In Loving Memory Of Putt Putt Brenner
Written by Consta Jenkins
Reprinted by permission of the author
Eatbugs was lounging under the willow tree with Moki and Mouschi. Moki was telling stories of her many travels on Earth and all the exciting places she had been. Eatbugs' time on Earth had been so short that he relished hearing the experiences of the older kiddens. Picnic and Grandpa Max joined the group and Eatbugs was enthralled with their stories too. Before long Pris and Virginia and Rocky joined in and before you knew "why I remember whens" were flying. Some of the younger kiddens rolled their eyes and went to find a hockey game, but Eatbugs stayed. He heard the most amazing things, of the best chirp hunts and of grand adventures. He sighed.
"What's the matter Little One?", asked Virginia.
"All those wonderful times, so much fun and so much love. Wasn't hard to come here? I mean it was hard for me and I only knew my humans for a little while...." sighed Eatbugs.
Picnic gave a little chuckle and nuzzled his young furriend, "Well, little man, it is never easy to leave behind the warm and love of our humans, but I don't think it is harder for us old timers".
"Indeed," said Max, "I should think it was easier". Eatbugs looked confused. Virginia smiled at him and explained, "We all knew that our time upon the Earth was limited, Little One. Each of us knew that we had but a tiny march of days to sleep in the sun and feel the warmth of our humans. We" she indicated the group of kiddens around her, "made the most of that time."
Max laughed, "We had a good run for our kibble."
Virginia looked at Max and nodded, while she would not have phrased it quite that way, she agreed. "There is a cycle to life, Little One, and we have completed it. We knew the boundless energy of peeperhood, the steadiness of adulthood and the quiet slowing of old age. We completed the cycle."
"And", said Mouschi quietly, "for us coming here meant the end of pain." The older kiddens all nodded gravely.
"Little One," said Pris, "You see us here, now, whole and healthy, as all creatures are on the Bridge. But our last days on Earth were not so. For many coming here means the end of pain and is a relief. We will always miss our humans until they come for us again, but we are glad to be here, and whole again."
Eatbugs was about to ask a question when Virginia twitched an ear and he felt the familiar tingle in his whiskers. The kiddens in the circle bowed their heads. Virginia closed her eyes and cast her mind out over the Earth and sighed. "Come furriends", she said to the old timers, "Another joins our ranks today". The kiddens all rose and together made their journey to the Gate. As they walked their ranks grew. Imbri and Tinky, Beethoven and Puppie, Isolde and Freyja. Toms carried peepers on their shoulders and the solemnly made their way to the Welcoming. They walked shoulder to shoulder, some linking tails, some purring quietly. From every corner of the Bridge they came to welcome another to their ranks.
As the Company gathered, the music in the wind swirled around them with the all too familiar bittersweet melody. The colors in the sky began to dance and shift as the music rose to a crescendo. A flash of blue appeared and faded, leaving in it's wake a small tabby and white kidden.Putt Putt blinked and looked at the kiddens around her. Her little pink nose twitched as she took in the new smells and she sighed. Virginia stepped forward from the Company and presented her nose in greeting, "Welcome to the Rainbow Bridge, Putt Putt", she said, "Come and be welcomed by the others".
Putt Putt stood up and took a step and stopped looking a little confused. Mouschi laughed and presented his nose, "Welcome Putt Putt. It takes a little getting used to (but not much)--there are no stiff joints here. There is no pain, nor suffering. You are whole again." Putt Putt looked down at her little white paw and lifted it gingerly. It didn't ache. She took a few more steps and then danced her tail in glee. She took a practice leap and found her legs as strong and her eyes as true as in her youth and she laughed. The Company laughed with her and touched noses as she danced by them. She sniff noses with Rocky and cocked her head. "I don't understand" she said, "I KNOW you. I know you all, but your scent is not familiar. Have we touched noses before?".
Rocky smiled, "No, furriend. We've not touched noses, but we are bound to each other. Our humans are bound together in their love for us, and so we, too, are bound. There is more than one human that mourns your journey, furriend". Putt Putt's face grew solemn. Her human! In her joy at finding her pain a memory she had forgotten her humans.
Eatbugs stepped forward and nuzzled her ear, "Don't worry, Putt Putt," he said in a gentle voice, "You'll see them again. In fact you can see them when ever you like. We'll teach you. And you can stay here until your humans come for you."
Putt Putt looked over the Bridge and back at the Earth and smiled. She felt the presence of her human's pain and sent back her love, "It's all right. I am here"
She looked up at Eatbugs and asked, "Can she hear me?". Eatbugs nodded, "It will take her time to understand, but in her heart--she hears".
And surrounded by her furriends, Putt Putt turned and made her way into her new home.
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