An Angel For Hobo.
By Chris Fleming
Thanksgiving day 11/25/12
We arrived for an early dinner at a private golf resort for a turkey feast. My mom didn’t feel like making thanksgiving dinner, preparing the stuffing, nor cleaning the dishes. Fine by me, I didn’t feel like cleaning dishes either. A late night out Wed night wore me out, so I was all for it. As we sat down for a 4 course meal, my mom and step dad shared with me how Hobo, one of my moms 4 cats had suddenly fallen seriously ill late Wed night. Hobo is a solid grey cat, built like a truck, aged roughly 22-25 years old. No one knows for sure you see, how old he really is, because he was a stray that started appearing around their house over 21 years ago. Ray, my step dad built him a little box home outside so he could live in, but after a few months, my mom being a cat lover that she is, would have no more of that and quickly took him in.
For many years Hobo would try to make a break for outside – out the garage or the screen door. Ray would have to go out in the forest and find him. Over time he adjusted to the home, with an occasional cry as he looked out the glass sliding door at the birds and squirrels feeding off the bird feeders or taking baths in the bird bath. Nicely built and decorated in the corner of my parents little forest in their back yard. It kinda looked like a scene from an old disney flick, you know the one, Snow White, minus the snow white and dwarves of course.
Over the years, he became Rays buddy. My step dad was never a cat lover, but over time Hobo became his furry friend and took a liking to his lap. He would curl up with him or sit by his side and Ray soon began admiring Hobo’s courage and friendliness. Petting became a necessity for hobo. He always wanted to be pet. Sometimes jumping up on their laps when they were reading, or eating. Sometimes his neediness for attention became bothersome, but when visited I loved it. Affection is a quality lacking in many people, but when it comes to pets it’s amazing.
Hobo would walk up to anyone who entered the house and “always” wanted to be pet. He was known as “the friendly cat”. He soon became my personal favorite cat as well, well, at least every time I came over to visit. I would call for him and he would walk into the room, climb up on the couch and lay on my chest as I stroked his fur and rubbed his ears. Sometimes, I would lay on the floor pull him over and pet him there, it didn’t matter where, he would almost be saying to those that ignored him “Pet me dammit!” He would stick his tongue out every time I scratched his back right on cue. We would both take naps together. I loved that about him. A perfect lap, nap cat, well deserving of all the hugs and kisses he got.
My mom and Ray continued the story about Hobo, it seems he no longer had use of his back legs and was now confined to the floor in the living room, laying down on one side not able to get up or move. It happened that night out of nowhere. Did he have a stroke? We didn’t know for sure. Ray called the vets, but it was late and no one answered Wed evening, Thursday, they were closed, being Thanksgiving and all.
For years he had diabetes and had to be given shots and special medicines. My mom felt it was his time. I remember a few short weeks ago holding him and petting him, and saying to my mom “It’s going to be soon.” I felt it, there was that un settling feeling, this may be the last time I see you. Ever have that feeling? I have had it many times in my life, and sadly to say, I have always been right. I seem to get that sense before someone is going to die. Whether it be human or animal. Natural death or even suicide. When it is our time, it is our time no arguing with the grim reaper, they have an agenda written in stone. I feel, there may be a change in a persons energy as well, possibly preparation for the coming transition.
Mom and Rays fear was that after dinner, when they got home, Hobo maybe found dead on the floor. They felt he may be dying due to his old age. Trying to remain positive, due to his age, they couldn’t help but be a bit pessimistic. As we ate, I told her, call me when you get home, let me know how he is. I feel I want to come over and see him just in case.
After dinner, they dropped me off, I laid down for a bit for a nap. Turkey has that chemical you know, makes you sleepy. When I woke, I called and asked how he was doing. “The same,” she said. “No better then before.” She tried giving him some food and water and he only took a bit, not much.
Getting late, she said Ray was going to take him to the vet first thing in the morning and either have him put to sleep or find out if there is anything they could do.
I told her, call me, I want to go with, “NO, you don’t have to,” she said. “Why? why wouldn’t I go, I love him as well and I want to go.” Still, my mom felt it wasn’t necessary.
You see I wanted to go for two reasons. First I mean, come on I loved that cat. He was always friendly, loving and brought joy to me and everyone he came in contact with, why wouldn’t I go?
Second, I was curious. Death does not scare me, I feel for many it is a privilege. I know what exists on the other side. I know death is nothing to be feared and the process is an easy transition. Now I am not talking about how someone dies. Of course there are many ways to die, some not easy, some painful and some, well let’s just say, not a way to go that any of us would want – but, I am more curious about the transition and being there for it. I was there when my cat Tigger was put to sleep and held his body, felt a slight static breeze pass through my arms and then upon his passing witnessed a spirit come into the room that surprised the heck out of me and of course my mom, who was with me wondering who the hell I was talking to. I was there when Squirt was put to sleep, and my mom and I felt another presence, immediately after Squirt was pronounced gone by the doctor. We felt his late best friend, KIt Kat, who was put to sleep a year before. It was as if Kit Kat came back for him and made damn sure we felt it. It was a shock and a comforting feeling all in the same moment. Who would have ever expected or thought that was possible. Love exists in many ways on the other side and can be confirmed by their presence.
So for Hobo, my curiosity was…it was my responsibility to be there, to see him through, to be there for him, to hold him, give him courage and to honor not only his life, friendship and love, but also bid him farewell to a beautiful place I look forward to when my time comes.
Being a medium and psychic (I hate that word, Psychic, but whatever) I have had many experiences from place memory – residual energy where I have felt and seen people at the time of death leave their body and adjust to the realization they have just died. I have seen and felt it so many times that I feel I have died hundreds of times, different ways, through the minds and experiences of others. It’s a curious thing, how different people are in their perception of first realizing their own death. Not as many freak out as you would suspect. Some are surprised, some in awe, and some grateful to finally be free and back in control of their true spiritual form.
I wanted Hobo to have company, and company he did.
Ray called me in the morning and said that the vet was busy but could see us at 2:30pm. He told me I didn’t need to go, that he would take him, my mother couldn’t bear to do it this time after having been through it so many times before with her previous cats and of course accompanying me with mine. So they felt Ray would go alone. “Nope, I want to be there,” I said – “I will be over around 1:30pm.”
I arrived and as I entered the home my mom greeted me and began to cry, pointing to the corner of the living room where I saw a semi-lifeless grey body covered in a blanket. I laid down on the floor next to him and began stroking his head, he perked up and began sniffing, he soon recognized my scent.
He tried to get up, but couldn’t. He had no control or feelings in his back or hind legs. You would lift up his legs or tail and they would just sadly plop to the floor. No control, no life in them. It was as if half his body was already dead.
As I laid there next to him kissing his forehead and stroking his head, the blackness in my mind opened up. A tiny light began to open out of the darkness and I saw a small cat sitting there. I recognized it as “Peanut” a cat my mom and I shared many years ago before I moved out. This runt of the litter cat, who I also called “honey”, became Hobo’s best friend and was the first female cat we ever had. She was a beautiful Calico color. Tiny, but a sweetheart, until you tried to pick her up. She would have none of that. Scratches anyone?
As I saw this tiny dark figure of a cat sitting there, patiently waiting, an older man walked forward standing besides her. I pulled back my mind and with an awareness, a sense of knowing, felt….this was Hobos original owner, somehow he died and hobo became homeless. He loved his cat and has been waiting for him ever since. Amazed, I turned to my mom and said. “It’s okay, it’s time.” My mom said, “You can see that?” “Of course,” I laughed. While I didn’t expect this, I assured her “It’s going to be okay…it is time. They are waiting for him.”
I laid there for another half hour, petting Hobo and telling him it was going to be okay,
“You are going home my friend, how lucky you are, how lucky you are. We love you…thank you for all the years of love.”
My mom said her goodbyes and began to cry, calling out his name “My Hobo.” Ray walked over and gave her a hug to comfort her. I cried a bit because my mom did, but assured her again. “Mom, its okay, he is going home and Peanut is waiting for him…trust me, I see it.”
Ray got the car ready and I picked Hobo up gently with the blanket, the cat cried out a bit and hissed as we drove, he may have been uncomfortable in the upward position, so I set the seat backwards, at an angle allowing him more comfort on my chest. He quickly relaxed and calmed down. You see, it’s important to know, animals get scared like we do, plus they know when it is time, and can fear death no different then a human. It is our obligation, our responsibility, to be there for them all the way through. Especially, when they have given us years of love, joy and friendship. We must be there, side by side, the entire step of the way. It’s important to be there for those you love, especially near death.
As we pulled up to the vet, I got out and walked in cradling him in my arms, while Ray let the front desk know we were here to see the Doctor.
The receptionist brought us in and took some tests before the doctor came in. Ray and I held Hobo’s head as he laid on his side on the counter.
The doctor came entered and began testing his back legs, looking at his gums and eyes and felt that Hobo had a stroke or a nerve issue (Can’t remember the exact terms he said) but due to his age, there was nothing they felt they could do and the only possibly option was to put him to sleep. We agreed. We already had that feeling, that notion, that it was the only option we would have.
The doctor gave us some time with hobo, and I made it clear that we wanted to be in the room with him, holding him if we could, while he passed. The doctor understood and gave him a sedative. This allowed Hobo to go into a very calm relaxed state. As this occurred, Ray and I said our thoughts, thanking Hobo for all those years. I whispered into his ears and kissed his forehead while also looking in his eyes telling him I loved him. As Ray began talking to Hobo about when he first found him outside, I began to pray in my heart that someone would come help him cross over. I wanted to be sure that this cat would transition smoothly, calmly and not be alone. Seconds after stating this in my prayers, my attention drew to the corner of the room and I saw a bright white light, it became clearer the more I focused. It was a tall figure standing about 7 feet tall, cloaked in a white robe or garb. Pure white light, a brilliance to it’s face, like gold, but burning like the sun. Its hair was like strands of pure white and gold. It’s face almost featureless, due to the glowing and sunlike appearance. It radiated with intelligence, with purpose and with a calmness that was numbing, but in a good way. I looked back down wondering if I was imaging this. Was this wishful thinking? I wondered as well, but no matter how many times I looked away, I kept looking back up, away from Hobo to the corner of the room, in between the door and the wall and it was still there. My attention was being drawn to it again and again. I smiled, and tried not to giggle in joy. I could feel it now. A strong, beautiful presence filling me up inside. I had no choice but to keep it secret from Ray. We don’t really talk about this spiritual stuff as much as my mom and I do.
I looked towards it once more but this time in my mind I said, “Are you here to take Hobo and see him through to the other side?” A small smile began to appear on the shining face. “Yes” it’s expression shimmered. “You’re an Angel aren’t you?” I asked, “It nodded.” I figured that, even though I was not familiar with this type of angel, its form was somewhat different from other light beings I have seen before. It wasn’t a warrior angel, this was a smaller angel, simpler in it’s purpose, not here to battle, to protect or stand ground. It was here with one intention. I didn’t need to ask and I knew even if I wanted to, the angel wouldn’t say anymore then what I already assumed. Angels don’t talk, they have an agenda and purpose and their intent is to see it through, nothing more. I respect that. They have a job to do, from up high and they just do it. No questions asked. They don’t have time for chatter and it’s probably spiritual law for them “not” to deviate from their mission.
I smiled and looked down at Hobo, I whispered into his ear “I brought a friend for you,” tears streaked down my face. I held it back as much as I could. It was beautiful, but also heartbreaking all in the same instant. In one sense, I knew in a few moments Hobo would be gone, but also the happiness that overwhelmed me and filled me inside with our prayers do get answered. Here standing a few feet away from me was a glorious angel, with a simple caring, loving purpose. I cannot tell you, in any complete, fulfilling words, how powerful and comforting this really felt. It was immense.
The doctor walked in and a nurse accompanied him. I grabbed Rays right hand and pushed it under Hobos head neck and head, “I want you to hold him as well and take part of this, he was your cat.” The Nurse wrapped one of Hobo’s legs and the doctor inserted a tube into a vein before he inserted the needle. I whispered, “Go home my friend, you will be okay.” “Go to sleep now Hobo”, Ray said as well. In my mind, I responded to Rays remark, “Um, death is not going to sleep…..” Never mind, shacking my head, not everyone sees what I see, I directed my attention back to the cat. I had to focus, he was about to go through a spiritual transition.
The doctor injected the fluid and within seconds I felt a slight tingle and breeze come out of Hobos head and pass through my hands that were underneath his head. The doctor put away the syringe and reached for his stethoscope. Immediately, something grabbed my attention behind the doctor and ray, in-between them were the angel was standing, I noticed a small grey mass with four legs appear in the angels arms. I stared in joy as the form of Hobo appeared upside down cradled in his arms. The angel looked down at Hobo, smiled as the cat looked up at him, calm as could be, all four paws in the air. The angel then looked over at me, preciously cradling Hobo and never breaking smile. I looked down at Hobos lifeless body on the counter and then back up again towards this loving being. In a glowing white yellow light with a face as bright as the sun, the angel nodded with intent and purpose to complete it’s task, a glow of white light behind it shimmered as it turned into brighter white light behind it and vanished.
As the doctor was listening closely, leaning towards hobos lifeless body, for a heart beat with his scope, he kept moving to different sections of the cats stomach and body, I spoke out “Um, he’s gone Doc…he’s gone.” A few seconds later, as I decided to keep my mouth shut knowing full well that spiritually the cat already crossed, I had to patiently wait as modern day science and technology played catch up. The doc took off his scope, paused looking down and said. “He is” there’s no more breath,” then out of compassion for us and our emotions, bless him, he began hesitantly and carefully, telling us that we did the right thing, as I am sure he has done for so many other times for others during the passing of their pets. I smiled, “We know,” I said, “We Know.” After what I just witnessed, I knew, in my heart and soul everything was more then okay, it was divine.
At death you never know what to expect, you never know who is going to show up. I am grateful in what I saw. I didn’t tell Ray, but when we got home to the house, I told my mother. There was great comfort in that, for her, for me.
My faith, my belief, and all my years of experience has brought me to this. A glimpse of heaven, a glimpse of those that can come for us. Comforting as it is, it amazes me still. Keeps me humble, not being able to fully comprehend that great power and love that comes from the other side. Yet, these encounters always give me strength. Strength in knowing they exist, much more then there is in just belief. Hope can only go so far. The appearance of the angel gave me exactly what I needed, knowing I am on my path and for that I am eternally grateful.
What I do know for certain, for others to understand, is that Animals do have souls like you and I. Ray and I comforted Hobo all the way through, an angel allowed me to see itself, to bring comfort and awareness in its presence, but also to be there as needed, with intent and purpose. Seeing that Hobo was not alone, physically nor spiritually may be a lesson for all of us. Something to remember in the future.
When it is your time to take your pet to be put to sleep, go. Be there for him or her. No matter what type of animal you have. You owe it to them and they will always remember it.
While I know it’s hard and you might not feel you are emotionally strong enough, you need to be. Be there for them, during their passing no matter how hard it may be for you. I can promise you, it will mean the world to them and when your time comes, they will be there for you. Smiling and walking with you, as you cross over from your death. When it comes to love, like the light, love is eternal and can never, ever die.
Prayer, thoughts with pure intent and true love, can reach the highest levels of heaven. I have seen this time and time again.
Hobo has crossed. He is not alone on the other side. We are content with that. I witnessed another experience to add to the chapter of my life. I think of all the other cats and pets I have been there for, I look forward to the day when my time comes. Hobo, I know you will be there along with all the others waiting for me, and more newfound pets and friends I will meet in my life when that time comes.
Until then, take care my friend. Have fun running and chasing angels along the steps of Rainbow Bridge, you earned it.