An excerpt from
The Incarnation of CatMan Billy
by Will Jordan
Chapter Three: First Hunter of the Night
Billy grew, and began to learn Cat. As the days went by, he got stronger and quicker and found firsthand that cats do just fine. Fluffy was a great Mom. She took care of her kittens and just let him be, much to his amazement. He ran around and jumped on his brothers and sisters, and they jumped on him, and they'd tumble, and then they'd all eat and go to sleep - a big heap of furry love. It was wonderful, and his thoughts soared.
I don't have to do anything. I can just be a kitten. It’s Heaven. Could this be Heaven? I get to be reborn, get my food, and receive all the love I want? Feels like it. I mean I sometimes look at my mother and wonder if she knows, but then I fall asleep or something.
Billy bounced his way across the brown shag carpet, jumped on his gray and white brother, DustyBug, somersaulting right over his head, and squealed with the sheer joy attack.
“Git off me ya idiot,” mewed Dusty, even as he laughed and braced his legs for the counterattack to Billy’s belly. A strong leap took him right onto Billy’s soft outstretched middle.
“Oh no you don’t – you gotta catch me first,” said Billy rolling, and took off, slamming against Mother Fluffy and scrambling under the pleated skirt at the bottom of a stuffed footstool. Billy’s eyes exactly matched the color of the stool, but what made for beautiful iridescent cat’s eyes made for a sickly yellow-green in furniture.
“Boys ….” And her voice trailed away with an indulgent smile as she watched them play paddle paws from opposite sides of the skirting. She surveyed the living room with her four kittens, the two boys fighting contentedly while of her two girls, Black was busy grooming herself, spreading her tiny back paws wide and diligently licking between her toes, and Pink lay sound asleep, flopped full-length on a chair in the warm Spring morning sun.
Quiet contentment, all was well in the still living room; and yet as Fluffy walked into the kitchen over to the food bowls and sniffed disinterestedly at some dry food, she glanced back at Billy. What is it about that boy? He seems normal, and then he’s gone – somewhere else – somewhere I can’t find him. Right now he’s just every mother’s dream - head kitten of the litter, growing and running and then ‘poof,’ he’s somewhere else. Well here he comes now. – full speed as usual with Dusty on his tail.
“Going out Mom,” he yelled in passing, out the door before she could respond. Oh, isn’t he a fine boy, she thought so proudly.
They were now allowed out. At first outside, they’d followed Mama Fluff around and jumped on her tail, or on her when she sat down. She’d periodically shake them off, and they’d roll around and kick their back legs up and squirm to their feet and chase her, or a leaf if it caught their attention. Now it was later spring and warmer, and the kittens were expanding their territory. Not just leaves and seeds, but new smells and bugs that crawled and flew.
Late April was giving way to May, and life had burst full open in the first heat, flowers blooming, and bees drawn by the pollen proved irresistibly fun. They hovered and buzzed – such an exciting new sound to kitten ears and the flowers actually tingled the nose when a bee was in them. Mama Fluff had warned them all to stay clear of bees, but Dusty just couldn’t help but swat one out of the air – and proudly at that. He got it!
And it got him. His left paw swelled up. Mama licked it, but the poison was already in and the stinger was far too small to see. It began to throb, and he couldn’t walk on it without limping – and finally his human mommy saw him and picked him up.
“Why DustyBug look at you. That paw looks like a catcher’s mitt. What did that? A bee or did something bite you? – lemme look,” and with that Dusty was unceremoniously put on his back as she poked around his paw. “Well no bite marks so I guess you’re a lucky little boy - only a bee.”
Dusty didn’t know what a catcher’s mitt was but reckoned he didn’t want to at this point as he limped over toward the food bowl and looked plaintively up.
“Oh ok, you can have a treat Buggie,” as she tossed a couple delectable little Pounce nuggets that tasted so good to him. The others made a dash at this luck, but he had taken no chances – gulping all of them at once, but savoring the last one slowly.
Billy wandered out the back door and around the juniper bush to the left, dreaming to himself about what he might see today. I saw a grasshopper yesterday, and it was so fast, but I was almost as fast, and it was so much fun because he'd fly and jump, and I'd pounce and pounce, and I couldn't quite get him, but I knew I would pretty soon, I just couldn’t quite yet.
The reverie of kitten magnificence shifted as he fantasized of not only catching the grasshopper but many glorious future deeds to be done. He’d heard tell in Mama’s bedtime stories of mice and birds and animals he couldn’t even conceive of, let alone remember now.
Won’t it be grand when I’m king of the yard? Billy thought absently to himself. And as he thought that -- he felt something he'd never felt before. His stomach knotted. This was not ‘king of the yard.’ He was next to a planter, and knew that someone was watching. He froze, but where was it? Who was it? It didn't feel like his human family – no, people were a little too clumsy. He could always tell when they were watching. It wasn't Mommy because she didn't hit this way. She just loved him – even when she gave him ‘that’ look. This stopped him and pinned him down, hard.
He looked around the planter and over toward the juniper bushes; fear gripped him again and ever so slightly he looked up, and there - there was a cat unlike any he'd ever seen, unlike anything in his short kitty lifetime. No question who it was - no question in his little kitty mind. It was the Grey – staring - hawk-like - motionless. Grey froze his heart and belly – he had no will to move.
“Billy, Sunterra tells me I am to teach you. Get out of your fear and understand that you could be dead now,” said Grey with the imperious dispassion of a veteran warrior.
“Don't call me Mister Grey,” he snapped, “I’m not YOUR cat anymore. I am your teacher. I am a cat – and so are you. You will call me Grey.”
“Ok Grey. What… uh, why would I be killed?” responded Billy, an unknown guilt rising up inside, wondering if he had done something wrong to merit this attack.
“I didn't say I was going to kill you,” he said pointedly. “I said you could be dead now. You were not paying attention.”
As Billy looked at Grey, he wasn't sure if he saw a bird of prey or a cat. Grey was luminous, with thick, rich fur and eyes that didn't flinch in their certainty. And Billy realized inside that he’s everything I’m not ... he terrifies me.
“Billy, quit being afraid.”
“Uh..what? Can you read my mind?”
“Billy, Masters don't have to read your mind; we know your mind. Now get out of fear and pay attention to me. Sit up and look like a cat. You look like a pathetic human who has just wet his pants.”
Whoa, I guess he really can read me, cuz that’s sure the way I feel, thought Billy. But jeez, this is...he was a really nice cat when I knew him ... and I don't understand this.
“Billy, be quiet inside. When you talk that way, you do little to help yourself. It is negative, and Cats are never negative. You are reacting to all that human energy you carried over from your last life – living in emotion and then trying to cover yourself – instead of just being you.”
And with that he leaped from the planter, over Billy’s head with such power. Fluffy was beautiful, but GreyCat - the bands of muscle stood out as he leapt, the striations, not just spectral but physical - and always the focus of those hawk-like green eyes as he pivoted on landing, facing squarely.
“Billy I'm going to teach you to hunt,” said Grey directly.
“Oh good. I guess I can do that. I almost caught a grasshopper this morning,” said Billy chirping happily, glad he could finally do something Grey asked of him.
“Please Billy. The first thing to hunting is not to do anything. Your idea of doing nothing is to curl up in a ball and dream about your next meal. So listen - this is your first lesson.”
“Ok Grey. How do I...how do I learn,” asked Billy, eager to please but far more tentative than before. “Aren't I just sort of...I'm a cat, and don't I just hunt?”
“Would you shut up and listen? You are falling into your humaness, looking for words to justify what you didn't do or don’t know. Now ... did you notice me back there?”
“Do you know why?”
“Well, I wasn’t looking. I didn't see ya,” answered Billy shortly, beginning to get a little irritated.
“Yes. That is pretty obvious,” he responded acidly, warming to his task. “But do you know why?”
“No..ummm, I guess I … .”
“Right and neither would a bird or squirrel or rabbit. I was invisible to you Billy -- you did not see me -- because I was not in your universe.”
“What do you mean? Of course you were,” said Billy defensively.
“If I'd been in your universe of awareness,” answered Grey in a slow, measured, deliberate manner, “you would have seen me, but you didn't - that is being invisible.
“Well then Grey - how do I become invisible?” said Billy in a prove-it-to-me tone.
“You have to learn to hold your energy Billy,” answered Grey quietly.
“Hold my energy?” What do you mean by that?”
Billy wondered how long this was going to go on. When Sunterra had told him he was going to be taught by his SpiritCat Guides, he had thought that some of his old cat friends were going to come by and chat – this seemed more like an assault. Grey had always been a great hunter, but couldn’t he just teach without all this? He found himself resisting Grey, resisting the very power and certainty embodied in this Hunter.
“Billy, do you notice anything different about me from the other cats you know? Or from those people?” asked Grey, knowing perfectly well the effect of his graceful power on the kitten.
“Ummm … you scare me Grey...you scare me a lot … and I gotta say this whole thing is pissing me off right now.”
“Why do I scare you Billy? I'm just sitting here,” answered Grey smoothly, ignoring the jab.
“I know Grey, but I can't feel you. I can feel everyone else. Mommy loves me and my human Mommy loves me, but you ... I can't make contact. You aren't far away, but you are. I can't reach you, and so I don’t know how to react,” said Billy almost pleading, but realizing his own wonder at Grey, even as he spoke. Much as he tried to ‘feel’ Grey to know how to react, he couldn’t.
“I know Billy, and you keep trying,” responded Grey in apparent quiet sympathy, “my energy is staying inside; it is not going out as yours is, and I’m not letting yours in either. I'M connected to the earth Billy in a way that YOU aren't. YOUR energy is going all over. YOU’RE a fluff ball. YOU’RE very cute. YOU’RE adorable. AND YOU’LL GET EATEN BY THE FIRST PREDATOR THAT COMES AROUND.”
Grey delivered this with force and sat back on his haunches, watching Billy acutely, behind the ever-staring eyes, which gave nothing away. He expected resistance – the few kittens who didn’t resist were either not paying attention or were born hunters and accepted this force as natural. Billy appeared to be neither. He waited, as he would await a bird into his trap, allowing Billy to show himself. It didn’t matter how Billy reacted, or how long it took – only that he got the point.
“So what do I do Grey?” asked Billy a little numbly, stunned into humility as the truth of Grey’s power resonated through each cell of his young cat body. Sunterra may be Lord of Cats, thought Billy to himself, but Grey has to be the Power – and I still can’t feel him directly. It’s as though he speaks from inside of me – not to me.
“Silence inside. Once you begin this Billy, you will no longer be like the other kittens. You will begin to be a Hunter.”
“Sunterra told me to pay attention to you...so what do I do?” asked Billy, feeling more than a little feeble.
“The first thing is ... you don't do it because Sunterra told you to. You do it because it is going to save your life. If you don't choose it, you can't have it. You're not like the other kittens, and therefore you have to be aware. You are a big spirit in a small body. THEY are kittens living kitten lives. You look like a kitten, but you know more. You know differently.”
For all his resistance, Billy had to agree with Grey on this. He was already acutely aware that Fluffy looked at him differently and that he was always a step ahead of the other kittens … or several steps behind.
“Your first lesson is in connection to the earth. If you are going to be invisible to hunt, you must control your energy. As I said before, when your energy is all over everywhere, then not only will every predator, but every bird, every mouse, and every rabbit see you and run away - and you'll starve. I don’t care if you’re thinking about how much you love your Mother, if your energy is out there, you will be seen.”
“Doesn’t sound very friendly Grey,” said Billy somewhat timidly.
“Friendly? This isn’t about friendly Billy,” said Grey without a hint of laughter – incredulously thinking to himself: that isn’t a cat question. “It is about eating and not getting eaten. Now imagine a bubble of your energy right around you. And your tail, yeah that fluffy little thing - yes that’s the one … imagine it going straight down to the center of the earth…”
Imagine it? wondered Billy to himself. What in the world …
“Yes just imagine it,” as Grey cut him off, “your imagination holds all the power to do anything you need to. Let your tail grow all the way from the base of your spine to the center of the Earth. Notice as you connect, you can feel the contact and the release -- it tugs as if it were water down a stream – clearing your whole bubble - body and all, and then added silently right into Billy’s head, “But that’s only on the physical. Imagination lets you release all the other as well – stuff you aren’t even aware of.”
“I can feel it, but what am I releasing? I’m just a kitten,” he asked plaintively, looking for sympathy.
Yet even as he said that, Billy knew he not only could feel it, but noticed himself feeling more connected to the earth. The combination brought the ecstatic feeling of release, but also the querying sense of ... ‘uh oh, what now?’
“You are a kitten Billy, but you're also an old human soul. You've been around before, and you have energy from this lifetime as well as others; you are only becoming aware of it now though.”
“But what do you mean by energy Grey?” asked Billy in genuine wonder now at what was happening. “You’ve said ‘holding your energy’ and your ‘energy is staying inside’ but what do you mean? I got plenty of energy most of the time.”
“We’re not talking that kind of energy Billy, I’m talking about you as a Spirit – you as an essence of cat in a body. As a being in a body, you shine like the sun – you radiate heat, light … energy – and just like the sun, other beings feel you. That’s the way you know how someone feels as you said earlier. You know Fluffy, and you know your human Mom by the way they feel, even if you don’t see them – you are still in touch with their energy and know how to react to the way they feel.
“On the other paw, you don’t feel me,” said Grey with quiet authority.
“Right, and that’s why I’m wondering – wondering what I need to do with this, and how I can make contact with you.”
Frustration rose and Billy felt increasingly small and left out as Grey kept ignoring question after question. Feeling others just seemed normal, and Grey wasn’t playing by that.
“As I said,” replied Grey, once again skipping Billy’s query, “when you send your energy out to the world, every hunter will see you, all your prey will see you and that energy sticks to everything around you. You become weaker.”
“What’s weird is … I can’t feel you so I’m not sure how to react Grey,” said Billy, genuinely flustered.
“As a Hunter there is only one way to act: Your Way,” answered Grey sternly to drive the point home while again ignoring Billy’s comment. “And that doesn’t mean reacting to the way others feel, or making others do what you want. It means you have absolute certainty of your action – and certainty begins by connecting, and draining everyone’s influence off you – so you can be you.”
Billy sat wondering if he would ever have that kind of certainty - and wondering how in the world he would hold his energy in. At the same time, a self-righteous indignation rose up in Billy – why was he being challenged? It felt like punishment. Just the way Grey said things irritated him: “Do this.” “See that.” “You are.” Man, doesn’t he ever relax and just talk?
“I do, but not when I’m teaching you,” murmured Grey gracefully, much to Billy’s surprise again that he could be read so clearly. “If I just let you sit, you’d wander off into all sorts of grand dreams and never learn to hunt.
“Oh yeah, and before I get pulled into your comments and forget - one last thing in this process - as you connect to the earth would you mark the outside your bubble with some catnip leaves please?
“Catnip?” asked Billy with honest consternation, taken completely off guard. “Huh? What? uh How?”
“Just so you can see and imagine the edge of your bubble more easily – put it in front and back, side to side and above and below you - all directions.
“So it’s like I’m sitting in a fishbowl in the middle of a catnip patch?” said Billy, more than a little uncertainly but with plenty of sarcasm.
“You might say that,” said Grey calmly, refusing to get caught in the taunt, “but please connect and release the anger Billy. And yes, these leaves will protect and let you know where energy is coming at you as well as let you know when your energy is leaving your own bubble. It just lets you know: Inside, it’s me - everything else is not me.”
“That sounds good, but how do they do that?” Billy asked wondering how imaginary leaves were going to do anything for him.
This seemed to be getting stranger as they went along. In fact, instead of getting his questions answered, they seemed to be multiplying.
“By intent,” said Grey with quiet intensity. “Let’s take a look at a really simple example. You remember the other day when you and your brother were drinking milk, and you were lying on top of him?” asked Grey calmly. “And Susie came up and said, 'Mommy, mommy look at them they're on top of each other - they can't be that way, and she picked you up?”
“Yeah … and we were doing fine,” said Billy, feeling secure in at least one answer to Grey.
“Of course you were - you are kittens. And what did she do?” asked Grey, now enjoying leading Billy.
“Well she made us lie side by side so I wasn't on top of him,” said Billy with a bit of irritation.
“Right Billy. Her energy went all over you – I want you to connect to the center of the earth right now and release it.”
“OK, I can do that,” said Billy obediently, “but why’d she do that Grey?” he added, beginning to let doubt enter.
“She couldn’t SEE the truth of you and your brother as kittens comfortably drinking milk - so she used her human thought… that she wouldn't be comfortable eating with her brother on top of her, and she figured that would be the way you were. Her energy is all over you Billy. You weren't good enough the way you were as she saw it.”
“Yes I was,” said Billy, finally finding some certainty.
“Not in her eyes Billy, even though you are perfect. In her eyes you weren't good the way you were, and you needed fixing - so she fixed you her way, and you couldn't eat, could you?”
“No, it was tough Grey,” said Billy, voicing frustration.
“And you had to wait until she went away didn't you?” said Grey softening.
“Now what was that lesson for, Billy?”
“Lesson?” said a startled Billy in wonder.
“Yes, lesson Billy - what did you learn? Nothing is by accident.”
“I don't know Gray,” he said, anxiety rising by the moment as he searched for a suitable answer.
“Billy, look at that lesson. If something is working, you don't need to fix it. She was fixing something she didn't understand because she didn't know any better. I mean - as though a kitten doesn't know how to suck milk from its mother?” said Grey with indignation.
With that exclamation he eased back, flicking his tail, watching with neutral intensity as Billy absorbed the notion. The feigned exasperation, the emphasized expression, the acted force of delivery, now sphinx-like, Grey observed the swirl of confusion in his student. Questions, anger, resistance - all pounding inside Billy; and Billy still couldn’t feel Grey. He couldn’t feel and yet the energy seemed to grow inside. The more he couldn’t feel the more he chafed, and the louder the roar in his ears.
“I feel like I’m gonna explode Grey – what are you doing to me?”
“Just connect Billy. I am doing nothing to you. I am sitting asking you questions,” whispered Grey now with a twinkle in his eye. “Notice now that you cannot feel me now any more than when we first met. That means the energy is inside YOU - not coming from me.”
Billy wondered how he could feel something inside himself that wasn’t him. It didn’t make sense. It made no sense at all to him.
“You are right Billy – it makes no sense to think of this,” said Grey, speaking Billy’s thoughts back to him. “I only ask that you be aware of yourself quieting as this moves out – you are fine – be aware of YOU and not focused on the release of this outside energy. Let that energy from Susie go right down your tail so you can be you. If you have just Billy energy, you're fine. If you have anyone else's energy, you're not fine. Notice how different it feels when you start.”
He settled in, feeling the tug on his tail as he released Susie’s energy. Nothing dramatic, just the soft slow knowing that he felt more himself and less crowded in his body. Power grew silently inside him as this energy slid away, getting recycled deep in the earth.
“Observe too that if your energy is all over everyone else...it can’t be there for you – you become weaker. When little Susie moved you and your brother, her energy was not around her -- it was all over you. She coated you AND,” said Grey with emphasis, “at the same time she became weaker by giving her energy away. You will learn not to give yours away so casually.”
Billy sat letting her energy flow down his tail and pondered what Grey was saying. Nothing that Grey had said made sense, and yet it made perfect sense. How could energy be inside him that wasn’t him? How come if he couldn’t feel Grey, then his whole body reacted to what was said? What was this he was releasing?
“Billy, come out of your dream and just be here please – tell me what you notice in your body,” said Grey softly.
“Grey, it feels warm and silent … and strong … I couldn’t imagine her energy slowing me …”
“I know you couldn’t … that is why I had to show you, and didn’t just talk about it. You and I could have talked about this all day and nothing would have happened. You HAD to see it - and feel it - and experience all that you did, the good AND the bad Billy. You are perfect as spirit. You can’t be less than perfect. Anything that says you aren’t perfect– is outside judgment placed into your space in this life or others.”
Billy let this notion wash over him as so many words and thoughts jumbled with so many pictures – all swirling in his head at the same time. The way Grey talked at one level, and showed him things at another, was confusing and clear all in at the same time. The idea that he came in perfect didn’t really fit with how he felt. His kitten body seemed too tight, stuffed too full of his humaness right now. But it did fit absolutely with the picture in his mind that he was a perfect point of awareness inside his bubble - so he sat watching both sides happen. What else can I do? he thought with a frustrated shrug. It’s like he’s got me either way - and he sat there simply allowing it to flow.
“Now Billy, after you release energy from others – you must fill your body consciously, or it will begin to fill in automatically with whatever is around you – and that may be garbage. As a hunter, you choose – you are not a garbage collector. So right now, choose what you want to fill in with. Imagine the bright sun right over your head and fill that sun with your energy called back from everywhere you’ve left it today and this week.”
“Everywhere Grey?” asked Billy incredulously.
“Yes, everywhere you can think of – the food bowl, the yard, the people, your various beds – everywhere you go. When you have filled that sun with your energy, let it come in your head and down through your shoulders and body and legs. You might set the energy of that sun at something you like such as a full belly or great sleep or maybe even certainty at being a cat,” said Grey with what appeared to be a soft laugh.
As Billy filled in, the sense of warmth and wholeness flooded him. A feeling of amazement that such simple lessons could make him feel so intensely – and so intensely different. How could he go from obliviously walking in his backyard as a kitten to fearing for his life - and then to immense anger at Grey for showing him outside energy in his space – and then to clearing it and restoring his balance? And now, feeling that Grey had not so much tortured and beaten him as he had felt earlier – but that he had just been shown his true self through all the judgment and pain he had carried – and he didn’t have a clue at what happened on the journey except that it had happened and now he felt safe and warm inside. That, and a feeling of gratitude so profound all he could say was a simple, “Thank you Grey.”
“It’s nothing Billy,” said Grey. “You've done well on connecting - notice how your brother and sisters don't even see us - just as you didn't see me awhile ago. Let’s watch them in the stillness.”
Billy and Grey settled in the connected quiet as Pink readied her pounce on Dusty, coming by the same spot where Billy had first felt Grey. One easy jump to either of them from the planters, yet they were as oblivious as Billy had been. So this is invisibility thought Billy to himself. Cool.
“You’re doing a good job. Now be aware that you touch the earth – you are a part of the earth. The Great Mother Cat heals all. Feel her. Draw her energy up into your paws. Let her fill your paws and move up into your legs and, as the energy goes into your shoulders and hips, let it flow effortlessly down your back to your connection and back into the Earth. Her energy will heal you and clean you. What do you notice Billy?”
“Connecting makes me quiet, but bringing in Mother Earth makes me strong.”
Billy sat quietly marveling at the vibrating power as he brought in earth energy – how long had he been walking and never thought to draw the energy into his paws?
“No judgment Billy, that isn’t you. Release it,” said Grey quickly.
Drawing in Earth energy gave Billy a sense of readiness, a power in and beyond himself of which he was now a part. At once larger than his kitten body and yet perfectly balanced inside it, he felt Mother Earth talking - old beyond his kitten time, old beyond his human time – the steadiness of rock, the fertility of spring soil - vision of floods and seas, mountains and deserts swirled before him. Life rising from water itself - the awe of One before his very eyes demanding that he Know, demanding that he See.
“What am I seeing Grey?”
“You are seeing the Earth as you bring Her in – this is rare - most only feel her. It doesn’t matter that you see her – just say ‘Hello’ to the Mother Cat, and don’t get lost,” said Grey, recognizing Billy’s immense awareness and making a note of it. Sunterra will be most interested that Billy sees the earth and those upon it. Now I wonder how this will change his teaching? reflected Grey, watching Billy ever more closely.
“But it is demanding that I understand.”
“Yes always Billy. And that understanding is in seeing and knowing and saying hello to your Mother – not in thinking. Connect and bring in your earth energy,” said Grey softly, “and put your attention out into the Sky Billy. Bring energy from a your favorite Sky place right to your head, and let it enter and run down your back all the way to your connection cord, and let it go down your tail. This Sky energy is where you learn, and get your inspiration – let the Sky clarify and purify you as surely as the Mother Cat heals you. Then let the earth and sky energy mix and run right up your belly and out the top of your head, right next to where it came in. Notice the tingle? That tingle is energy releasing from you. Remember Susie, and her energy on you? This will help you let the rest of that go back into the earth to free you and give her back her own.”
"Grey, I feel asleep and awake at the same time - this is really strange," as he searched for words to explain the newfound feeling. And then to himself - I can feel my body – but I can feel the energy releasing from me as separate from my body – as though I am sitting right here and also outside watching it at the same time. Watching the outside from inside? This makes no sense, but it’s amazing.
"You will get used to it Billy. You are aware of both worlds now – you are physically in this world, but you can get to the other where you will learn more - you are ready."
"I don't know what to say Grey," said Billy, quivering with an awe he knew he didn’t understand.
"Then don't say anything. It's really that simple. Now walk over to the barn and prepare for your next lesson,” said Grey in his directness.
“Next lesson? What? What am I supposed to do?” said Billy falling right out of his heightened state - and then wondering What next? No rest? Just go till I drop?
“Billy, you are feeling sorry for yourself and falling back in human fear. Why? Connect and release that junk before I slap you one,” said Grey with a laugh. We are here to teach. Now go, and when you get there, sit – run your Earth and Sky energy and wait to see what you see.”
“No buts, Billy – keep your awareness with you at all times though.”
Billy walked quietly back along the juniper hedge from the planter near the house, trying to make sense of the gamut of emotions he had just felt, wondering about what he was now going to the barn to learn. From being an innocent driven to fear, to anger and resistance, to clearing it all, he laughed at what he had chosen. This is just amazing kept ringing quietly in his head, laughing that he was both feeling the sensations in his body as well as seeming to see them from outside, or was it in? – all at the same time. And yet nobody else knows I’m any different at all – they’d probably think I was crazy if they knew.
He looked over at Pink and Dusty Bug now lying in the pansy patch taking half-hearted pokes at each other, obviously about to be overcome by sleepiness as the early afternoon drowsies hit. The warm sun of late spring indeed made the world feel like a nap was in order - and yet Billy found his emotions careening from the flush of warm pride in releasing that foreign energy to the apprehension of what was awaiting him in the barn. And not a little wistful of how nice it would be to lie in the pansy patch without a care in the world, playing and sleeping as a normal cat - not the CatMan walking into who knows what.
And I’m supposed to sit and run my earth and sky energy until something happens? he thought to himself. What if I explode, like I thought I would before? - not even sure if he was serious or not in his thoughts.
“Billy, just do as I told you,” came the voice of Grey. “And quit trying to think about what you know nothing of – you are only wasting your time and energy and getting caught in the traps of old time. Go and sit.”
Billy jumped on hearing Grey’s voice, but quickly regained his composure. After all, what was hearing a voice after what I’ve been through today? he thought to himself. And I don’t even know where in the barn I’m supposed to go – I’m just supposed to sit all over the barn?
“Be a cat Billy – be a cat. It’s that simple,” came Grey’s instantaneous reply.
From the cover of the juniper hedge next to the house, Billy cut directly across the dusty gravel drive to the main door of the barn and slid his small, but growing, body under it. The darkness, split by shafts of clear sunlight pouring through slat cracks, illuminated the floating dust motes of the barn, clearing Billy to his task. Confidence in his own ability rose as he surveyed the floor.
Yes, over behind those alfalfa bales resting against the back stall, he thought to himself. I won’t get stepped on there. And he wandered through the powdery dust, paying no attention to the flies buzzing a loud mating dance over on the sweet feed bag nor the listless stampings of the horses in their stalls. He settled in the corner between a hay bale and the baseboard of the barn, inhaling the rich mixed scent of the barn, curling his tail about him and connecting to the earth.
That same warm feeling of power from the earth and lightness from the sky filled him as he sat wondering what he was to learn. The excitement of the new feeling crept over him even as a swirl of random feelings and thoughts and pictures rushed through his head. He simply sat, thinking I’m too tired of looking at things to focus any more. And he drifted, nose drooping. Images of Grey hunting in the oak woods of Texas … and a cougar, silhouetted, sitting on a fallen ponderosa … angry men … a tugging at his heart … and finally stillness as the images stopped. Silence. Nothing.
“Billy, in your silence, open your eyes but don’t move,” whispered the soft voice inside his head. “You are now awake and at rest at the same time” came the guttural purr - so unlike Grey’s commanding tones. “You have chosen your spot well.”
Billy moved only his eyes and smiled inwardly to see the quiet majesty of Paddy Paws sitting on the partially bare, hay pallet, radiating serene confidence. He thought back to when Paddy was a kitten, the All-American calendar-cute Pads – the smartest cat of the lot – pulling the wooden driveway gate open and sliding through, rather than climbing the 7-foot fence post and jumping down on the other side.
“Billy, I just opened the gate cuz I was too lazy to climb and jump like Fox and Bags,” said Pads out loud in his off-hand way.
“Well it impressed me Paddy. The other cats certainly saw the gate, but you were the only one to see that if you hooked it with your paw it would open for you.” Billy liked silent direct talk with the CatGuides – not just spewing words, hoping to be understood. Every time he got into words he seemed to trip up – and that thought annoyed him, yet they kept teaching at both levels.
“Hunters are efficient Billy – now why did you settle here?” said Pads again out loud, bringing focus back.
“Um .. a … well I wanted protection so I went to the back of the barn, behind bales of hay and then put my back against the wall,” wondering if this answer was ok and feeling a little put off that he was being questioned about something he hadn’t been given instructions on.
“And how was this?” asked Pads quietly.
“Ummm … a … I don’t know – was it supposed to be something? Well I found you, didn’t I?” answered Billy a little put off. “I mean, it wasn’t like Grey gave me directions or anything.”
“Billy, connect and release – I’m not here to punish but to teach.”
“Yeah, but nothing, Billy. Just minutes ago Grey told you not to waste your time trying to think about what you don’t know … and here you are again. He didn’t give you directions so you couldn’t be wrong, could you?” said Pads with soft but very firm emphasis. “And yet even now, you are feeling a need to make excuses or blame something else … so if you need to blame someone – go ahead and blame me – it’s ok.”
“But Pads, it isn’t your fault!” cried Billy, feeling guilty about saying anything at all and not wanting to insult Paddy.
“Of course it’s not,” laughed Pads. “I said you could blame me if you needed to – I didn’t say anything about me taking it on – you kiddin’ me?”
Billy marveled that Paddy’s off-hand humor hit as hard as Grey’s frontal assault. Doesn’t seem to matter which way I turn, I’m vulnerable, he thought to himself, adding and I don’t like it - I’ve always hated being a fool.
“Paddy, I don’t understand. Why all this?” said Billy earnestly, fighting back tears of frustrated confusion.
“Billy – hunters hunt – and they know why they do what they do. You’re answer was fine – protection from the unknown is a good answer – and your spot was well-chosen – or have you forgotten my opening words to you?”
“Again, no ‘buts.’ Billy … And when I asked ‘how it was’ you lost your certainty, lost your connection and began falling into your human justification instead of just telling me that you were fine as a hunter. That’s all you needed to do. So get simple, connect, and let’s hunt.
“First thing Billy is that you don’t ever need to prove anything to anyone - least of all me. Keep to your Catness, and you will never be a fool. But then I think it would be good if we faced the barn wall and that mouse hole over there. The way you were facing … well .. if anything came around those bales – it might be too big for either of us to hunt,” laughed Pads. “Let’s begin with mice.”
“Are you going to get the mouse? Or should I as soon as it sticks his nose out?” asked Billy with excitement.
“First thing you’re going to do is what Grey told you to do … which was?”
“Connect,” said Billy sheepishly.
“Right. And then?”
“Bring in my Earth and Sky energy,” he said, beginning to feel that maybe he had learned something so far.
“Good – so do it and begin to make yourself invisible,” said Pads with the encouragement of a good coach to a player getting the basics firmly in his grasp. “Time to make you look at your hunting.
“Billy which side of the hole gives you the best cover?” asked Pads in straightforward manner.
“Well I can hide better over here by the hay - but the other side is darker. I don’t know,” said Billy, trying to be honest and hoping that would carry him through this interrogation. At least Paddy Paws, isn’t as ferocious in his questions as Grey, thought Billy to himself.
“So if you don’t know which side gives better cover – lemme ask you – which paw will you attack with?” asked Pads outwardly, while speaking directly into his mind – “Honest ignorance is ok Billy - that’s why you are learning. You only get in trouble when you try to cover what you don’t know.”
Billy did a quick wiggle of his paws to decide which he would strike with and said, “Left,” all the while recognizing Paddy’s power at teaching him with several levels at the same time.
“So which side of the hole will you sit on to use your left?”
“Well, won’t I sit over here on the right side as I face the hole?” said Billy somewhat nervously, knowing he was guessing the whole way at this point.
“Then I can get a full swing at it,” he added trying to sound convincing.
“Good thought, but by the time you take a full swing - the mouse is back in the hole. Billy you’ve got one shot to stun it or drive it out of the hole. Sit over here on this side, and see if you can strike straight out and down in one motion. Move from your connected spot to full stretch – and that tells you how far you can be from the hole.”
Billy took a few practice strokes and then settled into his ready stance. Connected, braced, silent, He set himself.
“Excellent – you’ve done a really good job in preparing yourself Billy. You’ll be a fine mouser if you ever care to be. But there’s only one thing - if you look at this hole – there haven’t been any mice around lately. You might be ready for nothing. I suggest we go over near the feed room. With your mother taking care of you kittens and not the mice – they have gotten a little too bold for their own good. Who knows? You might even meet someone,” he said with a chuckle.
Billy gave him a quick apprehensive look, but knew better than to ask. He didn’t need to actually – Who else but Grey? Coming back to check on progress, he thought to himself. Well at least now I know something about hunting! And with that thought he fell into rhythm beside the much larger gray and white with the white stockings and a blaze.
“What should I look for in a mouse hole Pads?” asked Billy eagerly, like a little brother hoping to ask the right question as they walked around the hay bales and into the main part of the barn, heading for the feed room.
“Don’t worry about memorizing details – look at it. Do you see footprints? Mouse hair? Droppings? Has a snake been by? Does it smell and of what? You have to learn your smells – that’s another lesson - more than one cat has died from eating a poisoned mouse – you have to pay attention – constant attention – that never stops – as a Hunter you have to be continually aware.
“I got that Pads – same thing Grey said,” answered Billy a little too sharply, feeling the resistance growing inside at the thought of facing Grey again.
“Good ‘cuz I think Grey may have something more to say about paying attention,” and with that they the rounded corner, ducked under a gate, into the sunlight, and in the open feed room doorway sat Grey.
“Hunt or sleep Mr. Pads?” asked Grey, a little too jovially for Billy’s liking.
“I can find nothing wrong with curling up in the sun on a fine Spring afternoon Mr. Grey - perhaps Billy can tell us what he has learned so far?” responded Pads in only slightly more convincing fashion with a grin.
Billy settled in, sitting between the two well-embodied phantoms, feeling more than slightly set up and on guard. But not knowing what was coming, or what else to do – in the silence he decided simply to connect and not fight them – since he knew he wasn’t going to win anyway.
“Oh Billy,” drawled Pads rather absently, “good that you connected on your own, but there’s nothin’ to win, ‘cause we’re not fightin’ ya.
“Well it sure feels like it sometimes.”
“Settle in Bill,” added Grey with a quiet, amused understanding, “when you’re hunting – hunt. When you’re not - don’t. And know the difference. It’s only in-between that you get into trouble ‘cause you don’t know where you are. You don’t want to get splinched. Time now to drowse and drift and recharge.”
And they quieted, tails wrapped around, paws pulled in, heads bobbing slowly, resembling three pigeons on a wire with tucked heads or perhaps three old codgers on a porch running out of stories they’ve all heard before and falling into stupor. Billy felt calm deep in his soul, protected by his HunterGuides, the fears of the morning fading in the warm sun and clear company. The sun danced its way across the deep blue mountain sky to the lazy tune of buzzing horseflies, and it was only the late afternoon cool shadow that finally roused them from rest.
Blinking, Billy wondered if the day had all been a dream, but as he came fully awake, he felt the strong warmth of his companions - pure spirit perhaps but delightfully furry in body to a growing kitten. How could he have mistrusted and felt abused he wondered as he stretched and sniffed noses with both Grey and Pads.
“Billy jump down and show me what Pads taught you about approaching a mouse hole,” said Grey with the sense of ‘I know you can set this up fine … but show me anyway.’” And then an aside to Paddy, “it’ll do him good to show me his competence.” Pads blinked a sleepy agreement.
Rather than jumping, Billy edged off the steps on the shadow side, trying to show himself a true HunterCat and immediately connected, drawing in Earth and Sky energy, settling into attack alertness. Minutes passed. Grey and Pads waited with the same growing calm awareness as Billy – that life was stirring under them, beneath the plank floorboards - nose and whiskers protruding from the hole, sniffing for assurance. The usual barn smells, the silence broken by the rustling of large animals who took no notice of mice. A tentative step out, a short-lived glance, just in time to see the paw come down full. And the tiny brown barn mouse became Billy’s first hunt.
“Stop!” shouted Grey with a force that startled Billy in the fullness of concentration.
“But why? Isn’t this the point of hunting?” responded Billy in a tone asking if he had done something wrong.
“Great job Billy, great job – but ask yourself now – ‘Did I do this for practice and to prove I could? Or for eating?’
“Well, ... I did it because you asked me to show my skill – not really for eating.”
“Then let it go, and it will be there when you need to eat. If you catch a mouse once, you will be able to catch it again. Hunt to eat, not just to kill – only humans do that.
Billy had the mouse trapped between his paws next to his chest, and he looked down on it and sniffed, excitedly smelling the warm, brown, musky mouse fur. Its eyes were closed and breathing had apparently stopped. On Grey’s command, Billy opened his paws and saw the deep brown eyes open slowly in disbelief. Is this an interlude between capture and death where I become a cat toy? wondered the mouse. A momentary dash and the mouse was into his hole and Billy’s paw struck out reflexively, and he paused, grinning.
“I got him, didn’t I? I got him! Nailed him first time out!” said Billy in ecstasy. After all it was only this morning that he had thought it quite an accomplishment to have almost caught a grasshopper. “Wait till Mom hears this – Billy, King of the Barn!”
Billy’s thoughts once again sailed into misty realms of glory. How fast perceptions change – walking to the barn, he had dreamed of future hunting and now already he was a hunter – he had caught a full-fledged mouse. This is so cool – I wish DustyBug and Pink and Black could see me now - and Mom would think I was the best. Wow, I mean I caught a mouse, and the notions swirled almost reverently around him as he felt himself a Big Cat now, if not in size at least in accomplishment.
Pads and Grey looked at each other smiling at what they were seeing, remembering their first times, but also in silent agreement that Billy might not be a true Hunter, but he learned well.
“Not to puncture King Billy, but … do you remember in your last lifetime when you ‘saved’ a rabbit from me?”
“Yes Grey,” said Billy coming out of his reverie, “how could I forget that day you dragged a rabbit as big as you were through the fence, and then it took everything I had to catch you as you ran away dragging it? I was amazed at how fast your were with something that big.”
“Billy that was just like Susie getting you off your brother as you were both suckling. You didn't know what you were doing.”
“Huh? What d’ya mean Grey? What’s Susie got to do with that rabbit? The rabbit was still alive, and I didn't want you to kill it and eat it -- it seemed like a nice rabbit.”
“I'm sure it was, Billy, but did you ever think -- that was the only rabbit I ever brought home? That a healthy full-sized rabbit is not prey for a cat? They are fast, and they can kick very well, Billy. A cat may get a baby if the mother isn't watching but usually not a healthy adult. I was doing the world of rabbits a favor, Billy - keeping their stock strong. That was a slow damaged rabbit Billy who went on to breed other slow damaged rabbits -- who mostly got eaten by other predators. You saved a rabbit that knew it was dead, knew why it was dead, and accepted it – just like your mouse. It was not random Billy. AND you got in the way,” added Grey with emphasis.
Oh brother, here we go again, thought Billy. “And how is that different from you just saving the mouse?” he asked aloud and rather defiantly, thinking, How can Grey irritate me so quickly? AND make it seem like my fault
“I didn’t save the mouse – your intent was practice and proof – not food.
“So what? I got it. Isn’t that what hunting is about?” said Billy petulantly, his temper rising. He still felt he should have gotten more praise from Pads and Grey for getting the mouse on his first try than one simple ‘great job.’ After all, none of the other kittens were successful mouse hunters … heck, they couldn’t even catch a grasshopper…
“Billy you did a good job,” whispered Pads in a caressing tone, “but remember – you aren’t any of the other kittens, you are the CatMan – and yes, your lessons will demand more.”
“Sorry, Billy. As a hunter, I take what is given, and what is given is there for a reason. I wouldn't hunt the best rabbit because the slow rabbit is easiest to get - and always available. Unlike humans, animals take the slow and the weak – not the best. Hunters don't just kill, they take what they need - and always know that there is more out there.”
“So what about the mouse?” said Billy in anger, coming back again to make his point, feeling as if Grey were avoiding him again.
“Connect Billy, we’re not attacking you – don’t lose your space,” murmured Pads again softly without interrupting Grey.
“You weren’t hunting for food – so don’t kill and eat unnecessarily. Hunters don't get fat overeating, Billy. If you are fat, it is because you fear that you won't have enough … if you eat twice as much now, then you will get slow and fat, and it is true -- you can't hunt. As a human, you fed me far more than I ever needed -- so I walked away from full bowls of your food and went to the woods – hungry - to hunt. And that day the Universe presented a rabbit – not a mouse or bird.”
“And I was just trying to be a nice guy and save a bunny,” said Billy, giving up on the mouse. “Didn't know it was that serious Grey," he added, irritated that Grey was making such a big thing out of it. Why couldn’t he just say things nicely, thought Billy. Why does he always have to beat me up?
“It wasn't serious because you weren't - you took nothing as what absolutely is – alive and present - or not. YOU TOOK EVERYTHING HALFWAY SO NOTHING WAS SATISFYING. WHEN YOU GO HALFWAY, YOU GET HALFWAY. You couldn’t commit to anything because you couldn’t commit to yourself!”
Billy recoiled in shock, the energy shimmering between them. Grey had a way of delivering bombs right inside, where you least expected it, and where you had no way of answering.
“I, uh, I had a lot of choices to make Grey and …” said Billy feebly.
“No Billy. Your only choice was YOU for YOU. You thought about choices as though they WERE you – as though you were choosing clothes in a closet ‘oh I think I’ll be the blue turtleneck today – I think I’ll be a student today or a football player or a theatre person.’ So you were never You – you were just another shabby human clothes rack walking around with a head full of grandiose thoughts of ‘What I could be’ instead of what you were.”
“But Grey, decisions define us … ” said Billy fighting the choking sense he felt in his throat, only to be cut short again.
He might be struggling to find an argument, but he also felt this to be a last ditch fight or he was going to lose himself to Grey. What would happen if he couldn’t defend himself anymore? he thought desperately.
“Be quiet inside and know this in the core of your Being,” commanded Grey, rising to his full gleaming magnificence, sparks of certainty radiating from his core. “Who you ARE defines you - not what you THINK.” And then more gently, “You are learning to be a Cat now Billy. Before this, you lacked the unity of the hunter. As I said, you were lost in what you ‘could be,’ not aware of what you were.”
“But Grey my talent went all over and…” responded Billy, emotion welling up.
“Yes, you were talented, but you didn’t really own anything as you. Your body was over here, your spirit was over there, and in the middle, you tried to bridge the difference with a lot of posing about all the things you could pretend to be – but not owning any of them as real. AND YOU WONDER WHY YOU WERE UNHAPPY?”
Billy absorbed this assault, knowing inside that Grey was right, but stunned to see it so clearly - and delivered such with unblinking focus. He felt himself slipping down as though drowning and unable to swim. Or was this feeling rising through his body to swamp him? He couldn’t tell. It didn’t matter anymore.
“Grey, The sadness as you say that … the complete failure,” sobbed Billy. “And it’s the first time I’ve felt like that this lifetime - but I know it - I feel it inside – the sadness is coming up - from that human life and the fear, the fear of dying, and fear of loving, and as you say, the fear of committing, and I don’t know what to do.”
“Quit whining,” snarled Grey, “and connect to the earth to release that fear. You now have tools so you can live cleanly as a cat. Use them. As that energy runs through your body and down the connection at your tail – feel that heaviness drop away, feel that depression lift – that is not your energy – RELEASE IT!” The commanding tones sparkled in gold and then quieted to a radiant indigo of deep resilient quiet ....“And then smile - you really are fine,” said Grey with a genuine smile of his own.
Billy slumped, allowing the anger and frustration swirling in his body to begin to drain down his connection and out of his space, recognizing finally that this wasn’t his energy anyway – but rather so much self-righteous justification of failure from last life. The paralyzing leaden weight in his stomach and chest gave way, an anchor cut loose. He did smile at the growing easy warmth in his body while wondering how Grey did it. I’d never have gone that far if Grey hadn’t made me, but what now? There can’t be anything left, he thought absently to himself.
“Great job Billy. I didn’t do it, you did. It won’t ever be that hard again.”
“Now let’s take a look at an event in your last human life where you realized your power. Watch yourself closely as we go into DreamSpace together. I’ll lead you this time – later you will be doing this for yourself. Connect, run your Mother Earth and Sky energy, and go inside. Put your paw on mine and feel your body slowing down. Set the Sky center at the top of your head at gold to match mine and don’t fight the drift as you feel it. If you need to, look for me as we fade from the barn.”
Billy felt the oddest sensation, as though Grey were turning down a magic knob, putting his body into suspension. His spirit floated freely in the inky blackness of directionless space.
“Stay with me Billy, this is no random sight-seeing this trip,” said Grey with a comforting reassurance. “We’ll be there in a moment.”
Even as he said that, Billy looked around, settling his cat body in a hotel room at night, an off-green carpet almost matching the curtains, and a slightly floral scent overall, the chemical cover to human smell. With Grey quiet beside him, he sat on the bed, staring at his last human body – wavy brown hair, blue eyes, thick neck and heavily muscled body. So this is how I looked, he mused in wonder. He moved to the corner of the bed to get a different view, not so much of the body which seemed oddly familiar, but to look at the energy surrounding the body, murky, dark, flat worn down, a good heart but heavy, his light all but dulled out.
“This is the pain you wanted me to look at Grey?” asked Billy softly, not taking his eyes away, absorbed in viewing himself.
“A lesson well-observed Billy,” answered Grey, “but that is only part. You know where we are? And when?”
“Yes - as I view it, it all floods back. It’s about a week before she died isn’t it?”
“Yes. Let’s watch now.”
“Willie, can you help me up? I want to go to the bathroom.”
“Sure,” and he put one arm under her swollen, edemic waist and the other around the emaciated shoulders. Gently pulling up on the shoulders to elevate the torso from its 45 degree reclined position without jerking, and then to scoot the hips to the edge of the couch. Time for her to take a breather, adjusting as best she could to resting vertically, trying to allow the blood flow to stabilize.
Her hand circled his thigh, and he smiled, thinking that even now in all the fatigue she could be affectionate - “I love you, Beanie,” he mouthed, giving her a kiss on the top of her head.
But then the hand spasmed, the head jerked back - mouth open, eyes rolled so far back into the head that no color was showing, the already cadaverous face stretched taut, all to the gurgling of breath being squeezed out with animal brutishness.
Billy jumped, recognizing the fear he saw rising in his human body and feeling that same fear rise in his own cat body, carried over to the present. He swallowed, and his body shivered as he released this past energy - it was no longer him. He knew what came next watching his human body, mouthing the past human thoughts as the scene progressed.
Oh man, is this it? and the human Billy mentally ran through his first aid checklists - heart and breath first. Heart is beating, fast but no faster than normal now - no breathing, you can’t do CPR if the heart is beating.
Blow, gotta blow, he thought and cupped her mouth with his lips, closed her nose with his fingers and blew, trying to reverse the gurgle. The spasmed chest blocked his efforts. Not only did he not inflate the lungs, as he released his pressure, the vocal chords quivered back in mockery.
After five months of steady meditating, he had worked with his Higher Self to clear and recollect past lives and to explore current issues - but always in tranquil sessions. Squatting in the bathroom, he didn’t know what to do and figured he might as well ask his Higher Self to see what he might be overlooking. Braced with one knee on the floor, he steadied Jeanne with one hand behind her head and neck and one on her shoulder, took a deep breath, closed his eyes slowly, trying to clear all thought from consciousness, simply dropping into the silence of the void, and asked for guidance.
It was not with faith or hope, that these actions were performed. Her life was in the hands of the Universe, and if he could bring her back, then she was to come back - if not, then she was going to die, and he was simply going to be the witness - in their underwear, on the bathroom floor of a motel in Burbank.
“Notice you’ve become a Hunter, Billy, complete neutrality and no expectation.”
“Yes Grey, I remember that blank feeling as I watch.”
“Then watch the miracle Mr. B.”
“Hit her in the thymus,” came the information from the Universe.
“What? An answer? Hit her in the thymus? Real communication from the other side?” Got to be high enough that I don’t stun the heart. His human mind raced, even as he hauled back and with one hand bracing the neck and head, landed a reverberating overhand right onto the top of the sternum. Her breasts rippled with the shockwave and her body jumped as though in electroshock treatment.
“Keaaah,” air rushed in with the force and velocity of the intake. The eyes rolled forward, glazed.
“Focus, dammit,” the intensity of hoping she would make it blocking other thought.
And then she fell back into shock, losing both breath and eyes.
He slammed her again much harder, causing the little air left in her lungs to exhale violently and the rest of the body to reflex, a blasted marionette. Again the eyes rolled forward and breathing began
“Look at me babe. Focus. Look at me,” as the eyes wandered, slowly homing in.
“You there?” he asked with more intensity than hope.
The eyes locked on, mute gazing, animal to animal, primal - alive. Her grey/green wolf eyes showed life if not consciousness - and they stared.
“OK, I’m going to take you back to the couch, and you can relax,” he said. She clenched a minimal thumbs up - part of the non-verbal repertoire they had developed to save her breath from being wasted in speech.
Wrapping her in a bear hug, her arms hanging limply, he rag-dolled her back into the living room, hoping the bun placement was adequate so there wouldn’t be too much shifting after he set her down. OK, touchdown, and he rolled her torso onto the stack of pillows strategically nested against the arm of the couch and then up with the legs.
“Tell me something happy,” she whispered. They talked softly until she drifted off, and he slept sitting on the floor leaning against the couch, checking every few moments it seemed, to see if she was still breathing.
As the vision ended, Grey graciously touched Billy’s paw, giving him a nod and speaking silently said, “Let’s go back to the barn.”
But Billy was frozen, sitting numbly quiet. Until Grey had brought it up, he had forgotten the pain of her dying. Grey had told him he had a little body now, and carried his humanness heavily, but so far in his training he had only seen and felt the abstract pieces – attitudes of his life - not the enormity of her death – among all the other large events. Transfixed, he gazed blankly at his HunterGuide.
“Notice how truly aware you were as you thought she was dying? You took that seriously, and you had a moment of seeing and wisdom where you reached other realms when you needed to. You were magnificent. Why does it take death to make you pay attention? Why do I almost have to kill you to get your attention?” he said softening his tone, watching Billy closely. “As you got quiet – you created a space for her to come back – gave her the opportunity to come back – so others could get the lessons they needed before she went for good.
The words rolled off Billy, even as he felt consumed by the still-releasing energy evoked by the scene. What else was going to come up? he thought and tears flowed.
“In that interior stillness, notice what you are releasing right now as we talk of death and your last life as a human.”
“Fear Grey -- fear is up -- all around me,” he mumbled, eyes trying to focus to shake off the trance, body trembling, and feet searching for a solid grip.
“Yes Billy and what do you see about that fear? Is that natural in your cat body?”
“No -- it is fear of death from my human life.”
“Yes Billy -- as a cat you would never fear death -- it is as natural as life. Animals note it - but they don’t get preoccupied with it. When an animal dies -- his friends notice -- say goodbye and remain in the present moment doing what they do.”
“Just because you feel it, doesn’t mean it is yours. You felt the energy from Susie that wasn’t yours – it was just in your space. You felt it hit you, and you felt it around you after she had gone. Energy from others always slows you and gives you pain.”
And with that, Billy closed his eyes and yielded to the torrent of past pain rushing through his seemingly stiffening body. He drifted up, seeing both himself and Grey as he looked from above – in the picture and watching it all at once, unconscious and aware at the same time.
Grey crouched beside the body and moved his strong soft paw to Billy’s shoulder and licked him gently across the ears, helping the death sense pass through and down his connecting cord. He stayed at the side until the smaller body began to calm.
Billy fell asleep as the pain left – exhausted, beginning a dream of his own backyard with romping kittens, grasshoppers, and the buzz of the occasional bee. He relaxed as the picture expanded into the peaceful late spring afternoon, daffodils and tulips finishing their bloom by the house and the smell of the freshly tilled vegetable garden filling his nose. Billy moved easily through the garden to the barn and looked down on himself curled next to Pads and Grey once again on the step by the feed room door – and dropped effortlessly into his body.
“Nice job releasing that Billy – it will never again be so hard. You have your space now, and that is why you transitioned into a beautiful dream,” whispered Grey gently in his ear.
“But enough talk, it is time for you to use your tools. Clear out the sad and get ready to use what you know. We can talk for a lifetime and do nothing – or we can hunt. Let’s hunt. You got the mouse so well - your first real test awaits,” said Grey quietly.
“What do I do Grey?” wondered Billy aloud, and again apprehension rose.
“What am I supposed to do there?”
“I don’t know Billy, perhaps find yourself, perhaps find something else,” said Grey absently, gazing off into the setting sun, wondering to himself how Billy would be at this time tomorrow.
“Don’t worry about what you may find – it’s like when you walked into the barn – you knew what to do immediately – you just have to see what you see,” added Pads with reassurance. “The only real challenge is to get to the farm and back alive – you’ll learn what you learn…”
“You’ll meet predators,” said Grey jumping back into the conversation, “who have greater speed, better eyes, bigger teeth, and talons that can crush a 3 month old cat – but none have your training. Hawks by day and owls by night will fly above you; coyotes and dogs will sniff and chase; badgers, raccoons and fox hunger for flesh; snakes wait silently. Your enemies you know; they can kill, but they can also guide. The deer and rabbits, the prairie dogs and squirrels, the songbirds and ravens and all the insects will steer you if you read their messages. Ask and the information is always there as you saw in that last life.”
“What do I need to do when I get to the farm? Do I need to bring something back?” asked Billy tentatively
“You will bring something back Billy - that is clear,” said Grey with a neutral smile – “what? I’m not sure - but quit thinking as a human – nothing to prove here except being yourself. Now connect to the big MotherCat and in the morning when you feel ready – depart.”
© 2009 Will Jordan
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