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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Ghost Cats in Central Florida - A True Story

As some of you have heard, I've done a few speaking engagements over the past couple of years, mostly discussing the horror genre, writing and my book, The Wash. A question I've been asked on more than one occasion is whether I believe in the supernatural.  You'd think that as a horror fan I'd have a healthy belief in all things paranormal.  After all, I've spent an unusual amount of time reading, watching and writing about the subject.  The fact is though, that when people asked me about it, my answer was always, "I want to."

That was the truth. I wanted desperately to believe that there was something supernatural, otherworldly, downright frightening and unbelievable out there but the fact was I'd never experienced anything like that firsthand.  I'd visited haunted houses, haunted forests and places where stories of monsters abound but I'd never seen one for myself.  Because of that, I had reached the conclusion that there really wasn't any truth to the stories I'd heard. 

Don't get me wrong. I didn't think the people who did believe in that were crazy.  I believed that they honestly thought they'd seen otherworldly phenomena, but I was sure there had to be an explanation for it. I just thought they weren't thinking clearly.

That is, until about a week ago.  Now, I'm a believer.

My father and stepmother live on a lake in Central Florida.  It's one of my favorite places to visit and I don't get there often enough.  It's a great place to reset for me and last week I was there visiting.  For years, they had a solid black cat named Ninja.  He was an indoor cat and was an unlikely addition to the house at first.  My father had always been a dog person but my stepmother agreed to foster him when he was young and my father and he became quick friends.  He lived with them for over 20 years and died less than a year ago.  

I have a major allergy to cats.  Anytime I'd visit, I'd be doped up on Allegra and sometimes even had to supplement it with Benedryl just to get through the week, but Ninja was awesome.  Occasionally, he'd come up and want me to pet him and I gladly would, even though my fingers would begin to itch almost immediately.  He was a cool cat who continued to be playful even when he got older.  So when he died, it left a hole in their household.

I wasn't here to experience just how much of one. I just knew he was a much loved pet.

Last Tuesday, my father and I sat out on the back porch and talked until it was pretty late.  Finally, he decided to call it a night and I headed in and took a shower before laying down myself.  As I lay on the bed in the guest room, I felt something jump up on the bed at my feet and then walk along the side of the bed next to the wall.  I could feel every footstep.  

I bolted upright!  I thought for sure that one of the two outside cats had gotten in.  I hit the light and looked around.  There was nothing there.  Nothing.  Yet, without a doubt, I felt a cat jump up on the foot of the bed and walk along the edge next to the wall, toward my head.  It freaked me out a little but then I started explaining it away.  Maybe I was dozing.  Maybe it was a dream.  All the usual excuses.

The next evening, we were all talking after dinner and I mentioned it to my stepmother. Her eyes lit up and she said, "That happened to me also!"

A month after Ninja died, she felt him jump up on the exact same bed, in the exact same place and take the same route along the edge before climbing onto her chest.  It was something he'd done countless times before when he was alive. I never knew he did that though.  Because of my allergy, when I stayed with them I kept the door closed, so I never experienced Ninja jumping on the bed to come visit.  

I've played it over in my head repeatedly since last week, but I have no doubt about what I felt and having it corroborated by my stepmother has cemented my belief that I actually experienced my first ghost, and a cat ghost to boot!

Pretty crazy, huh?  

Anyway, I thought I'd pass it along because it's truly changed the way I look at some of the stories I've read and heard.  


Rhondi said...

I've had the same thing happen. With dogs and cats...the quiet bounce onto the bed, and then positioning to ghost snuggle.

Cary said...

That's wild, Rhondi! It's the first time I've ever experienced it and it blew my mind. The thing that I found the most weird about it was that I never had a big connection to Ninja. I could see my stepmother experiencing something like this, because he would do that with her every day, but I visited the house so rarely I was more like a random hotel guest seeing a ghost in the hallway.