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Last night I turned off the light in the living room and headed to the bathroom to brush my teeth before going to bed. When I left the bathroom, I noticed that my cat Mickey was standing in the dining room, looking toward the living room with his tail very thick and bristly. He arched his back and he was staring at something in the dark living room. He was locked in on something and looked like he was still trying to decide: fight? or flight?

I looked into the living room, and saw the puppy lying on the floor in front of the TV stand. He was directly in the line of sight of the cat, so I assumed they had had one of their little play skirmishes and Mickey was just being defensive because Teddy had been a little too rough. It happens, and in spite of his size, he's very much a scaredy cat. He's a lover, not a fighter.

So I walked into the living room and picked Teddy up to carry him past Mickey so we could go to bed. He is submissive to Mickey, and I knew he wouldn't cross his path with Mickey looking like he was going to kill him. The whole time, I'm speaking to them softly and trying to be reassuring, mostly to Mickey.

As I walked toward Mickey, carrying the dog, I noticed that he was not actually staring at Teddy; he was staring farther into the room and he did not break his gaze for one second. And his tail was still like a bottle brush.

Days before I brought my puppy home, I had to put one of my cats to sleep. She was a real sweetheart and she had been through so much during her 11 years of life: I-131 for a thyroid problem, spent a week in the hospital for a severe pre-cancerous intestinal inflammation and then had to take prednisolone every day after that. She was a real trooper and everyone at the vet clinic loved her. When she developed a rapidly growing squamous-cell tumor on the base of her tongue, I knew I wasn't going to put her through any kind of aggressive treatment, even if the vet had said it would have helped (which she didn't, as it happened). She didn't deserve having to endure more torture for the sake of living a few more months; the prognosis is never good with the type of tumor she had.

I was heartbroken and I cried for days, before and after she passed. She was such a great cat--never met a stranger and always wanted to be in the middle of whatever was going on in the house. She was also a great cuddler, unlike Mickey, who only wants to cuddle when he wants to.

I took her to the vet for the last time on July 31, 2009. As I was leaving the clinic, I saw two women sitting in the waiting area with a cat in a carrier. They had overheard me talking to someone about Gizzie's tumor, so they told me that their cat had the same thing. They had only just found out about it, so they were still in that horrible place where you have to balance what's best for the animal versus your desire to have them with you, in order to make the right decision.

The tears were still streaming down my face and one of the ladies said to me, "Don't worry, she will bring you another friend" - that still makes me cry when I think about it, especially considering how it all worked out.

I went home and cried some more and then decided that it might be the perfect time to welcome a puppy into my home. I had had only cats for so long, due to living in apartments where dogs weren't allowed, but I was finally in a position to get a small dog. It was something I had been contemplating for about two years, but I was hesitant to get another pet while Gizzie was alive, because her vet bills were so expensive--I'm still carrying a $5,000 balance on a credit card for her stay in the hospital two summers ago. A lot of people don't realize how expensive a "free" cat can be--but that's another story altogether.

July 31 was a Friday; the following Tuesday afternoon, I was driving home with my 10-week old poodle. I was feeling happy for the first time in a couple of weeks and it felt so right. We had bonded instantly.

Between Friday and Tuesday, I had caught glimpses of a white cat in my peripheral vision. I do believe in ghosts, but trying to be rational about it, I just dismissed it as kind of a visual habit. Gizzie often walked past my chair while I was on the computer, so I was used to seeing her that way out of the corner of my eye.

On Wednesday I stayed home from work, to spend some quality time with the new addition. We were on the couch, playing with a toy, when I saw the cat walk by again out of the corner of my eye. I thought nothing of it until, all of the sudden, the puppy stopped playing with me, marched to the end of the couch and started barking at Gizzie's bed. She had spent a lot of time in that bed when she was ill, and I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it yet (although I have since).

I think she was checking on me and letting me know that she was okay. I haven't seen her since, and the puppy has not repeated that behavior. I like to credit her with getting Teddy and me together. See, in the early 1980s, I was married to an abuser. A neighbor had given me a little apricot toy poodle puppy I named Aileron (it means "little wing"--I was taking flying lessons at the time and just liked the word, but it really fit him), who became my best friend and confidant. His parents were both toys, but he kept growing until he was about 12 inches at the shoulder and weighed about 12 pounds. Teddy is 12 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 10 pounds so far. And there are other similarities as well.

When my first poodle died in my arms, I was absolutely devastated. It was like losing a child. I think part of the reason I waited 20-something years to get another one is because I didn't want to get hurt again. His death was a lot harder on me than my divorce was. In a lot of ways, it was the most difficult thing I had ever been through.

Family and friends tried to comfort me when Gizzie passed by reminding me what a good life she had with me and how lucky she was to have landed in my care. I always saw it the other way around, and I still do.

Thank you, Gizzie, for taking such good care of me. I miss you, but I'm glad you're finally not in pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I should have added that I still don't know what Mickey was so upset about because I didn't see anything, but it could have well been Gizzie, or even my older cat Murphy, who passed in 2005.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I can tell by your post how special Gizzy was.

I'm not a diehard believer in ghosts, but I think it's possible. I firmly believe that animals are more in tune to those kinds of things, if they exist. I never worry about things that go bump in the night b/c I truly believe my pets would pick up on anything long before I would. I babysat for a friend last night and her house creeps me out. (It didn't help that I decided to watch Steven King movies, lol.) I think part of the reason her house bugs me so much is b/c there are not pets around to provide a first warning (supernatural or not). (BTW, never watch Pet Semetary when you are babysitting small children. I dozed off towards the end and opened my eyes right when the two year old walked around the corner. She scared the heck out of me.)

I saw an episode of Breed all about it (an Animal Planet show that's no longer on) and they interviewed a romance writer that had like 8 yorkies. She lived in an old plantation house and her dogs often stood in a circle and would start barking. She'd go see what they were barking at and finding nothing but a "cold spot." She said her dogs would sit at the window and bark. When she would look outside, she would see her porch swing moving when there was no wind.
 

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That gave me chills just now!

I had my own babysitting scare when I was a teenager. The little girl was already asleep and I was watching an old black and white horror movie on TV. I can't remember the name of it, but it was one of those Egyptian mummy type films with a cat in it. All of the sudden, their cat started scratching on the screen door to be let in. I just about jumped out of my skin and wet my pants all at once. Haha--I love being scared like that, but only after the fact.
 

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Yeah that gave me chills too, Harley!

A year in a half ago I was nursing my dying cat, he had had an ear infection that we were treating, then got caught in the garage door.. His back legs didn't function so well and one morning when I went to give him his medicine, I found him gone. His ear infection had entered his body and he lost the battle.

My rooms in the basement, and around that time I had also just gotten my wisdom teeth taken out, so I was really drugged up and I just slept upstairs. When I was doing better, I started sleeping in my room again and I would start hearing his collar bell. At first I thought, why is Raven in my room? And I'd flip on my side lamp to find him and get him out, but I'd remember that he was dead. I continued to hear the bell in my room for days after, and I was so freaked that I started sleeping with my dog in my room and with ear plugs in my ears.

I do believe in ghosts, and I'm TERRIFIED of them, even though I know they can't hurt you.
 

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Sweet Gizzie. (I have a cat ON LOAN OUT to my dad at my parent's home that is very important to me, like your sweet girl.) See, cats like these are why I love cats. I've never understood why anyone would dislike cats, especially with all the great ones out there like your girlie and my boyo.

When TheFiance and I didn't live together, TheFiance lived with two roommates in a duplex. Before I was ever in the picture with TheQueen, the roommie's pug would go stand near a corner and barkbarkbark forever. They just thought he was being weird. When TQ came around, she would do it with him, or even by herself. Always in that one corner or in the hallway. THEN, TheFiance got ProblemChild, and he would do it to, whether or not any of the other dogs were with him, same spots. We're convinced there was a ghost in that duplex. Just like we're convinced there is a ghost in this house. We've decided, though, that we won't do any snooping to find out, because we don't want to pi$$ anything/anyone off!

TheFiance and I have a two bedroom little house, we often sleep in different bedrooms because I am a sleep-puncher and TheFiance is a cover-thief! One night, we said our goodnight's and headed to bed... it was several hours later (and I was awake with my door shut... much like right now) and I will swear on my life that I heard footsteps and TheGrey's crate door open along with his prancy footsteps. I woke up the next morning expecting that he was in a people bed. Nope. He was in his crate. Told TheFiance, and we were both weirded out.

Another night, TheFiance swears that I walked into the room and said something but then left. I didn't. The only time I have been known to sleep walk are few and far between (once at 4 - mildly amusing story- and once when I had a temp of 104 or so and TheFiance and I were still dating and at the aforementioned duplex). We both firmly believe in the paranormal, considering all that has happened to us both (yeah... another story... evidently when I was very little my mom and aunt heard me holding a convo with the air. They asked me who I was talking to and I looked at them like they were crazy and pointed and seriously said, "The man painting the bathroom." CREEPY!), but again, we decided to not find out for sure! I think that would make me spooked of the house! The dogs will stop in their tracks sometimes and just stare, but never bark, so I am convinced that our ghost is a good one that the dogs aren't afraid of.
 

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Sorry – this is gonna be looooong!!! Skip it if you want to!

I have often seen peripheral glimpses of pets that have passed. It comforts me. I believe in things that can't be touched, explained, etc... Sometimes there is no other explanation but faith.

When I was 6 years old, my paternal grandfather passed away after an illness. He lived in Illinois and my immediate family lived in North Dakota. My parents were out at "dance club" the evening my grandpa died and my uncle had called the house multiple times, trying to reach my dad to let him know of grandpa's passing. Finally, my parents returned home - as they were coming in from the garage, the telephone was ringing so my dad rushed to get to the phone while my mom encountered a large, calm black Labrador in our kitchen... We didn't have a dog...

While mom is trying to shoo this big, sweet dog outside, my dad is on the phone with his brother; getting the news that their dad had died. My mom recalls it as sort of a surreal, hectic moment and if she could go back and do it again, she would've taken more time with the dog - but none of my brothers, sisters or I had ever seen the dog before (or ever again after that night). To our knowledge it didn't belong to any of our neighbors - this was 1970 and we pretty much knew everyone in our neighborhood.

My mom remembers the dog as being very quiet and calm, but she just wanted him out of her kitchen! Now, she wonders if it was in some way either sent by grandpa or representative of grandpa since the events surrounding this dog’s discovery were so emotionally packed.

Another experience was when my Appaloosa, Talladega, died. He had suffered a pasture accident that required his hospitalization. It’s a long story, but he ended up completely losing a hoof and the vet said it would take 10-12 months of re-growth before he’d have a hoof again. Tally was scheduled to return to the barn where we board on Monday, February 11, 2008 to begin his rehabilitation.

On Saturday, February 9th, I had the weirdest NEED to take a nap – I rarely nap, and when I do, two hours is about my limit. On this Saturday, I dragged myself into bed around 1:00 PM and slept until the phone woke me up at 7:00 PM. I got up and made some supper for my husband and then I told him I was going back to bed. I slept until 10:00 Sunday morning!!! I wasn’t sick, I didn’t feel bad – I was just so tired – I’ve never been that tired – EVER… Sunday afternoon I received a call from my vet that Tally had passed away in his stall overnight… Can anyone tell me what’s up with that?? I wonder if somehow Tally was channeling to me that he was failing – or that he knew I was going to need that extra rest before finding out he was gone?

My last story is about my first dog, Meika. She is and always will be my heart-puppy. Meika had a tough life – her previous owners surrendered her to the shelter when she was 11 months old because they didn’t want to continue her recovery after toe amputation surgery. When she was 5 months old, her leg was broken and complications led to all the toes on her left hind foot being removed. The owners didn’t like having to watch her be pathetic while she was recovering (she really WAS a drama queen!) so they surrendered her to the humane society I managed.

I adopted her in 2000, and in 2005 she was diagnosed with canine lupus. With proper management we kept that under control until 2008 when she was diagnosed with bladder cancer. The cancer meds couldn’t be given in conjunction with the lupus meds, so something had to give. The vet discontinued her lupus meds, but then that disease flared up again. At the end, Meika’s corneas were so damaged by the meds she’d been on; and she was in so much pain that we decided to let her go. If removing her eyes would’ve given her more healthy years, I would’ve done it – she actually was at the vet’s office to have one of her eyes removed when Dr. Amy called me and told me her other eye had become just as bad as the one they were going to remove. The lupus and bladder cancer were deciding factors – we couldn’t cure her – we couldn’t fix her – we had to say goodbye.

During the week after her passing, when I’d be sitting in the backyard while my other dogs were outside, I would have VIVID flashes of Meika running in the grass. She was smiling and her eyes were bright and happy. They were unbidden images – I wasn’t consciously thinking of her, or trying to think of her – the visions just rammed themselves into my brain. I think Meika was telling me that she was OK. Her pain was gone, her body was whole. I think about her all the time now, but never with the vibrancy of those first pictures in my head.

I think anything is possible…
 

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Well I too have my own experience to share, and to be honest I normally don't share this because I worry people are going to think I'm insane LOL.

When I used to have my black cat, Joey, he used to sleep in my room with me at night. I would have to close my door to lock him in so that he wouldn't raise havoc and wake everyone up.

One night he was acting very restless and was growling at my closet which is next to my bedroom door in an L form. My bed is on the opposing wall of my door and when I looked up I didn't see anything that could have possibly be upsetting the cat. I had thought maybe my mom walked in my room but my door was closed and nothing was there.

Knowing animals are more in tune with spirits I was becoming a bit worried. I like any other person, have to go to the bathroom when I'm woke up in the middle of the night so I crawled out of bed and started heading for my door. As I passed my closet, I walked directly through a cold draft on a hot summer night. At that time, I decided to hold it and not face what is on the other side of my bedroom door.

Heading back to my bed, I felt a hand grab my leg and right when that happened, my cat had SHRIEKED and pounced on "nothing". I went to smack what was on me and smacked myself instead and dove into my bed.

Needless to say I never got my bathroom break.

RIP Joey, I will always miss my little guardian.

 

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I wouldn't have needed a bathroom break after that - I would'a PEED MY PANTS!! Very frightening! It's a good thing you had a mini-panther protector!!
 

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Heading back to my bed, I felt a hand grab my leg and right when that happened, my cat had SHRIEKED and pounced on "nothing". I went to smack what was on me and smacked myself instead and dove into my bed.[/IMG]
I would have screamed like I was dying, everyone in the neighborhood would have heard me if that had happened to me. lol.
 

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LOL Unfortunately I'm not someone who screams when they're scared. I pretty much become paralyzed and freeze right in place when I'm frightened. So nope no screaming here. It was when my cat landed next to me that finally made me react to what was happening.
 

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Creepy story:
In the apartment where I used to live, I used to catch a glimpse of a white cat out of the corner of my eye once in a while. I had two cats (an orange tabby and a siamese) and just chalked it up to imagining things...until my cats started to freak out. The siamese would arch his back and walk sideways for no reason all the time, and the orange tabbie would outright hiss at nothing.

My roomie and I hardly saw each other, we worked different schedules, and one day she asked me if we got another cat...she thought she saw a little white cat in our kitchen, and my two cats were freaking out again.

When we moved out I was talking to the landlord, and he told me (and I wish he would have told me this BEFORE we moved in) that his mother died in that apartment. I asked him if she had a cat, and he said yes...the cat died too because no one knew his mother was dead for a few days. The cat was old and likely died of dehydration, he said.

Guess what color her cat was? :scared:
 

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Creepy story:
In the apartment where I used to live, I used to catch a glimpse of a white cat out of the corner of my eye once in a while. I had two cats (an orange tabby and a siamese) and just chalked it up to imagining things...until my cats started to freak out. The siamese would arch his back and walk sideways for no reason all the time, and the orange tabbie would outright hiss at nothing.

My roomie and I hardly saw each other, we worked different schedules, and one day she asked me if we got another cat...she thought she saw a little white cat in our kitchen, and my two cats were freaking out again.

When we moved out I was talking to the landlord, and he told me (and I wish he would have told me this BEFORE we moved in) that his mother died in that apartment. I asked him if she had a cat, and he said yes...the cat died too because no one knew his mother was dead for a few days. The cat was old and likely died of dehydration, he said.

Guess what color her cat was? :scared:
I just got chills. Poor kitty though!
 
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