Dreams of love and loss ...

* Disclaimer:  Before I worry anyone, let me assure you ... everyone here is absolutely fine.

BUT ... I did have a rather ugly nightmare last night, one from which I've only just woken up, and was, frankly, so shaken and disturbed by that though I rarely rise before nine on a weekend, I didn't want to, and really couldn't, go back to sleep, though it was, at the time, only a few minutes past four am.

I've always been someone who could remember her dreams in vivid detail, and sometimes I can even trick myself into dreaming about what I want to, by visualizing it as I'm falling asleep, though that worked better when I was a kid, when, I guess, there was less "stuff" rattling around up there in my head.  So far this little game I sometimes play with my subconscious hasn't parlayed itself into any Stephenie Meyer sparkly boy and normal girl in the meadow moments, and it sure hasn't helped me sell 70+ million novels worldwide, more's the pity.  But what it does mean is that when I have a nice dream, which I do have, at least as often as I have not-so-nice ones, I can actually remember it once I'm awake, at least if I make a conscious effort to do so.  And in that way, things that haven't happened (yet, or ever) can become nearly real, become an almost, if not quite, bona fide memory.

This is something I used to, unintentionally, blur the lines of a bit as a kid, to the extent that I would occasionally, especially as a small child, say something that would kind of freak my mom out, like the time when I was about five when I woke up and asked her "Mom, where is my blue bird?"  And when she questioned me about which bird, as she was certainly within rights to do, as our household was an avian free zone at that time, and we had no birds living there, blue or otherwise, I passionately insisted for a number of minutes that I had gotten a blue budgerigar, whose name was Blue Boy (I know, very original!), and his cage had been hanging just above my bed when I went to sleep, and exactly where was Blue Boy now?  Blue Boy, of course, didn't exist, and never had, though my mother had had a blue budgie named Chipper as a child, about whom she had often told me, and some older children down the street with whom I occasionally played, also had one, whose name was Charlie.  Mom was eventually  able to convince me that Blue Boy wasn't real, about which I was bitterly disappointed, but not that long later, I was gifted with not a blue budgie, but a green one, who I named Perky.  

Of course, all dreams can't be happy ones.  It doesn't work that way.  Love and loss.  Joy and sorrow.  The thrill of victory.  The agony of defeat.  These alter egos seem doomed to walk in lock step, and you just don't get one without the other.  So every now and then, I'll have a really awful dream, and possibly because I've nurtured my ability to retain and recall my dreams upon awaking, it can be really hard for me to shake a nightmare, even once I'm fully awake and have realized that whatever gruesome images have stolen my sleep are not real, but were instead manufactured in my subconscious.  

Last night's dream was particularly horrible, though, for once, I can't recall a lot of the details, but in it, all the cats were out in the back yard, someplace, frankly, that they'd never ever be in the first place, since they're strictly indoor cats whose only access to the outdoors is via the enclosed cat porch where they can bask in the sunshine and stalk lizards in safety, and Finn, while investigating a wood pile (that doesn't exist by the way) was set upon and mercilessly stung by swarms and swarms of bees, which also stung me repeatedly as I tried to grab him and carry him to safety.  Something I was, to be blunt, unable to do, and he died in my arms as I clutched him and sobbed.

On that note, I woke up, heart pounding and sick with imagined grief, to find that Finn had not met his end after all, but was curled up, purring his usual night-time symphony of content, on the pillow not three inches from my head.  Still, though, I was disturbed enough to rise from my warm bed and come out to the living room to flip mindlessly through infomercials for magic blenders and miracle hair care products in an effort to chase away the dregs of a nightmare that, however briefly, had felt all too real.  

And as I sat here, I was thinking about how Finn will be two years old in a couple of months, and about how much I have grown to love, and in fact, cherish him, during the nineteen or so months he's been here.  How he's gone from being a scared, scrawny, sick feral kitten that I felt compassion and pity for, and wanted to help, but not get too close to, lest I fall in love with him and want to keep him (yeah, imagine that), to a beautiful, sleek, adult cat I unreservedly adore, who meets me at the door each evening with as much enthusiasm as if I were returning from battle (which let's face it, after a long day in the advertising world I sometimes feel like I have), comes running when I call him and then stretches up on his back legs so that I can grasp him under the armpits and swing him up into my arms like a child, the better to kiss his little black nose.  

Obviously I don't know exactly when Finn was born, or even where.  All I know is that he was approximately four months old when he entered my life, which means he'll be turning two some time in January, a month, coincidentally, in which my beloved Dakotah was born, and also the month in which he died, leaving the world sixteen years almost to the day after he entered it.  Something which has been on my mind not a little bit lately, and which might have something to do with this dream, especially considering that had Dakotah's exit from the world and Finn's arrival in it not been separated by two years, they may very well have been housemates.  When you think about it that way, it has a certain symmetry.  Love and loss again, in all its guises. I loved Dakotah for sixteen years, after all, love him still, in fact, just as I love Finn now, but will someday lose him.  

But not today.  (And not on account of any stupid bees!) 



GreatGranny said...

Mom worries about losing me,I know. And she tells me everyday that she loves me. We hope that sweet Finn will be with you a long long time.
Tucker, we hope you all have a nice weekend.
xoxo Kassey

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

We hope you can put that bad dream aside and tonight have a very sweet dream about Finn and your other sweet furries. Mom says she too worries about losing any of us too. We think that is pretty normal when you have such deep love for another. Sadly love and loss do go paw in paw, hand in hand at some point in life.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Katnip Lounge said...

ACK! Thank goodness all my nightmares only involve people! The minute I have one that has a pet in it I'm swearing off sleep. There's something very special about the love our pets give us; they don't HAVE to love us, but they do, and I think that is precious.

tubby3pug said...

I understand I have had terrible dreams about losing my pets, almost since the moment I adopted them. I remeber over ten years ago a few months after I got Tubby I had a dream he was hit by a car. At that time we lived in basement apartement in Brooklyn in my in laws house and my mother in law heard me crying in my sleep and woke me up. Now that my dogs are all older its tougher. I know there time with me is nearing the end. I have to remember to enjoy everyday and to remind myself that I will love my next pets as well, I cant not love a dog or a cat in my home its impossible. I worry a lot about Tubby as he is almost eleven and is my first dog (I never had a dog as a child). I know someday I will have to say goodbye, but I plan on welcoming Tubby Jr. into my home (my husband and I agree that we will always have a pug named Tubby in our house). The important thing to remember is that its impossible to have love without loss
Oh and Im glad Finn is fine, and no bee stings, he looks just like my sweet cat Scooter, who nine years old!

Mr. Pip said...

Those kind of dreams are always so disturbing and stick with you. I have had similar ones about trying to rescue my animals from some disaster like a fire and not being able to get to them in time.

Hope you have a relaxing day and get some more sleep.

Kristin (Pip's mom)

Old Kitty said...

Oh no!! What a nightmare! :-( Hugs to you and Fin!! I tend to not remember the details of my dreams/nightmares - I tend to remember the feelings most.

Take care

Amber DaWeenie said...

Hmmmmm...Da Momma almost had dat same dream a while back only it wasn't bees. A big bird (hawk, eagle,)??? swooped down and picked me up and carried me off. Ouch!

CaroSCAT said...

Why is it the dreams with animals always stay with you? They haunt me for days sometimes! This post resonates!

On a lighter note, you must have been gutted when you got a green budgie, perhaps you could have called it Blue?

Bocci said...

Wow, what a dream! Have you ever read a book called, "Conscious Dreaming" by Robert Moss? Really good!

Glad Finn is well and oh so beautiful!

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

Oh, what a terrible dream! Thank goodness Mr. Finn is alive and well and getting ready to celebrate being two!

This post reminded me (the Human, here!) that when I was a little girl I would dream stories that I could continue from night to night, like a serial! I seem to have lost that talent, alas, not that *I* ever had a prayer of creating Hogwarts--or even sparkly boys ;-)

Scrappy said...

oh my! That nightmare'n is awful! Glad Finn is ok and hope you have only sweet dreams tonight!

Sagira said...

Bad dreams are no fun at all. Hopefully you have sweet dreams tonight. :)

ZOOLATRY said...

Here's to happy dreams tonight, tomorrow and beyond ... a beautiful photo of Finn, a handsome guy!

Admiral Hestorb said...

What an awful nightmare and how heartrending a one as well. I can't imagine even dreaming, not withstanding seeing my girl or any of my pets in a position of danger and not being able to help them, nor save them. I understand how disturbing and sad that dream must have been. We love our pets and they love us. We depend on them in a way and they on us. It is a mutually loving beneficial relatinship and we never want any harm to come to them.

Finn is a beautiful boy. Kisses to him.

Anonymous said...

I have had dreams kinda like that before and they sure are scary!

William said...

Funny, my mom says that she expected to sleep better when the stressful bit at the bank ended, but really she just dreams about other stressful things--like you, that we kidlets are out and about and out of reach...or that she's dyed her hair red by mistake (and believe me, that would be a giant mistake, plus, she doesn't dye her hair at all anyway). She's able to wake herself up when she gets into these weird impossible dreams, but that doesn't make for a restful night, either.

You'd think she'd just be able to cat nap all day.

Nola said...

Some times mommy has dreams like that about me. It's scary I know. But I'm glad everyone is ok!
Kisses and Tail Wags,
Dachshund Nola

bichonpawz said...

Bad dreams are very scary....and we don't like them at all. We hope you have sweet dreams!! xoxo Chloe and LadyBug