The Linear Canvas
This journal is about the wrongs and rights of the world, as I see them.

The Linear Canvas

Finding My Boy

November 11th, 2009 . by Alexander Fisher

This story is true and whether any of this adds up to anything, you can decide for yourself.

Let me start out by saying, I don’t believe in magic or any afterlife. I am definitely an evolutionist that believes in the scientific theory of the creation of life. That said, I won’t rule out the possibility of some kind of creator that used evolution as its tool to spawn life on our planet.

I must say though, that this story makes all of my scientific theories wobble a little bit in my mind.

My Two Kittens

I got two new kittens in 1984. My first cat died of feline leukemia about six months previously. I always hated cats until then and had little patience for animals or humans. I’ve always said my first cat helped teach me how to treat other people better. We were heartbroken when he died. It was one of the first times I lost something I personally cared so much for. My father had  Boypassed away the year before and of course, it had affected me in a similar manner.

We were waiting on a new kitten from someone that my wife Jill knew. It still hadn’t been weaned yet, but we just couldn’t wait any longer. We went into a pet store in a Columbus, Ohio shopping mall, and found they had only one kitten left. It was already getting a little big and had probably been there for a while. It was a black long haired cat. It was so beautiful that I bought it immediately. The clerk said it was a female and had all of its shots. We took her home and for some reason named her “Amy”.

A few weeks later the other kitten was ready to come home. It was also a black female cat, except with short hair. She was easy to name as she went around the house crying , “Mao, Mao, Mao”. So I named her China. They were so fun to watch. China was so much smaller than “Amy”. It was funny to watch them play together. I wish I had a camera back then, because I have no photos of either kitten at that age.

Amy or Amos?

A few weeks later, Jill took “Amy” to the veterinarian. When she returned, she had some startling news. The vet told her that “Amy” was really an “Amos”. We had just trusted the pet store and because the kitten’s hair was so long, I had never noticed it had little boy parts instead of little girl parts. I did not think Amos was a very good name and decided that I would name him “Boy”.

Boy was a fairly large cat after he grew up that was always the master of his own domain. He just tolerated most people, but always treated me with deep affection. I’ve always felt that most male cats were more attracted to people that gave them space and didn’t treat them like babies. Boy always followed me around the house. He sat at the computer with me. He would sit beside me on the couch. He loved me as much as I did him. But he had a streak of wildness that was usually initiated by trying to get him to do something he didn’t want to do. Brushing his long hair, giving him a bath, or taking him to the vet was always bound to draw blood from someone, even me.

Once we took Boy to the vet for a minor procedure. When we picked him up, the vet’s staff told us that even though they had sedated him they were too scared to do the procedure as he growled at them fiercely even while he was unconscious.

We lost China at ten years old to an illness, but Boy lived on to the age of sixteen. He had a stroke when he was about fifteen, but recovered. Later his kidneys began to fail. He became sicker and by July 2000 the end was very near.

Jay and Cathy

My sister Cathy and her fiancé Jay came to see us about that time. We had moved twice since 1984 and lived in the Toledo area by then. They lived near Columbus so they had driven almost three hours to see us. Boy would usually hide when strangers came to visit and had never seen either before. It usually took a few visits before Boy would not be afraid of anyone new.

Strangely, right after Cathy and Jay arrived at my house, Boy came walking slowly down the hallway. He saw them sitting on the couch and jumped up and sat between them for the duration of their visit. He was pretty weak but stayed right there. I immediately commented on how odd this was, Boy sitting with two strangers. I thought of it several times in the next few days as he became weaker and weaker. Finally we took Boy to the vet in Perrysburg and had him put to sleep. He would’ve died within a day for sure. Hopefully that was less painful for him. I dug a hole in the back yard for his grave and cried the entire time. I buried him there and would stand by his grave and talk to him whenever I was in the back yard. I truly missed my Boy, my buddy.

Come Find Me

The communications company I worked for had an office in Columbus and I went there on occasion, usually staying all night. About three to four weeks after Boy died I went to Columbus and stayed at a hotel that was near the shopping center where I had found Boy in 1984.

I was lying on the hotel bed about half asleep. I could still see the light in the room and I am convinced I was not dreaming, at least not in a normal way. I heard something jump from the floor to the bed. Then I heard footsteps and the mattress squeaking as something walked towards me. At first I was scared, and then I realized, although I did not see anything, it was Boy.

I heard a voice in my head that said, “Come find me”. Then when I did not respond, I heard it again say, “Come find me”. At this point I said. “I don’t know where you are, how will I know it’s you?” Then the voice said, “You’ll know when you find me.” I heard the footsteps again and then heard something jump to the floor. Then I fell asleep.

The next day when I woke up I remembered the visit from Boy. I realized I must have been dreaming, but I heard the bed squeaking and felt the bed moving which were untypical of the dreams I usually had. That and the fact I saw the light in the room in natural colors made me realize that it wasn’t my regular dreaming experience. My day was filled with thoughts of what I had heard and seen. I kept thinking I needed to return to the pet store where we got Boy originally. I could hardly wait to finish the day so that I could go there to see if that was what he meant.

At the end of the day I drove to the mall. To my disappointment as I entered, it had been mostly converted into a flea market and only a few of the stores that had been there sixteen years ago remained. I walked to the space that had previously been the pet store and there was no sign of it being there in the recent past. I was saddened that I had failed to find Boy, but quickly dismissed it as just a dream, regardless of how real it had felt.

The Phone Call

My ride home from there would be almost three hours, so I gave up my search and headed home. As I drove west on the freeway through the university area of town, my cell phone rang. It was my sister Cathy. She said to me, “I’ve got something for you.” Figuring maybe she had baked me some cookies or cake or something, I asked her what she had. She said, “I have a kitten for you.”

Cathy explained to me that a kitten had crawled up on their back step at their house. They had found it there and realized that it had not been weaned and still needed to be cared for. She said Jay was bottle feeding him and that when he was strong enough we could come pick him up. She estimated that he was about three to four weeks old. He was born approximately the same time Boy had died.

I thought of when Boy had come out and sat between Cathy and Jay on the couch. Was Boy signaling to me that he would find Cathy and Jay and then I needed to find him there? I thought about my dream. Chills went up my spine when I realized I now knew I had found him, just as he said I would.

Coming Home Again?

After a few weeks Cathy called and said my new kitten was ready to come home with me. Jay had been taking very good care of him and now he was healthy and very playful. I went to pick him up and by then Jay had become very attached to him. Later Jay Buddy told me that he regretted giving me that kitten, that he had missed him after he was gone. He asked me what I had named him. I said that I had always referred to Boy as my buddy, so I named him Buddy, a very common name people give to dogs and cats. Jay was silent, almost sad for a second and said, “My first dog’s name was Buddy”. That only made it weirder.

Although Buddy is a grey short haired cat, there are many similarities between Buddy and Boy. Many of those similarities could be said of cats in general. But just as Boy followed me around, so does Buddy. He sits with me when I work on the computer. He sits near me on the couch when I watch TV. I don’t know if he is Boy reincarnated. To me it just sounds silly. But with the events surrounding losing Boy and finding Buddy, I am not too sure what to believe.

An old woman said to me once that the lord would never reuse a soul, so reincarnation was not possible. I think Boy loved me so much, he would’ve wanted to find a way to get back to me any way he could. Maybe he did.

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