She told him that he had lived many past lives, and from each life had brought a gift into the next. The life he loved the most was as a Native American in the Southwest, somewhere in Arizona or New Mexico, and that he had been an expert archer and highly respected by his tribe. He roamed the hills with his companion, a pet raccoon and had a peaceful and happy life.
"Do you have a cat?" she asked..
She suggested, "Get a cat, one that looks like a raccoon. It will be a great comfort to you as the raccoon was in that past life. This creature will remind you of happier times."
She brought him out of the meditation and as he left she put her arm around him and hugged him. He felt connected with a wise old friend.
After that visit Gregg was obsessed with getting a cat, and since I had always made some excuse for not having a cat in the house he was very surprised when I agreed to adopting one.
Every day he asked, "When are going to look for a cat?"
After a week of hounding me, our family went to the animal shelter in Salem. We looked at all the cats.
"Do you like this one Gregg?" pointing to a mangy brown one.
"Ma, raccoons are gray."
"Do you like that gray striped one, it sort of looks like a raccoon if your eyes are half closed."
None of them seemed right. No cat recognized us, we were all disappointed.
The next day we went to the Animal Rescue League in Salem. After looking in a few cages, suddenly he saw her.
"Wow, Look at that tail, it has to be a raccoon! I want her, she’s the one!"
A gray striped tabby with a small patch of cream under her chin, the same cream color outlining her green eyes. Looking at us through the cage, she ran to Gregg. Her paw came through the cage and tried to touch him. Meowing softly, she brushed up against the bars trying to get closer to him. He opened the door to the cage, and because it was big enough for a person to walk around in, he climbed inside and picked her up. She cuddled up to him and he felt her silky fur, soft and light like a feather. There was something about her that seemed to say, "Where have you been?"
I said "Kitty knows you, let’s take her home"
The attendant tells us that because the cat is one year old she probably would not be adopted, which means to Gregg that he has saved her life. He is her hero.
Gregg wants to give her an Indian name, meaning raccoon.
"No problem", I said. "I’ll call the University of Arizona. I’m sure they can tell me how to say raccoon in any Indian dialect."
Boy was I wrong! I called the University every day for two weeks. They kept telling me they would get someone to work on it, but they never do. The give me the run-around and it is frustrating. All this time the cat has no name and we are calling her "Kitty".
One day, the friend who had connected us with Melissa, calls to see how we are getting along with the cat. When I tell her the problem we are having in finding an Indian name, she says, "My sister-in-law is part Apache. I’ll find out and tell you tomorrow." Sure enough, the next day she calls back and says, "Apache for raccoon is something like "black around the eyes. It is pronounced "nakaii goochee nee." Gregg decides to call her "Nakaii".
Everything seems right about Nakaii, she turned out to be quite a member of the family. It was as if we had owned her forever. When Gregg was busy working at his desk. she’d walk by his room, look in the door, walk a few feet into the room, then turn and leave. If he was sitting on the floor watching TV, she would cuddle up next to him.
We bought her a wicker basket lined with a lilac pillow and bows on the outside. It was supposed to be a bed for her to sleep in, but that was a joke. She slept at the foot of Gregg’s bed, and we never could get her to sleep in the basket. She stayed with Gregg constantly for the month of June and on his last day she sat on the foot of his bed from early morning until he passed away. I have always felt a telepathic kinship with her and whenever I would think of Gregg, she would come running to me, look deeply into my eyes and comfort me. She was a creature of heightened sensitivity and would always be a special connection to Gregg.