More Rethinking Reincarnation

The Memoirs of a Cat

In the past seven years, while I have been recovering from Post-Concussion Syndrome, there seems to have been some rearranging of the synapses of my mind. This could just be ego speaking; we used to be friends but ego knew my spirit was in charge.  Or it could be spirit speaking, but with a different taste on my tongue. I am seeing some of the fallacies of what I thought I understood, particularly that the Spirit of Origin, as I have lately started to call the being of First Life, wouldn’t have such a wide range of personalities in people’s spirits, that there would be more homogeneity if we were all coming from the same source. I understand that there are so many spirits that make up the Spirit of Origin (consider how many trillions of cells there are in our bodies {30 to 37 trillion in the adult human body}, each with its own little spirit inside), and multiply that by the number of people in the world (presently close to 7.5 billion), none of that number taking into any consideration at all of the unimaginable number of other living beings on our planet, that it would take 10 to the power of infinity to make up the number of spirits that it would take to fill up our world–we would never even have a word to signify so high an unimaginable number. But every one of that number would each have a spirit, making the number of spirits in the universe equal a number that can only be expressed by infinity to the power of infinity squared. That number could only be comprehensible to the Spirit of Origin, if even to it. Therefore, if every being alive on Earth has 37 trillion little spirits that combine into one big spirit, how many spirits are there on the Earth at any given time? I don’t think even the best computer in the world can compute so high a number. And the thing is, each of the big spirits is so different from its fellow species  members as to make my old theory useless..

For this example I will use cats. I’ve probably had at least 20 different cats in my lifetime, and not two of them had even similar personality traits. Loki, a short-haired black, was probably the smartest cat I ever lived with. He could look at something, and know if it was fact or fiction. His first time ever in front of a TV he watched the actors do their bits on the screen. He watched it from the front, from the top, and from each side trying to figure out where actors were coming from as they entered the screen, and where they were going when they left the screen. Finally, when the credits started to roll upwards, he watched each one disappear from the screen, He jumped back on top of the TV and waited for the credits to appear. When they did not, he turned his back on television, and never watched it again. But that was just a start of how he showed off his wisdom and his street smarts.  He would go for walks with the woman who was to be my wife and I, walking ten blocks or more away from home, inspecting all the yards as we walked past them. Every once in a while we would have to stop and wait for him as he read the smells and scents left behind by previous mammals. If we kept on going, not noticing he had lagged behind, or if he was taking too long in one place, we would walk on ahead, and maybe five minutes later he would rush up to us, and meow his bewilderment or anger that we had gone on without him. He had little fear of dogs or other cats, and none of people. The world was his to explore, and if he wanted us to go walking with him, he would paw at our knees as if to say, time for our walk, let’s go. We would let him lead the way, and he would find places he or we had not been to before. And he could lead us home by completely different routes, knowing the streets that led to his street, and knowing which direction would lead home.

But that was not the most shining example of his intelligence. First I have to tell the story of his first (and only) mating season. We were living in a five story walk-up at the time, occupying an apartment on the fourth floor. Now, I will admit that even as a kitten we had been taking him down to ground level and carrying him across the street to the only green space nearby. He would run and chase butterflies, follow an ant for half an hour to see where it was going, play with daddy longleg spiders, who rolled themselves into little balls when he approached. Sometimes he would pick the defenseless spider up gently with his teeth, and walk around us with his head and tail held high. Then he would put it down as gently as he had picked it up, and bat it softly around like a hockey puck. Those spiders would entertain him for hours. But then, one night, when it was time to go home, he ran under a parked car and stayed just out of our reach. That was the first time he had ever stayed outside by himself. He was almost a year-old by now, and presumably he could smell the female pheromones in the air. About two o’clock in the morning we heard scratching at our back door, the one leading to the combination fire escape/ balcony. The smile on his face was tremendous. He went to sleep without even eating first. He slept way past his usual waking time, and because he did we were late leaving for work. He had always been our alarm clock on weekdays, letting us sleep in on weekends. This day he slept the sleep of the dead. I always arrived home from work earlier than my to-be ex., so I was the only witness to his actions when I closed the apartment door behind me. He walked over to his food dish and showed to me how shiny clean it was. I put some food out for him, and he ate it with great gusto. I was sitting on the couch, reading the newspaper when he surprised me with a godawful grumbling sound that sounded as if it were coming out of his throat. I looked at him, and he looked at me, then at the door, signifying he wanted to go out. He had never gone out on his own before, our outside time was always after supper. But today he was in a hurry, and made another yowling sound like nothing I had ever heard before. It was like he was twisting the vocal cords in his larynx and coming out with sounds no cat had ever made. I told him to be quiet, and wait for “mommy” to get home. Since it was time to start supper I got out of my chair and started towards the kitchen, which was where our back door stayed locked whenever we went out. Loki ran straight to the door, but I veered to the right towards the refrigerator. And what happened next as far as I heard it is no word of a lie. His third attempt at making this indescribable sound  was his best try yet. In one long vocal explosion I heard a stuttering a sound that I suddenly realized added up to the sentence, “IIIIwaaaaantttttogooooooooutttt!” He was doing his best to speak English with vocal cords never intended for human language.  I stood there for ten or so seconds while he pawed at the door handle as if trying to turn it. Then I unlocked the door and barely started to open it. He was out the door like greased lightning and running down the stairs to ground level. That was about by 5:30 PM.  By 11:00 PM my best friend and I were worried. We had gone out looking for him a few times, but had not seen him anywhere. My bff thought the story of him speaking English (as close as he could) was all hooey,  but the longer he stayed out the more worried she got.  At 11:00 PM we found flashlights and went looking for him one more time. We heard a screeching sound from down the block, and we went to investigate. The sounds were coming from underneath a car, and when we got down on our hands and knees and turned on our flashlights what we saw was our Loki, having sex with a queen,  but it was the five cats waiting around him that amazed us. They obviously were not males, since they weren’t fighting, and they all seemed to want to carry on Loki’s gene pool. We left him there that night, under the car with his harem, after he had glowered at us for interfering in his personal orgy. It wasn’t till about 3 days later that we next saw Loki, dragging his beaten and bedraggled body up the four flights of stairs to his home. Of course we took him straight to the veterinarian, who put a cast on his broken right front leg, and cleaned up all the scratches and bites he had most likely suffered from the males who had attacked in a moment of weakness. He was attracting most of the females near our home, and we can only imagine how many kittens he sired in that time period. To complete this part of Loki’s life story, (which this blog has obviously come to be about), after wearing the cast for 4 to 6 weeks, the vet took it off and announced that he was all healed. For the next few days he still limped around, favouring his right leg, until one day we arrived home early. Either it was poppy dèay (what we now call Remembrance Day) or an election day, because Loki was not expecting us at that time. He was playing Chase with our other cat, and he was chasing her all over the room. When he suddenly saw us watching,  he stopped running and immediately started limping again, “on his left leg.” He realized his mistake too late, and switched to limping on the right leg, but he knew his secret had been discovered. He had lost our sympathy, and when my girlfriend said to him, “Forget it, Loki, we know you’re all fixed up,” (or words to that effect), he put his right leg down and started playing chase again.  That was the last time we trusted him when he told us he was injured, and as far as I know he never tried to fool us again.

And now for the “pièce de résistance.” My girlfriend and I split up. I cannot remember why, but we did. Loki was very unhappy after I moved out of our new apartment.  I didn’t move too far, about six or seven blocks away, down one of Winnipeg’s main feeder roads for people going to and from work. This was a just-off downtown area, and traffic was fairly heavy all day long, and even moreso at rush hour. Fortunately we both lived south of the street, so there was no reason for crossing it, but still it would be a dangerous walk for any lone child, let alone a cat. But with no reason for Loki to have any idea of where I was living, I came home one night to find him camped out at the  side door I frequently used, as that was where I locked up my bicycle. I didn’t drive, as in the city there was no need to add the exhaust of another car to the already noxious fumes surrounding us.  Besides, I did not have, nor never had at that time, a driver’s licence. I saw no need for one. Winnipeg had about the best bus service in Canada, and I used it extensively to travel to and from work in the vicious Winnipeg winter winds. But as soon as spring came, and until the snow started to fall, I travelled everywhere by foot or by bicycle. And that left no scent for Loki to follow in order to find where I lived, yet here he was, patiently waiting for who knows how long. I took a long time giving him scratches and cuddles and pets and just holding him, while he purred away in my arms. After I let him know how much I still loved him, I told him to go back home because his “mother” would be missing him. He would have no part of leaving me. He wanted to come in with me, and I finally relented. I had no food for him, didn’t have his favourite water bowl, nor did I have much from our old home except my clothes, and the waterbed. Everything else was new, and one thing I knew, cats do not like change. But I rang for the elevator, and when the doors opened he slithered in as if he had been doing this all his life. He sat beside my feet as I waited for the elevator to arrive at the sixth floor, the site of my new home. The door opened several times between the parking lot and the sixth floor, but I did not move, so neither did he. I led him down the hall to my apartment, unlocked the door, and followed him in. He immediately went into the kitchen, and did his little food and water dance. He must have been waiting for me all day, because this was not his usual feeding time.  Luckily there was a mom and pop store half a block away, and after I gave him some water in a soup bowl, I went to the store, bought cat food, cat litter, grabbed a box to put the litter in, and returned home as fast as I could. I fed him, and then I fed myself. It was the first night in two weeks that I felt comfortable in my new home. I watched some TV while he curled up on my lap and went to sleep. I phoned my ex and told her not to worry about Loki as he was safe with me. At first she accused me of catnapping him, but eventually I convinced her he had come of his own volition. I slept like a baby that night, Loki curled up at the foot-end of the bed, and slept until the minute before my alarm would go off just the way it had always been. He washed my face until I woke up and gave him a big kiss. But I had to go to work, and I did not want to leave him all alone in an apartment which he was not familiar with. But I didn’t have to worry about that for long, because as he watched me get ready to go to work, he went and sat at the door, letting me know he wanted to go outside. Once again he got onto the elevator and went down to the parking lot one floor below ground level, but with both an entrance and an exit ramp to the outside, doors that were almost always open. I went to work, happy that Loki had come to visit, but not expecting him to really be there when I got home.  It was too much like a dream to actually have happened. And sure enough when I locked my bike up after riding home, there was no Loki waiting for me. I noted that I was actually sad that he wasn’t there, yesterday had been such a wonderful evening and night. Half dejectedly I got into the elevator, and took it up to the sixth floor. When I reached my floor I didn’t really think about Loki, he had come for a visit, and now he had gone home. I thought! When I arrived at my door, there he was, lying in wait for me in front of the inset door where I had not been able to see him as I walked down the hall. I unlocked my door, opened it,  and together we walked in. This time he did not look for food or water, He ran to the couch and jumped up on it, sitting with exactly enough room between him and the arm of the couch for my butt to fit in, and waited for me to join him. Soon I did, and he got back on my lap, and we told each other how much we loved each other. This time I didn’t wait, I phoned my ex to let her know he was still with me. That was when she told me he had come to her home about mid-morning. played with our other cats till mid-afternoon and then jumped out the catwindow, a window that was always open in summer for cats to go in and out without bothering us. She had not seen him since, and when he didn’t come home at snack time she was worried about his whereabouts. I told her where he had waited for me, and we talked a bit about how he could always surprise us with his intelligence, and said good-bye.

The next day being Saturday,  he didn’t wake me up until 8:59 AM, still one minute before the alarm was scheduled to ring. We ate breakfast together, and then he let me know he wanted to go for a walk. I got dressed, and out we went, but this time going out the front door rather than using the parking lot. It didn’t phase him one bit,  He headed straight towards Broadway, the busy street that ran from my new street to my old street, walked to our old ground story apartment, and he jumped right through the open window. I had no idea what to do, so I turned and walked back to my apartment to decide what to do for the day. And then it struck me! How had I not noticed before? Yesterday, after work, Loki had not met me at the door in the parking lot, he had met me at the door to my apartment. How had he done that? I knew he was smart, but the only way he could get to my apartment without going through fire doors on every floor of the fire escape,  was to use the elevator. How had he entered the building? How had he got into the elevator. Though weird, those two things were easy enough for a child to do, just wait for someone to open the building door, then wait for the elevator doors to open. But how did he know which floor to get off on, and how would he get to the exact floor he needed at get off at? There was no way he could have reached the buttons, and definitely no way to press one even if he could reach them. He could have ridden in the elevator for hours, waiting for someone to get off at the right floor. But however he had done it, he did it successfully. And I was so happy he did. I was supposed to go out with some friends that night, but I begged off, not telling anyone the real reason why I wanted to stay home. I wanted to be there if and when he came back. I sat there all night, and he never showed up. My phone rang about 9:30. It was my ex telling me Loki had stayed home all day, once he got there, waiting and watching the door for something to happen She didn’t know what, but I did. He had led me home, and he had expected me to join him on the inside. I can only say I must have disappointed him thoroughly. Finally there was one thing he could not understand, the end of a relationship. But his action also told me something I did not understand; whatever had happened between us we both still loved each other, and Loki knew we belonged together. And for three days  in a row now we humans had talked to each other, both concerned about where Loki was, and was he safe? We were talking civilly to each other again, whereas the frost in the air when we decided to split up had prevented us from seeing the truth. I got back on the phone, and when she answered, I asked her  to promise me one thing.  Her voice sounded questionable, but she asked, What thing?” I answered that if Loki asked to go for a walk the next morning, and he led her to my place, would she please bring him upstairs?” She laughed and answered, “If he walks me to your door I will definitely bring him up.” I could hear in her voice that she thought I was crazy, and so she had gone along with the gag.

Next morning, just before ten, my buzzer rang. When I answered it her incredulous voice said, “Here we are. Let us up.” I had been ready for this to happen for almost 15 minutes now. I had her favourite tea brewing on the table, and three places set, one each for the humans, and one place for the cat. When the knock came on the door, I opened it and said, “Please come in.” She looked around the apartment, which I had gotten up early to make spotless, which spoke to her pet peeve as to how sloppy a man I was.  And she was right, I was a sloppy man, but only between the wall and my side of the waterbed where no casual visitor could see my mess.  She was stunned speechless for a moment, then she asked, “How did you know?” I returned. “Because that’s what he tried to get me to do yesterday, about this same time, but I didn’t follow him in. I just walked away. And that’s probably what you would have done today.” “Yes, I was almost going to do that anyway, but I had promised to bring him upstairs and so I did. I was not expecting this,”  she pointed towards the table set for three, with a pot of tea in the middle of the table. cream and sugar beside it, knowing  that I drank my tea black. “Why”, she finally added.

“Because Loki knows us better than we do. He knows we belong together. and he doing his best to be a matchmaker.”

“Do we belong together?” she asked. “What about…?”Loki chose this moment to jump up on the table, and started to eat the food I had put out for him. We both cracked up laughing, but she said, “Only if we get married.”

“Is that a proposal?” I asked,

“I guess. It sounded like one to me?”

I got down on one knee, accepted her proposal, and then asked if she would marry  me?

“Only if you stay here until after the wedding,” and that was how I came to be married to her for the next 7 years. And it was all because of Loki…

Now, you might be wondering why I told you this story in a blog that was supposed to be about Rethinking Reincarnation.  And I have to say I don’t know, but hopefully I will figure it out before my next blog. I started my last blog by telling you I was writing off the top of my head, and I had no idea where we would end up. Well, this is not the end, not yet, but I never expected to come here. As I started today’s blog I thought I was going to write about the intended subject, and maybe I have, I don’t know yet. We’ll all have to wait and see where this is taking us. I can definitely say now, though, that this is my spirit talking, decidedly not my ego. I believe my spirit is finally taking back control of my life. I certainly hope I am right.

Until next time…