Looking Back Part 2: The loss of a dear friend

It was New Year’s Day, 2008, when my girlfriend discovered the lump in Puck’s left jaw. Puck was my beloved Devon Rex, whom I’d had since he was weaned from his mother. Like others of his breed, he was an impish, pixie-faced E.T. creature who made everyone’s business his business. I adored him like no other cat before him.

For a few years prior to 2008, Puck had been having various health problems and could not seem to keep any weight on. I’d put him on homemade catfood, which seemed to help for a time. But this lump concerned me. I’d never felt quite so helpless as when I was given the news that the tumor was malignant. Over the next week or so his health declined. He couldn’t even stand up straight, tilting heavily to his left. I had to support him while he tried to eat.

He became bed-ridden. It was obvious he was getting worse by the day. I stayed home from work to be with him. When his pink nose turned a dark brown, I knew he didn’t have much time left.

Throughout his illness I’d been working with animal communicator Tracy Ann, initially to help with his diagnosis and later to determine whether he wanted to fight his illness or cross over. He badly wanted to stay with me and I was not ready to lose him. He had always been there for me during my darkest moments. It wasn’t until Tracy told him that he could still assist me from the other side that he began to consider crossing over.  After spending one last night with him, I took him to the emergency clinic. I sat with him, and told him not to be afraid, that he was about to go on a great adventure. Then I called in the vet and she gently inserted the syringe into his IV, and he went limp in my arms.

I had never cared so much about communing with the dead as I did during that month. It was a painful but interesting time. The morning after he crossed over, I woke up with the distinct feeling that he had been perched on the bed watching me.  Another night I had a vivid dream about watching him eat. This dream had a different “look” than other dreams and I was aware that I was dreaming even as I looked down at him. The texture of his fur was so clear, I could see the individual tufts of hair. I remember thinking, “If I can see him like this sometimes, then maybe this isn’t so bad.”

Tracy was a great help during this time, passing along messages from my dear friend. Puck knew that I talked to his photo every night, and even which hand I used when I reached up to touch his urn.

The following summer I brought a new Devon Rex kitten into our home, a female named Luna. She turned out to be a great comfort and distraction for me, although sometimes, when she’d curl up in my lap and I could just see the back of her head, she looked so much like Puck that it made my heart ache terribly.

A few months later, maybe September or so, Puck mentioned through Tracy that he had been on top of the refrigerator and knocked something off of it. I realized I had indeed found one of our magnets on the floor, and I’d assumed the new kitten had done it. Another night, more recently, I was relaxing watching TV with Luna under the quilt and my other cat C.C. beside me. Luna slipped out from under the quilt and I didn’t think much about it, until I glanced down to see what she was up to and couldn’t see her. I was quite surprised when I realized I could still feel her under the quilt.

Now, some people will say this is coincidence, and I can see why they would think that. There were more incidents like this, too numerous to describe here without going compleltely off-topic.

Sometimes it’s our most painful experiences that push us in directions we need to go. Losing Puck sparked my interest in energy work, specifically those involving healing. During an energy workshop I finally made contact with one of my spirit guides, and during meditation the following day I saw his name in my mind’s eye. I say ‘finally’ because, in all my years as a Wiccan, I’d never had a clear communication with a spirit guide like that. This was a major milestone for me, and might be one of the reasons why I became disconnected from Wicca. I think, perhaps, Wicca was never quite real for me.

I do think Wicca is a fine religion, and as a living religion works well for many people. But just as there are many different styles of clothing, there are many different religions and no single one of them is right for everyone.

I’ve never felt that I was a good spell caster, so the idea of assistance from the spirits is comforting to me.

I credit Puck with turning me to energy work, which in turn has started to slowly hone my ability to hear the spirits. Interestingly, while dozing on the bus on my way home from work, I was awakened by the movement of a body in the seat next to me. When I opened my eyes, the seat was empty. When I attempted to doze again, I “saw” with my inner eye a brown-skinned woman with long dark hair wearing a blue dress with a white floral print. I don’t yet know who she is, but am hoping to find out.

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