Last week I woke up to find my two cats chasing a mouse in our apartment. I was really surprised—we’ve lived here a year and have never seen a mouse in our home or in the building itself. I immediately grabbed a Tupperware container, hoping I’d be able to catch the mouse before my cats did, so I could then release him outside. But I knew my odds were slim—Calla especially is super fast and precise when hunting a toy…or our other cat Faro…or our dinner.
Ultimately, the mouse managed to hide behind a bookcase in the living room which prompted a marathon stalking session until Calla, Faro, and I got tired and retreated to my home office. I then attempted to connect with the mouse and tell him his best bet was to quietly and swiftly try to go back to where he came from. Quite a while later, I heard some rustling of the paper on the floor in the hallway (it’s for the cats), and I knew the mouse had dared to come out and was making his way to an exit. Both cats raised their heads out of their slumber when they heard the noise, but only Faro got up to investigate. By the time he got to the hallway, the mouse was long gone, thrilled, I’m sure, that he’d escaped intact.
This blew my mind—the fact that the mouse (thankfully) survived my two cats, and that Calla didn’t even run to pursue it when she heard him in the hallway.
When my boyfriend got home later, I recounted the day’s adventure and then reminisced about Willow, my cat who passed in 2012, whom he’d never met. My cat sitter at the time called her “The Great Gray Hunter” because Willow was extremely adept at catching mice, with ninja-like ability, much to my trauma. She had a very specific meow that I’d wake up to with dread in the middle of the night. I’d turn on the light to find her purring incredibly loudly, proudly showing off her prey to me. Her skills were legendary.
Later in the evening of that mouse-appearance day last week, I was texting with a friend and mentioned that that day was the anniversary of Willow’s crossing over. My friend replied, “Wow—Did she give you any signs today?”
And then I stopped in my tracks. All day I had known it was the anniversary of Willow’s passing, but it didn’t occur to me until my friend asked that Willow had sent the mouse. Of all the days in a year for a mouse to show up, it showed up that day (and it hasn’t shown up since). That mouse brought back all kinds of memories of Willow for me and prompted me to talk about her to my boyfriend.
But this time the mouse got through the ordeal unharmed. He weathered the storm and, I have a strong feeling, found his way home.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been experiencing something incredibly difficult that I didn’t see coming. I’ve been feeling lost and have gone through everything from extreme anxiety to deep grief and sadness. And I’d never needed this sign more.
Not only can our loved ones on the other side move mountains (and mice) to get our attention, but they want us to know they are always here for us, a present source of love and support.
I feel like all of them—Willow, Calla, Faro, and the mouse—conspired to get this message through. No matter how daunting the challenge, how heartbreaking the experience, we’re all always connected and never alone. And we will always find our way home. 💜