A Visit From an Old Friend
In 2005, my family had to put our dog down. She was an English Springer Spaniel named Casey. She was 13-years-old and it was a devastating time for all of us.
She was older and sick so it was the best decision. It’s always hard losing a pet, who is a member of the family, but it also wasn’t great timing either. We had to put her to rest just two weeks after my young aunt had unexpectedly passed away.
Where there’s sad news always comes a silver lining. The day we put Casey down was the day our cat Hunter officially adopted us.
How our story began
Hunter was a stray in the neighborhood. I looked out my bedroom one day and saw him sitting in the yard. Naturally, I ran outside to play with him. He was a Ragdoll and was super friendly and sociable.
We played just about every day around the same time for a little while before he went back on his way.
He occasionally came into the house during a thunderstorm or when there were fireworks in the distance. However, he always left. My dad never wanted to have a cat anyway.
That is, until the day we had to say goodbye to Casey.
My parents laid Casey in the front yard so my sisters and I could say goodbye. Hunter appeared out of what seemed like nowhere. He and Casey had met before and there was an understanding between them that this was Casey’s house. Hunter respected that, therefore Casey respected him.
He watched us say our goodbyes and waited with my sisters and me as our parents picked Casey up into our car and drove away.
Once the car was out of sight, Hunter followed us back inside the house. Casey had a special spot she liked to lay in the living room. Hunter immediately walked over there and laid down on the spot beside it, curling up and falling asleep.
It was as though he knew what had happened but he still respected Casey’s space and her home.
It was shortly after that, Hunter never left. He became an indoor cat as we officially adopted him as our own. He was estimated to be about two-years-old from the vet but a few years later would prove that he was most likely another couple of years older once he was diagnosed with a thyroid condition.
We had Hunter for about ten years so I believe he was at least 15-years-old when we had to say goodbye.
On November 2, 2015, we said goodbye to Hunter.
At the time of writing this article, it’ll be five years this year since we had to say goodbye. I still miss him each and every day. He and I had some sort of unspoken bond and did a lot together.
He would sometimes tuck me into bed, he’d sleep with me, and he even sat on the edge of the tub in between the shower curtain and liner so that he could still be with me without getting wet.
For a little while after his death, I felt Hunter nearby. At night, I’d go to bed and feel something jump up at the foot of my bed but nothing would be there.
Maybe it was Hunter coming to visit from beyond the rainbow bridge or maybe it was my imagination. This didn’t happen every night but it happened often enough.
In August 2016 we got a new 10-month-old cat named Chase. He’s stubborn and ultimately has the opposite personality of Hunter. In fact, he snubbed us at the shelter when we picked him up.
Chase is a love. He shows his affection in his own way, will cuddle on his own terms and loves to be in the same room as us (though he acts like he doesn’t want us to know that).
Soon after we got Chase I stopped feeling Hunter nearby. Again, maybe it was my imagination all along. Chase had filled that hole in my heart. I still think about Hunter and miss him, of course, but Chase is here now and he’s a delight.
A visit from an old friend
The other day, I went through a couple of old flash drives. I wanted to see what was on them so I could delete files and use the drives for something else. One of the flash drives though had old pictures on it. The pictures were from 2012 to 2015.
One of the folders was labeled “Pets” and I clicked on it. There were so many photos of Hunter, especially since 2015 because we didn’t know when his final day would be. Chip, my dog, was just a puppy at the time. There were plenty of pictures of the two of them together as well as my turtle, Raph. Hunter absolutely loved Raph. He used to babysit her whenever she was out of her tank and come get me if she started going somewhere she shouldn’t.
It was a nice throwback. It was funny to look at those old pictures again. (Needless to say, nothing on that flash drive is getting deleted.)
It was that night that I had one of the most vivid dreams I’ve ever had.
We all dream but some of us can never remember them. I’m that person who rarely remembers what I dream about. On occasion, I will remember a good dream or I’ll have a nightmare stuck in my head, but I normally don’t remember a thing.
That night, though, I dreamt of Hunter. I was me as I am (not me from 15 years ago) and he and I were playing. We were outside and I was petting and hugging him.
I woke up around 1:00 am feeling pretty good. When I fell back to sleep again, I dreamt of Hunter again. Now we were inside my house cuddling on the couch and just simply being together.
Then I woke up again. I checked the time and it said 3:33 am.
I got up to go to the bathroom and when I curled back up in my bed I felt something jump up on the foot of my bed.
I knew it wasn’t my dog Chip since she’s small and needs help getting up on the bed. I assumed it was Chase. I sat up to pet him but nothing was there. So, I laid back down and fell back to sleep.
For the third time that night, I remembered my dream and it was with Hunter yet again. Playing, cuddling, and just being together.
Did any of this mean anything?
I was over the moon when I woke up the next morning. I like to believe in miracles and messages from beyond but one can never be too sure. I wondered if it was, yet again, my imagination.
Perhaps it was just a coincidence because I was looking at pictures of Hunter the previous day. It was already in my subconscious.
I had heard that when you see repeating numbers it means someone from the afterlife is trying to communicate with you.
The number 3 has always resonated with me. I was born in 1993, I’m the third child in my family, and I associated that number with a lot of other things. I see that number often. So, I found it interesting that I had woken up at 3:33 in the morning.
I looked it up out of curiosity. According to Angel Numbers Meaning, 333 means your guardian angel wants to remind you they are with you at any moment.
Is it real? Is it a coincidence? Does this kind of stuff actually happen to people? I’m not entirely sure. I do believe in ghosts and life after death.
My mental health hasn’t been the best as of late and life, in general, has been busy and stressful. So, this was exactly what I needed right now.
Whether it’s my imagination or not, this was comforting for me. And it’s something I’ll never forget.
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