Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A Tale Of Two Kitties

I started to write this blog five weeks ago when Bob first transitioned to spirit, and I have attempted to write this many times since. I know in my heart that Bob really hasn't left, but even knowing he's here, I still cry. There are innumerable ways Bob brought joy to our home and I miss the physical presence of our "Little Buddy." I am incredibly grateful for all of the kindness and support of family and friends, many of whom are also pet lovers and understand how hard the loss is. 

Bob and Pepper grew up together. Pepper came to us as a kitten when my youngest son was born. She was a perfect addition to our family and a cuddly companion for my 5 year old son. About a year later a stray black and white, young cat started coming into our backyard. My oldest son would call to him (and of course I would too, I haven't met a cat I didn't like), and soon he was stopping by for food. My son nicknamed him "Cow Cat" for his holstein markings. Soon enough he was ours (or we were his) and he became part of the family. My son eventually named him Bob, and although I can't explain it, it  fully suited him. Bob was a sweet but timid cat, and he loved Pepper so. He would groom her and she would let him. She was the queen of the house, and he was her servant. When she had enough she would give him a bite to step aside. She loved him too, but Pepper was in charge.

Pepper was my desk kitty, and would sleep next to my laptop every day when I worked. She wasn't a head booper, but she would lick my hand as a sign of affection. I would pet her and inevitably she would get overstimulated and bite me. It was funny, she wasn't trying to hurt, just like with Bob. But she could only handle so much love! Our dear Pepper lived for 15 years and left for spirit on July 19th, 2016. 

I would talk to Pepper after she passed and ask her for a sign. And every time I did, a sign would appear. I had been meditating quite a bit, which was opening me up to the signs that are all around us. I was already noticing that I would say or type a word, and at the same exact moment someone would say it on the radio, or on TV, or some other way. I started to jot it down in a notebook. The first entries in my journal were:   

8/17/16: Life
8/18/16: Paw
8/19/16: Anniversary

The 19th was the first month anniversary of losing Pepper. It has been easy to connect with her, there have been many signs. I've seen her in different rooms of our home out of the corner of my eye and it's very comforting. 

Losing Bob has felt so much harder. He had a thyroid condition and a heart murmur, but there was more going on that wasn't uncovered. The day before he died, the vet said he has a large heart (instead of the more common "enlarged heart.") but it was so Bob. It was a perfect description. He had a large heart filled with love and gentleness. 

Bob was a tiny six pound cat, but he filled our entire home. He was with me from the time he woke me up at 5:30 every morning howling to eat, until I fed him his evening snack at night. He wasn't a desk cat like Pepper, but he would sleep on the chair in my office when I worked, or next to my filing cabinet. He would follow me to watch me cook after work. Every night after dinner he would jump on the couch and sleep next to me. He waited for my older son to come home from work at night and would scratch at his shoes and follow him for his french fries. He used all of our shoes as a scratching post, which was really amusing since he didn't have front claws. It was this gentle, soft pawed, daily patting of our shoes.  At night, he would snuggle with my youngest son in his room. 

Bob and I had a staircase routine too. If I walked up the stairs, he would catch up to me and walk with me step by step. If I stopped at a step, he would stop. It was always together. I would laugh and sing "Wherever we go, whatever we do, we're gonna get through it together..." So many funny, quirky, loveable things about Bob. Even giving him his twice a day thyroid medicine was a joy. I would scoop him up, kiss his head and easily squirt the dropper in his mouth. His only act of defiance was what we called the "paw of injustice." Bob would ever so gently press his paw against my arm. But that was it. I loved that time with him to give him an extra hug. When he left, it became so clear what a huge, empty gap he left behind. 

A few weeks before Bob died, Pepper started to appear frequently. I could see her in the house out of the corner of my eye. She was on the staircase, in our bedroom, all over. I didn't think anything other than how nice it was to know she was around so much.  About a week before Bob left, my husband and I went for a walk around our neighborhood as we often do. As we walk we play the "count the kitties" game. I'm quite cat obsessed as you can tell, and there are so many cats in the neighborhood. I always like to find them and say hello. Sometimes they like it and sometimes they run (probably because I yell "KITTY!" pretty dang loud when I see them)! My husband usually doesn't note anything particular about the cats, this game is purely for my benefit. But on this walk he said "Oh that cat looks like Pepper." The day before he died, Pepper even showed up in my Facebook feed. She was everywhere.

Bob became clearly unwell one weekend, and that Monday we brought him to our vet. They kept him overnight and ran some tests. The next day he seemed a little better but they didn't have the means to do additional testing that he might need. The vet suggested we take him to a pet emergency clinic that she knew well. We went to pick Bob up and in the waiting area is a large segmented cage that can house 4 or more cats. There are usually kittens in there up for adoption, or it's empty. I glanced over and there was a huge grey cat that looked like Pepper. It was the only cat in there. It was really large, a much larger version of Pepper as if to say, look at me, I'm here. It was as fluffy as Pepper with those big green eyes, and she meowed at my husband.

We took Bob to the clinic, but he started having breathing problems and everything quickly went downhill from there. I had to make the hardest decision I have ever had to make, and never wanted to make. I said goodbye to Bob. We brought him home and he's in our yard next to Pepper.

I have asked Bob for signs of his presence. In the beginning I knew I was blocking the signs because of my sadness. But I also knew he was here, just like Pepper. I know we don't really die, our bodies do and we are left with our true essence. I know that love is real and all the negative aspects are an illusion for something we have yet to fully remember. What we have to remember is that we are all eternal. I have an oracle deck on my desk, Denise Linn's Sacred Traveler. After meditation, I asked Bob to tell me what he would most want me to know through the card I picked. What did he have to tell me? It was joy. I know I will connect with Bob when I am joyful, not sad. I know that he wants me to be happy.

And that is how it has been. I have seen Bob on the stairs, in the dining room, felt him sleep against my back as he used to do. He is here and his presence is getting stronger. I feel so much gratitude for having had these two wonderful cats in my life. They are pure love, they are divine beings. I am grateful for the time I had with both of them, for Pepper showing me that she was here to bring Bob with her, and for both of them for showing me they aren't really gone. I hope their lives are as beautiful now as they made ours, and I hope they feel all of the love back that they have given us.

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern

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