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The Cats Came With The House

September 2001

I bought the house I currently live in seven years ago when I was single and a first time home buyer. I was on a tight budget and most of the houses I could afford had something wrong with them. When I saw this house I fell in love with it.

There is nothing remarkable about the house; it is like thousands built all over the Pacific Northwest during the 1920's. Despite being small, it has a lot of windows and a very cheerful atmosphere. I moved in and began the task of renovating the house as it was in need of some TLC after ten years as a rental.

I noticed a very large gray cat was always hanging around and trying to get inside my house. I asked the neighbor about him and was told that his name was Drake and the last tenants had left him behind. Drake and I eventually bonded and he soon moved in with me. What I didn't know was that there was another cat already residing in our house.

I was lying awake in bed one night when I felt a cat jump up on the bed. This startled me, as I was certain Drake was outside. I passed it off as my imagination or a defective spring in the mattress. But it happened a few other times and I began to wonder what was going on. Finally, I was lying awake in bed one night and felt the familiar thud of a cat (Drake was outside again) jumping onto my bed. Only this time it was followed by the sensation of paws walking gingerly across my legs (actually stepping on them) to the other side of the bed, "it" walking around a few turns in a tight circle as cats will do, then lying down and curling up next to my thigh. The odd thing is that this cat was very light, weighing only three or four pounds at best. Drake weighs 18 pounds so I know it was not him. I reached down to pet it but felt nothing.

After that, I began to see the ghost cat on occasion as did my future husband. He is usually spotted passing through the dining room, going up or down our stairs, or into the bedroom. He appears as a cat-shaped shadow usually, but sometimes be has more definition. My husband and I now sleep in a different bedroom, and we haven't had him jump on the bed since we changed rooms. However, our three year old daughter now sleeps in that room although she has not mentioned our little friend.

Additionally, we do see human sized shadows pass through the house on occasion, so our ghost cat must have company. Once, I was on my hands and knees painting the inside of a closet with my hair pulled up and wearing a shirt with a low neckline in back. I felt someone blowing on my neck in a concentrated area, as if they had their mouth positioned to whistle. I was alone and it spooked me a little, but I ignored it. Then it happened a second time and I became irritated and I said aloud "Knock it off! Can't you see I'm working?", and it stopped. I found out from a former neighbor that the closet I was painting was in the bedroom used by the original owners and they lived there for about 50 years. I was told that the man of the house had a great sense of humor so I imagine it might have been him.

We really like this house and plan to stay here for a long time. We hope our "roommates" don't mind.

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