Sweet Otto has gone. The only cat I ever loved. He was my sister’s cat and he seemed to know instinctively what I needed when I returned to England to grieve after Laura died (see post My New Love, 7 August 2014). He jumped (uninvited) into the hammock beside me and put his paws around me and snuggled in. Wherever I perched, he snuggled in too. Even in impossible little spaces. You could say he was just a heat seeking feline, but he was just the heat seeking feline I needed.
Animals have an extraordinary intuition about us and about each other. The night Otto died, my sister’s family had no clue that he had been in an accident outside near their house, except that Toffee their other cat started to howl and howl. She would come up and look at them and make a noise unlike anything they had heard before. She didn’t stop until they found Otto. But the mystery is how Toffee knew, because she didn’t go outside.
Today I went to snivel in the rain. Feeling sad for Otto and a bit down, I walked into my little local park and immediately dozens of sparrows (my favorite bird) started to zoom around, skimming over the top of my head. I stopped and counted 34 sparrows and 4 big fat pigeons all lined up on one park bench next to me and about 40 pigeons standing in a circle around me. I presumed I had walked into their feeding spot. But no. There was no food. And they let me get very close, so I could almost touch them. And then as quickly as they came, they woodshed away. Their presence felt like a vigil and was remarkably comforting.
A little further along, I came nose to nose with a small white fluffy bundle with two chocolate eyes. No leash. No collar. Just the kind of dog Laura adored. My first thought was “Wow the universe has given me a free dog. What a cutie.” I played with the little dog for about 10 minutes. No one came. There was no-one in the park. We played a little more and then I heard someone calling out a name. I passed the little fur bundle over the fence to the man who was searching. The universe couldn’t have given me better treats to distract and console me.