Saturday, July 23, 2011


With my latest book published and no job in sight, I find myself with time on my hands. And just what does Ms. Kamp do when she has time? Research past lives, of course!

Having recently spent so much time in Canada, I've been thinking about my Indian past life a lot lately. I remember very little about it at this point, having only had two memories, one of which I forgot to write down (let that serve as a lesson to ALWAYS record any information you recall). Here's the memory which did get written down:

September 20th, 1993
....Indians in British Columbia. Huddled in a make-shift house, my legs bare. The girl I wanted, with a mostly beautiful Indian face. The water’s edge, at high tide, lapping a few feet below the top of the near-vertical rock face with the trees almost overhanging into the water. My canoe, carved and painted at the bow, primarily in black, white and bluish-green. Going out with the whales, others with me in other canoes, the whale charging and easily overturning my boat, the whale’s white under-face turned green by the water and the teeth coming at me, silently—this was very ordinary, as if it couldn’t possibly be happening, and yet also I felt urgency, some sort of panic at the back of my thoughts. These animals were revered by me—I loved them as sacred, even though I was going to kill one, I meant it no harm. I realized, watching this, feeling this, over and over in a vague replay, that we, the Indians, were hunting the whales and they were defending themselves. I don’t know if I died—it seemed like I did. I couldn’t get the image of that green and black face coming at me out of my mind.

So, with all this free time, I did some searching for which First Nations Groups hunted whales, specifically killer whales. It seems the Nootka, or Nuu-chah-nulth, were the only real whale that narrows down my location to the western side of Vancouver Island (excluding the Makah on the Olympic Peninsula because the landscape doesn't look right). I've read that only the chief was allowed to strike the killing harpoon blow, that only the chief's family was allowed to hunt whales, so this suggests that, if my memory is correct and we were actually hunting, then I would have been a member of the chief's family. In the memory I failed to write down, my father in this life was a little, old, gray-haired Indian man in that lifetime, very chief-like, although this could just be a confusion with one of the characters in Daniel Day-Lewis' Last of the Mohicans. Also, from what I know about killer whale behavior, they seldom attack or molest boats or kayaks unless harassed, so odds would be good we were actually hunting in this memory.

While I was in Canada, I had a chance to see an iron "slave killer" knife in a local museum there. I had written about just such a knife in my first book, The Last Killiney, and it was surprising to find out how accurate my description was, and how much resonance I experienced upon seeing this artifact. Since iron was more plentiful amongst the First Nations Groups after contact with the fur traders -- and the Nootka were among the first to make contact -- it seems likely my memories date from after Mary Carter's lifetime, e.g. after 1830.

I will need to conduct some past-life self-regressions to learn more, but right now this is where I stand in my research. All very interesting. Now I'm thinking about getting in my truck and driving up there, maybe visiting some of the places one can actually drive to, Tahsis and Gold River. *adds to To-Do List*

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Wager is now available!

My latest book, The Wager, is now available for sale! Huzzah!

You can find it here in both Kindle and Nook formats, as well as links to all my other books in the series, too.

Thanks for taking a look!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another book....

Well, I've been gone all spring and summer, holed up in a cabin on the edge of the sea in British Columbia, Canada. I've been working on the third book in The Ravenna Evans Series when in fact I should be searching for gainful employment. But since the chances of securing a job seem slim, I find myself on the brink of publishing my fourth book, The Wager.

The first book in this series, The Last Killiney, is a time-travel romance featuring a hero based on/inspired by a mish-mash of Bono and Thomas Carter. It takes place mostly aboard Captain Vancouver's voyage to the Pacific Northwest in the 1790s -- a setting I thought was just a fun idea when I first began writing this story in 1992 (or whenever it was, so long ago now I can hardly recall). However, I've recently learned that one of the main participants in Vancouver's voyage was actually Mary Carter's neighbor's nephew, so the setting it seems is also a reflection of my past life. Funny how these things crop up (because the subconscious always seems to know about our past lives even if we don't).

The second book in The Ravenna Evans Series is called The Bayman's Bride, and it's a straight historical romance with no time travel or reincarnation theme. This story takes place in Belize during the 1790s, and it's about a Spanish sea captain who falls in love with his employer's wife. Lots of sex, lots of funny bits. I know I'm biased, but I think it's a really good book.

Now the third book, The Wager, is finished. There are some references to my past life in this one, too, what with Thomas Carter's interest in Irish independence from British rule, as well as his drinking, social life, and eventual death. But that's not really what the book is about; instead, it's a story inspired by Johnny Depp.

Famous for playing a listing, kohl-eyed pirate, Depp is someone whose name incites lust in females everywhere...but how many women really know much about him? Or even care what kind of person he is? If they were trapped on a desert island with him, how long would it take for the lust factor to wear off, and how many would become bored with him? The Wager is a story about just such a man: too beautiful to be seen as anything but a piece of meat, and thus never finding real and lasting love. Of course Ravenna, the heroine of all three books (in The Bayman's Bride, too, though in disguise) learns to appreciate Bill Wyckham for his personality, deeds and good heart, not just for his looks. However, she finds a few obstacles in the way of this new love -- her dead husband, for instance. Because when one possesses a time-travel potion, the possibilities are endless.

Stay tuned for a release date for The Wager (hint: it should be within days).

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 18, 2011

My book is out!

A true case of reincarnation as told by the person who experienced it, this book chronicles the life of an eighteenth-century glee singer's wife, and offers supporting evidence that the author is in fact the modern incarnation of a reverend's daughter and Georgian housewife, Mary Carter.

Have you ever wondered if you've lived a past life? Ever thought about why you enjoy a particular talent, or what draws you to a certain time or place?

That was me in 1986. I'd always been an Anglophile, always enjoyed Georgian art and architecture, but I had no idea where those preferences came from. Then, during my first trip to London, I was overcome by a feeling of familiarity. I knew I had been in England before, and spontaneously I began to recall living there during the eighteenth century. Wandering the streets of Westminster, I had surprising flashbacks to the 1790s. I remembered being in love with an Irishman who wore poofy shirts and played the piano. When I got home to Seattle at the end of my stay, I began looking into the possibility that reincarnation might be real. I searched for proof that this dandified Irishman had really existed, and that I hadn't made the whole thing up.

I found that proof.

It turns out that I did live in London during the eighteenth century. My name was Mary Carter, and I was madly in love with my husband, Thomas, an Irish singer who performed for royalty.

How do I know this? Because, via self-regression and self-hypnotism, I've been able to recall a wealth of information over the last twenty-four years. I've matched these memories to real events and actual locations. I've since visited those places, delved into archives, researched the people I remember, and confirmed via a network of interwoven facts that I was the wife of a Georgian glee singer.

My story won't be enough to satisfy the skeptical, but that's not what my book is about. What is imperative is getting the word out there: that you, too, can recall your past life, and via careful journaling and further research, you can confirm what you've seen. It's possible. It's kind of neat. And if you're into self-discovery and questioning the meaning of life, it goes a long way toward explaining why you've landed where you are.

Does love last forever? In my experience, the answer is yes - if not forever, then at least two hundred and eleven years.

The Singer's Wife is available now in the Amazon Kindle store.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Past Lives: A Session With a Hypnotist

Taplow Court in the 1840s.

I went to see a past-life hypnotist back in 1989. This session, my second, happened to bring up quite a few hits that I've since documented via my research:

Cottonwood trees, rutted road, big stone house, trees on one side with ornamentation on the corners, square white sash windows, gray, interior is dark wood. Breakfast table from Dangerous Liaisons. Big rose-colored satin/silk/taffeta swishing dress. 1750, young woman, brown hair, stiff knot-looking hairstyle on sides of head, embroidered front of the dress, flat-chested. Mother is very young. Big dark thick table. White dirty stable. Winter? (He’s wearing a) white shirt, long hair, longer than I thought, dark, rich, reddish-brown, stockings, blue breeches, hair has a cowlick in the front, dark skin, taller than I thought. I’m obsessed with him, and it’s not a good feeling. He’s not nice to me. See piano slam. He’s a passionate person, temper tantrums out of nowhere.

Medieval looking house with dark, oak paneling, Elizabethan interior, outside is rough stone, stucco is dark gray color. Older father, fat guy with a wig into hunting. Feel that I don’t know the father, he doesn’t speak to me. Stay out of his way. He’s in government in London. This is earlier 1700s. I’m in Southwest England, twenty miles from London.

The staircase from Batman. He plays piano but he has a lot to do with horses. My father is speaking to him. He must be a friend. He’s very sure of himself; he’s come from London. He walks around the house arrogantly with graceful gestures. He wears a sword; he’s a rake, not a musician by living. He’s here to visit another man, not my father – they ride together. I go with them sometimes. I’m the younger sister. They don’t want me around. He fools around with me, but it’s secret.

In front of a window that goes down to the floor. I’m upset, really depressed about him. Arms folded in front of me. I went to another house on a hillside, to another man, a husband, some years later – a man with a library. Had children with him. It was an impassionate marriage, polite but bored with each other. I died abruptly, not in my house, but an accident while driving; it was an accident on the road, but not necessarily a broken wheel. Turning around abruptly and screaming.

This session seems to describe Taplow Court, for it was a gray stucco-covered house in the 1780s and ‘90s, and quite outdated on the inside. It lies roughly twenty miles from London, although more west than southwest. The stable I saw was probably at Ellesborough, and the dark complexion on Thomas would be correct if he’d just spent over a year aboard a ship on his way home from China. In Calcutta, he did have a lot to do with horses, and once again, the arrogance shows itself in these earlier regression images, for I keep describing him so. And of course Thomas was of noble blood, but still forced to work for a living – not only at music, but at selling coal, too – and to hide his true paternity from the world. He could have known Dr. Wells before Mary, and he and Mary certainly could have ridden horses together around Cookham.

If you'd like to remember your past lives, take a look at my instructions for past-life self-regression and self-hypnotism.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Past Lives: My Fifth Past-Life Memory via Self-Hypnotism

Recalled July 20th, 1988

This man comes to call, dressed very plain, unlike the musician. To match, he says only what is needed in public, is quiet, thought of as a kind of odd, unsociable, knowledgeable, businesslike person. His clothes are plain, pale colors, his hair is blackish and loosely wavy, short, and he wears high boots instead of the high-heeled dandy shoes (Carter) wears. He wears a sword. All I can see of his face is that it is thin, and he has a nose that is somehow remarkable, I can't really tell why. He has come to see my father. I am sure in a very polite, civil way he is courting me, or has intentions of marrying me. We don't really like each other – maybe we don't know each other at this time, only speak politely in public.

The identity of the Napoleon-like man is uncertain, but he might be Mary Wells's neighbor in Cookham, George Monck Berkeley. George owned a large library, wrote and published several books, received a bachelor degree in law from the University of Dublin, and was a member of the Inner Temple, London. His mother spoke several languages and his grandfather was a noted philosopher, so one would expect George to be a bit of an odd duck, although Mary’s father was on good terms with the Berkeleys (as evidenced by a letter in the British Library’s collection ). Given all these things, it would seem fitting that George Monck Berkeley might propose to Mary Wells.

Bishop Berkeley (George Monck Berkeley's grandfather) and his family c1731.

If you are looking for instructions on how to recall your own past life via self-hypnotism, please see my page on do-it-yourself past-life regression.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Past Lives: Finding the People You Recall

I vividly remember several unidentified people during my past-life regressions. There's an older gentleman, whom my husband and I visit in a rich, Adamesque-decorated house in London. There's a younger gentleman, whom I am greeted by boisterously as he comes in our house saying, "Where's Carter?!" And there's a young woman of whom I am terribly fond, a woman who is with the young gentleman and waiting for me at New Wardour Castle before a musical party.

How do I figure out who they are? Well, I've discovered that, of all the scores of scenes I could see from my life with these people, I am shown something very specific. Something that, in just the right combination, will lead me to these peoples' identities. I just have to put the pieces together.

Easier said than done.

The older gentleman, for instance, has a paternal feeling for Thomas, my husband. He's at least 50 years old, fat, probably tall, has bushy eyebrows, and what looks like a bulbous nose. The front of his house is on a wide street or square, and when you enter the front door, you can see a staircase rising beyond the entry hall. If you turn to the right (staying on the ground floor), somewhere in his house you will find a room with at least three windows, and this room will have sparing, Robert-Adam-like decoration and a dark-colored carpet.

How many people match these specifics? That Thomas Carter knew? Not many. I've currently got a short list which includes the likes of East India Director Sir Theophilus Metcalfe, the Marquess of Buckingham, and Lord Chancellor Edward Thurlow (among others). For the moment I've settled on Thurlow because, not only does he have the big, bushy white eyebrows, but he had a house on St James's Square that was situated at the corner of King Street. Thurlow loved music, and was the main patron of R.J.S. Stevens, one of Carter's good friends and musical colleagues. Thurlow also knew Edmund Burke pretty well, and Burke himself was a best friend of Carter's father, the Earl of Inchiquin, and Carter's mother, Abigail Aston. In addition, Thurlow was fond of the Margravine of Anspach, who was the hostess for Carter's friends at Brandenburgh House; and the Margravine's son, Keppel, matches precisely the personality and image of the boisterous young man who would visit us, saying, "Where's Carter?"

In 1781, Lord Thurlow was described this way: "In his person Lord Thurlow has an air of dignity, and a formidible appearance, when dressed in his senatorial robes, and attended by the pomp of office. But when relaxing from public business he throws off the trappings of state, he looks like a Kentish yeoman, or the master of a coasting vessel, so unfavorable is his external aspect, having a saturine complexion, large black eye-brows, a stern look, strong muscles, and a stature above the common size." Thurlow's eyebrows are reported by Stevens to have turned snow white soon after the clandestine elopement of his favorite daughter. The word saturnine, according to Johnson's famous dictionary, means gloomy, grave or severe.

Here are my memories of the mystery man (separated here from the other memories that were recorded on these dates):

January 24th, 2003
Then, out of nowhere, a vision: a man, seemingly small and corpulent and flat-nosed, with bushy brows and moles, a man sitting at a writing desk in a London room. Rich house. Sash windows to the floor and covered with sheer curtains to dim the day outside. A turkey carpet under his feet of primarily red and blue, and he's wearing a frock coat that won't meet in the front, buckled shoes, hose, waistcoat, feet splayed out on the carpet in front of him. He's turned toward Thomas beside me (to my right), calling him "my boy." He hands him something. The room is fairly large, and nothing else is visible to me except the wooden chair and writing desk he's sitting at, a small desk. Thomas is taller than me, wearing hose and heels and maybe a green coat. His hair is pulled back. I'm wearing dark colors. I could see the man handing a piece of paper to Thomas. The man's hair was grey and a little unkempt.

April 13th, 2003
In the room with the old, fat man again. Thomas wearing green. The man is writing something on a piece of paper. "Give this to him, my boy, and you'll be admitted..." Or something like that. Definitely a paternal feeling from the man. Bushy eyebrows. Messed, white hair, short on top, and a squidgy, wide nose. We're excited when we leave. We are in a London carriage with the piece of paper between us somewhere, or it's in our thoughts, and we're thrilled about what lies ahead. Something about the Prince of Wales enters my thoughts at this point.

November 27th, 2010
Saw the house of the older man, and it either took up a corner of a block, or it occupied the whole block, in front of either a wide street or a square. The front door was reached upon ascending about three or four steps, and it seemed to have white columns on either side of the front door, or something white, while the building itself seemed yellowish gray. Inside, there seemed to be narrow corridors, and the room where we met the older man was to our right upon entering the house, not facing the street from which we’d just come, but the cross street. The room seemed extraordinarily bright, which didn’t seem right to me, given the windows we were facing (a row). I could see no details at all about the room. The man himself seemed to have white hair, very messed and short on top, and his nose seemed big, his eyebrows bushy but not overly so. He seemed to be wearing a medium blue-colored frock coat, very plain, and white hose and shoes. He was pretty large, and when he was standing, he seemed taller than me and Thomas. He shook Thomas’s hand. I was reminded of the King’s advisor in Amadeus, only with white hair. He sat down to a writing desk on the right side of the room facing the windows.

Kappelmeister Bonno in Amadeus

Edward Thurlow by Thomas Lawrence, 1803, painted for the Prince of Wales.

Since having these memories, I've learned that the Prince of Wales was a great friend of Lord Thurlow's. The Prince used to ask Thurlow to dinner often, and solicit his advice, which the Prince never took and Thurlow always resented. Thurlow never hesitated to give his opinion to the Prince, even if it made the Prince angry, and he somehow got away with putting the Prince of Wales in his place on more than one occasion. If anyone was to provide a letter of introduction for Thomas Carter to the Prince of Wales, Lord Chancellor Thurlow would be that someone. And as it happened, the Prince was renting Crichel House in Dorset, not far from Encombe, where Thomas and Mary Carter went to aid in Carter's recovery from his worsening liver disease. The Prince was at Crichel on and off between early 1797 and early 1799 -- which exactly corresponds with my memories of a musical party within a carriage drive's distance from Encombe at the time my children were three and four years old.

See how these specific things shown to me in my self-regression have led me to one specific person? For Lord Thurlow must be the elderly gentleman of my visions. I might not have gotten all the details right, but certainly most of them. I find it interesting that I have been shown exactly the configuration of facts and images that will lead me in the right direction, if only I dig far enough.

If you are interested in finding out about your own past lives, you can follow my instructions for self-regression here.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Past Lives: My Fourth Past-Life Self-Regression

Recalled June 5th, 1988

First, a man dressed like Napoleon in light colors, white and royal, wide lapels, cloth buttons, high boots, and a tricorn, dark, short, curley hair, more unkempt than anything. Vague image to begin with. I think he might be French, but that may be due to the initial resemblance to Napoleon.

Reach down and look at HIS music, hand-written very neatly, on the piano while he's not around. Still wearing the big, rose-colored, flat-chested dress of heavy taffeta or silk. A dog comes into the hallway, light-colored wolfhound, a peacock is in the yard. It's a dark house with many little smatterings of light falling from windows, the outlines of the panes of glass on the dark hardwood floors. All the walls seem dark, maybe wood also. I see members of the household sort of talking/meeting in an entry hall, four or five people, and I'm watching. The cook is a mean woman. The lady of the house is a little older, and she has a calm, cool cruelness to her, very cold -- nothing comes to mind horrible that she's done, still she is not someone you would like. The father, or lord of the household, likes to hunt -- deer or anything else? There are children in the house, mostly they are kept upstairs, but they do run about, chaperoned, two or three of them, all between four and ten. I don't know if I have any special bond to any of them. I see HIM swagger down the hallway with a sword at his side that is just for show, part of his attire.

Henry Angelo

Verification of my memories:
That Thomas Carter carried a sword when the fashion had long gone out of style (verified 11/2004). This was verified by learning Carter's best friend, Samuel Maynard, was a regular companion of Henry Angelo. This fellow owned a fencing academy in London and shared many interests and friends in common with Thomas Carter. It would be reasonable to assume Carter attained the habit of wearing a sword in Naples, then continued wearing it in the company of fencers such as Angelo.

As for the memories of the house and the various people in it, this would probably be a memory of Taplow Court. Lord Inchiquin liked to hunt with the King in Windsor Park, and Inchiquin's house at Taplow was described by a contemporary as being very dark inside. Inchiquin's wife, Lady Orkney, was a deaf woman, and so could possibly come off as aloof or cool because of her inability to communicate. And Inchiquin's grandson, Lord Kirkwall, would've been ten or eleven years old in 1789; he is the only child I know of who could possibly be at Taplow Court at that time.

If you'd like to try your hand at remembering your own past lives, take a look at my instructions for self-hypnotism.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Past Lives: Animal Reincarnation

I know this is going to sound absolutely bonkers-crazy, but I'm going to say it anyway: my cat is the reincarnation of my previous and now passed-away cat. Yes, I know I sound like one of those strange cat ladies who believes they are the reincarnation of an Egyptian princess. I'm well aware of how off-the-charts nuts this sounds. And yet I find it's an inescapable deduction: my Mickey is the reincarnation of my dear, late Rowdy. Here's why.

Rowdy was only four years old when he developed all sorts of horrible medical problems. He had kidney stones. He had an immune response to his regular distemper booster shot which caused his whole body to break out in sores. He had a stroke. Then he developed pancreatitis, and that was the final straw. My dear, sweet little boy had to be put to sleep. He was in so much pain, it was the right thing to do, as there was no hope for him to recover. It broke my heart. And the night before we took him to the vet to end his misery, I told him: you have to come back to me. You simply have to, because four years just isn't enough.


After Rowdy was gone, we started to look for a new kitten right away in an attempt to dull the pain of missing our poor little boy. We even found one. It was a rambunctious Abyssinian from a backyard breeder about an hour from our house. We took home this waif of a thing, and discovered he was taken too soon from his mama; our vet said he was underweight, bloated, and could possibly have F.I.P. Wanting to do the right thing for this baby, we took him back to the breeder where he would have the best chance of getting well with his family. And we went back to looking for a kitten.

We looked on the internet -- it seems most of my life happens online -- and found a breeder in California whose queen had just been bred...the day before! Of course it would be 65 days before our new baby was born, but we didn't care. The daddy cat (or stud cat) was the very image of our poor Rowdy! Now that turned out not to be such a big coincidence. We learned, upon writing to the breeder, that Daddy was a cousin of our Rowdy; they shared a grandfather. Naturally, missing our departed "son," we couldn't help but sign up for whatever treasured kittens this Daddy would produce. About two months later, we got to watch as our new family member took his first steps in the queen's nest, as the breeder had everything on camera for her potential kitten homes to see via internet.

Eleven weeks later, and we arrived at the breeder's home to meet our new baby. She had seven kittens, all spoken for, all running around our feet in a blur, playing with each other and ignoring us visitors. As we talked to the breeder about cat-related topics, watching the "children" playing on the living room floor, one kitten came and sat down at my mother's feet, as if to say, "I'm going home with you." All the other cats and kittens were oblivious. This kitten, chosen by us at birth via webcam from two states away, we learned was our kitten. We named him Mickey.

Now here are reasons I am so certain Mickey is actually Rowdy reincarnated: Rowdy's favorite person was my mother, and when he stopped running and playing, it was my mother's lap he would land on. He loved to play fetch, and would play for hours if you kept the game going. We have a box of cat toys at our house, and of all the scores of different toys to choose from, Rowdy preferred one toy over all the others, e.g. "The Fetching Toy." This he would dig out of the box, put at your feet, and wait for you to throw it for him, as he was a very busy cat, and had lots of energy to burn.

Rowdy also had a second favorite toy. This one was a piece of sheep's skin, which basically amounted to a huge ball of fluff that no other cat was interested in; Rowdy alone liked this toy, and would pack it around in his mouth.

Another of his quirks was that he'd try to eat your food, and when he couldn't, he sit on the back of your chair and put one paw down on your shoulder, as if to say, "Remember me?" When he slept, he would always find a spot backed up to a wall or under a chair, as if he were afraid of being surprised or stepped on; often this would be a cold, hard place, such as a cement floor (and we don't live in a warm climate). If he was scared by something, he'd dive into the back of my mother's closet where he could not be reached.

Mickey came home with all of these quirks in place. Right away, he decided that my mother was his favorite person; his habitual spot was right under her chin (but only as long as he remained small enough!) When he discovered the cat toy box, he gravitated right for the Fetching Toy and the sheepskin. He was fetching on his fourth day with us with no prior training whatsoever, as if he already knew the game. If you don't believe me, here's a video I took of our eleven-week-old kitten playing fetch. Please note that, although he loved the Fetching Toy, it was really too big to fit in his mouth for fetching, so we used a tiny puff ball instead; when he got bigger, we graduated to the Fetching Toy.

When he came to us, our two other cats acted as if they knew him, and that it was no big deal he'd come into their space. Here's a video showing Mickey on his third day eating off the same plate as his new brother, Jack. Usually it takes weeks for my eldest cat to accept a new kitten, but with Mickey, not a problem.

Mickey will perch on the back of your chair if you're eating, and put just one paw on your shoulder, just like Rowdy would. He sleeps against walls, under chairs, and on the cold cement bathroom floor, and when he's really scared, he'll dive into the back of my mom's closet. I have had nine cats over the years, and only one cat did these things. Only Rowdy.

Mickey has one trait that Rowdy didn't: he's scared to death of every little noise. Understand, he was raised by the most loving kitten home one could imagine, as his breeder spent her whole life caring for her cats with no other distractions; I could see this loving attention every day on the webcam as Mickey was growing up. And yet Mickey will run and hide at the most inane of noises. This could be genetics, as his daddy is also prone to hide in the kitchen cupboards when scared. But it could also partly be because of the horrible last week Rowdy spent on earth. Having had a stroke, Rowdy was taken to the emergency vet hospital, where they insisted on keeping him for days, doing an MRI and taking blood for tests. All the while, unbeknownst to anyone, he had developed pancreatitis, which is just about the most painful thing a cat can endure. If I had gone through that, I might run and hide at the slightest noise, too.

Do I think of Rowdy when I look at my little Mickey? Hardly ever these days. Mickey has become his own little person, and the memory of Rowdy has faded just a bit. I love Mickey for who he is, not as a replacement for my dear lost boy. But somewhere deep inside, I do feel that Rowdy has come back to us, and that I don't need to mourn him quite as much when he's tripping me, weaving between my legs, the way Rowdy used to do.