Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Introducing Your Cat To Ghosts

What do you do if you are trying to introduce your cat to your household – and your house is haunted? How do you introduce your new cat to the ghosts who, well, may be part of your family?

Yeah, I know, most people will probably lift a disdainful nostril at this. I suspect that the majority don’t believe in the Supernatural, and to tell you the truth I shouldn’t either.

I’ve got a scientific background, having graduated in Chemistry and worked as an Industrial Chemist for many years. As such, I'm fully aware that Science doesn’t recognize the Supernatural.

Now, I have to qualify that. In the 1970’s there was an ongoing movement on the part of the scientific community to investigate supernatural phenomena, and an entire issue of the magazine Science was devoted to it. After several years of investigation, the community concluded that the Supernatural does not exist -- primarily because supernatural phenomena are not reproducible.

For a fact to be established by the Scientific Method, it has to be reproducible – identical results must be obtained under identical conditions by all researchers repeating the same experiment. Because of this, Science concluded that the Supernatural doesn’t exist. Results of experimentation were not repeatable.

It wasn’t amenable to the Scientific Method.

But the nagging question remains: if a phenomenon isn’t measurably reproducible, does it mean that it's not there?

Modern Quantum Physics has reopened the possibility of other realms we can neither measure nor perceive. Stephen Hawking has suggested that the reality we find ourselves in is merely a statistical summation of all possible parallel realities – none of which can be directly measured -- which come about because of choices that, well, we have made.

Now, I’m not a Quantum Physicist, but to me this would indicate that there are indeed other realms beside the one we live in that we cannot perceive.

But maybe your cat can. In particular, there is a mystique surrounding the black cat, which I tried to debunk in my article “A Black Cat is Only a Cat”. I still stand by my belief that there is no “bad luck” associated with a black cat, but I do have to admit one thing.

My black cat acted very strangely on Halloween.

Granted, the Santanas (hot California winds) were blowing through the house, and there were a lot of strange noises and movements that came about because of the wind.

But still…

It was as if he was sensing something else going on. Something that wasn’t there.

Well, a lot of people think cats are psychic. Bill Murray encountered a psychic cat in “Broken Flowers”, when he visited an ex-flame who was a “Cat Whisperer”. Her cat sat and stared at him unblinkingly for the entire duration of his visit. He asked his ex-girlfriend about the cat, and she replied, “He says you have a hidden agenda”.

Cats seem to have some kind of special knowledge or perception of the world that we humans lack. Many cat owners testify to the experience of having their cat arch her back, growl and spit at something that "isn’t there".

So, if this is indeed the case, that at least some cats are sensitive to the Supernatural, and by implication, sensitive to ghosts, perhaps ghost hunters like the TAPS people ("Ghost Hunters", the SciFi Channel), might consider identifying these cats and carrying them into the haunted places they investigate. Sort of like miners carrying caged Canaries down into mines as indicators of poison gas.

Who knows? These “Feline Ghost Detectors” might be more reliable than some of the high tech Infrared devices and sound recording systems TAPS uses to provide indications of wayward spirits. The latter instruments sometimes give false readings due to lazy homeowners who fail to fix their malfunctioning transformers and fuse boxes.

Perhaps a black cat, who won’t arch his back because of electromagnetism leaking from a defective fuse box, might reliably “spit” at a real ghost.

Who knows?

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