Last time I wrote about old childhood experiences and I didn't really expect anything to happen, in fact, didn't really want anything to happen as I've always been so scared of death, the dead and the dying. I was just glad to post it and get some comments to soothe the isolation I felt around those memories.
Meanwhile my cat Ūsiņš got sick. He was pretty old and he had led this double life of a very kind and patient, friendly home pet who was perhaps persistent in his desires and rather thievish but never truly mean towards any of us. His other life was little known to us. Despite being neutered, he wandered around a lot and fought a lot and we just got some pieces of evidence such as
- Did you know that your cat is sometimes stealing food right under our not-particularly-cat-friendly rottweiler's nose?
- Imagine this - yesterday I saw a fox with its baby coming out of the woods to drink from a puddle. The fox went back, and the baby started towards our house, which was when I realized that wasn't a fox baby at all, that was our cat.
- Your cat got annoyed and chased our dog (small size) across the field.
- Wow, look at the size of that rat he hunted down in the basement.
- Shut that window, shut that stupid window, he has a mouse! (My mom, very scared of mice.)
And then once he was torn up bad by some wild animal and never fully recovered, he stopped his nocturnal wanderings and got sick frequently.
I'm sorry I get carried away, I just really love that cat. Sometimes I would "help" him following the furry fighters with a large bowl of cold water and loud cursing and now it was time for me to make strong broths, exhaust his patience relentlessly offering him various food items and let him drool blood and puss (tooth problems) all over my shoulder because he wanted to sleep by my side where it was also warm.
He got weaker and weaker, one night he started having some kind of seizure. As I was holding him and yelling violently at my poor parents about vets and miracles, I suddenly felt something I really didn't want to feel. I felt death. I don't know how to properly explain it. I have no beliefs regarding death angels, grim reapers and such, I didn't even see anything, I just felt death was there, by the bedside. I denied this immediately and panicked, and prayed and there was a lot more that night but, yes, after several hours he passed at the vet's.
When I recall that presence, I realize it's not actually death as a whole, it's more of the bodily death, the feeling of decay, the grave, the emptiness, something dark, hollow and calm, not really evil, just distant, not forceful, just patiently waiting somehow. I'm sorry, I just don't know what that was so I'm trying to describe emotions and sensations.
It was the first time I wasn't scared of a dead body, too. I had been freaked out in each and every funeral disregarding my lifetime relation to the dearly departed. I never even liked visiting their graves nor did I talk to them in my thoughts. Sometimes I would see them in my dreams, mostly in two scenarios - either they were somehow still around doing stuff and I would say - but you're dead, why in the good heavens are you cooking? And they would have this attitude - so what, changes nothing. Or they were dead and I was scared and sad.
I had the same kind of dreams about my cat. Once I dreamed he had crawled out of grave like a zombie, I even went to see the hole, but he wasn't a zombie at all, he was alright. I told him I didn't think that was very normal and that I would probably have to consult with the vet about this because there might be some kind of problems with him being dead and then coming back to just lay around and chill, maybe he needs some supplements. The dream itself wasn't very amusing of nature, I just put it that way now.
This time I said I wanted the cat's body to stay in my room (wasn't warm weather) for some kind of vigil which included a candle burning for two days and me falling asleep. I didn't want him to be alone. I had no trouble cleaning him and stroking his fur because I realized I would really really miss the physical expression of affection and love. But I also didn't have trouble letting him go into his grave we dag in our backyard.
Also, for the first time, I consciously addressed my dead relatives asking them to guide the cat, welcome him, take care of him. And I felt my grandmothers and my grandpa very vividly. Since their deaths I had always felt them aloof and vague. Later I started lighting a candle every night and praying for those who have passed, and suddenly I could once again feel love for those I had pushed out of my consciousness to the point of oblivion. I remember them now.
Two nights after the funeral I was up late reading and I felt like my cat was there at my feet where he used to sleep when he wasn't sick. I felt the weight but I didn't see anything. I also couldn't really feel the presence in the way often described here, it wasn't this warm feeling of peace or goodbye nor was I scared or threatened. Mostly what I felt was more like, do you know how the air feels right before thunder? And now just take a piece out of this air and concentrate it a bit more densely as if forming it into a shape. It was like some form of thunder air concentrate at my feet.
I have felt it a couple more times since then, and my granny also says she felt as if the cat was snuggling up to her legs as she was gardening like he did before. I still don't particularly feel much about graveyards but I really want to remember my dead. I could say I am even thirsty for remembering them. Sometimes it worries me because I feel like they can understand me better than the living - somebody says something inconsiderate or selfish and I would wink at my dead grandma as if saying, "Oh, the kids, oh, the worldly affairs..." Maybe that is because I was largely raised up by those people who have now died.
Sometimes it seems like the cat is around - not a sight of him nor the thunder-air sensation. It's also not like the feeling he should be there because he ordinarily used to be. I have had that, too. It's more of - oh, there's Ūsiņš, oh wait.
And, pushing my luck with this lengthy story, I also have a little episode which is mostly comical and which I am more confused about than supernaturally-wise concerned of.
We have a motion sensor on the basement stairs switching on a light. That is right in front of the loo. I have somewhat of a claustrophobia so, as it's fairly separated from the rest of the house, I tend to keep the door open while doing my business. There is also a door leading to the stairs which has a glass door. A while ago I noticed the light would come on each time I went to the loo. It was unsettling, because the basement stairs are, you know, basement stairs, a phenomenon of terror, a symbol for horrifying trouble. I wanted to keep the door shut not to forced to see the light come on and expect and ascending figure appear anytime in front of me, but that would be worse, it's easier to see the danger approach, you know.
There can be many explanations, old wiring, vibrations (glass door), insects, whatever really. The light also came on inconsistently - sometimes when I was on my porcelain throne, sometimes when I was opening the door, sometimes when I was merely approaching. However, I got edgy and once I cornered my dad in my parents' bedroom and demanded explanations for his negligence of our electrical issues. He said I was being paranoid and I should relax and that HE never had the light turning on by itself which was supposed to calm me down. Right.
It went on, as I paid more attention, every single time. I am a rather anxious person so once I lost it and right there by all of those doors I caught my unlucky mom and told her what I thought of this - that this was so not cool and that nobody should have this during their most vulnerable moments of their daily life and why was it happening to me. Mom also said she knew nothing of this (might also be they never noticed the light coming on because they are people who have actual troubles on their mind).
The unsettling thing is that after my outburst in the vicinity of those stairs, the light hasn't come on when I am visiting the loo ever since. Not once. That freaks me out most.
Thank you kindly for your patience. These experiences have changed me a lot, my feelings and attitudes around love and death, and household rules.
Wishing you joy,