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Feathery And Furry Goodbyes

 

The following short stories are about three of my pets' visits after they passed away. I should start by making it clear that the first one took place during my childhood in Mexico but, given the fact that they are going to be very short, I have decided to include them together in the same narrative.

As a little background about my family, I'm the second child out of four siblings whom, either by my parents' careful calculations or sheer luck, were born fifteen months apart from each other. They had four children in a little less than four years and with birthdays in January, April, July and October on four consecutive years in the early 1960's.

Perhaps this information is irrelevant to the stories but, in my opinion, will be helpful into having a better picture of some of the events.

JON THE ROOSTER

One day, the store where Mom used to buy eggs from had a promotion, giving away a little chick as a bonus for buying a certain amount of eggs. That's how we got a little yellow ball of incredible softness that began following us all over the house as soon as Mom put it on the ground. I don't remember who came up with the name, but we began calling him Jon and he was our first pet.

With time, Jon grew up into a handsome white rooster with a bright red comb and wattles, he looked magnificent crowing in the mornings and liked to take dirt baths under the pomegranate tree that was at the back of the house and used to peck on the ground calling for an imaginary and nonexistent lady of the feathery kind.

There's too little I remember about Jon, perhaps because roosters are not exactly attached to their masters or, perhaps because it has been too long since all this happened; but I remember he became aggressive and territorial, and used to chase Mom when she was wearing a pair of pistachio-green shoes with chunky heels, - it was the 60's, after all!

As mean as he was, he was our pet and my siblings and I loved him. Unfortunately, my parents didn't consider him a part of the family and had some other plans for him and, one day, they decided to turn him into our supper.

Needless to say, us kids, aged seven and under, didn't want to eat that evening; instead, we were wailing and crying over our dinner plates looking at Jon's body parts to Mom's dismay and Dad's anger.

As traumatic as this was, we survived. Few days later, I looked to the back of the house through the kitchen window and saw Jon pecking on the dirt under the pomegranate tree. I couldn't believe what I was seeing!

After blinking my eyes for a couple of times, Jon wasn't there any more and I didn't mention this to anyone because, though I was used to the grownups telling ghosts stories, I had never heard about animals having spirits and much less about any pet escaping from the cooking pot!

I didn't tell anyone what I saw that day, little did I know that that wouldn't be the first time a pet would let me know he was fine.

BUGGY THE DOG

After Jon, we had some other pets, mostly dogs that grew up beside us. Some died of old age and some others had violent deaths: two were poisoned by some heartless person and one run over by a car.

In my late teens we adopted a puppy from one of the neighbors. It was a black and white furry ball of fun that, supposedly, was a cocker spaniel but, in reality, was more of a mongrel. Regardless, we loved him and shared great times with him. We named him Buggy and we were his pack.

As we grew up and my siblings got married leaving the paternal house, I was the last one of Buggy's pack and he was very attached to me. By those days I used to travel frequently and Buggy's way to show how much he had missed me was by following everywhere around the house and sitting outside the bathroom door when I had to use it, to the point that I would call him "mi sombra" (my shadow).

Then, I got married and emigrated to Canada leaving behind not only my family but aging Buggy too.

I went back to Mexico once more during Buggy's life and he was very excited to see me again. He couldn't jump the way he used to but his wagging tail was as fast as a chopper's rotor and, of course, he followed me acting again like 'mi sombra'.

Back in Canada one day I couldn't stop thinking about Buggy with nostalgia, it felt like having him at my side following me everywhere the way he used to do after I came back from a trip.

The next day Mom called me to let me know Buggy had died peacefully during the night.

I'm sure "Mi Sombra" found his way to Canada to spend one more time by my side.

MR SPOTS THE CAT

One morning in early spring I heard a cat meowing loudly somewhere outside the house and, after checking that my three cats were indoors, I went to investigate what was going on.

When I got to the bottom of the driveway, I found a cat balled up in the ditch. It was a mostly white cat with some black spots on his head, ears, tail and back; it had a pink nose and the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen on a cat.

After some further inspection I saw the big set of jewels that marked him as a boy.

I don't know if he came to the neighborhood following the scent of love, or if someone who didn't want him just dropped him on the road, but the poor thing was just a little more than fur and bones and looked scared and lost.

Having three cats of my own, I knew I couldn't keep him but decided to let him stay around and give him fresh water and the odd morsel to eat. Since the house was in a semi-rural area there's plenty of mice and other unfortunate little animals to feed a good hunting cat.

For those days a crew of construction workers were paving the streets of the neighborhood and the ones of a new subdivision being built on the hill. I'm sure the guys thought I was a crazy cat lady since not only my three cats -Poem, Tom and White Socks- used to follow me on the yard, but two of the neighbours' cats that came to my place looking for feline company and now, on top of them, Mr Spots had joined the club!

Something between six weeks to two months later, Mr Spots had become the outdoors cat and used to help me by rubbing against my legs when working at the vegetable garden in the mornings. He would stick around the house and wander on the hill.

One morning he didn't show up and I began calling him, at some point an image played in my minds eye, it was that of a young man laughing and driving away after hitting Mr Spots.

At that moment I knew I wouldn't see the cat again.

Later that morning, one of the construction workers told my husband that he had seen the people from the Department of Public Works picking up our cat's body from the side of the road.

I think Mr Spots came to tell me the reason why he wasn't coming again.

Well, this story ended up being longer than I had intended... If you made it this far, I thank you for reading.

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

lady-glow (11 stories) (2280 posts)
+1
3 days ago (2019-02-14)
Tweed - it's so nice to 'see' you around!
I have always been an animal lover, to the point that everyone in my family were expecting me to become a veterinarian. Instead I joined the Faculty of Chemistry... I knew I wouldn't be able to control my feelings when tending a suffering animal.

Though a carnivore, I couldn't eat any animal that I had seen grow. I know the way of nature, everyone eats someone else or is someone else's food, still, I wouldn't like to do the killing part.

Thanks for reading and for commenting on my story.
Tweed (26 stories) (2191 posts)
+2
4 days ago (2019-02-13)
Hi Lady Glow, wow that poor rooster, and you poor kids! I don't want to sound over the top but that's got to do weird things to a person. I know a couple of families who do this kind of thing. Got to shake my head in dismay. They're both farming families, seems like it goes with the lifestyle. I still don't get it though.
Cool you got to see Jon the rooster pecking around afterwards. What a great way to learn about animal souls/spirits too.

You obviously form strong bonds with the animals in your life to receive their messages, as you did with Buggy and Mr Spots. I'm fascinated by how that works, when animals touch base from the great beyond. It's very humbling.

Thanks for sharing!
lady-glow (11 stories) (2280 posts)
+1
1 month ago (2019-01-06)
Hi Jubeele - calico cats are just gorgeous, and Fruitcake is such a becoming name for a feline with such a colorful coat. ❤
I'm glad your kitty kept on visiting, even if you didn't acknowledged her at that moment, I'm sure she was happy to be around you again.

Happy New Year.
Jubeele (17 stories) (740 posts)
+1
1 month ago (2019-01-04)
Dear lady-glow, it has been years but I still miss my funny tortoiseshell cat, Fruitcake. She was as loopy as a Fruit Loop when it came to playing 'Fetch'. You fetch and she'd catch. For some time after she'd gone, I'd catch a glimpse of her black-brown-orange head peeking around the corner. Or look up suddenly, quite certain I heard her particular "meow". For years, I thought I was only imagining things until I learned that others have had similar experiences. Love from a furry friend is a strange, wonderful and enduring experience.

Rex-T and I wish you all the very best in the new year. Hope you, your family and furry babies are well. ❤
Sleeping-with-steve (7 stories) (329 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2018-12-30)
Hello Lady-Glow,

I'm sorry to hear you lost your pets, especially Jon. I found it very hard reading about poor Jon the Rooster.

I've grown up with chickens and always saw them as pets. I fed them for mum and gave them water daily. Until the dreaded day one of my brothers came for them one by one to cook them. I never ate the eggs or the food and felt sick in my stomach every time they were taken away because I knew they wouldn't come back.

I know it must have been hard for you as a young child being told Jon was dinner. He came back to say goodbye to you and thank you. I think that's lovely.

I enjoyed reading your post and will read some more of your experiences shortly. First, it's time for a cappuccino. (I need to dry my eyes) 😭

Best wishes,
Miandra
😘 ❤ 😘
lady-glow (11 stories) (2280 posts)
 
2 months ago (2018-12-22)
Twilight - thanks for reading my story.

I imagine having your kids five years apart from each other ensures hearing a little one's laughter and counting on the help of an older child at all times.
My kids were born 20 months apart and sometimes it was hard to take care of the two of them, like when they got the chicken pox, first my daughter and, when she was over it and I thought I would have a brake, my son got it too. I spent over one month locked in the house taking care of them.

Thanks for your kind words, I'm glad nobody helped your pet chicken diving into the cooking pot.
Twilight1011 (6 stories) (235 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2018-12-19)
Lady Glow, I find it interesting how you said yours and your siblings birthdays are. It reminds me of my 3 children's birth dates. My oldest having his birthday 10/25/05, my middle child being 6/4/10, and my youngest being 2/25/15. I did not plan to have them for these dates and years, which is why it blew my mind even more when I realized it. Also with how each of their birthdays are also 4 months from each other as well (granted my middle is not exactly, but still close enough when going by month, instead of date). I hope not to have a surprise come this 2020 lol I also loved how you said that when your Rooster was just a baby, that he would follow ya'll around ❤ it reminds me of my childhood chicky I had, that would follow me everywhere. I really loved playing hide and seek with her 😊 I'm sorry to hear about how you lost some of your pets, especially your Rooster 😳 luckily aside from my family making jokes about it, no one made mine for dinner. It's heartwarming to think about our lost pets, paying us one last visit before they go. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, as I enjoyed reading about it.
Cuddlebear (4 stories) (119 posts)
+2
3 months ago (2018-11-27)
Lady-G

I've been married too long and far too happily to nay say you - wives are always right. The only evidence I have that men are smarter is that we marry up whereas women marry down.

Spaulding didn't really favor one of us over the other as far as I could tell. Cuddlewife claims she's more "sensitive" than I; when I suggest she "senses" things I can't that perhaps she's sensing things that aren't there I get THAT look. In truth I don't know...

Thank you for your wonderful post and bringing more thoughts of our little tuxedo man to mind. I'm debating sharing a longer version of this with the group.
lady-glow (11 stories) (2280 posts)
+2
3 months ago (2018-11-26)
Cuddlebear - wives are always right, you know?

I'm sorry to hear about Spaulding. Was he closer to your wife? If he was a mama's kitty perhaps he was interested on only her sensing his presence. Anyway, I admire you both... Cats are not exactly cooperative when it comes to take medication.

Thanks for reading and commenting on my story.
Cuddlebear (4 stories) (119 posts)
+3
3 months ago (2018-11-26)
Lady-G ~

Heart warming tales. Coincidentally my wife insists we were visited by a departed furchild. We have a trailer on a site on Hatteras Island. We normally take our dog and one cat when we go down there. Two weeks ago we were forced to leave our cat, Mrs. Peel, at home. Anyway my wife swears that a cat joined us in bed both nights. Sadie (our pooch) is just too big to be confused with a cat.

About seven years ago we lost Spaulding (for you Groucho Marx fans he was The Famous Cat Named Spaulding). Spaulding had had a number of long term health issues including epilepsy (which should not occur in cats but that is another long story) and a number of problems caused buy that medication. This caused us to take Spaulding with everywhere he required Three pills given twice a day.

Any way Cuddlewife believes it was Spaulding visiting us.
lady-glow (11 stories) (2280 posts)
+2
3 months ago (2018-11-24)
Melda - life would be dull without animals and, either gone or alive, they are always a great topic of conversation.

Thanks for reading. ❤
Melda (9 stories) (1101 posts)
+2
3 months ago (2018-11-23)
lady-glow - Unbeknownst to you kids, Jon was always destined for the pot 😢 I can imagine how upset you all must have been! At least he granted you one last glimpse at him. Residual perhaps?

You were obviously Buggy's favourite human (or member of his pack 😊) so I think it's very possible that he was on your mind and you were on his. People tend to underestimate animals' emotions. They do miss the people and other animals they have become attached to when they're no longer there.

I believe that the young man you saw in your mind's eye knocking Mr Spots down is actually what happened. A lot of people don't like cats and probably would find such an event funny. It probably didn't even occur to him that somewhere there was a family that loved that cat.

It's always so sad when our animals die but the unconditional love we receive from them is worth every minute of the time they spend with us.

Regards, Melda
Jubeele (17 stories) (740 posts)
+3
3 months ago (2018-11-23)
That house at the bottom of the hill with the fruit trees sounds lovely, lady-glow. But you've got to watch out for those "teddy bears".

I've shared your account with my friend. This experience hasn't happened to him before. The synchronicity of your timing is most interesting. A strange coincidence - or maybe not...

Oh drat! I'm not allowed to give you any more points.
+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 😆😆😆
lady-glow (11 stories) (2280 posts)
+2
3 months ago (2018-11-23)
PoliexterLy - Loosing a pet can be very painful and difficult, I think that the visits of a pet in spirit form are a way to show their love for their 'masters' and to help them on their healing process.

Thanks for reading and for your kind words.
lady-glow (11 stories) (2280 posts)
+2
3 months ago (2018-11-23)
Rex-D - Yeah, your Grandmother was a very wise woman, I'm sure her words were very comforting after Peter's departure.

It's sad to see our pets growing old. My cat Poem has been with us for the last 16 years. I'm not sure how old she was when we adopted her, my guess is not more than one year old, so, now she is a senior catizen.
She has always been terrified of the vacuum cleaner's noise, that is, until we moved to the house I live in now. I noticed that Poem doesn't mind when a vacuum the floor around her basket, she just keeps sleeping. I thought it was because the built-in VC is quieter than the corded one, but I have been observing my old girl and I think she has lost her hearing.

I know I have to get used to the idea that one day she'll have to go... I'll keep at hand several boxes of tissues, I know I'll need them.

Thanks for reading and commenting on my story!
lady-glow (11 stories) (2280 posts)
+1
3 months ago (2018-11-23)
Jubeele D. - Aw... It's so sad when a pet becomes part of the menu! It makes you feel like someone's expecting you to act like a cannibal.

Your friend's experience is so interesting, more than once I have wondered if the mental image I got about Mr Spots was only a coincidence; I guess it wasn't.

You would have liked the house at the bottom of the hill, there're some fruit trees and a (not so) nice teddy bear was a regular visitor during the summer when the fruit was nice and ripe.
Since the house was a rental, it was up to the landlord to take care of trimming the trees, but he wouldn't do it too often and they grew tall and wild.
One morning we heard a loud crashing noise on the yard and went outside to see what was going on, we saw the teddy running away at full speed. He had climbed on the plum tree and broke a big branch that landed on my poor little car!

Thanks for reading and for your always informative input.
PoliexterLy (2 stories) (74 posts)
+3
3 months ago (2018-11-22)
Very nicely written. It's sad when pets we love die, but we know we will see them in the afterlife.

😸
Rex-T (4 stories) (241 posts)
+7
3 months ago (2018-11-22)
lady-glow,

The house where I grew up was located on a main road in suburbia and I learnt that animals and road traffic would eventually spell disaster for any creatures that continually ventured out on the asphalt.

Our family dog was a little brown cocker spaniel called Peter who (fortunately) did not pass the front gate but would often be seen or heard running up and down the side passage that linked the front to the back yard. Many a time I would hear little clawed paws scrabbling on the concrete outside the kitchen window.

As Peter got older, he developed arthritis, dementia and got "nippy". One day, I patted him on the rump and he turned around and bit me - hard. In the end, dad made the decision to have him "put down" as he was snapping at anyone that came close.

After he had gone, I heard that scrabbling noise again and I told my grandmother. She was a very smart woman and told me that sometimes our furry kids needed a running start before making the jump into heaven. To a seven year old kid, this made perfect sense.

Thanks lady-glow (once again) for sharing your experiences. There is nothing wrong with still reaching for the tissues, 50 years later.

Rex-Dundee
Jubeele (17 stories) (740 posts)
+3
3 months ago (2018-11-22)
Oh lady-glow, you should warn us that tissues would be needed! 😭

When a schoolmate's little pet bunny tragically ended up as rabbit stew, she and her sisters wouldn't eat their dinner too. Your young self might have seen a residual memory of Jon the Rooster, such was your emotional attachment to him.

As for Buggy the Dog and Mr Spots the Cat... Well, this is a strange coincidence. Just today, a friend was telling me of a strange experience he had while he was with his newly adopted furkid. He was thinking how sad someone had abandoned this lovely dog. Suddenly, he had the image from the perspective of a dog being taken from a truck, put at the side of a road by a woman, a door slamming and the truck driving away. He even felt the panic-stricken fear coming from the dog.

We've heard many accounts of incredible devotion and uncanny saves by our animal friends. I wonder if at rare moments of great emotional stress, a loving connection can be formed with our furkids for a few brief moments, for a final message to us. It is clear that Buggy and Mr Spots loved you very much and their last thoughts were of you. ❤

P.s. I would have thought you were a "crazy cat lady" too. But I still love you. Besides, I'm a crazy teddy bear lady. 😜

Jubeele Dundee

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