Journeyman's Row
         Discovering tomorrow's future starts by discussing yesterday & today.
***  October 11, 2016  -  June 30, 2021  ***

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"To Have Loved & Lost"© Part One

Posted on December 9, 2016 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (0)

A young couple were forever torn apart by a freak accident, forcing the fiancé-to-be to confront her pain in a most inspiring and heroic journey of healing. Written by me, and protected as intellectual property as well.

Quietly seated on the edge of a mossy rock outcropping with an unwavering gaze, save for an occasional blink of her weary eyes, sat a young woman in her mid-twenties. Her posture was equally unmoved by the natural elements and solitude that surrounded her. She resembled a stoic explorer after having reached an important part of their journey. Staring silently towards the distant mountainous horizon, as her shoulder length dirty blonde colored hair vaguely shifted from an occasional late September breeze. Her mind was awash with reflection upon the improbable circumstances which had led to this point in her life. It was not so much that everything seemed even somewhat perfect, or that it was meant to be by some force of will. Her future was simply set with the basics of love, life, and happiness. Tragically, those hopes and dreams had not turned out the way she wished her future would have unfolded.

Her name was Diana Kuhn, an aspiring and bold young graduate student who hailed most recently from overseas before returning to the states to seek out her roots. She was ambitious and had a true spirit of the wilderness. Ever since she was old enough and able to venture out and about on her own, Diana frequently engaged in outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, kayaking, running, and all with a one of a kind strength of will. A spark she longed to share with the right man in her life once she had labored through enough pretenders to find a beau. In fact, one man in particular had fit that bill but was tragically torn from her life three months before. A number of people around Diana did earnestly question the nature of her feelings, while hoping she could move on in her life. But she knew in her heart that Thomas Caplain could have been her true soulmate. And so she missed him just the same.

The two had met before graduation from the same college, which was soon followed by Diana's boundless ambition to pursue graduate school overseas. There was a long history of family lineage that she had hoped to connect with while attending the regional college. Although, not without countless hours of venturing throughout the remarkable countryside rich with historical landmarks and exciting landscapes. Diana's studies in geography at the time paid off from her penchant for adventure and the great outdoors. One of the reasons why she and Tom had so passionately hit it off was their shared interest in Earth sciences. While Diana's leaned more towards geography, Tom's involved both volcanology and geology. They were like two peas of a pod. Once he had served two tours in the military, he was looking forward to following his education and where around the world his future studies might take him.

While she studied overseas, Tom had flown over from the states to visit and spend some of the most wonderful times with Diana. Countless pictures were taken in every nook and cranny imaginable, as she was often fond of saying back then. Pictures were also taken by her classmates and friends in other splendid and wondrous locations near the college. More than enough time for plenty of the goofiest of moments, as Diana's ornery sense of humor often afforded generous opportunities for comical self-expression. It had also been nine months ago now when Tom popped the question at a picturesque spot along the fascinating Old Clock Tower Road. While they hiked through some of Diana's favorite spots of the massive surrounding forest region, Tom unexpectedly knelt down alongside the hiking trail overlooking the mountainside. He then made the most charming proposal for marriage that Diana had ever expected.

She recalled with ease the look in his eyes. The faintly nervous yet loveable expression on Tom's handsome face that made him look so mesmerizing as he proposed. There was a slight chill in the air from the fair cover of glistening snowfall, which sparkled brilliantly in the late afternoon sunlight. A grand lake was easily seen in the distance below, with absolutely majestic fir and pine trees covering the whole of the mountainside. Fresh aromas and subtle sounds of nature filled the crisp air, with each second affording a new sensory perception. It was as if the scant few moments when Tom proposed had been frozen in time, and were forever memorialized within her heart. Adjusting her posture upon the rock outcropping for a moment, Diana took a moment and noticed the horizon slowly changing lighter shades of color. Sunrise was soon to illuminate the landscape surrounding her.

Returning to the bitter sweet reminiscence, Diana recalled that Tom had been unable to attend her graduation. Though, he did send her a lovely bouquet of flowers arranged in an old fashioned type of handcrafted basket, a sweet congratulations card, and an unexpected but precious engagement gift. A real rose pendant necklace, which he had secretly purchased there before returning stateside. Her heart melted with pride and the love-filled joy for her hopes of settling down with him, and to spend a wonderful life together exploring the world. Once Diana returned as well in mid-May, the chipper couple began serious planning of their wedding. They had settled on a date once Tom returned from a scientific conference out west, for studying ancient caldera geology in the region. Their special day had been one month ago now. It had passed as a solemn reminder of Diana's anguish for what happened instead.

Through no fault of her own for being rightfully anxious in anticipation of their marriage, Diana became consumed with overwhelming depression after she received news of Tom's tragic death. In a matter of hours, her entire existence came crashing down so hard it threatened to tear her in half. Finally, two weeks ago Diana knew she had to do something. An indescribable pull in her heart was calling her to seek out Tom's place of rest. To confront the grief she did not believe she would escape from if she did nothing. And now, as the first warm rays of sunlight rose confidently above the distant horizon, Diana realized why she had longed to come here. Her wandering adventurous spirit simply knew what needed to be done. She needed to pay proper respects to Tom here, in the place where he had gone to rest. There really was no other way to explain or describe the connection she felt to him even now.

With neither a sigh too short or too soft to fully reflect the journey she had undertaken, nor the heart wrenching loss of her once inseparable groom-to-be, Diana slowly stood up. She basked in the comforting early morning sunrise before saying one last prayer to her departed Tom. She made her way back to her station wagon, making each step purposeful and remembering these moments in her heart. Once she reached her car, Diana hesitated as she gingerly sat on her car's front bumper. She strained to fathom this whole pilgrimage that she never thought there was enough strength or courage inside of her to take. In her heart, Diana somehow knew all along that she indeed was a brave soul; an explorer, like the western frontiersmen of old. Tom would always hold a special place in her heart, and Diana had found the peace of mind she needed to finally cope with his death. But now she needed to begin moving on with her life.

As she offered one last heartfelt gaze around the wild and wondrous mountainous landscape, Diana got back into her car and drove off into the sunrise. She had found herself anew with the start of a new day, and the sunshine pointed the way forward towards a brighter future thanks to her courage.

"Lost & Found"© Author's Note

Posted on November 23, 2016 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

I would first like to take this opportunity to thank my counselor, Mr. William Krill, for his positive encouragement that inspired me to begin blogging as a social activist thereby paving the way for my courageous new journey of writing, and to thank a dear friend of mine, Katie Dempsey, for having been a lasting influence on me as an inspiring animal wellness advocate. Lastly, having recently watched the Animal Planet's marathon of their show, Too Cute, also served as part of the inspiration to bring this wondrous tale of cuteness to life. So, how exactly did it all begin? The answers will surprise you.

Remarkably, the concept for "Lost & Found"© began in September of this year both during and after the first three appointments with my counselor Mr. Krill. The origin for the creation technique of this story in fact began a long time ago during my first bout of depression from 1994 to 2003. From this time, I actually had a history of experimenting with near-death wake dreaming as a coping mechanism for severely depressed or troubled emotional times, and would usually engage in this practice just before falling asleep on a given night. The reason being that in some ways the fact of being tired would ease my mind and make the dreams I constructed more receptive. While the number of instances I have engaged in this type of wake dreaming has decreased considerably since the early 2000s, it has still proven useful to relieve stress under certain circumstances. Though, it is not an officially sanctioned coping mechanism I would suggest to someone else without further explanation and discussion.

Within days after my first counseling appointment in September, I decided to try something new using the wake dreaming. Instead of imagining an experience of being near death, coming back from that and absorbing the emotional relief, I substituted the peril with a much less violent inspiration: an imaginary friend. While I do have a longtime habit of talking to myself, which I will much further explain in my blog writing, I have never been one to have an uncharacteristic imaginary friend habit. With this case I not only created the dream construct and I also privately whispered to the cat character Amaia before falling asleep, as if she was with me on the bed. This is where some of the writing developed that I wrote into the story itself. So you could say I used my mental acumen to help me shape what eventually happened in the story, rather than seeing it as an imaginary friend thing.

Some of you may be reading this rather revealing take on my story and could be a bit confused, or just had a chin-scratching moment if you had an itchy chin. This is perfectly normal. I just choose to tell it like it is, especially for better documentation of what and why I write. In fact, to be completely honest the reason why I actually whispered to an imaginary cat during the time I developed my story came from an ex-girlfriend of mine. She had a cat who liked to snuggle up to me, just above my head, when I slept over night at her place and since then had been an experience I missed. I like both cats and dogs, so I could really choose either one. But I tend to prefer cats because of how affectionate they can be and how they show it by rubbing up against you as well as with their purring.

So, in part I used an imaginary feline friend in a wake dreaming experience because I missed the closeness I have had in the past with cats. Sounds like a personal issue. Not really. A good story is exactly that, a good story however it comes to life. While I had a very good idea of the fiendishly prankster-savvy personality of Amaia when she was older, developed a back story with the heartfelt adoption from the wake dreaming, enhancing the power of the emotional experience overall once the writing began, it was not until about half way through the writing did I happen to figure out and more challengingly create a suitable ending.

Some writers with better skills and more experience may map out more of their stories beforehand. I personally read that best-selling author Sandra Brown sometimes takes up to a year before writing a novel. I think we can all agree writing comes in many forms, has many forms of inspiration, time and effort needed to create everything. On the other hand, I also had some anxiety particularly with my writing abilities from past experiences. On one side I have been discouraged at times not to write, or I felt that my writing was not up to par with star quality or vision. On the other side, I have continued improving my skills, trying different forms of creative writing, slowly building up my confidence. Finally with this story, I just said to myself the heck with it. Just do it. And I believe this may have paid off.

Given the facts that I put so much effort into theater script writing a couple years ago, and that I have not been able to get any further with them into production, a bunch of story concepts were generated and are still unwritten in any form. Once my mind came back around to where it is now, this has quickly felt only natural. Like the next stage in a chain of transformations both personally of myself and my writing skills. I have written monologue and dialogue in my theater works, yet notice in this story I chose not to. For the time being, I feel more comfortable to be the narrator which also gives me greater perspective on how to describe the plot of a story. I will take what I learn here and can admit to already having four to five stories lined up to write in the coming months.

What I will tease you with about the next story idea, slated possibly as early as December or January, will be that I intend to challenge myself to write a type of story style I have never attempted before. To further push the boundaries of what I am capable of achieving and test myself. With the story style inspired heavily by director Christopher Nolan's noir masterpiece, "Memento", the story I intend to tell next will finally showcase the courage inspired by a friend of mine who, when faced with a certain tragic adversity, left her mark on me in a way that I have wanted to share with other people for the last four years or more.

Now, I intend to. Thank you all again and stay tuned for my blog posts as well as new short stories in the works. Remember, this is only the beginning.

"Lost & Found"© Paw Five - Conclusion

Posted on November 22, 2016 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (0)

It would have been a stretch to compare Charlie's and Amaia's companionship with that of two people together, but there was no mistaking how personal their bond had become over those two years alone. Since early childhood, Charlie had actually succumbed to anxiety and depression for much of those formative years. It was clear that Amaia had felt traumatized by being separated from her family, demonstrated during the week she had been scarcely responsive at the Humane Society shelter. Yet, they both persevered and were determined to find their true selves through each other's friendship and compassion.

All of the anguish melted away, especially each night Charlie spent with Amaia before falling asleep. She always seemed to know when he was going to bed for the night, and followed him in a charmingly inseparable manner. She also knew all too well to keep clear until he had tucked himself in comfortably, in order to avoid being forearmed back onto the floor. A funny moment neither could forget. To his snickering amazement, Charlie could never figure out how she managed to sleep soundly. He knew full well how much he tossed and turned, with her resting only just above his head. What mattered most was the unshakeable bond they had created, shared, and how they were all the better for it.

Little else compared to the times they made small talk before finally turning out the light and drifting off to sleep. Charlie's words to Amaia's meows, sometimes with either one being tired, would exchange eye contact as only two best friends could. The same bond they forged when first making that emotional connection at the shelter. They were friends for life; one indebted to the other. With a pat of his hand on the corner of the pillow, Charlie ushered Amaia to move above his head before the pair soundly fell fast asleep.

He was at peace.

Then, just as he began to wander softly through the tendrils of dreams, Charlie awoke with the oddest of starts. All was not as it seemed. He checked his alarm clock, but found the time to be later than he usually slept on a work day. As he stifled to hold back the weariness of panic, Charlie focused his eyes more and found the room to be smaller, and in some ways strangely different than he remembered. Or was it? On his night shand were prescriptions for two anti-depressants, dated for the next day, whose names were ones that he vaguely recognized. His ears also picked up the faint conversation of two people downstairs sounding as if they were getting ready to go biking, yet the voices seemed very familiar. It took considerable effort just for him to shake the overwhelming sense of déjà vu that teased his mind with nagging confusion.

Finally, after he craned his neck around, Charlie found the most peculiar difference of all: Amaia was nowhere to be seen. Normally she stayed with him most places he ever went; particularly every morning or afternoon remaining on, or near, his cozy bed. So Charlie instinctively called out, only to be met with the emptiness of uncertain silence. Thinking it best to calmly gather himself for another few moments, he then began to realize what had actually happened to him. The answer had taken longer to sink in than he had ever expected.

It had all been some sort of elaborate dream.

A dream that was as real as life itself? But how? Why? The roller coaster of anxiety and confusion that Charlie's mind had torn through now left him reeling to understand what had happened. As the haze began to dissipate from his thoughts, he noticed the feeling of peacefulness had not yet left him from when he first awoke. It was the feeling of calm that only could have come from Amaia. Once the shock wore off, Charlie leapt wildly from his bed and almost made him regret his near introduction with the night stand lamp. Grabbing a pen, a random piece of scratch paper, and finding a flat space, he desperately tried to jot down as much of his dream as he could possibly remember. Despite being more accustomed to typing than handwriting, he was in such a scurrying rush that he chose not to gather patience needed to wait for the computer to start up.

By some graceful miracle, Charlie had managed to record having his own modest house, the curiously inspired pull to go to the Humane Society shelter, the remarkable and stunning experience connecting with Amaia. But the details were fading as fast as he could write them on the paper; his hand becoming increasingly sore as his handwriting strayed from being legible. Though not as sharply sore he recalled his back had been that first night spent sleeping next to Amaia on his living room floor. Or was it his? The hard carpet of the floor had still etched memories of stiff pain deep into his memory. Along with how deeply they both bonded so well with each other and healed during the two years... that seemed... to follow...

Then, the dream was gone.

Amaia was gone.

Charlie's pen silently slipped from his grasp as he became awash with pangs of sorrow that he struggled to understand. He could not deny how much he felt like crying, even though by then he knew that Amaia had not been real. He was still so overpowered by his emotions that it had taken a strong effort to get them under control. To try and process everything that happened; real or imagined. So, Charlie stood up, his face absent of any telling emotion, drifted over to his bed, and let himself collapse onto the soft covers as he gazed painfully silent up at the bare ceiling. As if he was searching through the night sky, and the beautiful stars, for an answer to the meaning of life.

Just when the silent emotional turmoil seemed to threaten to break his mind in two, Charlie's face slowly softened and he let out a heavy sigh. His chest relaxed and what had been troubled breathing calmly returned to normal. A single virtuous tear slowly slid down his cheek, as Charlie finally realized the good that could come from his dream. The good that he felt Amaia had meant to his heart all along. Although she had never been real, he knew in his heart that her love and kindness was real and unconditional. No more than a figment of his sub-conscious, or something more, Amaia still showed him some of the best things that he, and other people like him, could still look forward to in their misguided lives. No matter what they had been through.

"Some things are worth dying for. Yes. But there are so many things worth living for, too."

"Lost & Found"© Paw Four

Posted on November 21, 2016 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Already donning his winter pajamas and practically one leg half under the blankets, Charlie found himself at a shameful loss for not paying more attention to Amaia's sleeping arrangements. He narrowly avoided fall to the bedroom floor, which he would have felt all the next day at work, for sure. Grabbing some cozy blankets from his bed and a smaller one for her that his parents had given him, Charlie made his way back to the living room.

With an almost palpable anxiety, he felt such guilt just for having left her there in a moment of vulnerability. Just before he got to the room, Charlie could hear Amaia's soft cries which turned to happier ones as soon as he flipped on the room light. Immediately she looked at Charlie with dependent need, and then adorably tumbled onto her side from the sheer happiness that he had returned. Making sure to close the window curtains and setting an alarm for work, Charlie cozied right up to the expectant little kitten with comfy blankets covering them both.

Never before had he heard such soothing purring from any cat, as Amaia snuggled herself right up against him. Thinking back to how she had responded to his comments in the car, Charlie spoke up softly and in a playful tone warned her about his habit of tossing and turning while he slept. Amaia did nothing but adorably lick his cheek, eliciting almost a girlish giggle at the sheer cuteness of this act. He playfully closed only one eye, and she mimicked him then too. Any notions of anxiety or apprehension seemed to begin softly fading away from his mind as well as hers.

Over the next several months Charlie made it his mission to sleep right next to Amaia in her cubby corner of the living room, rather than choosing his own much more comfortable bed. That first night he spent curled up with her he would never forget just how sore it had been to sleep on the unforgiving harder carpet floor. He bid her good afternoon, good morning, and good night all the same while devoting much more time with and attention to Amaia than he previously anticipated.

Two years then passed and Amaia had grown up to become a delightfully beautiful, healthy, and very spirited young cat that often followed Charlie around everywhere he went. Charlie had become much more positive in his life and lifestyle thanks to his now bigger bundle of mischief. The lack of luck with women had taken a much needed back seat. He even felt enough at ease to be weaned off from the two anti-depressants he had been taking. It was like Amaia was destined to become his dearest best animal friend. Though, not once to be outmatched by her best friend in the whole world and she frequently proved it.

Charlie's ornery and sarcastic nature quickly rubbed off, and Amaia had grown to become even more of a prankster than he was. Sneaking away his silverware when set out on the kitchen table, hiding his glasses before he awoke, and other small objects that he regularly used. She fondly loved to playfully unnerve him, which did wonders for his regimented Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Not without learning to bring the items back, of course. She had scared him half to death numerous times by sneaking up to him and then meowing really loud. At first, Charlie felt somewhat self-conscious talking to Amaia if not for the way she kept meowing back being too much to resist. Sometimes they carried on darling conversations, short stories, and any movies she managed to stay awake to watch.

By far, Charlie's most cherished moment during that time was how the two had often sung music together. Literally. Believe that Amaia tried her best to impress and imitate him. Now, when it came to singing he would frequently retreat from the tendrils of stage fright. But one night, he had the courage and inspiration to set up a webcam and an idea that became a local internet sensation. Turning on his stereo and selecting Charlie's first ever memorable music album while growing up, George Harrison's Cloud Nine, he and Amaia performed a couple of the songs together. Quite well, his critics teased.

They sung to That's What It Takes and Someplace Else, with the cutest Amaia doing her best meowing right along with Charlie. He was so in-the-moment that between verses he could not help from smiling ear to ear and chuckling to himself out loud. The next day, his Facebook and Youtube likes far exceeded even his most modest expectations and gave him more comfort to do it again in the future. Though nothing quite matched how much Charlie was comforted by sleeping on the living room floor with Amaia when they first bonded. Or when she now slept with him in his bed and her purring sent him softly to sleep.

"Lost & Found"© Paw Three

Posted on November 20, 2016 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Meowing again with revived exuberance, the newly christened three month old Amaia had made a startling change of emotion right before Charlie's eyes. He knew in his heart there had to be a reason why he sought out the adoption. And so, as he labored to stand back up, he pulled out his debit card and followed the Humane Society staff member to wrap up the pet adoption paperwork.

Charlie's mind was awash with nervousness for never having adopted a pet before. The years since his family used to have their miniature Doberman pincher, not having done more research before hastily going there, all were signs that an unfair measure of anxiety was shadowing him. Setting his emotional laundry aside for a moment, he made sure to clarify what food was best for a three month old kitten. The staff member suggested either dry or canned while checking for the necessary nutrients that should be included. Before signing on the proverbial dotted line, he thought about his decision and responsibility to accept the kitten.

With curiosity and compassion prickling the tips of his right hand's fingers holding the pen, Charlie signed his name and the day's November 20th date. In his heart he knew he had done the right thing. Whether it had been sleep walking, day dreaming, or being rushed to have come to the shelter, he just did it. Having experienced and witnessed what he had with people in life, particularly about his own challenging past, Charlie could not turn away and leave this kitten's plight to ignorance. He had to find out more. He had to help her.

Now that everything was finalized and paperwork in hand, the staff member retrieved a cardboard carrier for Charlie to take his now curious kitten, Amaia, home with him. Just before he left the parking lot, he took several moments to reassure the mewing bundle of anxiousness that things were going to shape up for the better. He promised he would take good care of her, despite being a first time cat owner. To his surprise, Amaia seemed to vocally respond almost in perfect step with his calming words as if she understood him. As if she was actually talking to him.

Charlie made sure the trip was as absent of sudden stops and bumps as he could, and taking his time around tight corners too. So much so that he almost forgot to get some dry kitten food, since Amaia had been eating the same while at the shelter. With a quick change of route he stopped at a local store. The young pet store clerk could barely stifle her giggles at his obviously unprepared, cute demeanor.

Once the pair finally made it home, Charlie carefully brought the cardboard carrier inside with the kitten food in his other hand. He preferred not to leave Amaia alone for very long, and could not wait to bond more with her. Since she had eaten shortly before leaving the shelter, Charlie set up everything she would need and then sat down with Amaia in the carpeted living room. He marveled at how she had changed from appearing so reclusive to feeling much more herself.

One of the first things Charlie wanted to test was the choice of her name. When he said it aloud several times, he was delighted to get a healthy meow from her each time. Even when he spelled it out, A-m-a-i-a, her joy and approval would not be contained. He tried swapping the "I" with a "Y" and to his amusement she remained adorably silent. If he only knew where this keen intellect would lead them. Amaia it was, Charlie declared, prompting the kitten to begin playfully trumpeting a chorus of meows before climbing all over him like a monkey at a jungle gym. He reveled in her cute display of enthusiasm, while submitting to and returning the impishly playful behavior.

The two showed a most unique bond beginning to grow, with both having been so unlikely to have come together as anything that ever happened in the world. As the evening wore on, both of them tired each other to near exhaustion as fits of chuckling laughter mixed with the cuteness only a feline could vocalize. Eventually Charlie leapt up and got himself ready for bed, after having forgotten that he had to work a split shift the next day. Just before slipping under his bed covers, he self-consciously caught himself also forgetting something much more important.

Where was Amaia going to sleep...?

"Lost & Found"© Paw Two

Posted on November 19, 2016 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Feeling the beginnings of an emotional connection within his heart, Charlie moved up to the three month old kitten's pen, sat down Indian-style on the floor because of his tender knees, and tried to bond with her to see how she would respond. At the same time, Charlie also found himself trying to determine whether the unspoken yearning to come to the Humane Society was becoming any clearer as he reached out to the despondent little kitten.

Without even realizing it, Charlie started to focus less upon himself and more on the kitten. He saw in this obviously sad feline something he often saw in people. Sometimes, what a part of his heart had felt: an overwhelming sense of being lost without knowing what to do. Nothing to feel ashamed of, really. Charlie took several moments trying to make eye contact with the kitten, before speaking up to ask about how she was found. A part of him just screamed from the inside, desperate to know as much about the tragedy which clearly had scarred this poor thing's heart.

The staff member recalled that she was found about a week ago seemingly abandoned outside of town, where the residences were much more sparse. Or she had lost her way and wandered too far. A kindly passing motorist saw the kitten somewhat close to the road, stopped, and decided to rescue her before she wandered onto the road or was in further danger. En route to the shelter the rescuer, named Katie, had said how the kitten kept crying out for its mother and seemed overwhelmed with what was happening. No obvious signs of abuse or injury, with the proper vaccinations already having been given for health concerns. However, once she settled in her pen the kitten became unusually withdrawn and quiet.

Charlie asked if she had a name, perhaps from a collar or some way it was known beforehand, but there was none. Following a sigh heavy with sorrow, he then slowly placed his right hand on the cage front to try and draw the kitten forward. At first she did not respond. She looked at his hand, slowly up to his eyes then back down at his hand, and repeated several times. With his emotions in limbo, Charlie's perception of time seemed to slow down as he waited needfully for the kitten to respond. Eventually, as if some connection had finally been made, the kitten slowly stood up and made its way towards the cage front and Charlie's hand.

It was obvious she had to confront anxieties of her own; much like a person would. Charlie was sure it did not help for him to be a complete stranger to her. The traumatic experience of miserable separation from her family showed that she had lost a very dear part of herself. Charlie sensed this with each move the kitten made and his heart wept. While he had initially been trying to interpret the feeling which had drawn him there in the first place, Charlie was now lost with the sadness of this kitten's plight.

When she finally closed the distance to his hand, the kitten did something that even the staff member had not seen her do yet. Although softly at first she meowed, slowly looked up to make eye contact, and then began to purr while rubbing against Charlie's fingertips where his fingers could reach into the cage. An obvious sign of bonding and a need for affection between the unlikely pair, and it gave him hope. His heart immediately flushed with relief from encouraging a response from the kitten, followed by thankfulness for making the emotional connection with her despite the trauma she went through.

Petting the kitten's head as much as his fingertips could reach to return the bonding, without turning his head away Charlie asked whether anyone had come to claim the kitten because of it being so young and not as likely to be left out of sight. The staff member said that they had put information out about the rescued kitten, but still after a week no one had responded. Seeing that Charlie was interested in the kitten, he clarified that she had been given all of her immunizations and the adoption cost would be eighty five dollars, plus tax, if he was still interested.

At that moment the kitten moved slightly back away from the cage front, so Charlie lowered his head and moved closer to see if his instinct was right. As soon as he did, the kitten made the most adorable mew he had ever heard. A kitten that was just seconds ago withdrawn and silent, but had now made a miraculous connection with him in a way he never expected nor could quite understand just yet. Then, as if by divine inspiration, Charlie thought of a name for her; spelling and all.


And she meowed louder while half sitting up on her hind legs. Charlie knew at that moment there was much more to the mysterious yearning of adopting a pet cat than what he could realize.

"Lost & Found"© Paw One

Posted on November 18, 2016 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Charlie Chatmon, and his newly adopted pet cat Amaia, share a very special bond that can only be experienced through a beautiful imagination and a warm heart.  Written by me, and protected as intellectual property as well.

One day, a kind twenty four year old gentleman, who lived in a small rural neighborhood towards the outside of town, found himself at a loss for words to describe his life. To still be living alone in his modest bungalow, lamenting about his past, and especially how he longed for lasting companionship with the right woman. He so desired to share the love and wisdom within his heart if not for the mental illnesses shadowing life. His name was Charles "Charlie" Chatmon, named after the giftedly expressive Vaudeville performer Charlie Chaplin. He did not make a lot of money working at a local distribution company, enough to pay the bills, but rarely was there ever a day he missed work. Even if a winter blizzard blanketed the area with anywhere upwards to a foot of snow, Charlie always seemed to arrive on time and put in honest days of hard work one after the other.

He was known best for arriving at work sometimes more than half an hour early, for making decent friends with many of the people he worked around, and on occasion a few enemies too. People, whom just did not seem to want to get along. Charlie never really came across as someone who had any, or many, problems in life. If you had known, you would have thought his nagging loneliness was the worst of it. All but one dear friend of his small close-knit group, going back to high school, had moved away. Whether they came by and visited or he hung out with the friend who lived locally, friendship never seemed to be difficult for him. Charlie was a well-rounded kind of guy with a quirky personality and some shy social tendencies.

Much to his regret, Charlie's social skills were not always the best. Then again, not everyone's is. Who is born with a beggar's guide to life, anyway? Charlie was never in trouble with the law. The worst he had done was a couple parking tickets and a minor speeding ticket. Never wanted to smoke, was raised really well to stay away from drugs, and was not foolish to fall for too much alcohol even though he did drink some on occasion. Not a bad guy at all, to be honest.

When asked why he had not settled down yet, Charlie would say he just had not been that lucky. Yet? Maybe someday, he would also say. It would be nice. It would have made him pretty darn happy since the loneliness often nibbled on his conscience. Slow torture was one way he would have described it. Being the modest person that he was, Charlie would still brush off any offers for sympathy. He simply wanted to find the genuine, fulfilling, peaceful happiness with a woman as reasonable as he could before growing too old.

Perish the thought, as Charlie would cringe any time he tried to imagine his future. What he would be like, where life might take him, or how it would feel if he never settled down. Maybe even, if not too late, to have children of his own someday. Maybe... Someday... Maybe someday when his anxiety and depression were no longer driving forces in his life, Charlie might at last find some peace. If he was that lucky; something he felt depended a little too much upon finding that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And who can say they were that fortunate? Not I, said the legally blind man (Charlie had glasses since the fourth grade).

So it came as an unexpected surprise when Charlie found himself wandering down to the local Humane Society, on a whim it seemed, with this strange curiosity to look for a potential pet. While he had been around both dogs and cats that each set of grandparents had while he grew up, Charlie tended to prefer cats for their peaceful cute nature. Before deciding to go, he thought about and felt as though the right one would not suddenly begin speaking perfect English which no one else could hear. It might feel the same as when he picked out cards for birthdays and holidays.

Charlie would browse the card section thoroughly until in his heart he found the right one, saying just the right message he felt was best. To him, it was almost a selection of conscience rather than anything given in words. Once holding back a flare up of social anxiety for having never been to the Humane Society before, finally Charlie stepped right in and began his search. A caring and helpful staff member greeted him, answered the several questions he had, and was then shown to the animals that had been graciously rescued. Of those that were there, he was introduced to the six cats on hand. One stood out over the others.

Rather, this one did not stand up to be greeted because it seemed almost in a human way withdrawn. So Charlie asked the staff member for more information. This kitten was a three month old female with a beautifully mixed calico tabby colored fur coat, with parts of it having the markings of a Bengal breed. Domesticated Bengal cats, which have traits of being very intelligent, vocal, and a tendency to mimic what their owners do as a playful and socially extroverted personality. While Charlie had done some research, he admittedly just resigned himself to see how things turned out. In fact, his decision to consider adopting a pet had not been from a longing he quite fully understood

Not yet...