One aspect of my personality that has changed since my arrival at the Bridge is my attitude towards cats. When I was on the mortal side, I truly did loathe them. Looking back, I can now say part of my kitty resentment was jealousy. I would sit in my house, staring out the window and see kitties running about freely on the grass. I wasn't allowed to do this; why were they?
I was told it was illegal for dogs to be off-leash. I believed that this was due to the big kitty lobby that influences politicians. They reasoned that dogs are more likely to do damage to people and property than cats. After seeing the havoc, feral cats caused at my parents' house when they disconnected the duct from the AC to the house and turned our crawl space into a kitty version of The Deuce I could not have disagreed more.
Mommy told me the biggest reason I wasn't allowed to be outside like cats are that I would get hurt. I knew the same was true of cats, but in my opinion, it was good enough for them.
When I arrived at the Bridge, it took me a while before I ventured to kitty land. Old prejudices die hard even on the immortal side. Our first few meetings were like when the Indians first encountered the pilgrims. We eyed one another warily and wished that someone had brought a turkey.
Over time I learned, just as my dog friends who share their homes with cats did that kitties were sweet little creatures in their own right. They put their decorative sweaters on four legs at a time just like us. Their most significant attribute is that they make their parents feel loved. Not as much as dogs, but they are trying, and that's important.
That is when I began attending the swearing-in ceremonies for my cat friends as they arrived at the Bridge. The services are quite similar. When they cross their section of the bridge, all their pain and worries disappear as they do with us. There are teardrops shed by the humans who loved the recently departed that fall like rain on their heads and are gathered by the angels. When they are reunited with a family member, they will run and play just like dogs do. Other times they lick one another. Who am I to judge?
This week I was contacted my good friend Remi. His beloved kitty sibling Harley took sick. His parents hoped it was a cold, but the malady was connected to more severe breathing problems. His parents made the great sacrifice of taking on all of Harley's pain and sending him to the bridge.
Remi lives with many cats, but he is closest to Harley. They slept in the big bed, cuddled up with their parents. They were prime examples of what the human world needs more of: They set aside the centuries-old difference between dogs and cats and concentrated on what united them: Their mutual love of their parents.
That night I visited Remi’s dreams and told him how Harley had taken a few tentative steps across the Bridge before he realized he could breathe like a kitty again, and then he began to run as he had in his youth. Harley's parents had many cats who preceded him to the Bridge, and they were all there to greet their sibling. They were no howls of joy when they were reunited, but there were lots of purrs of happiness
Then I stepped aside and let Harley come forward so Remi could see his new Angel brother. Thanks to all who preceded him, Harley had picked up how to be an angel, and visit his loved ones quickly. I left the two siblings playing. I don't know if his parents noticed Remi's little legs dancing in joy when he saw Harley in his dreams. If they see it again, they should understand that Harley is visiting Remi just as he will visit them in their dreams. Maybe they'll even believe enough to remember his visit.
Once again, even passing to the bridge can not sever the love between two devoted souls.
That is because love is the most potent force in the world.