Him Kitty, a perky, golden tabby with green eyes is out there somewhere. Declawed, suffering from dementia, sans his thyroid meds and hungry or dead.
Thursday, I gathered him up on my lap after dinner and loved on him til he was ready to get off me and the couch. I gingerly set him down and he found Tad's dinner plate to lick the remains. That's my last memory. A few hours later, as I began to go to bed, I looked for his constant presence on the living-room rug to pet his head and say goodnight, our ritual. One I began three years ago after we sat all day with him as he suffered through a stroke to miraculously emerge the next morning. He wasn't there, nor anywhere else in the house I could detect.
Still absent the next morning as I departed to drive the hour and pick up my youngest at camp. She was devastated when I delivered the news. Too busy to really think about it til dinner. Near bedtime, my 12 year old was still up and we made a few rounds outside. Ah, he's just hiding, we told ourselves and went to bed. The next day our search proved no better and our second cat seemed concerned. Buffalo basks in the flow of attention, so I was surprised he missed the old guy.
Somehow, I felt comforted that he'd taken off to die, yet also wary that we'd smell him before we'd find him. I was okay with it all.
Until Monday evening when a well-intended neighbor reported he'd been in his yard two days earlier, but he'd been injured and ran off. Well, that set me off BIG TIME and I went hunting at dinner, after dinner, this morning and later this morning. I was tortured by the idea he was hurt and alone, My husband reminded me so many cats around here look alike and would a 19-year-old feline run away?
I've shed my share of tears and prayed my heart out, even though I have been trying to live into a message I received in worship 10 days ago to surrender and lay it down ... all of it. I'm thinking that means my worry, guilt and anxiety over the cat. I attempted to meditate and get a sense of the cat but failed thanks to an overactive mind and conscience.
My prayers drifted from be with him to I want to see him NOW and everything in between. At some point, I did release him to God, but I'm sure I waffled and took it back.
Late this afternoon my younger sister called from Maryland. She'd been meditating earlier and shuddered with the image of Him Kitty hunting in the wild: his choice and where he wanted to be. Back to nature, from where he emerged and into my life at six months. In my grief, I almost didn't take her call. Thank God, I did.
It gave me great peace. Did I say great? I am so grateful she meditated, was open and called to tell me of her experience. I had tried to open my heart to my cat, but was too full. Perhaps, Spirit gave the image to my sister because she was truly unblocked.
I am able to let settle what I let the neighbor's call stir up. Not his fault; mine. I had been at peace until there seemed some kind of hope that played into my attachment.
God answered my prayer in the call from my sister. It feels doubly answered as I look out my studio window and notice the gi-normous spider web and am reminded of nature's beauty in all of its seasons and cycles. Nineteen years is a good run and the last three were, perhaps, miraculous.
Goodbye dear friend and companion. Thank you for sparing me the decision to put you down or find your body. Even in death, you have been a real friend. I can now surrender you back to the earth and Spirit.
I will remember you as the vision my sister had: out in the wild hunting and doing what you chose.
UPDATE: It took all I had last night to write this; couldn't think up queries, record or post. Today, however is different. I slept well knowing Himmy is where he wants to be, happily and by choice. In our meditation after yoga, I experienced his green eyes piercing me and felt as if he'd decided to transfer his life force to me. About five years ago, I'd been petting him when I felt a sudden and strange twinge in my hip, the one that had been frozen for years from a car accident. There was a release. I have such gratitude for my time with this wondrous creature. Thank you, Spirit, for the beautifully long, rich and generous life of Him Kitty.
• How have you connected with an animal?
• How has that softened or transformed your spirit?
• What dimension do animal add to spirituality?
• How do they help us open our hearts?
• How can you detach from them and just be grateful?
eye begging for
food, attention, love, companionship
so simple, really
to love a furry creature
they make no real demands,
can't talk back in language we
and yet they love
so easily, so
to the point
of not burdening us
except that my heart
aches in a new place,
one stretched from
the old, over almost
so slowly, I hadn't
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