Things that go "thump" in the night

Could it be the spirit of a departed pet?
Presenter Deb Ahearn with the cremains of her cat. Photo by Judy Keenan.

Deb Ahearn's business, A-Team Paranormal, provides investigation, education and support for people seeking answers to unexplained phenomena related to the spirit world. That includes the possibility of a pet spirit world as well. Her logic is that if we have souls then why shouldn't pets have souls? And, if we and they have souls then we and they may be a part of the spirit world.

Describing herself as a skeptic, Deb told a small but eager audience at the Chat House in Dennis that she had brought her two pets with her that evening. Pointing to the mantel piece in the room where there are two wooden boxes slightly smaller than the size of a cigar box, she says: "I bring them with me whenever I do this presentation. So anyone who has not seen ashes can open them later." Inside are the cremains of two beloved cats; Gabrielle and Samantha with pictures of each on their box and mementos including some of their hair inside their respective boxes.

After more discussion about her pets and how much they meant to her, Deb began a slide show about the paranormal. Probing the question of psychic powers and in particular, psychic powers in pets, she cited instances of behavior which might indicate psychic powers in pets. For example, when animals move to higher ground prior to a massive typhoon are they being psychic or do they just feel the vibrations in the earth more keenly than humans. Audience members seemed to agree that animals are probably more sensitive to vibrations.

Everyone agreed that animals have healing powers. There are dogs used as therapy aides who can sense the onset of an epileptic seizure and dogs who can detect diabetes. Beyond that, Deb shared stories of her pets lying on her body in a particular spot that was giving her pain as if to provide heat and healing to that place. Does this indicate a psychic connection between humans and animals?

Through a series of newspaper stories about animals and how they have exhibited extraordinary behavior with regard to humans, such as providing warmth to a child lost over night in the woods by covering him with its body or the pets who save people from fires or other dangers well before there is any indication of danger. Consider the dog that in 1939 refused to board his owners fishing boat, a usually favorite place, when the seas were calm and the sky was cloudless. That behavior made the boat owner decide not to go out on the ocean that day. Later, a deadly hurricane hit and he would have been dead had he gone out. Deb has a wide collection of similar stories in her slide presentation.

Some audience members had their own stories to add. Most took comfort in the thought of their departed pets still being in their lives, either through "thumps in the night" which sound like a cat jumping from a counter or other messages that could be interpreted as their presence still on earth.

In closing, Deb read the following poem written by Eileen Bergen in 2006 entitled The Rainbow Bridge:

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge,
Far beyond the hillside and across the final ridge.

A place of joyful waiting for the pets we loved so much.
Though we no longer see them nor feel their nuzzling touch

They're romping in the hillocks and rolling in the dales.
Health and joy apparent in the wagging of the tails.

How nice to know they're happy; they've just gone to play.
True to us always, they've not really gone away.

In pastures lush and sunny, in meadows tinged with gold,
They're as they were so long ago and never will grow old.

We know one day we'll follow-it may be soon or late.
Alert for our arrival, they'll greet us at the gate.

Wet happy kisses rain down, as we caress the face.
A wonderful reunion; we'll pause in fond embrace.

Then turn our footsteps heavenward away from Rainbow Bridge.
And amble home together beyond that final ridge.

Finally, check out The Chat House which is a unique combination of healthy eating, original art on display and events ranging from presentations like Deb's to folk singers. It's a mellow place on Route 6A in a converted older home so it's comprised of a number of small rooms. Deb's slide show was on in a front room while several patrons ate flatbread pizzas with organic toppings and used the Wi-Fi in another room. It's interesting and eclectic.

If you go: The Cape Cod Chat House is at 593 Route 6A in Dennis. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on