⦿ Tessa the Rescue Cat

Some years ago my neighbors, a retired couple, adopted a  young shelter rescue cat, Tessa. They’d ask me to look after her when they travelled, and Tessa and I developed a special bond – she was a sweet affectionate kitty.  When they  passed on their adult son came to clear and sell the condo; we became friends.  The situation arose of what to do about Tessa – neither of us could take her in, and I made great efforts to find her a new home.
I wrote this story to find some resolution to my emotional involvement in the situation.
This is her story, in her voice…  Warning :: this is not for everyone, not a happy ending.
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My name is Tessa. I’m 12 years old — I’m no kitten anymore.   But  ever since I was little, I’m scared  of  loud  noises and  scared about  being alone.

I have 3 brothers and one sister and when we were kittens, one day our Mama didn’t come back, never ever.  We cried and cried, we were hungry and cold and scared.  Then someone put us all in a box and took us to a scary place we didn’t like at all.  There were big dogs barking real loud and howling–we were so scared we were  trembling.  There were a bunch of other cats too,  all  ages and  sizes  and colors,  all of them yelling and screaming and crying.  It was horrible.  We never were around  other cats  before, and we  didn’t like it !
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And  right away  the 5 of us were  separated. I heard 2 of my brothers calling for  the  rest  of us,  and  we all were crying for  Mama.  But we never saw Mama again, and I never saw my sister or brothers again. It was  a  bad  place,  allright,  and  I  was  alone  now.
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“Crybaby. . you’re such a crybaby.”  It was a calico in the next cage making fun of me,  just  to  be  mean.  A  black and white cat on  my  other side said  to the  calico  “Oh you shut  up over  there,  leave  the  baby  be . .  she just lost  her  mama.”
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To me she said   “You go ahead and cry.  I know how you feel, kid—they took  my  babies  away  from  me.  But  it’ s done.  Things  will  be  ok,  you’ll  see.”     
That made me feel not so alone and scared, someone being nice to me.  I was getting used to the  constant  noise and was suddenly  sleepy.   I  laid  down on the soft towel in  the  back of  my cage.
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The people in this place came around to give us food and water twice a day.  They were nice,  saying nice things and  petting us —  but I still missed  my family real bad. Sometimes some of the cats would be taken out of  their  cages to  be  taken  somewhere  else,  but  we  didn’t  know where.  Some  of  them were  brought  back  and  they  looked  so  sad, but  they  didn’t  talk  about  it.  Sometimes people would walk around looking at all of us, maybe pointing to one and smiling, and that cat would be taken out and didn’t come back.
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The day came pretty quickly for  my turn to come out. .  and I  got  adopted !!   A lady picked ME to be her  cat !  She was a real  nice lady with a  man,  and  they took  me to  their home.  I got put in a cage again and rode in a car, that was scary.  But then I didn’t have to be  in a cage anymore and  I  wouldn’t  be  lonely  any more — I  had  a  home,  and  people !
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The lady was sweet and nice, so happy to have a companion. The man wasn’t so sure about me, but he tolerated me because I made the lady happy.  Sometimes the lady and man would leave on trips and  another Lady who lived upstairs would take care of me,  feeding me and playing with me.  I was sad when she went home but she came back later every time.  She gave me my favorite toy, my little pink mouse.
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But after a time  I was sad again, my nice lady was gone away, she died.  The man was so sad, he didn’t know what to do.  But he had a good heart and came to love me, because  I reminded him of the lady.  He got me toys and talked to me, I was happy again.
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Then he was gone too. I was scared and sad again..  When the man died, I couldn’t live there anymore, I didn’t have my own people anymore.  I was very sad.  The man’s son came  there for a while and the nice Lady upstairs tried real hard  to find me  a new home and people,  but it never happened.
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The time came for all of us to leave.  The Lady & Man caged me  .  WHY  are you doing this ?  Please,  no – I’ll be a good cat,  don’t take me there.  I’ll be good , I promise !  Please, no.
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The Lady is crying, I’m crying too.. Why are they doing this ? Everything was fine before, they liked me. The Lady brought me special treats all the time  and petted me  and played red laser dots with me a lot.  She put my favorite toy, the pink mouse, in this cage with me today.  She’s talking to me but I don’t want to listen anymore.
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I’m back at that place where I was taken as a kitten, where that nice lady came and got me out.  I do not like it here, at all !   The people that work at this place come by once a day and take some of the cats out of their cages.  They’re scared and we never see them again.  But I  think they’re getting adopted like I did before !  It will be my turn soon,  just like before. I’ll have a new home with nice people again !
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Soon it was my turn to go.  I’m going to be adopted !   A nice girl  held me as she walked, she even brought my little pink mouse too.
I heard someone say  words I didn’t understand :“This is her second time here, she’s too old now.”
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We went into a bright room with tables and cabinets and strange metal things. It smelled funny and it frightened me.  The girl handed me over to a nice man. He held me close, the way I like, and said nice things to me as he  stroked me, and said my name.
I liked that.
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“This won’t hurt a bit, Tessa . . go to sleep, sweetheart”  as he gently slipped the syringe into my leg.
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He laid her down into a cardboard box and tucked the little pink mouse between her paws.
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⦿ My Mysterious Brain

A  mystery  to  me :  In the past 10 years or so, I’ve noticed a strange thing in myself.
Numerous times when heavily involved in something,  usually either in past ongoing intense cyber chats/ email conversations, or when  engrossed in writing fiction, in the back of my mind I suddenly visualize a particular location for myself, other than where
I actually am at the time.   A few examples for particular situations :: in the living room of my childhood house, sitting on the floor with my laptop in a present day chat, or on a serene lawn under a certain giant oak,  or in a mountain vacation cabin from my teenage years.  This is where I was, in my head, when conversing with particular people.
I have no idea how these images/ vague memories came to be associated with cyber conversations many years later, but once randomly established, they were there for the duration, every time.

The way I came to think of it was : there is a virtual roulette wheel  with real random physical locations represented, which spun until stopping when I began an email or chat conversation with someone.  And that’s the place I would be, with no logic to it.

Always in the back of my mind  I’d be vaguely aware of trily believing I was in these places, as if in a fugue state almost, to the point of when the conversation stopped, I’d be somewhat surprized  and startled to find myself suddenly in my present house.  But it wasn’t with everybody – again, apparently  random.  What’s going on in my brain ! ?  haha    I wonder if this happens to anybody else.

On a smaller scale, often if I randomly recall an incident or memory while doing a particular thing, like making coffee,  then almost every time subsequently that old memory pops up.  It can be quite annoying, as the memories or incidents are not necessarily ones I care to remember endlessly ! General advice for that sort of thing is – just stop thinking about it.  That’s like saying,  stop looking at the purple elephant in the room !
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Another oddity – I read an article in a magazine years ago about a strange condition called Synesthesia, where  some people can ‘see’ certain words, letters, numbers, music, or events as particular colors.
I’d never heard of that,  and found it fascinating.  I mentioned it in passing to my stepmother after my Dad died.

I was flabbergasted when she told me : my Dad had told her  that when I was a little girl,    I was like that !  I’d say things like  ‘Today is a green day, yesterday was yellow , I like the blue fives, they’re pretty’.  My Dad never told me anything about that !  and I have absolutely zero memory of it,  and I no longer ‘experience colors’… although now I wish I still did !
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⦿ Nazis in the house

 I was remembering the time years ago when I was in France on a 2 month working vacation. A young man we worked with graciously took us to his family’s country home in a town near Paris  for a weekend.  (I’ve forgotten the name of the town).  His lovely mother still lived there, as she had as a young newlywed when the Nazis  occupied France in 1941.  Her husband was off  fighting in the war, it was just she and her mother in the house. 
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She told me that one day 4 or 5 Nazis came along the country road, barging into houses at will  ‘because they could’.  In her house they demanded a meal to be prepared, with the best wine, as they ransacked the house.  They opened books, inspected photos, opened all cabinets and drawers, etc.  They took jewelry, some other small family heirlooms, liquor, and cash, and flicked cigar ashes on her rugs…. just being the a–hole  pigs that Nazis were.  So it was not only Jews who were targeted, it was anyone they pleased to terrorize, including 2 frightened women alone… just ‘because they could’.
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As this sweet lady was telling me about the incident she began to weep and sob.  At that point it had been many years since that day, but to her it was like yesterday.  My heart ached for her.  And  I realized I was in the very same room where  actual Nazis had stood, a living history — that blew my mind !

.no Nazis !
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⦿ The Egg (‘You Died’)~ a story

   The  Egg   (also known as ‘You  Died’)..a story by Andy Weir 2009

You  were  on  your  way  home  when  you  died.
It was a car accident.  Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless.
You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you,
but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” you asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” you asked.
“Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?”
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family.  That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way.  They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right?  A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine.  A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction  of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold.  You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots and lots. And into lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?  You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” you said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere.   Somewhere else.  And there are others like me.  I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind?  You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” you said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“I’m Jesus?”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself.  Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?  Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.
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⦿ A Subtle Kind of Love ~ a story by Jake Christie

A  Subtle  Kind  of  Love              by Jake Christie. . . I love this piece !           

He loved her in a distant kind of way, the same way the sun heats the Earth.  If she were to disappear completely, he knew through pure logic that it would have no great, disastrous effect on him.  He would not cease to be; he would not stop breathing; his heart would not stop beating; the world would not stop spinning.   The sun would keep shining, radiating heat, if the Earth were not there.  On a certain, purely physical level, her absence would have absolutely  zero effect on his person.
And yet…He loved her in an abstract kind of way, the way a bee loves honey.  He wasn’t sure why he wanted to love her, but he wanted to love her just the same.  Maybe somebody told him once that he should be in love with somebody, so he felt a need to pick somebody and it happened to be her.  Maybe being in love was nice, sure,  but he didn’t need to be.
And yet…He loved her in a removed kind of way, the way a butterfly’s wings can start a tsunami halfway around the world.
He knew that it had an effect on her, but he wasn’t sure how great.  On a certain level he was aware that if he were to stop, if he were to disappear, it would have a drastic effect. For him it would be one less flap of his wings, in a manner of speaking,  if such a thing were possible without him falling from  the sky.
And yet…He loved her in a subtle kind of way.  It wasn’t the kind of love you see in movies, with swelling music and giant gestures and running through the streets to catch a departing train. It wasn’t the kind of love that Byron or Shakespeare wrote about, with flowery language and hyperbole and iambic pentameter. It was still and deep, like water that you might mistake for shallow if you just watched the surface.  It was entirely his, not dependent on her own feelings for him, and it would still be there whether she, or he, or everyone else in the world disappeared.
It  was  a  subtle  kind  of  love,  but  it  was  true.  And  she  loved  him  just  the  same.  ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
©Jake Christie