Friday, November 13, 2009


There have always been animal companions in my life. However, there were two cats who grabbed my heart in their claws and refused to let go. Samantha taught me to communicate, and Misty taught me to go at life flat out, with gusto. Both of these cats had all the freedom I could give them. Both made their own choices about many things, including their manner and time of death.

Sam came to live with me in 1979, when I was going through big transitions. Sam accompanied me on my first shamanic journey, and brought me through kundalini awakening (which was very tough for me). She was a soul mate, and we had an ongoing conversation, heard only by the two of us most of the time. When she was 12 we moved out of the city to a place with 14 acres of gardens, pasture, meadow and woods. She was sure she was in heaven.

Less than a year after we moved I was helping a friend at her bookstore at a time she was giving away kittens. All of the kittens found homes except one, who told me emphatically that I was her person. Just as emphatically I said no – my housemate and I had too many cats already. However, after hearing her yell at me all night long I decided I would get more peace if I just brought her home.

She confidently walked right up to Sam, who was the senior cat in the house (how do they always know who that is?) and tried to make friends. Sam looked down her nose and told Misty that she was a good for nothing upstart and she had better mind her manners. Though they never fought, they were almost yet never exactly friends.

I hadn't done either Sam's or Misty's birth chart until recently. Astrologically speaking, the connections to my own chart are uncanny. I have been looking at astrological charts for 28 years and could have guessed the astrological connections were as strong as the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual connections.

Sam was a Leo (proud, easily hurt) with Gemini rising (two very different facets in one) and a Cancer moon (homebody), closely conjunct her Mars. What does that mean? We moved 8 times in her life and she was the star of the household – always! The Cancer moon gave Sam a loving heart.

Her Mercury was sextile (ease) to mine, so it was easy for us to hold the continuing conversation as we did for eighteen years.

Her Moon-Mars was at the same place as my Uranus (change). Plus, Sam's Cancer Mars was semi-square (confrontation) my own Mars-Pluto in Leo, which made for intense interactions and sometimes anger. Part of her work with me was to help me heal. And a very important piece of the healing was for me to realize how much anger (Mars) I had suppressed, yet still carried around with me. Sam was instrumental in that realization and healing.

Sam helped me through many big changes. For example, as I said earlier, she assisted me as I went about removing blocks and allowing kundalini to flow. This is a very Uranian process, and Uranus is all about change.

Her South Node was exactly conjunct my moon. She taught me how to feel deeply.

Now Misty was an Aries cat – she was born on the Spring Equinox. She was all about fire and change. At the same time, she was incredibly loving. The truth is that Misty and I were on an emotional wavelength I have seldom found, with human or animal. Her Pisces moon was only two degrees away from my own, while her Mercury was just 2 degrees on the other side of my moon. Our communication was less about words than it was about feelings.

Misty's Mars was 30 degrees from my Mars-Pluto conjunction (a volcano), with her Chiron (healing) right on top of my Mars. By the time Misty came to me, I had done a lot of work and releasing. Misty and I didn’t have to work through anger the way Sam and I did, though Misty could get fairly aggressive, especially when she was young.

Sam's moon was exactly trine (flow and ease) Misty's at 6 degrees Pisces, and just 8 degrees from Misty's Mars. All this was quite closely trine my moon. The flow of emotions among the three of us was quite remarkable.

Sam's Saturn was conjunct my own; her Pluto (death/transformation) was conjunct my South Node (karmic releasing). Sam spent about 6 months preparing for death, and the last night she curled up with me and sent a dream in which she poured out her feelings about her life with me. The next night she struggled through a cat door that was too high for her comfort (usually I opened the people door to let her out). Twice I brought her back in, and the third time I honored her choice (the truth of 3) and wished her ease in the dying. And then I cried myself to sleep.

Misty chose her death as well. Her Pluto was just 3 degrees from my Venus (beauty/love). She was an exquisitely skilled hunter, eating her daily mouse with gusto (except for the gall bladders). For the last 5 years of her life I lived in an apartment in town for the first time since she began living with me. She couldn't go out whenever she wanted - she needed me to let her out through two doors, and the management had been putting pressure on me to not let her out except on a leash. Can you imagine!

She had been sick and was tired of taking pills twice a day, just tired in general. We were staying for a few days in a friend's cottage, on a double lot backing on a green belt. We stayed there as often as possible, so Misty was familiar with the territory. There are deer, mice, rabbits, squirrels and birds in abundance. Misty had free access. Late at night she was still out and refused to come when I called and asked her to come in. About 1 a.m. I heard her cry just outside the bedroom window - short and cut off, and then a moment later a low growl. I ran outside and could not see or find anything. I went back to bed, somewhere deep knowing she was gone. In the morning I found her fur scattered in a wide circle about ten yards across. Though I searched, I did not find her (or her body). I did sit down and get quiet, and then I knew she was dead. I also knew she needed help to get out of limbo to the other side. Two of her friends who were on the other side of the veil, Sam and Shama, the dog, came when I asked and took her with them. She kissed my cheek as she left. I cried. With a Pisces moon how could I not?

Though it took a while, I have realized that Misty cooperated with the coyote (I think) who took her and ate her. A friend and I asked her what she felt about being eaten, and we felt her fierce joy in participating in the cycle of life. As native, earth-based people know, prey and predator are linked and communicate their willingness and needs.

For six months I cried every time I was alone and somewhat quiet. Misty always came to me, licking my face, trying to dry the tears. I could actually see her, feel her weight. She wanted to know why I was crying. Didn't I know she was all right? Of course I did – and I missed her.

These two amazing beings want to come back to me. I am working to make a wonderful place for them so we can continue to love and learn from each other.