Last night we said goodbye to one of our cats. I cried a little. I felt a lot.
Fluff had been with us for 11 years - in fact she was with us before the Art of Change had even been dreamt of. She was there pretty near the beginning of our amazing journey of 'waking-up'; she was also there throughout the key moments of our family's development, meeting the girls when they were only 4 and 7 and observing them through their growth into young womanhood.
Throughout that time she gave me opportunity after opportunity to switch off from the mayhem of life, sit down and have her curl up on my lap. She was like a great spiritual teacher in a cat body - always setting the example of peace, but never demanding that I do what she said.
I probably didn't take enough of those opportunities to switch off, but I did at least take some. And for that I thank her. As I do for the infinite number of chances she gave me to improve my patience each time she came a scratching on the door or yowling outside the bedroom window.
Fluff was part of the glue, the sticky factor, that helped to hold the family together; pets are. And very often it is hard to appreciate the value of their presence, particularly when you are struggling with the umpteenth dead rodent or opening the door yet again because somehow they just HAVE to go out of it. But a value it is, and one that for children in particular, is as huge as it is intangible.
So Fluff, this is my thanks to you, both in appreciation of the 'stickiness' you gave the family and of the constant reminders you gave me to remember to switch off.
My life is poorer for your physical absence, but much, much richer for what you helped me to understand and experience.