Merry Christmas to my family and friends!
My gift to you is this excerpt from my soon to be published book,
Life as a Dog...
Oh Christmas Tree oh, Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches, and your blue sparkling lights and your glittery ornaments and the attractive burgundy ribbons that dangle from your boughs.
Whoa, when my humans put up this lovely evergreen tree in our living room, my first thought was, ‘what the heck!’ because I wasn’t quite sure what the point was. Then Little D told me that Christmas was a holiday where the birth of Jesus Christ was celebrated. Wow! Someone else is having a birthday like I did. I asked Little D if we could take Jesus to DQ for ice cream but he just smiled, patted me on the head and said that He wasn’t alive anymore. Rather, Jesus was all around us, but in a special place called Heaven waiting for those who have yet to die. I really don’t understand the meaning of this holiday but even so the tree is quite exquisite.
The tree glimmered with blue lights in the darkened room. Big D sat on the floor leaning against the couch while gawking up at the glowing showpiece. I curled up between his legs and rested my head on his thigh: this action seems to encourage story time as well as gentle strokes upon my head. I truly wanted to hear and understand this holiday. But rather then delve into why the celebration was sacred; he let me know he felt a sense of sadness this season regardless of the joyful illusion. I wanted to hear more so I met his eyes to signal my interest so he’d go on with his speaking.
He murmured softly into the air, and I felt his sorrow as he tenderly caressed my ears, my face. He began, “Last year Hurricane, you were just a little guy and it was your first Christmas. Your kitty-brother Ginger would race through the remnants of torn paper and empty boxes littering the floor in the family room aside the tree enticing you to chase him. Ginger would hide under a pile of brightly colored wrapping and peer through an opening to watch you approach and then he’d bound out and the chase would be set in motion once more. It was a splendid day!”
I continued to listen to Big D’s reminiscing words. “Tragedy struck the next evening. Ginger Roozer wanted to go for his nightly scouring of the neighborhood. After a couple hours when he hadn’t appeared at the door, Nee Nee went out in search for the plump ginger feline. After ignored attempts at calling him, she walked the perimeter of the house and was startled by a delicate whimper. She faced the sound and found Ginger Roozer lying in the pine straw next to the steps. He gazed up at her with pleading frightened eyes. Hurricane, Nee Nee says she will never forget the terrified alarmed look on his face.”
I was captivated by Big D’s words and feared the ending, although I thought he needed to tell his story so I allowed him to continue. “Nee Nee called him and he gave a faint meow as if to beg for help. Ginger was unable to move so she ran into the house for a towel and yelled that something had happened to Ginger. I ran outside on the porch and called him to come to me but he was unable to move. Nee Nee scooped him in her arms and after frantic calls to locate an open emergency veterinarian clinic we were off.
“The drive to the Vet Hospital felt like an eternity and we were greeted by the receptionist at the door. She seized the bundle that held Ginger. We sat frenzied awaiting any news on our beloved pet. The Doctor came to us with the grim news; my kitty-brother had been shot with a BB gun. A pellet entered his back and hit directly on the spine paralyzing him; it was best to have him put to sleep rather than to live a life of misery and prolonged pain.”
My heart broke for my kitty-brother Ginger. Being a babyish sprite of ten weeks, I was so wrapped up in my own being I hadn’t picked up on the sadness of my human family. I was really sorry. I felt Big D’s grief. I licked Big D’s hand to pass along my sympathies. I also had an powerful longing to take away his pain. After such a personal loss is that even possible?
Cuddling with Big D, I couldn’t help but remind him of a quote I once heard by Chief Seattle; ‘there is no death, only a change of worlds.’ I wanted to reassure Big D that Ginger Roozer was no longer with our family in our world, but in the Heaven-world with Jesus. As we speak, Ginger is racing after a cat-nip mouse across the mounds of vibrantly decorated package wrap. The thought forced a smile to my heart as the lights flicker on the branches; thinking of you too Ginger Roozer, thinking of you, too…