Home > Uncategorized > Conversation on the Rainbow Bridge with Waterdog

Conversation on the Rainbow Bridge with Waterdog

 

 

            She looks at me with soft brown eyes and sighs. One ear is flipped inside-out, and she’s got cowlicks all over her coat from her sprawled-out afternoon nap.

            “Hi, Doodle Bugs. Did you have a nice nap?” I ask.

            She licks her lips and her gaze turns inward as she seems to ponder whatever it is she’s pondering. Finally, she says, “Girl, do you remember when Mama Kitty came home the final time, or at least her body did, because she’d already crossed the Rainbow Bridge?”

            I stroke her between her ears. “I do.”

            “Mama Kitty used to take care of me. She was sweet and loving to me, and she protected me from Greebo and Persephone. And sometimes she cleaned my face for me, and she treated me like I was her cub.”

            “She was a sweet kitty, wasn’t she?” I smile and scratch under Dup’s chin the way she likes.

            “She was the best kitty,” Dup affirms.

            “What brings Mama Kitty to mind, Doodle Bugs?”

            “Well,” she sighs heavily as she seems to search for the right words, “she crossed the Rainbow Bridge so long ago. I mean, it feels like it was a long time ago.”

            “For you, it kind of was, huh? You were only two when it happened, and that was half your life ago.”

            “Right. And it was painful. And I was so sad without her. And Greebo went back to bullying me, and Persephone was mean and called me names, and Mama Kitty wasn’t there to stop them. And even though I’m bigger than the two of them now and they don’t pick on me anymore, I’m still sad without Mama Kitty sometimes. And she was the only person I’d ever lost.”

            “Until now?”

            “Yeah.” Her body physically relaxes when she sees that I understand what she’s trying to say.

            “And now that old ache is back?”

            “Yeah. And you’re always crying all the time now, which is even more upsetting, ‘cause you’re my Girl, and I’m your Waterdog, and we take care of each other, but I don’t know how to help you stop crying.”

            Tears begin to run down my cheeks.

            “See? What do I do, Girl? How do I help make you better?” She collapses onto my lap and buries her head in my abdomen. Despite her four years with us, she’s still very much a puppy sometimes.

            “Well, Dup, I don’t know, and I’m sorry for that,” I whisper and wipe the back of my sleeve across my face before the tears can drip off my chin onto her head.

            “It’s just…you just…I’m—I miss Matthew, and I wish Mama Kitty was here to make it better.” She shakes as she cries into my torso, and I shake as I cry over her.

            “I do too,” I say as I pet her face and kiss her muzzle.

            “Do you think Mama Kitty is taking care of Matthew on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge? I hope she is.” The earnestness in her voice makes my broken heart ache. I scoop her up into my arms as best I can, and she rests her head on my shoulder as the two of us sink deeper into the couch.

            “I’ll bet she cuddles with him every day and tells him the secrets of the universe, and the two of them are the best of friends,” I say.

            “Do you think she catches mice for him the way she used to do for you?”

            “Yuck. I hope not.” I stick my tongue out, and Dup gives me a weak smile.

            “Do you think she protects him from other kitties like she did for me?”

            “I do.”

            “And do you think sometimes they gaze back over the Rainbow Bridge at us and miss us?”

            My breath catches in my chest and I begin to sob into Dup’s soft fur. “I do, Duppy, I really, really do.”

            I pull her in closer and hold her like the incredible treasure she is.

            “Girl,” she whispers, “it will stop hurting so bad eventually. Sometimes I think of Mama Kitty, and my heart hurts for a moment or two, but then it passes. And I know you think of Matthew all the time, and I know your heart hurts all the time, because I see your hand on your chest so often, and that’s how I know it hurts…. But it won’t always hurt all the time.”

            “My heart is in so many pieces, Dup, and I’m afraid I’ll never be able to put them back together,” I murmur into her neck. “I’m so afraid.”

            She pulls away from my embrace, but only so she can lick my cheek. The world is a blur when I open my tear-filled eyes.

            “Don’t be afraid, Girl. I will guard you, and I will guard your heart, too.”

            “Because you’re my Waterdog?”

            “Because I’m your Waterdog.”

           

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. August 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I definitely think these dup moments should be woven into Dancing Barefoot and Running in Heels.

    • Lauren Scheier
      August 13, 2012 at 10:13 am

      I second this! 😀

  2. Lauren Scheier
    August 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

    This was beautiful, Kari. I love the bond that you and Duppy have.

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