In Loving Memory Of Henry Kitty Drummond

Written by Consta Jenkins

Reprinted by permission of the author

The night air was crisp and clean over the Rainbow Bridge. The kiddens laughed gaily as they made their way to the stars. It was the Catmus season and they wanted to visit with their humans. Little Dots jumped around in glee, "Look! Look! My mommy gots a peeper and her gots dots like The other kiddens laughed.

"Look, over at my house," said Beethoven, "Linus is curled up among the packages." Beethoven smiled at her sister and sent a comforting purr.

"Hey, there's my mom," said Dino. "I've been telling the new kidden to come in for Catmus. Think he'll understand?"

"I hope so." Panther gave Dino an earlick. "Every kidden should have a mom."

Virginia looked down on her human and sighed. She had sent so much love to her and still there was sorrow. She closed her eyes and pursed her whiskers and redoubled her gentle, loving purr. Isolde twined her tail around her friend and joined her healing song.

"Would you look at that!" Boots smiled proudly at his furiend. "Miss Katze is _finally_ coming to her senses! I've been telling her to cozy up to mom for ages."

Each of the kiddens looked in on their humans, and their hearts swelled with joy. So much love was in the air, and they felt it radiate through them. One kidden, though, backed away from the scene. Her eyes were wide and her tail down in defense posture. Persefino turned to her. "It's all right, Midnight. Honest. There is nothing to be afraid of. Come here." He offered her his paw and held her tight as she crept back up to look. "See? That's your mom. Remember? There's the human that loved you. You'll understand soon. I promise."

Midnight stared in wonder at the twinkling lights and at the kind faced lady she remembered. ""

"Yes. Your mom. You didn't understand down there..." Perse gestured towards the earth. "...but you will. Promise".

"Hey Eatbugs," Lola Qat said, "what's going on at your house? Teddy's killing a fuzzy mouse...again!"

Eatbugs laughed. "Tabbitha is climbing the tree again. I think she thinks it would look better with a tabby on top rather than an angel!"

Laughter rang out. The kiddens snuggled close to each other, sharing the love and sharing their companionship. The stars twinkled overheard like a million diamonds laid on deep black velvet.

Eatbugs was chuckling with Max over Missy's latest stunt, when he noticed a kidden sitting off from the group. He excused himself and padded over. Klutz sat with his paws tucked up, a sad and worried look on his face. "Klutz, what's wrong?" Eatbugs gave his furiend a lick.

"It's Henry Kitty. Oh Eatbugs, he's so sick and Mom and Dad are so sad. I've been trying to help him, but..." Klutz's voice grew very quiet. "...I think it is his time. Oh, I wish he could stay...just a little longer."

Eatbugs' nodded and purred comfort. "Would you like us to help?" But even as he offered, Eatbugs felt the tingling in his whiskers. A tear rolled down Klutz's cheek. "It's time."

The laughter died and the kiddens all bowed their heads in sorrow. Slowly they rose and began their journey to the Gate. Eatbugs padded along beside Virginia and Isolde. "It doesn't seem fair."

"What isn't fair, Little One?" Virginia's wise voice sounded tired.

"Why now? Catmus is supposed to be a season of joy. Why? Why must his humans know sorrow now?"

Virginia sighed. "I have no answer for you, Little One. The ways of the Creator are not known to us. This kidden's march of days is done, and it is time for him to join us. But, Little One, Catmus is also the season of love and his humans have proven the depth of their love. They have given him the greatest gift of love a human can give one of our kind. In his life they eased his way with gentle strokes and loving words. In the sunset of his walk, they eased his pain with love. Even knowing how much they would hurt, Little One, they would not let him suffer. It is the season of selflessness, and they have given him the most selfless gift. They let him go when it was time."

Isolde purred and twined her tail with Eatbugs'. "You see, Little One? We all wish that no kiddens had to come here during this time of the year, but even in the sorrow of his passing, this kidden knows the deeper meaning of this season. The love his humans bore for him resonates around him, and in time their sorrow will fade, leaving only the love. It is the Great Promise. Love is forever. Love is the truest of gifts."

They made the rest of their journey in silence. Skunk walked with Taureen. Rocky and Picnic carried the peepers on their shoulders. Miss Kitty and Pris walked with Creamsickle and Putt Putt. Tails twined and heads bowed the Company of Kiddens walked solemnly on.

They formed their Circle around the Gate as the Welcoming Song rang out through the night. Its sad, sweet refrain drifted in the breeze and winded its way to the aching hearts below. The Company lifted their voices and joined in the Song to welcome their new furiend home.

A flash of blue light danced across the Gate and when it subsided a handsome tom cat sat blinking. He looked at the faces of the Company and sighed. "It was time," he said. Klutz came forward from the Circle and gave Henry a headbutt. "It will be all right now. We will all be together again. Promise."

Henry Kitty nodded. "I know...I just wish...I wish I could have stayed a little longer." He looked back towards the earth and sighed again.

Klutz led him to the edge of the Rainbow and together they pursed their whiskers. The raised their purrs into the wind and sent their love back to the hearts of their humans. "Mom? Dad? Can you hear us? We are here. We are waiting." With that, Klutz led Henry Kitty home.

As the rest of the kiddens gathered around Henry, offering the best sleepy spots and promising games of hockey, Eatbugs sat for a moment looking down at the twinkling lights on earth. He thought for a bit and then pursed his whiskers in purr. "Aunt Sue? Uncle Terry? You don't know me. My name is Eatbugs. I just wanted... I mean.... If the twinkling lights down there don't make you smile this year? Look up here. There's a new star up here twinking brighter than anything...just for you. We'll take real good care of him."

© Copyright 1995 Constance Jenkins. All Rights Reserved. The author retains all copyright and intellectual rights to this work. It may not be printed in whole or in part without express written permission.
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