Today’s guest/ghost writer is Vicky Holt. Vicki is a talented author and has written two Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mysteries Kindle World stories. Her latest one, Missing Links, was just released. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did!
Months after my dad defeated kidney cancer, I visited my parents. We laughed and talked, ate and visited. I collapsed into bed, ready to sleep and crashed immediately. Late in the middle of the night, I heard my door push open and felt the mattress dip when Cleo the Siamese cat jumped up on the mattress and made herself at home. I mumbled ‘Hey Cleo’ and went back to sleep.
A year earlier:
My dad’s face fell when he got the diagnosis. After a series of tests in search of elusive and unexplained pain, the doctors stumbled across a cancerous lesion on one of his kidneys. It was a difficult, frightening and unpredictable time. Through his hours of feeling sick and scared, his regal and aloof cat, Cleo, stayed nearby.
Cleo was a fine-boned Siamese with big eyes, sure-footed and dainty feet, and a long dark tail that flicked with a life of its own sometimes.
I loved to see Cleo too, but she always preferred the company of her mom and dad. She had the run of the house, but when company was over, she made herself scarce.
During dad’s treatment and post-surgical convalescence, Cleo slept on his chest. When he was awake but feeling ill, she stayed nearby, available for a good petting. With her purr like a leaf-blower engine and humorous stilted meow, she was a comforting and steady presence for my dad.
Many months, prayers and miracles later, my dad was pronounced cured and cancer-free. He was ready to move on with life. Sadly, Cleo’s health declined. When it became obvious that there was no recovery possible for her ailments, my parents made the heart-breaking decision to give Cleo a peaceful end. My dad was there for her at the end, weeping and petting his little buddy who had helped him pull through the scariest time of his life. He hated the idea of ‘playing God’ and making this decision, but he felt like it was the right thing to do. Cleo was 76 years old in human years, after all. With tears flowing, he petted Cleo until it was all over, and donned a pair of sunglasses so he could leave the vet’s office with a shred of dignity. He and mom were emotionally wrecked about it. Life carries on, as we are wont to say.
A good deal later, I enjoyed a nice visit with my parents and had a good sleep, other than the nightly visitor. The next morning I woke up to the light streaming in the window in the cheerful yellow room and my heart stopped. Cleo had been gone for a year. When I mentioned this to my dad, he confided that Cleo had made her presence known a few other times as well. I guess when you know you are loved, you try to go back to the place where you felt and received unconditional love as often as you can. I felt honored that Cleo wanted to give me her ghostly hello while I was there.
Good bye, Cleo! Thank you for helping to take care of my dad.
Note from Terri – This story reminded me of one of the Tales Around the Jack O’Lantern stories. I LOVE when that happens!