I can entirely corroborate the accounts written by “Thanet” and “Ruegen.”
I remember that I saw something like a dark shadow move very quickly and disappear in front of a cottage piano. I exclaimed simultaneously with my friends “What was that?” and shared their surprise when no black cat was found, and the grey Persian walked in unconcernedly through the open window.
What Kitty saw
Cook said, “I wish you would come downstairs and see how strangely Kitty behaves as soon as I open the cupboard. There is nothing in it but the wood; I turned it all out to see what might be the reason—not even a mousehole can I find.” Some days previously cook had told me that nothing could induce Kitty to sleep in his basket, and one day he would not eat any food in the kitchen, and his meals had to be given him outside. So I went down to please cook. Kitty was picked up, and while cook petted and stroked him, she knelt down and opened the cupboard. Kitty, stretching his neck and looking with big, frightened eyes into the cupboard’s corner, suddenly turned round; struggling out of cook’s hold and rushing over her shoulder, he flew out of the kitchen. Getting up, Cook said: “That’s always what he does, just as if he was seeing something horrible!”
Next day I encouraged cook to talk of Ruff, the former black cat, which had been a great favourite of hers, and which she had been nursing when he was dying. “Oh, poor thing, when he was ill, he would creep into dark corners, so I put him in his basket into the cupboard, making it very comfortable for him, and there he died”—pointing to the very corner which caused such horror to Kitty.
Captain Humphries’s Story—A Materialized Cat
My son had the following experience at the age of four years in our Worcestershire home.
He was an only child and spent much of his time in the company of a cat who shared his tastes and pursuits even to the extent of fishing in the River Weir with him, the cat being far more proficient at the sport than the boy. When the cat died we none of us dared to break the news to the child, and were much surprised when he asked us to say why his cat only came to play with him at nights nowadays. When we questioned him about it, he stoutly maintained that his cat was there in bodily form every night after he went to bed, looking much the same but a little thinner.
At about the same age, one evening after being in bed one hour, I heard him cry out, and going upstairs (his maid also heard and ran up) and asking him what was the matter, he said that an old gentleman with a long grey beard like his grandfather came into his room, and stood at the front of his bed. At the very moment, the former had a seizure in his carriage while driving through the streets of Birmingham, from which he died without regaining consciousness; later on he recognized a photograph of his grandfather as being the person he saw at the foot of his bed. My wife, the maid, and myself can vouch for the accuracy of these statements, also friends to whom we have related these facts.