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A short dream.  A dark dream.  About three of my angel kitties, my little grey girl, the grey striped boy, and poor old Pu, the white one.  I was in some sort of dark store room and my sweet grey striped boy was there, stropping himself against my legs.  There was a big old claw-foot bath tub in the storeroom, and lots of flattened cardboard boxes in it and around it.  My grey girl was in the tub and I lifted her out, and then I saw poor Pu, ragged and matted and bloody, and awful looking as he never was in life, but as alive in that dream as the other two although clearly hurting, and the sight of him was so heart piercing, so awful that I started awake and had to turn on the light.

Pu was my wing man, my shadow, my fierce white boy.   My little grey girl was dying when I let her go.  Her kidneys were failing and setting her free was a kindness, but Pu was only old, and not as old as that, really, and I could have kept him maybe years longer.  Seeing him as he had been in my dream was disturbing enough, but all the more disturbing for the guilt of that knowledge.  Of the three of them, my little grey girl with her failing kidneys, my poor grey stripey boy ravaged by diabetes, and him, he’s the one who’s death still haunts me.

It’s been two days now, and that dream image will not go away, and that’s the frightening bit. It had a terrible power, that dream, and I have a history of dreams that disturb and linger and resonate like that one has, that are my body’s way of telling me things about itself that I need to know.  I’ve sought out doctors because of such dreams, watched them shake their heads in that dismissive way men do when a woman says, I had this dream I can’t get out of my head, and I think it is a warning.  I cajole them into humoring me and taking the x-ray or doing the test, only to see that strange look on their faces when the test tells them it was a good thing I paid attention to that dream, that because of that dream, bad things were caught early and nipped in the bud.

And I know things I haven’t spoken of here that make this latest dream truly frightening.  I know exactly what it’s telling me.  The doctor’s appointment was made weeks ago, but it’s for Thursday, and it’s with a real doctor, not one at the VA.  If I hadn’t already made the appointment, I’d be making it now.

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