I’d spent three months getting to know him; loving him, expecting nothing in return. He came to trust me. He came to love me. And on that very joyous day that he was to come home with me, on that day
I had taken him to my vet to get him thoroughly cleaned up so that he could finally come home with me for good, I discovered instead that he was riddled with feline aids.
Three times the vet had tested him for aids. Three times his test came back positive. He had been handed a death sentence, living on the streets, long before I even knew him and even as I was becoming his only friend, he was already dying.
I cried non-stop for three days running. It was October of 1998. Winter was coming and I was inconsolable.
So I went searching for him. In March, I went searching. My communicator stated he would be white with perhaps some gray on him. And when I first saw him in the bareness of that rescue shelter, with all of his siblings already gone to their own forever homes, I decided to visit with him for just a bit. After all, I’d already checked a couple of other shelters and no kitty fitting his color description had appeared.
I saw his tuba tummy bounce to and fro as he ran in circles round and round me again “I’m Special!,” he squealed, skinny legs and a tuba tummy bouncing as he ran. He reminded me somewhat of a scrappy little rat- bulging eyes and all.
He was mostly gray…the kind of steel gray that covers a military tank. He had one full white leg and three white tipped paws. His body was filled with the blue-tank gray on the upside and underneath, his tummy was pure white.
I was an old woman with a crooked nose. It was a cold house and I always wore a shawl. He loved to play with the fringe on my shawl.
And though I loved my other kitties too, Gunner was MY FAVORITE. To say we had a connection would be an understatement. He was my soul. He was my reason for coming home every night.. And he knew it.
OR, whether I’d beat the living gray and white out of him, so frustrated was I that he’d escaped in the first place.
I saw him start to go…I remember…he was slowly becoming an older kitty. In the year 2008 he started going downhill…urinary problems, an enlarged heart. Cardiomyopathy. He began losing weight, my big beautiful tank of a boy…he stopped eating. He stopped playing. By the middle of 2009 I was seriously realizing that our time together was severely limited.
I began taking my own interspecies communication classes so that I could get back to Gunner. Someway, somehow, I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. My animal communicator had become indispensable to me then… until I was more practiced at “finding” Gunner on my own. She became my vehicle for finding him for me.
He said it was his job to be there for all of the kitties crossing over rainbow bridge that didn’t know they were dead yet. Just like him. He would tell them the truth. He would be there to guide them after they woke up on the other side.
Setting up the workshop would require my effort and focus to bring it about. I made a decision to begin classes with another communicator so that I could begin learning the art of interspecies communication.
I even “found” Gunner once in a bittersweet attempt to “see” him.
I’d not been happy with my work for several years; long before I lost Gunner.
This one had several photos attached to his profile. I clicked on the second picture of him, though I was quickly getting bored and I needed to get back to my meaningless job... Clicked once more onto the third and final picture of this scrawny, little bug-eyed kitty and got the shock of my life! I stared…I just stared at this photo.
I began crying (this is RIDICULOUS!) right there at my desk. Dunno why…something grabbed me and shook me. I looked at that picture again and it was HIM! I swear, staring back at me with the goofiest most wonderful eyes I’d ever seen…
I grabbed my cell phone and I ran downstairs out of the office. The shock of what I had seen threw me upside down…I needed time to compose myself-I needed time to do the unthinkable…confirm or deny what my heartfelt to be true.
I called my communicator. With every nerve in my body spastic and my heart up in my throat, I called her. “Please”, I said, “tell me if it’s HIM?” She replied, “It’s HIM”. In fact, he told her, (in that arrogant, matter-of-fact Gunner way), that he wanted to know what I was waiting for and to go get him immediately! So I did.
When I picked him up, he wailed in the car all the way home. He head butts me for kisses like nobody’s business. He lets me know in many little ways just exactly who he is. He tries to escape outside the confines of his forever home. He sleeps with me every night; falling into my body, into my abdomen at night, making us one together instead of two separate beings.
Excerpt from the book "I'm Home! a Cat's Never Ending Love Story" by Brent Atwater