I’m feeling sad. The garden seems empty. Who would expect that a little stray cat could have such a big presence? Four days ago, I closed the front door at about 11:00 PM as I usually do. The neighborhood cats would wander in and out until I closed the door, especially Black Kitty. She had taken to coming inside to lay under the table or alternately, the big flowerpot in front of the door where she could watch us on the couch.
On Wednesday, she had already gone about her night business when I closed the door. Usually she would be sleeping on PQ’s patio chair in the morning, or if the sun had already risen over the latia fence, she would be in the shade behind the barbeque. Thursday morning she wasn’t there. I had a twinge of concern but remembered that this happened now and then. Cats have their own secret life and although creatures of habit, they sometimes have their attention on other things. After all, the white cat disappeared for two weeks once. I think his human kept him inside to fix in him where he lived. But, Blackie didn’t seem to have any other human family.
|Blackie Watching from the Flower Pot|
Whitey was becoming jealous of the black cat, and I wondered if he scared her off in the morning. But, she never showed up, not that afternoon, not the next day or the next. Both PQ and I suspected that something must have happened to her. It could have been a coyote, a hawk, a dog or a car. We hadn’t heard anything but then there is a big field behind us, and beyond that the mountains. Maybe someone thought she was homeless and took her to the shelter. I would like to think that, but I doubt it.
Last fall, when I first saw her, she was small and skinny. I don’t know how old she was. I think she was older than her size indicated because her dull coat indicated that she was undernourished. The hair on her ears was patchy, her left ear had the tip clipped off, and her tail seemed ragged. She was so wary that she wouldn’t come out of hiding to eat unless you left the food out and then went indoors out of sight. I don’t know if she was feral or abandoned, but she stayed away from humans. There were indications that her previous experience with our species had not been good.
The first time I got close enough to touch her, she jumped three feet off the ground. However, every week she became a bit more trusting. By last week, I could comb her pet and play with her. She was still anxious about being picked up, but would allow me to hold her off the ground a few feet. We were working on that. She became so affectionate that sometimes I had to put her outside when working, she was always under foot.
We were concerned about leaving her on her own when we went to Arizona in May, but Amanda our daughter in law fed her and the others whenever they checked on our house. When we got home, Blackie peered cautiously around the corner of the house and on my greeting, “hi little girl,” she came bounding to meet me.
Right after I realized that she probably wasn’t coming back, I also recognized that I always had the sense that her life was precarious. Every morning I was happy that she was still here. It was in her aura. She was much like certain humans I’ve known who began life on a narrow edge. The aura of a perilous hold on this dimension envelops them. You want to enjoy their presence while you can because it seems likely that they will fall through the dimensional floor into the unknown. Perhaps it’s because they always did have a dual residence between this world and wherever they came from and to where they will return. Even if they have a big hole in their aura, such creatures deliver a special blessing to the rest of us. I’m glad for the opportunity to make this little creature’s life better for as long as she stayed here. I can still feel her muscular little body vibrating with purrs. She was a medicine gift.
PQ who doesn’t want a pet to complicate our life or travel plans, said, “she was such a sweet cat, this is why I don’t want an animal, the loss is always hard.” Perhaps now, we are again free to travel without planning for anyone’s wellbeing in our absence.
Last week I made a great shift in my attitude toward my life on Mother Earth. It’s been a new start in life. The original high is gone, and I knew it would dim, but now I am down to the Nitti gritty work of living my new insights in everyday reality. I’ve noticed that a big breakthrough is often accompanied by a loss. I don’t understand the dynamics, but I wonder if this is somehow connected to the origins of sacrifice. In the religious use, the pump is primed, so to speak by offering the loss first in hope of the blessing.
Perhaps the alienated child in me, identified with this little creature. After all, I’ve had terrified and abandoned cats in my dreams for years. They are a species that never was completely domesticated, and often find the human world confusing and threatening. Did Blackie disappear as a mirror of my own social precariousness? Nevertheless, I’m still hoping she will show up.
Last night we finally had a wonderful earth soaking rain. It is the first truly nourishing rain in months. I was enjoying this great blessing even while wondering if Blackie was alive and soaked or possibly lying lifeless in the refreshed but muddy field behind us. The other two cats have been especially friendly since she disappeared as if they were trying to compensate. However, after writing about Blackie I was feeling much better, something was shifting. This morning I was inexplicably OK. Yellow and White greeted me when I opened the door and we headed for their dishes behind the house. And then all three of us heard faint meows next door. I looked through the fence but saw nothing, then the meows grew stronger. Finally, I saw something move behind my neighbors window screen. Yes! It was Blackie. I could see her jumping around trying to find a way through the screen. She was desperate to join us. What mixed feelings! I was greatly relieved but felt uneasy about her captivity. I miss her, and she misses us, but it was confirmation that someone is trying to make a home for her and we don’t have to worry when we go out of town.
|The Smoke from One of the Fires Viewed from The Bypass|
I truly believe that this world is a boundless fractal pattern of broiling, morphing creative energy. Each event only seems isolated when we are micro focused on our own minuscule view inside the great design. Mother Nature swallows and digests us and there is an even bigger Mamma waiting to swallow ours in the vastness of the universe. On a local scale, the forest fires surrounding us have filled the air with smoke and last night’s rain, washed the sky clean. We are always vulnerable on this physical plane, but each relief is ecstatic. And, the “Maybe” story has no end.
“There were once two old farmers who had a fence between their property. Every morning farmer A would meet farmer B at the fence and they would exchange news and gossip, as neighbors do. One day farmer B’s best horse jumped the fence and ran away in pursuit of a band of wild horses. Upon hearing the news, farmer A came to visit. “Such bad luck,” he said sympathetically. “Maybe,” farmer B replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbor exclaimed, now you have four horses and they look young and strong. “Maybe,” replied the old man. The following day, his son decided to train one of the untamed horses, was thrown off, and broke his leg. Knowing that farmer B was getting old and needed his son’s help, the neighbor came to offer his sympathy on this misfortune. “I’m so sorry those wild horses were bad luck after all”, he exclaimed. “Maybe,” answered farmer B. Very soon after this misfortune, two military officials came to the village looking for young men to draft into the army. Seeing that the old farmer’s son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. Farmer A congratulated farmer B on how well things had turned out after all. “Your son would be drafted and you’d never have any help on your farm if his leg had not been broken,” said farmer A. “Maybe,” said farmer B. An so the story continues…