The incredible connection between animals and the spirit world
Date 26/11/2003 | Topic: Ghosts
| EVEN PEOPLE WHO believe in an afterlife and the possibility of ghosts are often skeptical when it comes to the idea of spirit animals. They don't have souls or spirits, goes the argument, and therefore cannot have a life in the next world. |
But cats, dogs, birds and other animals are made up of the same energy that humans are, and it may be as possible that this energy can survive death, just as it can for people. Anyone who is close to their pets will testify to the psychic connection they share. Psychic energy and spiritual energy may all be a part of the same phenomenon, and so animals might have as much of a connection to the unseen world as we do.
Maybe more. Animals not only may appear as ghostly forms, they may also be more sensitive to the proximity of spirits. Barbara S. tells of a stray black-and-white cat that her family adopted in the Queens section of New York City. They lived in an old attached house that had no history of strange activity, as far as they knew, but this high-strung kitten seemed to be able to see things Barbara's family could not:
She would look at the stairs, her gaze slowly moving from the bottom to the top, as if she was observing someone walking up the steps. At other times, her green eyes would be transfixed upon a certain spot on the ceiling above me. While I couldn't see anything, the cat was definitely watching something. After my son went away to college, I decided to put the house up for sale. One evening, shortly after the real estate agent that I contacted had looked at the house, I sat in my favorite chair with my little cat nearby excitedly looking at the ceiling above me. I heard people run down the stairs in the house next door. Maybe the noise triggered what happened next, which was truly horrible. What I heard sounded like the heavy, thumping steps of a big man with real heavy boots walking on my living room ceiling upside down. The cat was absolutely frantic. She looked at the ceiling, hissing and spitting. After about ten seconds of deafening noise, there was silence. The cat stopped looking at the ceiling. I checked the upstairs rooms, but, of course, there was no one [else] in the house.
Dogs can be just as sensitive as cats when it comes to sensing the unseen. Elven M. tells of ghostly figures in her home that made their presence known so often that her family actually named one of them: Bill; the other was the ghost of a little girl. Elven believes that her dogs -- a seeing-eye trained German Shepherd, Haywood, and a blue healer, Tuscon -- were the first to notice them. Elven was on the phone one day...
Haywood was lying at my feet and began to growl. Tuscon went and hid behind the stereo in the corner. As Haywood stood up, I felt a gust of cold air brush past me, and he continued to growl. He moved to the top of the stairs that led into the family room, and the hair on the back of his neck stood up as he growled and snarled into the dark basement. I feared that someone had broken into the house. I turned on the downstairs light as I stood directly behind Haywood, ready to let him run and attack whoever it was in the basement. I saw nothing, yet he continued to growl. I stayed on the phone and went across the room and pulled into the corner, scared to death. My boyfriend at the time was consoling me, telling me there was nothing there. At that moment, a little girl's voice came from the vent in the floor next to me. Haywood came and sat beside me as though he was protecting me, growling across the room the whole time. By the time my parents returned home, I was very upset and very scared as the voice continued.
"There is an obscure superstition that goes something like this: Knowing that animals can see ghosts, when an animal sees a ghost one can, from behind the animal, look between their ears toward where the animal is looking and see the ghost that they see," says Scott P. Yet he tried this very thing and discovered that the superstition is not true. He had the opportunity to test it as a young boy on a winter's day in his family's 100-year-old home, which had previously been a funeral home:
I, with my cat and dog curled up for warmth, sat on a heater vent wrapped in a blanket. I was in the living room with a perfect view of the entryway. From here I heard some footsteps upstairs. The cat's and dog's ears both perked up at the sound of the footsteps as they seemed to go down the hall toward the top of the spiraling staircase in the entryway. Both animals watched some invisible presence slowly walk down the stairs and through the living room then into the dining room. I, quite apprehensively, looked between both my cat's and my dog's ears as their heads and eyes seemed to follow someone walking though my house. Both animals' heads moved in tandem and the acted very much aware of the presence. Yet I could sense nothing aside from the sound of steps and the reaction of the animals. I was somewhat disappointed.
The ghosts of animals may be as common as the ghosts of humans. There are many reports from people who have sensed, felt, smelled, heard and even seen the spirits of recently departed pets. Nina I.'s daughter, for example, had such an experience with a cat named Andy, which was her companion for 19 years.
Like human ghosts, animal ghosts can sometimes appear to lend comfort:
My daughter has suffered with rheumatoid arthritis since age 12, so spends many times in discomfort. For the past couple of years, she began telling me that a ghost visited her on her bed when she was feeling really bad. One morning, she commented that her "friend" had joined her on her bed. "It's strange, he is always felt just to the right of my feet. Just in that little place. I can feel the mattress depress." I had an instant brain hit. I told her, "It's the cat! It's Andy." I reminded her that Andy had always joined her in bed when she felt bad. She and I feel Andy is still around offering comfort to her.
In some cases these ghost animals are not particular whom they cuddle up to. Paul N. didn't own a cat, yet reports these visitations:
Early in the morning, while still dark, I sometimes have a feeling as though a cat is walking around on my bed. It happens usually when in bed, although it has happened while lying down watching TV late at night, too. The sensation is very clear and definite, exactly like the footsteps of a normal-sized house cat walking gently around on top of my bed linen, sometimes on top of me too, patting around for somewhere to lie down. Eventually it finds a spot, usually lying up against me, but not always. If I move too much while it is walking around the sensation will disappear. It will not be repeated twice in a night.
Ghosts sometimes appear to the living to let their loved ones know they are alright in the next world. That's the feeling Dennis G. and his wife got from a cat that he was forced to put down because it was severely ill. Sydnie was one of a litter of cats that contracted feline leukemia, but made its presence known after its death:
I felt like I had lost a child when we took Sydnie home to be buried where she was born. For about a month afterward, I felt depression and grieving for Sydnie. Then one night, while lying in bed waiting for sleep to come, I heard and felt the distinct thump of a cat lunging from the floor and landing on the foot of the bed, which was Sydnie's custom. I thought it was one of the other cats, but it was their custom to sleep in other parts of the house. I felt with my foot for a cat, but there was nothing there. This went on every night for a week, so I know I was awake and not dreaming. The impact was solid and real, right down to the little grunts cats give when they jump -- but nothing was there! I knew it had to be Sydnie's way of telling me everything was all right.
In many instances, the owners of deceased animals feel that their beloved pets are just returning briefly to say goodbye. In this remarkable case, Robin S.'s black Labrador, Mutt, might not even have been dead when it's spirit appeared to her. Robin had to give Mutt away because she and her husband had to move and weren't able to take the dog with them. But five years after the move, Mutt hadn't forgotten Robin:
I was in our living room and my husband was going out the door with the trash. A black mass was wiggling around his legs and as it came into the living room, I saw it was Mutt. He was wagging his tail a mile a minute and had what looked like a big grin on his face. He sat down stared at me and I heard, "I haven't forgotten you. I have to go now." Then he faded before my eyes before I had a chance to pet him! I knew he was gone from his body, but he still loved me enough to come say goodbye.
As with human-like apparitions, not all animal apparitions are positive experiences. You have no doubt heard of encounters with shadow people... but how about shadow animals? Kamala relates these peculiar experiences, which began after a real bird became trapped in her house:
My mom released it outside and it flew away.
Our dog, Casey, started following something not sensed by us in our living room. She started acting strangely and continued to sniff and bark at things that were not there. My mom sensed a bird flying over her head. There was no earthly bird to be found. A phantom "cat" has joined our home recently. My mom, my sister, and I have all "seen" it. It is like a dark shadow. I actually thought it was a cat running under the kitchen table! The last thing to join us is a "black lizard." My sister spotted it in our basement. My mom also saw it there. It was very clearly defined, not a shadow like the cat. There are no lizards around in the middle of winter where I live. They are there one-second and vanish the next. Could these "animals" be manifestations of a negative energy?
Another reader has even reported seeing chicken shadow ghosts.
Stranger still is this story from Neal T. about a very real-looking bird that had some quite unreal abilities, causing Neal to wonder if it existed in some other dimension:
My father and uncle were sitting in the living room, one side of which is enclosed floor to ceiling by two large French windows. It was about three in the afternoon, and as they were watching television, a bird -- possibly a wren -- flew against one of the glass panes. They both heard the noise and turned to observe the bird flutter for a moment, then appear to flatten itself out and squeeze through between the frame that encases the top of one of the panes! It flew to the opposite side of the room to the open door of the patio, where it flew away. This, I think we can all agree, is contrary to our conventional perception of reality and reason. The panes are firmly in place, without so much as a crack. So what we're talking about is what appeared to be a solid form -- the bird -- pushing itself through another solid form -- the glass -- without damage to either one. There are two witnesses who saw this. So the trite explanation of "it's your imagination" can be ruled out.