First let me preface this story by saying that this is not a sad mystery. Far from it. It is mystery filled with lots of love, hope and joy.
One of the cats fortunate enough to adopt my Dad and Mom was loving known as Paws. While her real name was Elizabeth, a beautiful long-hair calico, she became known as Paws because of her extra toes. Elizabeth, aka Paws, was essentially abandonded by her owners even though they still lived in the neighborhood. Paws was so very kind and gentle and was friendly with everyone, she just really wanted a place to be loved and attented. Y’all know my home, so there probably isn’t any doubt that she found exactly what she was seeking, and then some.
Paws lived to be 20 years old before she had to leave for the Bridge. My Dad and Mom were understandably heartbroken. Getting over that loss was difficult. But just a couple of days later someone who bred Siamese cats ended up with a calico in the litter. To make a long story short, their young human had let the female Siamese outside (which was a no-no) while she was in heat. They ended up with a calico that they did not want. I know, I know, but not everyone is good and kind. Anyways, they had taken the calico kitten to a local pet store so that she could find her forever home.
Our Grandma, not the one that lives close to us, the one who left for her Bridge several years ago, knew where she belonged. She went and got the tiny Calico kitten. And listen, I’m talking tiny here, so tiny she came in a parakeet box! The rest fell into place and my Dad and Mom, in honor of Paws, named the tiny kitten Bethie.
Bethie was so loved by Dad and Mom and they were together for 16 years, until Bethie got that dreaded Cancer and asked to go to the Bridge. Now I never met Bethie, that was before me, but my Brother Ivan told me all about her. From what I could gather, Bethie was very particular in what she liked and didn’t like. She was also very particular about was she did and what she wouldn’t do.
So, let’s fast-forward to a couple of years ago…or so. One of the regular Saturday morning stops for Dad and Mom was PetSmart. Not only did they go for cat food, but since Kitten Action Team (my wonderful rescue group) is housed there, they always took the opportunity to check out the new arrivals. One Saturday morning the nice lady who runs the Kitten Action Team said to them, “you’ve got to come here and see what I’ve got” as she escorted Dad and Mom into the back room. There, in a cage, was a beautiful blue-eyed girl that someone had left is a cage, overnight, outside of the PetSmart. Is this starting to sound a wee bit familiar? It might not to my newer readers, but to those who have been with me a while, you’ve probably recognized that it was Sister Sascha in that cage.
My Mom took one look into those eyes and said to my Dad “that’s Bethie”. Now Sascha isn’t a Calico and Bethie didn’t have blue eyes. But my Mom insisted that she was Bethie. Dad just thought she was beautiful and told the nice lady with Kitten Action Team that she was coming home with us. Of course she couldn’t come home that day as she had to go through the standard tests that Kitten Action Team required. All the while my Mom kept telling my Dad that it was almost time to bring Bethie home.
I’m sure all of you already realized this, but Moms are always right! My Mom knew it was Bethie, well, Bethie’s spirit and soul anyways. Mom knew it. Hardly anytime had passed before the truth began to show itself. Bethie had just a few favorite places in our house. When Sascha first came here and was in self seclusion, the only places she felt safe were, yes, Bethie’s favorite places. And then Dad realized that the only foods that Sascha cared to eat were the only foods that Bethie would eat. The same went for treats, Bethie would only eat one kind of treat in just one flavor, and that is the only one that Sister Sascha will eat. The looks she gives to Dad and Mom and the way she gives head butts are also identical as is the way she plays with that favorite toy, which was still here. Bethie loved the Christmas tree more than any cat that ever lived here, and when the Christmas Tree is up you will find Sascha happily napping under it most of the time. But it really is more that all of those physical things, I think y’all know exactly what I’m talking about here, when you look deep into the eyes of another and your heart just knows. Besides, the math works. Sascha, based on her age, would have been born at about the time Bethie departed.
Now you know one of the many reasons Sister Sascha has brought so much joy to our lives. And not just because she came home again. Sister Sascha, just by being Sister Sascha brings her own brand of joy.
The mystery isn’t how she came back. Us felines know that we always come back, almost immediately after we depart. Us felines also know that the humans have really messed up that whole nine lives thing. We don’t always have nine lives while we’re here, but we do get to come back nine times. But since each time we come back our new vessel gets nine lives, the possibilities become endless.
The real unsolved mystery in our household is how did Bethie end up as Sascha and return to exactly the same place from where she left? That rarely ever happens…something to with the law of physics I hear. What or who guided her back to the family who loved her so much and now has the a chance to continue the love?
Our Unsolved Mystery will likely never be solved, but in the mean time Dad and Mom are thankful for the second chance. I am delighted for the first chance and am most thankful to know that all is possible when love is involved. Some mysteries are not meant to be solved, only enjoyed.