Following is the second (and final) part of the metaphysical feline/human love story that began here. This post brings my journey with Zander to how it stands today.
May loving cohabitation flourish between humans and all God’s creatures, great & small, in the enlightened times to come… all of which unfolds with each & every choice we make now.
Hope you enjoy, Whitehawk ox
Gazing out the window across my rolling, rural front yard one day last summer, my roaming mind snapped to attention when I spotted what appeared to be two black ears poking up from behind a small hill.
Could that be a cat? I wondered. Standing up for a better view, sure enough, I discovered a small black & white kitty sitting under a shady tree about 30 feet from the house, looking in my direction.
Living in a small mountain community as I do and being familiar with people’s pets, I knew this wasn’t a neighbor’s cat. I headed outside to meet this newcomer – or at least get a better look.
Upon my approach, he bolted off into the dense mess of brambles that line the edge of the property. A thick, nasty wall of thorns had taken over a good chunk of vacant land next to mine. I cringed with pity seeing this little cat run right into the midst of this hell zone.
(Every summer finds me putting considerable effort into keeping this aggressive “hostile mess” at bay. To be fair, these bushes make their amends by offering blackberries each summer that I do harvest – with much careful maneuvering and protective armor!)
After a few days passed, the cat was back, this time parked under a tree much closer to the house, staring wide-eyed at my three felines basking in the front-window sun. Taking advantage of his proximity and distraction, I checked him out.
He was young (guessing 5-6 months; barely past kittenhood), skinny, with black and white fur rather randomly distributed over his small form. His face was white with a black blotch that partly covered his nose, and spilled over to the left, while his chin had a larger one meandering off to the right. Looking at him straight-on as he sat with his front legs together, the black spots on his legs came together in a way somewhat resembling a heart.
I knew he was an orphan, raising himself out in the woods, often taking refuge from large (land & sky) predators in those miserable brambles, and likely living on small rodents. He was very thin; also very bright-eyed. It pained me to imagine how such a young kitty could be out there fending for himself, without siblings, a mother, or a feral colony for companionship and collective safety.
As summer went on, this little loner became a regular visitor. He’d typically emerge from the woods out back, plop down right at the edge where they meet the yard, and watch my three girls during their “monitored” outdoor time. I began keeping an even closer eye on my cats than usual, to ensure they didn’t tangle with this wild child who hadn’t been vetted re: parasites, FIV, and the like.
His longing to be a part of my little three-member pride became noticeable as the days passed. I’m supposing they were the only other cats he’d seen since parting ways with his mother, whenever that might have been.
One time I was outside swinging a chase toy around for my three girls, who formed a circle around me to get their swats in when it came their way. Incredibly, this little boy joined the circle to play! While I found his desire to join the activity almost achingly endearing, my cats spooked at his bold move, and ran inside the house. Also, the mingling concern remained.
He soon seemed to grow attached to me, albeit from a distance. If I went outside, I’d hear him meowing and meowing, very loudly, from inside those horrid bushes as he slowly pushed his way through them to come out to greet me, his little face and ears all cut up from thorns.
Same routine from out back in the woods: I’d hear his wailing long before I could see him coming. He needed something – attention, companionship – and was “serenading” frequently at this point. (I actually considered giving him a crooner name for a while! Ultimately he was named after a sitar master.) But he was still a wild child, still not coming too close, and I still had concerns about him mixing with my domestic kitties.
Needless to say, I started putting food out when he came around, which he wolfed down like it was his first and last meal. He was a bit of a mess, but had *something* so engaging about him, I couldn’t help but become more interested and involved.
As time went on, I’d put food down right next to my chair, and he’d come right up and eat while I sat there. He became comfortable with my presence pretty quickly. Still no touching, but sometimes he’d look at me, stretch his neck out, and angle his head, craving for affection. If I reached, he ran… his desire for touch clashing with his feral auto-response.
As days shortened and temperatures cooled, I began worrying about him having no respite from the elements… just a shallow spot in the dirt inside those darn brambles.
In perfect synchronicity, I heard about a pet store giving away free “feral houses,” which were actually good sturdy Styrofoam coolers in which fish were shipped to retail outlets. Cutting a cat-sized hole in one side of these coolers instantly transformed them into nicely insulated cat caves. Add some hay inside, which feral cats like to nest in, and voila!
Being my creative, cat-pampering self, I used the Styrofoam container as a mere starting point for what ultimately became a pretty stylin’ shelter for my little friend. It grew into a nice 2-room cottage (an enclosed “sun porch” plus inner sanctum) up against the west wall of my house with “wall-to-wall carpeting” (felt doormats from a dollar store), a body-heat-reflecting bed, and other modest comforts.
While I was out there creating this architectural marvel, the kitty stayed close, enjoying the entire spectacle. He rolled in the grass, chased blowing leaves, but stayed with me, watching my progress. When I took breaks, he jumped around the construction site, inspecting every bit of it. It was during this time the clear awareness came over me that this cat and I had a genuine telepathic connection.
For instance, I knew that he knew that what I was making was for him. I even started talking to him, saying things like, “This is all for you, you know! Want to keep you snug when it’s cold and wet outside, you know!”… while knowing full well he did know.
His joyful behavior and continued watchful presence demonstrated his delight to be getting his own home… especially at my house, where he was acknowledged, accepted, and, before long, adored; where good food was served on his “front porch,” his new name, Ravi, was posted over the door, and three coy females engaged his attention.
One day right around the time of The Building of Ravi’s House, my relationship with him took an unforeseen leap in significance.
Standing in the kitchen washing dishes one afternoon, I pondered the realization that this cat and I had an amazing psychic connection. When something this unique and pronounced happens, the feeling is as clear as a kick in the pants. Staring into the sudsy sink, the memory of a channeled reading I’d had years ago surfaced in my mind.
(This is where the first part of this story becomes crucial to appreciating the plot.)
Standing there in the kitchen, remembering that reading, and reflecting on the specific personality traits and the profoundly psychic & loving bond I shared for 22 years with an angelic soulmate of a cat, I was suddenly thunderstruck by the thought:
Could it possibly be that this charismatic little charmer is Zander, returned to me after all this time?
Instantly I headed outside, and there was Ravi, sitting right at the door waiting for me, “knowing.” I sat in a chair in the yard, and this previously skittish “feral” leaped right up into my lap and poured kitty love all over me, rubbing and purring and licking and just expressing like I’ve never experienced before with a cat… never mind a wild cat with whom I’d had no physical contact before this moment, which “just happened” to follow my deep-dive reflections in the kitchen about Zander and that amazing channeled message I’d received years earlier.
Experiencing Ravi’s unique personality and this incredible torrent of affection is convincing evidence to me that not only is he my beloved Zander in this very different body, but also that he telepathically tuned in to my whole reverie about Zander while standing at the kitchen sink.
I know that he knew I had finally realized who he IS, and the over-the-top display in the yard was our big “reunion,” our big acknowledgment of this fantastic situation.
This is all still quite new as I write. It’s been roughly six months since I first spotted him watching the house. He’s been living in his little bachelor pad while still having his run of the wild. I go out there every day to hold him and pet him, and he pets back, gently patting my face with his paw, climbing up to my shoulder just like Zander did, and rubbing up against me, so affectionately… purring all the while.
Why this is happening now… why in this little feral form instead of one of my adoptees from a shelter? I don’t know. Maybe he wanted another male body? Maybe he wanted to physically experience “the shift” with me??
I imagine it would be hard to leave the perfection of Summerland, so part of me feels rather honored by the sacrifice. Go ahead, consider me a crazy cat lady. You won’t be the first. Maybe my soul hails from a cat planet, who knows. We all have our inherent resonances.
I’ve had a few cats since sweet Zander – all shelter rescues; all loved – but this profound – and profoundly familiar – connection with Ravi is unmistakably heaven sent.
This post dedicated to JP and TaTa – two remarkable, handsome, and independent boycats who, in their prime, suddenly transitioned recently. Bless their journeys, which surely continue on.