16. A Dream of Parting

The dream replayed the events of the first night up to a point. Georgia wanted out. I didn’t want to let her out. There was a stand-off for about two hours and I kept saying “Shsh! Georgia, Shsh!” Finally, she made such a fuss, actually yowling at me, that I was startled and sat up and looked at her. Her eyes were big and dilated and her fur was all puffed up just as it had been, but at that point in the dream she spoke to me in plain English:

“Can’t you see I’m a wild thing and I belong out there in the wild?”

“Yes,” I replied, “I’ve always known that your temperament was wild, but your experience is almost all domestic.”

“Well, my instincts are in good shape,” she countered, “You saw all those mice I caught.”

“Yes,” I said, “I have no doubt that in weather like this you would do just fine. But they have a winter here, you know, and it’s long and cold and dark with lots of snow. How do you think you would handle that?”

“What do you think cats did before humans beings came along? Cats are one of the most highly evolved predators on earth. How do you think we got to this point. Cats live up here. The lynx lives here. It’s a cat.”

“Yes, but the lynx has big feet for walking on snow and it’s been here a long time and knows the territory.”

“Look, just let me go! I want to go free! I’ve never felt at home with people. This is my natural element.”

“But what about our friendship? What about the Art League? If you go no one will ever call you ‘Georgia’ again. Don’t you believe that civilization is worthwhile? It makes your life easier.”

“There were parts of it that were pleasant. I’ll always remember you and I liked Evie’s beach house. There were mice there. But now I want to go free! PLEASE LET ME OUT!”

“Okay, you win. Good-bye little cousin . . . good luck!”

“Good-bye, it’s been nice.”

I slid open the door and Georgia my constant companion of six years jumped down and out of my life. I sat there, in my dream, trying to figure out how I felt. I felt very sad. I was angry at Georgia, and at myself. I should have done things differently! I was concerned for Georgia. I felt lonely. After a while I decided it was reminiscent of divorce. Georgia had come full circle too. She started out life as a wild cat, and it looks as if that’s the way she’ll end up.

When I awoke the next morning, I realized because I hadn’t planned to stay three days, I was out of everything. I really felt depressed as I left Byer’s Lake Campground. I put some fresh food and water in Georgia’s dish and left it under the picnic table. The bears would probably get it. As I drove out onto the highway I noticed for the first time that it was a beautiful day. The overcast and rain had gone, and when I thought about it, I realized yesterday was beautiful too, but I was too anxious to notice.

I loaded up on groceries and other necessities and had intended to continue on from there, but decided to give it one more try. I drove back to Byer’s Lake and spent another half day searching for Georgia, but  . . . no luck.

Even if Georgia had shown up, I would have been in a quandary as to how to handle her. I couldn’t have her making me wait several days every place we stopped and she would throw a fit if I tried to keep her in. I finally gave up completely . . . life goes on. I got back on the Parks Highway and headed south for Talkeetna.

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Monday, September 7th, 2009 Chapters 11 — 20

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