Departure for another life… It always sounds exciting when you hear the word
departure, isn’t it? How many cats have ever flown with their servants or owners? Traveling itself takes a lot of energy out of you especially when you fly. But excitement starts the moment you begin to plan a trip. There is always a goodbye before a new hello. What awaits Johnny and his servants at their destination…?!
Departure for Another Life
H’S PARENTS’ HOME IN SOMA, FUKUSHIMA – EARLY AFTERNOON
Johnny and his servant Y and H enjoy having tea in the afternoon.
Nothing like a nap in the afternoon or having a cup of gorgeous tea, hmm…
Johnny sips water out of a cup on the table.
What you are having is all water, your majesty.
Servant Y points out with drinking tea.
I know, Y. Don’t kill my imagination.
Opps. Please accept my apology, your majesty. You really love drinking water. Some says cats don’t really like drinking water.
Is that right? It always makes you feel refreshed after you drink some water.
Sure, your majesty. You have a good habit!
Hmm, it’s really good. I am totally relaxed. Maybe too relaxed I forget something important to say…
Is there anything important to say other than enjoying this gorgeous tea right now?
A bird fly across the window.
We really have it made. We feel free like that bird flying in the air…
RIGHT, YOUR MAJESTY!
Johnny plunges his head in the water, and Servant H almost drops her cup of tea.
Hey! What’s wrong, Y? I almost drop my…
We’re going to stay in the United States from next month!
Johnny and Servant H are astonished.
Oh, I totally forgot about it.
What? What? What’s going on here?! Is it only me who know nothing?!
We were about to tell you when we have the papers for flying all done.
Wait! What? Papers? FLY!?
Andy sits in front of a large window. Johnny enters a room and walks up to Andy.
What you are looking at, brother?
Yes. It reminds me of an interesting tale about the wind.
What’s about it?
It’s a Buddhist tale about friendship. Wind just blows. And we are united no matter how hard wind blows from east or west.
Andy and Johnny stay silent for a while.
Did you know that we are going to fly to the United States?
Yeah. We were supposed to.
What do you mean by supposed to?
Look, Johnny. I made a deal with our servants.
What? You are not coming with us, brother?!
I’ve lived long enough to know myself. I will stay here for the rest of my life.
Why?! It’s once in a life time chance to fly abroad and stay there.
You are the one who goes to the United States and broaden your perspective. I am not you. I’ve found my paradise here and this is my destination.
How can you say this is your final destination?
Do you remember we came from the same place? Our human god mother treated us really well with all her love. I left there years ago and I came back to her for some reason. I knew I had to go. And the day our servants came, I had to grab the chance. My heart told me you have to go with them.
Johnny and Andy stay looking out the window.
Let me tell you my story. When I was small just like you, I went someplace for some time. I had both good memories and bad ones there. Although, I thought I would stay there for the rest of my life. But I found myself back in human god mother’s place again. I really didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t trust anybody. I lost confidence in myself and it’s hard for me to share my true feelings even now.
Andy pauses, then starts again.
I couldn’t help myself but think what I was doing wrong? Is it a bad thing to show what you feel? I was totally lost. I knew the more I thought about it the harder my body became. I couldn’t open myself to anybody. I was afraid to show what I really feel. Then I realized there are some factors to get along with humans. Compatibility. After I came back at my human god mother’s place, I waited for the chance to choose my destiny again. Now I’m grateful I’ve had a chance to see who I am and where I fit. It is here where I am supposed to be and I chose to stay here.
You choose your own destiny. Opportunity comes, but you don’t rush to take them. Look closely and listen to your heart. Really listen to it.
Andy turns himself to Johnny.
Look, my little brother. You have amazing flexibility. You have to go. Of course, this is my opinion and it is you who to decide.
I wanna see the world. I’ll go with them.
Good, you decide. Everyone has each destination, hence the different departure. You and your servants are doing really well. You’ll do well there too.
Will we not see each other again?
That, nobody, knows. Embrace the moment, Johnny. Embrace every moment. We may have a chance to see each other again in the future. But, enjoy whatever comes. It took me so long to understand it.
After Andy says, his mouth slightly opened and his whiskers swayed.
Most of the time, things are not what they appear. That makes it complicated to understand, but you show yourself just as it is. That is your quality.
Johnny’s tail sways without him knowing it.
How about this? We are a team. You are a pilot and I am a ground staff. That way we will see each other again.
Andy’s tail sways in a strong manner. Johnny tries to understand what Andy says but not fully now.
Johnny and Andy spend their last days together in Soma for a few days until Johnny’s departure. They don’t hold a conversation like above after or before that. Johnny thinks he gets closer to Andy. They don’t know when it will be the next time they can be together again, so they both embrace the moment.
TO BE CONTINUED > Flying Cat: Abyssinian Johnny’s First Flight #2
Buddhist Tales for Young & Old (buddhist studies)
Also published on Medium.