Mookie was a morning cat.
She approached each day with joy. She was always the first creature to stir in our house, and even before she’d so gently hop on the bed, I could feel her little presence appear in our room. Then, I’d look forward to opening my eyes to see that sweet, eager face looking at me expectantly often followed by a velvet soft poke of her furry paw, without a word she would say “c’mon mom, there’s a whole brand new, bright day waiting for us – let’s go see what it has in store“.
On the days when I opted to wait a few more minutes before jumping into that day, she had a couple different strategies for impatiently waiting for one of us to join her. The somewhat passive one was to go hop in the sink in our bathroom from where she could just “will us” to rise from her favorite little perch. We see this sink from our bed, It is a hard thing to wake, now, to see that empty space where her bright yellow eyes would always be waiting so hopefully for us.
Her other move was more of a “if I can’t beat you, I’ll join you” tactic. This was my favorite. She’d daintily poke me a few times, and then, with as much drama as a little 7 lb lump of love could muster, she’d flop down right next to my pillow, belly up, purr volume at 10. Pure joy. Whenever I need to calm myself, I close my eyes and imagine this moment over and over. Her purr penetrated my every cell with her vibrant love and her calming, happy, always hopeful energy. Now, when I think of all those wonderful moments, I cannot stop the tears. I’m really not sure I want to… I don’t want to forget those gifts of her love in palpable form.
We loved our little morning routines. We were the two early birds of the household.
Did I mention she loved a sink? Boy oh boy, did she love sinks! As soon as she had succeeded in removing me from the comfy bed, she’d leap off the bed and run to my bathroom silently shouting “c’mon mom, this day is going to be awesome, let’s get rolling“. If you’re looking for an example of being thankful for the little things, I present exhibit A: my Mookie cat and her “drips”. Anyone who has stayed overnight at Casa Weir has experienced this lesson in how to find joy in the littlest things. Mornings at the bathroom sink were like Christmas for her every day, looking at me, looking at the faucet, with so much anticipation and so much delight as those little drips appeared. She made the act of brushing my teeth a gleeful celebration. I mean, really? Who gets that excited about something so simple. Mookie did. And she taught me to do the same.
Mookie was never food motivated. Her early-bird tendencies were driven by the fact that she wanted to day to begin (now!) so that she could participate in all that it might include. For Mookie & me, we spent a lot of morning time together in our living room here on Madison Street on our little blue couch. It is a reupholstered antique that shows the signs that one of us, she or me, has been sitting on it for most of the last 5 years… it was/is our little oasis. From this couch we would look out the front windows to the sunrise, to hear the birds chirping or watch the snow falling. We would soak up our beloved “Winter Tree” (up from early December through March, to match the Saratoga snow season). We would text our friends I (ok, maybe that was just me). We would gather our thoughts. We would bask in our fireplace, and we would do our morning practice of meditation on Headspace and write in our gratitude journal. She was my little buddha, my partner in being present. She was my inspiration.
There was a wonderful guided meditation in the old Ophra+Chopra app that I loved so much (circa 2017) in which Deepak instructed us to close our eyes and visualize a bright warm light in our heart center, then to visualize sending a beam of this warm, sparkling, liquid love from our heart directly to one “thing”, could be a person, an object, a flower… and of course, a cat. I would often do this exercise with Mookie, always, as my love-target. Just like Deepak said, as soon as I locked my beam of love on her I could feel the wave of her love come flowing back, vibrating and glowing back at me stronger than the beam I’d sent her. It was powerful and it was wonderful. It was our silent call and response. It gave me strength. She gave me strength. This feeling of love gave me joy, courage, comfort, and calm. Now that she’s gone, I’m feeling a bit lost. I am sending my signal to all the places where she used to sit – the sink, my pillow, the bed on our bed, under the tree, so many empty spots around our house. Yes, I feel her presence here, but it feels like a shadow. The connection feels disparate, gauzy, unclear, less strong and sad. On this, day 3 of our world without Mookie, I’m hoping this will get easier day by day, but I don’t want to forget what we had just because the absence is painful.
Thanks for listening. I’m planning to keep up these musings for a while. I want to be sure I capture her sweet spirit, her many lessons and the gifts she gave and left with us here. I simply don’t want to forget and I hope that these memories will help me heal the ache of her absence.
To enjoy some of the amazing journey we traveled with our Mookie, please visit her #hashtag on Instagram: #mookieweir