Eliza came in from feeding the cats Sunday evening and said, "Mommy, I think Botsie is dead." She and I walked back out on the porch, and when I saw Botas,I knew Eliza was right--Botas had moved into the world of spirit. I picked her up, held her close, and checked out her body carefully. I found no injury and had no sense of trauma surrounding her body..I am convinced she just exhaled and then just didn't inhale again...Such incredible peace and completement I've really never seen. Yeah and thank you, Botas!!!
Boticas (bo-tee'-kas), as my friend Laida always called her, was about 16 years old. One of the secretaries at Marietta High School, where I worked at the time, had kittens to give away, and this little black and white-footed cat with an extra toe on her front paws came our way. Samuel must have been about 4 or 5 at the time. She was the classic "Boots" cat, but with millions of Boots already in existence, we called her "Botas" (boots, in Spanish..pronounced bow'tahs)...Immediately she became Samuel's bed cat, and the two of them slept together all the years Samuel lived at home. Since he's been at college, Botas has always sensed when Samuel was coming home, waiting patiently outside until he was home and then insisting to come in to sneek upstairs to his room...Samuel contends Botas ranks as the best farm sleeping cat ever.
Botas has spent a lot of time inside this winter. Somehow, I think all of us at The Farm have sensed that she was moving toward leaving us and leaping into the Universe. Her energy has been serene, very peaceful yet alive and spunky for her age... I snapped these photos of her one afternoon when she made herself at home on my bed. Eliza and I have both slept with her over the course of the winter, as did Samuel when he was home over the holidays. (Botas always insisted on sleeping on or between my feet...On the coldest evenings, I put her on my bed to warm up my space before I hopped in, and when I got in, she'd come stretch out right on top of my feet! Didn't seem too comfortable for her to me, but it was her sleep position of choice.)
When I told him of her passage, Tom said he had observed how recently she slept long, peaceful hours in the tacky orange chair in the computer room. He said he had the thought that one day we'd just find her there, out of her body...And basically, that's how she orchestrated her passage out on the deck with the sliver moon in the sky above...Pretty incredible, huh? She just checked out.
A couple of weeks ago when I was home alone, I got out a feather on a string, and Botas started running back and forth across the floor after it..She had slowed down considerably from her kitty-hood, but she played, crouching and wiggling her tail right before she pounced on the feather with truly youthful spirit. I remember thinking that ole' Botsie was having a really good time as we played.
And one evening in the last two weeks, Eliza and I watched her play like a kitten with a toy mouse that Loonis, our very scraggly farm cat, left on the dining room floor. She swatted with it...knocked it away....poised....and then pounced on it again, throwing it up into the air and attacking it yet again as it fell. She was absorbed in her playfulness, and she reminded me at that moment that even we older folks need to play like a kitten...It was good, good medicine.
Molly hung close by her side when E. and I brought her into the house to wrap her for placement back to the Earth. I'm convinced Molly witnessed her passage.
With Botas very present in our hearts now, energy at The Farm right is happy, vibrant, and alive.. Botas added another level of understanding associated with those energies in her last days, and we're all grateful to her for the love she leaves us...She saw many animals and people come and go at the farm...She's been here through major farm changes, and she's always been close by....a bedfellow at times when she knew we needed her love, and always giving her love to us, quietly, unconditionally, and unobtrusively.
Godspeed, sweet Botas...Say hello to the family of farm animals who'll greet you in the spirit world....My love to you and them.