Two years ago, Creamsicle had three kittens: Tyke, Kylala (who looked just like their mother-the color of peach ice cream), and Autumn.
She was the runt, and she was a splotchy mix of white, orange, brown, and auburn. When I held her for the first time I noticed she was the exact color of all the trees that surrounded me, and she possessed the same warmth and, somehow, nostalgia. I guess that's because everytime I'd held a newborn animal, it was autumn. Her fur warmed my hands that turned blue with cold, her tongue returned feeling to the nerves in my fingers, and she gave me something to protect when I felt unwanted or irrelevant. Later on, she was the only one that didn't disapear or sadly pass.
Autumn was a stray.
Two years later I came back from a trip to Tennessee to find Autumn missing. For reasons I don't care to talk about, I decided to not worry and just wait. Five days later the porch was still desolate and the food bowl was still full. Finally I let it sink in, and I went looking for her until night came; I had no flashlight, so I depended on the street lamps. I wrapped my arms around myself and started crying.
"I just want my baby back I want my baby back I want my baby back....."
I didn't know what to do after I had walked through the dilapidated trailor park three times. I tried to pray......but then just couldn't. I didn't want to feel like I was just talking to myself (it was dark, the sky was open, and I'm agoraphobic. I felt like I was surrounded in oblivion) I need something real, something I could see, something beautiful.
I opened my eyes to the clear etherial moon.
"Please, just give her back to me. I love her. I've doubted the idea of God before....but I have a feeling that you can help me."
Today I was eating dinner when my grandfather came to the door. It was late afternoon and a ray of gold flooded in behind him. He said, "Uh Katie, who's this out here?"
And I knew.
Autumn padded toward me and I scooped her up immediately. She smelled like old cotton fabric of a loved one's sweater in late November, when you bury your face against them and feel their breath and rush of blood. Although she's an "outdoor cat" I brought her inside and held her.
She listened and gave. I asked, and She returned. Maybe it wasn't literally the vast cold stone, but what She meant to me. I was willing to take a risk by asking for something and believing that my wish would be granted. I looked to something that I'd never been taught to look to, and my darling Autumn was given back to me.
Now I see Her everywhere; Her love is everything that makes me feel whole- The trees, the pulse, the golden rays, a soul in bitter night,