Tessa on Having Nine Lives

Tess and Seamus getting along

The key is getting along. If you want to survive in this world you have to get along with others, or else you are out in the cold defending your life on a daily basis. I’ve learned this as one of my nine lives ended suddenly and I was reborn into another.

“I, as I know myself,
am not the final form
of my being.”

The nine lives of a cat can be a metaphor for the cycling journey of death and rebirth that humans endure in a lifetime, so we are not so different from each other. Humans attempt to hold on to their old life until the struggle and suffering becomes unbearable and they are forced to let go, while many continue to hold to the energetic connection that binds them in hell forever.

If you didn’t comprehend it before I, Tessa the yellow eyed cat, am here to tell you that hell is of your own making and heaven is waiting to be discovered in your lifetime.

Yeah, crazy cat theory, I know, but take my coming to the Stone House. I was taken in from the hell of starvation and freezing cold, into the warmth of a fire burning and warm lap with soft caresses to sooth my anxious nerves. Then spring came and I met Marco one morning when I ventured out to explore the territory. As I came around the corner and leaped onto the wood deck I was confronted by this big, ugly-looking monster with slits for eyes and a snarl that told me trouble was brewing.

He fought like a blind man, lashing out by smell and instinct and I screeched like a female in heat, then beat the hell out of there back to my porch on the far side of the house.

He came looking for me after that, making my life miserable and dragging the pups to my defense. When Maya takes offense there is no forgiveness and the vendetta rang through the fields and woods around us. All the animals knew there was war at the Stone House and out of respect they steered clear of the property.

Then one day a miracle happened, Marco went away and when he returned he could see again; and what a different cat he was! I would go so far as to say reborn. The stalking became less and less and Marco gave a wide berth to our side of the house. When Maya and Seamus were out for a stroll, Marco stayed inside and when night descended on the land we hunted in different parts of the woods out of respect for each others territory.

We had learned to get along. Marco no longer reacted from fear of death and I wanted nothing more than to hunt in peace as there was plenty for both of us to have. From what I’ve gathered from the gossip of the wrens and cat birds, old Marco has used up a half-dozen of his nine lives and maybe he is just grateful to have this one lifetime where he can see the beauty of what surrounds him.

But more than likely it is because his hunting skills have greatly improved. The landlady boasted last week that Marco had nailed the mink that was living on the far side of the pond. What a catch! Long, black and sleek as a ferret, I, myself had considered going after the rascal, but baby rabbits are more my size and weight. Now the mink must have given Marco a good fight, but new eyes, and a new life of possibility emboldened Marco to take on the impossible and he won.

The mink lies frozen in the basement freezer, a trophy catch to show off to guests and expound on Marco’s  prowess as a hunter. I know Marco would rather have had a good munch before they took it away, especially after all that work stalking and waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more. But then humans don’t fully appreciate the reward that comes from waiting and so Marco didn’t get to eat his catch and the landlady got his trophy to store in the freezer. Too bad for the mink though, life number nine and time ran out. Just the way his cards were drawn, I guess.

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