A Tribute to Vata: Our soul piece, by Bridgett Mayeux

Our best buddy, Vata Man Mayeux, a tuxedo, was found outside with his calico sister during a cold Alaskan spring. When we first saw him at the shelter, he was hugging his sister tight. We knew they could never be apart. This little tuxedo became Vata (wind) and the little calico became Pitta (fire).

As a kitten, we realized he had the same birthmark, on the same side of his face, as my husband did. We said they were not only like us in personality (wind and fire) but they were somehow a piece of our souls reincarnated on the earth. From then on, we would call each of them our respective “doppelgänger” or soul piece.

The years passed, much too quickly. Our two human children grew up and the cats grew older. Vata was the cat who made people who hated cats come to like cats. He won everyone’s heart. Children would carry him around like a teddy bear, and his nickname became “cuddle bear.”

In his older years, Vata became an adventure cat, with people taking pictures of him in the van window sunbathing. Wherever we went, he and his sister went. Vata (like the wind) frequently getting into mischief, running away, and yet still, always cuddling, even on the beach of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Vata’s spirit, spunk and mischievousness led to many a story. A month before his death, he nearly got into a dog fight at a Mount Shasta campground, after sneaking off his van leash for the hundredth time. He was the family Alpha, and he put our German Shepherd in her place, leaving her cowering when he stole her food.

I never thought my heart could break the way it did when he crossed. How he left the earth was true to his name, like the wind; with a sudden kidney stone and ICU battle.

We know when his furry love, Pitta, now 17, crosses, he will forever cuddle her like he did when he was a kitten. And just like he cuddled us, for 15 years, that we never wanted to come to an end.

With Vata, we discovered that animal souls are as human souls.

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