the story of the setting up of the lights is a whole other exciting story in and of itself. perhaps i'll tell you some time. ...after a long day of work we come home drop our bags at the door, use the restroom, and rush to the back porch to plug em in. instantly i'm transported to what i imagine a french patio feels like. literally, the heaviness of the day melts away resting under their soft twinkling glow. we adore them.
it was these beautiful twinkling lights & that perfect canal facing backyard that have ushered me into this very deep sadness i feel today.
tuesday night october 30th was a normal october evening. we're in full swing rehearsals for our church's annual christmas pageant, we'd come home late from a dance practice, exhausted and aching we plugged in our lights, i allowed the cats, who normally sleep in our garage, in for the night because i missed them and went upstairs to prepare for bed. everything was normal. normally we turn off the lights after a few hours use because their glow is quite bright interfering with normal sleep patterns. we don't want to make enemies out of our neighbors.
but on this night because we were so worn out we slipped into a deep sleep almost instantly upon entering the bedroom. lights were left on and the screen backdoor was left open, my cats were all inside.
i couldn't have been asleep more than 2 hours when i woke up to the bright lights still plugged in. my first thought was where is magic and brinkley? these cats, when they're allowed in for the night are glued to my side, they sleep all over me. that night they were missing. i brushed the thought away thinking they were probably asleep on the couch downstairs. but the lights, they were too bright. i looked at my clock 1:22am, "i should turn off the lights, the neighbors probably can't sleep". so groggily pulled myself from my bed and shuffled downstairs. thats when i saw it, that's when i panicked. the screen door was wide open and magic & brinkley were missing.
my heart was racing, i ran upstairs yelled at ben to wake up, "the backdoor is open and magic & brinkley are gone". we ran outside and under the soft glow of my twinkle lights i franticly yelled into the cold darkness for my magic and brinkley. instantly i felt something was off, this wasn't one of those other times when they sneak out when i'm not looking for five minutes. this is cold october in the middle of the desert and they've been gone for hours.
i yelled for what seemed like minutes with no response. i prayed to hear the soft jingling of their collars. nothing. then, as i shouted for brinkley i heard his meow, a deep scared meow. i called again into the dark, he answered with a deeper cry from the same position. i couldn't see him, i could only hear him and his cry wasn't moving towards me. he was stuck but where? i had a horrific thought he'd been attacked by a coyote and lay helpless crying out but couldn't move.
calling out we ran into the desert with a shining flashlight. then we heard him, from above, high in a tree, brinkley. my sweet scared kitty was high above, stuck. ben skillfully shimmed up it's trunk and carried him down safely into my arms.
i felt relief. we found him and he's safe. then i felt fearful all over again. where is magic? i called out again and again, no answer.
with brinkley safe in my arms we shut the backdoor and retired to bed. i couldn't sleep. all i could think of was magic, where was magic? why was brinkley in a tree? he never climbs on anything let alone a tree. then i heard it, the howl of a coyote, and i prayed.
early in the morning we awoke for a walk, in part for exercise in part to find magic. even though i'd heard the howl and even though i knew the odds i still had hope we'd find him. hey, he probably got spooked by something but he's a smart cat he'll run for cover hide it out and be back on our doorstep later on today.
we returned to the tree where we found brinkley. seeing the scene in daylight everything started to make more sense. only five feet from our backyard under the tree we found large paw tracks and a small patch of fur. ben walked another ten feet into some brush and found more, larger patches of fur this time. i recognized it, it was magic's. i'd seen that fur many times wadded up on the floor after a good brushing. it was his. my eyes saw it laying there on the open ground but it still didn't set in. not until today.
now it all makes sense, they escaped the safety of our softly lit backyard & entered the cold dark desert only to face the terror of a hungry coyote. the best we can figure brinkley was startled and climbed the tree to safety and magic, too old and a bit overweight wasn't as quick and coyotes took him.
my magic is gone and i am heartbroken. he was my old man, my favorite. it was my custom when i scooped him in my arms to nuzzle my face behind his soft ears, give him a kiss and whisper "i love you magic, you're the best kitty in the whole world and you're going to live forever". i loved him with such a childlike love it was my way of sorta willing him to never leave me.
we adopted him from some friends shortly after we were married seven years ago. he was a quirky ol cat. he preferred to take sips of my coffee and water straight from the glass. you had to remember to set your cup up high if you were planning on stepping away from it our else you'd return to find him face first in your glass. he owned me that cat. he slept right next to me in a sprawled out spooned position for the past seven years. it's been so quiet around the house without his constant half grumpy meow. i miss burring my face in his soft belly of fur and pressing my ear to his tummy to hear the soothing rhythm of his delighted purr. i miss the way he would bust through the door of whichever room i sat and boss me around with his loud voice until i caved and scratched his cheeks until he drooled. he was our first pet together ben and i and on this long bumpy road of infertility my lonely mothering heart found peace and rest in mothering him. magic didn't mind a bit, in fact he rather indulged in my favoritism towards him.
some might think this is a bit ridiculous going on this way about an animal. but the truth is he wasn't just an animal to me, to me he was a part of our family, the first part and with his passing i feel a part of my heart has passed as well.
i find it a bit sickingly ironic that in the wee hours of october 31st, a day well known for the celebration of magic, on this day my Magic faded. i haven't cried like this in years it seems, the deep spontaneous belly cries that hit you without warning. i know time heals all wounds and he's an animal and not a human being but the shock, pain and grief i feel at this present time is all the same.
it is with a heavy soul that i am forced to say words i forbade myself from saying until now ...goodbye my magic. i will miss you more than i should ol man and you are forever imprinted on my being. gracious this hurts...