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Our old cat, Mew, died when I was around 11. As hers was my first experience with the death of a loved one, I wasn’t quite sure how to react. Even though we still had our two younger cats prowling around our home, I couldn’t help but feel that something was amiss.
Mew had been the kitty matriarch of our family, and her absence made us all feel a little discombobulated and antsy for days, even weeks, after her death. I remember thinking that it felt like we had moved into a new house — not quite settled, and still attempting to feel normal. So I decided a kitty seance was in order. Obviously.
You see, I was a spooky little kid. While other girls my age were reading Sweet Valley High or watching Beverly Hills 90210, I was reading paranormal researcher Harry Price’s account of the haunting of Borley Rectory, “the most haunted house in England,” and watching Unsolved Mysteries.
When left to my own devices, Sammy, my four-legged partner in crime, and I would often go ghost hunting in the ravine behind our house. Well, I was ghost hunting; Sammy was probably looking for squirrels. I was convinced the ravine was haunted by a big gray man-ghost, and that it was my duty as a burgeoning paranormal investigator to prove his existence. I just KNEW that between Sammy’s cat powers and my investigator expertise, we’d one day encounter the man. Every twig snap or “unexplained” rustling of leaves was recorded as evidence in the “Ghost Log” I carried.
We never did meet the big gray man-ghost. Shortly before we moved, my dad found evidence of a homeless person living at the bottom of the ravine, and that discovery marked the end of ghost hunting for Sammy and myself.
But who needs ghost hunting when you can have a kitty seance?
Mew’s ghost had to be skulking around, and I was convinced that I could contact her. So I made preparations. First I drew a makeshift Ouija board. I got a piece of brown construction paper, and printed “MEW” at the top in black marker. Then I wrote the alphabet on the paper, and the words “YES” and “NO” at the bottom in fancy cursive letters. I found a purple seashell to use as a pointer so Mew could point out the letters on the board to spell out her messages. It never occurred to me that Mew might not communicate with me IN ENGLISH. We were cosmically linked! Our bond transcended language! Everyone is bilingual in Kitty Heaven!
I figured that if I was to contact Mew, I’d need the other cats to help me. Whoever heard of having a seance alone, anyway? So I gathered Sammy and Angel in the bathroom, locked the door, lit a candle, and arranged my materials on the floor. I took a moment to “get in tune” with the kitties. I vaguely remember giving Angel and Sammy a little pep talk.
“This is for Mew,” I think I said.
Finally, with Angel curled up on the edge of the Ouija board, partially obscuring Mew’s name so that it read, “ew,” and Sammy impatiently flicking his tail, we initiated contact. With sweaty skin, I put my hand on the seashell and concentrated with my eyes closed for a moment.
“Mew … are you there? Can you hear us?”
Nothing. I opened my eyes. Both cats sat blinking at me. “Mew … it’s Louise, Sammy, and Angel. We miss you. Are you here?” I listened intently. My breathing sounded so loud. I stared at the seashell, willing it to move. Still nothing. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes again.
“Is Mew there? Mew? I miss you, can you talk to us? Please?”
As I sat with my pulse pounding, positive that any moment Mew’s ghost would move the seashell, I became aware of movement in the room. I heard a thump to my right. I didn’t open my eyes but it was all I could do not to squeal.
“Mew?” I whispered.
Then I felt movement on the board!
Oh so slowly I opened my eyes, prepared to see the seashell pointing “YES” or the letter “M” for Mew. Not quite.
The thump I heard was bored Sammy “breaking the circle” to hop into the sink to take a nap. And the movement on the Ouija board was Angel getting up to closer inspect the candle, almost flambeing her little kitty face. The seance was over. If Mew was present, she was most certainly having a good laugh. That was the only time I tried to contact Mew, or any of my passed pets for that matter.
I’m still obsessed with the paranormal, but at this point, you’ll never find me anywhere near an Ouija board. If my deceased pets want to contact me, I figure they’ll do it in their own time. Which some of them have, I believe.
After Angel passed away, I’m positive she curled up on my bed one last time before moving on. It’s one of my favorite memories of her. And when Sammy died, I thought I heard him jumping on the fridge, his favorite spot, a few times.
A lot of people have called all this stuff a lot of hocus-pocus garbage, simply the product of an overactive imagination. However, the way I see it, if the belief in some of this “garbage” gives a person a little hope and comfort, what can be the harm?
Whether it’s at the seance, or in my heart, my kitties are always with me.
Read more stories by Louise Hung and about ghosts and cats: