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Spirit Cat in the Bardo

Updated on November 7, 2017
snakeslane profile image

Verlie Burroughs is a west coast writer from Vancouver Island.

'Spirit'  2001 - 2017
'Spirit' 2001 - 2017

Is it Bardo?

Is it Bardo

Now, you are in?

A place

Where souls go

After they die

To rest awhile,

To find a new path?

Is it Bardo

The place you go

After you have left your body?

If Bardo is a place

If Bardo is where you go

I hope it is warm and lovely

Like the summer sun

Shining on you.

If Bardo is where you are

I hope it is warm and lovely.

I hope it is warm and lovely

In Bardo.

© 2017 Verlie Burroughs


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    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 4 days ago from Canada

      Peg, Thanks for the condolences. I was really at a loss when all this happened a few weeks ago. I wanted to understand what was happening to the cat as he slipped away. And the bardo story gave me a lot of information, and a lot of comfort. It is what it is. Good to see you Ms Peg.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      In Bardo you'll find so many of Spirit's companions. New friends and old, they are happy and loved there. From the dates below his photo, I'm thinking you've lost a dear friend. I'm so sorry and I'll be thinking of you. It's never easy.

      I love the tribute poem. What a wise and knowing face he had.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 8 days ago from Canada

      Ann, thank you for reading and leaving such a kind and sensitive comment. I don't think any life event has ever left me feeling quite this devastated. I was comforted by the Buddhist beliefs about death being a transition.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 9 days ago from SW England

      Any pet's death is devastating; I love your poem full of love and hope for your departed cat who looks wonderful in your photo.


    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 3 weeks ago from Canada

      Hi Nellieanna, the Camille smacked Tous story made me laugh. About the spirituality conundrum, your guess is as good as mine. The thing about writers though (like us :)) is we are sometimes able to express the profundities, if we are mindful and paying attention when they happen...Because we just love writing, for some weird and wonderful reason. So what great material to work with, life! And death, sadly.

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      Nellieanna Hay 3 weeks ago

      Oh my! Spirit in the dryer! Cats love to get inside things, but little did he know! Poor darling. No wonder he was so dear to you.

      Our kitties were quite entertaining, too, and with their two contrasting personalities, there were some so-human moments. We made their food and used little commercial cat food, so feeding time involved some final mixing. They had their cat-placemat with their bowls across from each other and were expected to sit and wait until the food was placed in them. Toulouse tended to be loud and demanding, while Camille sat calmly and waited. Tous' caterwauling didn't bother me when I fed them, but George wouldn't place the food in the bowls until Tous quieted down. One time, when Tous was carrying on and George was standing there, with the food ready to serve, but waiting for Tous to shut up, Camille calmly got up, walked around the placemat and smacked Tous, at which time, it became quiet and George proceeded with filling the bowls! How I wish I'd have filmed it! So many cute and amazing moments in their lives!

      Yes, that moment when I 'heard' them greeting their beloved George was an incredibly moving one, and an indelibly precious memory. I've strong spiritual affinity, but few such experiences of such examples.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 3 weeks ago from Canada

      Nellieanna your George's last breaths accompanied by the beloved cats calling, I'm trying to imagine it, must have been an incredibly moving moment for you, all three together like that. Appreciate you coming back to tell that story, thank you so much. My cat, Spirit surprised me many times with his antics, he was quite the character. When he was just a kitten he jumped into the dryer just as I was putting the laundry in. I heard a loud bumping noise as it started, opened it to look, and he leaped out. That was one life gone. He walked a little wobbly after that.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 weeks ago from TEXAS

      George and I had two beloved indoor, super healthy brother & sister cats who were born in the bottom of my closet, after a planned mating of their parents by us. From then on, they only needed the vet for their initial procedures for life and thereafter, for annual checkups and booster shots. He always wondered what we were feeding them to keep them so glossy and healthy. We’d become a bit concerned that they would outlive us and there would be no one who liked cats willing to assume their care. But they didn’t outlive us, though they lived till age 17, and up till the last, were still healthy as ever.

      They were always close by where we were. They accompanied us on all our trips except one to England, when we had a critter-sitter come by every day and care for them. (They’d hardly speak to us when we returned home!) We’d bought an RV primarily for the cats when we went camping and to provide overnight accommodation for the four of us on trips requiring it. They rode peacefully in the car en route and accepted the RV as another familiar home when we stopped at RV parks. When we all went to the ranch, they were excited to enjoy another of their homes there.

      On a prolonged ranch visit, which takes only about 8 hours travel each way, so that we didn’t expect to need the RV, but that one time, when retuning home in December, we routed near where one granddaughter and her family lived and made a last minute decision to stop by for Christmas with them, requiring an overnight hotel.

      During our visit with the folks during the day, we left the cats in the hotel room, provided with their water and cat-box in the tiled bathroom, since the bedroom area was carpeted. They could freely go in and out between the areas, so they could snooze on the beds and visit the bathroom as needed.

      But soon after we got back home, which was during the interim between Christmas and New Year, when our vet was on vacation, the cats became suddenly ill, especially Camille who didn’t linger long and died rather quickly. Toulouse rallied and recovered, lived another two and a half months, but then he began having the same symptoms and died quickly, too. It almost seemed like he died partly of a broken heart for his sister. He’d seemed rather despondent, even though we lavished him with love and attention.

      It was devastating to lose them. It felt like suddenly, without warning, losing two beloved family members and best friends.

      Six years later, a really amazing thing happened when my George died in the hospital. Just as he was taking his last breath, I ‘heard’ the cats meow!! Toulouse's boisterous meow was unmistakable, as was Camille's ladylike meow. Even as sedated as George was, a smile lit his face. So, yes, I’m sure there was a happy reunion of the three of them in Bardo!

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 3 weeks ago from Canada

      Paula, thank you. I just learned the bardo word too. The grief of losing a pet is crushing. It's that caregiver relationship I guess. You become so essential to each other. I'm sorry for your loss too.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 3 weeks ago from Canada

      Nellieanna, so good to see you! Yes, my dear old cat 'Spirit' died yesterday morning. Today is a first for many things. It's the first morning I've awoke without a cat in 17 maybe 18 years. What a shock. It's also the first day I've come home from work and not been greeted by a hungry, hoping to be fed a treat, cat. It all feels very strange. And sad. Thanks for stopping by.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Thank you for a lovely poem and a brand new word. LOVE learning something new..every day! I feel your emotions. I still miss my orange tiger baby who left me over a year ago. We get so close to them and love them dearly. Paula

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 weeks ago from TEXAS

      Lovely, Snakeslane! I had to look up "Bardo" and didn't know whether "Spirit" was an actual cat you've known! If so, I also wish him/her pleasant Bardo! And I am sure it is!

      Hope YOU are well and warm!

      Hugs, Nellieanna

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 3 weeks ago from Canada

      Mike your comment made me laugh which is a big improvement to my otherwise inconsolable mood. Thanks for that.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 3 weeks ago from Canada

      Morning Mar, I knew you'd know. I never heard of bardo until yesterday, but I'm comforted by it being a place, a state of grace for my dear old cat. Appreciate the warmth and love you share.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 3 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello snakeslane, IF your pet is in Bardo, then I am sure he or she is telling the story about how wonderful the place he just came from was and is still thankful for the sun and warmth. Nice writing.

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      Maria Jordan 3 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Yes, snakeslane... I believe Spirit and all of our beloved four-legged friends are in Bardo, with lots of sun and warmth.

      Sending you hugs and all my love as you remember this beautiful kitty... Love, mar