I’ve been going to Phoenix & Dragon regularly for around four years now. The displays have changed, the merchandise comes and goes, new people show up, but one thing has been a constant – the kitties. Sage and Amber. They add to the charm of P&D, and they make the ambiance feel more home-like.
Just last week, I stopped by the store with my son. At first, he said he did not want to come in. But on second thought, he said, “Wait! I want to see the cats.”
Another time, I was in Saturday evening meditation, sitting blissfully peaceful, when I started coughing. The cough turned into a hack and for the first time I had to get up and leave mediation. Candace shared a cough drop and I got water and I felt better, but I was concerned it would happen again and I didn’t want to disturb my fellow meditators. My shoes, purse and fancy meditation chair were still in the room. So I decided to borrow a meditation cushion on display and sit outside the door of the meditation room. After all, I could still hear Don playing the crystal bowls.
I sat down, crossed my legs, opened my palms in an upward, receiving mode, and closed my eyes. I felt my breath steady, the coughing subsided. And then I felt a blanketing warmth on my legs. It was Sage. His black, lanky body cuddling up to me while I meditated. He stayed there the entire time I was sitting. I didn’t even pet him. I meditated and he sat there.
Occasionally, I browse for books, or my spiritual wares, only to look down and find Sage looking up at me. His friendly disposition so much like a person saying, hello or welcome.
I love cats, so it’s not a stretch for me to come in the store and feel happy to see Sage and Amber. And it wasn’t such a stretch to feel real sadness on Saturday when Don announced at the beginning of meditation that Sage has crossed to the other side from organ failure.
Candace says, Sage and Amber each have their jobs in the shop. Amber, the princess, is in charge of jewelry. She protects it and helps customers choose the best piece for purchase.
On one occasion, when Amber was sick, Sage took care of the jewelry for her. He sat in her usual spot and made sure the customers knew he could help pick up Amber’s tasks. When Amber returned, Sage went back to his own responsibilities. His job has been to greet customers and to keep the store in order. If a crystal fell on the floor, Sage has been seen moving it back to the shelf. There was once a decorative, black Halloween cat that made him very mad. He hissed and scratched at it – ready to protect his territory. Another nemesis was a gargoyle pig. Sage stomped and scuffed at it until it was moved off of his floor.
Knowing how seriously he took his job in life, I wonder what Sage has gone on to do. With his friendly spirit and a beauty that shines from every follicle of his black coat, I imagine it as something big. But, maybe it’s more simple. Maybe he is still at the store, keeping Amber company, as always, protecting, looking up at the customers, touching the heart of a meditator, or just curling up in a chair.
No matter, physically he is missed. Consciously he is one thought, one feeling, one witness away.
Sweet Dreams, Sweet Sage. October 20, 2012.