Mimi Goes to Sea in Bali

by Gwen Davis 

Mimi was a Bichon Frise, a little puffy white dog of inspiring intelligence and charm. The placing of her ashes in a young coconut, and sending her to sea off Bali, where I have come to live since her shocking departure,-- it is the one place we had not traveled together since dogs were not allowed,-- had to be postponed until the day of the full moon, which is now, because when you do ceremony in Bali it has to be at an auspicious time, or the souls do not rejoice as they should.  At least, I think that’s the reason. There’s so much mystery and superstition around Bali that one cannot be quite sure. You just have to leave your heart open and see what happens. At any rate, I do.

So Mimi, whose last great earthly journey was to Bali in my suitcase, in a little flower-printed metal box from Hartsdale pet cemetery where she was cremated, got taken to the beach at Canggu, because that is where you are allowed to do your ceremonies. Yoni, my darling driver, came today bearing five little baskets woven from palm, with tiny flowers and petals in them, and we went there, pausing for her to light the incense, and scatter a few of the petals.

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My Main Man Meows

by Nancy King 

 

My journey through life as a single woman was changed forever by a phone call. 

The woman spoke quickly, as if to prevent me from hanging up. “When I left the restaurant on the New Jersey Turnpike a cat followed me to my car and jumped into it. I couldn’t resist his purrs so I took him with me and had him checked out by my vet. Turns out he’s healthy, neutered, has no front claws, and is a pedigreed cat. But when I brought him home he attacked my two cats. He’s been in my basement for two weeks, howling. He’s really beautiful. Would you take him?”

I’d just returned from four months in Europe, knee deep in bills, letters, and phone messages. Who needed one more thing to take care of? And yet, I heard myself say, “I’m not about to take a cat I’ve never met.”

“Great, I’ll bring him over tonight.” She arrived, loaded down with litter box, food, cat dish, comb, and cat.

Imagine a large, skinny, sleek black animal with long limbs and golden eyes. Imagine a cat that is brought to your doorstep by a woman you barely know, who has called out of desperation, a cat that stares at you so intensely it’s difficult not to look away. Imagine a cat that uses sound as if it were language.

The woman stood in the doorway, ready to leave, not bothering to hide her relief. The cat ignored her as he followed me into the kitchen, then sat, staring at me as I put food into the dish. Within fifteen minutes he had eaten, pooped, and fallen asleep on my lap. So began a fifteen and a half year journey of love and devotion unequaled in my life.

Fumi, Italian for smoke, was too hard to pronounce so I changed it to Funi, but he was so talkative I added Pushkin, and so dramatic, I added Bernhardt. Funi became Funus Pushkin Bernhardt when he deliberately knocked over a vase of flowers, sat on papers ready to be mailed, or played with the keys of my computer. My cat’s response? He would turn his nose up in the air, give me a disdainful look, and saunter away, dignity intact, wiggling his bottom seductively, oblivious to my anger, frustration or disbelief.

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