As happens around the holidays, when I am missing my feline soul mate, Bastet, who has gone on to other realms, I may feel a tenderness and heaviness in my chest and a tightening in my throat. Can you relate?
Here’s what I do
I breathe gentleness and kindness into those tender places in my chest and throat.
If I’m at home, I light a tiny candle on a little altar that has a small cat statue (the Egyptian cat goddess) and I whisper some words to my Bastet. These are personal words of love. Like a prayer, just between the two of us.
I think about that place that I’ve read about—the place described by people who have had near-death experiences. They describe a place that feels more even more real than this world. They describe a sense of love greater than they’ve ever known.
And I think of this poem by Henry Scott Howard:
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you for an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.
All is well.
I created this blog as a response to losing Bastet. I created it in hopes of uniting with cat lovers around the world around the theme of figuring out how to help our cats have longer, healthier, happier lives.
But it’s also about affirming the soul connection we feel with these feline friends.
Writing about cat food is only half the story for me
There was something else that I longed to talk about with you.
So this year I found myself writing a book called Soul Comfort for Cat Lovers: Coping Wisdom for Heart and Soul After the Loss of a Beloved Feline, which includes Henry’s poem and so much more.