Do cats understand us

My husband and I were in the kitchen one day recently. As he was busy getting his breakfast bread ready and I was getting a cup of coffee with my back to our breakfast bar it seems there was a visitor.

My husband shouted excitedly, “Look, look quickly.” I turned around to see my husband was at the bar now looking quite surprised. He asked me, “Did you see that?”

I asked him, “See what.” Now he was looking around the room, under the dining table and telling me, “It was a yellow and white cat. I saw it looking over the counter top of the bar it must have jumped down.” And in truth the bar swivel chair was still moving as if someone had just left it in a hurry.

I looked around too for the mystery cat. Then I confessed to my husband that it wasn’t a real cat but the ghost of our former cat, Briton. In the last few months there had been several reminders of the old yellow and white cat. The thundering noise he made when he played in the hall on the wood floors at night. Briton only played after we went to bed. The items being knocked around like he did when got on the top of the night stands and tables. He was a large old boy with a clumsiness about him.

A few weeks ago in the late night I had felt a cat jump on the bed make the usual turns and then lay down against my legs like he use to do. I reached to pet the cat thinking it was our surviving kitty, CB. There wasn’t a cat to pet and CB was asleep next to my shoulder.

I have watched intently by the moon light in the bedroom to see if I can see another cat or creature in the house but there isn’t one. It is just the sounds, only the playful antics of a beloved pet returning to let us know he misses us too.

I always called him my alarm cat! I did not need a clock. He woke me every day at 4:30 or 5 am. He was very persistent; he talked, then he would kiss me or put his paws on my nose. Sometimes he would just pull the covers off me to get me up. I think he wanted me to get up and feed his alley cat friends that gathered on our front porch every day waiting for food.

He was a difficult cat to pet, attention had to be on his terms, he didn’t let just anyone hold him or pet him. Perhaps he had already used up most of his cat lives, he was a nervous nilly with strangers.

My Grandson is four now, he was three when Briton died. He loved that old cat very much; had never been afraid of him even as a baby. But old Briton wasn’t much for the hands on attention of a small child he even scratched my grandson once.

My grandson had played with him that morning and then we left for my work. After my four hours work at the farm we returned home at noon. We found Briton apparently sleeping at least for a while I thought so. But I finally realized he was dead. Curled up in his favorite place on the big bed. He looked so peaceful it was his natural sleeping position and yet he was dead.

We buried him in the back yard. To this day our grandson never comes to our home with out asking about the old yellow and white cat. I tell him Briton is in cat heaven. My grandson asks does he have friends there and I tell him yes, he is very happy.

Perhaps cats understand us far better than we understand them. I have enjoyed every cat I have ever owned. Briton is the only one to ever come back to haunt me but there must be a reason for this and in time it will be revealed.

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