this whole place I like. She said, “Uh huh. which one?” I said, “The one that purrs really, really loud.” “Yup,” she laughed, “that’s the one. Oh by the way he’s deaf as a post.”

So I brought Bob the loud “buzz saw” purring, “deaf as a post” cat home.

Why did I call him Bob?

Because he was a Pixie-Bob – a breed of cat that looks just like a Bobcat.

They’re a big heavy animal with a huge set of mitts (paws) and a short stubby tail. Pixi-Bobs are doglike in their loyal devotion to their family and really make a great companion for kids.

I have a lot of fond memories of Bob like how he was the only cat I ever knew who likes to pet you back. You could be sitting there minding your own business and he’d jump up and gently stroke your hand or your leg.

Oh and that purring of his?

It never, ever, ever stopped. If you ever petted him, especially under his chin – he would purr even LOUDER.


I’m going to miss Bob.

The only regret I have is, other than a few pictures, I don’t have anything around my home to remind me of him.

Not like when an actual family member like a parent or grandparent passes on.

They always leave a lot of stuff behind. Most of which is sold or given away – except it seems for area rugs.

Area rugs tend to be one of those items family members want to hold on to.

How do I know that?

Well, nearly everyday I have customers who comes in with a rug to get cleaned.

And when I ask them a simple “8 word question” they completely open up and tell me all about their parent or grandparent who owned the rug they brought in.

I hear tales of how the family member acquired the rug in a foreign land.

I hear stories of how my customer grew up playing on the rug.

I hear all about the memories this rug holds for them. About how they could never part with it because of the priceless sentimental value it holds for them.

It’s interesting.

Once I tap into that emotion with those “8 little words” they all of a sudden want me to restore the rug to it’s original glory no matter what the price.

Helen Keller was right.

Whether it’s a deaf, loud purring cat or an area rug that belonged to a family member, we all want to keep anything that holds the memory of the one we loved and lost.

To discover the “8 little words” I use to to connect emotionally with my customers (and other ways you can tap into powerful buying emotions of your customers), here is where you will find them…


Stephen “Dusty” Robert