I have changed names to protect this family's privacy as requested. We will call them The Millers. Anna grew up on the Sunshine Coast, on what is still called Reed road back then, it was still largely wild. On the left side there were rows of freshly built houses. Behind those houses stood untouched forest entwined in rows of tall intrusive power lines. The other side of the street was much the same.
“I grew up there, and later moved back to the Coast with my son Cain after a rather bitter divorce. When we found a place on the same street as my family home I thought for sure it was a sign of good luck. I was thrilled to find the small two bedroom basement suite at such an affordable price. We moved in and resumed the normalcy of life. My suite was bright and welcoming at first, with large windows and an open dining and living room.” The young single mother found work at one of the local cafes, it was good pay and would help her young family get back on their feet.
A few days after moving into the suite, a mangy looking stray cat made itself welcome in the family's home. “I must have left a window open because when I returned one evening it was sitting on my sofa. Being an animal lover I didn't really mind. I was lonely and I welcomed the company late at night. I would fall asleep with him on my bed and wake alone. He was always gone before I got up. But every night he would return.”
“One evening, I was so thankful for his presence. It had been a particularly hard day at work I was exhausted. I picked my son up from my mother’s and tucked him safely into crib. I walked down the hallway past the kitchen and laundry room into the main living area. Where I had my sofa positioned so I could see down the hallway in case my son woke. I remember pulling off my sneakers and dropping down on the sofa. My mind racing with normal thoughts bills, rent, what to do with my son on my days off. My furry friend curled onto my lap as I dozed.”
Anna mentioned that, "Leading up to that evening there had been some activity, nothing concerning though, in fact I’d managed to brush most of it off as forgetfulness on my part, loosing my car keys which I swore I’d hung up by the back door, or the sound of whispering when I would walk into an unoccupied room.” Anna assumed it was the neighbors upstairs. “I swore I’d heard my name called a few times, but again chalked this up to being tired after a long day. Until that night.
"It was just after midnight when I woke to the sound of growling. I looked down at my empty lap. The room looked strange to me, almost like a mist hovered in the air. I rubbed my eyes half asleep, there was an unnatural stillness in the room and I felt goosebumps rise on my skin. It took a moment to focus, my mind was groggy and I wondered why the cat was hissing. I looked down at him and was startled to see him standing at the edge of the hallway." Animals have a keen sense of spirits and ethereal beings. So an animal will see or sense them far before we humans do. “I was puzzled by his behavior as he had such a gentle disposition. It was about then that I noticed the smell. It started off faint,” Anna explained, “It was vile, putrid and at first I thought perhaps a pipe in the bathroom had burst.
“It grew stronger until I couldn't stand it. I gagged and coughed. An uncomfortable feeling crept over me, I found myself glancing down the hallway over and over, my mind telling me that at any moment something was going to come running towards me. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, then it really hit me, it wasn't sewage I smelt but something not from this world. I could feel something, my eyes darted down the hallway again, and although I couldn't see anything I knew something was standing by my son’s bedroom door."
"The adrenaline started to pump through my body. The cat's attention remained on my son's bedroom door. It growled and spat, his back arched, fur bristled. It did not move from its spot, like it was keeping guard." Then Anna heard her son crying, then he screamed. “My brain yelled get up!” But when she tried to stand Anna couldn't move. Something was holding her body down, she shook her head back and forth unable to rise. “I looked down at my body there was nothing there, but I could feel a weight holding me down. Get up Anna! I was screaming at myself now. I really couldn't move!” All the while the cat stood its ground, growling, hissing at the unseen intruder. “Then whatever it was simply let go I fell forward onto the ground. I jumped up scrambling past the cat into my son’s room. He was standing upright his hands clutching the edge of his crib. His eyes wide with terror staring above him at the ceiling. He was just standing frozen his face twisted in fear, screaming. The stench was so bad I almost vomited, I covered my mouth with one hand and grabbed Cain racing out of the room and down the hallway. I just knew what ever it was was coming down that hallway after us. Unseen hands reaching for my poor baby.”
“My guardian stood waiting for us to pass as I made my way through the dining area and out the sliding glass doors. The last thing I remember was something laughing, a horrible sickening sound. I can only describe it as evil. I ran all the way up the street to my mother's house, leaving the doors wide open behind us. The next day I returned home, the smell was gone, in fact it never happened again.” Anna told me, the fear of it was too strong. She no longer felt comfortable there and moved out a month later. “It still makes me shiver when I think about it. It makes me realize that we are not alone.” Anna confided in me that after that evening the cat never came back. “I really do feel he came to us for a reason, I am sad I never got to thank him. He saved us from something dark and evil.”
Many cultures believe cats are guardians. Keepers of the souls, and they protect the living from things that wish to harm us. Was this the case with Anna’s stray? Was it a long standing spirit that dwell in her home, awakened when the family moved it? Had the cat sensed the young family was in danger? In any case, Anna Miller know believes that there are evil things that really do go bump in the night.