My first kitty tale is about Tez, who after the death of his older brother, Rez, a couple of years ago, became hubby's and my 'son number one'. He rose to the challenge perfectly, keeping his two younger sisters in order, yet never seeming to mind when they shoved him out of his dish so that they could eat his food. He'd just sit patiently while they quaffed the lot, knowing fine well that me or hubby would fill it up for him once they'd finished...and that he'd be the one to get the tuna treat on top, just for being such a good big brother!
On 19th February, Tez went out for a stroll in the forest, and he never came back. He was sixteen years old, which is the equivalent of an eighty year old person, and he'd been uncharacteristically poorly just a few weeks before, which had necessitated a full week of trips to the vet. Whilst we tried to stay positive and hopeful, and were out searching for him day after day, both hubby and I knew – within hours of him not returning – that he'd sensed it was his “time” and had taken himself off somewhere peaceful to drift into his forever sleep...as cats are prone to do. I can't even begin to describe how devastated we were, and to be honest, I don't even want to try, I mean we'd had Tez since he was a kitten so we had literally lost a family member, and an absolutely adored one at that. But still, in the midst of all the upset and tears, there was some light; we'd never had to watch Tez suffer in his old age, or be faced with having to make that heartbreaking decision about whether to put him to sleep...no, Tez had spared us (and himself) all of that and had quit peacefully while he was ahead. If that's not a blessing, or a gift, then I don't know what is.
Still, the fact remained...we missed him more than we could ever say. The whole energy of the house changed and we began to realise what “big” energy Tez had. Even his two sisters seemed to notice he'd gone and both seemed glum and sad, so after a few weeks, we began to wonder about getting another boy cat. We both had some reservations – it wasn't like we were looking for a replacement for Tez (nobody could do that anyway) – but there was still a bit of a sense of guilt and disloyalty. Was it the right thing to do? One minute we thought yes, the next, no, so we decided the only sensible thing to do was to hand it over to the universe, or the Tao, to sort it out for us. If a new kitten was meant to come into our lives, then he would be guided to us, or we'd be guided to him. Simple.
So, another couple of weeks passed and we were round at our friends' apartment one Sunday afternoon. For some reason, at about half-past six, I suddenly had the urge to leave. We were having a lovely time, but I just couldn't shake the sense that it was time to go. As we were walking through the grounds on our way back to the car, we spotted two beautiful black cats so, of course, we immediately went over to fuss and play with them. Suddenly, a voice called out, “do you want one?” We hadn't noticed the lady sitting on the wall and I think we both just gawped in answer to her unexpected question. She went on to explain that these two black cats had just had a litter of kittens together – there were five of them, she was keeping two herself, had found a home for two of the others, there was just one left that still needed a home. A boy.
It was one of those moments when you can actually feel fate play its hand, and even before we went to see him, we both knew that this was the kitten for us. Two weeks later, when he was ready to be separated from his mum, we went to pick him up and herein commences kitty tale number two!
We got our tiny little, jet black kitten home and puzzled and pondered. What on earth were we going to call him? I wanted his name to somehow honour Rez and Tez, and my first idea was Artie...which was actually the letters R & T...clever, eh? I can tell you're impressed! But, as we got to know him, it became clear he just wasn't an Artie or an RT, so it was back to the drawing board. Then it struck us that his name should have some connection to Ibiza, since he is a genuine Ibicenco cat, and as soon as that idea hit home, I heard his name in my head. “Bez” I yelled to Mike, who just grinned and said, “yes, of course.” Bez is the Phoenician God of Dance who, according to legend, led all the poisonous animals off Ibiza, and our little kitty definitely suited the name.
It wasn't until later that we realised we had, in fact, honoured his two big brothers with his name...Rez, Tez & Bez! And there's more...I went to google Bez and discovered that it is actually spelt Bes (Bez being the dancer in the Happy Mondays!) Now, rewinding back a few years, we had another gorgeous boy cat who was the twin of Bethany, one of the girls who still lives with us. Bear with me, I promise this is relevant and it will all make sense. This little guy had kidney problems and we had to have him put to sleep at a young age, which was horrendous. His name was Seb – which is Bes backwards. I've been in hysterics about all this – it's absolutely perfect – our new, little kitten is all of his older, departed brothers rolled into one!!
So, now even when little Bez is clambering up the curtains, trying to chew through leads, eating plants, kicking litter all over the kitchen, launching himself up my dressing gown, I am in absolutely no doubt that he is meant to be in our lives. Just as we requested, the universe guided us together in an astounding display of synchronicities. If we hadn't gone to our friends' apartment that Sunday, and left at the exact time we did, we might never have known he existed.
And, yes this might seem like a bit of a self-indulgent blog; here I am raving on about my kitty-cat family, but there is a reason I'm sharing all of this with you. For me, it's all been a powerful reminder that no matter what happens, no matter how sad, upsetting or “bad” things are, there is always a reason – there is a thread running through all our lives, connecting all the events, good and bad (and in fact, connecting all of us, but let's not go there right now!) - it's just that sometimes it takes a while before you see the purpose, the necessity, behind the so-called negative event or loss. But if you trust in the process, even in the darkest of days, if you are willing to let go and just know that you will be guided and that everything will be all right in the end, then it always will be. It always is anyway, there's no other way for things to work out, but you can make the whole thing smoother and easier on yourself and bring the light and positivity back into your life sooner. Keep the faith, trust the universe and trust your intuition. And be grateful...for everything.
Oh, and just one more little point that, again, made us feel that this was absolutely meant to be – Bez was born on 22nd February, just three days after Tez left.
Fate? I'd say so....wouldn't you?