Return of the kitten
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Marchioness Townshend & Maude Ffoulkes
True Ghost Stories
The Return of Villish Mona Veen and the Fairy Flax
Contributed by Miss Thessel Cochrane
Villish Mona Veen, the first of my two "returns", was brought from the Isle of Man as a tiny snowflake of a kitten. Even then we recognized that the "snowflake" possessed remarkable points, but she did not appeal to me as a possible winning investment. I loved her for her helpless, adorable, tail-less self, and I had no idea of her future sensational show career, when she won eleven championships, innumerable firsts, and a plethora of silver cups during her short life.
Whenever Mona appeared at shows, her "pen" was surrounded by admirers, and, always delightfully self-possessed, she accepted the adulation she received as her due, although in "private life" she was just a very simple affectionate cat without a vestige of side in her make-up. She shared our lives for six years; then, one day in April, she was taken suddenly ill.
I nursed Mona, sitting up for three nights in a little room set apart, and anyone who has watched an animal suffer will understand my feelings in the long hours when I fought Death, and at last realized I couldn't save her.
With sick babies, very young children, and animals, what most stabs the heart is their inability to tell you how they feel - they can only look or "cry'', and at last you dare not read the muted suffering that finds an outlet in their eyes. Strange that the physical ailments of old age do not usually meet with the sympathetic response given to those of the young; but perhaps old people protest too much?
As I watched Mona, and stroked the tormented little body, I thought of her, only a week old, serene and beautiful and I wept for the pity of it all - the waste of a happy life and the loss of her "friendliness" - as I am sure she felt genuine pleasure whenever she won prizes for "dear aunts" (we were always "aunts" to our animals).
Tomorrow there would be no Mona, and I should repeat the same untruth, “I'll never have another cat", only to fall for some cuddlesome bundle of fluff, rose-thorn claws, and what a dear old lady used to call "velvet" paws.
Then Mona died. Afterwards habit, such a factor in my workaday life, asserted itself. I looked at my watch. Past midnight! At six o'clock our daily round would re-commence.
Almost mechanically I began to "tidy up", I shouldn't have time later. I left the snowdrift that had once been the kitten-snowflake lying peacefully in her basket - I put medicine and dressings back in their places, and rearranged the sickening paraphernalia of illness.
I sat down by the open window. The little wind that runs before the dawn was early astir - the garden was fast asleep, and I wondered whether, as the Scriptures say, God gives His dumb creatures "a glorious liberty". If only poor little Mona were happy in This Freedom!
As if in answer to my question, I heard her familiar purr close beside me. I couldn't possibly mistake her song, with its throaty cadences, its joyous "gurgles", and I knew she wanted to say: "Dear Aunt - it's all right - don't worry."
Afterwards the room was quiet again. This actually happened. It was no question of imagination, and I am convinced that a compassionate God allowed Mona to return and heal a little of the pain which results in loving humans or animals over-much.
The source of the experienceOrdinary person
Concepts, symbols and science items
ConceptsCommunication with disembodied souls
Activities and commonsteps
Townshend, G. & FFoulkes, M., (1936) True Ghost Stories, London:Senate