My cat, named Tigger, died this summer. He was 14 years old and had been with me since I was 1. When he first came to my family, my oldest brother Michael was with my parents when they went to go pick out a cat. They went to a litter of cats in the town next to us but hadn't completely decided if they wanted one. As they were walking away down the street one cat started following them, particularly my brother. When the cat persisted they decided that fate wanted them to take this cat in. My mom is a huge cat person and the rest of us were all big animal lovers-but this cat was too much. When he wanted food he would attack you, when he was annoyed he would attack you, when you rubbed one place on him for more than a couple minutes he would attack you, when you passed him in the hallway he would attack you, if he was bored he would attack you, and so on. Still, there was something strangely lovable about him. He never attacked me or Michael and rarely my other brother Justin.
As he got older he mellowed a lot. He started to allow people to pick him up, and he craved company, always coming to sit on my lap while watching television. He even lightened up towards my dog.
Just when my dad even started to like him this past summer, he disappeared. He had always been an outdoors cat, a vicious one too. He had taken on raccoons and all the neighborhood cats. He would go out for hours, but he would always return at night (mainly for food-but we liked to think he liked our home as well). This time he didn't return. After a couple days of searching we were sure he passed away. He was old, and I just had this feeling he knew it was his time so he left us to spare us. He was a very intelligent cat. What is interesting is that Michael had just moved out and pretty far away. The same day that Tigger left, a different cat walked into Michael's life hundreds of miles away. I'm positive that this is the spirit of Tigger, as the cat is strangely similar to Tigger.
This wasn't the end of Tigger's legacy though. He had mainly lived in our basement and had an uncanny ability to open doors. A few months after he had left us I saw the basement door swing slightly ajar in the familiar old way and Tigger walked out of the basement . I was passing in the hallway that the door leads in to and it didn't even register in my mind that this was weird. As I passed by, I affectionately said "Hi Tiggy" and kept on walking. As soon as I realized what I had said I turned around, shocked. But, as in most of these stories, he was no longer there. I knew what I had seen, as I have long been a strong believer in the paranormal and I have had previous experiences (and plenty of them) with ghosts.
When I went to sleep, just before I was dozing off, I heard a strange and distinct meow that I have never heard from any cat but Tigger. I looked around my room, but he was not there. Every night for the next two weeks I would hear a similar meow. One night, I even swore I felt something jump up onto my sheets at the foot of my bed and curl up there. I could have turned on the lights to frantically check my bed as most people would do. But I was well aware that if I did he would no longer be there. Instead I just smiled and whispered "Goodnight Tiggy".
After that night he has not returned.