A Te Sante: Running with Sophie

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Happy New Year to all!  This post begins a new year of Better Endings. This year we will be focussing on Life Themes: those recurring kinds of situations in our lives that form the core substance and weave the patterned fiber of our/your Life Stories. Each month we will focus on one of twelve Life Theme topics that are commonly identified in Life Path Mapping (also see menu tab: Monthly Topics):

January –   Health

February – Romance/ Relationships

March –     Vocation

April –        Work

May –         Family

June –         Adventure/ Travel

July –          Friends

August –     Relocation/ Moves   

September–  Education

October –     Spirituality

November – Pets

December – Life Lessons

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To begin this New Year of Better Endings, for this month of January we will focus on the Life Theme of HEALTH. This is particularly appropriate for me at this time, as I am in a process of adjusting to and learning about my dog Sophie’s condition of diabetes. What a daunting diagnosis this is, knowing all the possible complications and wanting to improve her condition in every way possible. (BTW, your helpful suggestions are quite welcome! Please Comment if you have positive suggestions!)

Sophie newyear

My Dear Companion, Sophie

Sophie is more than a Friend; she is my Soul companion. We have adventured on six cross-country trips from Colorado to New York already, and she is six and a half years old. We have another BIG move to look forward to this August, after I retire and we and our two beloved cats Loki and Emily relocate to New York state for good.  I discovered around a month ago that my girl Sophie has a diabetic condition. I now am cooking for her and providing supplements, exercise, insulin, and lots of gratitude and love.

Today I will just post about a typical morning walk’s meandering thoughts, from this morning:

I love you so dearly, my Friend. I worry as much about my own attitudes or worries as I do about the therapeutic measures themselves. I do not want to overreact or do things that may harm more than help. Let’s do our best and keep things simple. If cataracts develop, we can remove those. For the liver, kidneys and pancreas, we must be observant and do our preventative best. Most information affirms that as long as we change the diet properly and have the right amounts of protein, fiber, low glycemic veggies and complex carbs and the proper amount of exercise, this can be managed and complications improved.

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This dog looks so much like Sophie in her new coat!

Running With Sophie has become itself a Theme in my current life activity. We have been exercising three times a day, after meals and the mid-afternoon dried liver or small veggie and meat snack. She runs a good 1/4 or so of her walk time, which I am grateful for. It helps her lower the sugar content in her system and gives us both a healthful Time Out.

This theme of Running with Sophie also pertains to an earlier theme seven years ago of “the Running Dog.” This was about my previous dog Ellie, whom I lost and tried to find in greenways of Denver for six or seven months unsuccessfully. People would notify me on Craigs List that they thought they had seen her, often running. So I would go up there to where she was “spotted,” rain or shine, looking for and calling for her, but to no avail. I can only hope someone did take her in, as she did not get picked up at any of the pound or lost dog facilities as far as I could tell. Anyway, that is seven years ago. I wanted then to write a story about “The Running Dog;” now I would add to that story, “Running with Sophie.”

As Soul Companions, Sophie and I (and our additional, feline family members Loki And Emily) mean more to me and each other than can possibly be expressed in words. Love is Love. This morning the thought came to me (while on our morning walk) that :

Since God is (in) Everything

And God is All Good

Then Everything is God;

Life is Good.

I do believe this (above).  Everything is God, so Everything is Good.  Live or die, succeed or not so much, EVERY condition, every thought, word and deed, every life experience is an experience in Living, and everything is Divine. We can learn from any experience; experiences do not DEFINE us but they can help us grow spiritually and in wisdom, courage and compassion. Another thought from Running with Sophie this morning:

Gratitude and Love

Go Hand in Glove;

And:

True Love is Reciprocal,

All Ways.

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images (except mine of Sophie above) are from pixabay.com

So “A Te Sante!” To your great Wellness and Good Health in 2018 and forever on YOUR Soul Journey.

Better Endings to You Always!,

Linda

 

 

Pets and Rebirth of a Dear Companion

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Yesterday I read a post from a favorite blogger about how she was wondering whether seeing her recently passed dog’s collar that showed up on the first day of Hanukkah could be a sign from her beloved companion, perhaps even that he would be coming back, as she had at the time been contemplating finding another puppy .I do believe in reincarnation, and since Animals are Soul, Too (There is a book of that title, by Harold Klemp), our Soul companions that we share our lives with in their animal and our human forms can also return if that is in the highest spiritual interest of all concerned.

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I am an animal lover and have had pets all my life. I do recognize that some of them have been with me in more than one animal companion form.  My cat Ariel came to me in such a way that I knew with certainty that she was returning from having been my cat Chela who had passed away around nine months earlier. There are many layers to this story, including dreams I had had when Chela was with me about other lives we had had together going way back to when I was an archaic human boy and she was a Tiger:

Yellow Eyes (the dream, in present tense for better recall):

I am a young boy walking alone in the veld. Language is minimal. I look around, taking stock of the environs. “Sky, storm” I think as I see the sky has a greenish tint and that signifies a violent storm is coming. “Cliff’” I think as I see a wall of cliffs with caves and I climb up there to take shelter from the storm, which swiftly comes with high winds wailing outside the cave. I look around and see a pair of yellow eyes looking back at me. “Tiger.” She also is seeking refuge from the storm. We seem to understand that we are both there for that reason and we do not attack one another.  The storm passes. Tiger leaves the cave, with an appreciative gaze as she leaves.  Later, a different life: I am a young man (indigenous native in a rainforest).  A lion is about to pounce upon me as I am walking through the jungle. Then a Tiger leaps onto the scene and prevents the Lion from reaching me.

Other memories of this same Soul as a white horse  while I am some sort of soldier.

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Then fast forward to after Chela’s (as a calico orange female cat–also with Yellow/ Gold Eyes–, my closest companion for 11 years)  passing.  Around nine months later I wake from a dream. I am leaving a castle where I had been visiting a mentor who had recently died; she is who had introduced me to Chela while I was taking an Independent Study in Philosophy with her, Toni.  I look down as I am about to close the gate and see a female cat, ‘black and white with orange blotches’ coming toward me. Excited, I kneel down: “There you are!” and she leaps into my arms; we are so close, so familiar.  That very day of the dream I go to the office of my then mentor, my PhD advisor, Betsy. Her first words to me:

“Linda, do you know anyone who could take a kitten?”

“Not unless it is black and white with orange blotches,” I answered.

“One is!”

stock-photo-orphaned-three-week-old-calico-kitten-sleeping-32507284 (1)

images are from pixabay.com

So I met Ariel that day, also with golden eyes, who was with me for the next twenty years. We were as close as Chela and I had been, loving companion Souls who travelled together and loved each other deeply.  She had marks on her forelegs and forehead of an orange calico just like Chela had been, though Ariel was a beautiful Harlequin Tortoise Shell Calico.

Because there is a need for ‘death’ (I call it translation in my faith), there must also be rebirth. We learn through cycles of growth and change.  It is all about love after all, which is reciprocal always or it is not love. Reciprocity and cyclicity are two aspects of the same relationship with Love, Life, and Spiritual Freedom. So I believe.

I welcome YOUR comments and Story!

Healing Paws

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My heart has been aching this past few weeks as I feel caught between a rock and a hard place in one situation. Fortunately I have my pet companions: my golden Shorkie, Sophie and my two cat friends Emily and Loki . They are together and each one of them a refuge of the heart who engulf me in their own Healer ways as I do them. So today I will post about my animal Soul companions because it lifts my heart to do so.

Emily, Sweetheart

Tomorrow my Emily has to go to the vet to have her teeth cleaned and possibly to have a tooth extracted. Last year she lost her brother Arthur, who apparently had heart failure or a blood clot when he had dental extractions. These current vets I am taking Emily to specialize in cats and give me many reassurances, but until she is well recovered after tomorrow I will worry. She seems to sense this and is staying closer than usual, as if to reassure me herself that all will be well. {PS Tuesday: All is well!}

I always tell my pet companions that I love them for always: “24/7 times eternity!” I know they feel the same about me. They are for me a well in the Desert, sometimes.

Loki

Loki, my Lifesaver

(But that’s another story!)

The Healer nature of animal companions reminds me that humans are not the only Soul-embodied beings with archetypal consciousness formations.  Some animals are trained as Warriors or as Nourishers, others are naturally inclined to develop as Healers or even Elder Leaders, and they express their Lover qualities unconditionally–so often better than humans –so long as they are treated with love in turn.

Sophie

Sophia

(Her name so fits her Wisdom and boundless Joy!)

So lap it up! Enjoy the special healing purrs and comforting paw taps of your sacred animal Friends. They will be there for you Always, no matter your relations with much more (too!) complicated humans.

Cricket and Guber, by Denise Naughton

A Month of the Best of Better Endings, Day 6

CRICKET AND GUBER, by Denise Naughton (From February 23, 2013)

Freya Norse goddess riding chariot cat boar

Where I lived in San Francisco there were many stray cats that came into my care. Eventually they were adopted, and they lived happily ever after. The two that stayed with me the most were Cricket and Guber.

As I was walking home from the subway one day, an orange striped cat began walking with me. It was clear that she was pregnant. I invited her to come home with me, where she could have her babies and then we would find her kittens and her all homes. Others had accepted this invitation, but this one plainly had her own plans.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I fed her and kept an attentive eye on her. One day, as she began walking with me, it was clear she had had her litter. I asked several times where they were, but I was met with only silence. One day I didn’t see the orange cat any longer. I looked for her for days, concerned about her and her litter. Then one day as I was walking home from the subway, out of the corner of my eye I saw movement. It was two little kittens playing in the empty lot where I used to find their mother. As I approached them they disappeared like a cloud of dust. I immediately brought food to the lot and hid.  Instantly they were devouring the plate of tuna.

I decided to get a humane cage from my vet, trap them, and bring them home. It took days of patience, but eventually I captured them. Initially I kept them in a very tall, large box. They were too small to jump out, and I had two of my own cats, and needless to say or not, they were not happy with their new roommates.

Cricket was a little calico and Guber was the color of striped orange sherbet. Anytime I came near without food they were full hisses and growls. I wondered what would be the bridge to abet their fear. It turned out to be toys. Once I began playing with them, all things changed, human and rescues became friends.

It took a bit longer for the feline residents of the flat to warm up to these tiny kittens. In fact, only the other kitten in the house, Rocho, began playing with them. My adult cat, Raj, just pretended they didn’t exist.

Cricket and Guber’s acceptance of human love couldn’t have happened at a more perfect time. Suddenly Cricket became very ill. I immediately took her to my vet where it was determined that she had distemper, and it was touch and go as to whether she was going to make it. She received medicine there and I took her home. She responded quickly to the medication, and it was clear she was going to make it.

However, Guber got sick as Cricket was getting well. My vet gave me more medication since it was clear that Guber had the same disease as Cricket. When I picked him up to give him his first dose I have never held anything so small and so close to death in my hands.

Cats on Samos

I took him to bed that night. I honestly didn’t believe he would make it through the night. Rocho came up on the bed with me along with my other cat Raj. Guber was on my bed right next to my head, and Rocho curled himself around Guber. Neither Guber or Rocho moved that entire night. I did because I was constantly waking to see if Guber was still breathing, and also giving him more medication. Raj stayed on the other side. Around dawn I fell into a deep sleep.

When I woke the next morning, Rocho was still curled around Guber, but Guber was awake, alive. I tried to feed him some cat food, but he wasn’t interested. Rocho was there cheering him on as well, but to no avail. Then I remembered I had raw ground turkey in the refrigerator, and tried that. Instantly, Guber was not only interested, but eating like he had the first time I had left food for him in the empty lot down the street. It was clear that Rocho was also excited about Guber’s recovery until he realized he wasn’t getting any turkey. He looked at me as if to say “I need turkey too”, which I gave, grateful that he had saved Guber’s life. I know it was teamwork, but it was Rocho that wrapped his body around Guber and stayed there until morning.

During this time a neighbor that lived in the house next to the empty lot told me that the mother had been hit by a car. She had tried to save the kittens, but she could never get close to them. She fed them, but one by one they had died. The mother had had a litter of five, and a mystery was solved. Their mother had not abandoned them.

Guber and Cricket stayed with me for three more months. I always knew that I was going to find a home for both of them. Ideally it would have been great if they had gone together, but that didn’t work out. I put a sign in our neighborhood pet store. The first person interested was a neighbor that lived across the street. He took Cricket. He had another calico, and felt Cricket would make a good companion.

Because Cricket and Guber were initially feral, they were never going to be extremely social cats with humans, but Cricket, renamed Emily, hid the first two days from both human and cat. My neighbor asked me to come over and be with Emily for awhile. I sat with Emily and told her the story of her life, and how this human was going to love her as much if not more than her mother, me, Rocho, and Guber. I could feel her calm down, and then I said goodbye. A few weeks later the neighbor left a thank you card. He said how grateful he was for the love and light Emily had brought to his house, and that he was so appreciative that I had saved her for him.

A few days later a couple came by to see Guber. The minute they saw him they were in love, and so was Guber. All three of them bonded instantly. The interview went well, and it was clear that they would love Guber as deeply as Emily was now loved. The couple gently put Guber into the crate they had brought, and that night the three of them left.

Of course, I had a great deal of explaining to do to Rocho. Raj was basically saying goodbye and good riddance, but Rocho was sad that his two companions were gone, and perhaps wondering about his fate. Once I sat down and told him their story he seemed to understand; still sad for a few days, but eventually back to his normal self. Of course, part of that story was how Rocho saved Guber.

cartooncats-111813-60.eps

Denise Naughton is an author, a public speaker, and an ABD Ph.D. Candidate at Union Institute and College. She is completing her dissertation on Jungian archetypes related to stock characters in Australian film.

 

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Cricket and Guber, by Denise Naughton

Freya Norse goddess riding chariot cat boar

Where I lived in San Francisco there were many stray cats that came into my care. Eventually they were adopted, and they lived happily ever after. The two that stayed with me the most were Cricket and Guber.

As I was walking home from the subway one day, an orange striped cat began walking with me. It was clear that she was pregnant. I invited her to come home with me, where she could have her babies and then we would find her kittens and her all homes. Others had accepted this invitation, but this one plainly had her own plans.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I fed her and kept an attentive eye on her. One day, as she began walking with me, it was clear she had had her litter. I asked several times where they were, but I was met with only silence. One day I didn’t see the orange cat any longer. I looked for her for days, concerned about her and her litter. Then one day as I was walking home from the subway, out of the corner of my eye I saw movement. It was two little kittens playing in the empty lot where I used to find their mother. As I approached them they disappeared like a cloud of dust. I immediately brought food to the lot and hid.  Instantly they were devouring the plate of tuna.

I decided to get a humane cage from my vet, trap them, and bring them home. It took days of patience, but eventually I captured them. Initially I kept them in a very tall, large box. They were too small to jump out, and I had two of my own cats, and needless to say or not, they were not happy with their new roommates.

Cricket was a little calico and Guber was the color of striped orange sherbet. Anytime I came near without food they were full hisses and growls. I wondered what would be the bridge to abet their fear. It turned out to be toys. Once I began playing with them, all things changed, human and rescues became friends.

It took a bit longer for the feline residents of the flat to warm up to these tiny kittens. In fact, only the other kitten in the house, Rocho, began playing with them. My adult cat, Raj, just pretended they didn’t exist.

Cricket and Guber’s acceptance of human love couldn’t have happened at a more perfect time. Suddenly Cricket became very ill. I immediately took her to my vet where it was determined that she had distemper, and it was touch and go as to whether she was going to make it. She received medicine there and I took her home. She responded quickly to the medication, and it was clear she was going to make it.

However, Guber got sick as Cricket was getting well. My vet gave me more medication since it was clear that Guber had the same disease as Cricket. When I picked him up to give him his first dose I have never held anything so small and so close to death in my hands.

Cats on Samos

I took him to bed that night. I honestly didn’t believe he would make it through the night. Rocho came up on the bed with me along with my other cat Raj. Guber was on my bed right next to my head, and Rocho curled himself around Guber. Neither Guber or Rocho moved that entire night. I did because I was constantly waking to see if Guber was still breathing, and also giving him more medication. Raj stayed on the other side. Around dawn I fell into a deep sleep.

When I woke the next morning, Rocho was still curled around Guber, but Guber was awake, alive. I tried to feed him some cat food, but he wasn’t interested. Rocho was there cheering him on as well, but to no avail. Then I remembered I had raw ground turkey in the refrigerator, and tried that. Instantly, Guber was not only interested, but eating like he had the first time I had left food for him in the empty lot down the street. It was clear that Rocho was also excited about Guber’s recovery until he realized he wasn’t getting any turkey. He looked at me as if to say “I need turkey too”, which I gave, grateful that he had saved Guber’s life. I know it was teamwork, but it was Rocho that wrapped his body around Guber and stayed there until morning.

During this time a neighbor that lived in the house next to the empty lot told me that the mother had been hit by a car. She had tried to save the kittens, but she could never get close to them. She fed them, but one by one they had died. The mother had had a litter of five, and a mystery was solved. Their mother had not abandoned them.

Guber and Cricket stayed with me for three more months. I always knew that I was going to find a home for both of them. Ideally it would have been great if they had gone together, but that didn’t work out. I put a sign in our neighborhood pet store. The first person interested was a neighbor that lived across the street. He took Cricket. He had another calico, and felt Cricket would make a good companion.

Because Cricket and Guber were initially feral, they were never going to be extremely social cats with humans, but Cricket, renamed Emily, hid the first two days from both human and cat. My neighbor asked me to come over and be with Emily for awhile. I sat with Emily and told her the story of her life, and how this human was going to love her as much if not more than her mother, me, Rocho, and Guber. I could feel her calm down, and then I said goodbye. A few weeks later the neighbor left a thank you card. He said how grateful he was for the love and light Emily had brought to his house, and that he was so appreciative that I had saved her for him.

A few days later a couple came by to see Guber. The minute they saw him they were in love, and so was Guber. All three of them bonded instantly. The interview went well, and it was clear that they would love Guber as deeply as Emily was now loved. The couple gently put Guber into the crate they had brought, and that night the three of them left.

Of course, I had a great deal of explaining to do to Rocho. Raj was basically saying goodbye and good riddance, but Rocho was sad that his two companions were gone, and perhaps wondering about his fate. Once I sat down and told him their story he seemed to understand; still sad for a few days, but eventually back to his normal self. Of course, part of that story was how Rocho saved Guber.

cartooncats-111813-60.eps

Denise Naughton is an author, a public speaker, and an ABD Ph.D. Candidate at Union Institute and College. She is completing her dissertation on Jungian archetypes related to stock characters in Australian film.

A Quilt of Unconditional Love–a Principle We Learn from Our Pets

Today’s post will be composed like a quilt, a pastiche of images and expressions.

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Above picture and poem below From http://tvkapherr.wordpress.com/about/  Cats at the Bar (Everyone has opinions, especially cats):

Stressed by deadlines,
Oppressed by bills,
Depressed by the cruelty of the human race.

Battling traffic,
Fighting the flu,
In arms against the world’s frenetic pace.

All washed away,
A breath of relief,
Innocence, love, in a sweet little face.

By E.J. Geras

 Dogs and Cats, oh yeah!

We opened this week with the topic of “Pets ARE Better Endings“. Why? Because of their capacity to give and to receive unconditional love. Is there anything more important? Our animal companions bring the energy of love into our lives and hearts, daily. We can learn so much from their example.

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The simple act of maintaining caretaking routines (feeding, grooming, playing, litter, walks) helps to keep us humans engaged in giving love daily, and what we can give and receive from this is immeasurable. Even the heart rate and blood pressure of ourselves and our animal friends harmonizes in a healthier pattern from such interaction.

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http://tvkapherr.wordpress.com/about/

As a pet parent without children, a caring relationship with my pets is a life saver, a Godsend. For it allows me to be in the world as a loving companion. With today’s increasingly computer oriented technology and cyber-focussed reality, touching base with the purity of a pet’s unconditional love and acceptance is a healing force in itself. It is restorative, transformative, reminding me  of why we are truly here.

secretoflife

The Secret of Life, by Roxi St Clair

http://roxistclair.com/2014/02/09/the-secret-of-life/comment-page-1/#comment-7869

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http://rachelmankowitz.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/thunder-shirt/

Your Pets Lifemap

 Capture

For our Better Endings Life Maps Activity this week, you can start by listing all of the pet friends who have shared their life with you. Using your own intuitive guidance, list your pets’ names, the years they have been in your life, and something unique or characteristic about each pet and about the time frames they shared with you. You might use an adjective or a phrase describing each one. Then create a Mapping that shows in a way that is meaningful to you an arrangement of how these pets have ‘patterned’ in your life journey. The Bubbles chart shown here is my own mapping of individual or groups of my pet friends who have been in my life in different time frames. As an example for your own creative mapping–which might take another form for you–let me describe my mapping:

The first time frame shown in the orange bubble to the right represents Special Animal Friends from my Childhood, from about 8 years old til 18. Reviewing the list of some of my favorite animal friends from that time, I see some patterns. I befriended a wide variety of animals, both wild and domestic. I was always bringing animals home: frogs, white mice, a pigeon who flew into my garage and stayed for a year. I rode wild colts with my neighbor friends at local horse farms. I had a parakeet, Petesy, who was a close friend to talk to for many years. There were many cats…most of which I also brought home and only a few of which my father let me keep; and Queenie, a great companion beagle-poodle, who was ubiquitous as my special friend until and even after I left home at 18 for college.  These childhood friends exposed me to my own wildness and unconditional love. Animals were my special family, my Friends.

Reading my Pets Lifemap from East to South to West to North (yes, like a Medicine Wheel!), next came my heart throb of 11 years, my first solo pet away from home in college: Chela. I described her in my pet ‘reincarnation’ story Wednesday. What a great friend and constant companion Chela was. She accompanied me on my Big Move, from East to West; from Buffalo to Phoenix, Arizona. I would say she was a lifeline for me. CONTINUITY has always been one of my most valued and important values in relationships, and Chela was there for me–and I for her–as a thread of continuity linking my Childhood to my later life Journey in graduate school, dissertation research at Zuni,and beyond.

Picture1

After Chela left, Ariel, shown here, moved into my Heart.  She was a dear Soul companion (absolutely I believe that Animals are Soul, Too), for 20 years!  Reflecting on her qualities that were a big part of my journey with her and other pets we also had while she was with me, I see attributes of their special characters that mirror archetypal character aspects  of myself: Intelligent/ Artistic Ariel; Freedom loving Skyway (a brindle dog who was an escape artist and loved to run!); Quiet/ Timid Ellie (an orange boxer/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix who was Skyway’s life companion and mine but who was very timid; a one person dog); and Expressive Loki (still in my life; a beautiful, all-white cat who is very communicative; he was quite the mischievous kitty and is such a SOLID friend!).

2012-07-30 16.12.43

All but Loki passed–by their own life stories–before the next Ensemble Set arrived. I now live with Loki-Emily-Arthur (3 cats) and Sophia (Sophie, my Shorkie buddie; shown above with my mother, Elizabeth).  All of them are always there and I am there for them. They are my refuge, the Family I return to daily and spend the nights with between having to be out in the world. As a most naturally quiet and introspective sort of person myself, my pets are my touchstones. I am entirely humbled by their magnificent unconditional love and companionship. They are constant and true, whatever hardships or complexities have come into and gone out of my life among other Humans.

So try mapping your animal friends in relation to your life history. When did which of them enter and exit? What QUALITIES did they exhibit for you; what relationships did you learn about through them? People say we tend to resemble our pets. I would say there are no accidents and each of our special friends has had a special affinity with us; an archetypal synchronicity. Take some time if you would then to pause and APPRECIATE the wonderful LIFE GIFTS each of your animal–and human too, of course!–friends have shared!

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I invite you to compose your own Pet Life Mapping. And do feel free to share your insights–or pictures!–with us!

Chela and Ariel–A Better Endings Pet Reincarnation Story

Picture1

Ariel

I know that not everyone accepts or is interested in the idea of reincarnation. If not, that is fine, but please humor my story today. I want to tell a true, Better Endings story which I associate with pet reincarnation, but you are welcome to interpret the story however you like.

Chela was an orange tabby/calico cat that I shared my life with for 11 years. Chela was an amazing feline friend. She would ride around the house with me, draped across my shoulders. Outside, we would play a game where I would chase her in a big circle around the back yard; then I would turn around, and Chela would chase me! We were very bonded. Chela relocated with me on my “Big Move” from Buffalo to Arizona (see that story here from Feb.5). She also came with me for my dissertation study year at Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico. She was my touchstone there, or should I say a refuge of the Heart.

When I returned from Zuni to Arizona, I spent 6 months as an intern at the Museum of Northern Arizona. Chela couldn’t be with me then, so she stayed with a friend in Phoenix. At night in Flagstaff, though, I would close my eyes while sitting up in bed playing a recorder instrument to the tune of “Greensleeves”. I would imagine that Chela was with me then.

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Chela developed a severe arthritic condition in her spine, so I had to let her go when she was only eleven. She appeared to me about a week after her passing. In a dream just before waking, I went to pull an envelope with a picture of her from my chest (heart) pocket. Instead, Chela energetically walked out from the envelope, as if to say, “Don’t remember me as a dead form; I am here with you now; I am still living, as Soul!” Chela then led me to where she was staying on the ‘other side’. She brought me to a beautiful, verdant clearing in a wooded valley, full of trees on the perimeter, and colorful flowers, and animals of all sorts! There was a small, wooden stage in the middle of the clearing.  Chela jumped up onto the stage and addressed her animal friends:

“This is Linda; she’s the one I’ve been telling you about!”

So, I went onto the stage with Chela and said hello to her animal friends.

Around 11 months later, I had another dream one morning. I was returning in the dream from a castle where I had been visiting a friend who had been a mentor for me before she herself had passed on, my philosophy teacher from undergraduate college, Dr. Antoinette Paterson (Toni). She had been the person who had introduced me to Chela one day when I went to her college office for an Independent Study session.

               “So, do you want to see the most beautiful Being in the Universe?” she had asked.

               “Yes!” I answered, and little kitten form Chela, who had been delivered to the Philosophy Dept. office in a box from a student, slept in my arms during our session and came home with me that day.

So, 11 years and 11 months later, in my dream I was leaving this castle area after visiting with Toni, and I saw at the entrance gateway a beautiful little female, fully grown, black-and-white-with-orange-splotches cat. I knelt down with my heart full of gratitude to greet and pet her as we felt like very old friends.

That very morning, I went to my university in Tempe, AZ  (ASU), where I met with my main mentor there, my Ph.D. advisor, Betsy. The first words out of her mouth to me that morning were:

               “Could you possibly take a kitten?”

               “Only if she is black-and-white-with-orange-splotches!” I laughed.

                “One of them is!” Betsy answered.

Ariel (that kitten-cat) was a Harlequin, tortoise shell, Calico. She had Chela’s orange-white tabby stripes etched lightly on her forepaws and temples! Ariel and I were close companion family for 20 years. Whenever I would play “Greensleeves”—as I often did—on the same recorder instrument I had played on in Flagstaff, wherever Ariel was and whatever she was doing, she would jump up onto my chest and purr loudly, rubbing affectionately. I played “Greensleeves” also on the day she departed again; this time, she passed away at home, in my arms. I felt she was graduating from the Physical plane altogether this time, progressing as Soul to become an angelic spirit-form. I have seen her since, but in forms I shall not venture to share here. As I say often to all of my pets now, our love is Forever, “twenty-four seven, times Eternity”!

Pets ARE Better Endings

Little Girl Cuddling Soft Toys

Animal companions are, to me, Better Endings incarnate. How can they not be, with their amazing capacity for unconditional love and acceptance? A pet is for Life, with the only hard part being that, as humans, we tend to outlive them.

My pets certainly bring Better Endings to work days or basically to any time away from and then returning to our house. They make of our household a Home, just by being there. Coming home to my beloved pet companions lightens my load and helps me more than just about anything else to keep an open Heart.

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Sophie en route to New York to see her Grandmom

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Loki (with Arthur above)

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Arthur and sister Emily

Currently I live with four animal friends, three cats and a dog.  Cats include Loki (8y), all white with golden eyes, and Emily (4y) and Arthur (4y), orange tabby siblings. Emily is petite and short-haired while her brother Arthur looks like a Lion. Sophie (3.5y)–or, Sophia Grace Jade Wattsida [that’s Zuni for ‘dog’, and a pun on my name]–is my Shorkie (Shitzu-Yorkie) buddy. She is small of height but huge in her energy and a totally loving character. I have driven cross-country 3 times already with Sophie. She is a magnificent, all-round companion who loves to vacation at “La Quinta!” hotels. I am humbled to think of how these Souls (Animals are Soul, Too) have sacrificed other possibilities to live with me; especially my “indoor cats” whose whole ‘outer’ life anyways is in our house with one another, me, and our sometimes housemate Gianmichele.

Kitten on Samos

Okay, so there you have a narrative slideshow of my family (the  3 photos together above are They). Pet stories abound in my life. I invite you to send some of your own along, too, so we can swap some Better Endings pet tales this week!