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Phantom

What goes on at home stays at home

By Yvette McDermottPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
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I have had many pets since I was a child. While I was growing up, we had cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, snakes, newts, budgies and I'm probably forgetting some. My dad was an animal lover and passed this along to us as children. He was a pretty fair man to humans too.

One of the most constant companions I've had though since adulthood is cats. They seem to choose their humans in some secret ceremony they contrived back when they were worshipped in ancient Egypt. Currently I have two cats - one is an eight year old, orange coloured, tabby marked cat named Mr. Mittens and the other is a 16 year old grey, fluffy cat named Mokentoke. Both these cats came from my daughter, but Mr. Mittens I've had since he was a tiny kitten. Mokentoke came later on when my daughter moved to a new place, but Mokentoke never left.

In the past I had one favourite cat named Phantom who was a little boy cat who seemed to be more aware than any other cats I've ever had. He'd look at me with his eyes that seemed to know what I'd be saying. I really loved that cat. And don't let my other cats hear, but I think he was my favourite cat because he seemed like a human to me.

I remember one time when I came home from a client meeting and Phantom came running to the door as soon as I got in. He was meowing and running back and forth from me to my balcony door. I didn't really know what he was so frantic about; but when I looked out on my balcony, my umbrella had fallen over. We were having a rainstorm with a lot of wind, and I'm sure he was scared. That is one of the times I knew he was different from some of the other cats I'd had. He knew how to get my attention. I am pretty sure if I had a pet cam on at this time, he'd be sitting there guarding the balcony door making sure that that umbrella didn't go anywhere.

One of the things I think cats have in common is they never seem to like doors closed inside the house anyhow. I used to get up for my morning shower, but I learned not to close the door after awhile. Phantom would be sticking his paws under the door the whole time trying to get in or get my attention. In this instance, I am pretty sure he would want his own "pet" cam to see what I am doing at all times. After I started to leave the door open, he would come in and one time he surprised me when I turned around in the shower while rinsing my hair off; and there he was sitting in the bathtub behind me, looking up at me quizzically. I guess he was wondering what I was doing behind that curtain, and why he wasn't invited, so decided to check it out for himself. Well he found out, and he never came in the shower again.

Besides being curious, he was aware of how I was feeling. My partner Fraser died suddenly while I had Phantom and another cat named Kitty. I know what an original name, but Kitty was a little kitten we found wandering around our building not seeming to know what to do. Someone had dumped him outside and left him. We had posted a found poster; he was only meant to be with us temporarily, so he was kitty. I was also pet sitting two other cats at the time - the aforementioned Mokentoke and another little calico cat whose name I have forgotten now as this was years and years ago. My cats and my little charges did not really get along as my cats were being very territorial, so all that week all I could hear was hissing, snarling and sometimes bangs.

I remember the day after Fraser died, I woke up and sat at the edge of the bed and just cried. I didn't move as I didn't feel like moving. When I was done my crying for the time being, I looked up and all the cats were sitting around me with their heads down. I'd never seen anything like that in my life. They were not fighting or hissing at each other; they seemed like they were there to comfort me. In a strange way, it did. During this period of my life, I was a little oblivious for awhile, and I think I would have appreciated a pet cam; so I could go back and check out what the heck was going on both with them and myself.

My cat Phantom engrained himself into my heart, and so it broke when he went missing. I had gone out with my daughter to give one of her friends a ride to the airport. My daughter had my granddaughter who was in a stroller. To get in and out, we had to bring the stroller in and up the stairs when she came and then down and out again when we were leaving. I think Phantom probably ran out during this time as that's the only time the door was open that day. When I got home, it was late. I didn't notice he wasn't there as he usually was all over the townhouse prowling or watching his "pet" cam - who knows; but every morning he'd be in bed. I only noticed he was gone when he wasn't in bed when I got up.

I searched the neighbourhood for him, and I went to the Humane Society and the City Pound for months looking for him. I don't know whatever happened to my Phantom, but I shed tears for him too when he was gone. I think all our pets are much more aware than we know. I wish I had a pet cam then, so maybe I would have known when he got out. From what I've witnessed as a pet owner, I know a pet cam at home would have been very entertaining except maybe when I was pet sitting the other cats. There'd probably be too much hissing and snarling and not enough entertainment. I only recently acquired some home cameras, and most of the time I don't see what my cats are up to. On the rare occasion I see one at the window; but for the most part it seems, they would rather keep their goings-on to themselves. Maybe it's better that way for us and them!

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About the Creator

Yvette McDermott

I am a grandma of three; I enjoy hiking, reading, cooking and Halloween. I mainly enjoy historical and horror films or books. I also enjoy exploring old sites and taking pictures.

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