In Loving Memory Of Katie Mayor-Magee
Written by Consta Jenkins
Reprinted by permission of the author
"Dids you really catch THREE wholes mousies with one paw paw, Mister Max?" asked a little tabby peeper with eyes like saucers.
"Yessir, I did", Grandpa Max said puffing out his black and white chest just a tad.
"Golly, you musta been the bestest ever hunter in the wholes world!".
Max puffed a bit more, "Well, know I don't know about that. Did I tell you about the time...." He gave a wink to Picnic, who was bouncing peepers on his shoulders and went on "that I outsmarted that coyote?..." The peepers gasp in appropriate awe.
Eatbugs chuckled as he approached the group. You could always find Granpa Max and Picnic surrounded by peepers. He smiled and nodded to Miss Kitty. She was teaching the girl peepers the fine art of deportment. "Now, Tiny Bubbles do make sure to keep your tail just so...", she demonstrated the purrfect question mark position, "much better, dear". Eatbugs turned his face into the warmth of the sun and breathed a gentle sigh. He stretched out in the grass and munched a few stalks as he listened to Max's stories and watched with amusement as the girls learned the "proper" way to wash their whiskers.
He had been lounging for quite some time when Isolde and Virginia quietly approached and settled in beside him. He looked up into Virginia's wise eyes and saw the familiar sadness there. "Another?" he asked in voice not much above a whisper.
Virginia nodded. Isolde gave him a gentle nuzzle. "But I have not heard the music..."
"It is not yet time" said Virginia. She looked up as Max approached, his eyes now bearing the same sadness. Max and Virginia touched noses and he sat down beside her. "I had hoped it would not be so soon", he said, his voice husky with emotion.
"We all hold such hopes for those we love" said Isolde, "But the cycle of life goes as it will" She turned her blue eyes towards the Earth and whispered, "It is time"
Max nodded and the circle of kiddens bowed their heads and let their minds float freely. Max was first to find her. He wrapped her in his warmth, encircled her with comfort. Virginia touched her mind and sought to ease her fears, "It is all right, Katie", she thought, "The pain will be gone soon. You are with friends". Isolde bent her will towards the Earth and with gentle strength began to pull Katie from her pain, easing, controlling, until it seemed a thing remote and separate from Katie.
Eatbugs reached out his mind as well, but did not know what more he could do for his furriend, what gift he could give that the others had not. Virginia's voice whispered in his mind, "Give what you give best, Little One. Give hope". Eatbugs touched Katie's mind and gave her the warmth of the sun on her fur and the music of peepers laughing. He gave her the sweet comfort of companionship and the sheer joy of running through the Rainbow Fields. He gave her the Promise, the knowledge that this parting was not final. He gave her love.
At length, when she was sure that the gifts were received, Virginia gently guided the others back to the Bridge. "It is time" she said. The kiddens nodded. The wind had begun the sad sweet melody of the Welcoming Song and the colors of the sky to shimmer and change. The kiddens stood and began their journey to the Gate. One by one the others joined them. Pris, Miss Kitty and Miss Priss escorted the peepers. Picnic and Moki walked together in silence. Puppie and Smokey, Mouschi and PuttPutt, Rocky and Spunkie. Together they came to welcome another to their ranks. As they gathered around the Gate heads were bowed in silent meditation.
The music swirled about them. It's bittersweet refrain touching each kidden and winding it's way back to Earth. As the music swelled to it's heartbreaking climax, the all too familiar flash of blue light appear at the Gate. When it subsided, a kidden sat looking at the Company. Her eyes searched the group. When Grandpa Max stood up to greet her, Katie's eyes lit up and she ran towards him. They gently rubbed each other, purring. "Oh Max! It was just like you said. And look" she did a leap into the air, "I don't hurt!" Max smiled at her, "You will never hurt again" he purred. Katie gave him a head butt and buried her face in his fur.
The Company of Kiddens came forward to greet her. Noses were touched and head butts exchanged. Nermal promised to show her the best sunny spots and Freyja promised to show her the best catnip patch and Nash peepers promised a game of hockey, any time, any place. Katie's eyes met Max's. She was overwhelmed by the warmth and love that surrounded her. As the last of the kiddens gave their greetings, Max gently turned her in the direction of the Rainbow Fields. They walked quietly for a moment and then she turned to him, "Is it true? Will I see my human again?" "Yes, it is true. We wait here until it is time for us to be together again", he smiled at her. "But I will miss her terribly" said Katie with sadness creeping into her voice. Max licked her ear, "The sadness will pass, Katie. You will feel her presence again then. You are never really apart, as long as there is love". With that, he led her home.
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