The Wednesday Outlook, May 20th

Big doings over the weekend as The K and I celebrated 6 years of marriage. Well, not such tremendous doings but we marked the day in a way that was special for us. Last year, for our 5th anniversary, we went out to California and had a lot of fun – we saw a blue whale, we traveled by boat through “pod” of dolphins that numbered in the thousands, we hiked, we went to wineries, we saw Tommy the Clown and watched him teach a master dance class.

This year we loaded up the hound and went to Lake Maria State Park, which is a beautiful place to go hiking because it has “Big Woods” and many ponds plus Lake Maria (with some docks that are great for dogs). Maybe it’s because spring has been crappy but being outside that day was the one thing I really wanted. It was warm, breezy and sunny.

Freja saw horses for the first time in her life. I’m not sure what she wanted to do: cry or attack. She probably didn’t know what she wanted to do either! After we saw the horses she went into overdrive, pulling ahead on the trail to find more of them. Unfortunately, we didn’t see more except one that was being loaded back into its trailer. She consoled herself by trying to eat the horse shit on the trail.

Freja stopping for a drink of water.

After hiking we took a trip to the DQ Grill and Chill – ice cream for us and a cheeseburger for Freja. The burger was kind of an overdue birthday gift. She was very puzzled by it. I ended up having to break it into smaller pieces and hold them out to her. She is a strange mixture of rough-and-tumble and genteel – she can pick a horse apple up off the ground and chomp on it but picking up an entire cheeseburger is uncouth.

When we got home I worked on fixing the front flower bed. It was time to clean it out, round off it’s edges (my sister told me that it’s rectangular shape made it look like a burial plot), move plants around and plant a dwarf lilac bush in memory of Ella.

For a cat of Ella’s stature, we could have gone with a full-size lilac bush but I wasn’t sure it would fit so I bought one that stays 3 feet.

We got out the ashes and put them into the ground. I still feel the loss of Ella a few times every week, which is maybe better than when it was a daily thing. What I mean is, now I can remember her with fondness and love, knowing she had the best life we could have provided a house cat, without the feeling that my heart is straining against my chest and my throat seizing up. But when we poured out the ashes, I did cry again. I’m continually surprised by how close to the surface our emotions and memories sometimes are… ready to jump up on a moment’s notice.

I don’t believe in heaven. Just don’t buy it. I don’t believe in reincarnation, although I do think it’s a wonderful idea or story. I think that the idea of reincarnation appeals to us because as humans we are constantly having to renew and recreate ourselves in order to move through one stage to the next, one year to the next, or even one day to the next, depending.

But as we were sitting there, looking at Ella’s lilac bush, a bird came down and hopped through the garden and right up next to us. He wasn’t afraid of us at all. He cocked his head from side to side, got right up in front of the bush and checked it out. He was brown, just like Ella, and I said, “Ella came back as a bird.” I think that would be a nice life for her – flying, sitting in trees, eating bugs.  Keith and I were talking to each other but not moving, afraid he would be scared away. But he lingered for awhile, much longer than I’ve experienced with “flighty” birds, and eventually hopped across the lawn before taking off.