The Ghost Cat
October. It’s the month associated, at least in this northern hemisphere, with cooling days, chilly nights, and changing leaves. It’s a time when the days grow shorter, and the veil grows thinner. It’s the month when many of us put summer in our rear view and look ahead to…Halloween.
What would October be without a ghost story or two?
My mom passed away the day after Halloween (on All Saints Day) in 2006. A week later, we went out to dinner for my daughter’s birthday. We came home that evening and let the dogs out. Dancer and Pascha, the old-timers, went out separately from the then-youngster, Kai. When we went back to the door to get them, in walked Pascha. In walked Dancer. And in walked a little gray kitten.
My parents’ old kitty had passed away some time before. We already had three cats at this point, and three dogs, so I called my father to see if he could temporarily house this little one till we found her a home. He said yes, and promptly fell in love with her. He decided he needed a cat in the house again, and named her Monkey. It turned out that she was actually older than she looked (about six months). We got her vaccinated and spayed, and she kept him company for about a year and a half.
The only problem (possibly because she had started her life outdoors) was that Monkey was always on the watch for the front door to open. She’d dart out and Pop, in his 80s, would have to chase her around to get her back in. After a while, he stopped chasing, and found that she would explore the yard for a little while and then come back in on her own.
She did, that is, until the day she didn’t. We searched, put up posters, signed up with FindToto, did online notices, and took out Lost Cat ads. Three separate psychics saw her running afoul of coyotes. This fell into sync with a neighbor’s report of hearing a coyote kill behind their property the night after Monkey had decided to go on her adventure. She was never found.
Fast forward to 2010. My dad, who by this time had adopted another cat (our Missie), passed away. We moved into his house. From pretty much the first week here, I began seeing a cat.
I’m not talking about our resident kitty. I’m talking about those startling, corner-of-the-eye sightings of a cat-shaped spirit. She appears to be all gray, like Monkey was. I kept it to myself for a while, though the sightings were quite frequent and very clear. I would usually see the cat in the dining room or kitchen, but she’d appear in other areas occasionally, too. When I finally told my husband, he thought I was imagining things. However, when I told my son, he replied, “I’ve seen the cat, too.”
It seems that we had both been seeing this shadow-cat since we’d moved in. Then, some time later, hubby Joe confessed, “I finally saw it, too.”
“Saw what?” I asked.
“The gray cat.”
She’s still around, our ghost cat. Do I know for a certainty that it’s Monkey? No, I don’t. I don’t even know for sure that it’s gray, or a she. The impression we all get is gray, and the only solid gray cat who’s ever lived in this house was Monkey. There was an outdoor tabby cat who was fed by my parents for several years (whom they referred to, not so imaginatively, as Gray Cat). Of course, it’s possible that it’s not gray at all, since we only get those corner-of-the-eye glimpses of it. But it’s definitely there, and it’s definitely a cat. Its energy is friendly, watchful, and that is the impression I’m given when I try to communicate with it: “Just watching over the family.”
Has Pop put his little friend on patrol to keep an eye on us?
When asked how many cats live here, I usually answer, “One.” Maybe I should, instead, reply, “That depends on your definition of ‘live.’”
Do you have any ghost-animal stories to share? I’d love to hear them! Feel free to comment on this post on the website, or reply on Facebook or Twitter!
News and Updates:
Speaking of scary stories…the holidays are approaching! Watch the November issue of Creature Thoughts for information about my annual 3-pack Holiday Special.
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Blessings and Light,