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The Cat Who Came Back

March 3, 2011
A six-week-old kitten.

Image via Wikipedia

Do you believe in life after death for pets?  I do.  Here’s why.

Some years ago, my best friend’s cat, Paiwackett, gave birth to a litter of kittens.  Now Paiwackett was a cat of extraordinary wisdom.  She seemed to know things before they would happen.  If something was going to fall from the cupboard unexpectedly, for instance, she would scoot out of the way a few seconds before the items dropped.  She knew instantly who, in the room, needed healing and would stroll regally over and twine herself around the sufferer’s leg.  Next thing you knew, he had lifted the cat into his lap and was stroking her absent-mindedly, while Paiwackett wore a contented expression, knowing full well that the sufferer was being healed stroke by stroke.

Soon Paiwackett went the way of all unspayed cats and gave birth to an extraordinary bunch of kittens.  All kittens are beautiful, but these were extra-specially blessed.   Everyone in our little social group wanted one of Pai’s kittens.  I looked them all over carefully and chose the most beautiful one – a lovely creamy white cat with two black spots between her ears and one black stripe on her tail.  I promptly named her Devil Child.

Just one cat remained to be claimed, a striped tiger kitten.  One of our young friends went for him and named him…Alice.  Then the young friend got a chance to travel overseas and asked me to look after Alice until he got back.  Of course, I would.

Devil Child and Me and Alice Makes Three

I lived in a basement apartment, that had a pony wall in the living room.  Both cats used the pony wall as their personal highway to reach the window (which was at ground level) and gain freedom of the great outdoors.  It was a quiet neighborhood that I lived in, and I didn’t think any harm would come to them.  The cats and I lived in quiet harmony for a while.  I learned that Devil Child was as stupid as she was beautiful.  I decided my shallow values needed some re-examination, but I loved her all the same.  Alice, although common-looking as only a bland tiger-striped cat can look, was brilliant and responsive…so easily trained and so affectionate.  He would come in from outside, walk along the pony wall, jump up onto the top of the hanging cupboards in the kitchen, walk all the way around the kitchen, then gracefully leap from the kitchen cupboard across the doorway to the hall and land on the pony wall on the other side, pad softly along the pony wall to my chair, and finally jump into my lap.  He would purr and let me know how glad he was to see me.  It was a very peaceful and bonding time.  I grew to love Alice greatly.

One night, neither of the cats came home.  Usually, they were home by 6, shortly after I got home from work.  They always wanted their share of food and loving.  Anxiously I waited…no cats.  I went out and searched the neighborhood…no cats.  I was devastated.  Finally, at 4 o’clock in the morning, I heard a funny sound in the living room and went in to investigate.

Sick cat

Devil Child survived

The Resurrection of Devil Child

There lying on the floor was Devil Child.  At least I thought it was Devil Child…it was hard to tell, since she was covered from ear tip to tail tip in black greasy oil and tar.  She was making the most horrendous sounds of distress.  I phoned my friend who had Paiwackett, she came right over and advised we needed to get the tar and oil off DC right away as it was soaking into her skin and poisoning her.  I couldn’t imagine where she had gone to get into a condition like this.

After we finished cleaning her as best we could, my friend suggested she take DC with her, since she was going to need to go to the vet the next day and would probably need constant nursing.  I agreed, since I had a demanding job that didn’t look kindly on anyone taking time off.  She wrapped DC in a blanket and left with the cat.

To make a long story shorter, Devil Child ultimately revived.  She was never the same again, and we believe the poisoning affected her mind.  She had never been an Einstein to begin with but now all she wanted to do was to follow Paiwackett around, or sleep in the sun.  I decided to leave DC with my friend on a semi-permanent basis because she would be much happier there than in my small apartment, cooped up for most of the day.  DC agreed, and fortunately so did my friend.

Oh, Alice!

I mourned the loss of Alice.  He didn’t come back.  After a couple of months, I gave up on him.  I had found out where the cats had gone.  The City road crew had overnight started repairing one of the main streets near my apartment and had dug up some of the pipes under the street.  The work area had tar and oil all over the place.  I examined the site and surrounding area thoroughly, but no Alice.

One night, I was quite tired, sitting in my usual chair trying to read.  However, the loss of Alice was weighing heavily on me.  I tried not to cry, but I missed his affection and wise, happy nature.  As I sat there thinking, I felt a small disturbance at the window.  I didn’t SEE anything but I felt the presence of something.  As I watched the spot where I felt the something, my heart gave a lurch.  It was Alice.  The feeling was so like him.  The feeling moved after a few moments, as if Alice had oriented himself back to the apartment.  I felt him walk along the pony wall, up onto the cupboards, around the cupboards, across the doorway, along the last little bit of pony wall, and…

There was a definite plop into my lap.  I actually felt the weight of Alice as he jumped from the pony wall onto my lap.  The love radiating from him was enormous.  I could hardly catch my breath.  I just sat, enveloped with the feeling.  Then I heard thoughts in my head that I knew were not mine.

“Don’t grieve,” he said.  “I am well and happy.  I was just with you for a while to help you feel good.  If you ever need me again, I will come.”

He left me feeling happy and loved.  The waiting and not knowing were over.

Cat

The cat came back.

The Cat Came Back…Again

Fifteen years later, at one of the lowest points in my life, I heard a meowing at the back step of the house I lived in.  It sounded somewhat familiar.  I opened the door and there was an older kitten, female.   Her purring was very loud, when I picked her up and cuddled her.  I took her into the house, fed her and put her into a warm pet bed with a litter box nearby.  She slept for two days.  It had been a long trip back.  No one claimed her, and I kept her for ten years.  She helped me the same way Alice had.  You can draw your own conclusions.

However, I have more stories about animals that you may find interesting down the road. 😉

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2011 8:53 am

    Wonderful story. I expect that there is much beyond the veil we could access . . . if we knew we held the keys.

    So glad Alice came back and paid you a visit.

    • March 5, 2011 1:21 am

      Yeah, me too. It’s really hard when you’re mourning a pet and you don’t really know what happened. I have a couple more stories about life after death of pets that I will relate in due course. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  2. March 12, 2011 10:46 am

    I am so glad I visited your blog and met Paiwackett, Devil Child and Alice. What did you name the female kitten? If we’re open to it, we learn so much from animals whenever and however they come to us. I hadn’t thought of it before reading your post, but there are similarities in the gentle soul of my forever heart dog, a golden retriever named Mossy, and my sweet, sweet
    horse, Callie. Mossy died young of cancer. about four years ago now. Callie came into my life about 18 months ago. When Mossy was here, I was able to write. My muse shut down with his passing. Since Callie, the voice of the muse within seems to be getting louder. Or maybe Mossy and Callie have conspired to get me to listen for a change. Thanks for making me think. Keep up the great storytelling. Janet

    • March 13, 2011 12:04 am

      As long as Mossy passed before Callie was born, there is a good possibility that Mossy has decided he needed more weight behind him to do the job 🙂 Of course, here there is a difference of species which might make the similarities a little more vague. Quite often, but not always, the eyes will give it away. Either way, how wonderful that Callie came along just at the time you really needed the comfort.

      I named the female kitten Sheena (as in Sheena, Queen of the Jungle – okay before your time :P). I didn’t recognize Alice in her until some time later.

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