My cat

-- Bodhiyana

My cat was 17 years old when he died. For the last year of his life, when it was obvious he was going to die from the sun cancer that had invaded his face, I simply allowed him to do and be what he wanted. And this turned out to be "in my lap." All my meditations were with him sitting in my lap. He shared in any awakening. All grace had purring as background music.

When he died very peacefully curled up on the seat of my mother's rocker, I left him there for several hours undisturbed. After digging his grave with tears flowing and a heavy heart, I returned to the house to wrap him in a sheet. As I picked up this little bundle and held it to my chest, something came out of his body and into my heart. The shock of it made me stop where I stood for several seconds just holding him. The sensation began to feel like warm honey...right there in my heart. I recognized this as all of him--all that I had loved--and all that he had been for 17 years now glowed softly in my heart. There was no sense that anything had been lost. The poor ravaged body that I then carried out and buried was just the empty case with nothing of him remaining in it. I knew this to be true on a very deep experiential level. I recognized that this was what I was also; just this energy of goodness that inhabits the body and then slips out without any loss.

It has been two years since his death and the feeling remains as warm as the first moment. If I think of him, that is the sensation rather than pain. These last moments were very precious, not to be hurried through or missed. He gave me a gift which will last forever.