Monday, September 6, 2010

Remembering Rusty

My cat Rusty and I were meant to be together. It’s one of the best “relationships” I’ve ever had, one filled with mutual respect and love. May I have the privilege of finding a two-legged male companion that I am so compatible with!

In April of 1999 I lost my feline friend Rover to cancer. I was devastated as she had been one of three four-legged creatures that had shared our home while my children were growing up. Her passing marked a turning point for me in many ways and the loss of her was deep. I had not intended to get another kitty for a while but destiny had other plans!

A dear friend knew how much I was grieving the loss of Rover. Reluctantly she came to me one day to suggest that there was a very special kitty who needed a home. Her daughter was getting married and had to find a place for Rusty. After much deliberation I agreed to go down to Encinitas and meet him. Well, let’s just say the meeting went well. I drove away with Rusty in my car. He “talked” all the way home – the beginning of a perfect friendship.

Not long after his arrival at my condo in Dana Point, Rusty began bringing me presents from nature: dead bunnies, birds, and mice. He had amazing strength and would go hunting and then drag his “gifts” over a 3-foot block-wall fence into my bedroom. I was careful not to scold him, as I understood the significance of his offerings. I could see that he was grateful to be with me in my home.

One of the things I will never forget is an endearing way Rusty had of showing his affection. He had this sweet way of hugging me. He would wrap his paws around my neck and purr and drool in ecstasy. The only other person I ever saw him do this to was my niece, Dawnielle.

Rusty and I needed each other. We both had abandonment issues and we grew to understand that we could trust each other completely. When I left on trips he had a very hard time because he wasn’t sure I’d come back. I understood that and we worked on making him feel safe. I always had “sitters” that came and stayed with him while I was away.

Through the years Rusty continued to be an incredible hunter and often supplemented his meals with birds and mice. He loved to be outside in the sunshine, smelling the grass and feeling the breeze. This was true up until the end. The day before he passed away he was outside on the patio in a patch of sun, sniffing the breeze.

In the last few years Rusty and I matured in our spiritual work together. Almost three years ago he got sick and I thought I was going to lose him. It was a fearful time for me and I sought out assistance from my shamanic community, asking for insight and guidance. Rusty participated in this process and offered his wisdom to all who would seek it. Many people would communicate with Rusty and receive incredible insight about the process of life and death. During this time Rusty and I began to respect each other at a whole new level. We became healing partners.

Both clients and students came to respect Rusty’s presence during a healing circle or class. He would often come into the circle and sit on my lap while the group was doing work. More than once I found him lying on top of a client when I was doing energy work or shamanic healing. I came to trust his presence and listen to what he had to tell me.

On August 28th I woke up to the sense of Rusty falling. He fell over if he tried to walk and we both knew it was my turn to help Rusty on his final transition. I have been sensing him getting weaker and weaker and we’ve both been aware of a coming shift. It’s the end of another era in my life. Rusty has been with me through many transitions. Thank you, Rusty, for staying with me. Thank you for your unconditional love and support.

Rusty, I miss you. I look forward to meeting you again on the Other Side. I love you.