A friend of mine had a cat that subsequently had kittens. My friends and family know that I'm a cat person, so it goes without saying that I fell in love with one of the kittens whom I later named Prism. At the time, I was told that I was being given a female cat, and for whatever reason I didn't check. Later, when I took Prism to the vet to get shots, I found out she was a he. In spite of his girly name, it stuck and he answered to it, so I left it alone.
My parents had very recently divorced and I was fifteen when I got Prism. I was immediately attached to him. He was a little bit of a trouble-maker, but he kept me company while my dad was working. There was no one in the house but my dad and I, so it was lonely until Prism came into my life.
He slept at the foot of my bed every night, and he would always wake up with me before school and demand his breakfast before I ate mine. As soon as I came home when the day was done, he would be at the door waiting for me, and when I sat down to do my homework or get on the computer, he'd find a cozy spot near or on me to lay and purr.
One thing that I had always noticed about Prism was his human like qualities. His eyes were green, almost the exact same shade as mine. He had a very interesting personality, and he tended to have particular tastes in food, toys and people. His moods were very apparent in his body language and facial expressions.
Occasionally when I got lonely, I would talk to him, and he'd watch me intently without ever seeming to grow bored. He would stare into my eyes and twitch his ears, picking up the tiniest environmental sounds but never turning his face away, as though he knew that I wanted his attention. He was affectionate when I was sad, and he always cuddled up to me when I was down. He knew how to make me laugh by being silly and doing things like chasing his own tail and sometimes, he'd just sit up with both paws on my face as if to say, "Get a grip, Shastina!"
He also had a very strong ability to sense presences, whether or not anyone else appeared to be in the room. He often followed things that I couldn't see, just as all cats do, but he seemed to see a lot more than most cats. I would often see him chase something invisible through the house. Sometimes he would meow at his unseen playmate, which struck me as very strange because he was generally a quiet cat.
While my dad and I were living in the little two-bedroom, one-bathroom house where I had Prism, a lot of strange things happened. I would often hear banging and thumping noises. Prism would hear the noises too, and he'd sit just near me like a sentinel, as though challenging whatever it was to try and get past him. He would sit there and stare at something for extremely long periods of time, sometimes for hours, or until it seemed he felt that it was safe. Then he'd jump up onto my lap and comfort me by nuzzling my face. He always knew when I was scared, and he'd give me looks as if to say "don't worry, I've got you covered" and then he'd look up at me reassuringly when he felt the coast was clear.
As time went on, the activity got worse. I felt an oppressive presence all the time, especially when I was alone, but even when I had company. There was the typical feeling of being watched and the feeling of someone near you, just out of reach. I often saw shadows and shapes moving about the house, and there were times when I would wonder if someone had broken in because the noises and movements were so obvious.
I called my dad's cell phone on several occasions, and he would tell me to spend the night at my neighbor's house or invite a friend over to spend the night with me. It got so bad that I began to have panic attacks, and I even began to think that I was going crazy. I was scared to tell my dad about it, because I figured he'd just think that I was imagining things.
I remember one instance in which a friend of mine came over and spent the night. My dad was working late and it was very dark, probably about nine or ten o'clock on a Saturday. My friend and I were watching a movie, and we began to hear noises. First, it began as sporadic tapping sounds. There was no particular timing to them.
I tried to ignore them because I didn't want to scare my friend, but I knew she heard them too because she would stop watching the TV and look at me every time it happened. Finally, it got too loud to ignore, and with one particularly sharp slamming sound, she looked up at me and said, "What was that?" I was scared but I didn't want to show it, so I pretended that I hadn't heard it. She got really scared, and I felt bad, so I explained that I would hear the noises too and it kept me from panicking if I pretended not to hear them.
It wasn't long before we moved out of the house.
We ended up moving in with my stepmom and her three kids, and my younger stepbrother got a gorgeous Russian blue cat with bright yellow eyes. His name was Buster and he became Prism's companion right from the start. They acted like brothers with the way they would fight, make up, play and start all over again.
Unfortunately, the new house was just as bad if not worse. There were more noises, more shadows, and occasionally the lights would turn off and the microwave would go crazy. There were prickly electric vibes in the air from time to time, and worse, it seemed that the closet doors would open all by themselves.
Doors would open and close on their own and once, the bathroom door shut and locked itself without anyone knowing about it. No one had been home except my younger brother, who couldn't figure out for the life of him how the door had shut with no wind to shut it. When my older sister moved out, she left the bedroom downstairs vacant behind her, and occasionally we would walk by and see a human-shaped shadow pass by the door or see the bathroom door close when no one was around to close it.
Thankfully, we moved again. The next house we moved to was another rental, as the other two had been. If you know anything about California, you know the real estate market and costs of living are extremely pricey. The new house was even worse than the first two! It had creaky floorboards and some very strangely angled things, as if it had been built a bit haphazardly.
The part that creeped me out the most was a very small crawlspace in my parents' walk-in closet that had been sealed shut and painted over. We never found out where it led, but it seemed to go into a little attic section. We heard a lot of scratching sounds up there, but we thought it might just be rats... Even though we'd never actually seen any rats in or around the house.
The cats would often randomly freak out and run from something. Buster the Russian blue would often hide in closets and cupboards from things, and he'd look terrified. Prism would often cry and sit by the windows, staring out of them as if wishing to move to a new house. I began to wonder if something was following our family, or if maybe someone was following Prism.
And then, my wonderful life with my guardian cat ended. Prism developed a terrible bladder infection and declined rapidly. In a combination of illness and veterinary negligence, my poor boy was no longer. We were forced to put him to sleep or else watch him suffer while he was poked and prodded, so we let him have a dignified ending. The last time I saw him, he was in so much pain. I just wanted him to stop suffering.
Buster was never the same. Without his buddy, he spent all of his time in solitude, hiding under the blankets in my parents' room or holing up in a dark cupboard under the sink. He never made any noise at all. He didn't like to be petted and only seemed to come out to eat. Even when my younger brother got another cat, a kitten we named Punk, Buster was completely uninterested.
Buster also didn't like closed doors. If bedroom doors in the house were closed, he would cry and scratch the door or dig the carpet until we opened the door. He wouldn't go in or leave, but he wanted the door open no matter what.
One night, Buster started acting really strange. He paced up and down the halls in the house, crying and harassing me to keep my bedroom door open. He rubbed himself against my legs, which was uncharacteristically affectionate of him. He kept demanding attention, and since cats usually act up before earthquakes, I kept bracing myself for things to start shaking. When the night came, I never expected what happened next.
I went to bed that night thinking about Buster's strange behavior. Normally he spent the night huddled under the blankets on my parents' bed or stalking the kitchen, but instead, he chose to spend the night lying on my bed at my feet, where Prism used to sleep. Punk was being his normal high-spirited self, prancing around the house and keeping himself entertained. Buster just kept watching me with his bright yellow eyes, as though he were expecting something to happen. I had a hard time sleeping because of it. Buster finally laid his head down to sleep, and I was able to doze off myself.
I dreamt that I was standing in an endless stretch of green grass. Part of me had been expecting the farewell dream for a while, but never like this. Instead of my beautiful long-haired gray, white and black cat, a young man approached me from seemingly thin air. His hair was the same color and pattern as Prism's fur had been, and he had the same bright green eyes, but he was a human man. He smiled at me and there were tears in his eyes. He wrapped his arms around me and spoke to me through his thoughts. He told me that he missed me and that he was sorry to go, but that he was glad I hadn't allowed him to suffer.
He said that he'd always be around to watch after me, and that he'd hold our Russian blue cat responsible for protecting me in the physical world. He told me that good things would happen soon, and that I didn't need to be afraid anymore. We were going to end up somewhere better, and he would be our spirit guardian.
When I woke up from the dream, I felt a little sad but revitalized. Not long after the dream, our parents came across a fantastic opportunity and bought our very first house of our own. From the moment I stepped foot into it, I felt the change.
There was no oppressive feeling, no strange sounds, and no heavy shadows. There was a feeling of protection and comfort. Buster has become a very social cat and occasionally I see him running around the house as if he's still playing with Prism. I've seen a lot of Prism's personality in the now fully-grown kitten, Punk. He even has the same green eyes.
The best part is that our house is calm and normal now, without any strange sounds. It's almost as though Prism is protecting our family from the other side