A Ghost Cat Story from
Hailing From: Adelaide, South Australia
Where it Happened: Buffalo, New York
Favorite Author: Jack Kerouac
I have recently been amazed, and reassured, by the beleaguering amount of cat-related ghost stories out there. Reassured, for the fact that when I was young I, and my family, were haunted by a Ghost Cat.
To some it may seem ridiculous to think that cats, often dismissed by some simply as stupid animals, (which in my current cat's case is pretty much true), could become sentient supernatural beings after death.
I like to believe that cats, dogs, all animals and insects, even plants and most inanimate matter, possess energy - life energy, or past or potential life energy. So to me it isn't really too far fetched to see ghostly ferns in a graveyard at night.
But ferns have nothing to do with my story.
I mean to relate the tale of my own personal childhood Ghost Cat, which inhabited the home of my parents, and may very well haunt the bedsheets at night there still to this day. That's right, mine was very similar to other Ghost Cats of dozens of other stories, where the weight of a cat is felt to jump on the bed, and settle down against one's legs, back, etc.
My Ghost Cat was always keen to leap upon the foot of my bed, but it never settled down. Instead, it would slowly walk up the bed towards my head. Besides feeling the weight of the paws, (anyone who has ever owned a cat knows how cat paws on the bed sheets feel at night), I could also SEE the indentations being made by the invisible paws, slowly making its way up to my head.
I considered it very unwelcome. I never waited to see why it wanted to get to the top of the bed, by the time it reached my waistline I violently flipped the sheets up high enough that I was confident the Ghost Cat was flung across the room. But sometimes, within a minute, it would have leapt right back onto the foot of the bed and the process would repeat until I was confident it had left the room in frustration, or I had left the room in utter terror.
It seemed to target my brother the most. He spent many nights in my parent's bed, having fled the persistence of terror. Once, so it is said, as my brother was settled in and finally feeling safe between the protective bodies of my parents, the Ghost Cat jumped right up on the foot of THEIR bed. My parents wanted to know why my brother had thrown all their blankets onto the floor. I don't know how often this Ghost Cat may have haunted my parents, they aren't the kind who like to talk about such things.
Even though I personally found the hauntings rare, probably the worst cat ghost experience actually happened to me -- or, well, it happened to my cat (my living cat), Tigger.
It happened when I was twelve years old. I was sleeping peacefully and Tigger was sleeping next to me, on my pillow. Very suddenly I was awakened by Tigger who was hissing and clawing like she had gone completely mad. I assumed that she was having a seizure (having suffered from them in the past), but before I could try to help her, she stopped the commotion.
Everything about her became perfectly still, all except for her eyes. Her eyes were big and alive, like she was hunting. I watched in growing curiosity as she crept near to the surface of the bed, towards my (gulp) crotch area. I was starting to feel a little uneasy. Then, she pounced, and met something halfway into it, and once again was yowling, hissing, and clawing at nothing more to me than thin invisible air.
I realized it could be the Ghost Cat, and I was becoming VERY nervous. My cat seemd to be doing well though - she had chased "it" off the side of the bed, apparently, as she was trotting in laps around the perimeter of my single bed, as if watching something moving over the side, or so it seemed to my mortal eyes.
By now I had gathered my senses to a point where I could take action, so I grabbed a hold of Tigger and ran downstairs to get a drink of milk (for me and for Tigger), and settle in on the couch to sleep the remaining night away.
Unfortunately, sadness closes this story, as within three days Tigger became deathly ill with something our veterinarian could only describe as a "disease" only found in six other cats since the beginning of veterinary medicine. Experts from Cornell University were contacted to help save her, but there was nothing that could be done. The vet had found a scratch along Tigger's body that stretched form the nape of her neck, all the way along her tummy, and down her leg to the "knee area."
Not a common scratch for a "cat" fight, to say the least.
The wound was grossly infected from the rare disease that claimed her life within three days. I was mortified by this experience, and haven't been able to justify it with a logical explanation to this day (but I am still searching for one). Could it be the Ghost Cat was jealous over the fact that Tigger was allowed at the top of the bed? I might mention that my entire street was supposedly built over an indian burial ground. I used to find lots of arrowheads in the fields behind the house. This cliche could serve to completely destroy my credibility, but to some it may offer some explaination.
I now live in Australia with my wife, but soon I am moving back to good old Buffalo. We'll no doubt spend a few nights in that house in transition. At least this time, with my wife, I'll have a witness.
One thing I would like everyone to do this Halloween, when you go on Halloween night, and someone needs to merge into your lane on the freeway, or maybe you're on a crowded street and someone needs to come out of a driveway, take a moment and let them in. Don't be rude and shine them on, because they are just like you. And don't put an American flag in your pickup window, or a sign in your SUV that says pray for America, if you are going to go out in traffic, ride others bumpers, and play push and shove with other cars. That is not American. For at least one night of the year, don't fight and fuss in traffic, don't try and beat others out of a lane -- be neighborly, give your kids an example they can be proud of and let others have the right of way when you can. It will make the streets safer for everyone, including you, including the kids, including me. Because you never know when that guy you almost ran off the road was Keno.
Happy Halloween -- I'll have another story before then, but I thought I get into practice and say it once. Oh shoot, why not, I'll say it twice, Happy Halloween everyone!