Our Dear ‘Catty’

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that we let you know our dear little Catty, ‘Sumudu’, passed away yesterday (18th Jan.) after a brief illness. The likely cause, it seems, was infection by a paralysis tick. Even though we never found one on her or in the house, the vet said that all the symptoms matched that illness and speed of decline.

Our dear friend is sorely missed, and will be for quite a while. As a mature feline, she emanated such love and presence that she was always a source of pure joy and a cause for the emergence of spontaneous loving care. Her contented ‘beingness’ reflected the purity of consciousness itself, (well, 99.9% of the time)! Admittedly, she still had some preferences, and would let us know without hesitation when she wasn’t pleased with a meal offering served up from time to time… But, her old body had particular needs – like all of us! She was a grand 22 years of age, so, finding what supported her well-being was a pleasure.

Viveka Hermitage feels so much emptier without her physical presence… and it will take some getting used to, as she has been here since its instigation and was a significant part of our little community! But, in recollecting the Dhamma, we are remembering the unswerving truth of anicca – change and uncertainty – in all forms, in all conditioned things, and the life-lesson of not clinging to, not identifying with any manifestation of the khandas, whether as so-called ‘self-forms’ or ‘other-forms’.

And, while feeling the sadness of her loss, we are remembering too that it was the very essence of loving-conscious-awareness that emanated from Catty which was/is her true essence – as it is with any and all of us – that true nature which never dies, is never separate, has never been born, is never truly affected by changing conditions, even as the kammic forms undergo the cycle of change. This is the truth and essence of her being, as it is the truth and essence underlying all forms of being. Her little being was just so good at reflecting that ever-loving-presence in her form-being!

So, we are grateful for her gift of Dhamma and the time we shared together – grateful for her uncomplicated loving presence, and bless her passing out-of-form as a release from aging, illness, and the confines of death-bound phenomena. May she rest in perfect peace –  may she fully rest in the ultimate nature of nibbana – the deathless – the liberation of, and from, all cycling forms.