This is a note I wrote on Facebook about a year ago. Now I am sharing it with you, gentle reader.
I was very pregnant with my second child Gideon. Very pregnant. I had just hit the last 20 minutes of my hour long commute home when the cell phone rang. I know, I know, I shouldn’t have answered, but my older son Jacob was home alone and it could have been an emergency. So I answered, and on the other end I heard Jacob crying. I immediately became alarmed and asked what was wrong. He said it so simply through his tears, “Jed’s dead”. I don’t remember much of the conversation after that. I told him to meet me when I got home with a bag ready, so we could bury him in the morning. I did not want animals to get him and drag him away. After I hung up the tears came, and I cried out in a heartbroken mess, “No Jed! No not Jed!”
Very dramatic but Jed was a very special kitty, worth every tear.
I thought about that morning when he had pawed at the window to come in, but me in my war on pet hair denied him entry. Why was I so mean? He hadn’t been feeling well and just wanted to be with us. Now, it was too late. I drove home, blinded by tears. I thought of when we brought home the tiny tabby. A playmate for our siamese cat, Spooky. They were a matched set. Jed, like any tabby was all love. His soft purr and warbling meow, were a comfort. He was a playful fellow, and a cunning hunter. I felt blessed for the years we had with him, but was nonetheless overwhelmed with sorrow and guilt. I had become a mean old pregnant lady, who had no time for my pets. Poor Jed was caught in the crossfire.
When I arrived home, my eyes swollen and red, I was met by Jacob. He had the bag and that brought on fresh tears. We walked over to the spot where Jacob had found him. There was nothing.
I cross examined Jacob as I would many times over the years. He insisted, the cat was Jed, and he had surely died. He said the body was cold and was already stiff. I felt that coyotes had dragged him off, but hoped that maybe the Town of Pe Ell had picked him up before that happened.
When my husband got home that night, we both lay in bed and cried. Our move out here seemed tainted by heartache after heartache. The next morning there were about 100 crows in the horse pasture across the street. We figured that was evidence enough that he had been dragged away.
The years went by and were peppered with fond recollections of Jed and Spooky. We never let ourselves get too attached to the other cats. Our little female cat Tulip was hit some time later and we buried her in the front yard. Tulip bulbs are planted there. Jon would often remark how the two best cats died and we were left with the dingy ones. When we spoke of Jed we smiled and missed him even more.
About a month ago, Jacob came home and told us that a cat who “looked just like Jed” had been hanging around. I did the famous mom eye roll and told him that all tabbies look like the one you miss.
I have been struggling with health problems these past months, and the stress of it all has been crushing. I had been praying night after night for relief and a sign that God remembered and cared about me. Nothing happened. I grew more weary. September 11th came around and I could not bear to watch any news or stories of tragedy like I did every year. I wanted a new memory for that day.
On the evening of 9/11, my husband came in and told me he got a picture of the cat that looked just like Jed. Skeptical, I had him show me. It was blurry. But I saw something. A furry light belly that hung down. I said “Jed had a tummy that hung down like that!” Jon told me where the cat was, and I made my way instantly out the door. I walked cautiously over to the fence. I called the kitty, and as soon as I touched him, my eyes were opened, and it was him. In disbelief, I asked over and over “Jed is that really you?” He purred and let me pet him. He tried to find a way through the fence. I tried to pull it up and let him under. It would not budge, I was so scared he would run if went into the house and came around. So with all six feet of me I shimmied over a picket fence with the grace of an elephant. I called him to me all the while expecting him to disappear or run away. He came over to me and again let me love all over him. I picked him up and brought him into the house. “It’s him…”
I don’t care where he has been, how he got here, if he has worms, or fleas. I just know that he was just what I needed, at just the right time.