I’ve been sharing Tiger’s Tale with you over the past month.
I wish there was some huge, dramatic way to end his story.
Unfortunately, there isn’t.
The “visitations” started a week or two after Tiger’s death, and lasted maybe 4-6 weeks.
These were not everyday occurrences, and they certainly were not predictable.
They happened just often enough to make me go “hmmm,” but not so often I was doubting my sanity.
Or alerting my friends! “C’mon over, there’s going to be some weird sh*t going down tonight!”
Or inviting paranormal investigators from a Netflix show to observe and perhaps sign a $$$ contract with.
And so, when the – visitations – stopped – I didn’t immediately notice.
One day, I just realized there had been no Tiger occurrences for awhile.
I wish I had kept notes. I did, however, make Facebook postings, which have served as a sort of diary. It’s allowed me to keep rough track of the time frame and confirm specific details, as details written a day or in some cases minutes after an occurrence are more reliable than details recalled four or five months later!
My Facebook friends were wonderfully supportive, even sharing their own unusual, inexplicable stories.
One woman shared she would sometimes get the “feeling” her grandmother was in the room. A few moments later, she would start smelling her grandmother’s perfume – Joy by Jean Patou.
Others, living in older, historic homes in Myers Park and Dilworth, told me about hearing footsteps going up the stairs and doors opening and closing.
And a few told me stories of seeing a loved one across a crowded room/store/high school football-soccer field, only to learn later that person had died at roughly the same time!
Several of my Christian friends called the Tiger manifestations “GodWinks.” (From the website, “A GodWink is what some people would call a coincidence, an answered prayer, or simply an experience where you’d say, “Wow, what are the odds of that!“) This made sense, as Tiger’s whole early life and rescue was a string of unlikely coincidences.
A few of my friends were not as supportive. As A. hesitantly told me, “It’s ok if you are experiencing these things NOW … but if it’s still happening in another month or two … ermmm, maybe you should go see someone.”
Actually, Pfffffffbbbbbt! is not what I said. Those who know me, or are longtime readers of my blog, can probably guess what I said. I believe words have power, and I believe in using curse words judiciously or else they lose their power. At that moment I used words and curse words like they are meant to be used. They flew out of my mouth like a beautiful, obscene waterfall.
So What Kind Of Ghost Was Tiger?
I learned a lot about “ghosts” at a young age, since my stepmother was a paranormal researcher and compiler of “true” ghost stories.
I think I can rule these out.
Dreams – I was in bed once or twice (sleeping or reading), but most instances I was up, walking or doing something. No chance of “drifting off” and dreaming for a moment.
Wishful Thinking – I would have preferred to actually have seen him! Or felt his warm, fat, soft self cuddling with me. If it was all just wishful thinking, I would have been imagining Tiger at his most loving and well behaved – not imagining him at his most mischievous.
Fantasy/Imagination – If I was imagining Tiger, then my three other furbabies were, too. Plus, there was physical evidence! Books falling, dishes breaking.
Something/Someone Else? Demonic?
I mentioned many other animals and people have died in this very house I live in. Yet, I never previously had a strange occurrence. And, I never had a doubt it was Tiger – it seemed every time something odd happened, the word “TIIIGER” sprang to my lips with me temporarily forgetting in that instance he was dead.
I never once thought “HOOOWARD!” (My stepdad who died in this house, holding my hand.)
Also – except for a Bruno Mars song blasting in the middle of the night, which startled me – nothing was ever even remotely scary or threatening. Not to me, and not to my other furbabies – who often seem to get spooked and startled by things I cannot see.
Residual Hauntings, also known as “Psychic Impressions” or “Echoes” or “Stone Tape Theory” are the most common type of haunting. Energy from a traumatic event is trapped in an object or location, so the activity repeats itself, like a tape recorder playing itself over and over again. (For you young’uns, imagine a scratched CD replaying the same fragment of song over and over and over, or a scratched DVD endlessly replaying the same scene from a movie.)
Residual Hauntings can also be created from very mundane events that happened over and over. For example, my friend in Myers Park who lives in an historic home that was once a boarding house. Perhaps once there was a boarder who had no family or friends. Every evening at 7:00 he came “home,” opened the front door, walked up the stairs to his bedroom, and opened and shut the bedroom door. For years and years and years. With very little variation. Over time, this routine may have created an energy impression.
And maybe that’s what my friend still hears now, unpredictable nights at 7:00 PM. Someone coming home, a key in the lock turning (even though she has a digital lock now), the sound of the front door creaking open, then swinging shut. A sensation she describes as “not exactly sadness, but more like incredible tiredness.” Footsteps slowly trudging past her and up the stairs, and then the sound of a key opening and closing the guest bedroom door – which has no lock these days.
It’s also a room she doesn’t use anymore, except for her inlaws. Who, coincidentally, have started preferring to stay in nearby hotels. What can I say, my friend has learned to tolerate and maybe even appreciate this “ghost.”
The important thing to remember about a Residual Haunting is that there is no being, entity, or intelligence there – it is just an impression, an echo, a bit of audio playing itself back, or a bit of a flickering movie from a vintage home camera.
A Residual Haunting cannot communicate with you.
It cannot move objects – you may hear sounds, as if something moves, but nothing actually moves. Consider my Myers Park friend – she hears the front door opening and closing, but in reality the door never moves. Her alarm system is armed, yet never goes off.
A residual haunting cannot navigate around objects – build a brick wall in your garden, and your “ghost” will walk through the wall as if your garden path was still there. (For a poetic example, read Rudyard Kipling’s The Way Through The Woods.)
So, Tiger was not a Residual Haunting. He never did the same thing twice – there was a lot of variety! He appeared to communicate with Prince Harry in a closet and also “played” with Scruffy – throwing down earrings for Scruff to run off with! He could definitely move objects!
Poltergeists (or “noisy ghosts”) are usually not considered a “ghostly” happening at all anymore. It’s regarded to be an activity caused by subconscious human manipulation (psychokinesis or telekinesis – for very extreme, fictional examples, think of Stephen King’s Carrie or Firestarter.) The person causes activity to occur (bumps, knocks, noises, lots of broken objects) without knowing they are doing it. Usually the person is a teenage female (gotta watch those surging female hormones at puberty!) although sometimes it could be an older female (gotta watch those raging female hormones at midlife!) Also, rarely, a male.
Well, I’m in midlife with no past history of psychokinesis. Baby Maggie Firsee is a bit beyond her “teenage” cat years, but highly strung. Is it possible in our grief we may have joined forces with each other (and maybe even Scruff and Harry) to cause psychokinesis?
But no. As I’m typing this, I realize all my furbabies have been spayed or neutered, so the only one left with any disturbing, dangerous hormones would be ME. And I sincerely doubt that, never having done psychokinesis before, I’d suddenly become not only so excellent, but so very SPECIFIC at it.
Plus another thing about poltergeists, they don’t communicate. They just make noise and cause havoc. As already discussed, Tiger appeared to communicate. And, I would not describe what happened to me for those few weeks “havoc.” The events were comforting, big bursts of laughter and smiles.
Which leaves us with …
The spirit of a once living being, complete with personality and understanding. Usually not actually seen (being “seen” is more a feature of Residual Hauntings), they are completely capable of interacting with you and their environment. They are known for non-aggressively moving small objects, such as dishes, jewelry, magazines, papers. Also for setting off electrical devices in small, nonthreatening ways.
A few alarmists define Intelligent Hauntings as beings “trapped in between realms” or “stuck” between this world and the next. Beware of these alarmists! This is a really good scam for them to help your “Uncle Mike” move on for a “small fee”!
It is believed to be more usual that:
a) The being is newly dead and does not yet realize he/she is dead and is continuing on with life as usual/unusual; or
b) Has unfinished business; or
c) No issues, can pass through realms freely; just wants to provide comfort/support (aka a GodWink).
This seems to be where Tiger fits in. An Intelligent Haunting.
He communicated with us.
He was capable of causing objects to move in his typical, non-aggressive ways.
He may have had some unfinished business (instructing Prince Harry to take care of me in that laundry closet, for instance).
So Why Tiger?
That’s a good question. I’ve lost so many people close to me and so many furred and feathered ones – even in this very house. Yet never any “manifestations.”
BUT – Almost everyone I’ve ever lost has been either very old or very sick.
Tiger was young. His death was probably as much of a surprise to him as it was to us.
Additionally – Tiger had a fierce will and determination. He was a fighter. Remember, if you’ve been reading this series, one vet said he was a “lost cause.” He was fortunate to live six weeks – let alone almost six years! He had a lot of help to survive, but without his huge inner strength and strong spirit – I don’t think he would have survived.
Finally, Tiger was the most loving thing I have ever known. He loved me, his Dad, all his canine and feline brothers and sisters, and was always beside at least one of us. He greeted everyone he met with love – even vets and vet technicians, those nasty people who gave him shots. He was waiting for me at the door when I came home. When I settled down to eat dinner and watch Netflix, he’d come at me with those little flexing paws, his face already set in that goofy, half-lidded look of anticipated bliss. “Intimate” moments with my partner? Often that became a threesome, with Tiger trying to drape himself over whoever was on top – not in a sexual manner, just as a warm, purring heating pad.
We used to put down his “freakish lovingness” to head injuries. But maybe, it was more simple. Maybe, he just realized when he was six weeks old oh hell I coulda died but I didn’t and life is AWESOME! And from then on, just saw the beautiful in everything!
All I know is …
In the end, love is the only thing there is.
Love is the only thing that matters.
And if you have great love, and great inner strength …
Even a small, grey kitten can be a miracle.
Or the cause of miracles.