Recieved: 2000/05/14 21:10
Subject: Re: [K-list] New to support group
On 2000/05/14 21:10, Ckress posted thus to the K-list:
I'm sorry for your terrible losses. I've heard of numerous cases where
Kundalini seemed to be triggered by physical or emotional shock. Also, Dr.
Yvonne Kason, a Canadian M.D. who treats K-related illnesses, says some
diseases are more common among the K-awakened, including diabetes.
I don't know what's going on with your cat, but twice when my K-related
health problems were most severe, we lost one of our pets. Several years ago
I wrote a story about the deaths of several pets, one of which died when I
was experiencing excruciating pain from a spine injury. The story (see
below) is a bit long and may seem sugary unless you have beloved pets.
by El Collie
I am allergic to cats and dogs, but I have had just about every other kind of
creature for a pet. Many of their deaths came unexpectedly and as quietly as
the fall of autumn leaves. One morning I would go to feed them to discover,
from their lifeless bodies, that our last morning together had come. Only
two my pets lingered in obvious pain for more than a day or so before death
mercifully ended its travail.
One of these was a female pied cockatiel my husband C. and I bought one
spring as a companion for our male cockatiel, Dimitri. Because the first
thing that caught our attention when we parked outside the pet shop was the
sweet scent of freesias in full bloom, we named her Freesia. Dimitri, a
feisty little fellow, hand-raised and bonded to humans, got lonely during the
times we were not home or were too busy to give him attention. While
initially he wanted nothing to do with this feathered stranger, eventually
Dimitri and Freesia became true, inseparable mates.
As years passed, it started to be apparent to us that something was not right
with Freesia. Always more frail and unsteady on her perch than Dimitri, she
was beginning to hold her wings in a strange manner and her beak was
overgrowing in a way that did not seem natural. The vet tried to break the
news to us gently: Freesia had an untreatable genetic disease that was not
uncommon for her species. He said he could periodically trim back her beak
so she could feed, but birds with her disease (which was a form of arthritis
that contorted wing and leg bones) had a very short lifespan.
Cockatiels generally live for 15-30 years. Freesia lived another eight
months after the diagnosis. She was four years old. During her final
months, she sometimes had accidents when she would fall off her perch. She
and Dimitri lived in a large, home built aviary cage with a newspaper-covered
wooden floor. The sudden thud of her crippled body smashing against the cage
floor was one of the worst sounds I ever hope to hear. I kept thinking I
should line the cage bottom with some kind of cloth or foam, but I couldn't
think of a way to keep it clean from bird droppings. Even when she was
stationary on a perch, she spent increasing amounts of time day and night
sleeping in a fluffed-up, sick-bird posture. Yet she continued to eat well,
which indicated that she was not in too much discomfort.
She went dramatically downhill at the same time I injured my back. The
timing couldn't have been worse. Now her falls occurred daily, then many
times throughout the day. As I lay in my own paralyzing pain, helpless to do
anything for her, I could hear the dreaded thud noises coming from the
aviary. When I managed to get up to look in on them, I could see she was
internally hemorrhaging from the falls; her whole body was swollen and
misshapen and by now she was quaking with pain.
My husband could do little for her either. He was already pushed to the
brink of exhaustion working a full time job, then coming home and dealing
with all our household needs and waiting on me hand and foot. I was so
disabled I could not stand up long enough to fix my own food. Because of
this, combined with pain that felt as if I was being incessantly slammed in
the spine with a sledgehammer, I would go all day without eating until he
came home from work to fix a meal for me.
Most birds as sick as Freesia expire very rapidly. With all the punishment
her body was taking, I kept thinking she wouldn't last another hour, much
less another day. I wished so much that she would at least remain on the
bottom of the cage, where she could not fall and further injure herself. All
this time, fiercely protective Dimitri spent his days standing guard by her
side. It was his influence as much as her own instinct that impelled her to
keep trying to get back up, to keep trying to hang onto the perches, to hang
Her protracted suffering was so difficult to witness. C. and I decided that
on his day off, he would take her to the vet to be put to sleep. Both my
husband and I had learned that animals are quite capable of telepathic
rapport with humans, and we wanted Freesia's consent before we took the
irrevocable measure of ending her life. I told her if she wanted help
releasing her broken body, she should stand in the far right corner of her
cage. I knew she was able to waddle to this part of the cage; it was an area
she often chose to stand in. Yet from the moment I gave her our "signal,"
she assiduously avoided going near that corner.
It was not until another week had passed that C. and I looked into the cage
to see her slowly make her way to the designated spot. "All right now," she
seemed to be saying. "It's time."
Dimitri, as always, tagged right along beside her. Cockatiels mourn deeply
when they lose a partner. We knew her death would take a toll on him, but
there was no way around it. We could also sense that it was his unflagging
devotion to her that had kept Freesia alive this long, and now he needed to
let her go. We talked to him softly, explaining that even though we all
loved her, Freesia needed to release her body. She was hurt too badly to
continue living in this world. Dimitri looked terribly forlorn, but we could
tell that he understood. Within minutes, Freesia collapsed in the corner and
Dimitri did grieve hard after her death, shrieking and calling for her all
day long. After several weeks, we were able to find him a mature female grey
cockatiel whom he accepted as a new mate. We hoped Lila, as we named her,
would be Dimitri's lifelong companion, but her stay with us was also cut
short. In her case, it came as a complete surprise. With no warning of ill
health, she suddenly died. There was, however, another warning I have
learned to take seriously.
A day before Lila's death, my mother-in-law, who was very ill at the time,
had a dream in which a black dog entered her house. Black dogs are
archetypal harbingers of death. At the time she had this dream, my
father-in-law was also sick, as was their aged cat, Ziggy. In the dream, my
mother-in-law managed to chase the dog out of her house. My husband and I
think that Lila surrendered her life in place of the members of my
mother-in-law's household. This is not the first time we have noticed this
phenomena. Our experience indicates that Death never goes away empty-handed,
but it will sometimes accept a surrogate life.
The death that originally moved me to write this piece was that of Pogo, a
sleek black doe-eyed rabbit that came to us when he was a fluffy
slipper-sized six weeks old. He was exuberantly playful and energetic, and
of all the pets and rabbits I ever had, Pogo had the most gentle and patient
temperament. Even the staff at the vet's always remarked on what a sweet
bunny he was.
One year on our calendar is roughly ten in rabbit years. By the time Pogo
was a middle-aged five-year-old, he had mellowed out a lot and liked to spend
his time resting (and what seemed to be meditating) inside his indoor hutch,
or, when the weather was good, enjoying himself on our screened-in back
porch. Because he loved to dig, we gave him a small sandbox which doubled as
his litter box. On warm days, he liked to sit in the shaded, cool sand.
He was pure affection toward everyone but cats. When an occasional
neighborhood cat strayed into our yard, Pogo's keen sense of smell instantly
picked up the intruder. Rabbits are capable of making vocal sounds, but
never do unless they are in excruciating pain. But Pogo had other ways of
voicing his displeasure. Chief among these was a surprisingly loud and
repetitive thump he made by slapping his back foot against the floor. When a
cat ventured into our yard, the thumping would commence. This in turn would
alert the mockingbirds in the trees, who also hated cats. Pogo would thump,
the mockingbirds would caw, then one of the birds would divebomb at the cat
until, by sheer annoyance, it was driven away. Because of this teamwork, C.
and I used to refer to the mockingbirds as Pogo's pals.
After being a central member of our family for nine years, Pogo was well into
rabbit old age. We knew what was coming, but we didn't dwell on it. As the
end approached, his enthusiasm for fresh vegetables and his favorite dish,
dry flaked oaks, began to diminish. Worried, C. tried to tempt him to eat
with offerings of sumptuous greens, but Pogo's appetite kept fading. He was
no longer interested in playing with his cardboard tube and other porch toys,
and spent most of his time, indoors or out, napping.
Pogo had always loved to be petted and would often approach us, nudging our
hands (if they were within his reach) with his nose, or nibbling insistently
on our shoes until we sank down beside him and stroked his silky fur. The
last time he came to me begging to be petted, I could not help but notice how
bony his body had become. He was so fragile, anything but a featherlight
touch caused him to flinch. I knew he would not be with us much longer.
It was shortly after this that Pogo refused food altogether. Days passed.
Each time C. or I checked on him, it was with fear of finding him dead. But
Pogo was still there, each day growing weaker. When he stopped drinking
water, I had The Talk with him. The signal would be for him to go and sit in
his sandbox. Then we would take him to the vet to free his spirit from his
Pogo never again sat in his sandbox. After three days without fluids, I
started bringing him water in a bowl I would tuck under his chin, coaxing him
to take little sips, which he did, I think as much for my sake as for his own.
On what was to be his last night, I stayed up very late. I had just gotten
into bed when I heard a commotion coming from his hutch. I knew he was
having a convulsion. I got back up to be with him. As I was slipping into
my robe, Pogo screamed.
Up until that moment, I had been, albeit reluctantly, accepting Pogo's death
as the natural way of things. Hearing him cry out in agony tore out my
heart. I broke down and wept.
Pogo lived another hour. I am not sure if he was wholly conscious; I hope he
was not. I prayed and prayed to the Spirit to take him. That this most
innocent of creatures had to endure such a horrible end was beyond my
comprehension. I had hoped that he might slip away in the night, as gently
and softly as he had lived. But it was not to be. Pogo struggled toward his
death, and I struggled with my helplessness and grief. "Go into the Light,
Pogo," I chanted. "Go home to the Light."
Eternities passed. I sobbed and sobbed. Finally, Pogo's wracked body lie
The next day, after C. had dug a hole in the garden for Pogo's grave, he sat
for few minutes on the porch with me to discuss the final details of the
simple funeral. We would cut some fragrant wisteria blossoms and big pink
roses to bury with the body. We had already draped the cold, stiff shell of
what once was the warmest creature alive in an old beach towel printed with
images of a radiant sun. I thought this was apropos, since this little
rabbit had brought such sunshine into our lives.
As we spoke, I noticed a mockingbird had alit on a tall clothesline post not
far from the grave site The bird seemed to be overseeing the proceedings.
"Look," I cried to C., "it's an angel." At that moment, as if in
confirmation, the bird flew directly toward us, landing only a few feet from
where we sat.
"It's Pogo!" I exclaimed, a part of me wondering if this was merely wishful
thinking. The bird then flew to a nearby fence railing where it stood
watching us as if to say: "Yes, it's me. My mockingbird friend let me borrow
its body for a moment so I could say goodbye. Don't be sad for me. I'm not
suffering any more. I'm happy. I'm free."
Then the bird flew off the fence and went directly to the now-empty
sandbox in the middle of the yard. (We had earlier scattered the sand --
ashes to ashes, dust to dust -- amidst the flowers in the garden.) The bird
sat inside the box for an instant before soaring away.
"It WAS Pogo," I breathed with mounting joy. "He recognized his sandbox!
Did you see that?"
C's eyes were luminous. "Remember?" he asked quietly. "You told him to
go to his sandbox when he was ready to leave."
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