What does it mean to come home? I mean really come Home. A journey to that liminal place can take a lifetime or two. From where I sit however, it really is only a breath away. Seated within the heart.
Tonight, is the end of a wild, dark 7 ½ year stretch of time that I have been without a special someone to greet me when I wake up and welcome me when I come home. Someone to curl up on the couch with. Someone to mutually take care of each other. Heart, my newly adopted cat, is arriving home tomorrow. I can hardly stand the wait of the next 17 hours!
Having a cat wasn’t on my agenda this soon, however. There are a few aspects to my current situation I am still working on improving before expanding my family, that incidentally already has two unplanned horses. (They are another story.) But very often, love and life come when you are least prepared for it. Can you remember a time when that happened to you?
Two weeks ago, I started playing Bus Driver to one mouse at a time, ferrying him/her back out to the forest every day. Clearly, a new entry way was recently made, and I still have no clue where it is. Sometimes the Mouse Bus would have two trips to the forest over the course of a day. On the third morning, I opened the front door to discover a gift of a dead mouse, complete and un-munched upon, laid out carefully for me as a gift. There are no pets in the vicinity among my neighbors. Who could have brought it to me? It was the first gift of its kind in the 2 ½ years I’ve been here. The timing was too perfect. So, when I saw that gift, I had the distinct message that yes, an indoor-only cat was a good idea. It is clearly time. “This decision has to be made for the next chapter to open”, the same message that rang through my ears when I adopted Maggie, my first horse. I promise you, I will write that story.
Only one place to go. When I arrived at the Humane Society they said there were just three cats up for adoption but in a couple weeks there would be many more. The poster child of the three was already adopted so I was prepared with the notion I would have to return another day to have a look. Of the two cats remaining, “Cal” gave me a look that was very distant and doubtful. She didn’t move a muscle, save for her eyes that followed me as I tried to engage with her through the plexiglass. At that point, I felt I’d have to come back. This might take a while to find My Cat.
The next morning in my half waking state, I remembered a vision of a cat that had half a black face and was a bit pudgy. It wouldn’t leave my thoughts. It stared at me in the vision and I felt a deep connection. Was this one of the two that I actually saw yesterday? Or did I make it up? Returning to the cats the second day, I got on the foot stool to peer in and there was the face of my vision! She wasn’t pudgy, but she was certainly the one! This time, she got up from her nest and stood on her toes, tail high and came to the glass. My heart fluttered. I walked a little to the right to see if she would jump down and follow me. Yes! So I took a little video of her and a photo, to remember her by. I said, “Did you visit me in my dreams last night?” And she brushed her body along the plexiglass at that moment. Oh my! I said “Okay! You had better get back to your nest and not get noticed by anyone else until I can fill in the adoption application!” I led her with my pointy finger back up to her nest and I told her I’d be back for sure. This was surreal. I must confess that Surreal visits me nearly every day of my life, but I never expect it or get used to it. Always, it surprises me. So, I found My Cat. (Or more accurately, I was called by My Cat to come get her.) Snap! – one of the last mice made its way into the Mouse Bus as I typed this. How perfect.
What to name her? “Cal” is short for calico. That’s not her name. Reading over her info, she was surrendered exactly one month before by her person who unfortunately was terminally ill. “Cal” was born 14 February 2014. Just 5 years old now. Because she was born that particular day, I am bound by my own path to name her Heart. It was also the day that I flew to Ireland to live 15 years ago. (Another series of stories.) As a matter of daily life, I find hearts literally everywhere, seemingly all day, every day. It has been that way for at least 5 years. Heart rocks. Heart clouds. Heart food. Hearts. Hearts. Hearts.
And tomorrow, I will bring my Heart home.