I don’t know when it happened, but sometime ago the term “pet” got aptly changed to “animal companion.” No truer alteration has ever been made, as pet owners will tell you that their furry friends are indeed family. The grief we feel when one of our animals dies is just as potent as the grief we experience when a human relative or friend passes. As a medium, I’ve had sitters cry more tears when their cat or dog comes through in a reading rather than when their human relatives break in; clearly our “pets” are a greater part of our souls than what traditionally we have acknowledged. It doesn’t matter if you can communicate with the Other Side, there is still a mountain of grief, as was the case with myself recently.
Jasper was a beautiful male orange tabby. As seems to be the case with the type of breed, he was very laid back and sociable, and was the biggest love-bug my wife and I had ever experienced in a feline. His intelligence and awareness was off-the-charts -- he knew how to open doors (no thumbs – no problem!), find his way onto any upper counter or cabinet, showed unseen compassion for our other cats over the years, and delighted in hugging you (literally) when being picked up. He never showed any aggression or need to compete (and was quite fine allowing our other cat to be the Alpha male), and I suspect he also knew how to count and read. In every way, he loved us as much as we loved him, as he had at least 3 or 4 chances to pass on in the last 2 years, but remained strong – not wanting to let us go – until his body could no longer support his spirit. My wife and I knew he wouldn’t last the year, and he started to take a turn just a few weeks before we left on a short trip out of state. We asked him to please wait for our return (which he did) and we were greeted with loud purrs of rejoicing when we got home.
The next day that all changed. He wouldn’t acknowledge his food. He could barely drink water. And his walking was no longer graceful, but instead clumsy. He laid down in our shower and wished to do nothing more than remain there, with occasional periods of sleep. The look in his eyes told us, “It’s time.” By 4:00 p.m., after my wife and I spent all day with him, trading off from each other in comforting him, thanking him, and giving him permission to go, he gracefully passed away in my wife’s arms. We wrapped him in a swath of a lion-themed sheet (we occasionally told him throughout his life that he would someday become a big lion) and released him to the specialty vet who was able to assist us in our home.
The next day, my wife went off to work while I remained inside (I was also suffering from a head cold). As mentioned earlier, it doesn’t matter if you’re a spiritual medium or not, you are still affected by grief from a loss. That whole day was filled with waves of anguish and remorse. The house felt cold, empty, and strangely much larger than what it did before. I spent the hours feeling numb and unable to focus. My soul still tried to reach out to Jasper, but the emotional pain provided no respite.
But nearly 24 hours after his passing, Jasper reached back.
At 4:20 p.m., after taking several minutes to acknowledge the 24 hour mark of his death, I had a sudden urge to go clean up one of my dresser drawers. I have not done that in years and is not something I would typically do. Nonetheless, since I was still numb to the grief, I figured it was the perfect thing since it required virtually no effort. So I marched upstairs, opened the top dresser drawer, and pulled everything out.
And there it was. The face of an orange tabby kitten looking up at me from a card, strewn about on the bottom of the drawer, half-buried among other cards given to me by my wife for birthdays and anniversaries. The kitten was standing behind a partial wall, as if peeking out at me, and it’s what I would imagine Jasper looked like as a kitten (we had adopted him at 2 years old from an animal shelter, where he was scheduled to be euthanized that day if I wouldn’t take him). When I opened the card, the message my wife had written in it years ago – from the perspective of our two cats – could not have been more poignant:
“Thank you for bringing me home to share in your life and love!”
What’s more, the little paw print for Jasper’s signature also had significance. At the time of his passing, the vet sunk one his paws into a piece of clay, so we could have an imprint for remembrance. The image of the kitten was also important, as my wife whispered to him while he was still awake and aware Thursday that he was going to be reborn again in the world of spirit. Whether Jasper somehow pulled off this spiritual sign himself or rather someone on the Other Side did it on his behalf really doesn’t matter – the message was loud and clear: he was peeking back at us from his new life as a newborn kitten in the spirit world.
This first sign made a huge difference in helping with our grief.
Then the next morning, the SECOND message came.
My desktop computer runs on Windows 10. I had not rebooted it or restarted it the night before, but instead just simply shut off the monitor. What would typically happen is that I would turn the monitor back on and my desktop screen with all the icons would be right where I left it. Not this morning. Instead, it appeared the system had rebooted with a new Windows 10 splash screen requiring me to log back in. Typically, these Windows screens are of beautiful landscapes and skies.
But not this one.
It was an adult big game cat peeking out from over a LOG. It matched perfectly the motif from the kitten card the day before. Not only that, recall we had wrapped Jasper in a lion-themed cloth the day he passed, and hold told him several times over the years he would become a lion someday. When I showed my wife, the parallels with the kitten card, the cloth we wrapped him in, and the words spoken while he was alive were just perfect. There could be no doubt, our beloved boy was alive and looking back at us from his newfound life in spirit.
The works by those in spirit are truly amazing. Even when we’ve lost a beloved animal companion, they too can communicate from beyond to let us know they are still with us, honor the life we’ve shared, and that love never dies.
Thank you, Jasper. I look forward to cuddling with you again on the Other Side.