The Visit From a Blue-Eyed Cat
By Jeffrey Bishop
True events behind this story — particularly a blue-eyed, white cat roaming near our campsite at Camp Vandeventer in Southern Illinois — inspired this, our first campfire story ever.
Tell Time: 6 minutes
Scare Rating: 2/5 Ghosts
The tale that I’m about to tell happened not too long ago, in our fair town. In fact, it was last year – 1912 – when the last mysterious event occurred. The story involves a blue-eyed cat – specifically, a white cat with blue eyes. Some believe it was a ghost, and all others aren’t too sure it wasn’t.
As you know, most cats have either green eyes or yellow eyes. So the appearance of a cat with blue eyes – which seemed to glow brightly in the night – would seem kind of eery to most people in its own right. That these eyes belonged to a feline peculiarus – that was only seen at night, with a white body that also seemed to glow softly, and that was allegedly involved in a number of mischievous events – certainly added evidence to the idea that we were indeed dealing with a ghost cat.
One of the first such queer events involved Mrs. Puckett. It was on an early spring night, and she had baked a cherry pie and set it to cool next to an open window, on the sill over her kitchen sink. She had no sooner settled into her easy chair in the next room to listen to a record program and sip her chamomile tea when she heard a terrible commotion in the kitchen.
Rushing out of her chair just as fast as her spry 81-year-old legs could carry her, Mrs. Puckett reported that she got to the kitchen just in time to see a bluish-white flash go out the window and into the night. Turning on the kitchen light, poor Mrs. Puckett found her beautiful cherry pie tipped over and on to the floor. Surrounding it were little red paw prints. The paw prints led back up to the counter and to the window where they disappeared. Realizing very quickly that the screen was shut on the window and that there was no way anything could have passed in or out of window, Mrs. Puckett fainted, and didn’t revive until her rooster crowed the next morning.
The next mysterious incident involved Mr. Rodgers’ dog, Milo. It was the middle of the night, and Milo really wanted to go out. Most nights, Milo made it through the night just fine, but there was something out there that night that the bulldog was very interested in, and his excitement grew as Mr. Rodgers led him to the back door. If it was daytime, Mr. Rodgers would have hooked Milo up to his chain, for everyone’s protection. But being late, Mr. Rodgers decided to let Milo run free a bit. Besides, he had remembered the pot roast that Mrs. Rodgers had cooked that night, and he was anxious to get into the icebox to tear off a slab for a midnight snack.
With a fork in one hand and the lid of the crock in the other, he was just about to strike when a great commotion erupted from the back yard, There was barking and growling, followed soon afterwards by whimpering and whining. Mr. Rodgers dropped the fork and lid and ran to the back yard. Flipping on the back porch light, he found his Milo wrapped up in his chain, struggling to get free but seeming to instead draw the chain like a noose, tighter and tighter with each move. Sitting over him, on the roof of Milo’s dog house, was a white cat, licking its front paw in silent judgment. As Mr. Rodgers ran to free his pet, the cat gingerly hopped off the roof of the house and disappeared into the night.
There were stories of dozens of other mischievous events involving the mysterious white cat that were shared around the town that summer. There was the famous cat-tastrophe at the post office overnight; then there was also the cat-aclysmic event on the night shift at the shoe factory, which resulted in an avalanche of workboots burying three line workers, where they remained shouting for help until the day shift showed up and found them.
Perhaps others have shared their tales with you already, but there’s one more instance involving the white cat that I want to tell, because it was the last time the white cat was seen in our town, and it was I who happened to see it for the last time. It was late in the summer, and I was out for an evening walk with my lovely bride. The town was settling in for the night as we strolled down the lane in the quaint older neighborhood just outside of the center square. As we headed down Maple Street, I saw the small, white, glowing body moving slowly before me at the other end of the block – and I knew right away that I was having my own encounter with the ghostly cat.
The phantom shape seemed to emerge from the old Sous Manse, the large, stately old home on the corner of the street, long ago abandoned after Matron Sous passed away. As we got closer, we could clearly see that it was indeed a cat, and as it set down near the curb and turned its eerie blue eyes toward us, we knew it was the white cat that everyone else in the town had been talking about.
We were stunned. Looking at my wife, and she at me, neither one of us really wanted to go any closer . But it was just a cat, right? It would be silly to stop because of a cat – and after all, it was black cats crossing your path, not white ones, that were supposed to bring bad luck. However, as spooked as we were, neither one of us wanted to be the one to suggest we turn around and go another way, either. So she clutched my arm tighter, and I steadied my walk, as we slowly moved closer to the apparition.
But with our very next step, something even more strange happened. Near the cat, but deeper in the darkness, away from the lights of the street, a new phantom appeared. Standing in the night some yards from the cat was the figure of an old lady, hunched over and frail. Though we were still a ways away, we could clearly make her out, as she, too, was gently glowing with a whitish-blue aura. The lady seemed to be calling to the cat, and the cat ran up to her as though they’d been separated for many months.
I could feel my wife’s fingernails dig into the flesh of my arm as we took another step toward the ghostly pair. As we did, I could see both the old lady and the cat nod to us curtly, as if in greeting and in farewell at the same time. They then turned and walked away from us, with an unnatural — or rather, supernatural — haste. As they moved into the glowing light of the street corner lamp, both the old lady and the cat disappeared into the night.
After that night, neither the mischievous blue-eyed cat nor its ghostly owner was ever seen in our town again.