In Loving Memory Of Herbie Cartee
Cat of Great Heart

Written by Consta Jenkins

Reprinted by permission of the author

The first rays of morning sun were painting their splendor over the Rainbow Bridge, and night's stars blinked their farewells and retreated before the dawn.

Eatbugs stretched out a paw before him and turned his face towards the sun. He had spent the better part of the night dancing among the stars with Jasmine and AJ and had stopped to look in on his humans. He always felt so much at peace, knowing that they were well and that his memory lived in their hearts.

A rustling in the grass drew his attention and he turned to see Picnic and Max padding softly towards him. "Good morrow", he said and danced his tail in greeting.

"Good Morning", they answered. "We promised the peepers we'd referee their morning hockey game. Care to join us?", said Max.

"Oh, thank you...but I promised I'd....." Eatbugs trailed off as he felt the all too familiar tingle in his whiskers. He bowed his head and whispered in a husky voice..."another comes".

The three kiddens stood and turned quietly to make their journey to the Welcoming Place before the Gate. Isolde and Virginia fell into step beside them and Rocky and Skunk marched silently behind. The peepers, they little faces solemn, walked along with Katie and Pris. One by one, all of the kiddens of the Company joined the procession.

As they reached the Gate, they formed their circle and waited. Tails were twined and heads were bowed as the kiddens began to purr their welcome. At length, the blue flash of light flickered across the gate, and in it's wake sat a handsome tom. He looked up at the gathered kiddens and sighed wistfully. He turned his eyes towards the Earth and closed his eyes in sorrow. He wanted so for his human to hold him again.

Nikkie stepped forward and gently nudged him on the shoulder, "It's okay....honest it is. You can see your mom any time you want...reawwy you can".

Herbie had to smile at the earnest young face before him. "Ican?", he felt his sorrow lifting and a warmth he could not explain creeping gently over him. "Uh huh, reawwy. And you can feew their wove too."

Herbie couldn't contain a chuckle. "But my mom...I can feel.." his voice caught as he felt her sorrow pulling at his heart. Virginia stepped up and tenderly touched noses with him. "Come, we can help her". She led Herbie to the edge of the Rainbow, "Look out over the earth and hold your mother's memory in your heart...and when you are ready, send your love to her. We will help." Herbie remembered his mothers gentle caresses and the warmth of her hand, and he turned his faced towards the earth and purred with all his might. He felt the strength of all the kiddens lift his thoughts and send them drifting towards a home he loved so much. In the softness of their purring he heard his thoughts as they flew from him "I love you, mom...and I will wait". Then he felt it, he felt his humans' love wash over him and he knew. He knew it would last forever and that this was not goodbye. He ached for his humans, knowing that their sorrow was so great, but he understood...as all cats understand...the Great Promise. He turned his thoughts back towards the earth and with re-doubled fervor he sent his love. "I will wait" and then he turned and made his way home.

© Copyright 1995 Constance Jenkins. All Rights Reserved. The author retains all copyright and intellectual rights to this work. It may not be printed in whole or in part without express written permission.
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