My friend the composer/songwriter Kevin Dean, who has a special relationship with cats and has written wonderful music in their honour wrote to me earlier this year about a particular cat, Tigger-Mu-Mu, who was much loved, but who sadly died in 2003. I wrote about her in Coach House Cats. But right now this further story from Kevin makes the hairs on the back of you neck stand on end.
Here it is in Kevin's own words:
"I just have to tell you what happened last night. My friend Colin popped round for a glass of wine. Colin originally looked after Tigger Mu Mu before she came to live with me. We were talking about her in depth and as we did, I glanced over to a framed photograph of the profile of her face which was standing on the floor.
As I looked at it I started to realize that the picture was different. The photograph was 3 dimensional, it had life. Tiggs was there! Her eyes, fur everything, it was amazing. Apart from this, the atmosphere had changed in the room, and there was a kind of glow around the picture. Her eyes were kind of twinkling and as if she was about to blink. I said to Colin I don't want to look away from the photo in case I lose the vision and I explained what I was seeing. It was very intense. Anyway, after a minute or so I looked away, blinked, rubbed my eyes, etc and looked back. It was just as clear and intense as before, as if Tiggs was behind the glass looking through, just as real as Petal or one of the Moon sisters. "[These are the cats that currently share Kevin's life].
"So, I said to Col, right, I'm going to get up and you come and sit here, which he did. Immediately he said 'I can see her too! Tiggs is there!' Col filled up and said it was the most amazing and surreal thing he had ever seen. I walked around the room and at different angles nothing changed. We just watched, silent with amazement, for a couple of minutes, then suddenly at the same time we both said 'She has gone'! The picture and the atmosphere had reverted back to normal! It was incredible. That photo has been there for over 4 years, but this has never happened before."
Those were Kevin's direct words. This is not, however, the first time that things that are inexplicable have happened with Tigger-Mu-Mu.
I related near the end of the fourth Moon Cottage Cat book, The Coach House Cats, a tale that Kevin had told me earlier about his beloved Tigger-Mu-Mu:
"It first happened a few years ago. I arrived home from doing a cabaret show, totally sober. I lay back on the sofa with a glass of wine and put on the TV to catch the last half hour of a Bond film. Tigger-Mu-Mu was on the coffee table between me and the TV. She was facing away from me towards the large window with the curtains drawn. Tiggs was having a good wash in true Mogology style. Suddenly something caught my eye way left of the TV against the curtains. I looked and it was unbelievable … a swirling purple/blue vortex. That's the only way I can describe it. But what caught my eye even more was Tiggs, stuck in mid-wash, looking at the vortex. This vortex looked like something was trying to manifest. The episode lasted only a few seconds. When the vortex disappeared Tiggs continued to look at the space for a few seconds longer and then carried on washing. This sent shivers down my spine because Tiggs was not influenced by me at all and yet she clearly saw what I was seeing. It wasn’t caused by a light shining through the window because the bungalow is in a cul-de-sac with no passing traffic; it has a large front garden, and thick curtains! What I saw was in the room."
I was disconcerted by this and asked Kevin lots of questions. He said that he only experienced the ‘vortex’ once but on several occasions he saw a ‘ghost’ cat and so, he had discovered recently, had his mother. However, both of them only saw it in this particular bungalow. It would be visible to him out of the corner of his eye and it would seem to be walking in that way that cats do and that in some strange way it looked like Tigger-Mu-Mu, which is odd as she was alive then, but the moment he turned round and looked at it square on it would fade.
"Sometimes I wondered if it was Barnaby Lilly, my first cat, but she wasn’t a tabby. Sometimes when I saw it, I would then see Tiggs kipping on the chair. Could it be Tiggs astral projecting?"
All I felt able to offer Kevin by way of comment was the Bard of Avon’s immortal: ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’