Laura was four years old and Marissa was just a baby when we decided to choose a kitty at the adoption fair. We picked Hairry, a young cat whose calm demeanor seemed like a good fit for our family.
But there were bumps along the road to him becoming a full-fledged family member. Hairry delighted in darting out to ambush Laura and bite her ankles, which sent her scrambling up onto the kitchen island, hopping up and down and screaming. So they didn’t immediately develop a close relationship, and we chose another young cat for Laura. Hairry became her little sister Marissa’s pet and he took his job seriously; her room and bed were his domain.
It seemed that Hairry considered himself Marissa’s cat even after she grew up and left home for her dream job. When she came home to visit, Hairry happily slept with her in her bed, purring his joy, and followed her around the house. When her visit ended, he would nap on her bed whenever I left the door to her room open, patiently awaiting her return.
Near the end of Laura’s cat’s life, we took him to the vet for the end, but it did not turn out to be as peaceful as we had wished for, so we decided that when the time came for Hairry we would let him pass away at home, if possible. It was only just a few weeks later when I could tell that it was near that time. Hairry would not eat, no matter what I tried to tempt him with and he sought out strange, small spaces in the house. I knew he wouldn’t be with us for long when I had to haul him out of the TV console where he’d hidden behind the cable box.
I was relieved when Hairry then went to lie on the cool tile in the hall bathroom corner where I could keep an eye on him. I managed to slide a fluffy towel under him, and he laid there for a couple of days. It was heart-wrenching to hear his occasional loud meows, and I would rush into the small bathroom to pet and comfort him, but he soon seemed to have slipped into a coma. When his shallow breathing finally stopped, it was difficult to accept that he was actually gone. I was so glad that my nephew Frankie was here visiting with his fiance Spencer, and it was good to have help — mentally as well as physically — in digging a grave in the backyard.
It took real determination to do the last thing that I could do for our sweet pet, a chore I never want to do. I wrapped Hairry in the fluffy towel with some yellow flowers and carried him out to the yard where we carefully tucked him into his grave. I was relieved to have that job behind me and was able to look forward to plans for the day with my family members.
Back in the house, Frankie, Spencer and I were talking about our plans for the day when we heard five distinctive meows. The mind can play tricks on us and for me, there was a split second that I thought, “Oh! Hairry is OK, I must have dreamed that bad thing that just happened,” before reality set in and I thought more practically that it must be a neighbor’s cat outside the kitchen window that I was hearing. I looked and did not see a cat, but when I turned back to Frankie, his expression was one of wide-eyed surprise.
He pointed to the Amazon Alexa unit and said, “It came through the Alexa! The blue light on top was on so I know it was the Alexa.” Spencer’s listened in disbelief and he asked Alexa to meow, which sounded entirely different than what we’d heard before. He shivered and said, “Let’s get out of here!” as he headed for the front door.
I like to think that Hairry found a way to tell me Good-bye and to let me know that he was OK. At least that’s how it is in Doris Land, i.e. in my mind. I’ve had dreams or heard things from those who have passed on before. I especially remember that after my first husband died in an airplane crash, he came to me in a dream to tell me how sorry he was that it had happened. We had a chance to talk and in a way were able to, if not say Good-bye, have a better parting than what it had been.
In Doris Land, it makes perfect sense that Hairry would find a way to let me know that he’s OK.