In Loving Memory Of Sagan Hubbard
Written by Consta Jenkins
Reprinted by permission of the author
Night was settling over the Rainbow Bridge. The sky was a deep purple, tinged on the horizon with each hue of the rainbow, and one by one the stars twinkled their first light of the evening. Eatbugs neatly finished washing the last of the kibble crumbs from dinner from his whiskers and rose and stretched. He padded quietly towards the edge of the Bridge to wait for his friends.
It had been two days ago, when Imbri had come with a solemn face to speak with his friend. Eatbugs knew that look, his big, black friend had worn it when Tinky prepared to make her journey. Eatbugs had listened in comforting silence as Imbri told him that another of his siblings was preparing to journey. For two nights now, the small band of friends had ventured into the stars to help.
Eatbugs looked out over the horizon, the sun had slipped away and given her place in the sky to the lusterous moon. The stars shone brighter here than ever they had on the Earth, and Eatbugs gazed out at them. He turned as he heard the soft pawsteps of his friends approaching. Imbri walked with Tinky, gently butting his massive head against her for comfort. Boo Boo and Red walked behind them. They nodded to each other silently, and one by one they leapt out into the stars.
A trip into the stars usually meant a rousing game of tag and frolicking happily in the soft silver glow, but tonight, as in the previous two nights, the companions travelled in silence. They came to rest on the face of the moon and looked down on the Earth they had once called home. Watching it's soft blue light shining in the darkness, Eatbugs felt a pang of regret for the life he'd left behind. His humans were there, and 'Listy and 'Liath. He remembered the joy of his human's hand in his fur and sighed.
He shook his head and cast those thoughts from his mind. He had marched his days in the sun, and when that march was over, he had come here. He felt the love of his humans in the gentle touch of the Windsong, and he he waited. He would feel that loving touch again, and know again the warmth of his human's arms. The Creator of All Things had made the Great Promise to her children, and all regret was washed away in it's wake. Love was forever, and that was all that mattered.
"Are we ready" said Imbri. Eatbugs stirred from his reverie and nodded. Imbri, Tinky and Boo Boo sat down together in a circle, and Eatbugs and Red sat quietly behind them. They pursed their whiskers and lifted their purrs onto the wind and set them drifting towards the Earth. It only took a moment for their minds to find the one they sought. Sagan was curled tightly in a ball, frightened and in pain. Tinky reached out her thoughts and gently caressed him, her love weaving a web around him to ease the pain away. Imbri's deep rumbling purr surrounded Sagan, and set up a vibration within his heart, pushing away all fear. Boo Boo's soft voice sang deeply in Sagan's soul, painting pictures of the Rainbow Bridge and the love Sagan would know here. He sang of companionship and warm sunny days and most importantly of all, he sang of the Great Promise.
And so they passed the night. Eatbugs and Red purred gently with their friends, adding their voice when one of the three grew weary, purring strength and support for them.
At long last, Sagan fell into a deep and comforting sleep. The Bridge kiddens rose and stretched and looked once more down to their brother. He would pass the night in peace before making his journey. They sat in silence, eached wrapped in their own thoughts until Tinky looked up and said, "Eatbugs, are you ever sorry you came here?".
Eatbugs considered for a moment and answered, "No. I mean I miss my humans and I wish I could feel their hands in my fur....but I do...sometimes. Sometimes when the breeze blows over me, it feels just like my human is stroking me again. And I can hear their voices whispering to me in the Windsong. I can close my eyes and see them anytime I want to, and I can always come to the stars to be close. Sometimes I wish my march in the sun had been longer, but I'm not sorry I am here".
Tinky turned her big blue eyes to Imbri. "Are you?", she asked.
"No, little sister", he said. "Eatbugs is right, we've marched our march and it was time for us to journey. There is a plan and cycle in the world, little one. Do you remember hearing Momma say 'everytime a door closes, one opens'?". Tinky nodded. "Well, that is how it is with our marches. For every journey, somewhere somekidden begins their march. So it has been since the very dawn of time. Everykidden wishes their march could have been longer, and wishes they could have known the love of their human for just a while longer, but the Creator of All Things has made us the Great Promise, and gives us, everyday, the gift of that love. Listen to the Windsong, little sister. Feel the love-touch of the breezes. We are never really apart as long as there is love. And someday, we will be together again. It is promised."
Boo Boo looked hard at his little sister. "You are still troubled, Tinky", he said, "take comfort in the Promise and know that love is forever. What is it that still pulls at your heart?".
Tinky looked back at the Earth. "I can feel Momma and Pappa's love....but they can't feel mine", she said sadly, "Momma's heart is breaking and she is so lonely."
"Oh but she can!", cried Boo Boo, "Watch! Turn your thoughts towards the Earth and hold her in your mind". With that, Boo Boo pursed his whiskers and began to purr. Then, to Tinky's amazement, he did a flip and chased his tail in a circle. She was about to ask him if he'd lost his senses when she saw it in her mind's eye. Her Momma, even through her grief and worry over Sagan, smiled! Tinky felt the memory washing over her, of her little Boo Boo frolicking through the house, and she felt the deep, rich glow of her Momma's love washing over her.
Imbri gave his sister a smile and a headbutt. "Come, little one, it is almost morning and we must go home now". The company of friends turned back towards the Rainbow Bridge, their hearts lighter on their journey home. Red and Boo Boo even indulged in a quick game of tag as Tinky laughed at their antics.
When they returned, they joined their friends at the eating place. Tinky settled in beside Blossom and Imbri and Red joined Picnic and Mitzie. They had no sooner finished when Eatbugs felt the familiar tingle in his whiskers. He looked up at Imbri, who silently nodded. "Come", he said to his siblings, "It is time". Together the Company began to make their journey. Eatbugs walked with Catryn and Jasmine. Isolde and Virginia walked with Picnic and Boots. Beethoven and Spunkie walked with Ebony and Rocky. Singly and in pairs they came, this Company of Kiddens, coming once more to make the Welcoming.
They gathered before the Gate, forming their circle and bowing their heads. They raised their purrs to join the bittersweet Welcoming Song and each held in their hearts the memory of their journey here.
At last the blue flash appeared and faded within the Gate, and in it's wake sat a handsome grey tabby kidden. Sagan blinked for a moment and then raised his eyes to the Company. He searched the faces in the crowd until he found those he sought. Tinky, Imbri and Boo Boo came running to meet their brother, headbutting him and giving him gently earlicks. "Welcome home," said Imbri. Sagan returned his head butt and smiled, "You were right! I don't hurt anymore....and I feel as young as a peeper!". Imbri smiled, "You will never know pain again, brother.....and you are home".
One by one the Company of Kiddens came forward to make their greetings. Noses were snifted and promises made to show Sagan the bestest spots for eating and sleepin and playing. He had engagements for half a dozen hockey games before he laughing said that even eternity wasn't long enough to keep all of them! He turned and walked with his siblings and his new found friendss and was led into his new home.
As the Company passed, Imbri stepped quietly aside and padded his way to the Rainbow's edge. He looked down over the Earth and pursed his whiskers and purred. He waited a moment, until he could feel his solid, comforting presence in his human's heart and then he sent his message home. "He is home, Momma. Don't worry, I'll take care of him. We are here and we are waiting".
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