Healing Hearts

I have a tiger cat who lounges on the floor of my office or purrs in my lap when I write.  She has the most gorgeous markings:  black stripes on tawny fur, sand colored chin, pale emerald eyes.  As a kitten, she was taken from the wild, prematurely separated from her feral mother.  Her occasional skittishness tells me that she carries her early loss with her like a permanent scar.

When I was a child, I had a dalmatian puppy.  He used to lick my face, nip at my fingers, and then fall asleep on my chest as I lay on the couch watching TV.  Then one day, still a puppy, he died unexpectedly.  I was crushed beyond reason . . . completely inconsolable.  I still feel the sting of that abandonment; I too carry my early loss with me like a permanent scar.

And now here we are — my domesticated wild cat and me.  We’ve both made the transition to new homes and new families, moving on even as we have been imprinted and shaped by early loss.  As I stroke her sweet head, I feel such a tenderness and compassion toward all the grieving inner kittens and inner children of this world.

I keep a ball of yarn on hand for when she is feeling playful.  She startles as I toss the ball in her direction.  She recovers . . . stretches her paw out to grab it, then seizes it with gusto and curls her body around the ball.  I smile as I watch, our hearts healing each other.  The sadness of grief fades to the background and, joyfully, we both savor the moment.

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