A few days ago I received a post from Serena on my Youtube vid ‘All Cats Go To Heaven’. She was upset because five months previously her beloved cat had run away, and Serena didn’t know if she was alive or had died—no closure.
I know how she feels, and it inspired me to share my story with you all. I know there must be more cat (and other pet) lovers out there who have been or are in the same situation.
Some years ago, my beautiful cat Sheckley–whom I adored–ran away when I moved house. (She never coped well with change.)
I had got Sheckley from the RSPCA when she was just a kitten. She was a moggy, but she had the prettiest face I’d ever seen. She and I were very close—she would always sleep with me, even burrowing in under the blankets with me! She seemed sophisticated and dignified to me—I always imaged that if she was human she’d be a beautiful willowy woman, all class and confidence. She wasn’t great with everyone (she was fussy about the company she kept!), but we were great together.
When I had to move house suddenly, I had to move in with my sister temporarily while I was looking for a new place to live. But unfortunately, my sister was allergic to cats, so I had to depend on a friend of a friend to look after my two cats—Feynman and Sheckley.
(Some of you will know Feynman from my posts on Facebook and this website. He died about a year ago at the age of 15—and just btw, I’m a bit of a science and SF nut, so (just in case you’re wondering 🙂 was named after the brilliant physicist Richard Feynman, and Sheckley was named after…can you guess?…one of my favorite Science Fiction (SF) authors, Robert Sheckley. Just so you know 🙂
Anyway, I had told this acquaintance that she would have to keep the doors and windows closed because although I knew Feynman wouldn’t run away (he was very placid), I knew that Sheckley would (she would try to find me). I hoped this would only be for a week. The acquaintance agreed. I visited the cats every day to reassure them that I was still around. However, it turns out that my acquaintance was not all that vigilant. In fact, I don’t think she cared too much at all. On about the fifth day when I visited, I was told the devastating news that Sheckley was missing. A window was left open. I was devastated, gutted. It was all I could do to not go crazy on the lady who had been so careless (she genuinely was—that was her personality).
For months I door knocked and put up posters in my old suburb (in case Sheckley was trying to find her way back to my old house) and in the suburb where she went missing. I tried everything. I door knocked house to house, street after street, day after day. I visited all the businesses in the area, especially food places, in case she was looking for food scraps. Nothing.
My heart broke, just not knowing where she was, how she was, if she was scared or alone, dead or alive. It was utterly devastating. Not knowing. Not being able to help her. I’ve never felt so helpless.
Around this time I had read a book by Robin Norwood called ‘Why Me? Why This? Why Now?’. In it Robin spoke briefly about communicating with animal spirits. I thought I would try to reach her, to see if she could help. (Yes, I am in the habit of writing to authors all over the world, and you’ll be happy to know I usually get a reply :). So I wrote to Robin, via her publisher (this was in the snail mail days), not really hopeful that it would even reach her.
It did! And she was kind enough to write me a four page response. I had included a picture of Sheckley in my letter, and Robin told me that she had passed over, but that she was happy and that she knew I loved her (amongst many other interesting and comforting things). I was suffering terrible guilt because I felt like I had abandoned her, let her down. It was so sad, but still of comfort to me to know this.
This was many years ago, in the 1990s. Since then, I have studied and practised quite a lot about karma and spirituality, and I have had many special insights of my own. Robin gave me a gift back then, but I now know, of course, that Sheckley and I were always connected, and that she and I will meet again. I also know that love never dies, and that the ones we love always receive the love we send, no matter where they are and where we are. I know this because I have experienced this myself. If you have a story like mine and Serena’s, I know that you and the cat you love will meet again. And I know that you are still connected now.
I hope this is of some comfort to you. Take heart–the love you shared is as real now as it was then, and always will be.
(If you like, you can post your story and a picture of your beloved cat to share with others who understand your experience. It can be very healing. I’ll leave that entirely up to you, though 🙂 Best wishes to you all. BJ xx)
About the Author: BJ Burman
BJ Burman is a writer, researcher, healer, advisor and teacher. All through her childhood and adult life, she has shared her life with animals, every one of them dearly loved. She is also a passionate supporter of animal rights and animal conservation.
In addition, BJ has always been interested in spirituality and religion, both academically and personally. When she became personally involved in Eastern philosophy and religion, she became specifically interested in death & dying (and what really happens to us).
Over the years, she has studied and researched the subject of death & dying, and the associated grief, particularly from a spiritual perspective, under the guidance of respected Buddhist, Hindu and Christian teachers from the USA, Britain and Australia. These great traditions, have so much to teach on the reality of life and death.
BJ has worked in the education sector for nearly 20 years, as a teacher (particularly in a pastoral care role) of adolescents and adults, helping them to not only navigate their path in education, but also navigate their way through personal life obstacles for the happiest outcomes.
Bj holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, a Graduate Diploma of Teaching, Graduate qualifications in Linguistics/TESOL, Masters in Comparative World Religions and is a published author for national and international magazine print publications in the field of health and well-being.
It seems only natural to her to combine her love of animals with her interest in death & dying to create a genuinely compassionate and supportive forum for humans who must say good-bye to the animals they love so much.
It is BJ's deep desire to provide guidance and comfort for humans to help their beloved animals live and die in peace.