Trust is not a gift and must be earned. Love is a gift not to be spurned. Trust carefully. Love deeply
~~Footprints 4 – In the Mirror~
It had been a long time now since there had been any “events”, as he now chose to call them. No strange dreams, no footprints on the sand, in the snow, and no strange songs on the radio. Life had developed a nice, slow, quiet, steady rhythm. Friends came and went from the remote little cabin. Work had begun to have a nice, easy, if somewhat boring pace. He was at peace with the world. Times were so nice that, in a moment of serendipity, he’d gone to the refuge and brought home a kitten; another spirit to share the quiet routine of life with.
It would have seemed that the kitten chose him rather than the other way around. She kept tugging at his shoelaces every time he stopped to look at another cat. Any other choice was seemingly not an option so he picked her up and brought her home. She was a bit of everything…, cute, cuddly, feisty, and very independent, but could also be quietly loving. At the refuge they had called her a diluted tortie, whatever that was, but after a while he thought she must have been part ghost because there were times that she simply seemed to disappear. Thus came her name “Ghost”. Her coloring defied description. She was overall a silvery gray, with splotches of gold and light orange, with an orange-gold mask around her eyes. She had black guard hairs and one side of her face had black eyebrows and mustache, the other side white. Eyes were an almost emerald shade of green. She was an unusual creature, to say the least.
Now began the fun. It was time to start training kitten where she could and couldn’t go…, like not on the kitchen counter, not on the table, not on the bathroom vanity, not the dresser or nightstand. It was frustrating at the start, but little-by-little, Ghost started to understand where she was welcome and where she was not (when her human was home). She understood the litterbox right away, for which he was truly thankful, but bedtime was a different situation. He had lined a box in the laundry room with an old sheepskin jacket for her bed and put her there every night. All would seem good…, until around one a.m. when he would wake to her curling up on his chest to sleep. After a while he capitulated and just put her on the bed beside him, at which she would promptly cuddle against him and sleep. From this point, their relationship steadily developed into a comfortable daily routine. He would get up in the morning and get dressed and ready for work, fix coffee, feed the kitten and then was off for the day. When he arrived from work Ghost would meet him at the door, demanding attention and some play time. Then they would have dinner, he at the table, her on the floor, at his feet. This would be followed up by either TV or a good book with kitten curled up on his lap, resting so she would be able to sleep when bedtime came. He gave up on the box for her bed and acquiesced to her sleeping next to him on the bed. She considered this a wise decision.
All was going well and happiness resided in the little cabin in the woods…, for a while. He came home late one evening after a rather long and tiring day at work, went through the usual playtime routine with the kitten, put a pot pie in the microwave, and settled down on the sofa to watch the news. It was after midnight now and the last thing he remembered was his eyes slowly closing sometime during a weather forecast. The pot pie was cold in the microwave, and Ghost had given up and was asleep, curled up in the old recliner. At some point during the evening he thought he felt someone holding his hand, tenderly and gently. Must have been the cat, he thought, but when he opened his eyes and looked, Ghost was still asleep in the recliner. Must have been a dream…, what else? Really tired, he thought. He put the cold pot pie in the fridge and decided to take a quick shower before he went to bed. That always seemed to relax him.
Ah, a nice shower was what he needed…, really warm, borderline hot. He brought his pajamas and a robe to the bathroom, stripped out of his clothes, and stepped into the shower. Man, this is heaven, he thought, I could stay in here til my skin shrivels, and he did manage to stay for an inordinately long time…, til he ran out of hot water.
Stepping from the shower he found that the room had completely steamed up…, except on the mirror over the sink a message had been written, “I’m still here”, and beside it was the imprint of a kiss on the glass… Wet footprints led up the hallway to the door…, and disappeared.
No dammit! I know I’m awake now. This isn’t a dream. I’m not imagining this! He reached for his cell phone to take a picture of the mirror, but the message was gone…….