Officially hers | Maya's Gifts

Officially hers


December 2006

Dear Maya,

Your life significantly changed a week ago yesterday.  I heard a meowing sound outside the kitchen as I was doing the dishes.  I called daddy to check on Merlin, as he usually doesn’t cry outside.  It wasn’t Merlin at all.  It was a skinny little kitten with matted fur, meowing its lungs out!  We took it in.  He would not stop eating.  Adin and Mathew put signs in all of the neighbors’ mailboxes to see if someone lost a kitten (yea, right!).  I knew this kitten was meant to be ours…well, yours I guess, really.  I thought it was appropriate to give it a name of Chanukkah, as it came to us during the holiday.  I started calling him, “Macabee”.   The kitten soon lived up to its name as small as it was; it hammered Jayson’s (our dog’s) head.  You guys nick named it “Max”.  We decided that if no one responded to the flyers, we’d keep it.

IMG_0003 (2)

On Friday, we took Max to the vet to ensure a clean bill of health and plenty of shots.  Low and behold, no one claimed him.  As I was tucking you in that night, you told me that Max was “officially ours”.  I started cracking up laughing which in turn made you laugh hysterically.  We were both laughing good belly laughs.  Finally you asked me, “Why are we laughing?”  I asked you, “Do you know what officially means”?  You responded, “No!”  This made me laugh even harder.  You only had repeated what you heard daddy and Adin say, that Max was “officially ours”.  You asked me what “officially” meant and I teased by saying, “not really”.  I quickly recounted.  It means “really, really”.  What a relief as we go back to the beginning of the story.


Your life has changed significantly as you have expressed love to this kitten beyond imagination.  You care for him so deeply.  You are smothering him with love.  Pets.  Holding him.  Feeding.  Playing.  Cuddling.  Sleeping.  What an outpouring of affection.  It has been incredible to witness the way you nurture this little being.  You are so genuinely compassionate; it is very touching.  I’m glad that Macabee has found you, as you really changed one another’s life!


And now, February 24, 2016

Like a loving couple, what often happens, one loved one dies and then, soon after, the other passes over.  Macabee, who was Maya’s cat through and through since December 2006, left us this evening.  He lived for Maya; there was such strong mutual love between them.  On a personal note, I did not fully bond with Macabee for all of these years.  It wasn’t until Maya passed that I deeply welcomed the love that Maya experienced.  So much to share, but for now, raw sadness and tears.


  • I feel your rawness, honey. Nothing like a secondary loss to invoke a primary one in yet another way. Ah well, perhaps this special kitty has found Maya again.

    Sending love.

  • To my senses, Macabee carried something between worlds since Maya passed. During the shivas, I caught glimpses of him as if he was between worlds, partly with Maya and partly with the living. I felt that way during minyans when he would sit in the middle of our circle. He was a living spirit animal these past few months. He has gone to his pal and love. He was a thread to her for all of us, but I feel so for you, Mathew and Adin. May he be remembered and may his memory be a blessing. Hugs and kisses.

  • He was a very sweet and affectionate little bundle of soft matted fur!
    I’ll miss having him sit on my lap when I vist you.
    Love and hug.

  • Macabee would always sit with me and Maya during our lessons. Sometimes on my lap, sometimes on hers, sometimes he would plant himself (breaking house rules of course) on the table amid the books and papers, asserting his importance. Maya would gently lift him out of the way but he was a part of our time together as he was a part of her life.

    I can feel how this loss punctuates the one that precedes it in a poignant way and I send you, Mathew, and Adin my love and condolences.

  • Dearest Elise,
    As someone who loves and connects with animals in a deeply spiritual way, I am feeling how this newest loss for you expresses yet another completion of Maya’s circle of life.
    The perfection of life, in death, is so profound, that many people just numb it down. You’ve chosen (is there any other way to heal, really?) to FEEL your way through the loss of your precious Maya.
    My experience with each one of my pets, has been that they’ve departed this world as an act of sacrifice, whenever I was undergoing a major transition. From your story, I get that Macabee was called to assist Maya’s growth, and has arrived at his mission’s end. They are together now, in sweet reunion and LOVE.
    Kitty blessings for your journey, Macabee. Give Maya a hug for all who miss her physical presence.
    I am with you,
    Loving you through this,

  • I love Maya’s question, “why are we laughing?”
    It shows her gift for stepping back from a situation and viewing it almost philosophically. This was not at all unusual for her…
    what a fine mind and spirit, that little Maya.

  • What beautiful words, LiLi. Such a profound moment, letting go of Maya’s beloved kitty. Our animal friends know where they need to be. And I hope it brings you comfort knowing he is with your sweet girl…two souls and spirits intertwined. xo

  • It is amazing how life forces get linked, like Maya’s and Macabee’s. We sustain each other in so many unseen ways. Sending much love,
    Rabbi Jonathan

  • I remember Noam coming home with stories and enthusiasm when Maccabee was a kitten. I believe he tried to convince us to get a kitten as well. I love that photo so much.

  • Pets know when a deeply loved one is gone. He misses Maya. Now, Im sure he will see her. I’ve seen pics of dogs that lie right on the owner’s graves. Animals are quite something.

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