Goodbye Bindi

January 9, 2020

“Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions;
they pass no criticisms.” –George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) 1819-1880

When a new cat purrs its way into my heart, we always have a serious talk. “Someday,” I say, “you are going to have to tell me if it’s your time to go. You must be very, very clear.” That is what unfolded with Bindi, our beloved tuxedo girl cat, only 7 years old. What started on Dec 26 as a bad tooth ended up being advanced kidney cancer. My husband and I are in agreement that we do not do heroics for a pet. The vet agreed.

I slept with Bindi on the couch her last three nights. Actually, there was very little sleep given her discomfort and my hovering. She would sit perched and stare off into space. Pretty soon she would circle around and sit perched in another direction. Always away from me. Finally, I got down on the floor and looked deeply into her eyes. I could see my reflection as the tears started to flow. “It’s time, isn’t it, Bindi?” Given the expression on her little furry face, I swear she saw her reflection in my eyes. That’s when I knew it was time to say goodbye.

Our last night together found Bindi “head butting” me several times. I’ve been told that when cats brush up against us, they are leaving their scent. But when they bump their face and forehead on us, they are saying hello and I love you. I must have said “I love you” back to her dozens of times. At two different points she put her head in my palm and laid there for several minutes. She was literally putting her life in my hands.

The following morning, January 4th, we bundled Bindi in her favorite blanket, slipped her into her carrier and drove the short distance to the vet. I was startled by a Flicker that flew across our drive way in front of the car. I briefly wondered if Flicker had a message. Bindi died very peacefully. We chose to take her home for burial.

Late Sunday afternoon, Doug started digging the hole while I held the box containing Bindi’s body and the blanket. Suddenly, a deer bolted by us and ran into the trees. A Flicker and now a deer, I wondered. Is there a connection?

After a weekend where I had to be somewhat “on,” I devoted Monday to sadness and sorrow. I didn’t even get dressed, but I did brush my teeth. While browsing through numerous photos of Bindi on my computer, I saw a spider walk across the 2020 day timer that sits next to my desk. Flicker, deer, and now spider. That’s when I knew I had to do some research. Here are brief interpretations found on the internet.

Flicker demonstrates a new rhythm and cycle of growth. She shows the importance of healing love and the power of forgiveness. Insights and intuitions are activated and perceptions are changing.

Deer medicine includes gentleness in word, thought and touch. The ability to listen, plus grace and appreciation for the beauty of balance.

Spider is telling you to create, create, create. Look for new alternatives to your present impasse. Think outside of the web of illusion.

I’m giving myself plenty of time to ponder the messages from the three critters and how they might relate to Bindi’s death and my grief. The sobs have subsided, although the tears flow from time to time. The house feels eerily quiet, probably because we interacted so often during the day. When that nagging thought, “Did I do the right thing?” surfaces, I remember seeing my reflection in Bindi’s eyes and likely Bindi seeing her reflection in mine. It was time. We did the right thing. And now, time alone will heal.