JANUARY 7–Signs & signs

Weird to open up my little travel computer, here in CA, for the first time since December 20 and see all the windows containing my last hopeful posts, still open. iMessages is updating my text messages before my eyes, and all the texts of the past few weeks are flashing as if in real time.

So strange.

The other day, an old family friend of Jess’s (thanks, Miah) sent me a link to a medium who talks about animals and birds and signs and such. I listened to part of the podcast before we boarded yesterday.  The medium said, “Ask for signs. You will get them. They will surprise you.”

So on the flight to LA, I held Kitten’s bird ring and took photos of all the places she had been unable to visit the past ten years, due to altitude problems—-the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon. I told Caitlin she was with us.

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“How about you?” I asked. “Are you with us? How about a sign?”

I didn’t expect anything, I must admit.

A few hours later, as we were preparing to land, there came this sudden howling in front of us. The howling of a cat. Right there, under the seat in front of us. A kitty had been there all along. It seemed so perfect we laughed.

When we got up to leave, I wanted to sneak a picture of the rascal, but it was hunkered down in its case. I tried anyway, and as I did, it sat up and looked right at me.


Sign? I’ll take it.

(Note: WordPress would NOT let me upload that photo, and thus not save this post. For the last half hour I tried everything. Just when I was about to give up, it magically displayed here for me. ha)

We walked around a bit once we got here. Weirdly, a store that I really like, and have bought things from online, happened to be right around the corner. (I’ve never been to CA and had no idea where the store actually was.) We went in and I found myself pawing through the sale rack with an actress and her filmmaker husband –people Caitlin greatly admired. Of course my first instinct was to surreptitiously text her to let her know.

I’ll have to get used to that.

There were some other nice “signs,” though. Quite literal ones.



And this morning, Jess’s mom texted from the Vineyard ferry, as she was on her way to Woods Hole. A gull (like pigeons, a favorite bird of Caitlin’s, she likes how fierce they are), decided to accompany her.




From Santa Monica, peace and love from Caitlin—-


Author: kittenupdates

I am the author of CASCADE and LITTLE MATCHES: A Memoir of Grief and Light

19 thoughts on “JANUARY 7–Signs & signs”

  1. Maryann, you know I DO believe in signs, especially in birds. When I see the BlueJay now I think of Caitlin for that was the bird that came to me after I heard of her passing. You will forever have signs that she is with you ALL THE TIME. I know you feel her – just believe!! As always, sending you healing thoughts and prayers. xo

  2. Such a beautiful post today. I especially love the photos of the gulls which have always been my favorite. I have always admired their beauty and resilency for living.Pigeons too of course.I think they have much in common with the phoenix from Greek mythology, rising from the ashes. Did you know that pigeons were the first bird(animal ?) protected by the MSPCA which was founded in 1868. I loved reading about the signs as they are always everywhere if we only look. I am so glad you see them and they bring a sense of peace. Caitlin is everywhere I think. Safe journey!!!

  3. MaryAnn, signs are comforting and there are many!
    Happy to hear you are connected to them.
    Wishing you peace in the year ahead
    Ann Marie

  4. Hi, Maryanne – I love your posts. I feel lucky and so very thankful to read about your memories, your smiles and even the deep sadness. It’s powerful and beautiful and incredibly raw. Your post here about signs really resonated with me. My father will have been gone for ten whole years Tuesday. Hard to believe. I dream more about him now than I think I ever did in my 42 years with him here in this world; wonderful, typical “Dad stories”. And the signs? They are truly awesome. I LOVE THEM – and much of the time they make me crack up! We are not alone. I hope you and Nick get to experience the same splendor and often. Much love, Julie Little

  5. The cat is too much! Such a great sign, couldn’t be more clear, Caitlin! I had been asking for days if things I thought might be signs were just me wanting them to be. So on Tuesday when I got in the car to take Juni to school, I said okay I’m going to turn on the radio to see if Caitlin wants to send me a sign that way. The first line I caught was “about a girl who slipped away.” Hmm, I thought, could it be? Then it launched into the chorus, “MORE THAN A FEELING!” “Okay, alright, I’ll be more trusting!” (The song by Boston (!) also mentions the name Maryanne!)

    Enjoy the sun. Snowing here. ❤

      1. Yes, exactly! The past two days these disinfecting wipes we keep on top of the toilet have fallen down for seemingly no reason, and they almost never fall down. Such a random thing but I remember talking to Caitlin about these wipes (the purple PDI wipes like they have in the hospital), about how much we love them because they make things seem so absolutely clean. I didn’t pick up on it the first time but when it happened again today I said Hi Caitlin. 🙂

  6. Thank you for posting and keeping us with you on your journey. I always check to see if you’ve been here. I can’t read a word you write without crying… but
    I’m so happy for you you have those signs. And I love that you are the sea – its so healing and so enormous – and those lobsters Caitlin wrote about are there.

  7. I love the kitty under the seat story. I’ve never seen a kitty on a plane! And it made me happy to feel you were able to sense her with you. I was on the road in a snow storm yesterday driving to see a friend who is struggling and my mom going fifteen miles an hour without windshield wiper fluid ( it was frozen or stuck) and I found myself totally relaxed where I would normally be freaking out. This is most definitely because Caitlin has changed me. Given me whole different perspective. I’ll keep thanking her. And you. Then she helped my friend because I was able to communicate how is been affected. So glad you’re not in the part of California that got a blizzard ! Hoping you will see more signs. Because she is everywhere ❤️

  8. Maryanne, you carry such magic in your words. They scoop us right up and place us right there. I have yet to read one of your posts without finding my head bobbing up and down in agreement or understanding while the tears flow. You go, Girl. This will be an intense and cathartic adventure for you, Nick, and yes, Caitlin 💗💗💗 Pushing love your way, Tara

  9. I just finished watching the movie, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and it made me think of Caitlin. She is truly all around us and anywhere there is truth and beauty!. My favorite place in all the world is Newport, Rhode Island and my favorite birds have always been seagulls. When next I visit, I will take a trip on a sailboat and think of your lovely daughter and all she means now to so many people. Sending much love. Thank you for the gull pictures above; they are so beautiful.

  10. I love your story and that you asked for signs, if you don’t ask you won’t receive. I lost my sister 13 years ago and asked for signs of her, and they come in all forms, I too love the seagulls and pigeons, I work for the steamship authority and from now on I will always think of Caitlin when feeding my feathered friends. Please know that your special girl is living on, just in a different form
    thank you for all your shares

  11. Maryann-
    I knew Caitlin in Boston. I was a friend of a friend but was around during the Knot Clothing era. I have been following your blog and it always brings me to tears. You and Caitlin have been so brave and the love that you have for her is so beautiful. Caitlin was a beautiful person and I hope you and Nick find her in every part of your day. My prayers are with you and your family. Courtney

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