There have always been pets in our family: dogs, cats, rabbits, and once for a short time, a little lamb and a couple of wild raccoons. My father was known for taking any animal that was up for grabs so I don’t really ever remember a time when there wasn’t at least one pet.
Cats seemed to dominate the scene over the years, probably based on the facts that they were so easy to get free of charge, easy to look after and of course cuddly.
But as with any furry friend, there comes a time when their short lives come to an end.
Around the year 2000, my mother had one cat named Roy. My son was around five at the time and of course, loved cats. I don’t recall what happened to Roy but he did die around this time. Shortly afterwards, my brother, my son and I were in the kitchen at my mother’s house. Suddenly, we heard a cat clearly meowing outside the front door. We all sort of looked at each other because as a rule, deceased cats who have been interred generally do not show up on the doorstep crying to be let in the house. My son became pretty frightened and asked,” What is that??”
My brother opened up the door and I was wishing terribly hard for Roy NOT to be sitting there (so as not to scare the crap out of my kid) while at the same time wishing he WAS sitting there, because let’s face it: a ghost cat would be pretty awesome to see.
Well, wouldn’t you know it….no cat was visible. I made up some lie about the wind blowing around the side of the house making a weird noise that sounds sort of like a cat so my son would stop asking questions about a pet very obviously returning from the “other side”.
He bought it that time but we did hear it a time or two after that so I point blank told him what I thought it was. He spent a lot of time in that house and was well acquainted with the supernatural, which we downplayed as much as we could. But like I did (growing up there), I am sure he spent many hours, especially at bedtime, wondering what he would hear or see before dawn broke the next day.
My mother has also reported that Roy made a few visits to her bedside shortly after he died, as she could feel him on the bed beside her, just like the way he used to cuddle up next to her every night of his life. She says she could hear his happy little purrs.
Eventually, ghost Roy seemed to fall to the wayside.
And then my mother got a dark little furry guy named Casey. Casey lived to be about 13 or 14, I believe, and just died this past December (2017), due to complications from his advanced age.
My mother claims he was her best friend; always eating breakfast with her, keeping her company during the day and listening to her every word, and going to bed with her at night. He was definitely a smart little fellow in his younger days. I remember once when he was just a few years old, my mother was lying down and not feeling well with declining blood sugar. Casey knew something was wrong and cried and cried until she got up and he led her to the shelf she keeps her medications on, at which point she remembered she hadn’t taken it.
He loved roaming around outside, sometimes staying away for a couple of days at a time, causing her to worry and think he’d never come back. But he always did. He would sit on the doorstep and make scratching noises near the doorknob so someone would let him in. In his later years, he just sort of sat on the doorstep and softly meowed and didn’t manipulate the doorknob anymore.
I spoke to her today and as always, I asked my usual question: “Any ghosts around?” To which she replied, “No, I don’t think so, except Casey was here a few times.”
(She said this as casually as if she is telling me it’s going to snow tomorrow)
“What do you mean Casey was there? Like, you’ve seen him?” I asked.
My interest was definitely piqued for several reasons: One, we can add this to the pile of unexplained things in her house. Two, this is even more proof of some sort of life after death/spirit thing. And three, the “Ghost Animals” blog post can be created.
(She hadn’t given me anything to work with lately as she had not noticed anything unusual going on—I spent several days there over Christmas and nothing happened then, either. Sigh..if only they performed on command)
Then she told me she heard the gentle jiggling of the doorknob, just like Casey used to do when he wanted to come in. In recent days, it has occurred three times. Once, she went to the door to look, but could not see anything.
If I had to guess, I’d say he will probably show up next on her bed. Maybe once it’s dark and she has settled down for the night.
This is not the only incident of a pet coming home again after its death that I am personally aware of.
Our fourteen year old dog had to be euthanized several years ago. She was quite a character, well behaved and smart. We buried her beside the lake by our house where she loved to play. We returned to the house afterwards and my son and I were in a downstairs bedroom when we heard her chain collar jingling as she came meandering down the stairs and plopped into her creaky wicker basket.
We looked at each other. “Did you just….?” I was going to ask my son. With wide eyes, he looked at me, I looked at him and we both looked into the hallway where her familiar basket still sat.
"She's come home," he said.
Yup, she most definitely did.
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