In Loving Memory Of Miss Priss Dressler

Written by Consta Jenkins

Reprinted by permission of the author

Eatbugs was just coming back to the Rainbow Bridge. He and Imbri and Tinky had been teach Little Hobo how to travel among the stars. Eatbugs chuckled remembering the look of pure awe on the little kidden's face as he watched the friends playing tag across the moon. It didn't take long until Hobo was romping along side them. Eatbugs settled into a sunny patch to have his breakfast. "Good morning Picnic, Spunkie", he said. Spunkie looked up from her food and smiled. Picnic danced his tail in greeting. After their meal, the kiddens sat chatting quietly in the sun. Eatbugs was about to suggest a game of chasies when he felt that too familiar tingle in his whiskers. He bowed his head. When he looked up, Spunkie and Picnic were linking tails, their faces a mask of sorrow.

The companions rose and began their walk to the gate. They walked in silence, acknowledging the others as they joined with nods. Each lost in their own thoughts. Eatbugs looked up to greet Isolde when he noticed something strange. Kiddens were gathering all around him. Not just the company of friends, but others as well--hundreds of them, more kiddens than Eatbugs could count.

"Isolde, why are all these strange kiddens coming? Who is it that joins us now?", he asked. Isolde's wise eyes were tinged with sadness,

"A very special kidden. One that was unloved and unwanted. She found a human to love her, but could not stay". Eatbugs sensed that there was more, but Isolde's voice had cracked with emotion and she had turned her head away. They walked on.

When the company arrived at the gate, the kiddens formed a semi-circle. They bowed their heads and waited. Some kiddens lost themselves in the thoughts of their humans below, some linked tails with their new companions, some purred quietly, but each in their own way made ready to greet the new arrival. The music in the air began to change. Eatbugs had grown familiar with the sad sweet song that accompanied the arrival of a friend, but he had never heard music such as this before. It rang through the air with heartbreaking clarity, carrying in it the sorrow of a promise unfulfilled, of loss and longing. Eatbugs closed his eyes and lost himself in the bittersweet refrain. He wanted to make it stop, to make it better.

He opened his eyes as the flash of blue light brought the new kidden. Eatbugs gasped, it wasn't a kidden. It was a kidden surrounded by three very young peepers. Eatbugs brushed away a tear, now he understood. He turned to Smokey, who quietly licked his ear.

"It will be all right now. She is here, among friends. We will care for her and love her until her human can come to show her the truest meaning of love".

Eatbugs went forward to join the others in welcoming Miss Priss. She sat looking up at the hundreds of kiddens and wrapped her tail protectively around her peepers. As the purr of all the kiddens washed over her, she felt something stir within her. She smiled at Picnic and Rocky as they offered to carry her peepers on their back. She purred when Freya gave her a nosey greeting. She looked up at the company of cats and knew. She was home. She did not understand completely, but she knew she was 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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