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Crawling into bed one night, my legs were stifled in the sheets by the solid presence of cat. My fingers always know which beast it is by the texture of fur. Solstice’s is soft, but Angel’s Echo’s feels like velvet. I massaged her back, then stretched around her and settled into the pillows.
The mattress gave way slightly as her body moved, my eyes startling suddenly from a fine spray of cat spittle as she sneezed before cuddling up next to my head. It was a delicate sneeze, not a full-face wash. I giggled. She licked my nose several times, then bit it loving but firm enough to make my face tingle with that odd pleasure-pain sensation that dripped into my chin and faded after a minute or two.
I’d stayed up late, captivated and inspired by Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing.’ If he can be brave enough to write about the bizarre and magical and call it fiction, than I can be brave enough to write the non-fiction experiences I’ve had that are truly magical. I drifted into sleep forming the story I was finally ready to tell about Angel’s Echo. A story that has taken over three years to come to the page. I fell asleep with Angel’s Echo placing the idea “it’s time to tell the story” into my mind.
Buddhists often say that people return as animals or insects. There is a scene from ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ where the monks carefully relocate the worms the workers dug up when building a new theater. The worms may be their grandmother, or sister, or brother, and they revere them, blessing each one before gently placing them on new soil.
I’ve sensed the likeness to people I’ve known in the animal kingdom. I actually mean that in a kind way. I’m comfortable with saying Angel’s Echo reminds me of mom. Not that she’s the full embodiment of her, mind you. I’ve dreamed enough with mom to know she’s very much alive and existing on the other side. I think it’s more like Angel’s Echo is an aspect of her. Like mom had the thought “I’d like to be with my daughter,” and that thought took form in the aspect of a little gray kitten that peered at me from the store window of Marc’s Toys and Pets four years ago.
Actually, I had selected her identical sister and was rubbing her chin when the clerk came and picked up Echo. As we talked about the price and shots, the clerk traded cats with me, the one now in my arms curling her legs around my neck. I was out of the store before I realized the switch had been made. I left not with the one I’d first chosen, but with the one that had chosen me.
She enjoyed the car ride and settled in. The 45-minute drive soothed her, and soon she was in my lap stretched tall against the door, watching the river go by and rubbing my face with her chin. Green eyes glowing with delight. She emanated a Gentle Presence at 6 weeks old that has never left.
Her new brother, Solstice, welcomed her with glee and curiosity. After their formal greeting and after she had settled in, it was time for a name. Holding her beneath my chin I rubbed my face into her soft fur, wondering what to call her. “She is the echo of an angel,” a presence of Spirit said. Very clear and audible. And so it happened that Angel’s Echo came to be.
I didn’t understand the meaning of her name at first, although there was an elusive familiarity. Recognition happened over time. An aura of pink often visibly wafts from her heart when she is cuddled, sometimes turning into subtle rainbow light that ripples from her fur. I’ve never seen auras in a cat before.
It was also the way her gray stripes never turned into stripes, but broke up into a swirled pattern of darker gray dots that reminded me of a leopard and the leopard costume mom made for Halloween one year. And it was in the way she had to be in my lap whenever I wrote about mom, or the Mother Earth. Sometimes she just had to place her paw upon my hand as I typed. She was in my lap when I first wrote ‘The Garden’ meditation, and again when I recently sent it out in the newsletter.
It became more evident as I lay sick in bed one afternoon. She lay beside me with her front legs wrapped around my neck. Looking deeply into my eyes, she held me while I slept. Giving me Mother Love. I’d never experienced a cat do that before.
Before mom had passed I’d become aware that she and I were aspects of each other. Like two facets of one beautiful jewel with the freedom of individual expression. Angel’s Echo was not the total embodiment of my mom. She was a portion of her thoughts, her essence, her Motherly Love and tenderness. It is like standing between two mirrors and seeing your reflection echo on endlessly. Each an aspect of the original reflection. Angel’s Echo is one such reflection.
I toyed with these ideas a great while. My soul knew it was true, but how our human selves doubt such things. All doubt was totally shattered by an event that happened three years ago, I will never forget.
That afternoon I’m writing at the computer when an energy shift happens. I see an invisible shimmer peripherally to my right, between the kitchen sink and the table. I look over and a portal to the other side opens up. This was not an obscure optical event, not a vision on the inner planes. It was clear, distinct, and happening in my kitchen. I stand up without realizing I’ve done so, moving magnetically towards it when there suddenly appears, mom laughing. A small golden pool is at her feet. Her laughter calls me as I move closer, my human mind shouting “This is really happening!” while I feel a powerful Love expanding in My Heart. The indicator of the validity of this experience.
The 3d kitchen is now the peripheral view as I’m moving closer to mom. Then I step into the pool, which is not a pool at all but some golden goo I sink into it up to my knees. I try to step out of this swamp of ethereal substance, but it clings like elastic mud. As soon as I step into it, there comes forth an internal awareness – the kind one knows intuitively but cannot define by human standards. I know I’ve just “stepped into my contract.”
Steve Rother has written much about soul contracts, and yet I’d never been one to believe in them. It is like a declaration of what it is we want to accomplish here on earth that, he says, we create before we come here. The idea felt too rigid within my concepts of free will and intent, and I never pursued the idea as something valid for myself. Yet now here I was, I’d literally stepped into it. Words rose upward from the golden goo as though written on an invisible scroll. EX POSE MY SELF. This was my contract, to expose my awareness and share my life story. Yet also to ex pose myself not as a mere human being, but as the Presence of the true spirit that I Am. The word “expose” was two distinct words, severing any idea of my former self and revealing the true nature of the work that was to come.
Mom is still laughing, the humor like tidal waves of energy that rippled through me. A great cosmic joke is at hand and she’s delighted to be part of it. I’m not certain I’m glad to be the target of it, but it is rather funny. I can’t get out of the pool until I verbally agree that yes, I accept my contract. On the human level I’m also shocked to find that indeed I have one! Mine is no written document sealed with blood, but an intent formed in a golden energetic substance now serving as a bridge between my mother’s realm and mine. I begin to laugh, the echo of mom’s glee resounding in my ears as the vision begins to fade and I’m left alone in the kitchen, still feeling the golden mud clinging to my lower legs.
It is then Angel’s Echo strutted formally into the kitchen, holding a piece of golden fabric in her teeth and waving it about like a medicine woman smudging the room with sacred smoke. She had stolen the golden material from a gemstone altar on the stereo. A wave of goose bumps riddled through me as I watched her, and remembered.
“I want that blouse, the gold one. I want to see it,” mom told my sister Nancy and dad as she layed dying on her bed. This was day two of her transition through death; a shifting that would take five days. It was a golden shimmering blouse she wore only at Christmas time, and the color seemed important to her.
Hours later as I tuned into her, I received a vision. I saw her sitting at a small table with Christ. Before them lay a new series of coming events. The terrain of the other side. They were reviewing a thick open book – the text of her life. Behind them lay a shimmering golden wall still being formed brick by golden brick as she was making her transition between here and there. The wall was only partially formed when I first had this vision, and later in another vision I saw it almost complete. It was shimmering and golden, much like the blouse we hung at the end of her bed so she would see it when she awoke from her many dreams.
Now Angel’s Echo wafted about the shimmering golden cloth like a Goddess clearing the energy. It was dramatic, and so clearly evident that indeed she is the echo of an angel. She strutted purposely, slowly, covering every inch of the kitchen – around the legs of table and chairs, around the space where the portal had just been opened. Tears streamed down my face. She would pause and look directly in my eyes, the green glow of her own eyes saying, “Do you recognize me now?” Then she’d continue on with her purpose. It was a full 10 minutes before the spell was broken. Then she dropped the cloth and took a nap on the kitchen floor, between the sink and the table. Where moments before the presence of my mother stood laughing. I was stunned.
There was one other time she had stolen an owl feather from the table and proceeded to bless the house in much the same way. At first I scolded her and tried to take it away, but she avoided me with a throaty growl. I recognized that same powerful energy moving within her as she again blessed the house with her feline presence, purring loud and green eyes glowing. I’ve seen a lot of unusual things, but this has to go up there in the top of the basket, for sure and for certain.
She is a graceful grey feline of fur and bone, the bottom of her paws is solid black. ’Baby Blackfoot’ the neighbor calls her. She plays chase with Solstice, is a great hunter of mice and birds, and is very afraid of dogs. She is mother of two litters of kittens that have long since moved on and claimed new homes; each had reflected her Gentle Presence. She dines on a gourmet of Chef’s Blend, Little Friskies, and Nine Lives. And yes, she is the echo of an angel. The thoughts of Mother Love encased in velvety gray fur, nibbling my nose in the night and purring softly “it’s time to tell the story.”