Since I arrived at Rainbow Bridge it has been my duty to welcome all pets who have crossed the River of Life and become angels to their new life a immortal souls.
This week Cotton, a very pretty cat with a huge M on this head, who belonged to the parents of my good friends Angus Mac, Maggie and Stella Roe, arrived at the Bridge with a note in her paw.
I took the letter. I expected it to be a letter of introduction, or maybe she wanted me to sign her autograph. I looked down to see the Big Guy’s handwriting. Cotton had been appointed to greet all kitties who arrived at the Rainbow Bridge.
“Hey Foley,” Paco said, slyly looking over my shoulder “is not that your job?”
I felt my skin burning under my hair but I did not want to show that the letter had any affect on me. I folded it back up and handed it to Cotton. “Just a standard communication. Cotton is going to help me in greeting our friends when they come here. I have asked for help and Cotton here is the perfect choice.” I tried not to look anyone in the eye. I knew my eyes would betray my lack of truthfulness.
Cotton was then overwhelmed with family and friends. She was carried off triumphantly. I was glad that she go such a reception but I did not envy her. Cats can be quite difficult to help transition to the Bridge. She would probably need lots of help.
I gave her a few days to get her paws wet then I asked Paco and Odie to accompany me to a hill where we could watch Cotton greet new kitties at the Bridge. A cat I did not recognize had just crossed over. “Good luck kid,” I whispered.
Cotton hugged the new cat, and, unlike my offering of kitty hugs, it was gratefully accepted. Cotton then brought out a bottle of champagne. It was poured and all the cat’s friends toasted the new arrival.
“Why don’t we dog get greeted like that?” Odie asked.
“Oh, it just showy!” I said, not caring if my jealousy was apparent.
Then came the plates of salmon, tuna, and caviar. The cats and their guests had a feast to greet the news angel.
“Why don’t we have feasts like that?” Odie asked.
“We don’t need them right Paco? Paco?”
“Paco is down there eating caviar,” Odie said.
I went back to my house. Who did this new kitty with her big ideas think she was. I was in a foul mood. I put some crushed kibble in my pipe. Usually a good smoke calmed me down. Then I heard a soft knocking on my door.
I opened it to find Cotton sitting on my welcome mat. She asked is she could come inside.
She climbed up in one of my chairs. “I don’t know how you do this Foley,” she sighed. “It is hard, everyone is so sad. I try to make it a joyful reunion but I don’t know if I am helping.”
I knew that feeling all too well. I climbed up on the chair and sat next to Cotton. (I know, a cat!) I took her paw and told her that she was doing a wonderful job. I admitted I had seen her celebration and said it was as fine a welcome as I had ever witnessed. I told her how sure I was that her family would be beaming with pride if they knew how she was spreading joy to those at their lowest point. I promised that Leo would teach her how to fly into the sun and visit her family because I knew they loved her and missed her a great deal.
Cotton asked me for any advice I could give her to help her when greeting her friends.
I looked her in her eyes. “Of course I can,” I said. “First, where do you get the champagne?”