My beloved cat Dorjee Purr-ba, who was the model and inspiration for Georgie the time-traveling cat in Weather Menders, leaped fearlessly into the Light on March 2nd. He was surrounded by me and three of his favorite human aunties as he made his journey. Dorjee was one of the sweetest, kindest, smartest, funniest, most loving cats ever to be in incarnation. He touched many hearts in his 16 years, and has touched more in his alter ego of Georgie.
When I first started writing Weather Menders, Georgie started telepathically speaking to Tara, the main character, on page 1. At age 96, Tara thinks she’s losing it when she hears a soft voice in her head and realizes it’s coming from her gray cat Georgie. I on the other hand, as a practicing animal communicator, view telepathic conversations with cats and other non-human animals as a matter of course.
Dorjee was a long-haired gray cat, but I figured by 2050 the climate would be so hot in England that cats would have evolved to have only short hair. I didn’t meet my own magical short-haired gray Samadhi (Sammy) Timewalker until 2016 when he appeared outside my door in a snowstorm on Christmas Eve, so Georgie’s wise, brave, adventurous, quirky personality is entirely based on Dorjee’s. I knew that if I were to be imprisoned in a techno Tower of London, Dorjee would loyally walk a hundred miles carrying a small but valuable pouch and figure out how to break into the holographic prison.
And Dorjee would never have allowed me to go time-traveling alone—even to attempt to save humanity and all life on the planet from the ravages of climate breakdown. Would your cat let you time travel alone?
I found Dorjee as a tiny kitten at Heart and Soul Animal Sanctuary, in a rural area outside Santa Fe, in 2005. My blue point Himalayan had just lost his longtime companion Omar and my friend and sometime animal communicator Tara Lumpkin told me that he wanted a gray kitten. Searching for the right gray kitten I called Heart and Soul. Founder and director Natalie Owings said they had a silvery kitten so I went to meet the litter who had been found on the streets of the nearby town of Pecos at about three weeks old. Volunteers had fed them kitten milk and weaned them.
Dorjee always put his back up and growled when he heard coyotes near our house. He later communicated to me that his mom had sacrificed her life to lure coyotes away from her litter. Luckily, humans soon found them and took them to Heart and Soul. Dorjee and his siblings went without food for perhaps a day or two, and that affected him for much of his life. He was positively food-obsessed and had a tendency to wolf down food and then have digestive issues. In the last years of his life he improved greatly, which I credit to long-distance Bicom energy resonance treatments from my friend April Lowe.
At Heart and Soul, the one silvery gray kitten ran over to me, jumped on my lap, and started purring madly while batting at my White Tara pendant and cougar pendant. I had been chosen, and immediately fell in love.
I had no idea if this thin little kitten was a boy or a girl when I put him tenderly in a carrier and headed home. The next day I took him for a vet check-up and found out he was a boy. I had thought of the name Dakini for a girl, and at first wasn’t sure what to name this madly purring ball of fluff. Then it came to me—Dorjee Purr-ba, a play on Dorjee Phurba, the Tibetan name for the wrathful Vajrayana Buddhist deity Vajrakilaya, whose practice is for world purification. The name can be translated as “Thunderbolt of Compassion, Ritual Knife that Cuts Away the Ego.” It was a lot to live up to, but that little cat managed.
Dorjee learned how to fetch when he was less than six weeks old. On his second day home I threw a crumpled up ball of paper down the hall and he brought it back—again and again. He was still playing fetch with me up until a couple of weeks before he passed.
Dorjee was one of the most playful and joyful cats I have ever met. He was smart, funny, and lived life with gusto and passion. He loved his food—so much so that he often purred as he ate. He learned to work his treat puzzle in minutes. His motto was “Love Eat Play Pray” as he was also quite the healer—often participating in energy healing sessions by lying on clients right where they needed energy. He even sat through an entire Healing Touch Course 1—and was duly presented with a certificate. He liked to join in meditations, as all my cats do, and listened to many guided meditations sitting alongside me, always purring.
Dorjee could open doors with lever handles, and could usually break into canisters of dry food. He would play tiddly winks on his food bowl to ask for more. He would jump on his little blue stool on command and catch his treats in his paws as I threw them to him one by one. He never missed a chance to bat at passing tassels and strings, or long hair. One of his favorite games was playing with the plastic strips that seal supplement bottles. When I would open a new bottle he would wake up from a deep sleep, run into the kitchen, and meow for me to toss the plastic strip for him to bat all over the floor.
He had a wonderful sense of humor, and the night before he left the planet I heard him say, “Are you going to shave your eyebrows like you did in Ancient Egypt?” He was referring to the custom of people shaving their eyebrows when a household cat died, which I had read of and forgotten about. After a moment he said, “I’m teasing, that would be silly and you’d look funny.”
Dorjee’s illness was sudden, unexpected, and unexplained. He had a tooth extraction in September that had healed nicely and was eating with his normal enthusiasm. But in mid-November during a Bicom session April asked me to look inside his mouth, as she was concerned about a dental infection. To my shock, I saw a large red swollen area on his gum. Sadly, it turned out to be oral cancer. Dorjee persevered bravely and mostly cheerfully as we sought out treatment from the local oncology vet.
Dorjee initially responded well to treatment. I was sure he would go into remission and be around for another year or two in good health, but it was not to be. The soft tissue tumor was aggressive and got into his sinuses. He who loved food so much was finally not able to eat easily, though he tried valiantly. Any pain was well-managed with medication, but finally it became too much and he asked to be helped over the Rainbow Bridge.
I am forever grateful to the many people who prayed for him, sent Reiki and other forms of energy healing, and emotionally supported me, Dorjee, and his cat brothers Yeshe Gyalpo and Samadhi Timewalker through the challenging months of treatment and hope, and finally surrender, grief, and acceptance.
The night Dorjee left, while he was lying in state in a special basket, wrapped in a Tibetan white silk prayer scarf with a statue of the lion-headed goddess of ancient Egypt Sekhmet at his head, I told his spirit that he could finally rest. But I immediately heard his voice inside my head say clearly: “I don’t need to rest. I’m free from pain now and am asking for an assignment. I know there is a war [in Ukraine] and I want to help humans, especially children, and animals who are being killed in the war to cross over to the Light.” Tragically, there have been many opportunities for Dorjee and others to help souls cross over. I truly feel that this spirit who inhabited a long-haired gray cat body in this most recent life and graced my world for 16 years is a true Bodhisattva, dedicated to the enlightenment of all sentient beings.
And I hope that like the heroic Georgie, Dorjee will one day return to me in a new incarnation, perhaps as a time-traveler serving the world.
I have been deeply touched that many friends have made donations to various animal rescue charities in Dorjee’s memory.
If his story moves you, please donate a little extra either to a local charity or to a group doing animal rescue in Ukraine.
Here are some suggestions:
Animal-Kind International, which funds animal rescue in underserved countries
Debra Denker is the author of the time travel novel Weather Menders, a cli-fi novel for the hopeful.