It's only been one week since we buried Romeo under the majestic conifer tree in our backyard. The same tree we sprinkled my son's ashes under, 9 years ago. It felt like the right thing to do. From my perspective, they were both very similar - except for one being in human form and the other in feline form.

They both had the biggest hearts, the most soulful presence. They both felt larger than life. They both presented as unusual, uncommon in this life. But what they had most in common, was a deeply felt connection with me.

The other day some friends popped round to bring us a gorgeous Fothergilla, in honour of Romeo. My husband, Blake told them about the first time we met Romeo. He said, "Our neighbours texted us that they had rescued a large cat but he wasn't settling into their home so they were going to have to bring him to the local SPCA. They said, come by first before we do. He's something else. You have to see him."

So we went over. I remember we sat on our neighbour's sofa and asked them where this cat was since all we saw were their 4 kids, 3 dogs, and 2 other cats. So our neighbours scooted everyone out, closed the door, and then out from behind the sofa, came this 35-pound feline who looked more like a raccoon with a humped back and very short front legs. He spread his large body completely over my socked feet, looked up at me, and started purring like a Harley Davidson.

Blake exhaled and said, "Well, I think he found what he needed." He paused, looked at me, and said, "We're going to bring him home, aren't we?"

Before that moment, we had no thought of acquiring a companion animal. I was deep in grief from the loss of my son. But as Blake stated, Romeo tagged me. So I trusted that experience and bought him home in a large dog carrier.

Over the next 8 years, Romeo needed to be as close to me as he could get. For years, he slept under my outstretched arm. And at 45 inches long, he was definitely the 3rd being in our Queen-sized bed. We upgraded to a King very shortly after.

Like a cuddly big dog, he often tried to sit in my lap, not knowing his own size. He would outstare me with his liquid green eyes, not asking for anything but to love me. So I'd leave whatever I was doing, sit close to him, and let him envelop me with his essence and body.

There was no doubt that Romeo had found his Juliet. I felt honoured.

Both my son, Connor, and Romeo treated me like the belle of the ball. It was delicious intimacy. I was seen and wanted. All. The. Time.

So now there's a void. Again. It's understandable and awful. It's life.

And somewhere in there is another opportunity for me to rise up to the bridge that connects our forms to our formlessness, to feel the pain and the purpose, to stay open for it all. Because it all matters.


Love, Jonni
quieter than usual

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