The selection at Half Price Books never ceases to amaze me. Initially drawn to the art noveau cover but sold on the title/bargain price, this is one of my best impulse buys of late. Tales of ghost dogs, ghost canaries, ghost cows… even ghost hamsters. Oh my.
I’m a staunch believer in ghosts and paranormal phenomena in general, and have had multiple encounters which reenforce said beliefs. My attitude towards ghosts is that they outnumber the living, surround us constantly, and have the ability to harm us if they pleased. But for the most part they’re good, and if you’re cool with them they’re cool with you.
I saw a ghost once (a cliched glowing lady dressed in white) at my aunts home during my cousins birthday party. I was 4 or 5 at the time but know damn well what I saw! And thankfully was too young to fear the experience. Ghosts have made their presence known to me many times since, just not in the form of a visual presence – thank god. Immediately following one such encounter I said aloud “I’m fine with you living here. Just don’t show yourself to me, please.” To the ghosts credit my wish was respected. I have a major fear of seeing ghosts. Few things could be more terrifying (as an adult) than seeing one come and go, imo.
The exception would be if I saw a ghost pet.
Beanie was a beloved pet I had in high school. As a Siamese the highlights on her nose and butt made her look like a pinto bean, hence the name. Unlike most rats, she was very affectionate and sat still when pet – a lap rat if there ever was one. Her head was constantly tilted upwards, but not in that snobby ‘who farted?’ sorta way. In a cheery disposition sorta way. She always seemed to smile. Like Babe.
She also reminded me of my great Aunt Veronica who was born in 1899. Maybe that was just the white hair.
Beanie did not outlive great aunt Veronica. Great aunt Veronica died in 2004, thus she technically lived in 3 centuries. But poor Beanie never partied like it’s 1999. She bit the bucket at the ripe old age of 2. Initially she was plagued by incontinence. But the tumor she lugged around which was larger than her head ultimately did her in.
I buried her in a cigar box under a tree in our yard at the time. As corny as it sounds, there hasn’t been a day since that Beanie doesn’t cross my mind. I constantly wish she was still around. As a consolation prize I’ve searched endlessly for a similar looking rat (no dice yet, Siamese are rare), and gave serious consideration to pet cloning before I realized how harmful it can be to other animals. Nothing compares to the original Beanie though – hence her ghostly presence would be welcomed.
Needless to say, this book gives me hope. Perhaps one day when I least expect it Beanie’s ghost will run accross my computer desk. Or sit in my lap as she often did. Or I’ll look in the mirror one day and see a reflection of her ghost resting on my shoulder like ‘heeey!’. It’s a damn shame rats can’t read/write/spell in English. If they could, I’d brave an Ouija board as a means to conjure her. Beanie can make her presence known from beyond the cigar box/scare the shit out of me any time.
But if her presence has left me for good, maybe it’s because she was perfect (incontinence and all) and achieved Nirvana. It’s NOT because ghosts don’t exist because they definately do – and good luck convincing me otherwise. I’ve had to many experiences that defy any other explanation. If you too believe in ghosts, wish to reconnect with dead pets, and/or have ghost stories to tell now is the time.