Something special happened yesterday: Salem communicated with me. She’s done it before, but this time, she told me about something that I ought to do. Key words in her message were “closure” and “completion.” She included the phrase “service to humanity.” Since this was coming from her, I knew that she meant closure and completion regarding her passing, and by “service to humanity,” she meant service to cats in need. Everything is connected; helping animals is helping humans.
In any event, my intuition reflex was lightning fast. Without thinking about what I was going to do, I immediately got up from my desk and headed to the back door. (Trivia: my most pronounced fire energy trait is springing to action.)
I went out to the laundry room. Salem’s room.
Her bed on the ottoman was still exactly as she’d left it. I hadn’t been able to bring myself to touch her bed or her toys, though I’d recently decided to leave the ottoman bed for cats in need. On the threshold of cold desert nights, it’d been on my mind to prepare the room. I just hadn’t gotten up the gumption to do it. Salem gave me the push that I needed to get it done, and so I did.
I shook out her layers of towels, blankets, and pillow cases from last winter and piled them into the washer, crying the whole time. I gathered her toys and put them with the trash to be taken out, along with the two throw rugs that’d been soiled when she threw up on them. I never bothered to clean them. They were cheap, and I had new ones waiting for a purpose.
My aim was to do what Salem wanted. As I went about the task, I wept and admitted to her that I still couldn’t reach a place of closure in my heart… but I could fulfill the “completion” part of her request and close up the laundry room as it’d been when it was her room. It’s still her room, but now in the sense that she’s the proprietor and hostess. The sign that says “Old Salem Inn” still hangs above the dryer, and its meaning has become literal. That is what the room is serving as now. It’s an inn that’s open to cats in distress, with Salem’s guidance, encouragement, and blessing.
So I cleaned the room and re-decorated a lot of it, mostly just rearranging things that were already there. I made up a fresh bed on the ottoman, put in the clean rugs, and finished with a generous misting of Florida water for purification, facing the directions of the elements and thanking the archangels who guard them. The room is cleansed and consecrated, and Salem is pleased.
And of course, I’ve got pics to share!
Friends, it was hard. I cried while making up the bed because I felt, in my heart, that I was making a place for Salem to sleep. I couldn’t help it. Winters were special, as a part of my evening winter routine was shaking out Salem’s bed and plumping it up into a cozy warm nest for her. After four years, this will be my first winter without her. But I know that if any stray kitty needs a warm place to sleep this winter, they will find it.
Salem and I were together in the ancient past as well as the recent one, I believe. Our journey together hasn’t ended. I’m happy to be able to keep her inn open as a service to others.
Have a wonderful week ahead, all!