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Grey Matter

Lesley is also a columnist for UFO Magazine. Check it out !


Fortean Felines

Over a month ago now (though it doesn't seem that long), I lost my beautiful and totally wonderful male cat, James Bond, to a bobcat. I suppose that living in New Mexico, it shouldn't be a shock, but it was. Ever since I have lived here, which is about 15 years, I have had indoor/outdoor cats and I have never had any other animal attack them. My yard is fenced and, after so long, it just never occurred to me that such a thing would or could happen. The reason we know what happened to him was that Pooka (our dog) helped us find him (what was left of him) the following evening and we checked the tracks, which is how we know it was a bobcat.

Earlier in that day, I had been searching and calling and hoping. I happened to be out on the back porch near what was the garage, but is now what we call the laundry/art room, I was calling him and there was a tremendous thump (the door actually shook and moved) at the bottom part of that door. I immediately thought he had got locked in there, but when I went in there was no James Bond -- there was nothing. Seriously, that thump at the door was loud enough that I actually hesitated opening it because I thought it may be a human kicking it. He had often spent time in there, clearing out the mice and it was one of his favorite places. The fact that he wasn't there gave me quite a chill and, although I wouldn't admit it to myself at the time, I think at that moment I knew he was dead.

Over the next several days, after finding him, I would hear a little knock at the door when I would be in the kitchen. That is what he did, he knocked when he wanted to come in the house. Of course, there was nothing there. Maybe I am crazy, but I said "hello" to him and opened the door for him to enter.

Also, though I almost hate to admit it, I have seen him in the form of what George Noory calls "shadow critters." The first time it happened was so soon after he died that I totally reached down to pet him. Finding nothing there, I quickly remembered that he was gone. It has happened at least three times since then. I also swear I have felt him in bed with me, at least once, laying down near my feet. That wasn't something he did often, but he was the only cat I have had that laid so far down. Kanga lays around my waist area and Sheba (RIP) laid as near my face as she could get, often laying across my throat (which caused her to be banned from sleeping with me).

Anyhow, last weekend I went and adopted a new male cat. While I was there, somehow the topic of dead cats came up and I found that both of the ladies I was talking to, and adopting from, had very similar experiences when their cats passed away. It wasn't something I brought up, so I found it very interesting that they did bring it up. One of them had been actually lucky enough to see her cat (not just as a shadow cat), which had joined a prayer circle for a sick friend of hers.

Aside from that, we all agreed (and I did not bring that topic up either) that cats can see things that humans can't. They can see the dead and/or other dimensions -- they see and react to things that we can't see. That is Art Bellish rather than Nooryish, but I still think it is true.

Likely it is less fortean, but that day I also brought home another truly amazing cat. His name is Khan, he is a Siamese/Tonkinese and I have never brought home a cat that was so ready to come home with me. Normally cats are at least mildly distrusting. He walked right into the cage when it was time to go, the PACA lady told me she had never seen a cat do that. He didn't cry once in the car, he seemed very content and happy driving along. Once we got home, I had expected him to hide for two days (at least) that was my previous experiences, but he didn't. He had never been around a dog and was total friends with Pooka within a few hours. The only hold up is Kanga (my other cat), who hasn't decided if he can be trusted yet, but every day he tries his best to be friendly and make friends with her, so I have no doubt that he soon will. I can't imagine bringing home a new pet going any better than this has, it is almost fortean, the way he has fit right in.

I will also admit that I have been totally broken hearted that past month or so. I literally cried my eyes out for weeks and couldn't pass his grave without having to say "hi" and having my eyes at the very least well up. They still well up, but, overall, the adoption of Khan has made me feel much better. I had thought it was too soon, but Kanga was acting so lonely that I felt I had to get her another friend. It wasn't too soon, I think you can love another cat no matter how little time has passed and it helps to take your mind off of your sorrow.

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