Thursday, 5 November 2009

Schrödinger's cat on my doorstep

Time for a personal confession...

I use the word "confession" because, unlike the other personal experiences I have reported so far (which came uninvited), the event I am about to describe seems to have been directly related to something I did - or tried to do. And it is an activity that is often best left unmentioned, unless you are willing to risk being considered a kook. A mad(wo)man. A lunatic. Someone who is not to be trusted with the simplest tasks in life... You get the picture.

The outward appearance of the event was anything but spectacular; if you're expecting the time-shift equivalent of some "mother ship" appearing, you're in for an anticlimax, to put it mildly.

Still, it boggles the mind.

And while I usually don't mind letting go of my (rational) mind, there is something about this event that makes me want to keep silent about it.
Hence the term "confession".
(And don't be surprised if I later change my mind about publishing this and take the post down.)

Something odd happened on the evening of July 23, 2008.
It had been a breathtakingly beautiful summer day, with all the colours burning bright in the sunlight that filtered through dark grey stormy clouds. (There had been a storm the previous night, and there was another coming later that day.)

I had been out for a coffee with a relative of mine. It had been a most interesting meeting: we had a conversation that, I feel, directly pertains to what I am about to describe, but would rather withhold it, for fear of "tainting" the thought process (and possibly even clouding the memory itself). Let me just say that it was a conversation about a dream that might indicate that dreams perhaps could be more than just "processing" of our daily rubbish (garbage, if you're an American ;) - that perhaps they sometimes could be a very real meeting point of different levels of Reality.

As I was coming home that evening, maybe ten or twenty metres from my doorstep, I suddenly saw my neighbour's cat. It was sitting by the rubbish bin, looking at me.

There aren't many cats loose around my neighbourhood; in fact, that was the only cat I ever saw in my street.
And this cat had a very distinctive appearance. Its fur had a colouring and pattern that I hadn't seen on any other cat; and most of all, it had a very visible patch of discolouration around its nose, the consequence of a disease he had had years before.

My heart leapt when I saw him.
I slowly approached him.
He didn't move; he just kept looking at me
"Is that you?" I asked him, calling his name.
If he ever replied, I didn't hear or understand him. But then, there was no need for a reply: I could see quite clearly it was him.

It was my neighbour's cat - who had died two years before.

I stood there looking at him for a while; and then I slowly walked away and into my home.
The next day I didn't see him. Or the next.
I did see his (former) "owner" a few days later, and I inquired - as breezily and "by the way" as I could - about his cat. Oh yes, it had died. How did he know for sure? Because he saw him die. Did he get another one? No, no way - too much trouble. "I thought I had seen him," I finally added. Didn't he see a cat just like his around lately? No.

I know what I saw.
Maybe the man, for some obscure reason, didn't tell me the truth: maybe he did not see him die, so he could not know for sure that the cat was dead.
But that was the only time I saw the "late" cat (who had been quite elderly at the time of his purported death) in more than two years, ever since I had stopped seeing him around and later learned he was dead.

Until a few days ago.
It was late in the evening and I was returning home.
When I walked past my neighbour's door, I saw the cat again, sitting where it had been the last time I saw him.

This time, I walked even closer to him, to have a good look at him: yes, it was him. There was his unmistakable patch around the nose. And he seemed to know me.

I know I said I wouldn't talk... but now I think I might as well admit to you openly (after all, you already suspected I was a kook, right?) that the first time, on July 23, 2008 - or rather, the night before - I had been doing an "exercise", the aim of which was to switch to a different timeline.

It certainly resulted in an occipital headache that defies description. No industry-strength pills could relieve it - and that's saying something, considering that: a) I hardly ever get headaches, and b) an aspirin is usually enough to dispel my headaches.

Then, later that day, when I met with my relative, she told me about a dream that she could not get out of her mind: it had been a "Technicolor" dream (something that, in her own words, never happened to her, as she only dreams in "black & white"); it felt as vivid as any present reality; in her dream she was perfectly aware of the obvious change between the waking reality as she remembered it and the (also "waking") reality of the dream.

I am not usually interested in dreams, but this time I was impressed.
I didn't tell her (but she may find out now) that while she was sleeping I had been suffering the mother of all headaches, after having tried to "immerse" myself completely - mind AND body - in a different timeline: a timeline that corresponded exactly to what she had dreamed.

Did this have anything to do with the cat?
I don't know. I just felt it had to be mentioned, considering that both events were highly unusual, to put it conservatively.

What baffles me is this: IF (and it is a big "if") my mind-forcing the boundaries of time/space had somehow provoked the apparition of that cat... what was it that made it appear a few days ago? My mind frame and activity had been totally different from what they were on July 22/23, 2008.

I may be editing - or just removing - this entry in a while.
But in case you just like reading about phantom cats - nah, let's call them Schrödinger's cats :) - here's a short mention of a similar event.

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