Editor’s Note: With this post, I’m back to the theme of the blog. My apologies for the Gracie posts, as they really were meant for a different blog site.
I had left the door open and Imanya screamed, “Nod just escaped! She ran outside!” Panic. We had just recovered one lost animal, and we were about to lose another. I saw the whole scenario in my head: Missing cat posters, miserable kid, the whole family in turmoil again. “Oh . . . Nod’s right behind me,” Imanya stated, with a note of confusion in her voice. A quick check revealed that every animal was in place: Kenny was sitting, gremlin-like, on the desk by the front door; Nod was starting at us from the rug like we were all crazy; Bingo was perched on the stone wall outside. Gracie was in her cage, Mrs. Snuffles was downstairs in her rodent mansion, the fish were in the tank–so what had happened here? This was not a case of seeing something from the corner of your eye, but rather a direct vision (what should we call it?) of a cat, assumed to be Nod, running out the door.
Actually, said IMS, she hadn’t really seen Nod. She simply assumed it had to be Nod. She had seen a black cat with a hanging belly scurry out the door. It was Coco who ran out the door–except for the inconvenient fact that Coco had died on November 23rd, 2007. We didn’t tell her at the time what my husband recently confided to me: He saw Coco walk past the laundry room, in the bright light of day. Of course, upon inspection, there was no black cat to be found. I don’t tell my little family about the multiple times I’ve seen–at an angle– a black cat at the food dish only to have him disappear when I turn my gaze fully upon the feeding bowl, or the fact that Coco seems to take over Nod’s body when she’s fighting Bingo. Behaviors that were unique to Coco pop up in Nod for brief moments, causing me to wonder if my old cat’s soul has momentarily occupied our kitten.
Even though I maintain this blog about supernatural stories or survival of consciousness–whatever you wish to call it–I don’t readily admit to people what I sometimes see or sense. I have an accute awareness that many people think such stories are fun fiction or personal delusion, hallucinations we experience that accompany grief or fulfill some hidden psychological need or agenda. However, what makes this story different for me is simply the fact that all three of us have experienced a Coco visitation, and we are not grieving his absence or desperately needing him to appear. When we have seen him, or visually perceived him (what is the difference?), we were not thinking about him, much less hoping to see him. Almost three years have passed since Coco left us, and it’s safe to say we came to terms with that fact long ago.
And yet, there he is. I don’t know how to explain it, I don’t know what it means, but the facts in this post are true. I invented none of this, nor embellished it. If you have had a similar experience, please comment or send me your story so that I can post it. My theory is that our pets form attachments that death doesn’t appear to break. What do you think?