• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 05
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For the first six years of his life, the gray cat lived in a trailer, with my brother's ex-girlfriend. When she moved to Colorado, to Boulder, to live with an old boyfriend, she asked my brother to take the cat. You're so fond of him, she said.

The gray cat's name was Buddha, but we also called him Mr. B. He would sit in the sun for hours, meditating, contemplating the world beyond the windows. He had never been outdoors.

Then, one spring day he followed us down to the creek, just walking along with the dogs.

The outside world was a delight to him - leaves in the spring, acorns in the fall, snow in the winter. And how he rolled in the summer grass, chasing fireflies.

He became our familiar, our friend. I whispered secrets in his ears, about the boys who didn't even notice me. His purring was unconditional love. There was such wisdom in his golden eyes.

I went off to college, and found a sweetheart. My brother married a wonderful girl. It's funny how things work out. They had a household full of cats, and Buddha was king of them all.

Then, one day, he was gone. My brother found him after work, lying by the catnip bed in a patch of afternoon sun.

I know it's not possible, he told me. We buried him by the catnip bed. But I saw him yesterday evening, down by the creek, a gray cat on the other side. He turned around and looked at me. I knew him, too, you know?

Yes, I know, I said. Familiar.