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Are You Still Here?


The day was August 2, 2014. My younger cat, Penguin, of 12 years had suffered a stroke. My husband brought her to the vet and they revealed it was due to high blood pressure.

She was sent home with fluids and 3 medications. She wasn't eating so I had to force feed her with a syringe. We had to keep her in our spare bedroom, in the basement, on request of the vet. Our older cat, Joy, kept her distance, but you could tell she wasn't happy about the situation.

Three days into recovery Penguin seemed to give up. She didn't fight me when I gave her her medication or food. On her final morning I went to be with her. The second I saw her on the floor staring at me, I knew she didn't want to be here anymore. I sat by her side and pet her. I cried with her. I begged her to stay. She simply cuddled up to me, purred, and passed. August 4, 2014 at 11am I said goodbye to my precious Penguin.

A few things to note, before I continue. Penguin was the definition of a scaredy cat. She feared her own shadow. I was her person and she always laid next to me when going to sleep. She was skittish, yes, but loving when she found the courage. She was quite small, gray fur, with a few speckles of orange.

Back to the story at hand.

It killed me to keep her in that room. It was mostly empty except for a table she hid behind. The food and water dish we kept in there for her stayed there for a good week. We keep our doors open in the house, but I hated that room so much I kept the door shut. For the longest time I wouldn't even go in the basement.

Occasionally I could still hear her crying from that room. There were moments when I would catch her walking by me. I'd look to get a better view, but she'd never be there.

Four months later my mom agreed to get me a dog for my birthday. We went from shelter to house to farm, with no luck. We barely got to pet a dog let alone get one. After a month of searching I felt defeated. Our final stop was the shelter closest to us, that we had visited multiple times. My oldest daughter was sad that she, still, did not get to see a dog. As we passed by the cat sanctuary she asked if we could look at the cats. Feeling down I saw no harm.

Once we got in the sanctuary we were immediately greeted by a multicolored kitten with big bright eyes. He began rubbing his cheeks to my and my daughter's faces. He had no issue with being close to us. Needless to say he came home with us.

Here is where things get weird. When we brought Garrus, that's what we named him, home he was curious yet cautious. Normal for any animal in a new home. After two weeks he made his way around the house okay. We moved the food and cat littler upstairs to save us from any accidents.

Once he seemed more acclimated, we moved the food and litter back to the basement. The first time I brought him downstairs he became upset, frantic even. It confused me. He was always so quiet and calm. He never once had struggled with anyone like this before. I made it to the last step and showed him the food and litter. He quickly got away from me and ran up the stairs. When I went back up to find him, he was waiting to greet me as if nothing happened.

Time passed and I noticed he would go down to eat, do his business, but never explore or stay for too long.

After 2 months I woke up to him crying. I got up and searched for him. I couldn't locate him upstairs and he stopped crying. As I walked about I felt a cold, soft, wind brush my feet. A chill went up my spine. I looked down and swear I saw Penguin lead me from the hallway through the kitchen, to the basement.

For a moment I couldn't believe it. I was hesitant to follow, but relished the chance to see her again. Once in the basement I turned to go to the room she was in. Right by the door was Garrus, sitting. I stared at him wondering what he was doing. He hated the basement, as did I. He looked normal, he didn't seem in distress. He did stare intently at me. I reached for the door handle and he got to his feet.

I slowly opened the door. Out came a small gust of cold soft wind and in went Garrus. I froze again at the feeling, letting it pass over me. Once I calmed down I entered the room. Everything was as I left it. The table, the emptiness. It smelled like Penguin. I looked to the small window searching to see if it was opened. I wanted to explain the wind I kept feeling. It was sealed shut. I paused and remembered Garrus was in the room. I quickly looked in the corner where Penguin last was.

There he sat, right where she did. Gazing at me as if he had known me for years. I gazed back and a flood of emotions ran through me. Confusion, love, loneliness, anger, fear, and happiness. All at once. I asked him, "Do you see her? Feel her?"

He slow blinked at me and did a noise that's between a purr and a meow. Odd thing was Penguin made that noise. Whenever you'd sneak up on her, or walk by her, or touch her when she was sleeping. She would always make that noise. The stranger thing is Garrus had yet to make a noise like that at all. Not once. He would meow and purr, nothing in between.

I'm not sure what to think of the whole encounter. Since then Garrus will keep close tabs on me. He always sleeps next to me, as Penguin did, he greets me when I arrive home, like Penguin did, and is far more affectionate towards me than he was before.

I did some more thinking on the matter recently and discovered he was born the same day Penguin had passed. He hated the basement as much as I'm sure Penguin did, and now he will not leave me be.

I'm happy to have him. I still miss my Penguin, but there are similarities I simply cannot shake now. I wanted to share my story to hear your thoughts.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, SpazCat, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
7 years ago (2015-07-01)
I think it's entirely possible that Penguin is still in the house with you. If a person believes in ghosts, they find it easy to believe that a human spirit that loves someone or something very much in life may chose to stay by them even in death... Yet so often those same people will disregard an animal's ability to do so. I firmly believe an animal's love is just as (and in many cases quite a great deal more) enduring as a human's.

Perhaps Penguin has become your little companion ghost - both interacting with and sometimes using Garrus (benignly) to communicate with you as best she can.

I'll add that I read your story with such trepidation - I have a cat too...she's the first pet that's ever been entirely mine. I adopted her when she was 8 after her previous 'mother' died and her son was going to put her down. I adore her and she knows it - she's actually cuddled up with her belly smashed against me as I type. She knows I'll put up with anything out of her except dying - but the day it does happen is going to be terrible. I hope she can come back to visit like your Penguin does:)

All the best,
saher (4 stories) (52 posts)
7 years ago (2015-06-08)

I have 5 cats at home & I love them all more than anything... I can understand what you must have felt... But I really had tears in my eyes.
The only thing which comes to my mind is "I don't want to loose my cats at any cost, no matter what it is." I just love them.

God Bless ❤
MaybeADreamer (4 stories) (57 posts)
7 years ago (2015-05-29)
Hi SpazCat

I am sorry for your loss, just reading your story brought tears to my eyes. To see Penguin in such distress and not be able to help her must have been an awful feeling (just imagining it makes me sad).

I cannot offer you any answers but at least it seems Garrus is settling in ok with your home and maybe, just maybe he has made a new friend who is showing him the ropes 😊 xx
Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
7 years ago (2015-05-28)
Gadzooks, read the story again they are completely different cats with next to no similarities. Also Garrus interacts with Penguin. SpazCat has seen them both individually. Honestly, projecting one identity onto another being is just selfish.
Gadzooks296 (2 posts)
7 years ago (2015-05-28)
Garrus might be Penguin. I have studied the rebirth process for many years and Garrus might be Penguin in another body. Because of all the similarities this is all the information I can give to you. If you notice any more similarities please contact me at mondragond [at]
Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
7 years ago (2015-05-28)
Hi SpazCat,

Recently said farewell to my beloved cat of many years and can relate to much of your story. I'm so sorry for your loss, I know how strong a bond with a pet can be.
I grew up with cats and we all felt their ghosts after they'd passed. They seem to adjust pretty quickly to being on the other side too. Cats are ever so clever. So I wouldn't worry about Penguin. Particularly since all your encounters with her have been positive. I say just enjoy her company.
Garrus sounds like a naturally friendly cat and has obviously made friends with Penguin. This sounds like a case of human noticing for the first time something which happens in every single pet owners home every single day of the week. 😉 It seems Penguin and Garrus are both teaching you something about their world, a part of it, I believe, is supernatural awareness that we humans so often are dumb to. You're unlocking this awareness and noticing important details about both Garrus and Penguin's behaviour. Congratulations are in order I think!
BrokenTree (76 posts)
7 years ago (2015-05-27)
Sorry to hear of your loss. I know how painful it is. Perhaps Penquin is influencing him or teaching him. I don't want to say posses since that sounds a bit much. I would just enjoy him and love him as he is. Also cats communicate a lot with their eyes. One is to quickly look at you and then look to the left. You should reciprocate in kind. It's a happy greeting. Cats are the only animals that can meet a humans stare. And again- a meow and a purr together is called a purrdert.
SpazCat (1 stories) (1 posts)
7 years ago (2015-05-27)
Thanks Sacul. I appreciate your input. I have noticed the slow blinking before. That's not the only behavioral change my younger went through. He now exhibits the near same mannerisms as my passed cat.

He's still himself, has his own personality, but now he seems to have adopted some of my passed cat's personality.

Thank you for the sympathy as well.
sacul (1 stories) (71 posts)
7 years ago (2015-05-27)
Slow blinking is one proven way you can communicate with a cat. Fast or long stares is interpreted as play/aggression (anyone that has been swatted in the eye by their kitten can attest to this). Slow blinks indicates a desire to nurse or general comfort.

I've nothing to offer regarding a "less than normal" or guessing, but I can sympathize with your loss and am really glad you found another unconditional friend.

Dont forget the eye trick- it works wonders;) ❤

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