We receive some fascinating spirit contact stories, but Rachel’s is one of my favorites.
In 2003, she and her husband, Nick, retired from his law practice in SC and moved to their beach house. Nick had a fear of aging, so he had a tough time with retirement. In 2002, after counseling, they decided that because they had completely different ideas about how to spend their retirement, Nick moved out west to be closer to their son. He wanted her to move with him, but she didn’t. “He wanted to hang out with his college aged sons and be young again, and knowing him as I did I understood.”
They had adopted a beautiful Persian Tortoiseshell female cat, Callie, from a couple who had AIDS and were trying to find a good home for her. “She was the most fastidious cat I’ve ever known. She would cover the leavings of our macho cat, Ramses, who thought he was much too special for that chore.” After Nick left, Rachel felt sad and depressed and tried to fill her days with walks on the beach, painting, and routine.
“One of my routines was for Callie and I to go to the upper deck and watch the birds circle the island in late afternoon. We would sit on the bench watching and listening to the birds while I had a glass of wine. Callie would either sit down beside me or get on the back of the high bench next to my left shoulder and neck. At night she slept on my side that was facing toward her and clasped my hand with her little paws. When I would turn over, I would feel her little wispy self carefully climb over me to that side and hold that hand. It was as if she knew I was sad and wanted to give me comfort. She was my anchor and my love.”
In 2004, her first grandchild was born and a year later, Rachel and Callie packed up and moved to NC to be closer to her son, daughter-in-law and grandchild. “Sadly, Callie was suffering from a stroke caused by my pest control company. The stroke caused kidney failure. I had been giving her fluid shots for a couple of years, but when she became blind I knew I was keeping her alive for me. I called my vet and told her I was going to need her to help put Callie put out of her misery. I took Callie to the house where we’d lived arranged for several friends to come there and be with me while my vet euthanized Callie. All of the technicians and Mary (the vet) came to the house to assist. It was extremely quick. Just as I changed my mind and said I couldn’t do it… it was over. “
She stayed at her former home, grieving, for two weeks. One day she went up to the upper deck and sat on the bench, which hadn’t done since Callie’s death. “A little wren – the same colorations that Callie had – flew to the bannister around the deck, looked at me and flew to the banister beside me. I assumed it didn’t realize I was there and would quickly fly away. It just looked at me and flew to my head and perched. I was thinking the little bird must be confused. So I sat there.
“After a couple of minutes, I gently shook my head to get the bird to fly away, but it didn’t. It continued sitting for a few minutes. I realized that it must be Callie and I began to cry. I was crying so hard that my shoulders were shaking, but she continued to sit on my head. After a while she dropped to my left shoulder – and call me crazy – but I felt that she was saying I won’t leave until you stop crying. After a minute or so I regained my composure and I actually talked to her and thanked her for letting me know she was alright. She flew to the tall tree next to the deck and sat on a limb and looked at me for a few minutes. It was a most beautiful experience, one that I shall never forget.”
The weekend after that, her son and his wife came to spend time with her. They’re animal people, so she shared the experience with them. They exchanged worried glances, as if they thought she’d lost it.
“The next day I suggested that we go over to a nearby island for lunch. My son and I were in the front seat of my car with me driving and his wife was behind me. As we approached the gate for Kiawah Island we were the third car in line next to some shrubbery. I lowered my window and a wren flew from the shrubbery and touched down on my left shoulder. My daughter-in-law squealed and the bird flew to the door on my side and looked at me and flew back to the shrubbery. My daughter-in-law exclaimed that she had never seen anything like that. My son just sat with his mouth open. I told them that was the same type bird that I had the experience with before. Maybe Callie was trying to convince them I wasn’t crazy.”
My heart came undone when I read this story. It was particularly poignant for me because today our cat, Powder, 18 plus years, passed on. I’m wondering how she’ll reach out.