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Kaleo Adventure
by Susan Pa'iniu Floyd

This past year the attendees at our November Shaman Conference had a perfect opportunity to help a distressed being and in the process, learn a lot about the nature of reality.

I had just returned Sunday afternoon from Kona where, each year, I do volunteer work for a children's hula competition. The orientation for Aloha International's annual Shaman Conference would take place at our museum in Princeville on Kauai. We met, had a good sharing with old and new friends from around the world and were closing up the museum in anticipation of a relaxing adventure to the mountains early the next morning. Before we could leave, however, a small voice caught our attention, the desperate cry of a feline in trouble. Apparently, the cat had also been heard crying that morning by people attending a talk at the museum.

We followed the sound of the voice to its source and could find no cat. It was dark out, and even with the shopping center lights on and the use of a flashlight, it was hard to see under the walk way and in the corners. The cries seemed to be coming from under the roof. Our good friend, Thais Bullard, was undaunted. She climbed over the railing and walked on the roof of Foodland (grocery store) in search of the source. At this point I was more concerned with Thais' safety than for the cat, because stray cats were famous for hanging around the shopping center. The crying stopped. We weren't sure why, perhaps the cat found a way free, perhaps it was never stuck, perhaps it traveled to another part of the shopping center roof. In any case, without the cry to guide us, there was nothing to do except for our shaman prayers and EWOP. (Trusting "everything is working out perfectly"!)

Everyone had a great time in the mountains on Monday! We felt strong connections to nature and to each other.

Tuesday we went back to the museum for our Forum Day. This is a day where everyone has the opportunity to share how Huna is alive in our lives. After a beautiful morning of sharing, we took off for lunch. During the lunch break the cat crying resumed. Following the sounds led us to the roof again. There were some uncovered vent openings which were too small for a human, but a possible entrance for a cat. How could we help? We kept looking for ways to get under the roof, but none were appearing. Now the sound of the cat crying was almost unbearable. Someone had the idea to call the shopping center management and the Fire Department, but we found out that their maintainance person wouldn't be in until the next day and the Fire Department doesn't rescue animals. Pooh. We kept trying to remember not to judge others.

The time allotted for our lunch break was over and it was time to start up the Forum again. As facilitator, I wanted to be fair to each participant, so I asked if everyone wanted to continue. The unanimous response was, lets keep "working" on the cat. On first level (physical) reality, it seemed we had done about all we could, short of hacking a hole in the roof (not a bad thought, considering the desperate nature of the crying). It was frustrating until we remembered the other levels from which we could work.... telepathic, symbolic and holistic. Earl and Lois Stokes, our resident string figure experts, suggested we do "Cats Cradle" as great symbolic and telepathic healing. I was the only one without a partner, so I chanted and held the focus on the cat and its voice. The energy generated by the string figures, the symbology and the chanting was very powerful. We were all so high and hope-filled. After a short while, I got the inspiration to go to the hardware store, I knew the owner and he loved cats. He wasn't in, but the workers were sympathetic and suggested I might call the police. As I walked out to their good wishes, I spotted a crow bar on the shelf. 'Now that might come in handy!' I thought.

On my way back, I was looking at the roof from another angle, hoping to find a new way to reach the cat. It lead me up a stairway, and right to the owners of the shopping center! (I had no idea they had an on-site office.) Unfortunately, they were very unsupportive and uninterested. They said there was nothing they could do because they had turned over all management decisions to the management company. Sad news, but to a shaman it was only "road conditions on the pathway to solutions." In response to my call, the police said I should call the fire department! I asked them to call for me, since our call had gotten nowhere. They said OK but I had the distinct feeling they were happy to get off the phone with me and would probably do nothing. Then I decided to call the management company back and asked if I could make a hole in the roof to free the cat. If they waited until their man could help tomorrow, they would probably find a dead cat. In any event, it seemed they would have to make a hole in the roof sooner or later so why not while the cat was alive? The lady who worked there, bless her a thousand times, went out on a limb, and said if we could get the cat by making a hole, the maintainance man would repair it tomorrow!!!!

So it seemed the hardest part was over....now how and where to make the hole. Some one in our group suggested I call Michael Merle-Jones. He is good with building stuff. Then I remembered Gy, my assistant, was once a roofer! 'Please be home Gy.' Answering machine. :-(((. So I talked real loud on the machine and said "If you're there Gy, please pick up, it's an emergency!" And he did. I was relieved again. But then as I told the story I could feel some resistence. Why? Feeling that maybe Gy didn't want to be put in the position of damaging property, I asked him to at least come and assess the situation. He said OK. Whew.

Good thing he came, because he spotted a metal cover that probably was put over a hole on the roof right next to the duct and it only needed the rivets popped to be opened. I made a quick trip to the hardware store where they lent us the necessary drill. So..... rivets popped, cover lifted and behold, no hole. Nothing but the metal roof! We still don't know why the extra cover was there. What next? By this time the cat's cry was extremely loud and desperate! Maybe we could cut a hole with a saw. A call to Michael to see if he had the right kind of saw, but Michael was in Lihue. By now it was getting late, within an hour it would be dark. So I went to the hardware store to buy a saw. We borrowed all the extension cords they had so we could reach the electrical outlets. Not long enough, so Thais had to go back and buy another one. And then the blade they sold me was the wrong one. Gy went to buy the right one. Time again was running out, the hardware store was closing. Good thing Gy bought more than one blade because the first one broke mid-way. The security guard came out to say some tenants were complaining about the noise. We explained we had permission and he went to check. He came back and must have confirmed it, because he actually started helping us!

When we got an opening big enough, in we looked. The only thing we could see was the fiberglass insulation. Moving it out of the way (ugh) revealed a drop floor. No way to walk inside without falling 20 feet to the Foodland produce department! I tried to hang by my feet to see at least where the cat might be. Flashlights were handed down to me, mahalo....but no cat. My vision was blocked by a crossbeam, so I listened. About this point Gy had to leave, I think it was too scary for him to see me doing crazy things like hanging through a roof! The crying persisted, though. As I listened closely with my head inside, I discovered the sound didn't seem to be coming from under the roof. Huh? There was nothing above the roof. That we could see. More crying. It's definitely not coming from under the roof! So I pulled myself up and began crawling toward the crying sounds. Under the walkway, on my belly, through spider webs and who knows what else, and at this point, who cared. After reaching the back wall, I could see a small duct against the wall. I pulled its metal cover up, only an inch or so, but just enough to let the tiniest creature crawl out. It ran, hobbling, down the roof as far as it could. Tears poured out of me, for it was free and alive. The rest of our rescue team went for food and water and I brought it to the kitten, again on my belly. It hungrily ate and ate. As I watched, I knew this kitten needed help, it was covered in it's own excrement and sooo hungry. I had to try to take it home this night. When it finished eating, I asked for a towel so it wouldn't scratch me too bad. The poor thing didn't even try to escape. Must have been so happy and grateful to be free. We'll never know how many days he was stuck in that vent. After a week of baby food, the Vet weighed him in at just under a pound and approximately 6 weeks old.

His name, no doubt, had to be Manakaleo, power of the voice. Without such a loud and persistant voice (we all had thought it was a full grown cat from the intensity of its voice) he probably wouldn't have made it. Time and again, just when we were about to give up, a tiny, desperate cry or a loud wail would grab us back. Perhaps you might think we were crazy doing all we did, but if you heard that voice, I guarrantee you'd be doing crazy things too!

Our Shaman Forum day was different, indeed. We were given a perfect opportunity to practice Huna and experience the happy results. The power we generated by working together was phenomenal! Every door that opened after so many seemed closed was the result of high expectations, high energy and persistence. Mahalo to all who gave of their time and focus. Today Manakaleo is a happy, healthy member of my cat family.

palm isle
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