Mum – it’s good to be in touch again
Well, it has happened just as we knew it would. I am separated from my babies. We will travel separate paths from now on and I must have faith in them to put what they have learned to good use. I know I have prepared them right, but it’s hard not to worry just a bit. It’s the little things that pop into your head, isn’t it? And always when you’re about to tuck into your dinner, or drift off to sleep. Who will baff them? Will they bury correctly? Will they clean between their toes? You must have gone through exactly the same thing with us.
As you know, I had no idea where my own road would lead me, but it seems that, after many twists and turns, detours and dead ends, it has led me to the home of these good hoomins. Oh, mum! It’s better than I could possibly have imagined! This is such a cosy place, full of soft and warm things (well, apart from the stiff cat, but I’ll gloss over that for now) and the hoomins are…well, right. They are cat people. You explained cat people to me a long time ago, but now I understand what you meant. I can tell by the way their hands are relaxed when they touch my head and ears and by the tone of their voices when they purr at me and by the scent of them and their things. These are hoomins who know cats and are known by cats. I have no fears. I know they will keep their side of the pact in full and I will keep mine. We will be happy together. I am not alone here, though. There is another with whom I hope to be friends, but she is missing her sister, lately taken up, so I shall bide my time and be patient with her.
I spent my first day here learning the smells and sounds and sights (that stiff cat is REALLY stiff – I don’t understand it at all) and teaching my hoomins where I like to lay down and how I like to be petted and, I’m sorry to say, I didn’t give much thought to the babies. But, on the second night, anxious for news, I remembered Ripley’s instruction, so I waited until dark and went to the window. The Moon was still up, so I sang a little to Her to give thanks for my good fortune, then I tucked in my paws and waited until She had disappeared to sleep, not really knowing what to expect. I was just starting to doze off when, suddenly, there it was. First, it was just the tiniest vibration on the end of my whiskers, then it came in through the floor under my paws and spread slowly along my spine and up into my ears. It reminded me of the sound of thunder a long way off, only softer and more musical. I swivelled my ears and stiffened my whiskers to channel the sound into my brain, where it began to resolve itself into something familiar, comforting yet thrilling. The voices of my sisters.
They called me by my proper name and asked me to relate my story and I learned that there are many, many cats who have shared the same experience as me and who remember the white room and the big, kind hoomin and his little companion with the poop fixation. They talk together often and Ripley (man, that girl hears some gossip!) was able to tell me about the kittens and that they are all safe and well and living in the homes of good hoomins. I am excited for them and can sleep easy now, knowing that all is well with them. My new companion joined us for a while. She told us how lonely she had been since her sister had gone, but Rosemary was able to teach her how to look into the night sky to find her sister’s eye, which watches over her from within the constellation called The Queen, at the Moon’s right hand. She seemed to be comforted by this and I have hope that she will come to accept me as a friend – maybe, one day, even as her sister.
And now I’ve found you again, mum. We can talk to each other about the old times, good and bad, and things that have happened and things that will happen. We can talk about friends and family, warmth and comfort, security and the goodness of hoomins. We will no longer need to talk about being cold, or hungry, or afraid or lonely.
We are home.