Dr Ann Redding was trained to think as a scientist and taught biology for twenty-seven years at Ventura College in California. After years of studying and teaching biology, she distrusted what could not be proven, and viewed paranormal events – mediumistic activity, out-of-body experiences, visions, past-life regression, telepathy – as amusing occurrences or figments of someone’s active imagination. But then her own otherworldly experiences proved far too startlingly real to dismiss, and prompted took beyond the limits of “explainable” science.
After visitations from two of deceased dogs, she made the decision to honour beloved pets everywhere by compiling a collection of true stories from pet owners who had experienced after death contracts with their animals. Together with the help of Ann Campbell, Dr. Redding wrote “Tails Beyond: True stories of Our Immortals Pets”.
Here is one of the extract of the stories as narrated by the author Karen an artist who paints mostly in watercolour, with animals being her favourite subjects.
“I purchased my first , Abyssinian cat from a local breeder, who chose one of the kittens for me. He was not show quality, but I could not have been happier with my new, ruddy companion whom I named Corky. He was three months old – affectionate, playful, inquisitive, and gorgeous!
In no time, I grew to feel closer to Corky than any other living creature, and I honestly believe he felt the same way about me. When Corky was three, I purchased another Abyssinian cat, Dandy. Just as I had hoped, the cats quickly became buddies. One of their favourite places to play was a beach close to my house. They would run and chase each other along the sand until they were almost too tired to move. After a brief rest, the feline pals would wade into the bay to hunt for fish. It always brought me joy to see them cavorting together!
Despite his prowess as a hunter, Corky had a loving disposition and an endearing habit that earned him the nickname “Velcro Cat.” Whenever I moved around the house, cleaning, vacuuming, doing the laundry or other chores, Corky would wrap his front legs around my neck and press his little belly tightly against my chest. As he was holding on, he would rub his head against me. If anyone pulled him off, Corky would cling to that person in exactly the same way. It didn’t matter whom he was stuck to, Corky was truly one serious Velcro Cat!
Abyssinians are prone to liver disease, and unfortunately, Corky plagued with problem. He was on medication or another throughout most his life. I know that Corky would never get better, and that he should be euthanized. I chose to have him experience this inevitable transition at home, and I made sure that Corky’s running and fishing companion, Dandy, had a chance to see the body. My grief was almost unbearable. Then, just a year later, I lost Dandy, too.
About two years after Corky passed away, I began to be aware of a recurring dream about him, but I suspect that less intense versions of the same dream had occurred earlier. As time went on, the dream became more vivid, occurring every few weeks over a period of four years. At first, the dream was a nightmare. It would begin with Corky jumping on my bed and walking toward me. Suddenly I would imagine that Dandy and my other deceased cats were still alive, but that I had forgotten to feed them. I would be rushing around trying to find food for them just before I woke up. A terrible guilty feeling burdened me until I realized it was just a dream.
Eventually, the dream no longer included the part about not feeding the cats, but Corky’s jumping on bed and walking toward me remained. The dream was short but powerful. One day I was determined to wake up in time to see and talk to him before he left. The next morning as expected, here came Corky. As he jumped onto the bed, I felt it shake, and I even heard the sheets move with each step he took toward me. Just as I had planned, I forced myself to wake up and sat bolt upright, expecting to see Corky or at least the indentations in the sheets. Even though I did not see him or the marks on the sheets, I felt his presence. I felt so blessed to have this visitation that I quickly thanked him over and over again.
After that, I never had the dream again. I had dreamt it every few weeks for four years, and suddenly it was gone! I believe that when I spoke to Corky and acknowledged his visitation, he knew that I had finally received his message. He had come to soothe my grief and let me know that he still existed. Once I acknowledged him, he said his goodbye for now and “I love you”. I loved dreaming about him because it comforted me and make me feel as if we were together again. But I understand that there is no need for Corky to keep coming back. He knows that I finally got the message. Corky has, moved on to “dance the spiral,” in the beautiful place where, I believe, all living thIngs go after they die. Corky and I are still bound by the deep love we shared for one another, and I believe we will be together again some day.