Eartha Kitten, who for 17 years has shared my life, slipped away quietly into the night last night and has not returned. She usually brushes against my leg, maybe to tell me that she is leaving but this time she didn’t. I did see her as I headed back to the door after throwing out trash. But I figured she would come back up to the stoop as she always does within minutes. After 3 hours of waiting I went to bed, but took a walk in the neighborhood before going to work. I called the shelter and they told me to come down, so after work I did and seeing all the cats and dogs and no Eartha —my heart which has been so full lately was suddenly starved.
(image abovefrom shewhoseeksblogspot.com)
July 24 walk 7: how would I approach the labyrinth? A rabbit startled me. once I was close, I arrived at the chant “Thy will be done” At the center I had a good raw cry, and for the first time noticed the centeredness of the center. I looked beyond the labyrinth and saw myself in it and the world beyond it. I was in the center of my world and at the same time very aware of the church, the pale sunset, the bicyclists on Germantown Pike, the trees and fields. I had an image of many labyrinths with everyone taking their paths among each other. I chanted “thank You” on the way out. My heart was back in my chest and now it was quite heavy.
When I arrived home, I knew I would not see Eartha. I think she left, to die alone. But my neighbors said, do you have a black cat? There is one sitting on Kate’s porch, two doors down, I walked down and another black cat stared at me. I felt I knew her–she looked like a younger Eartha, or a skinnier Menina, or a smaller Achilles, who when he lived was my brother’s companion. She seemed to fear me and I could not turn her into Eartha.The brief reversal reversed quickly back to the original direction.
image from http://www.oswin.co.nz/What.html