Saturday, October 31, 2015

Ghost Cats and Witch Kitties

The first cat I ever loved was a blue point Himalayan named Mindi.  I adopted her from the animal shelter when I was fifteen and right away I noticed there was something weird about this cat.  If there is one thing Mindi taught me it's that true witch kitties are not black.  They come in disguises.  Mindi looked like an angel cat but underneath that package of fluffy silver-cream fur was a devious little beast.  Puckett has picked up this torch and carried it in Mindi's stead now that she has passed on.  Puckett is twenty pounds of tabby and white load who uses her bulk to get what she wants.

Mindi and Puckett have two things in common.  Mindi had huge eyeballs that she used to stare unnervingly and unblinkingly at people as they went about their daily activities as does Puckett. My best friend from college used to joke that if one crossed Mindi she would stare at them until she cursed them. Mindi was also ridiculously intelligent just like Puckett. Of course I am biased and believe all my pets are intelligent except for Willow, but Puckett is exceptionally so.  She has not yet learned to teleport, however, which is something that Mindi was quite good at.  Or possibly Puckett just has no reason to teleport as she can go wherever she wants.

I am kidding of course.  I don't really believe Mindi could teleport, but on several different occasions witnessed by several different family members, Mindi had somehow managed to escape from my bedroom where she was usually confined and found her way upstairs.  One episode sticks out in particular.  We kept Mindi in my bedroom because our other two cats didn't like her and expressed their displeasure by refusing to use the litter box.  Mindi was my cat anyway so she spent most of her time in my room, keeping me company in my hermit ways.  I was on my way out of my bedroom one day and Mindi was sitting on my bed in the middle of a circle of stuffed animals.  I sometimes wondered if she didn't consider these her minions as she sat among them a lot.  I said  goodbye to her, promising to come back later, looked her right in the eye, and closed my bedroom door.  I latched it.  It was shut.  I went upstairs to help my mother with something and she asked me why Mindi was out of my room.  There was Mindi sitting on the windowsill in the breakfast room, staring out the window.

She pulled this same trick with my brother.  On another occasion she was in his bedroom because I wasn't home for the weekend and he said Mindi was lonely.  He too said he swore he closed the door, looking at the cat while she sat smugly on his bed, and then went upstairs.  An hour later she trotted into the living room like nothing was amiss.

One night when I was about sixteen I scared myself silly with scary stories and evil presences.  I was sure I felt something dark in my room.  It was almost tangible with its oppressiveness, like there was this heaviness in the air, closing around me.  Even the darkness seemed darker.  I hid under my covers shaking and trying to control my panic and about ten minutes later I heard extremely loud purring and Mindi eased onto my chest.  She sat there for about an hour, purring, until I felt the heaviness disappear and my room lightened. Mindi liked laps but she never sat on me when I went to bed.  She always slept next to me or at my feet.  I may sound crazy but I think she was protecting me.  Whatever I felt in my room that night she somehow warded off.  She never sat on my chest again.

After my brother and I moved out completely my mother still kept Mindi in my bedroom until she had to put the other two cats down.  By then Mindi had escaped several more times or merely beamed herself out of the room as my mother liked to say.  It became a family joke.

When I moved to my own apartment I took Mindi with me.  She'd joined me at college a few times, living in my best friend's apartment and watching lots of sports on TV with his roommate.  Mindi had a fondness for large men sitting in easy chairs.  It provided a lap for her to sit on.  My best friend cat sat for her a few times too and he said she pulled her tricks with him as well.  He'd find her in the strangest places and one time he found her outside, just sitting under a tree.  When I moved Mindi to my apartment after I graduated college she had the run of the place except for my roommate's bedroom to which we kept the door closed.  Most days I would come home from work and call for Mindi, search the entire house for her, coming up nothing.  Two hours later when I would get really nervous she would trot out of my bedroom as though I hadn't been tearing the house apart looking for her.  I think she had a hidey hole under the bed (and I did check under the bed, every time to no avail).  I also think she kept an office somewhere behind the walls where she did her plotting to take over the world.

One time I found her in my roommate's room even though the door was shut.  I have no idea how she got in there.  I have no idea how I found her considering the mess he left behind.

When I moved to Wyoming I took Mindi back home to my mother.  By then she was fairly old and a move across the country away from everything familiar I feared might be too much for her.  As she was the last and only pet she became almost boringly normal.

After Mindi passed on I came home a couple years later to visit my family and my mother put me in the guest room as my old room was being remodeled.  About three o'clock in the morning I awoke to the sound of what can only be described as a cat pawing very loudly against a door.  I am very familiar with this sound since Mindi did it all the time when she still lived in my bedroom.  The weird thing was my parents no longer had any pets.  I turned on my light and looked around expecting to see something but there was nothing in my room.  I would have chalked it up to a dream but a year later my sister-in-law slept in the same room and said she heard the same thing. I hadn't told her before then what I'd experienced.  My mother jokingly said it was the ghost of Mindi.

I have a black cat, Percy, but he has no particular magic powers or uncanny abilities other than to stink up the house when he uses the litter box.  One thing I love about him are his fangs.  I call him vampire kitty, but Puckett is my witch kitty now.  I have never met another cat like Mindi until I met Puckett at the animal shelter.  She has the same spark in her eyes as Mindi. While she doesn't demonstrate an ability to beam, I do believe she wards off evil spirits and she's a good luck charm, if for no other reason than nobody really messes with someone who has a twenty plus pound cat who is not afraid of anything.  That could be the beginning of a monster movie.  Attack of the Twenty Pound Cat.

Happy Halloween everyone!

The Vampire Kitty

The Witch Kitty

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