Contact has been made.
It may sound silly to those of you who have never experienced a deep spiritual bond with an animal, but I have just had a profound experience.
I guess I should start at the very beginning, so that y’all know everything right up front.
Last year, I was doing volunteer work at this little community thrift shop, here in Maine, and the manager decided it was time to weed out the excess books. Now, I’m a book nut, and throwing out books- to me- is a terrible thing- so I weeded through them, claimed almost all of those that were aimed at the landfill, and carried them home with me, where I could take my time picking through them.
I gave most of them to two other thrift stores, (one of which supports a local no-kill cat shelter) but I also kept some that looked interesting. Among those I chose to keep was one called “Chasing Windmills”. I selected it because it was written by the same author who wrote “Pay It Forward” which I loved.
I stuck it on my shelf and forgot all about it.
Time went by, I moved a couple of times, had all sorts of things happen, and lost my dear cat Melissa to an upper respiratory infection.
The book sat on the shelf with it’s neighbors, as if waiting.
Today, after getting all my household tasks done, I was considering starting up my metaphysical blog again- this blog, in fact- wondering what I should write about. My mind was a-whirl of all sorts of competing ideas, none of which really grabbed me. I was just deciding whether to break out a Tarot deck, to troll for ideas, when a neighbor called to chat. He told me that his cat ran away, and I felt so sad for them both! The weather has turned cold and wet again, and the poor thing couldn’t have chosen a worse time to hightail it out into the great outdoors.
One thought led to another, and of course, I found myself thinking about Melissa and missing her terribly.
I gave up thinking about the blog, and sat here, feeling lost, mourning for my dear kitty.
Thinking it would be soothing to loose myself in a book, I selected one at random from the shelf. When I looked at it, it seemed too cheery and frivolous at first, but then I saw who wrote it, and noted that it was the “Pay It Forward” woman, and decided it would be good soul-medicine.
The first few chapters sped by, and I found myself getting a bit distracted, thinking about Melissa, again. I tried to stop feeling so sorry for myself, but just couldn’t shake the sadness. I picked up the book, and read a couple of more pages, and got to a page that looked rumpled. I looked more closely, and it actually looked chewed, with toothmarks and everything. I turned the page, hoping that no chunks would be missing from the next few pages, and this is what I found- a fairly big hank of Melissa’s distinctive long, shiny black fur- probably from her tail.
Now, Melissa never chewed books- or anything else, for that matter. She was an incredibly well behaved cat, especially for a formerly feral individual. She behaved as if she were raised on velvet- civilized from the day she was born- a real little lady.
All sorts of questions raced through my head, but inevitably I had to come to the conclusion that the fur was certainly hers, and that it was no coincidence. It even smelled like her- clean, with a faint odor of the herbal infusion I periodically damp-sponged her down with, to prevent fleas.
It may seem stupid to most people, but I can’t help but think it is deeply significant, that contact has been made.
By the way, the toothmarks were only on those two pages, the ones that enclosed the hank of fur.
I think the message is that Love never dies, that it always stays right with you, and that she is still here with me.
I share this now, because I know that many have need of this assurance, this evidence that we are never really lost to those who love and remember.
I guess this was as good a way as any I could think of, to start up this blog again.