A ghostly face appears at the windowA pale, ghostly face appeared at the patio window in the darkness of night. He peered in, then disappeared. My cat Reggie, sitting by the window, turned to look at me with a quizzical face. 

Next night, same time, it happened again but the ghostly gaze lingered just a little longer on Reggie, then up at me as the eerie image stared into my eyes. In the blink of an eye, he was gone.

I knew straightaway that this was a lost cat.  I went outside. He was scavenging on the lawn here at Tom Cat Towers for bread. I called out, but he was very skittish and scared, and ran away. Each evening, cat kibbles were put out, but the ghostly cat would only come when the garden was empty. This went on for two weeks.

Reggie sits by the windowReggie sat by the window peering out into the darkness, at the cold rain and the winter fog. When Reggie’s ears pricked up, I knew the ghost had arrived. I crept outside with food. I put a plastic cat pod out for him to use as shelter, but he was too frightened to go in. I had no idea where he was sleeping but I suspected it was deep in an old hedgerow in the mud and damp leaves.

One really, dirty wet night I went out, no umbrella in case that spooked him. I think the pitiful thing had just had enough of the cold, wet and being lost. He had given up. When I called him, he cautiously approached me and very tentatively I bent over and picked him up.

That was it, the ghost was on his way home. He started to purr and snuggle up for a cuddle to warm himself up. He was freezing cold and shivering. He was filthy and covered in knots which he allowed me to gently tease away. When I put him down, he cried. I cried! He was such a sorry sight, I told him I’d try and find his owner. The local vet offered to scan him if I took him in. If he wasn’t microchipped, or his owners couldn’t be traced, then he could stay here at Tom Cat Towers, and he would be very loved. He was so gorgeous and so full of love it was heart-breaking that he was living like this.

Thankfully, things moved very swiftly.

A ghost in the garageI managed to get a photo of ghost cat in the garage with the light on to show his markings. Then I trawled the internet to see if I could find a posting with a cat that looked similar. Trouble is there were so many posts local to the area, that it took hours of careful trawling.

The very last lost cat site I came to, snow-blind from perusing pictures of missing cats, I almost didn’t see it. A picture posted over two months earlier which looked like Ghost as I called him, (or her, I hadn’t got that close to Ghost to determine what sex he might be) I sent a DM with the picture I took in the garage asking if Ghost was their cat? He was! He had gone missing in September, and as he lived some distance from my house, he’d had quite a trek or adventure of some miles to get to my garden.

Next evening Ghost was waiting outside in Reggie’s cat carrier, not at all happy at being caged up. He howled, spit and cussed. But when his owner arrived at my gate and he heard her voice, he recognised her immediately. His voice started calling out and purring in desperation.

Reggie says good byeIn the kitchen we let Ghost out and he was beside himself with delight, he didn’t know which of his two humans to love first! He was wrestled into his own cat carrier. Reggie, who had been supervising, went to say goodbye.

The Ghost was going home just in time for Christmas! Lots of love, spoiling, and probably a jolly good bath! 


PS.  Turns out his name is Alfie.

Carol Lake

A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras