KATHERINE LAURA DAVY (Kitty Davy)
Kitty Davy, lived at Meher spiritual Centre, A part of the mandali, she served Baba selflessly for number of years, following her first meeting the Master in 1931 in London.
Meher Baba had given a hint to Kitty Davy of future accident on the soil of America 20 years in advance but she could not grasp at that time.
Few episodes of her life with Meher Baba worth mentioning are as below
Brother of Kitty Davy, Herbert Davy was a medical student in London and had heard of the Devonshire Retreat from one of his college friends. In March of 1931, he visited there at the end of his term, ostensibly to find a place where his older sister Katherine (Kitty Davy) could recuperate from pleurisy. He met Meredith and Margaret who explained to him about Baba.
He wrote his sister Katherine about the retreat and Meher Baba. Katherine “Kitty” Laura Davy was working as a music teacher, and soon after receiving Herbert’s letter, she also visited the retreat. Both were at Devonshire in July when the cable arrived announcing Baba’s intended visit in the fall.
Kitty was waiting for the group at Victoria Station. While thousands of other people were looking forward to seeing Mahatma Gandhi pass by, Kitty was waiting for her Beloved — the sole dweller in her heart. The Master had prepared her internally for the awakening that was about to occur.
Herbert and Kitty’s father John W. Davy ran the family printing business, and both he and his wife Helena were fortunate to have Baba’s close contact. On one occasion, Baba casually discussed Ping-Pong and cricket with John.
In accordance with His promise to Kitty’s mother Helena, Baba went with her and Margaret Craske to the home for the needy and met with the old people. As Mrs. Davy had said, many of the elderly were blind, dumb or deaf. The Master’s ways are his own. Baba “spoke” to these old people for a long time, dictating messages for them on his board. What he revealed was his love. What was said was less important than the love he gave; their conversations were not in the language of words. Much is communicated in silence, but it cannot be written. Baba took form only to speak in that language, through which he conveyed all that was necessary — without ever uttering a word. His language was his own which touched the heart, and only those for whom it was meant understood what He said.
Kitty noticed a small hole in Baba’s sadra and wanted to mend it, but she felt too shy to mention it. Pointing to the tear, Baba remarked to her, “My robe is torn, so you should sew it. You are lucky to have this opportunity to serve Me. It is the beginning of further service you will have to do for Me.” The Emperor in torn clothing! What irony; but His beauty lies here. He who is infinitely rich and the possessor of untold wealth, delights in wearing worn clothes. It means that He who needs nothing and is fully perfect always bestows His treasure on others, and herein lies His glory.
At first, Kitty and the others felt shy before Baba, but what was there to feel shy of? They had taken their seat in the “train” and were eager to travel; but while traveling one also needs to eat. Having Kitty sew the sadra was, in fact, Baba serving “food” to her. It was His love. There was no need to feel ashamed of one’s deepest longings. Kitty understood, for the Emperor’s glance made her grasp things, and while she stitched the sadra, a boundless joy filled her heart.
Zilla Cluse’s eight-year-old sister Virginia (Jenny) told her Aunt Kitty with child-like innocence, “I would have liked to kiss and hug Baba these past days, but His mustache comes in the way. I love Baba, but I don’t like His mustache.” Kitty informed Baba about this and He made Jenny sit by His side. The girl received much attention from Baba. Once He asked her, “Should I trim My mustache?” She replied that He should. Thereafter He did have His mustache trimmed.
One day in Cannes, Baba disclosed, “For My work I need a healthy, handsome, intelligent and innocent boy. These qualities are essential for the work I wish to do for the world involving the minimizing of lust, especially of homosexuals, which is now prevalent to an alarming extent all over the world.
If the boy is not innocent, he would at once misunderstand My intention, which would hinder instead of help My work.”
On another occasion, when Kitty questioned Baba about His work with the boys, He remarked, “I am working with the youth of the future.”
Soon after, Kitty was asked to go to Paris to look for another boy and Baba indicated, if it was necessary, that He would fly there along with Donkin to choose a boy Himself. Kitty left the following evening with Margaret to look once again for a suitable candidate for Baba’s work. They went to the Spanish refugee camp in Paris where Baba had repeatedly indicated there was one such boy.
Kitty telephoned and telegraphed on 30th August to convey that she had found one boy, and Baba simply cabled back: “Bring.” On 31st August, Kitty brought a Spanish boy named Bellarmino to Baba. But after meeting the boy, Baba did not approve of him either and decided that José Luis should stay instead. Baba remarked, “Perhaps, if Luis begins to love me, I may take him with me to India.”
Meanwhile, day by day, it seemed that the change in environment was having a positive effect on Luis, as he became healthier and showed a livelier attitude and was becoming more aware of who Baba was. The boy would wait for Baba’s arrival every morning and refer to him as the “King of Kings!” He took delight in spelling on Baba’s alphabet board, “Baba Luis amore (Baba loves Luis).”
Baba would walk from His villa with Rano to the men mandali’s quarters in the morning, where He would meet visitors. Luis wanted to sit by Baba’s side but, after permitting him to do so for a while, Baba would send him to another room, since most persons who came to see Baba preferred to talk with Him in private. One day Luis confided in Alfredo, saying, “I like the man with the long hair. He is so kind and gentle. What a pity He is dumb and cannot speak.”
Baba had given Kitty duties in the kitchen. While she tried to teach Naja English, Naja was teaching her cooking. The work was difficult for Kitty, as Indian meals vary greatly from Western fare and much is involved in preparing them. Kitty had to sit for hours by the smoking kerosene stove learning to make chapattis. One day Kitty was thinking sadly: “I haven’t come to India for this! I can do such work at home. I’ve come to be with Baba, but I hardly see Him.”
Once in the evening, while conversing with the women, Baba remarked, as if for Kitty, “Whatever work I ask you to do is My work and she who does it according to My wish is performing the greatest penance! Compared to it, meditation, seclusion, fasts and austerities are nothing!”
Kitty took Baba’s words to heart and proved most useful for His work. The strenuous work she did for Him, while remaining with Him in India for years, and then at a distance in America for many years, is an example of her unflinching sense of duty and obedience.
Since Naja was not well in Panchgani, Kitty was doing the cooking. She had Baba’s strict instructions to see that no food was left over or wasted. But at times, something did remain, as she was not used to cooking for so many. When there was leftover dal, Kitty would drink it down, and if there happened to be too much vegetable that day, this too she would consume. Age was amazed that a well-off British woman was disposing of food in this manner. It was a testament to her intense desire to fulfill her Master’s order.
Baba had also given the women the order that, on Sundays, they were to keep silence and eat only one meal, at 3:00 P.M., of bread, butter and tea. Kitty provided this simple food. While Baba was traveling to Bangalore to look at sites for the ashram, some of the group approached Kitty and asked for toast instead of bread. She agreed, and by the following Sunday, a few more wanted the same.
When Baba returned, He did not mention this breach of His order. It was only a month later in Meherabad, when Baba called all together early one morning and distributed oranges, that He remarked, “Kitty thinks more of pleasing others than she does of pleasing Me!” Baba then brought up the incident in Panchgani, and Kitty tried vainly to defend herself. Finally, she got so upset she threw her orange across the room — narrowly missing Baba. Realizing what she had done, she then admitted her mistake.
Baba pointed out to her, “To please others, you broke My order! But by your pleasing all, and displeasing Me, you will gain nothing. Try only to please Me, and in doing so, even if you displease the whole world, you will gain everything!
Kitty Davy was supervising the kitchen and had Baba’s order not to let any food go to waste. She was daily ordering fresh bread from the market, but each day some would be left over. One day, Kitty collected the stale bread and made bread pudding. No one liked the dish, so there was a lot left over. Now what should she do with it she wondered. Baba’s order was not to waste anything, so she could not throw it away. Failing to find a solution, Kitty sat down and consumed the dish herself in four hours, thus carrying out Baba’s wish.
Katie would cook in the other bungalow and send the food to Baba’s bungalow. One day, with Baba’s permission, bhajiyas were ordered from outside. After eating them, no one had any appetite left. The food as usual came from the other bungalow, but none touched it. Kitty was managing the kitchen and, according to Baba’s order, would not waste anything. So she sat down in the kitchen, and once again started consuming the food all by herself.
Mehera observed her and asked, “For heaven’s sake Kitty, what are you doing? You will die.”
Kitty replied, “I will die, but die obeying!” When Mehera told Baba about it, He had a good laugh. Baba then forbade Kitty from eating any more. Otherwise, given her nature, she would have kept on eating the whole night.
On 10th April 1932, Kitty Davy arranged a children’s party in the afternoon in her backyard. There were balloons and cake. Baba came and cut the cake, put on a party hat, distributed toys, played with the children and amused them all. The eight or so children also had fun playing tiddlywinks with Baba sitting on the floor among them. After tea in the drawing room, a man came and entertained them by playing a saw and a ukulele. Baba and the mandali played Indian music. One six-year-old boy named John was becoming a nuisance and Baba was asked if he should be removed from the room. Baba replied, “No, leave him alone. It is only his surplus energy. He is very near to Me and I have work for him to do later.”
Baba and the mandali travelled via Venice London Milan and arrived in Paris on 6th December 1932 in the morning and meeting few His lovers left for London at noon, arriving the same day. Kitty Davy and the others in the Kimco group had arranged for Baba’s seven-day stay at the Knightsbridge Hotel. No sooner had Baba arrived than His lovers enthusiastically flocked to be near Him.
In 1936, Baba’s health had become so serious that He considered canceling His planned visit to England and sending for Kitty Davy from London to convey to her all the instructions for his lovers there. Telegrams were exchanged with the Western group, but Baba then dismissed that idea and decided to proceed to London, although his stay was to be drastically curtailed to only three days.
In 1952, at Meherabad, Kitty used to help Naja in the kitchen, so she knew a few Parsi dishes. Once, while instructing Bessie, she told her to prepare fried prawns (shrimp) for lunch. But when the women sat down to eat; they could hardly chew the preparation. Kitty asked Bessie what she had made, and she replied, “Well you told me to make fried prunes, Miss Davy!” Baba enjoyed the humor of the situation immensely.
From London, Baba sent Kitty Davy back to Myrtle Beach to help Elizabeth look after Norina and the Center. Elizabeth herself was still convalescing from the car accident. One day in Youpon Dunes, while in his recovery period, Baba had asked Kitty, “Would you be willing to stay behind in Myrtle Beach and not return with us to India, but help Elizabeth?”
“Why yes, of course, Baba,” Kitty had said without hesitation. Baba indicated it would be for “perhaps a year … until I return.” Thus, after staying for 15 and half years with her Beloved, Kitty parted company, following His orders. She was to remain in Myrtle Beach for the rest of her life.
About East West gathering Kitty Davy also noted the uniqueness of this gathering in a letter to Vivian Agostini. (Dated 15 September 1962)
You are to be one of the group flying East so soon now to Baba. This is a decision which I know you will never regret — an opportunity whose magnitude our finite minds cannot grasp.
Do you realize that this is the first time in the 30 years since I came to Baba that “all” have been called who love Baba. Baba has from the very beginning said His mission was to bring East and West together, and for this reason a handful (of us) went East in 1933.
So I do feel most strongly that this “call” so near to the completion of Baba’s mission on this earth at this cycle of time has great importance to Baba in this work, and by going when “called” we are helping in this work. Of greatest significance perhaps is that only those who love Baba, it would seem, can help, for others have not been called at this moment in time.
Great indeed is our privilege and great indeed is our responsibility.
She composed the book “Sparks from Meher Baba”
References/Images from: Various Lord Meher volumes, discontinued website's ambprasarkendra & love-remembrances, images and dates, stories etc from respective copyright owners websites or publications used with permission - i.e. In His Service, Glow International, MeherBabaTravels, MSI and MNP Collections, from AvatarMeherBabaTrust, BelovedArchives websites and from various other website sources, Books, journal etc. More information where ever available with us like letter scans, stories etc are added. Kindly feel free to Contact us with any updates, photos or corrections etc.
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