Cats see ghosts

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I don’t know why, but I feel like writing about ghosts again today.  (This will probably be the last post along these lines for a while!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

This one is far more benevolent than the last one.  ๐Ÿ™‚

I had met my partner’s grandfather, “Granddad”, in 2001, along the escape route from my northern past, coming (back) to Texas.

Already, I knew quite a bit about this man, although tainted by several layers of personal bias and baggage.  I knew that in my partner’s childhood, his phone calls were dreaded obligations to be met and satisfied as briefly and painlessly as possible.  I “knew” that he was the preachy sort when it came to the young whipper-snappers who hadn’t seen–and borne the brunt of–as much of the world as he had.  I also knew that he was a kindred nitpicky Virgo.

And I thought to myself, this could end well.

Our escape, which was really my escape and merely a curiosity for my partner, who, gratefully for me, said, “sure; why not?”, when I ambushed him with a sudden “I want to go home; will you come with me?  Please say you’ll come with me”, would take place over 3 days and 2 nights.  The first night would be spent with his sister, and the second night would be spent with Granddad.

Granddad turned out to be a gentle, mellow elderly man, somewhere in his 80s.  He lived alone in a tiny Oklahoma town that had long since said goodbye to its heyday.  Granddad had long since retired from his own business, a store on the town’s main drag.

Despite the superficial, obligatory connections with my partner’s parents, which had halfway transferred to my partner himself, and despite the enormous generation gap (I was only 23), Granddad and I connected.  I “got” him, in the way I “get” people that others “miss”.  We knew little of each other in the formal sense, but there was a mutual respectful understanding that need not be spoken.

We left the next morning, to complete the final leg of our trip.

My partner and I kept in touch with Granddad, although sporadically, as is my partner’s custom when interacting with family.

Granddad sent each of us birthday money, and joint Christmas cards. I found him to be a delightful, earthy, sensible man.  It’s not common that I click with someone–or that someone clicks with me–so easily.

I never saw him again.

Our new home was 6 hours away, and we quickly found ourselves knee-deep in the obligations and logical steps of the young non-retired adult.  We both worked–my partner full-time and myself where and when I could score shifts at neighborhood dive bars as the low cocktail waitress on the seniority totem pole.  We had also decided to go back to school. Juggling different schedules was hard, money was always too scarce, and we ran on energetic fumes, with nothing left come vacation time.

We have always regretted that.

The next time we saw Granddad’s house, he wasn’t in it.  He had passed away.

My partner’s parents and some aunts, uncles, and cousins here and there, were there instead.  His parents had invited us to come up and go through Granddad’s belongings and take what we wanted.

In terms of belongings, the items that mattered most to us were those that mattered least to everyone else.

Granddad had been a transplant from New York State, who attained the rank of 33rd Degree Freemason, and had helped shape Oklahoma’s more recent history.  My partner was the only other person in his family to express any interest in Freemasonry, and had recently asked my father, a Mason himself, about becoming one.

My partner respectfully asked his mother (Granddad had been her father) if he could have the Freemasonry items.  He also picked out a few old rifles, one of which had been a musket made just after the Civil War.  Of course, his mother said yes.

We returned home, items in hand, the next day.  I’m not sure if my partner felt the strange feeling I felt, but I knew I felt it.  As with so many feelings, I lacked any words to describe this one.  It’s the kind of alien feeling you get when you’ve just come from the house of a departed loved one, driven 6 hours, and you’re fatigued yet restless, unsure what to do with yourself.  It’s an unsettling, incomplete-ness.

Katie, our only cat, a beloved, intelligent, elderly calico, was glad to see us.  But she, too, padded cautiously around the house.

I was in the bathroom with the door open (sorry for the TMI), when she came blazing through the house and skidded to a quick stop like a hockey player, eyes wide as could be.  If her face could’ve gone whiter, it probably would have.

She was freaked.  Out.

One phrase popped into my head: “like she’d seen a ghost”.

Instantly and instinctively, I knew exactly what happened.

Granddad had followed us home.  He was there.  No question.

It was then that the rest of the feeling hit me.  It flooded in.  Granddad admired us.  He appreciated that we took loving custody of what were his most treasured items.  If he hadn’t been aware before of my partner’s budding quest to become a Mason, he was now, and he was beaming.  He traveled with us because he felt close to us and wanted us to know all of this.  He wanted to say hi, to let us know he was with us, and to bring comfort and reassurance.

I hadn’t known this a few minutes before.  I knew them solidly right then.  Knowledge acquisition can be very spontaneous.

Katie was highly intelligent.  We talked to her, in normal adult voices all the time.  It’s OK to consider that strange; Katie was exceptional.

She just didn’t know what or who she’d just seen.  I had to calm her.

“It’s OK, Katie.  That’s just Granddad.  He’s OK.  He won’t hurt anyone.  He’s a good guy.  He can be here.”

And with that, she was perfectly fine.

I’m sure that over the years, Granddad has come and gone, dropped in to check in on us, and then dropped out again, probably to check on others.  My partner, his mom, and I all felt his presence at our wedding, and my partner’s mom is a delightful woman, but she doesn’t tend to think along lines of belief such as this.  But Granddad had/has the ability to have that strong a presence.

Not too long afterward, Katie joined him, across the bridge.  I hope she found him, in some afterlife lounge, and I hope they hang out together to this day.  They’re perfect for each other. ๐Ÿ™‚

โค

โค

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2 thoughts on “Cats see ghosts

  1. So freakin cool my dude! So cool! My great grandfather was a 32nd degree Mason and so is my Dad(stepfather, divorced from my mother but still my Dad).
    My father-in-law and I had a super close relationship even though my ex & he had many issues. He lost his sight from diabetes and had heart problems. I knew it was a blessing on him when he left the restrictions of this life. My ex was already gone & back in Indiana so he was there with his family. I didn’t worry about missing the funeral because I knew “Old Man” came to see me. He still does occasionally. I’ll hear him call me.
    The cat we have now is a tortie and a spaz๐Ÿ˜„ we never know what she sees or what she’s doing๐Ÿ˜น๐Ÿ˜น๐Ÿ˜ป

    1. Oh wow!! Talk about freaking cool!! Oh, the parallels we share ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž. I love torties!! My mom adopted a stray who was outdoors and she had 5 kittens! Right about the same time we adopted Murphy (still with us!) and Maddie (the one who passed away 4 years ago). So 7 cats all born within 25 days lol. My sister took 2 of my mom’s stray cat’s litter and my mom and dad kept the other 3. Stray mom was a tortie and the kittens are interesting–3 were fathered mostly by stray mom’s first mate, a red-and-white. Stray mom’s second mate, however, was Siamese. So mom had 2 Siamese torties and 1 calico tortie, and my sister has a calico tortie and a tiger/tortie with more white on him but little red. So cute!! The 2 Siamese torties couldn’t be more different; one’s big and one isn’t, one is friskier while the other was more mellow. (I say “was” for the mellow one, Meg, because she passed away a couple years ago, after several years of an incurable infection by a tropical parasite, Leishmaniasis). Oh they’re all so amazing!! They go ape shit sometimes LOLOL ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      That’s too cool that your loved ones come to visit you!! I think my partner’s Granddad was there at our wedding. He felt his presence, and so did his mom who otherwise really isn’t “into” that line of thinking, and I know I felt him there, too. Very very happy ๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ. I regret that we didn’t make it to his funeral either, but now I tend to look at it like you do! I like the way you think ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผโ˜ฎ

      Big hugs to you!! ๐Ÿ’Ÿโ˜ฎ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒท๐Ÿ’“โ˜ฏ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’žโœจ๐Ÿ’๐ŸŒบ๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿ˜น๐Ÿ˜ฝ๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ€๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒต

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