I’ve seen further healing and some interesting changes in Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe, and the spirits of Mewsette and Jelly Bean; somehow Mariposa is involved in this magic. It follows the idea from my last article, “The Gathering.”
Far across the distance
And spaces between us
You have come to show you go on*
Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe have continued healing from their grief at the loss of their brother and sister, and possibly a realization of their own changing conditions. Healthwise they’ve both been doing very well, especially Mr. Sunshine who has been quite active and more playful and affectionate than he has been in a long time. Our daily visits to the back yard, though they are never more than 30 minutes and sometimes as little as 15, have really done wonders for both of them. We all need to be grounded, sometimes literally. That goes for me too.
Returning to favorite nap spots
All the cats have been fairly constrained in napping and relaxation areas, mostly staying in the kitchen where the food happens, and in my office next door where very little has changed including their basket beds and my messy desk. Along with all the physical changes in the house I see them slowly returning to old napping places in my bedroom and the bathroom. And now that the furnace has come on for the first time they’ve really found their favorite little nooks.
They are also finding new patterns and habits like the boys going outside with Mimi and me.
Seeing their siblings in the boys
And I also see both brothers continuing to trick me into thinking I’m looking at Jelly Bean when I’m looking at Giuseppe, and Mewsette when I’m looking at Mr. Sunshine, as well as each of them adopting significant specific habits from their siblings.
Mewsette had a particular graceful little sway that rippled down her back into a little butt wiggle and out onto her tail which twirled and twined in the air, like her happiness could not be contained. Mr. Sunshine was never that kind of cat and yet I’ve seen him make a similar, though less pronounced, move a couple of times.
Often enough I look at Giuseppe and I see Jelly Bean’s face along with his particular head turn and sidelong glance which Giuseppe had never done, and then I see Giuseppe.
But there were two experiences recently, one with each of them, that involved Mariposa in a special way.
Mr. Sunshine rolling on the concrete!
You may remember that one of Mewsette’s absolute favorite things outdoors was rolling on the little pad of concrete right outside the basement door. We were outside most often in the morning, and that was when, on sunny days, the concrete would be sunwarmed, even in winter. When I would hang laundry we would go out the basement door, but other times we would go out the kitchen door onto the deck. Whenever there wasn’t snow on it or the pavement wasn’t too wet Mewsette would race to it from the deck, or as soon as I closed the basement door, fall down on it and have a really good roll. Here’s a video of her from March 2022.
When the three of us go outside now we go out the basement door and work our way up to the deck. Giuseppe nibbles some grass right there, Mr. Sunshine checks the peemail and has a walk around the garden while Mimi grazes for a bit then heads up onto the deck.
But one morning in mid-September Mr. Sunshine came back around to the concrete and had a little roll, just a few seconds, not even time for me to get my camera on him. He does love a good roll on concrete and there is a spot on the basement floor that inexplicably attracts rolling cats, but he had never shown any interest in the concrete outside. This was very definitely not a mistake but something intentional. He does go back to the basement door when he’s outside and it just looks as if he’s looking into the basement through the screen, and he may be looking at another of the cats who is in there, but I’ve often wondered if he wasn’t looking for something instead of at something. I open the door to see if he wants back in, and that’s not what he wants.
So after that first roll that I missed catching, I was prepared with my cell phone and my DSLR. I didn’t have to wait too long, but a day or two later I was surprised at the “cat”-alyst—Mariposa at the door and when he came over, then playing paws under the door.
They’ve done this a few times since then, but Sunshine has also had a roll without her, and also with her and others at the door.
Purrhaps Mewsette shared with him one of her favorite things, or purrhaps he was communicating with her or just being with her in the moment. Or purrhaps she was acting through him.
Here is a video compilation of that roll described above, and a few others since then.
Giuseppe and the bathroom sink
I’ve had a few emotional moments looking at the bathroom sink myself, full of sun through the window on these late summer and early autumn afternoons, a moment when Bean would be waiting for me to show up and turn on the faucet for him so he could purr and twirl and head butt me and rub on me and then have a good drink.
Giuseppe had also regularly hopped up on the sink and asked me to turn on the faucet, and he’d even done it before this event. Each of the times I saw him I mistook him for JB even though he’s quite a bit larger and built differently, though his body in that moment seemed Bean’s size and shape. Those times, though he looked like Jelly Bean, he acted quite like himself.
But it had to be the sunny afternoon that made him jump up but only stand there looking contemplative and act quite differently from the times he wanted and enjoyed a drink from the faucet.
Instead of standing on the edge of the sink with his front paws inside and his face right next to the faucet and glancing up at me to turn it on, he sat down in the sink with his face next to the faucet looking down at his paws, still very deeply contemplative, and I sensed in him a distance from this moment.
That was when Mariposa, who had been enjoying the sun out on the landing, walked in and hopped up on the sink next to him and began to rub on him, nuzzle him and gently head butt him and walk around him.
He did react quietly to her affection, leaning into her and turning to nuzzle her. She is affectionate with each of them and has always liked Giuseppe, staying with him just long enough to avoid annoying him; she is very sensitive and always seems to know when it’s enough. But she was in the next “room” and came in as he sat there, and seemed to me to be very comforting to him.
I didn’t turn on the faucet because he was sitting in the sink, but when he eventually did stand up but stayed in the sink I turned it on to the usual trickle that he could drink from. He remained head down, contemplative, and never did have a drink. After a few minutes Mariposa jumped down and returned to her sunny spot on the landing while Giuseppe stayed for a bit longer as I petted him, then jumped down and went into my bedroom.
Purrhaps he was grieving, or communicating, or simply remembering. I sensed Jelly Bean in that time, and purrhaps Bean was back for another of his happiest activities to share with his brother and all of us. It was a very deep experience for him.
Something new for all
Giuseppe has been napping in the bathroom lately, especially in the morning after breakfast and into the afternoon. I think that’s just because he likes it so much with the fluffy bed by the door, and now that the furnace is running it’s really a deluxe spot. He also likes the new bath rug; I wanted that for me for something new but as soon as I put my hands on it I knew it was destined to be a cat bed.
Since the bathroom holds so many memories, not just drinking at the sink but they fostered in there and spent a lot of time in there over the years, I’m glad Giuseppe has a few new things in there that he can enjoy along with what’s familiar.
Magical experiences come full circle
I really do sense a deep multi-faceted experience in both of these moments with Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe, and in just the day-to-day things I see.
But there’s another facet to it that I want to share. I sensed Mewsette very strongly that first week after she died, then a week later, she was gone. Now I sense Mewsette here now and then, just as if she was somewhere the house, as I always did, but I feel her spirit is persistent out in the garden, around her garden chair and the green wicker loveseat. I was distraught that Jelly Bean was “gone” the moment Deb left with him and I barely sensed him at all after that moment. Now I feel his spirit is persistent around the bathroom sink, otherwise both it’s more in the way I think about them and that brings them to mind.
You might remember that they came to me after we lost Lucy, who would be their half-sister from another of Mimi’s litters the summer before. Lucy was all over the house with all of us, but I have the most memories of her upstairs on the landing and in the studio. I have decorative crystals at each of the sunny windows and there were always rainbows around her up there.
I sensed Lucy around quite a bit in the time after we’d lost her. Even the day she died, I know it was she who told me that I needed to rescue her mother when the four remaining cats and I were at the basement door and saw Mimi out at the water bowl, quite pregnant yet again.
The late July afternoon that the neighbor brought Mimi and the kittens, three days old, across the street in a box was bright and sunny, quiet in the way that hot summer afternoons have a particular stillness. I had the studio ready for them, a big dog crate set up on my work table, mini blind pulled most of the way down on the window, the ceiling fan on very low, and I closed the door after me when I walked in.
I peeked in the box between the flaps—Mimi had not been particularly friendly outdoors, mostly self-protective—but I saw one round, curious eye, opened the flaps and she stepped out from among her kittens and calmly began to explore my drafting table and look around the room. I felt a bond of trust with her beginning in that moment. She had not a trace of fear or insecurity, almost as if she was already familiar with the place.
Gently lifting each of the soft little beans out of the box, inspecting and nuzzling before settling them down on the fleecy bed in the crate, the first time I’d touch them was both frightening—they were so tiny—and exciting as I felt a connection right away.
But during all this I had the sense of bright light in the room behind me, as if I’d left the door open and the sun was streaming in from the window on the landing. I even remember turning around to look at the door, but it was closed with just a band of bright sunlight at the bottom.
The kittens were settled onto their bed and already asleep again. Mimi was stretched out on my drafting table in the cool dim light. The stillness was serene.
I had and still have a round faceted crystal suspended from the bottom of the mini blind that catches the sun for a short period each day, throwing little rainbow dots all over the walls and ceiling. If it moves at all in a slight breeze or with a little touch, they spin around the room.
And so, in that stillness, the blind pulled nearly to the windowsill and not a breeze that I could sense across the room but might have been by the window, a tiny ray of sunlight hit the crystal and it moved very slowly so that small rainbow dots began to slowly move around the room, on the walls and floor, rolling over Mimi and the kittens.
And that sense of bright sunlight behind me faded. The room was dim and quiet.
And I never sensed Lucy again after that. She was the bright light I sensed but did not see. I realized she had become a part of this family, her spirit joined with them in that moment when the sun filled the crystal and the room filled with rainbows.
And now I wonder if that’s why I don’t really sense Mewsette and Jelly Bean except when their siblings are near; I wonder if in some moment each of them came back and, like Lucy, became a part of the living.
Guilt, or hope?
I will say that my first reaction to this thought was deep sadness; I still feel they weren’t supposed to die, that I could have done something to help them survive way back at the beginnings of things, but my finances at the time prevented me. Lucy died at 15 months old, obviously too young, but through becoming a part of them and Mimi she could have a full life in a way. So it could be that they can continue to be a part of life by becoming a part of their siblings and mother. Or it could be that they were always very close and they want to remain so. I don’t know, not right now, and I may never know, but in time I know I’ll find a place where I can make that decision.
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I actually had a different image planned for today but Mimi, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine were totally enchanting getting organized in the best cuddle pile on my drafting table by the window, the light was wonderful, and, well, here you are. Click here to read more.
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