For those of you who follow my blog regularly, you know the sad story of my beloved cat, Alex, who died from renal failure on November 17. After 16 years, she is now enjoying eternity in Kitty Heaven. It’s been unimaginably painful; more difficult than I ever anticipated. I have tough days and tougher days, but as of yet I haven’t had any peaceful days—not even modestly peaceful.
Yesterday, when my Florida-visiting mother-in-law, my wife, and I returned from a visit to the San Diego Zoo, I found an 11×17 package waiting for us inside the screen door. It had been shipped FedEx and was very official looking. The return address read: International Star Registry. Being the cynic that I am, I figured it was some come-on, a scam of sorts; some ploy to extort money. As I carefully tore open the package, mindful to heed the “Do Not Bend” and “Fragile” warnings, my skepticism grew.
The enclosed letter read:
“A star in the heavens has been named, Alex, in memoriam.
The enclosed certificate indicates the new name of the star and its telescopic coordinates. The booklet with constellation charts will help you in locating the area of the star and the large sky chart shows the named star encircled in red.
Alex, the new star name and telescopic coordinates will be registered in the International Star Registry’s vault in Switzerland and recorded in the astronomical compendium, Volume IX, copyrighted in the United States of America.”
I looked at the astronomical map and located the star named, Alex. It is in the constellation, Ursa Minor, and its location is RA15h32m20.58s D73°1’54.60” Of course none of this astronomical mumble-jumble means anything to me. However, somewhere out there in space, 50, maybe 100 million light years away, a star shines in memory of Alex.
Exploring deeper into the package, I found a greeting card with this inscription:
So sorry for your loss, but Alex’s light will shine forever.
Janice & Puma
Janice is a dear friend, a lovely woman and a real cat lover. Puma is her feline companion.
It took only a nanosecond for the tears to fill my eyes. I had to excuse myself and dash to the bedroom. I suspect that for the next few weeks, maybe for the next few years, triggers like this will choke me up. It may be silly for a grown man to react like this. But all I know is that I miss my little girl and know in my heart that the star dedicated in her name will not only shine brightly, it will warm the universe and warm my heart.
Born: October 2, 1993
Reborn: November 17, 2009