This photo is of my little cat Jess, who died earlier this year. She shared her life with me for 19 years, which was far more than the vet had given her when I first brought her in. Jess and her brother James were two kittens that were born with epilepsy, and the vet advised us to have her put to sleep, because she would not make it past two years and anyway, it would cost a lot of money to medicate her for that time. I remember thinking that I hoped he would never have a child that had a long-time health problem, because what was he going to do then? Anyway – he proved to be very very wrong about Jess (though James died at three months by going into status epilepticus) – she lived until the ripe old age of 19 and survived being flown from England to Spain without any problems.
Jess way my Cat Angel. She taught me that you are always perfect, even when mere humans cannot see past the disease. Her condition never stopped her doing what she wanted to do, and she had no fear. She was fiercely independent and really lived in her own little world. She would never accommodate me when I wanted a bit of affection, because for her at that time there were more important things to be done. But when she wanted love she would not hesitate to demand it – and always received it. I learnt from her that you don’t have to please others all the time, you can go your own way and ask for what you want and then be pleased to receive and give it.
Another lesson I learnt from Jess was never to be fearful. She was not worrying about when she would have her next fit, she enjoyed what was happening at that precise moment and that was all there is. When she had had a fit she was a bit confused for about half an hour, then have an attack of the munchies, demanding to be given food right now!! After that her life was normal again and she went on her own sweet way.
She was always graceful – even when she missed her mark. Despite her condition, all her cat senses worked beautifully and she would explore the world at night, with her perfect sense of sight and touch, like an intrepid explorer finding new worlds. She taught me not to be afraid of the dark, to develop a vision for which I did not need cat eyes as such but for which I did need an awareness that no mere senses would ever give me. She was great company when meditating, always wanting to put a paw on me somewhere to link her ability to meditate with mine (she was probably my best meditation teacher ever).
She would look at me when I was in a stew about something, and then come and sit next to me, regarding me as though I was a bit mad really. Looking into her eyes I knew she had all the answers and she was telling me I had them too, I just had to stop trying to fit in and ‘be perfect’ and it would all fall into place and flow naturally. I think that ‘flowing’ was Jess’s greatest gift to me, she would just go with it and not fight. She did what came naturally and never thought about it.
I thank God I had the privilege to have this cool cat in my life. For 19 years she taught me daily, about love, grace, courage, being always in the right place wherever you are, about being funny, about going within to find your centre and to stay true to yourself, and most of all about being perfect just as you are (warts and all). She sometimes comes to me at night now, I can feel her jump onto my bed and I know she is there. I guess she comes to teach me, because 19 years was just not enough to get all her lessons into my mind and spirit. May I always learn from Jess and the other cats in my life and may all humans be blessed by learning from our Angel Cats.