Some people are very sensitive to the spirits (not alcohol, the paranormal ones), while others will chock it up as hocus pocus bunk. I fall somewhere in the middle. I know they exist around me, and although I have never seen a ghost or spirit, I have experienced their presence on several occasions. And because they were friendly spirits, I welcomed them openly. I’ll recount three of my favourite encounters. I’ll leave the others to another story.
My first cat, Cinder, passed away in May 1993. That summer, I was sitting on the patio with friends when the kitchen screen door opened a crack for no reason. I paid no attention thinking it was a breeze. The next day, the same thing happened, but the sensor light also turned on. It was around 5:30 pm when Cinder usually came home from the day’s activity. I jokingly said to my friends, “Cinder’s come for a visit.” In the coming weeks, I felt a strange feeling when I went to bed. Footsteps, then pawing on the bed. At first I thought it was Topaz, my new addition to the family, but when I looked, there was nothing there. Was I imagining something or merely just too tired. This happened three times and on the third night I stayed still and waited, just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. Sure enough the footsteps and pawing at my side started. I gently lifted my head and saw nothing. I knew it was Cinder. I just smiled and said, “Hello Cinder. Settle in!” That was my first memorable encounter with a spirit. She visited for a few more days, then twice in the next two months, then she was gone.
Luna joined the family at the end of 1993 to give Topaz a playmate. She ran away on the day that I was leaving Vancouver for Montreal in 2010. Days after my departure, she came back to the apartment and stayed with my old neighbour. She passed away a few months later. It broke my heart and Topaz was always whining for her. He missed his playmate. About a year later, at 9:00 am, Topaz was sitting on his perch in the office, looking out the window. Suddenly he stood straight up, jumped down from the perch and scurried up and down the hallway as if chasing something. It was a game he and Luna played – chase each other, hide and pounce. He did this for 30 minutes, then without warning, jumped back onto his perch. I knew right away Luna had come to play. She came back right at 9:00 am the next week for one last visit.
Topaz passed away in 2014. I waited and waited for his visit, but it never came. I thought that maybe he was upset with me when he died. But then I resolved that he was a very friendly cat and that he probably made friends right away in heaven. You have to tell yourself stuff to ease the hurt. Last year, he finally came and curled himself into my thigh where he always slept. I was so happy. He only came one more time after that.
However our loved ones choose to visit, it is always welcomed.
© Ariane Weathers