The story I’m about to share is a true one. It may sound absurd, but I swear on my father’s grave that this really happened. As a psychic medium and life coach, I thought I had seen and heard just about everything . . . and then this occurred.

Gizmo was an orange, male tabby cat. When my ex-wife and I got married, I adopted Gizmo as my step son. Although I’m a cat lover and overall fan of animals, Gizmo and I didn’t always see eye to eye. We had a love-hate relationship. He loved to poop all over the house, and I hated the fact that he did it.

We’d just gotten back from an out-of-town paranormal investigation and were saddened to see that Gizmo looked noticeably sick. I’ll spare you the details, since nobody wants to read a gut-wrenching blog about dying cats. I’ll just say that the last night he was alive, I stayed up with him all night long, holding him, cuddling him, and trying to keep him hydrated. As he purred on my chest, my body vibrated like one of those massaging chairs. It was a surreal and sad night of bonding where Gizmo. He apologized for ruining the carpet with all his accidents, and I apologized for lacking patience with him. We sat aside our differences and made up. The next morning, we had him put to sleep. Tears ensued, and it was not a happy day.

Later that night, I jolted awake around 3:00 AM by an odd noise. It seemed to be coming from the hallway, right around the corner from the bedroom. It was a meow! My heart dropped into my stomach and a surge of adrenaline coursed through my veins. Mind you, Gizmo was our only cat. With no other felines in the household, I could only conclude it was the ghost of Gizmo roaming down the hallway. Meooooww . . . Meoooww. The noise was getting closer and it sounded like he was nearing the bedroom doorway.

Let me tell you – when a ghost cat is pacing around your house like a caged mountain lion, there are many things that run through your head; some are rational and some are not. As I remained glued to my bed and paralyzed in fear, one thought kept nagging at me more than anything else. If I don’t pee soon, my bladder is going to burst!

I heard another meeooowwww coming from just outside the bedroom door. I thought to myself it was now or never. I mustered up enough courage to throw off the covers and leap from the bed. I had no idea what kind of gruesome creature I’d find outside my bedroom. Worst case scenarios scrolled through my mind and I half expected to see Gizmo out there looking like a cat from the old horror movie Pet Cemetery. Isn’t it funny how everything seems scarier in the middle of the night? I scurried from my bedroom and dashed towards the bathroom in the hallway. I ran as though my life depended on it; I ran like Indiana Jones when he was trying to get away from those villagers who were shooting arrows at him. I didn’t even bother looking into the hallway, because I was too afraid of what I might see. Once in the bathroom, I slammed the door shut behind me. With my heart pounding out of my chest, I relieved myself. Then came the tricky part . . . getting back to my bedroom.

I had no idea if ghost Gizmo was still roaming the halls. Like a child peeking out of his bedsheets hoping there’s no monster in sight, I cracked open the bathroom door just a smidge and glanced out at the hallway. I didn’t hear any meeeoooww and I didn’t see anything, so I made a break for it. As I dashed back towards my bedroom, I glanced down and noticed something that should not have been there. It was a good thing I’d just gone pee, because otherwise I would have soiled myself right then and there. I saw a translucent silhouette of a cat curled up and lying there on the floor. It was see-through, yet solid enough I could tell it was a cat. It looked so real and it startled me so badly, my instincts kicked in and I tried to avoid stepping on it. In mid-stride, I lost my balance and fell into the wall. With the grace of a Sumo wrestler on ice skates, I scrambled back into my bedroom and did a swan dive into bed. My then-wife asked me what was wrong. “Ummmm . . .” I said, with voice trembling like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. “I’m not sure how to tell you this, but I just about tripped over Gizmo in the hallway.”

As you can imagine, I hardly slept a wink the rest of the night. Come morning time, I did what I always did, and retreated to my home office to check some emails and get ready for the day. I was emotionally fried and exhausted from the previous night’s festivities, so I sipped on coffee as strong as diesel fuel. While sitting there at my computer desk, something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. It was an orange tail. I swiveled my head around and got a better view of it. It looked like an orange tabby cat walking towards me on the other side of the computer desk. I leaned forward to get a better view, but the tail had already disappeared. It was Gizmo. Perhaps he was making one final appearance in spirit to let me know his transition to the afterlife was a successful one. That home office had always been Gizmo’s room. The poor guy had social anxiety and confined himself to that one room for the last several months of his life. So, I guess it makes sense that I’d see a flicker of his orange tail in that particular room of the house.

The real question is, why did Gizmo nearly trip me in the hallway the previous night? I may never know. Then again, I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised. Cats have a knack for plopping down just about anywhere – even in the most inconvenient places. My current cat, Darwin, is notorious for sprawling out on the staircase. When I’m carrying heavy furniture or moving boxes up and down the stairs, he refuses to move. He’ll look at me with an indifferent expression on his face, and then he’ll fall back asleep as I’m forced to awkwardly tip-toe around him.

In the end, I’ll say that ghost animals are incredibly rare. I never thought I’d encounter one, and I don’t hear many cases of others seeing them either. The reason is that animals and pets are very pure and uncomplicated creatures. They don’t have all the unresolved issues, dogma, and hesitancies about life after death like we humans do. Therefore, our cats, dogs, and other pets will usually run across the rainbow bridge without a care in the world. They effortlessly make it into Heaven. Once they arrive on the Other Side, they are no longer sick, hurt, scared, or suffering.

They’ll safely remain in Heaven with our animal-loving family members until we ourselves cross over someday to join them. In the rare event that your cat or dog visits you in spirit, it’s not because he or she is an earthbound ghost who will wander the hallways of your home for all of eternity. Their visit is merely a brief one. It’s just a friendly “hello” from the afterlife; a way to let us know they’re alive and well in spirit. But take it from me, they sometimes curl up in the most unlikely of places, so be sure not to trip over them in the middle of the night. Rest in peace, Gizmo. I hope Heaven provides you with a square acre of pristine, white carpet upon which you may poop.