Exactly six weeks after our black cat Negra left the land of the living – yes, on a Wednesday - I found myself wandering in a mystic trance under the canopy of massive hemlock trees in
. The dappled low
late-afternoon sunlight through the trees was beguiling. My fellow walker David
sensed my need for space and contemplation. He said my feet danced over the
ground as I stepped as if on air. As I looked up through the trees beyond the
sinking sun to the blue sky above, a resplendent yellow-leaved trembling aspen glittered with a beckoning aura, surrounded by the towering hemlocks. Killarney Provincial
The ravens had come calling when time came for Negra to depart. Here, they came again, led me to this hallowed old-forest grove, releasing her spirit to the great beyond. As we left the forest and canoed back out into the bright light of the lake, a loon surfaced just ahead of us then dived into the depths once more.
When I got back home after our intoxicating, magical days and nights in the back-country of Killarney, the
Naxos marble stone that I
placed at Negra’s head above where she is buried had vanished. Another animal
probably took off with it to furnish her den. That’s OK. After all, she doesn’t
belong to me. She belongs to the earth.