Buddy stares into the empty cage and sees the hole that Wynken left in my heart. A little over a week has gone by since Wynken passed and not a day goes by where I don’t look at that cage and wish he was still there.
When I eat my banana in the morning there is no wriggling nose waiting for their ‘nanners. When I’m winding down in the evening, there is no tiny being nestled into my chest and kissing my chin with his teeny soft tongue. When I get home from work I even miss cleaning out his cage to find those pieces of food that he didn’t like shoved under his blankie and hidden in the corners of his space.
He laid claim to a piece of my heart the day I adopted him, and he took that little piece with him when he moved on to heaven.
I like to think that he and the other beings that hold pieces of my heart are meeting up in heaven with that as their calling card. I would hope that someday, when my soul joins them, that’s how they will all know that they were meant to be together and we’ll be joined again. Is that the significance of heart and soul?
Then part of me wonders if, once all the pieces are carried off to heaven, that’s when my life will be over and my soul will decide to follow them. Is that why many of the most loving people die young or why it’s so important to have a big heart?
And then I start to get practical and wonder if maybe every time a being takes a piece of my heart it leaves scar tissue and more heart for others to claim and take with them to heaven. So maybe there is an endless supply of love to give and receive?
And then I slap myself hard on the cheek and tell me to get out of my head because I’m thinking way too much.
Beings like my cat, Buddy, have it much easier. They live in the moment and don’t worry about trivial things like where pieces of their heart have gone. When Buddy is doing something like chasing a bug, bathing in the sunlight or harassing my other cat, Tobee, he isn’t thinking about Wynken at all. It’s only those moments where he thinks, “I want to bat a rat tail or have my nose boxed by tiny rat hands” that he jumps up on my desk to stare into the empty cage.
I wonder what he thinks, if anything, when staring in there. Does he wonder where his friend went or is there just a simple observation that there is no one there right now? In any case, it makes me sad to watch him.
I think it’s time to take the cage down.