Hansel!!! The cat turned in surprise at the sound of his master's voice. “Where’s Gretel?”
Gretel lifted her head wondering what the disturbance was. At seeing her master she pushed to her feet and rushed to her.
Paula knelt and in a moment had two big, furry, healthy cats in her arms. She stood and looked around her new surroundings. There was a field of glass domed structures, surrounded by lush nourishing green foliage. Still holding the cats, her new young heart beating proudly in her chest, she called out “T.C., T.C. Wilson, are you here too?”
“Do you want to take a bird bath? Squawk.” Her Cockatiel, responded. “Squawk. Hello Beautiful.”
“Come here you,” the bird eyed the cats.
She put the cats at her feet and they followed as she went and stroked the feathers of her old friend.
She walked through her thick green surroundings that reminded her of the warm tropic climate that she found so reassuring. The tall glass domed structure came into view.
A frisky Golden Retriever looked up and leapt to her feet, tail going a hundred miles an hour. The cats at her feet scattered a few feet in two directions as the steam engine of a Golden Retriever. In a moment, she found herself in a wrestling contest with Chevas Regal a card carrying love machine. Chevas Regal’s energy drifted to the back of the house to where her long time companions, Nevada and Aramis were catching a few zzzzz.
The sound of laughing, rolled through the neighborhood as the three old friends showed their excitement at being reunited. Hansel and Gretel stood clear until the buoyancy of the larger animals settled. Then they darted ahead as the two dogs walked in circles around and around as they made their way to the front door.
She stepped inside. There was a large bird cage where T.C. Wilson could sleep. She looked at the cat tree house that was practically a gymnasium. Through the window there was a corral for the dogs that was so inviting she immediately went out to do an inspection.
Gretel pawed at her leg, wanting to be picked up. She bent down and lifted her and pulled her close. She gave her little precious the first kiss in a long time. They walked back inside.
She spotted a music system and that made her heart warm. She spotted the icebox and both eyebrows raised. She looked at a small dining room table and chairs. Chairs she thought. Pulling the door of the ice box open she sat the cat down and pulled out a pitcher of sangria, set it on the small table and found a glass.
She poured herself a refreshing drink. Just as she sat down there was a knock at the door. She looked over and two women were there. They each had dogs at their side. A bird stood on one of the women’s shoulders.
She went and retrieved two more glasses. And let her neighbors inside.
“We came to welcome you. If there are any questions we will try to answer them.”
The women sat and began talking. Began the process of learning the amazing details of the people who chose to live in a community of animal lovers.
In no time at all the neighbors discovered that she had an early career as a hair stylist. They were thrilled and made immediate appointments. They offered to trade dog walking and dog bathing. (Secretly they were already providing the care and cleaning of the pets that had been patiently waiting.)
They were all waiting there. Many had waited for pleasant and rewarding years. One of the women said, “Once you settle in, we will bring you over to see some of the pets that are waiting and show you around.”
She picked up her glass and finished it off. “No time like the present.” The tropical warmth and natural curiosity had her eager.
The three women left the house. Hansel and Gretel climbed up their tree house and settled in. Chevas Regal tagged along, tail going a mile a minute. All the dogs bursting with the energy of their youth.
She was led into a compound with smooth walkways. There were all types of enclosures, with exotic animals. There were no doors, just safe spaces where the animals felt comfortable. She looked down at Chevas Regal who was not barking and carrying on.
There were multiple monkeys. There were llamas and an emu. A sleek black jaguar eyed the guests, while slung over a wide branch, as they wandered by.
Up ahead, she saw the most beautiful white horse possible, with a man walking next to her. She excused herself and ran on ahead. Chevas Regal not to be left out ran alongside.
She caught up with the man. “I don’t think I properly thanked you.”
“Thanked me. It is my privilege to deliver my fares where they want to go. My service is just another gift offered to those that earned the services.”
“Still,” she paused. “Why are you still here?”
“We thought we would look around. There is no place like this on earth. There is no sense of need. The air is charged with the sweet smell of the earth. There is no pollution, no hunger. There is no need for distrust or jealousy. All the things that have been created to hamper the bonding of people are left behind.”
She spotted the carriage up ahead as she walked along beside of this gentleman.
Griffin tended to Nuelle for their return trip. Griffin reached in his pocket and retrieved an apple. He cut it into four pieces. He fed two to Nuelle and handed one piece to Paula. They all shared the bounty of an apple. He stepped into the carriage and waved goodbye.
Off to her right, she spotted a beautiful Golden Retriever who was waiting in the shade. “Hello girl. My aren’t you a pretty one.” She started to step away. Chevas Regal’s tail was going like crazy. She stopped and faced the enclosure, “Do you want to stay with me while you are waiting? I am sure that your master will be able to find you once she reaches her destination.”
This walking heart of gold, got to her feet and followed along, deciding to spend this part of her journey together in the company of another beautiful soul.