Last little while my cat Easter stayed within her small world. A world that became a ritualistic triangle of visiting her food bowl, water bowl and litter box ... in between purrs and pets.
Then something (and I’m presumptuous enough to suggest what) entered her feline mind. I believe, in a moment of grace, Easter decided to spare me the agony of deciding when she would have to go to the Great Beyond. Because to consider after our 18 years together, she would slip away without a rub against my leg or gesture of farewell, seemed unthinkable. But. That. Is. Exactly. What Happened.
In the blink of an eye, she moved from her favourite spot on the couch and disappeared out the front door into the 85° heat of the day.
Suffice to say, without going into too much detail, these past days, I’ve cried buckets recalling moments my life was touched by this furry feline friend.
One memory in particular played over in my mind. On a hot August night years ago, my brother was lying in a hospital on the veiled precipice between life and death with the odds tipped heavily against him. As I tried to integrate this knowledge into my being, I retreated up in my room to meditate, to find I could settle neither body nor mind.
Instead I decided to lay on the cool floor in Savasana pose.(Google image)
My cat Easter walked into the room and silently stalked around my body as if outlining me in chalk. After tracing my left side, and the ins and outs of limbs, she walked along my right side and then stopped at the crown of my head. She curled up there making contact for the better part of an hour. This will speak immediately to anyone familiar with the significance of the body's chakra channels.
I did not move an eyelid. Except for my breathing I laid in complete stillness knowing I'd been offered her tender protection. From that moment on, she was no ordinary cat, nor ordinary friend. That was when I began to question whether I was her guardian, or she mine.
Over these recent nights with her missing, sleep eluded me as I wondered whether my cat was dead or alive. I decided after 18 years I was not prepared to let go of this special creature on those terms.
So in the wee hours of the morning I asked the universe a favour ... to return her to me.
The next morning, the phone rang at 7:30 am with news she had been found.
To say that Easter suffered dehydration wandering off in the premature summer is an understatement. To say she attempted to jump up and drink water from a neighbour’s above ground pool lining would seem altogether improbable given her fragile state. But there she was found soaking and covered in the past season’s wet leaves.
She was delivered to the Humane Society via a good samaritan. The vet files also recorded hypothermia. To find out she was called “Little Mermaid” by the caregivers there warmed my heart.
Whether her return to me was by coincidence or not, I acknowledge my wish had been granted. This means acceptance of the fact that She & I would part again so quickly after our reunion.
We put her to rest yesterday afternoon and buried her in the backyard under the noon day sun.
Because I am grateful for the chance to hold her in my arms to say my final goodbye, my heart isn’t broken. But there sure is a fracture that will take a while to mend.
© Scarlett Sumac. May 2012