As we near Obon, her presence remains

Katzenworld recently featured a tribute to Nezumi, Honored Eternal Webmistress of this blog, and Queen of my heart.   When in flesh, she was a delightful calico girl who was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.

Her ashes lie in a smooth, polished black box with he name on it, with her pawprint and a picture near.

And yet, her spirit isn’t gone.  Her spiritual father, Orion, of whom I have also written, still walks on the bed even though he left his flesh behind nearly ten years ago.

As for Nezumi, our other cat Shinji will sometimes stare at the empty air – or at the shelf where her ashes are kept.

Every once in a while I’ll feel her fur against my ankles or see an orange, black and white shadow flit by.

Neither has left me, and they both have my eternal loyalty, as I (apparently do) and it makes me feel peaceful.

I used to wonder if ghosts existed – I began to doubt it seriously – and then it was proven to me by my own cat-friends.  They made their presence impossible to ignore and they show themselves to both my spouse and I.  They are neither harmful nor destructive, and they come and go as they please.  Our bond is far from broken!  I personally think cats make great ghosts – mine did as they pleased when they were alive, so why not do the same once freed of their flesh?

I told Nezumi as that she could go or stay as she pleased, and that I would love her unceasingly.  It was the last thing she heard me say.

I still miss her – but I’m so glad she, and Orion, still choose to visit me.

So that’s why she’s Eternal Webmistress, the same way that Tama, the Japanese train stationmistress who just happened to be a calico, became Eternal Stationmistress upon her death.

In Japan, some celebrate Obon, (the festival of the dead) in mid-July, and some in mid-August, but in either case it’s a joyous chance to reunite with beloved family members who have passed from mortal life.  It’s not a somber occasion but a time to celebrate and have fun.  So I think often of my two well-loved cats as that festival nears.

When it comes time, I’ll light two lanterns for them and watch them floating in the pool and meditate on the fact that we are more than our bodies, we are luminous beings, not just crude matter.

 

floating lanterns.jpg

Who’s walking on my bed?

Halloween is different for everyone – some people use it as a religious day, others an excuse to eat massive amounts of candy, some love to make costumes, some go to parties, some watch the goriest movies they can find, and some use it as a time to say hello to the dear departed one more time.

October 31st has been all of those things to me, except maybe for the day to watch movies, and lately it’s been more a time to say hello to those whom I’ve loved and lost.  You should see what they do during the Japanese festival of the dead, they party for three days.  Obon is a really fun time.

For me, though, the end of October is a time when the veil between the different realities seems a little thinner, there’s a snap to the air even out here in Arizona, and life seems just a bit more sad and a bit more beautiful, like it could end at any moment and I’m reminded to tell everyone just how much I love them.

This Halloween tale is true, every word of it.

It’s simple enough:

Last night around midnight, a cat walked on my bed.  His steps were light and fast and both I and my spouse felt him.

Here’s the thing though.  There are two living cats in my house.  One of them was in my study, the other out in the living room, snoozing away on a pillow.  That left the third – who was a sweet black furred gentleman named Orion, who had golden eyes, a rumbling purr, and gave great hugs.  He would jump into my arms when I asked him and always seemed to understand me.  He taught my current calico, Nezumi, to put me to bed at night and get me up in the morning.

With both cats’ locations known, that left only one possibility – Orion, nine years gone, had come for another visit.  We feel him sometimes, usually walking across the bed, sometimes brushing against our ankles.  The site mascot, Nezumi, sometimes reacts to him too.  He’s actually the reason why I think sometimes people, whether they have two legs or four, come back to visit friends and loved ones.

Orion continues to teach me quite a bit, even though he’s no longer a physical person.  I think he might actually be happier now, since he doesn’t have a body to deal with and all its problems, and he can’t get hurt, and he can go wherever he wants.

I guess he’s the ultimate Halloween kitty – a black cat who IS a ghost!

 

 

(Photo looks like Orion but isn’t.)