My beloved calico cat Tabitha, aged 19, died at ten o’clock on the morning of August 17, 2006, my son Michael’s 36th birthday.
I wanted to arrange a different day, but I knew my pet was struggling and unhappy so I thought it best to put her to sleep as soon as possible. She went peacefully and gratefully in my arms on my living room love seat with Alan Wilkinson, my ex-husband and Tabi’s shared caretaker, present.
When she died our veterinarian, Dr. Wilson, told us she was “chasing the birds”. I thought that a beautiful and spiritual thing to say and understood it to mean she was chasing the birds in heaven.
That evening I had a lovely candlelight ceremony for her in my backyard in the rock garden beside my pond. I placed a St. Francis of Assisi wind chime over her grave, read the prayer on the back of it, lit three candles, and placed the hanging cat charm in the middle of the oval on my hand-painted Ankh rock. Although her absence was painful for me, I went to sleep serene and contented. I felt her spirit in the house all night, and also on the days that followed.
On the morning of August 19th I was sitting on the bench in front of my pond, beside “Tabitha’s Garden” where Alan and I laid her to rest when I had an urge to return to the house. In my computer room I sent two emails concerning Tabitha, one in response to Alan’s email and one to my friend Melanie Lichtinger. I sent them at 10:15 a.m. and 10:32 a.m., respectively. In Melanie’s email I said that Tabitha had been very helpful and supportive to me as one of my guardian angels. As soon as I sent that email I was stabbed with regret for using the past tense, for Tabi has always been one of my guardian angels and always will be.
When I returned to my rock garden I saw that one of my water lilies on its heavy pad had been dragged from its stem, disengaged from the pond, and placed over Tabi’s grave. My artificial brown salamander was lifted from the pond and sat squarely in the dirt beside the swan dish just inside her garden.
The sight was frightening to me because it seemed physically impossible. My pond is three feet deep, six feet in circumference and completely filled with water. The salamander was submerged on a ledge right near the bottom. I don’t know how any animal could have taken them from the pond without a lot of water and footprints around; yet there were no footprints and no animals. The ground was completely dry. And why these two particular things? The salamander looked very real sitting in the earth. I took this as a sign from the angels.
This was the third day of Tabi’s departure, her Resurrection Day. Water lilies represent eternal life; they are on the jacket of a book I have on reincarnation, displayed as lotus flowers. The salamander, one of my familiars, is connected to my father’s death in 1992. I had a dream about two salamanders four months before he died that foretold his departure.
This looked like a playful cat prank and a reproach on me for not continuing to honour Tabi as one of my guardian angels, but it was like wise a sign that there is a Heaven, and that my father, who is also one of my guardian angels, is Tabi’s caretaker now. I knew, as well, that Tabi’s soul would come back to me in the form of another cat when the time was right.
I think this event is remarkable because no other has transpired in her garden since that day. All this happened within 20 minutes of going into the house, sending the emails, and coming back out again. Spirit had sent me a message and a clear, unmistakable sign. This is how angels speak to us when we speak of them and show they are always with us.
5th May 2013
A postscript from Genine:
‘Tabitha is still very much present in the house. Sometimes I see this flashing white light coming around my dining room to the living room and I know it's her. She loved fires and I see this small white light as she goes to enjoy her fire in the fireplace. Sometimes I feel her in my bed.
After Tabitha, I wanted a Siamese cat. I had to wait until Christmas of last year when I went up to see my daughter in Armstrong, B.C. My granddaughter, Jessica, had bought a lovely Seal Point Siamese male cat called Atreyu who was a year old. Atreyu means warrior of the plains. He was pretty much ignored as Jessica had her first baby then, was living with my daughter and my daughter is allergic to cats. While I was there at Christmas week Atreyu bonded with me. It seems to me he was saying to me; here I am. Take me home. You need me and I need you. Intuitively, Jessica asked me if I would take him back home with me to Victoria as I have a house. So he went home on the plane with me. What a great Christmas present!
Atreyu is a very affectionate boy and likes to sleep with me at night and hog my computer chair. Tabitha is very happy as I LOVE cats and can now give him all the affection he deserves. He is a wonderful companion!’