Phantom Cats!

We have already heard that our furry companions occasionally return from beyond the veil: the North and East Coasts of Norfolk are famous haunts of a terrifying phantom dog known as Black Shuck, while it is a widely-held belief that cryptozoological subjects such as the Loch Ness Monster, the Skunk-Ape and the Thunder Bird have no substance in reality.

I would like to offer a charming tale of two pets apparently returning to visit their former haunts: does this indicate that animals possess a soul? I do not proffer any opinion: I am no theologist!

Steven, a dear friend, once acquired (as one seems always to do! ) a pair of ginger tomcats: one was big, bouncy and boisterous, the other altogether more gentle in both appearance and demeanour. For twelve years they survived every vicissitude of feline life and grew into fine, handsome cats.

They proved wonderful pets: during the painful dissolution of my friends twenty-year marriage, however, the cats seemed to know something was awry, and would habitually go from one to the other partner, affection and concern apparent in their every movement and sound……

The divorce proved too much for the elderly pair: during the final weeks, first one, then the other slipped into lassitude and eventually succumbed to kidney failure.

Some weeks passed….. Steven prepared to move out and set up home on his own.

One morning, as was his wont, he arose early and went down to the kitchen to make coffee. As he was filling the kettle, he heard the familiar double rattle of the cat-flap. Absent-mindedly, Steven went to the cupboard, took out a tin of cat-food and opened it: all the while, he experienced the familiar sensation of two cats weaving to and fro between his legs. Spooning the food onto a saucer, Steven stooped to place the food on the floor: of the cats, there was of course no sign!

Steven told me that this, somehow comforting occurrence, was repeated virtually every morning until he finally left the old house…….

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Another feline tale!
Another friend (a lady teacher!) may, broadly speaking, be characterised by a healthy cynicism about anything to do with the supernatural...and yet, as is the case with most of us, she has had her own brush with the unexplained…….

Some years ago, 'Gillian' moved into a rented house in the North of England with her husband, baby daughter and cat!

The house was large, gloomy, Victorian and 'enjoyed' something of a reputation: it was said no-one had ever spent more than a few months in residence before leaving precipitately.

Gillian, being something of a pragmatist, took absolutely no notice of these stories, and anticipated an untroubled two year's tenancy. But it was not to be!

The house, despite newly installed double glazing and central heating, was always chilly and unwelcoming: paper peeled from walls within days of hanging, musty smells lingered in the bedrooms and dark, inexplicable shadows seemed always to lurk in the corners of brightly lit rooms. But Gillian ( a psychology graduate!) consoled herself by rationalising that there were no such things as ghosts……

One evening her baby daughter began to cry: normally a tractable, well-natured child, she had become withdrawn and somewhat prone to wakefulness since moving into the house. Gillian sighed and mounted the gloomy oak staircase that lead to her daughter's bedroom. She scooped the baby into her arms, and turned to go back downstairs. But what was that? Gillian could have sworn she had glimpsed a figure at the end of the corridor: but that was impossible: her husband was at work…….

Gillian hurried to the top of the stairs, telling herself not to be so foolish. She flicked off the light switch and almost instantly regretted doing so: the subdued illumination from the distant lights of the lounge did little to dispel the particularly thick shadows that seemed to have congregated half way down the stairwell…..

Shrugging, Gillian moved downwards……. suddenly the dark shadows seemed to coalesce and rush towards her: a physical presence pushed past, moving upwards and out of sight.

But this was ridiculous! There are

Gillian's feverish mind searched hard for a logical explanation: of course! The cat! He had gone upstairs as usual to sleep in the warmth of the airing cupboard: Gillian convinced herself she had felt nothing other than the cat pushing past her legs, brushing her with its long tail in passing…..the sudden chill she had seemed to feel was purely in her mind.

Somewhat calmer, Gillian continued downstairs, pulling open the stiff kitchen door to prepare a bottle for her daughter. There, curled in his basket, was the cat…...

Another phantom feline!
Hi! My name is Steve & I live in Portsmouth!
I was surfing tonight & took a look at your site: very well put together if I may say so!
I would like to state that, although I have an interest in the paranormal, I'm probably one of the biggest agnostic/sceptics that you would hope not to meet! The thing is, I recently had reason to question my scepticism! I'll tell you about it.........

About six years ago, I was sharing a flat with a friend who I shall call 'H'. During the time I was there, there were a few different feline lodgers that were taken in from time to time. (Mostly belonging to other friends that were being re-housed etc) I worked shifts & one paticular evening came back to an empty flat, H being out with a girlfriend. I got home about 11:00pm & settled into my usual routine, bath, change, plonk in chair with book. The TV was on but with sound turned down low & I was engrossed in the middle of 'The ragged trousered philanthropists' (wonderful book, give it a go!) when I noticed something out of the 'corner of my eye'. Looking up, I saw (or thought I did) a black cat walk out of the kitchen & through the door into the hallway which leads to the bathroom, bedrooms & front door. My first thought was 'Ah! We've got another one!' (Thinking that H had taken in another furry lodger!)
Well, I thought I'd say hello & went to look for it. Could I find the damn thing? No! I must have spent half an hour opening doors & peering into places but only finding enough dust to fill a council cart! When H returned I said I'd seen the cat but it seemed to have found a bloody good hiding place. "What cat? " he said, "We haven't got one at the moment......"

OK! So I like to sit down with a beer or two after work, but one & a half cans of Tetley's is hardly likely to induce hallucinations! This episode was forgotton about untill a few weeks ago. A friend of mine, 'Micky', who used to live in the flat before me, was visiting & we were chatting, when I remembered the cat & told him about it. I felt a little weird when he told me he had seen the same thing when he was living there & there were supposedly no cats in the flat at the time! Micky, being a 'believer' laughed at me & told me that's what I deserved for being narrow-minded! Well, that's my experience! Make of it what you will!
I suppose it's true:- the mind is like a parachute: it only works if it's open! Hope this is useful to you!

Another new tale, from Kay
After we had shared many adventures, my elderly cat (a gray Manx named Pendragon) developed kidney failure at the age of 16. Although it was a hard decision to make, I had him euthanized and he died in my arms.....
For several years after that I would catch glimpses of him out of the corners of my eyes from time to time or feel his weight as if he had jumped on the foot of my bed at night.
The manifestations stopped when I was given another gray kitten, almost the same color, but with a tail (slightly darker that the rest of him, as though tacked on at the last minute.)