Tara Fox Hall's Blog - Posts Tagged "inspirational-short-story"

Goodbyes Don't Last Forever

Most animal lovers are acquainted with numerous animal nonfiction which pulls at the heartstrings. In general, this follows a formula: introduce human (usually in some kind of crises, real or imagined), then introduce animal (also usually traumatized or at minimum without a home), who teaches human about themselves so that the two grow together to become a happy, healthy, and productive unit until animal passes on. This is not that story. This is the short epilogue that happened after.

At 18 ½ years, my black cat Cavity had many health problems; kidney failure in addition to an overactive thyroid, which he’d endured the last 5 years. A shadow of his former “bulky” self, Cavity still really enjoyed his time here until the very last day when he lost the use of his back legs. After he left this world with the assistance of our vet, we buried his remains, and grieved most of the winter.

I knew he would be leaving us for some time, and I often asked him to come back, if he could, to let me know he was okay. This wasn’t something unusual, I ask all my fellow creatures this, human or animal. Almost none have come back, and even then, its usually just once, possibly to cut the last tie to their old life before beginning their new one as energy. I think the barrier is hard for them to cross, especially as most animals are at peace after death; they’re content to wait for you until its your time to arrive, so see no need to come back. But Cavity did.

My dream began as a normal one: I was helping family clean out a junk-filled apartment for some people who’d left (something I’ve done many times). It was depressing and sad to box up pieces of someone’s life for disposal (and the trash was disgusting), so I filled a box and took it downstairs to the curb. There, lying stretched out on the porch above the stairs directly in my way, was a pure white cat. Another one sat upright behind him. Worried they were strays, I set the box down and called out to them “kitten?” The white cat looked up, and suddenly the odd familiarity with how he was lying made sense; this was Cavity, now pure white instead of black.

In hindsight, I believe the cat with Cavity was Jess, his brother who died a year previous. All my attention was for Cavity, and all his for me, as he scrambled to his feet and into my open arms, his loud throaty purr an unstoppable engine. I choked out some nonsense asking where had he been, my one thought that I hadn’t realized how much I had missed him until he was in my arms again. The dream immediately began to fade, and with it, our connection. I hugged him tighter, and told him he was my good cat, and how glad I was he’d come back to see me. Then it was over, and I opened my eyes, awake.*

I awoke crying, and have been crying as I write this. Yes, I am sad that I live in a world that no longer has Cavity in it. But they are happy tears of relief, too. Cavity is not just okay, he’s doing well; along with his new fur, he’s regained his health, and his body has the grace and power of his youth. That soul that touched mine for so many years is intact, and at peace. He simply came back because he knew I needed him. This is just a temporary parting, because I have work to do here in this life before I pass to the next. I am very grateful for him coming back, and his reminder that our goodbyes are not forever. When its time for me to cross, Cavity will be there waiting to welcome me with his throaty purr again.

Deep Breaths Tales of Hope and Inspiration by Tara Fox HallDeep Breaths: Tales of Hope and Inspiration

*Yes, some will dismiss this as a dream. I will argue that a simple dream feels like a dream; wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you’re by yourself, there’s no connection with anyone else within the dream. The easiest comparison is the difference between interacting with a stuffed toy cat and a living cat. The toy is inanimate matter; the living cat is THERE, reacting to you, its own being with its own complete life and way of looking at the world.
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Published on May 10, 2017 09:29 Tags: cat, hope, inspirational-short-story, pet, tara-fox-hall