Friday, May 30, 2008

a story about a cat

I've been trying to decide how best to explain my feelings about the coincidental due date, knowing, as I do, that a lot of you have expressed fairly stong views on the subject -- saying that babies aren't interchangeable and that one can never replace another. But, as usually happens, (though I think K at Our Box of Rain once said something along the same lines) I find myself leaning towards the opposite of what seems to be the consensus position. I tell myself that, for whatever reason, last time just wasn't the right time for the twins to be born and that this new pregnancy is, in some sense, one of them trying -- whether ultimately successfully or not -- to make its way back to me.

But let me tell you a story about a cat.

A few years ago, while walking on one of the trails in the park near their house, my brother and his wife found a cat -- no collar, ribs showing, almost all white, with a black spot like a fingerprint between its eyes. My brother posted a notice on Craig's List and put up a photo of the cat on the neighborhood bulletin board, but got no responses. The cat turned out to have a penchant for chewing on ponytails, spent mornings futilely stalking chipmunks in the side yard and was exceptionally tolerant of visiting toddlers' attempts to play with her. Last week, late one afternoon, my brother came home from work. The cat, who was sunning herself on a rock, saw him get out of the car and started running across the road toward him. She made it about halfway.

My brother sent his two-year-old to play with the girls next door while he buried the cat in the backyard. The next morning, he went down to the cellar to put away the cat's food dish. And in the cellar, next to the dish, was a cat -- no collar, ribs showing, almost all black, with a white spot like a fingerprint between its eyes.

So, there you have it. As promised, a story about a cat. But if you think it's a story about something else, I'm certainly not going to argue with you.

24 comments:

slouching mom said...

spooky. and very cool.

how you feel about the due date being the same is how you feel about it.

a tautology, but maybe a useful one.

loribeth said...

Now I'm going to be singing that old song, "The cat came back... the very next day..."

Maggie said...

Wow...double wow even.

A fantastic - and very appropriate - story!

sweetsalty kate said...

I totally agree with you. It's not as though another baby *would be one of the twins* explicitly, the way I see it - but two souls were meant to be yours, and tried to come through to you... and perhaps this pregnancy is another try. In another form, but still, one of those souls that belongs to you.

I like that.

Beck said...

I dreamed of my baby for two years before I had her and then she was here.
Cats. I know so many spooky cat stories...

Julia said...

I am agreeing with Slouchy. And with myself. Since I always say that whatever works for each person is exactly right for them.

Beth said...

I will tell you a story ...

Long ago, the love of my life and I conceived a child, a son. I had an abortion at eighteen weeks. Later, pregnant again, we chose to have the baby. She came at 24 weeks, and lived just a few minutes.

We went our separate ways, my love and I.

A few years later he and I, not together, had children at precisely the same time. And I mean, at the same time. He, and his new wife, had a daughter. I had a son.

Only, we had absented ourselves from one another's lives so well, that we did not know about these new children until -- truth -- a few years later still, when his wife and I joined the same playgroup.

Well. For some reason I felt this was the time to share the story.

NotSoSage said...

I think that's a powerful thing to hold on to. And a spooky story about a cat.

Both things I'm glad you shared.

D. said...

That's what the Japanese think -- that a baby who was aborted or who died before birth will find a way to come back to earth through another womb some other time. For this reason many Japanese find abortion quite unproblematic. The "child" who doesn't make it the first time around is called mizuko = water child. In Japan you can see rows upon rows of statues of babies -- the mizuko -- dressed lovingly in hand-knit scarves and hats, lined up in the courtyards of some temples.

Lisa b said...

that's one hell of a cat story.

My Reality said...

I like the cat story. I find it oddly comforting.

painted maypole said...

a story? or a TRUE story?

Emily said...

Magic. And the art of noticing it.

janis said...

oh boy, I am a sucker for stories like this. heard lots growing up from my grandma and it still sucks me in. I believe in reincarnations and therefore souls returning. Each life is separate and different but sometimes past memories and experiences get carried over. I think it is a beautiful thought, a baby's soul returning...

Anonymous said...

What a great story.
As a child, my grandmother told me she had a vsion. It was Jesus in a cloud and he was handing her a small child with blond hair. Many years later, after my father and uncle were born, she had John Paul. John Paul was microcephalic. She decided to put him in a home. When she got there it depressed her so much that she turned around and took John Paul home. She took care of him for the rest of his life. Somewhere in the attic are his little baby shoes cast in metal. As a child, seeing those shoes made John Paul real, even though I'd never met him.
May your twin find its way back to you.
Allypally

thirtysomething said...

Double Whoa. Now that IS a story about a cat.

And your take on the due date, I am with you on that 100%...I subscribe to the idea that souls return, that each of us has been here before, some numerous times.

From what I have read in my pursuit to understanding life and the everafter, it is demonstrated on the palms of the hand whether or not a person has been here before. Many intricate lines signify an old soul (there are other ways to tell also), a smooth-like palm indicates a new soul, one fresh to the human experience.

I also believe that children, as spirits, choose their parents in a sense, based on whatever they are coming to the earth to accomplish or transcend.

I would dare to forcast that your child is going to be very intuitive, intelligent, determined and strong. A definite old soul. Cherish this..raising a child who is an old soul is a special experience. I have beleived that my son Max is an old soul since immediately following his birth. Raising a child like this is challenging, but immensely enjoyable..there is just a little something different about these kids...a certain calmness, a knowing if you will...a deep inner peace.
Well, I am rambling now, probably saying WAY more than I should! Hope I haven't offended...
Have a great Saturday!

thordora said...

I dreamed of my firstborn, her name, her person, everything, and as she stands today, she is that girl. It still freaks me out.

We're all starstuff, and perhaps they have come back to you. I love that thought.

And I love how this piece was written.

Amelie said...

Cats have seven lifes, they say (at least in German).
Amazing story, Niobe.

CLC said...

You just gave me the chills. But I like that idea that maybe it's one of the twins trying to make their way back to you. I am going to choose to believe in that.

Magpie said...

it works for me.

but it's more important that it works for you.

Antigone said...

That's why you shouldn't let cats run around outside.

Tricia said...

My second son's due date was actually my first son's one year anniversary. I told myself that it was a message from Connor that this time would be ok.

Other's said that this was Connor's way of linking to Sean. Other's said this was Connor's soul coming instead of Sean.

Bottom line...whatever makes you have a little bit of hope against the odds and gives you even that single moment of a tiny bit of peace...Say it and SAY IT LOUD.

BethH6703 said...

It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of the due date(s), you seem to be at peace with it. Can't ask for more than that.

And I love the cat story.

Lori said...

Actually, I think that is one of the most hopeful things I have ever heard you say. And I mean that in the most affectionate way- it's a lovely thing to believe.

Great cat story. Although this only adds to my rather freakish feelings towards cats (freakish bad, not freakish good).