So yes, Ghostie was pretty much my familiar, my kitchen familiar. And I was devastated when he passed away a few years ago. But a year and a half later, we had the opportunity to take two kittens to replace our old bois.
Wife’s old boi also had passed away, coincidentally almost a year to the week after Ghostie. These two had met, had a few arguments, then settled down to become friends. When we had the opportunity to take in a stray farm cat and her last remaining son, we did that and Ghostie and Merlot became The Old Bois, the Stadtler and Waldorf of our muppet show. They also became inseparable, snoozing together, making “armrests” for me on either side, letting me sneak food from the kitchen or table to them.
I think after Ghostie passed, Merlot pretty much lost the will to live once he realised that G wasn’t coming back. New kittens weren’t on the books, no sirree. But on my 60th birthday, we got the word that some kittens we’d become interested in were available. It was late in the day almost evening and we had to drive “overseas” (to Phillip Island) for them but off we went, and these two seven – or – eight – week – old kittens (out of eight) pretty much attached themselves to us right away and stayed around when the other six lost interest.
The 5yo boy of the house was named Archie, and he was at first pleased as punch that we would be the kittens’ new Mum and Dad, then distressed when he realised that this meant that the two boys would be leaving with us. On the way home they squeaked a bit and then settled down. I was looking at the one with more white on him and weighing names against his appearance.
“That one looks like his name needs to be Pickle” I finally said. Wifey looked at him, must have seen th epotential, and so Pickle became Pickle. She looked at the little one with more black fur and long gangly – WHITE!!! – back legs and he became Archie in honour of the boy. And that was that.
So because I believe in reincatination, I was keeping an eye on them and sure enough Pickle started displaying enough Ghostie traits that we soon stared nicknaming him “Li’l G”
Archie has become the quintessential cartoon “Flat Cat” and is the most gentle with us both, but Wifey in particular. Pickle has become my familiar and loves Wifey the way Ghostie did. But he’s no reincarnation of Ghostie, he just knows stuff and is stuff, as well as being himself at the same time.
Missy and George her son are now the Old Cats, George is seven and Missy at least nine.
And Pickle wastes no opportunity to show us how much he understands and how intelligent he is. He shows me his accomplishments – I get a full re-enactment of things he’s learned that day if I missed the original. He sits by Wifey at lunchtime, attracts her attention, looks to where the snack pack is, back to her, then licks his chops, and nods when she asks if he’d like some.’
Brings my his soft toys when they get grotty and soiled, lays them down, gives them a quick wash and himself a quick wash just to let me know that he’d like it washed.
Archie plays ferocious games of ankle – grabbing with me, and when I sit with him for a cuddle he rabbit – kicks my arm and rolls around so I’ll rub ALL of him from top to toes, meanwhile mock fighting me every so often. But he does it so gently, as though he was playing with a very young kitten because he’s figured out that humans don’t have protective fur.
And I wondered – when we got these cats two and a half years ago at age seven or eight weeks, they already knew how to cat. From cat jizz and ovum to a clump of cells to a mewling newborn kitten, and that kitten already knew so much. I thought of myself. I was able to recall memories from age two – three years approximately, and I realised that “I” was already present then.
How does this happen? More recently I got to learn about the nucleus accumbens and the part they play in shaping our magical thinking, but it doesn’t really help. I read an article that suggests that microtubule structure in our brain neurons hold quantum data that may not be destroyed when we die, forming a possible locus for that inefable “me” that lives in there – somewhere – and expereinces – something – that it then calls “the Universe and my place in it.”
Oh and spoky coincidences just pile up. I wondered about why we humans are so prone to magical thinking (i.e. religion, myth, dragons and wizards and elves and kobolds) and within six hours a TV show gave me the nucleus acc.. Wifey and I discuss a certain topic and within 12 hours it’s in the news or on facebook or an article on one of the journals I follow. NOTHING before that time.
So how do “she” and “I” “communicate” about these “things” that we may have “experienced” or “thought of” and then suddenly they “appear” in our “current experience” ? I think once we crack that we’ll be able to heal ourselvews and anyone else we care to. We may even become Gods in our own right…
Amen to that…