It is strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone.
-John O’Donohue, Anam Cara
One of the most precious anam cara of my life so far has left his form. There is a silence and deep sense of physically felt emptiness in my house. My little big hearted cat Luke, the most magical and adored Himalayan ever to have taken feline form has made his transition gracefully on to the next adventure (I believe every human has the right to say that their fur family member was the most amazing and it is absolutely true for each of us 🙂 ).
Luke was much more than “just a cat”. He was an incredible teacher of love in action within beingness for any human companion around him open to receiving the deep wisdom in the form of “cat” he had to offer. I learned so much from him. Thank you in advance dear reader, for indulging me now by allowing the sharing of a story, just one example among many of how this cat taught me even as he was dying:
On BEING present…
I found in the days leading to Luke preparing to leave his form, I was experiencing waves of feeling profound loss and sorrow at the thought of him not being physically here. These thoughts were in actuality cutting off my ability to just enjoy the present and feeling of BEING with him during the time he had left in the fur form. There he was, sitting right in front of me in the now…peace, peace, peace…but the pain at my thoughts about him soon not being in that form in the future would cut me off from feeling his presence right there “in the now” of the moment. As a result of this on going thought cycle I was struggling with, this is what he did:
I do not have many clocks in my home and only one that makes any nose at all. Over and over during the last days of Luke’s life in fur form, he took me for many hours to the master bathroom which happens to be the only location in the house with a clock that ticks. It is the location that has a little travel alarm with hands that glow so as to be easily seen when checking the time in the middle of the night.
I think Luke enjoyed being in that location for providing his tiny, uncomfortable body some comfort and relief on the coolness of the tile floor. However, there are several places that he could have chosen in the house to find that sort of comfort and this bathroom is not a location he ever had spent much time before.
Hummmm…why was he choosing there I was thinking to myself. Then I heard it.
tick – tick – tick – tick – tick
It was a clock calling out with each sound: NOW NOW NOW.
When I finally rreeaallyy heard the reality of this clock, it hit me like a warm hug. Luke was helping my awareness of the passing of time to be called into focus, back from the future (which only can happen in thought), back from the illusion of time when he would be physically gone (the now as I write this), called back deeply into the moment of his still being there then in physical form (and still now here, just not in form 🙂 ). It was the hearing of a clock ticking in time and space with the added awareness of a third vector of divine will through “cat” orchestrating all within a connection offered by sound. What a precious, precious teacher to direct and guide the actions of what was to take place in experience right NOW by choosing that location.
Luke was dying in physical form. It was true. He knew it and I knew it. BUT he was right there with me then and he wanted me to be able to be fully present with him…outside AND in my thoughts. When this happens, the feeling of anything to ever be separated from melts away. Thus, the of feeling loss and sorrow at thought instantly goes POOF because those emotions can never be found right in the now (well unless our own bodies are actually currently on fire!). Thus, the illusion of physical separation begins to be known while still in form.
With awareness of true presence in time as it passes contained in form on Earth, we are able to be present outside and feel from our deeper connections as one inside. The real reality of what is happening in time is always NOW – NOW – NOW from the inside out and outside in. With this awareness, it is not possible to suffer when our focus is brought back to NOW. 🙂
tick – tick – tick – tick -tick
Luke was using space and time and sound to help me remember how to be present with him, lightening my heart and bringing me more fully into the present moment.
After spending the morning on the day of his transition wandering with him leading, visiting his favorite spots in the house (and including a quick request by Luke to go outside by his standing right at the deck door), it was back on the floor of this bathroom upstairs where Luke located us again during the last hour he was alive. I laid down next to him on the floor listening to him breathe, listening to the clock tick, all while while waiting to hear the crunch of the tires from the Veterinarian’s car pulling into the driveway outside. This was the visit being made so Luke could be euthanized at home. I was given a window of time that the local Vet could make a house call (late afternoon into early evening), so Luke and I were left there in the NOW, left to wait together at home.
This experience got me thinking again…When is anything meant to die? Is there always a preset time?
Any time spent with those we love while they are still in a separate form with a delineated, consciously known ending point to that form is so precious. We are all born here on earth being taught from the first breath we take that we will one day take a last. This is part of the big mystery of being here on this planet with a physical form in time.
We are born to live and then to die.
Is this true?
Luke gifted me the experience of this. He was here in a body one moment and then in the next one we had consciously chosen, he wasn’t.
We all can know in that moment, (even this moment as I am writing this in my now) and you are reading this (my future as I type these words, your now as you are reading), that one day our physical forms will die (or make some sort of enlightened transformation 🙂 ). Allowing that awareness to be in the forefront of our thinking now, what does that thought do to (y)our experience of time?
Right now we are in the process of moving toward dying.
I was very privileged to be asked to participate in and witness this time spent on Earth, eighteen years living and a moment chosen for dying, with Luke.
When the time came and Luke took his last breath with his form, within seconds after, I experienced what I can only describe as if a sparkler was physically lit in the center of my heart. As my heart was felt beating, it is as if added little, tingly sparks of light started from one deep burning spot in the center of my chest and then moved out in the feeling of radiating tingles and chills throughout my whole body. I believe this was Luke interacting with my form as he had just left his and was finally free of physical separation. It was so beautiful.
My oh my, how I miss his fur at moments still 😦 , but I know in this heart of mine, he has not gone anywhere.
The header picture shared on this post is one of my reminding treasures. It is a gift from another precious anam cara, painted and presented to me some years ago as I was physically moving away from the area we were both physically living close to each other. The title of the piece is “Reflections of Home ” and it came with a card that said when the phone rings in my head, to remember pick up. 🙂
Thanks to our precious Luke, I am doing just that. More and more I find I am remembering being from home in my physical home and am hearing the calls reflected from home inside more than ever.
– – LUKE – –
September 1996 – August 2014
❤ Luke ❤ today:
_ _ _ _ _ _
Thank you to all who have reached out over the past weeks with words, thoughts and feelings of love for both myself and Luke. All has been received from you during this time and is deeply appreciated. Luke died as I laid next to him on the floor in the kitchen with tears of gratitude flowing while saying aloud thank you ! thank you ! thank you! All there was left in that moment was just overwhelming gratitude for the amazing “cat” life full of joy he gifted and shared with me.
I type now closing with a few happy tears, again saying thank you thank you thank you ! to those who are reading this and sharing (y)our living with me now as well. -x.M