A Siamese cat, camouflaged as a gray tabby, reveled in hunting the wilds surrounding our temporary Nisga’a home.
Typical of a Siamese, Mac stood guard over my comings and goings. If I wasn’t in the Board Room with papers strewn over the large table, he would look for me. He marched into meetings, giving people lethal frights, observed my demeanor, and wandered out to explore the bush.
From the time Mac, a starving kitten, picked me up at a motel in Central B.C., he became responsible for me. Unpalatable situations or people would elicit deep, guttural growls from Mac accompanied by a cold, steady stare. I learned to trust his assessment. One man insisted that Mac’s coldness toward him was simply male rivalry. In the end, Mac’s reading proved valid. The man tried to push Mac off a deck railing in a cruel gesture of one-up-man-ship when I was not around. The man carries Mac’s signature on his arm – three long claw marks.
One morning, as I worked with Jordy, the Payroll Clerk at the Nisga’a Board Office, he asked, “Why do you travel with a cat?”
“Because I do so many contracts. I asked a couple of Vets which was better: leaving Mac at home with someone else or taking him with me. They both assured me that Mac is far happier being with me. I lined up someone to cat-sit during this short stint, but she had to back out. Once the Superintendent confirmed that no one here had allergies, Mac and I were Nisga’a bound.”
“Doesn’t he ever run away?” Jordy asked.
“No. I’m his human. He believes he’s taking care of me.”
Jordy laughed. “I like having him around, but I forget he’s here and he scares me.”
“Yeah…you know, just seeing movement out of the corner of your eye.”
“He’s probably checking for food. Your mom puts delicious stuff in your lunch.”
“Yah, it’s great…but it would be fun to have my own place.” Young people in New Aiyansh didn’t have choices about living arrangements like kids in larger areas.
“Lap it up, Jordy. When you don’t have your mom around to spoil you, you’ll wish you did. Maybe you could rent the Board Room suite.”
“No bloody way,” he said with a tone that left no room for argument.
People flooded into the village. Home to study and discuss the Agreement, people filled each day with discussions around self-governance. Evenings were reserved for fun. “Go see all the events”, the Superintendent said. “You’ll love the experience.”
Before heading out to the conference center, I decided to check my emails. Two friends who knew that I practice Therapeutic Touch telepathically had sent messages.
From nearby Terrace, Christine, wrote that her black Lab was suffering from hip dysplasia. Walking was impossible for the old dog. Dreading the possibility of having to say goodbye to him, Christine’s words seemed pulled from a broken heart. She had no help to get the large Black Lab into her vehicle to visit the Vet. I immediately prayed, meditated and visualized two full treatments.
The other email, from Nelly, involved her gorgeous niece from Amsterdam. Full of life, in her late teens, she was flying to Japan in a few days. Once back in Amsterdam, she would marry her fiancé. She hurried to catch a train so she could join her sweetheart at his family home for dinner. Accidentally she slipped between the train and the platform. Both legs were severed.
Miraculously, a soldier from Haiti, trained in combative medicine, was in Amsterdam, visiting his mother while on leave. His training included treating traumatic situations in extreme conditions with minimal provisions. He saw the niece fall. He responded immediately. Removing his belt and using various articles of clothing, he began building tourniquets that stemmed the blood flow. He calmly asked her question after question, keeping her from slipping into unconsciousness. He kept mispronouncing her name. She angrily corrected him. Little did she know he was keeping her alert and preventing shock from setting in.
While binding her lower torso, he calmly directed bystanders. In seconds, there was crowd control. Extra belts and socks were plentiful. Soon the Ambulance arrived.
The Haitian soldier would not leave her side. He insisted that he accompany her to the hospital, assuring the attendants that once he spoke with the doctor, he would be gone. That is exactly what he did. He disappeared without even leaving a name.
(Note: Weeks later, the family, through a newspaper ad, managed to find his mother. She humbly explained that her son did not wish any accolades.)
After I wept my way through the email, I tried to settle into contemplation. When I attempted my visualization for Therapeutic Touch, it was akin to entering a light show. Knowing the niece was still in critical condition, I asked that she receive healing light and energy.
Mac quietly jumped onto my lap and curled into a ball. Usually announcing himself, this time he didn’t make a sound.
As I meditated, I was assured that this young woman would not only survive, but her spirit would soar. She would shine a bright example of love and joy. Plus, she would discover a new prosthesis that could almost read her mind, allowing her to live with vitality and purpose.
I wrote the message to Nelly.
(Today? This incredible young woman works in the movie industry, traveling between Holland and the US. Her engagement did not endure. There is now a man from California in her life counting his blessings to have found this vital young woman. She visited her Aunt Nelly here in Canada. During a brief visit, she informed me she was awaiting her new prosthesis.)
Once confirming messages were sent to Christine and Nelly, I needed to be with people.
Arriving at the conference center, I walked into the massive building with no expectation. Slowly, it dawned on me that an historic event of great import was unfolding. It was a blessing to be amongst these people, observing events that depicted and described centuries of loves, lives and living. I was honoured to witness such incredible expressions of soul.
Different Nisga’a villages drummed, danced, sang and dawned ceremonial wardrobes with proud competitiveness. Traditional outfits, designed and sewn by Nisga’a women, were modeled with grace and breathtaking beauty.
A group of women performed a circle dance called “Forgiveness”. Their unique and graceful movements included hands held together as if cradling an egg. At the end of the dance, still in a circle, they turned outward to face us. They raised cupped hands to their mouths and blew handfuls of delicate goose down into the air. The fragile feathers floated and flounced throughout the crowd for the rest of the evening with healing symbolism, reaffirming a timeless foundation: Sayt-K’il’im-Goot – one heart, one path, one nation.
The dancing was suddenly open to everyone. Warned that anyone invited to dance must not decline, I looked for the most rotund Nisga’a man in the room. I hid behind him. In spite of my strategy, I saw people looking my way. I exited.
Arriving back at the Board Office, I was kicking myself for not having the courage to dance. Seeing Mac waiting for me on the steps, I burst into laughter. Another day of hunting in the wilds of the Canadian North had been accomplished by this intrepid little feline while I ran from dancing as if a bear was to be my partner.
I cuddled Mac as we entered the suite. A new email blinked from my laptop. Christine’s message began, “Can you believe it?!”
A neighbour had arrived to help her lift the dog into her SUV. She warned the Vet’s office that they’d have to carry the dog into the treatment room. Upon arrival, the staff quickly brought him from the car into the examination room. Once placed on the table, the grand old dog determinedly stood up, stretched and jumped off the table to the floor. A thorough examination proved that nothing more was needed.
Christine wrote, “I was dumbstruck! Thank you so much for the treatments. Thank God I worked for that Vet. Otherwise he would never have believed how bad that dog had been!”
Then I spotted a phone message. It had been slipped under my door. “Patricia returned your call. Please call her tomorrow.”