It's funny, how we get so wrapped up in our lives that we lose sight of The Big Picture. We have our loves, our enemies, our heroes and ourselves to think about. We go to work, we pay our bills, we laugh with our friends . . . and we cry alone.

Sometimes, there just isn't enough room to think about much else. But, every once in a while, we get a glimpse . . . we hear a whisper . . . and we remember: There is a bigger world out there, and a greater purpose for everything in it, than we know.

It can take the breath of a kitten . . . the song of a sparrow . . . the flight of white swans coming home . . . to remind us. But, sometimes -- no matter how bleak and hopeless life may seem -- we feel ourselves lifting up in our hearts. We remember what it was like to be young. We are ageless, and we are beautiful like cats staring still and expressionless at the deepening waters of a world growing ever more difficult to navigate.

It had been months since he died, the cat with eyes so mysterious and searching that no one who ever saw him went away feeling quite the same. What was he trying to find, they wondered. What was he missing?

Those who knew him didn't have to ask. They didn't have to ask, because they knew. He was waiting for the one he loved. He was waiting for his master.

Over time, his master had found mates for the champion who was so special to him. He found daughters from great and revered bloodlines in distant places, some of them champions, too. But, it was the little one who wasn't quite perfect who caught the cat's attention and held it.

At first, she wasn't much to look at. All together, it would take almost a year to restore her health and gain her trust. It would take the hands of his master to calm her, and the sound of his voice to soothe her soul. But, in time, little by little, she gave herself over to life in the small cattery. In lush grass, she played, and from a cool stream tinted with watercress, she drank happiness.

In the spring, they mated. The daughter of noble heritage joined forces with the champion who, by now, had seen twelve winters and would see no more. As he left this world, the voice he loved so much, said: "Thank you, my friend." As tears fell over him and familiar hands caressed him for the last time, his master whispered: "Come back
to me . . . Come back to me!'

Winter seemed colder after that. Nights seemed blacker. Colds and flu and ice . . . When would it end, they wondered? It would end when it wanted to, not when they said it should. That's how it is in Nature.

The young queen moved slower now. She found it difficult, leaping off the cat tree to greet her master. What had changed? Wasn't she the same as she had always been? Somehow, she knew she wasn't the same. Even without a mirror, she sensed it. But, then, who said mirrors are always made of glass?

She was restless that night. As the hours went by, a force inside her built in its power. Rolling, pushing, bubbling its way up from the primitive depths of her being,
it took over her legs, her belly and burst forth in wave after wave of mindless, wet fury.

Then, just as it had begun, it came to rest. Lying there, she breathed deeply, gazing at the tiny kittens by her side, knowing her life had changed in a way she could not fully understand. Into the night, she studied these reflections of herself, of her mother, of her grandmothers . . . into the mirror of the night, they went . . . and she was no longer alone.


Author/Artist RON HEVENER specializes in animals and the romantic, adventurous people who love them. Figurines, paintings, and stories by Ron Hevener are collected by animal lovers everywhere. Visitors to Hevener's studio can see the dogs, horses and wildlife that inspire novels like Fate of the Stallion, The Blue Ribbon and High Stakes.

"Your life is a movie, and you write the script," he says. "On With The Show!" --

Submitted by Ron Hevener's Publicist


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