21 Dec The Kitten Chronicles: Love Transforms All
One week before we adopted Baby, our friend Dagmar emailed us. She was scheduled to attend Magical Relationships, our online weekend seminar, and had a special request. Her husband, Bjoern, is a physician and at that time he worked nights in the ICU tending to Covid-19 patients. He would be home sleeping during the hours that the course was being conducted and she wanted to know if she could have Scraps, her cat, in the room with her.
“If I close the door to my office and she’s on the other side of it by herself, chances are she’ll meow quite insistently…she’s an old lady (turning 19 in a month) and quite set in her ways – she’s trained us well to do exactly as she wants.” Dagmar wrote.
We were still fairly new to holding our weekend seminars in a Zoom video format, having moved away from in-person events due to Covid-19. Up until this time, people had been doing their best to have pets and children out of the room so as to have the seminar environment, to the best of our abilities, mirror what we had come expect at those in person locations. In other words, distraction free.
But what if Scraps’ presence wasn’t a distraction? What if we didn’t consider Dagmar’s request to be only for the sake of her husband who clearly needed rest after caring for Coronavirus patients all night? What if Scraps was also a beloved family member who required tenderness and care? What if our seminars became about the honor of having folks invite the two of us into their homes as we invited them into ours?
We immediately said, “Yes.”
Saying “yes” to Dagmar and Scraps set the stage for Baby and all the other babies in our community – both furry and human, both young and old. Now at our seminars we frequently have infants sleeping or being held by a parent and children playing in the background. Occasionally elderly parents can be seen resting in the background, too. A toddler, Kalin, is learning to recognize his name. Now he smiles and waves back as the world on the screen calls his names and waves to him in greeting. Cats and dogs join their humans. And people have fallen in love with all of them, including our kitten, Baby, who wound her way into people’s hearts from day one.
In November, almost 6 months after Baby graced us with her presence, Dagmar sent her friends, including the two of us, an email. With her permission, we are printing it below.
We are grateful to Dagmar for reaching out to us and including her “kitten” out of love her for her. Scraps (so named for her love of playing with scraps of paper when she was tiny) always managed to meow at just the right moment during our seminars, adding her voice and punctuating whatever had just been said. Her voice transcended all language barriers and arrowed its way straight into our hearts. It could be said that all of our lives have been transformed as a result.
I just wanted to let you know that Bjoern and I said goodbye to our cat today. She had developed some acute health issues (on top of her underlying kidney problems) earlier this week and the vet asked us to come in with her today. We knew that there was a good chance we wouldn’t take her home with us, and this is exactly what happened. The vet found tumors in her spleen and in one of the kidneys. Considering that she was an old lady (19.5 years old), we decided not to wake her up from the anesthesia again but to let her go peacefully.
I miss her – and yet it feels weirdly complete. Sadness mixed in with a whole universe of gratefulness that she was such a wonderful cat and that I got to spend more than 19 years with her (I’ve had her since she was a tiny bundle of fur, mostly tail and lots of kitten energy). When Bjoern stepped into our lives, she won him over from being not sure about pets of any sort to being a full-blown cat lover in no time. The two of them had the most endearing ritual when we went to bed, she would hang out on my ankles until he came to bed, but as soon as he lay down, she would step up on his chest to be petted with both hands. If he stopped too early, she could be quite insistent, nosing under his hand so that he remembered what his job was. 🙂
I’m enclosing a picture of her being curled up on the couch. Thanks to Covid, you’ve all met her in one or another of the video seminars. I guess I could do with a hug now.
Love to y’all and thank you for being such a wonderful group of people that I can feel your love even before I hit “send” on this.
Dagmar”See all posts in The Kitten Chronicles series here.