Things we know (and what we don’t)

Erin-Blythe and her cat friends Lynx, 11, Clover, 10, and Trill, 16, became friends of mine some time ago. I first met her when she began ordering Spirit Essences for her companions. We represent opposite ends of the same rope in many ways; Erin-Blythe lives on Providence Bay in Canada – I’ve never shared this with her (indirectly until now), but I always imagined the simplest of lives, in sharp contrast to all of the environmental distortion one has to deal with in big cities. She always seems to “walk the walk” when it comes to her life with animals, studying Reiki and communication partly in order to have a more pure relationship with them. To say I envy this life, I think, is over simplistic; I look to her often as one of my vibrational compasses. Our paths are mirrored, one just a bit more public and, well, noisy. Erin-Blythe called me about using the remedies Rainbow Bridge and Loss Remedy as she and her four-legged family were trying to walk through the process of letting go of Trill, a cat I came to know well, albeit remotely, over the years. The journey was a remarkable one, replete with pain, wonder, things we know and things we don’t.

Keshi was a feral cat, approximately 6 months old in May of 2010 when he made himself known to the world in general and Providence Bay in specific. It took him until August to make the 2.5 km trek to Erin-Blythe. Keshi scouted her territory from the periphery while she provided gentle invitations and spatial allowances (and of course letting him know that inside life would be a much nicer alternative with the Providence Bay Winter coming). On November 10th, Erin-Blythe told me that Keshi agreed to go to the vet and be neutered, which sealed the deal on him joining the inside world with the rest of the cats.

Trill’s passage was gradual and during that time he stuck with her. In one of Trill’s final days, Erin-Blythe captured this moment:

To be honest, the first time I opened the picture I let it flit by my emotional center. Kept it in my inbox, probably subconscious, until I was ready to really feel it.

…And then, I really felt it. I was telling a friend the story associated with the picture, and paused for just a second to recall it. All I can remember after that was feeling just like a volcano. I couldn’t stop the shaking, the tears, those damned wordless wails that seem to only accompany these moments in the movies.

It’s impossible now for me to look at this moment and not be grabbed by the throat all over again. Keshi is sentry to his passing companion as she packs her luggage and gathers her energetic reserves for the long trip home. Trill is safe beneath his auric shield at one of the two times in our time on this plane we need not to be alone. He takes his job very seriously, and embodies one of the things that keeps me servant to all animals – he will feel the loss when it’s time to feel the loss. For now he clings to nothing, including self-definition; “I am not a guardian, a bodyguard, one who needs a standing ovation or a pat on the back. I’m a cat. any questions?” The present demands on Keshi are very simple and pure. and that’s how animals like it.

How do humans like it? We must like to cling. As I begin to refer to myself as an aspiring feline Buddhist (less and less with tongue in cheek), I realize that we seem to want to suffer. Animals experience pain, but they don’t cling - in general, they don’t seek out more pain by clinging to the painful experiences.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a human Keshi besides me during my gathering (or, to be a human Keshi)? Not trying to get those final words in, clear the air, do all of the damage that words are responsible for? Not jockeying for position with the universe to be the author of the moment – just do my job. Stand guard and know my participation in the moment is the ultimate act of love? It would be amazing and it gives me more in the world of the feline divine to aspire to.

And here I must acknowledge Erin-Blythe, Reiki Master, practicing communicator and cat listener. She allows her animal companions the vibrational and physical room to breathe and to create distinct cat bylaws under a human roof. In my experience that’s the hardest thing to do. Much of what I aspire to she is, in the words of Bono, one step closer to knowing. Although she and Bono would probably tell me that it’s Trill who’s one step closer.

(You can find out more about Erin-Blythe’s Reiki practice by clicking here)