St. Francis Xavier was the name of a Spanish Christian missionary who lived in the sixteenth century. He is known for spreading Christianity in India, Japan, China, and more and is also known for co-founding the “society of Jesus.” But there’s one more thing related to that name; Francis Xavier was the name of my ginger cat who passed away a few days ago, on Monday, 22/2/21. I gave him that name because it was stuck in my head back when I adopted him.
He was gorgeous and he knew it. (pic: 2018, Tel Aviv)
I was about 26 years old when my ‘Art of the Baroque and Renaissance’ Prof. suggested I write my next paper on St. Francis Xavier and his representation in art. I think he knew I had a sweet spot for Christian saints when he suggested that, but I think he also felt I had a sweet spot for eastern cultures as well as Asia - something I didn’t have at all at the time. In my twenties, going to India was something you did after serving in the IDF to get high af and come back home as a dolphin. I was not interested in turning into a dolphin.
So I ended up not studying the saint, but when I had to pick a name for my new cat - the name felt so right!
My ginger cat Xavier (in short: Hev) was abandoned at a local vet when he was three years old. I was lucky to get a call from my older sister one day, who told me about this adorable ginger cat who’d been in a cage for almost a month and had had no luck finding a home. I came to see him, and now, as I look back, I have a feeling our souls made some sort of a pact that moment we met; to stick by each other and help each other grow. It felt right taking him home, and I came back the next day to do that. From that moment, we spent more than 14 years together and have been through so much.
Just the two of us
Hev and I about 10 years ago; He was there for me and I was there for him.
I find many similarities between me and Hev, and our respective journeys; We both started as aggressive, angry, traumatized, and unpredictable beings. We wanted love but were pretty intimidating. Few were the people who had the guts to come really close, and the ones that did got so much love from us (and sometimes a little scratch too ;)). As the years went by, Hev and I got softer and softer. Our hearts opened up more, and we allowed healing to take place and welcomed more people into our lives.
In the process of healing and opening up, which is still ongoing, the walls between God and me melted down. I know God is a very loaded word and that it means different things to different people. I don’t see God as a man wearing white that will punish me if I tell a lie; it’s more of a blissful presence that can create peacefully and effortlessly. It’s a form of surrendering and melting into one with a place detached from ego. It’s the heart calling. It’s love to all. It’s oneness with all. It’s returning home.
What I’m getting to is that I feel Hev was a messenger from God. He came here to show me the truth and left when he felt that I was well-grounded in it. Hev’s name was a perfect fit because he was a missionary saint cat.
When he saw that I understood that I must surrender to the gifts I received from God, and use them to serve others - our contract was done.
When he heard me asking: “Am I a part of the problem or a part of the solution?” and saw that I truly understood the question, he knew I could stand on my own. He could let me go.
The night before Hev died, I felt we came to the understanding that this is it. We both knew it’s time.
He said goodbye to me with so much love! Ever since we moved to Berlin, he became more and more loving, and in the last eight months, he definitely gave me even more love, so that I would have some to spare after he’s gone.
Hev(shon) died in my arms after he made sure I’m ok.
I hurt his passing, yet I’m also happy he’s not in pain. I will miss him even though he’s resting forever in my heart. His body is no longer here, but I can feel his paws on my chest.
He and I are both with God; One in heaven and one on earth.
His paws on my chest.
Hev and I a few hours before he passed; I had several video calls with friends and family who wished to say goodbye too.
Thank you, dear ginger cat, for being all you were and for giving me so much! I love you, and I am sorry if I ever did anything to hurt you. If I did, please forgive me.
Your mission on earth, as a gorgeous ginger cat, was a success!
I was lost, and now I am found.
See you in the next lifetime.
Meow for now
Hev with his favorite toy
Such a sweet little guy!