In Loving Memory Of Nermal Dresslar
Written by Consta Jenkins
Reprinted by permission of the author
"Tags! You is ITS", hollered Rainbow gleefully as she swiped Tiny Bubbles on the rump and took off in a mad dash. "Drats you!" said Tiny Bubbles tearing off after her. One of the Nash peepers took off to the left and soon there were peepers flying in all directions. Rainbow took a wide swing around the weeping willow tree and ran smack over Rocky, who was taking a snooze in the shade. He jumped with a start and looked down at the little peeper, whose eyes were growing rounder by the minute, "I is reals sorry, Mister Rocky" she said, her little voice trembling. Rocky smiled and patted her on the head, "It's all right little one, but you should watch where you are going!". With a gentle pat on her rear, he sent her on her way and settled back down to resume his nap.
Over in the catnip patch, Eatbugs and Spunkie were indulging in a bit of nip and rolling luxuriously in the sun. Eatbugs munched a leaf and rolled over on his back. He looked up into the crystal blue sky and sighed. "What's the matter, Eatbugs?" asked Spunkie, who was rubbing her chin on a particularly wonderful patch of nip. "Oh, nothing", said Eatbugs, "I was just thinking about the Earth".
"What about it?", said Spunkie, "Do you miss your human?".
"A little, but I go and see them every night when I play among the stars. It's not that, it's.. well, it's just that I was wondering why there has to be suffering and sickness on the Earth? There isn't any here.".
Spunkie thought for a moment and then said, "I don't know. I remember being sick when I was on earth, but I remember my human's love more. I can still feel her love now, but it isn't the same. It's nice here and I'm very happy and the angels certainly give nice pets, but it wasn't like it was with my human. Maybe suffering and sickness are just part of life on the Earth. Maybe love is given us to endure that suffering."
Eatbugs thought for a moment. He closed his eyes and remembered the feel of his human's hand on his fur and smiled, "I guess you are right." he said, "and that is why we wait, so that we can know that love again.".
Spunkie nodded and daintily grabbed a leaf in her teeth and munched.
Eatbugs was about to suggest that they go for a snack when he felt the familiar tingle in his whiskers. He bowed his head in silence for a moment. When he looked up, he saw Spunkie looking intently at him. She didn't have to speak, Eatbugs could read the question in her eyes. Gravely he nodded, "Another comes", he said quietly. He and Spunkie rose and began to make their journey to the gate. The company of kiddens joined them on all sides. Isolde and Virginia walked side by side, their faces somber. Priscilla and Picnic spoke quietly to each other as they made their way to the Welcoming. Puppy, Mister and Ebony carried peepers on their shoulders and Miss Pris and Prissy walked silently with their tails entwined. Eatbugs nodded to his new friend Charlie and walked up to sit with Isolde. She quietly wrapped her tail around him and smiled sadly at her young cousin, "It will never be easy, Little One", she said gently, "but you will come to understand. It is part of the Great Cycle of all things. Each of us is given a march of days to walk upon the Earth, to feel the sunshine in our fur and the wind in our whiskers. When that march of days is done, we come here and another is given the chance to walk upon the Earth. And so it has been since the Creator of All Things twitched her whiskers and set the universe in motion. It is natural to be sad that a life on Earth has ended, but remember that it is an ending and a beginning and that the Great Cycle goes on. Remember, too, that the the Greatest Gifts go on."
"The Greatest Gifts?" asked Eatbugs. Isolde nodded, "The Greatest Gifts that the Creator has given to each of us. That which we are continues, Little One. Our walk upon the Earth is over, but we continue. The second gift is Love. It is eternal and no power on Earth or beyond can sever it.". Eatbugs nodded and turned his whiskers into the wind. He listened as the music of the Welcoming Song swirled around him. It's sad sweet song brought a lump to his throat. It sounded like the tinkling of crstal bells and sang to him of sorrow and of longing. He thought on what Isolde had told him and tried to keep the tears from rolling down his cheeks.
The music swelled and danced around the company of kiddens sitting in their circle. It danced among the swaying branches and winded it's way to Earth to guide the kidden to it's new home. As the music reached it's peak, the colors of the sky coalesced into a bright blue flash of light. When it subsided, a young orange tabby tom sat blinking at the Gate. He looked around at the company of kiddens and took a step back. Miss Pris and Prissy quietly came forward, "Don't be afraid, Nermal" said Prissy, "We are friends. Welcome to the Rainbow Bridge." Nermal blinked. "The Rainbow Bri...." his voice trailed off. Peeper Consta and Rainbow trotted up and threw their paws around Nermal.
"Ohs dons't be sads!" said Rainbow, "We loveses you!". Nermal looked down at his peeper sisters and wrapped his tail around them. He looked up at Prissy and Miss Priss, "Our human?", he asked, "Is she all right?".
Miss Pris looked out over the Rainbow and a tear ran down her cheek, "She is heartbroken, again", she whispered.
"Is there nothing we can do for her?" asked Nermal.
Isolde and Virginia approached the kiddens. "There is something you can do," said Virginia, "You can encircle her in your love. Isolde and I and the others will help you."
"What do we do?" asked Nermal.
Virginia signaled for the company of kiddens to draw closer and they all linked tails and began to purr quietly. "Think of your human. See her with your secret eyes. When you have her image in your heart, send her your love". Nermal and the other Dresslar kiddens closed their eyes. The purr of the kiddens grew around them as they called their humans image to their hearts. One by one they sent forth the memory of love. Nermal thought of tummy rubs and laps and sleeping near his human. Rainbow thought of the tenderness and warmth of her bottle and the kindness in her human's hand. Prissy thought of the ear scritches and comfort her human had given her and Miss Priss thought of the sanctuary and the trust she had found, her human's love overcoming her sad life on the streets. They held for a moment that love in their hearts and then gently turned their thoughts outward. They lifted their love onto the purrs of the company and felt it lifting on the air around them and drifting back to earth, to the heart of the human they loved so much.
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