Inside a small
steel gray cage at a pet shop lay a beautiful long-haired white kitten
with large splashes of gray. Someone had brought her some awful green
pellets that she refused to eat. It smelled bad and tasted horrible.
But, even if it had been okay, she didnít feel like eating anyway.
She was very sad for she didnít
understand this strange new place. It was a prison that was cold and
unfriendly. Most of all she missed her sisters, brothers and mother.
They had been there beside her just a few days earlier. Where could
they have gone?, she thought. She didnít know she was the last of her
litter left to be sold and her mother was gone forever. She watched
the many people who came to look at her. One by one her sisters all
were taken away and didnít come back. Now they were gone and she was
So, it really did seem like forever
before someone finally came to take her away too. It was really cold
that night and the warmth of a hand woke her up. Little fingers were
poking gently at her. It felt okay, she thought.
"I like this tuddie tat Cal. She is SO
purr-ty", said the little girl.
"She is pretty, isnít she? Awful skinny
though. Probably misses itís mother. Poor thing. But, she is awfully
handsome with all that long hair.", he said smiling. "Okay, weíll take
this one miss."
They waited as the attendant took the cat
out of the cage. The kitty perked up but only for a moment. She
resisted and scratched the attendant as she tried to put she into a
carrier. Obviously she didn't like small enclosed places.
"Ouch!", she screamed, "Jeez. Sheís
teething probably. Donít worry sheíll calm down once you get her
"Yeah. Sheís probably really scared and
wondering whyís all this happening to her.", the man said, "Still want
her, right Cindy girl?", he looked at the girl for an answer.
The girl nodded. "What shall we call you,
little tuddie tat?"
"How about Tuddie? Youíre already calling
her that and youíll be around her a lot since Iím marrying your mom in
a few weeks."
"Okay, thatís purrr-fit. I like that. Do
you like it, Tuddie?", the little girl said eagerly. Tuddie just sat
in the cage starring at both of them, looking very unhappy. "Are you
gonna make her do tricks Cal? Make her come out of a hat or somethin .
"No, honey I just want a little cat to
love. Iím retired from doing hypnotist tricks. You know that. Anyway,
she doesnít look like sheís up for any tricks at least not today."
"But you promised Cal, for my
"Oh, thatís different. Well, maybe if I
can get Tuddie to sit still long enough I could make her come out of a
hat. Sheíll probably want to disappear more though . . . especially
after meeting your cat Gingsy.í, Cal chuckled. Tuddie looked as if she
understood what was being said. Her eyes narrowed like she was very
wary of the whole situation.
"Old Gingsy will like her. I hope so
anyways." Cindy giggled and silently imagined Tuddie saying, "Old
Gingsy doesnít have a chance with the likes of me. Iíll be taking over
The ride back to Cindyís house was a long
one. Tuddie meowed so much Cal stopped and took her out of the
carrier. "I probably shouldnít do this but youíre so blasted noisy,
little one!" Tuddie jumped into Cindyís lap and cuddled up as if the
cat had planned doing this all along. Then, all was quiet and both
fell into a contented asleep.
Cal looked over at the sleeping child. He
wasnít sure if he was ready for playing the father role again at 69.
He already had three grown children and six grandkids. But they were
all so far away and involved in their own busy lives. They had no time
for their dad. But, Cindy never knew her father. He left just after
she was born. So ironic and sad it was, he thought.
Cal pulled into the driveway by Cindyís
house. "You look so much like little Emily when she was young.", he
said softly, as he picked her up gently to take her into the house. A
tear came to his eye as all the memories flooded back.
The movement woke Cindy up. "We home?"
"Sure are sweetie. I bought Tuddie in
too. She ran into your room first off. Gingsy must have scared her.
She seems to really likes your bed. You want her to sleep there with
"Oh yes, can she?", pleaded the half
awake child. "She can sleep with me and Teddy. Iím so scared. Itís so
dark in here. Will you sleep with us too?"
"Okay on the cat. If Gingsy has seen her,
then itís probably better she stay in here. But, Iím tired honey. Iíll
be on the couch. Your momís not coming back until Friday so youíre
stuck with me for another two days. But we can leave the nitelight on.
Is that all okay with you?"
"Oh yeah, I guess itís okay. Youíre great
Cal. Thanks. Youíre gonna be my daddy. Youíre not like other daddies.
Well, I donít know much about that." Cindy paused, almost tearful.
"But, youíre really fun and tell me jokes and stories too. And, I want
a daddy. I never had one." Tears filled her eyes now. "Hey, can you
tell me a story anyway?"
"Ha! Thanks. Youíre fun too kid and I do
want to be your dad. Yeah, Iíll tell you a story. Then bed, right?"
"Yeah!", Cindy was now wide awake and
"Well, what kind of story do you want
tonight? Cinderella and the dashing prince charming? Or Puss and Boots
. . . maybe Beauty and the Beast?"
"Tell me about how you worked with all
the famous hypnotists."
"Oh my, you donít want to hear that
again, do you? I worked on so many stages with the most famous but
never made it big myself. Makes me kind of sad now that Iím retiring.
Donít really feel like talking about it right now. Is that okay?"
"Yeah, okay. So tell me that story you
told before . . . about the orphan prince who came to America and got
to be famous as an artist."
"Oh jeez! Why that one?", said Cal, a bit
"Because Iím an orphan too . . . sort of
cause Iíve got no dad and mommyís always working. I like how he was
once a prince and all too . .. then he gets happy. I want to be happy
like that" Cindy looked down and was quiet for a second. It was
obvious that there was something else she wanted to say. "Tuddieís an
orphan too, isnít she?"
"Yes, they said her momís just up and
left . . . vanished."
"So, whereíd her mommy go? Hey, anyway, .
. . Cal, . . . uh um . . . whereíd my daddy go? Where did the princeís
parents go? I want to know, please? Tell me the story of where people
go when they die. They all died, right? No one will tell me. The
teacher at school wouldnít say and said I should ask my mom."
"Ah. . . umm. Well, yes, sweetheart, they
did all die." Cal said, a bit uneasy about the subject matter. "Tuddieís
mommy theyíre not so sure about because she left her kittens after
only a few weeks and never came back. Cats donít do that sort of
thing. They stay with their litter until they are ready to be on their
own. But, I guess theyíre all in heaven and Tuddieís mom in kitty cat
"Well, Iím going to be her new mommy.
Iíll take care of her. Hey, Iíve heard people say there ainít no
heaven. Are they right?"
"Iíve never been there, of course, but I
am a hypnotist and some people say theyíd seen heaven when they are
hypnotized. Also, they can recall what theyíve seen before they are
about to die and then donít die for some reason. Near death
experiences, they call um. Yes, Iíve hypnotized quite a few of these
people. They say itís a beautiful place, at least what they could see
of it. Iíve even hypnotized people who believe they see other lives
they have lived before this one. If they are really seeing into other
lives they have actually lived, then obviously, death isnít such a bad
thing, is it? It is just a transition to another place, another plan
of existence as some call it. Itís a place where people get to think
about what they did in their current life and where they need to go
next to become a better person."
"Cats I donít know so much about.",
continued Cal, "They are considered Ďfamiliarí spirits and come to
certain people over and over again in different lives. They arenít
good or bad as such. They take on the personality of the person they
are with, mostly and become very attached to them." Cal looked at the
expression on Cindyís face of extreme interest. "Well you better get
some sleep young lady or your mom will be mad at me." It was an
attempt to change the subject, for sure.
"No, donít stop now. How did my dad die?
And, the princeís parents? Heís a real person, isnít he?", asked Cindy
with much anticipation.
"Uhh. Well, yes, the prince was a real
person. I met him when I was in the city. He said his father and
mother were thrown into prison by government people who did not want
him on the throne. Then they were put to death. In fact, he believes
he is heir to the crown and to a fortune, neither of which he can ever
claim. It is a very sad tale indeed."
"And, my dad? How about my dad?", begged
"Well, . . . ", He paused again, catching
his breath. "Your father died in the gulf war. He won an award because
he died while trying to protect some other men so that the enemy would
not know they was there. Funny because he didnít believe in war. He
didnít want to shoot anyone because he believed it wasnít right. Nor
do I Cindy. I hate war and everything about it. And, Cindy I have to
tell you something else that might surprise you. I knew your father
and I loved him. He was a wonderful man who really cared about other
people. He loved you and your mother very much." Cal paused for
another second. "I was one of the men he was trying to protect.",
tears welled in Cal eyes.
"Thanks for telling me about dad, Cally.
No one else would. Youíre my daddy now though. I never knew him. I am
like him, right? And, heís in heaven now. He is, isnít he?"
"Well, donít be mad at your mom. I know
she would have told you eventually. We talked about it many times. She
just wasnít sure you were ready." Calís voice became light and more
cheerful, "And, yes, youíre very much like him. Wanted to know IT ALL
just like you, pumpkin!! He even wanted me to teach him how to be a
hypnotist. A darn good student too. Ha! Yes, heís a spirit in heaven
right now. In fact," Cal paused, not knowing if he should go on, "I
have seen him here with you sometimes. He likes to watch you sleep."
"You can see him?", she asked in
amazement. Cal nodded in agreement to her. "Oh, youíre just saying
that.", she retorted.
"Okay, letís test it then. Just think of
a favorite smell youíve always enjoyed, no donít tell me, just think
of it, wait a few seconds now . . . okay breathe in. Do you smell it?"
"Yeah, I do. Howíd you do that?", laughed
"Well, I didnít do it. Iím a hypnotist
and magician but Iím not that good. It was your dad. He was standing
on your left side just now and he was smiling."
"Can you ask him to do something else?",
asked Cindy, again very much amazed and excited.
"Yes, YOU can? Close your eyes and ask
him to do something simple to show heís here. Then just wait and see
A few seconds later a small stuffed
animal fell from Cindyís bureau.
"Wow. That was neat. Heís really here,
isnít he? Though I canít touch him or see him. I wish I could.", Cindy
felt so sad. "What good is it to know heís there when Iíve never even
"Your dad loves you even though he does
understand that you canít really appreciate that love. Someday youíll
realize how much his love surrounds you and protects you. Other people
donít have that. Youíll see how much it makes a difference in the way
you view life. When you feel loved, the whole world is different."
"Yeah, someday maybe I can help bring
love to other people whoíve never felt loved. That would be a good
thing, wouldnít it?"
"Yes, a VERY good thing, my dear. But,
now it is time for bed, young lady!!"
Cindy sighed and gave in, "Okay, okay."
She paused and spoke softly, "Hey, would you come back and visit me if
you were to die and you could do it?"
"Oh, heavens. Yes, of course, Iíd come
back to visit you. Tell you what . . . Iíd bring you the smell of
lavender whenever Iím near. Just think of me and Iíll be there. Iíll
do that. I promise you. Donít forget now."
Tuddie was already asleep and settled in
for the night. Cal petted her and she purred. His touch was light but
she still woke. She looked up at Cal like she knew what he was
thinking. "Boy, youíre a strange one, girl.", Cal whispered. "If I
didnít know better, Iíd say you knew exactly what was said tonight.
Well, youíre a perfect match for my little Cindy and thatís all that
matters. You have a home forever or for as long as you want it. You
hear?" Tuddie let out a very soft meow and her body hummed under Cal
hand as he touched her. "Very strange you are indeed, little one." Cal
left the room. He knew that Gingsy wasnít a very friendly cat and
never even came in Cindyís room. So Tuddie was a perfect companion for
Cindy. All was good . . . at least for the moment.
Weeks went by and so did the wedding and
the adoption that made Cal Cindyís real adopted father. Cindy was
really proud of her new dad. She especially loved all the school
father and daughter functions she could be able to take and show off
her new father, the not so famous hypnotist.
And, soon it was Cindyís birthday party
time. Cal was true to his word and, although he didnít have a lot of
money, he still came in the prettiest new clown costume he could rent
for the occasion. He did all his usual tricks plus a whole lot more.
Well, he used to work as a stage hypnotist so he figured he owed his
new little daughter one really great birthday party. He even dressed
up Tuddie in a cute little clown costume too, pulled her out of the
hat, made her disappear and then reappear. Tuddie performed like a
true showcat. Then, Cal hypnotized some of the kids and made them do
funny things. Cal was glad to see Cindy laughing nonstop at his
Cal and Cindy laughed at Tuddie who
refused to jump through a hoop. Cal picked her up and put her in just
the right position so sheíd jump. She did of course. Ginsy, just
looked on in disgust. They tried to make her but she wasnít going to
jump through any hoops. Sheíd adjusted okay to having another cat in
the house but it was obvious she didnít like her competition for
It was all good fun but then something
happened. The fun came to an abrupt halt. Cal let out a scream. His
new wife Joan called for an ambulance and he was rushed to the
hospital. It all happened so fast. In less than two hours Cal was
gone. He died from too much fluid flooding his lungs.
Joan stood holding her still husbandís
hand, wondered how she would ever explain to Cindy that she had lost
another father. She couldnít even believe it herself. It had only been
a few weeks since their honeymoon. But, she didnít have to wait to
tell Cindy. Cindy was standing behind her with Tuddie in her arms. She
had wandered in when the nurses werenít looking . . .she was tired of
waiting so long.
"Howís daddy?", Cindyís question woke her
mother from her trance state.
"Cindy? Heís okay." Joan paused realizing
she had just told the biggest lie in her whole life and to her only
daughter, "No, no . . . heís not okay Cindy. He is gone like your
father is gone."
"No, heís not gone.", said Cindy in a
"Yes, he is honey. Please donít say that.
Iím sorry but heís gone forever from both of us.", Joan felt the tears
roll down her cheeks . . . the tears she could no longer hold back.
"No, heís NOT gone, mom. He just went
somewhere else, thatís all. Donít you smell the lavender? Itís so
sweet. He told me that if he died and I smelled lavender, it was
because he was there with me. Heís not gone!", Cindyís tone was still
very calm and reassuring.
The smell of lavender was strong. There
was no question about it. Even at the funeral and at the grave, it was
strong and not a lavender flower was in sight anywhere. No one could
figure it out. The minister called it miraculous. But Cindy knew
different . . .
It was her dad. How proud she was of him
keeping his promise. He proved to her that life didnít end with death.
It went on even after the body had ceased to exist. It was sad to lose
her father but it was also joyous for her to know that life continues
on and that, in reality, she never really lost him.
Ten years later Cindy could still smell
the scent of lavender all around her whenever she thought of her
stepfather. She was in high school now and Tuddie was still her cat.
And, Calís, of course, because he seemed constantly around both of
them. She often laughed thinking that Tuddie had to be the familiar
spirit that belonged to her stepdad and now to her. She knew also that
Tuddie was a very special cat. If it hadnít been for Tuddie, a certain
special conversation with Cal would never have taken place. It was a
conversation sheíd never forget. It didnít matter that she had been so
young. Some things one never forgets and this was one of those things
She now knew what her stepfather had
meant in their talk about life and death so many years earlier. Yes,
so many years ago and yet . . . she could feel the warm of love from
both her father and stepfather always with her. And, someday she knew
sheíd make it her lifeís work to bring love into the lives of those
who had never known it. This she felt with much conviction. It was a
promise she made to her stepfather every time he came to visit. And,
sometimes, she could have sworn she saw him standing there laughing
and talking to her . . . just like he always had.
And, Tuddie? Well, she was special. She
knew exactly when to cuddle and comfort Cindy when she was sad. It was
like Tuddie could read her thoughts and feelings. It was a strange but
wonderful thing for Cindy. She also knew her stepfather was there, not
just because of the lavender smell. Tuddie often showed her like she
had been instructed by someone! Many times Tuddie jumped up on a shelf
and knocked her stepfatherís diary into her hands for her to read. It
was her favorite of all books. She was so glad her stepfather had
taken the time to write in it. He had given it to her on that last
birthday of hers they had spent together. Some day maybe sheíd publish
All very unusual? Could this really
happen? Definitely! . . . is the answer to both questions because it
really did! The real Cal lived a very charmed life and all those
touched by him were truly blessed. He knew that life is a continuous
circle that never ends. Even this story doesnít really end. For this
was just the beginning of a journey for all the many Cindys in
existence and of Calís lasting affect upon the world.
Alpha and Omega (the beginning and the