Full moon, under the Glas mountain.
Glas is the colour of the Faer, blue-green, turquoise; I have this colour-blindness, what most see as blue I see as green.
The Glas mountain was considering making friends with me but hadn’t yet made up her mind; I was to spend tonight lain upon her side, sleeping on her breast; after that she would make up her mind.
We bivvied up, sheltering from the wind behind an outcrop, and lay down for the night. At first it was cloudy, the light slipping and sliding away from us over the nearby hills as we drowsed into sleep. It was full dark when I woke up.
The sound had woken me, a deep, heavy thrumming, not quite a roar and not really a grunt, it progressed up the hill from the Nethy river below us coming closer and closer. Very carefully I sat up. The dark tops of the heather showed near-black against the liminal sky, the moon hid behind a huge cloud. Nothing showed, but the sound came closer still.
My heart leaped, was it a wildcat?
A cold paw touched my heart now. Was it a wildcat, or someone much larger? The sound was very loud but my friend slept on beside me, unaware of our visitor.
The purring stood still, from the sound I sensed the head move left, right, deepened. She was assessing us. Then the purring moved on up the valley towards the Lochen Chait.
The moon came out from behind the cloud and I lay gazing up at her until I slid back into sleep.
It was four-thirty in the morning when the purring came back, back down from the Lochen Chait. Again she stopped to look at us, watch us, her head swinging back and forth as she caught our scent. I sat up, watching, waiting, hoping to see her but again she kept herself hidden. After a moment she continued on her way down to the Nethy river.
I woke again about seven, my companion woke too and we had a drink, nibbled some nuts then made our way down to the Nethy.
It’s a lovely burn, clear as glass, chuckling over the rocks. We went to fill our water bottles and there, in the mud, was a perfect paw print, a cat’s paw print … but it was near the size of my hand!
Beside it was a small cat’s paw print … our visitor had brought her kitten with her.
She had left us other prints, less well defined. I measured my stride against hers, they were the same. I am five foot four inches tall, she must be a big girl! We photographed the prints.
I feel so blessed. It’s the sort of thing you expect to hear from wildlife cameramen like Simon King but never expect to experience yourself … but I did. It wasn’t the only gift the Glas Mountain gave me either.
On our walk back we stopped at An Lochen Uaine. It’s a beautiful loch, reflecting the blue-green colour again. We went down to the beach. Behind us atop a small cliff were a pair of sentinel Scots pines, their roots twisting down, entwined together, to the rocky shore. We made our respects, I climbed into the roots to pour a drop of mead onto the ground between them. There were three stones … a piece of mica, a lovely white quartz and one other, a garnet. The Glas Mountain makes garnets, she had given me one.
The walking changed for me from then on. Up to that time the land had not nourished me, it had been hard work but since the cat’s visit all had changed, now the mountain had befriended me, I felt the energy rising up through my feet, the goddess’ way had come alive for me. The Cat’s Moon had given me a new life.