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Cats, Bats, and Mourning Doves

She's been watching me for days now.

Her green eyes boor into me yesterday. She brazenly approached, rubbed the barrel of her pregnant body back and forth along my legs, and climbed onto my lap. Let's be clear-I have never had a cat, don't know much about them, have family members who are highly allergic, and have never desired to own a cat; or should I say, be owned by one.

Since my return from Italy a series of animals have found their way into or around my home.


A month ago, I opened a screened-in window and a bat flopped on to my staircase, dazed and lethargic. I could have gone for a towel to wrap it in and get it outside. Instead, I snapped a picture, posted to Instagram, and then got the towel. At which point, the bat woke up to her surroundings and took flight inside my home. She swooped and circled the first floor and found escape only after my husband and I opened every window, screens and all, every door, chasing her with broom and towels until she flew to the safety of the night.

A pair of mourning doves appeared on the porch. They peered into the front door, sat on the shelf at the picture window, blinking and cooing at me. Doves, pigeons, however people refer to them, are messy. But the call of a mourning dove reminds me of the boredom of grade school, when I'd watch them nest in a pine tree rather than concentrate on Math equations.

Reflecting on these visitors so shortly after my return from a transformative journey to Assisi, it's no surprise that these harbingers of hope and renewal have come to me. Here's what I've learned after a quick search of spirit animal meanings:

Bats are symbols of communication, highly verbal (me), signs to strengthen bonds, rebirth, and this quote from one source: "They spread their wings and fly at dusk from the womb of Mother Earth." .

Mourning doves, a symbol of love, sometimes the guide to grief, and yet, this: "To soar, you must know when to move your wings to allow the wind to take you to new heights."

And finally the cat, pregnant with possibilities. She is a bridge between the seen and the unseen world. Someone or something trying to get a message across. She also indicates that I should trust that I have all the tools and skills necessary to accomplish what I desire.

Francis of Assisi, likely was a very broken man when he was young, a prisoner of war whose life changed in the aftermath.

As I write this, I think more pointedly about his counterpart-Clare. Younger by several years, she became a strong voice for Francis with a deep love for him. I envision the possibility that what fed her decision to leave wealth behind and become one of the brothers might have come when Clare was a child.

When Francis was captured as a young man, he was kept in a hole, darkness surrounding him. Clare's mother ministered to prisoners, ensuring that they had basic needs. As a child, did Clare follow her mother? Did she peer in a hole and see the confused face of Francis?

Once welcomed as a brother to Francis, Clare's best way to communicate was through her writings. She was prolific, cardinals, bishops and popes, striving to effect change.

My spirit animals today, winged and otherwise, remind me that focus, confidence and self-love guide my work. Little mirror balls hang in my picture window, and on mornings like this, when the sun hits them in just the right way, tiny lights like Tinkerbell dance around the room. I intend to stay connected to the both/and of the practicalities of life, while paying attention to the messages that come my way.

Mirror ball light.

Now, to find the sweet cat and a place where she can be safe to have her babies.

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