Years ago while reading Buddhist theory, I came across a passage stating that the signs and symbols we need in life to know which paths to follow or to understand the direction our lives will ultimately take are before us each day. It is our job to become conscious in order to recognize and receive them.
Yesterday in the stairwell I met a neighbor who asked if we had found our cat; She disappeared during a July apartment robbery while we were abroad. I said no and joked that wherever she is, I hope she’s happy, well-fed and living out her wild side.
Although I recently stopped going to the backyard to call her each day, I heeded an internal prodding spurred by the talk with our neighbor. I went to the yard and beckoned to an empty neighboring yard, generally a populated cat hangout. Nada. Well that’s that, I concluded. No more. Turning to leave, a chill went up my spine. Across the way, peering intently from behind the bushes underneath our 3rd story window was Kalikee, our cat.
Kalikee! I called in surprise and she bolted, stopping a few yards away. Staring blankly. Giving no indication that she recognized me. Glued to her spot. Ready to spring if I moved too quickly. It looked like Kalikee but was this her? I continued to beckon. She stared blankly.
Slowly I backed towards the apartment entrance, maintaining eye contact while calling my 4-year-old son. They share a special bond. Perhaps he could coax her. Walk back here slowly; She’s here I summoned. He came to the yard. Still no response from Kalikee. Call her. Gently. Say her name. And so he did. Repeatedly. Inviting her to come to him.
And finally she responded. She talked to him, meowing in response to his calls. And then she approached and rubbed up against him fiercely.
It took some effort to get her back upstairs. She was frightened, seems to have sustained an injury in her hind quarters and initially was wild. I was scratched and bitten. Rapha was happy but very cautious.
She has clearly been through something and is changed. So have we. We’re all re-adjusting. Rapha’s staying home from school to be with her today. He’s thrilled to have his playmate back. I’m grateful.